More than 4,000 Tunisian migrants have arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa in since the fall of longtime strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
The EU has refuted Italy’s claim that it is not doing enough to help the country deal with the 5,000 Tunisian refugees who have made their way to the island of Lampedusa. Commentators complain that the EU generally provides too little support for the host countries of the south, and demand a common migration policy for Europe.
Increasingly there are calls for the UK to leave the European Convention on Human Rights, which has recently been brought to public attention because the of the Hirst v UK (No. 2) case, in which the Court ruled that the UK breached the rights of prisoners by having the loss of the right to vote as an automatic consequence of imprisonment. It should be noted that the Court of Human Rights is not connected to the EU, which is a different organisation – a mistake that people who should know better continuously make.
?[T]he author of this paper is reasonably confident that by banning a certain kind of criminal activity throughout a large number of countries, which eventually will be under a legal obligation to help each other prosecute those committing such activity, an international treaty will bring a significant change and make the Internet and computer-based communications safer?
by Philip Whyte
A broad consensus appears to have emerged across northern Europe on what ails the eurozone. The region’s current predicament, on this view, is the result of fecklessness and irresponsibility in geographically peripheral member-states. Countries in the periphery ran into difficulty because they mismanaged their public finances and lost ‘competitiveness’. The road to redemption, on this analysis, is for the peripheral countries to consolidate their public finances and embrace supply-side reforms. The task at EU level is to keep member-states on the straight and narrow by making sure that they comply with the fiscal rules and do what is required to remain ‘competitive’. This view, which is having a decisive influence on reforms to way the eurozone is run, coincides with that of the German government. Let us, then, call it the ‘Berlin consensus’.
BBC Radio 4 is running a series entitled ?Europe: Driving on the Right?, and the first programme in the series was aired this afternoon, looking at far right parties in Denmark and Sweden. It?s on iPlayer here.
Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi must face trial on April 6, charged with abuse of office and having sex with an under-aged prostitute. The press writes that Berlusconi’s attempts to escape justice are a liability to Italy, and hopes for a conviction.
Negotiations over a ?grand bargain? to attack the ongoing eurozone financial crisis have for weeks included a behind-closed-doors debate about what to do with Greece, which by nearly all estimates will be unable to meet its debt obligations despite its ?110bn bail-out.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for “muscular liberalism” at the Munich Security Conference, and blamed multiculturalism for exacerbating Britain’s problems with radical Islamists. While cautiously commending Cameron’s objectives, the press is quick to criticise his methods on the grounds that they play right into the hands of the extreme right.
Assumptions in the British media are funny sometimes (though other countries’ suffer from this too) – not least amongst those who claim to take the intellectual high-ground on the European Union.
Paris lost no time in rebutting yesterday?s study (see Joshua Chaffin?s post yesterday) suggesting members of the European parliament would rather end the monthly to-and-fro between Brussels and Strasbourg.
A statement released by the foreign ministry on Friday was a Gallic blend of rebuke, snub and curtness.
?The question of the seats is judicially mandated by the treaties: these are applicable to member states and to institutions alike,? it reads.
I recently posted an article to the thematic elections blog of the Institute of Political Science and Governance of the Tallinn University in an Estonian leading newspaper ?Postimees?. I have posted here the translated version of this posting: