from Global Voices Online by Vivienne Griffiths
Nowadays, it is a common occcurence to witness African-born women having successful careers in Europe. Despite the evident challenges, many of them have also distiguished themselves in politics. Still, it was not so long ago that such success would have seemed impossible. To achieve greatness, these women have often come a long way, both literally and figuratively.
The EU launched three legal proceedings against Hungary on Tuesday, as in its view several legal amendments introduced by the right-wing conservative government contravene EU law. Finally the EU is speaking with one voice, write some commentators, while others fear the pressure from Brussels will play right into the hands of Hungary’s far right.
The government of Hungary led by Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party is alarming many by its establishment of ever-greater control over the country?s institutions and public life. A group of thirteen Hungarian intellectuals and public figures, who opposed Hungary?s communist regime in the 1970s – among them Gabor Demsky, Miklós Haraszti, György Konrád, and László Rajk – outline their concerns and call on Europe to help halt a slide to a new dictatorship.
The Commission has announced that it will be taking legal action against Hungary, but only so much can be done under EU law. While people point out that:
For friends of melodrama we suggest Public Service Europe’s take on the Council of the European Union, but let us return to bumbling through the primary sources about the Danish presidency. Our roadmap is the programme presented by the government of Denmark:
by Blogactiv Team
Guest post by Katheryn Rivas
Copenhagen has been bustling and buzzing this past week with formal induction ceremonies as Denmark for the seventh time takes the helm of the EU. The Danish government has put concentrated most of their six-month rotating presidency agenda this term in what they call ?green growth? ? even the Danish National Girls Choir, which performed ?Plant a Tree? during the festivities, wore green skirts in allegiance with the nation?s directives.
from Blogactiv by UK in Europe
By Ronald Stewart Brown
Tensions have already risen on both sides of the Channel following David Cameron?s recent rejection of any new treaty which did not give the UK reasonable safeguards against damaging new single market and financial services regulation.
The rating agency Standard & Poor’s lowered the credit rating of nine euro countries on Friday, with France and Austria losing their triple-A status. This is an attack on attempts to bail out the euro, some commentators write, while others praise the agencies as a corrective that will protect Europe from further indebtedness.
from Ideas on Europe by Protesilaos Stavrou
from Blogactiv by Eberhard Rhein
Since January 1st 2012, the EU is engaged in its most complex ever effort to mitigate international climate change: all aircraft landing and starting at EU airports will be subject to the EU emission cap and trading system that has been in force since 2005 for energy and industrial companies.
from Blogactiv by Blogactiv Team
Guest Post by Dan LUCA. Blog: Casa Europei
The European Union can encourage and facilitate cooperation between Member States in order to develop quality education, however unlike in other policy area?s the EU cannot harmonise any law or regulation of the Member States. The content and organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic particularities are fully in the hands of the Member States.
from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
Well, that was the week that was, wasn?t it? It started with a cheerful, upbeat market response to both the impact of the ECB?s 3 year LTRO and the growing impression that Hungary was going to make some sort of ?one-off? deal with the IMF, and ended near the depths of despair as S&P?s announced the downgrade of 9 Euro Area countries, while the EU Commission worked hard to reinforce the impression that it was about to launch legal proceedings that could even lead to the temporary suspension of Hungary from the EU. It was a time of bitter sweet experiences, which started with Tamás Fellegi (that?s him smiling in the photo below) heading off for his scheduled interview with Christine Lagarde. Then we learnt that the German economy had grown by a brisk 3% in 2011, only to have our hopes dashed by the clarification that most of the growth was in the first 9 months of the year, and in fact the country probably entered recession in the last quarter.
from open Democracy News Analysis – by Kirsty Hughes
If the heart of the crisis lies in the politics ? including in the politics of the economic policy choices being made ? then solutions may lie, not in yet more EU institutional changes and the creation of an austerity union, but in the practice and the dynamism of democratic European politics. But a certain tradition of creating a theoretically more democratic Europe for the people even if they do not seem to want it has deep roots in the EU elites. So far, this hasn’t worked.
from Eurozine articles by Christoph Schönberger
Having become the European hegemon against its will, Germany must now act as a moderating power and gauge diverging interests and powers within the EU, argues Christoph Schönberger.
Several thousand Romanians have protested since Thursday against the healthcare reforms and austerity policy of their government, culminating in violent clashes in Bucharest on Sunday. Only fresh elections can calm the wave of protest, commentators write, because the government’s strict reform policy is a failure.
from The European Citizen by Eurocentric
Last night’s Tonight with Vincent Browne debated the Irish government’s (and Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s) ability to negotiate in the EU. Key to this was an exchange in the Dáil where Michael Martin (the Leader of the Opposition) questioned Kenny’s approach at the December summit for not meeting with David Cameron. Kenny replied that he’d been at the EPP pre-summit meeting in Marseilles, and he’d spoken to him by phone.
from Public Affairs 2.0 by fhbrussels
By Juergen H. Gangoly, Managing Partner of The Skills Group – Fleishman-Hillard?s affiliate in Austria
Nowadays, it seems as though everyone in Europe is talking about the financial crisis and what it means to them. And, for most of us, the outlook is daunting: jobs are harder to come by, innovation is flailing ? and businesses are struggling to grow.
from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh
The version in question is an interview with the Financial Times. A summary was available here, but now they have gone live with the whole interview. If you can raise it on Google or something then it is well worth a read. For one thing it will offer you a trip down memory lane. Anyone remember this?