Eurosphere agenda: European Commission to restore faith in US-EU data sharing in a post-PRISM world… Berlusconi.. Scotland… Ukraine…

European Commission outlines steps to restore faith in US-EU data sharing in a post-PRISM world

The European Commission (EC) has drafted measures designed to restore faith in the flow of data between the US and Europe following revelations about the NSA?s spying activities with its PRISM programme.

The EC today outlined what it views as the steps required to start rebuilding trust in the way that data is passed between Europe and the US.

The Top Five Career Paths for Berlusconi After Being Booted from Politics

Poor Silvio Berlusconi. On Wednesday, his colleagues in the Italian Senate effectively declared him unfit for office and voted to expel him from the body.

MAIN FOCUS: Scotland makes bid for independence | 27/11/2013

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond presented a detailed plan for Scotland’s independence on Tuesday. In September 2014 the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on whether to leave the UK. Some commentators see the White Paper as populist electoral propaganda. Others point out that London can get along just fine without Scotland.

EU Budget: a victory for the Council

The passing of the EU budget last week by the European Parliament was definitely a win for the Council and the fiscal hawks amongst the Member States. For the first time the EU budget will be cut, and cut by ?35 billion (3.5%) over the next 7 year period (this “Multi-annual Financial Framework” allocates the budgets for 2014-2020).

EU parties vow to tackle far-right but see ?no reason to panic?

Countering euroscepticism will be a central topic of the European socialist party?s campaign, according to Massimo D’Alema, the president of the the left-wing foundation FEPS, who worries about the surge of populist and extreme parties at next year’s European election.

Speaking to EurActiv, the president of the Foundation for European Policy Studies (FEPS) says that ?the only way to counter such euroscepticism isn?t to defend Europe as it now exists.”

Vilnius summit: Ukraine and the Russian factor


The way out for Ukraine, who risks default, is only in the search of a compromise and coordinated position both with Europe, and with the Russian Federation writes Yuriy Kochevenko.

Yuriy Kochevenko is a Ukrainian political expert.

On the eve of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership the intrigue around the signing of the association agreement (AA) between Ukraine and the EU reaches its peak.  The Ukrainian government has announced its decision to suspend preparations for the AA’s signature due to the need to mitigate economic risks for the country, especially in the context of Russia’s position. At the same time, in a TV statement, President Viktor Yanukovych told his compatriots that “nothing will force Ukraine to turn from the way of integration to the European Union”.

Is Ukraine its own master?

The world was waiting for Ukraine to take its first step towards joining the EU this week, but a few days ago its president announced a not-entirely-unexpected U-turn. Valery Kalnysh reports from Kyiv.

Latvian government resigns over supermarket disaster


Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned today (27 November), taking responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof that killed 54 people last week and plunging the Baltic state into turmoil weeks ahead of its entry into the eurozone.


The departure of the Latvia’s longest-serving premier brought down its centre-right government, a measure of the scale of the political uproar triggered by the tragedy in Riga.

MAIN FOCUS: Grand coalition in Germany ready to go | 28/11/2013

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After five weeks of negotiations Germany’s CDU/CSU and SPD have reached a deal on a coalition agreement in Berlin. However, the members of the SPD must first give their approval before the country sees a new edition of the grand coalition. Commentators see the agreement as proof of Germany’s culture of consensus, and ask whether the SPD will change Chancellor Angela Merkel’s European policy.

Italian Senate approves former PM Berlusconi’s expulsion from parliament

The decision could mark a watershed in the career of the leader who has dominated Italian politics for two decades

 Coalition deal signals continuation of Merkel’s EU policy

EU ?refines its thinking? on its Ukraine-Russia relations


One day before the Vilnius summit Eastern partnership summit, the European Commission today (27 November) hinted that it was ?refining its thinking? about holding trilateral trade talks with Ukraine and Russia.


The confession may appease politicians in Moscow, who claim that the EU-Ukraine association agreement in its current form would cause massive harm to the Russian economy.


The coalition agreement, announced earlier today (27 November), shows high awareness of European expectation for the new German government. Yet, the EU chapter of the deal reads like a compulsory exercise buried under domestic policy, reports.


Europe does not feature as a high priority in the text of the new coalition agreement, unveiled earlier today by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).

Sexual violence in Bosnia: how war lives on in everyday life

Rape has been recognized as a war crime in international and Bosnian law, but women survivors seldom receive the reparation they are owed. Meanwhile, persistent male violence makes daily life in Bosnia-Herzegovina a battleground for many women.

A culture of euroscepticism?

I?ve had a small flurry of late-autumn events of late, including a talk at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin (podcasted here) and a workshop here at Surrey on Croatia?s membership of the EU, organised by CRonEM.

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