Eurosphere agenda: “EU reaches deal on 2015 budget… Snap Presidential election in Greece… Uber taxi app banned in Spain…

EU reaches deal on 2015 budget

European Parliament and government negotiators reach a deal on the EU’s 2015 budget – a fraught issue amid national budget cuts.

By Dimitrije Tasic

Fuels might not draw maps of the world, but they clearly create and destroy political alliances. Putin’s visit to Turkey last week confirms this. His visit is important for at least two reasons. The first reason is that Russia officially gave up on the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.  The second one is that Putin negotiated with Turkish President Erdogan the export of more gas to Turkey, at a lower price.


Uber taxi app banned in Spain

A judge has ordered taxi booking service Uber to immediately stop operating in Spain, after taxi associations complained it was unfair competition.

While Germany boasts the highest EU-wide recycling rate, 85% of waste in certain regions within the bloc ends up in landfills. Analysts are worried about the European Commission’s current reevaluation of waste targets. EurActiv Germany reports.


Germany and America are leading Western policy in addressing the Russia-Ukraine crisis. The basic strategy is to support Ukraine and pressure Moscow to halt aggression, while leaving the door open to diplomacy. Sustaining Western unity is essential, but may not be easy to achieve.
British democracy and women’s right to live free from violence

As the general election approaches in May 2015, women’s organisations in the UK have issued the Women’s Safety Manifesto. Politicians ignore it at their peril when it comes to the vote.

The last few weeks have seen some very visible feminist campaigning in the UK which has successfully challenged a big football club’s intention to restore an unrepentant convicted rapist to glory, a national TV station’s relationship with a rape-celebrating comedian, and the visa application of a racist misogynist (with essential support from overseas sisters).

Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel asks this question over on his Forbes blog, concluding it was probably the correct political choice but that plenty of risks remain in the process. Full post below:

France, Italy and Belgium will be given extra time until March to fix their budgets. The finance ministers of the Eurogroup on Monday approved the proposal for an extension put forward by the EU Commission. Once again the meeting was only about fiscal discipline, some commentators complain. Others criticise that instead of cooperating the EU states spend their time blaming each other for the problems of the Eurozone.

by Korff , Emeritus Professor of International Law

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Today, 8 December 2014, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Nils Muižnieks, released a so-called “Issue Paper” on The rule of law on the Internet and in the wider digital world, with important conclusions and recommendations. They cover four topics of particular interest to civil society: privatised law enforcement, suspicionless mass data retention, cross-border “pulling” of data by law enforcement agencies, and global surveillance by national security agencies.



The North Atlantic is not exactly known as a tranquil part of the world during the winter months. Strong storms often roil these ocean waters, spawning towering waves that send fishing boats to the depths of the sea, and batter coastal communities from Maine to Scotland

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