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Trump and Putin have relaunched the arms race. Hug Europe close, Britain | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
Europe might feel a bit unstable these days, but at least it is not a hair-trigger away from nuclear Armageddon. One reason is the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. That deal, signed by Washington and Moscow in 1987, banned missiles with a range of 310 to 3,420 miles. Last week, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the INF, blaming Russian violations. Vladimir Putin reciprocated over the weekend, promising to accelerate development of prohibited weapons. Unless Moscow and Washington unexpectedly rediscover the spirit of detente, the INF treaty is finished. A global monument to the triumph of diplomatic rationality over militaristic paranoia is being pulled down.

The response in Britain has been oddly muted. Politics is mostly taken up by Brexit, but the issues are linked.
nukes  politics  us  russia  eu  uk 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
The very short history of 'no deal' Brexit | LSE BREXIT
May was keen to instigate simultaneous talks on withdrawal and free trade, in the hope of settling Brexit quickly. In threatening to turn Britain into a giant tax haven, the Lancaster House speech was a futile attempt to frighten the EU into negotiating both deals at the same time.

The suggestion was quickly consigned to irrelevance. The EU did not blink, instead pointing out that withdrawal had to be agreed before trade talks could begin. There is the legal impossibility of the UK signing a trade deal with current EU members, and the political imperative to ensure that dissenting members understand the consequences of leaving the EU before they start imagining the possible benefits of doing so.

The political bind for May was clear. The EU insisted on an orderly withdrawal before trade talks (which would then ensue during a transitional period). To avoid damaging the Irish economy and jeopardising the Northern Ireland peace process, something like the ‘backstop’ – in case a two-year transition was not long enough – was always going to be necessary.

But May knew this meant she would struggle to get a withdrawal deal through parliament unless she could also offer the sunny uplands of the post-Brexit trade relationship at the same time. Although the leading Brexiters in the Conservative Party are now seemingly content to leave the EU without a withdrawal deal, the irony of Britain’s present predicament is that the Leave campaign’s offer in the 2016 referendum was not ‘no deal’ at all, but rather a very comprehensive free trade deal as an alternative to EU membership.
Brexit  uk  eu  politics 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization | LSE BREXIT
But those who advocate civic republicanism are understandably frustrated with these propositions. Suppose all this is true, they say. Suppose you want to change transnational institutions. How are you going to do that, if you can’t even sort out your own nation state? How are you going to advance ambitious proposals of state intervention in the economy given the disciplinary neoliberal legal constraints that the EU imposes on its members?...
The left nationalist project collapsed when realising socialism with peaceful means turned into a project of stabilising capitalism. This is not what the founding fathers of social democracy originally intended.
Brexit  politics  eu  uk 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Twitter recap: World's eyes on Baraboo High School after Nazi salute photo goes viral | Local News |
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censorship  eu  us  internet 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Q&A: What next for UK capacity market after surprise EU ruling? | Carbon Brief
The capacity market is designed to make sure there is always enough supply to meet peak electricity demand, even on cold and dark winter evenings when there is little wind. It covers the electricity market in Great Britain only, with Northern Ireland part of an all-Ireland scheme.

It awards contracts to firms that offer to supply electricity generating capacity during the periods of peak demand between 4pm and 6pm in winter. Firms can offer to turn down electricity demand instead – a process called demand-side response (DSR).

Existing power plants can get contracts for one year at a time, or three years, if they carry out upgrades. New power plants get 15-year deals. Crucially, DSR is only offered one-year contracts. This is why Tempus Energy – a DSR firm – challenged the capacity market approval.
energy  uk  eu 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Don’t blame the Irish: the Brexit chaos is all about England | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
It is a new thing: the first time in 800 years of Anglo-Irish relations that Ireland has had more clout. No wonder the Brexiters and the British government found it impossible for so long to even recognise this new reality. They operated – and some of them continue to operate – under the old rules, in which the game would be settled between the big powers, and the interests of a small country such as Ireland could be easily shoved aside. The Irish would get a few platitudes about peace but the real deal would be done between London and Berlin...
Yet it has not been like that. In part, this is because of simple arithmetic: Ireland is not isolated, it is part of a bloc of 27 states. There is a basic lesson here for the Brexiters: even a very small country inside the EU has more influence than a much larger country on the outside. In part, too, it is because of basic statecraft. The Irish government and diplomatic service, backed by a near-unanimous consensus in the Dublin parliament, had a very clear sense of where Ireland’s vital national interest lay, and hence of what they needed to achieve.
ireland  eu  uk  politics  Brexit 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Merkel joins Macron in calling for a ‘real, true European army’ | World news | The Guardian
Solidarity also required a commitment to the rule of law, she said, a coded reference to member states, such as Poland and Hungary, that stand accused by the EU institutions of backsliding on democratic values.

She was speaking shortly after Romania was given an unusually strong rebuke by the commission for “backtracking” on the fight against corruption and the creation of fully independent judiciary.

One of the EU’s newest member states, Romania has been on the EU’s critical list, since new laws changing the judiciary and abolishing some anti-corruption offences were introduced last winter, sparking mass street protests.
eu  law  romania 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Adults in the room': Greens surge across Europe as centre-left flounders | World news | The Guardian
But if the Green wave has come mainly at the expense of traditional centre-left social democratic parties, whose support has plunged across Europe to the point of near wipeout in countries such as France and the Netherlands, the movement also increasingly appeals to substantial numbers of disillusioned centre-right voters.

“They have not had to take the big national decisions around austerity, have not been sullied in the same way as the main centre-right and centre-left parties that are so implicated in the aftermath of that crisis,” said Fabien Escalona, a French political scientist at Sciences Po Grenoble.

Escalona also noted that Green parties appeared to be doing particularly well in relatively prosperous countries, where the effects of austerity had not been felt so severely but where migration had become a major political issue. Elsewhere, a more radical left was more popular, he said.
politics  eu  france  netherlands  germany 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
Secret UK push to weaken EU climate laws 'completely mad' | Environment | The Guardian
Benedek Jávor, the vice chair of the European parliament’s environment committee, told the Guardian: “The UK’s proposal to widen ‘flexibilities’ is completely mad and undermines the principle of additionality, as well as the overall ambition of the energy efficiency directive.”

“This approach would risk failure in our efforts to reach even moderately ambitious overall targets, while the higher – and beneficial targets – that we need to strive for could become lost altogether.”...

The EU’s climate goals for 2020 are a staging post to its more ambitious promise to the Paris conference of a 40% emissions cut by 2030.

Europe is expected to easily achieve this, although its CO2 emissions appear to be rising as economic activity picks up, while energy efficiency gains have gone into reverse.

Eurostat figures released last week showed a 1.8% rise in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in 2017 after a 0.4% fall the year before. Surprisingly though, the UK was the only EU country to reduce its electricity consumption in 2017.
climatechange  energy  politics  eu  uk 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
Bitcoin: UK and EU plan crackdown amid crime and tax evasion fears | Technology | The Guardian
The Treasury plans to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring them in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. Traders will be forced to disclose their identities, ending the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for drug dealing and other illegal activities.

Under the EU-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoins are traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK government is negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive to ensure firms’ activities are overseen by national authorities.
bitcoin  eu  uk  politics 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Brexit labour shortage will force UK to import more fruit – winemaker | Politics | The Guardian
“The biggest potential impact of Brexit is on agricultural labour. Kent has had eastern Europeans picking fruit in recent years, but we’ll all starve if the labour issue is not sorted after Brexit.”

Tons of fruit have been left to rot in farms across the country – including in Kent, Scotland and Herefordshire – because of problems recruiting European pickers. According to the National Farmers’ Union, the horticulture industry had a 29% shortfall of seasonal workers in September.
food  uk  eu  Brexit  agriculture 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Government's Brexit Repeal Bill 'Power Grab' Threatens UK Environment Regulations | DeSmog UK
The reasoning behind this is that currently Britain, as part of the EU, adheres to the Lisbon Treaty which entered into force in 2009 and was signed by all EU member states. The Lisbon Treaty is based on “the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.” But once Brexit happens, it’s likely that this constraint will no longer apply unless specifically retained by new UK law.
airpollution  uk  environment  eu 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Can Catalonia declare independence from Spain? | World news | The Guardian
It is pretty clear: “The constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards; it recognises and guarantees the right to self-government of the nationalities and regions of which it is composed and the solidarity among them all.”
catalonia  spain  eu 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
About EUR-Lex - EUR-Lex
EUR-Lex provides free access, in the 24 official EU languages, to:

the authentic Official Journal of the European Union
EU law (EU treaties, directives, regulations, decisions, consolidated legislation, etc.)
preparatory acts (legislative proposals, reports, green and white papers, etc.)
EU case-law (judgments, orders, etc.)
international agreements
EFTA documents
summaries of EU legislation, which put legal acts into a policy context, explained in plain language
other public documents.
translation  tools  eu 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Drinking and driving in Europe - IAS
Although the number of road accident deaths in the European Union dropped at the beginning of the 1990s, in recent years, the downward trend has stabilized. In the year 2000, road accidents killed over 40,000 people and injured more than 1.7 million in the fifteen countries of the existing Union. The age group most affected is the 14-25 year olds, for whom road accidents are the prime cause of death. One in three Europeans will be injured in a road traffic accident at some point in their lives. This directly costs the European Union 45 billion euros. Indirect costs (including physical and psychological damage suffered by the victims and their families) are three to four times higher. The annual figure is put at 160 billion euros, equivalent to 2 per cent of the Union's GNP.

The European Commission has estimated that one quarter of these deaths, 10000, are due to alcohol, at a cost of 40 billion euros per annum. This figure is likely to be an underestimate, since the global burden of disease study of the World Health Organization estimated in European countries that 45 per cent of the burden of disability arising from motor vehicle accidents for men and 18 per cent for women is attributable to alcohol. Between 1 per cent and 5 per cent of drivers have blood alcohol levels above their country's maximum limits, accounting for up to 20 per cent of fatal and serious injuries, and up to 25 per cent of driver fatalities. Fatal accidents involving large goods vehicles and buses account for about 18 per cent of all fatal accidents. Once involved in a road accident, large vehicles have the potential to cause severe property damage, disruption, delay, and traffic congestion especially in tunnels, on bridges, on main arterial roads, or in densely populated urban areas.
alcohol  driving  eu 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
Getting Rid of Wind Energy in Europe | Energy Matters
France was the second largest electricity exporter in Europe in 2016. Germany and France form at block with about 10% surplus of electrical energy. This surplus is conveyed to other European countries. Safe operation of the highly meshed European AC power grid is a complicated matter. Due to the variability of wind and solar power, the grids are often operated close to the security limits.

Wind power curtailment is regularly necessary for relieving the pressure on the grids. It is known in Germany as redispatch. The cost of redispatch has been rapidly increasing since 2013 (fig. 2). The redispatch cost is still small compared with the total support for renewable energy in Germany, but the question is if the trend lasts.
energy  renewables  eu 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – EU migrants: going home with skills, acumen and higher expectations
The UK is no longer as attractive to European nationals thinking of coming to live and work here. The latest quarterly figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there is a 36% increase in the number of EU citizens leaving the UK to return home permanently (to 117,000) and a 14% decrease in first-time EU entrants to the UK job market (to 247,000) compared to 2015. This negative trend is particularly pronounced for Central Europeans, who have stopped relocating to the UK. The UK’s loss is Europe’s gain: students and workers will look for opportunities at home or in other European economies. This trend increases the long-term growth prospects for Europe, to the detriment of the United Kingdom.
eu  Brexit  uk 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Perhaps those involved in the study did the classic thing of saying seven because that’s deemed the least embarrassing number these days. It’s not too many that a prospective new partner feel like you got around, but not so little you might seem inexperienced or underwhelming.

After a survey of 2,000 people from across the world, they found that 17.5% of men had lied about the amount of people they had slept with and increased the number (with only 8% of women doing the same) and 18.6% of the women lying to decrease their number (with 13.7% men doing the same).
sex  uk  us  eu 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
IMF admits disastrous love affair with the euro and apologises for the immolation of Greece
The International Monetary Fund’s top staff misled their own board, made a series of calamitous misjudgments in Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory.

This is the lacerating verdict of the IMF’s top watchdog on the fund’s tangled political role in the eurozone debt crisis, the most damaging episode in the history of the Bretton Woods institutions.
It describes a “culture of complacency”, prone to “superficial and mechanistic” analysis, and traces a shocking breakdown in the governance of the IMF, leaving it unclear who is ultimately in charge of this extremely powerful organisation.
economics  finance  eu  politics 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Britain has built a national myth on winning the Second World War, but it’s distorting our politics
The centrality of the Second World War to the national myth warps our view of history and our place in the world in all sorts of ways. For starters, it means we’ve never had to take an honest account of the consequences of empire. In a tale about British heroes defeating Nazi villains, British mistakes or British atrocities just don’t fit. (Winston Churchill’s role in the 1943 Bengal famine – death toll: three million – by ordering the export of Indian grain to Britain rarely comes up in biopics.) In this dominant version of the national story, the end of empire is just the price we pay to defeat fascism.

More than that, our obsession with the Second World War creates the bizarre impression that failure is not just heroic, but a necessary precursor to success. Two of the most discussed elements of Britain’s war – the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the Blitz – are not about victory at all, but about survival against the odds. The lesson we take is that, with a touch of British grit and an ability to improvise, we can accomplish anything. It’s hard not to see this reflected in Brexit secretary David Davis’s lack of notes, but it’s nonsense: had the Russians and Americans not arrived to bail us out, Britain would have been stuffed.
history  uk  eu  war 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Will Corbyn’s Decision to back Hard Brexit in Parliament Hurt Labour at the Next Election?
Evidence suggests that the increase in Labour’s vote share at the last election was driven by disgruntled Remainers, that a large fraction of Labour supporters oppose hard Brexit, and that many of these people identify more with Remain than with Labour

The pro-Remain Labour MP Chuka Umunna tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech that called for Britain to remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union after Brexit. However, Jeremy Corbyn ordered Labour MPs to abstain on the motion by imposing a three-line whip, thereby effectively backing May’s hard Brexit agenda. The amendment was defeated by 322 votes to 101, despite 49 Labour MPs rebelling.

Several lines of evidence suggest that Corbyn’s decision to back hard Brexit in Parliament could hurt Labour at the next election.
Brexit  politics  uk  eu  dccomment 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
May unveils offer on EU citizens - BBC News
EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years could get equal rights to UK nationals for good, under proposals unveiled by PM Theresa May.

A new "settled EU" immigration status would grant them rights to stay in the UK and access health, education and other benefits after Brexit.

But Theresa May said proposals would be adopted only if the same rights were granted to UK citizens in EU states...
But Downing Street has not yet specified what "cut off" date will be for new residents, after which the guarantee would no longer apply. It will be no earlier than March 2017, when the UK formally began leaving the EU by issuing the Article 50 notification, and no later than the British departure in March 2019.

Those arriving after the cut-off date but before March 2019 would have a "grace period" - expected to be two years - to regularise their immigration status, with a view to later seeking settled status.
eu  politics  uk  Brexit 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – End of Frexit, bad for Brexit? Macron’s win signals France’s resurgence in Europe
Melenchon polled 40% of the first round votes on two very different but highly Eurosceptic platforms. Le Pen, who in the second round polled around 33.9 per cent of the final vote even went as far as to promise a ‘Frexit’ referendum on France’s EU membership and succeed domestically from the Euro, moves that would have thrown Europe into a turmoil from which it may never have fully recovered from.

However, it is too easy to read these successes as products of a deep sense of euroskepticism. Importantly, both candidates had extremely wide-ranging campaigns which covered a large swathe of political concerns – for le Pen migration and security, for Melenchon economic precarity and the need to resist public spending cuts. While both of these issues do have European dimensions – austerity and the Schengen agreement in the cases of public spending and migration, neither of these two issues can be boiled down to the European dimension alone.
eu  politics  france  dccomment 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why is she frit? | openDemocracy
the EU have told the May government that if this is what the UK wants it is fine by the EU; however, the UK will have to remain within the full legal framework of the EU and this is non-negotiable.

In short, what has changed is nothing to do with Westminster, or the balance of power in the UK. It has dawned on the Prime Minister that by the time of a 2020 election, instead of the UK having left the EU with a trading agreement as she dreamt, it will still be paying its dues and paying a large leaving bill and still be under European Court jurisdiction and may still even have to accept free movement. Only by 2022 at best can she hope to have realised her Brexit.

The EU response to their Article 50 letter ruined May's 2020 election scenario. To have simply pushed ahead meant an election suffering the worst of all worlds,
Brexit  eu  uk  politics 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
May's real reason for calling election? To show EU that Brexit really means Brexit | Patrick Wintour | Politics | The Guardian
This belief that the UK not only made the wrong decision, and can yet be persuaded not to go through with it, gripped Europe’s leadership from the start. Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, in the immediate wake of the referendum last June said politicians in London “should have the possibility to reconsider the consequences of an exit”. There is after all a long European history of second EU referendums in the wake of “incorrect results”, including in Ireland and France.

As recently as March, Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU commission president, said he hoped the UK would rejoin the EU. “The day will come when the UK will re-enter the EU boat,” he said. The European parliament’s chief negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, predicted in a recent speech in Brussels that young Britons would come to see the referendum as a “catfight in the Conservative party that got out of hand” and described Brexit as “a loss of time, a waste of energy, stupidity”.
eu  uk  politics  Brexit 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Impact of Social Sciences – Rather than simply moving from “paying to read” to “paying to publish”, it’s time for a European Open Access Platform
Such a platform could be built on a “diamond open access” model, in which individual journals are layered on top of a system of public repositories (see Figure 1), while remaining under the control of research communities (including the peer review process; community layer) similar to most current journals. An author can assign his article to one of the overlay journals when he uploads it as a preprint to the green repository (product layer). From there, the article follows the traditional publishing path from peer review to publication (journal layer). The journals would then essentially exist as a list of links to the revised articles (and could later even be generated on the fly by convention of topics and metadata).
openaccess  eu  repositories  overlay  dccomment 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
May's Brexit plan is falling apart and the press are talking about Easter eggs
today the message is rather different. The prime minister has admitted it cannot be done.

EU Council negotiation guidelines published last Friday said that Britain would sign any trade deal as a third party, after it had left the EU, under Article 218 of the EU Treaty. Today, Sky News' Faisal Islam got May to admit that she would have to abide by that timetable rather than her own.

There have been many months of Brexit critics suggesting that the timetable was impossible and that we should explore alternatives before it started. That might take the form of a seven-year transitional EEA agreement to suck the uncertainty out of negotiations, or by going into talks with a transitional deal front-and-centre, so we could neutralise the EU's time advantage. This advice was treated as a Remainer plot to stop Brexit and was consequently ignored.

Now the prime minister has embroiled herself in a negotiation in which we are at a disadvantage in terms of time and negotiating capacity. There will of course be no admission from Brexit MPs about this. They fixate on the one prediction economists got wrong - the surprising resilience of consumer spending
Brexit  eu  politics  uk 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
EU Industry chief sees 'fast' phase-out of diesel post-VW scandal | Reuters
EU lawmakers voted 585 to 77 in favor of the draft bill, which would bolster EU oversight and allow Brussels to fine car makers up to 30,000 euros ($31,923.00) per vehicle.

The new measures will eventually take diesel cars off the roads, European Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said.

"Diesel will not disappear from one day to another," Bienkowska told EU lawmakers on Tuesday. "But after this year of work ... I am quite sure they will disappear much faster than we can imagine."

Under the draft law, car makers would no longer directly pay testing agency - in a bid to break their cozy relationships. EU nations now have to fund car exhaust testing centers - although they may levy fees from car makers to do so.
VWgate  pollution  eu 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
German coal plants burn on as EU carbon price stagnates | Climate Home - climate change news
The UK’s emissions from coal power generation plummeted 58% in 2016, helped by a minimum carbon price of £18 a tonne of CO2 (US$22).

In stark contrast, the EU market price of €5 ($5) is making little dent in Germany’s coal sector. Seven of the EU’s 10 biggest polluters are German lignite (brown coal) plants.
eu  politics  climatechange  germany 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Stop the EMA Backsliding on Open Clinical Data [Updated] - Open Enterprise
Back in April, I noted that we had potentially a big win in the form of the opening up of drug safety data in the light of recent scandals that have seen big pharma companies hiding adverse effects of their products, often with fatal results. As I warned, we weren't there yet, since the drug companies really don't want their dirty washing for all to see, and they have been lobbying extremely hard to water down the provisions. And in fact, it seems they have succeeded, as the All Trials Web site explains:

The good proposals in the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) draft policy on sharing clinical trial data could be at risk.

The EMA has produced a further draft of the policy which would introduce barriers to access to clinical trial data that would make the job of researchers who want to scrutinise it almost impossible.

The policy introduces terms of use which say that researchers can access the data on screen only with printing, sharing or saving of the data forbidden.
drugs  linkrot  openmedicine  open  eu 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Fewer Britons living in EU than previously thought, study finds | Politics | The Guardian
About 900,000 British citizens are living in other European Union countries – fewer than the previous widely quoted estimate of 1.2 million, according to research by the Office of National Statistics.

The new lower estimate is likely to have implications for the forthcoming negotiations between Britain and the EU over the future residency rights of the 3.15 million EU nationals living in the UK and British citizens in the rest of the bloc.
population  work  eu  uk  immigration 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Over 120,000 Leave voters have died since Brexit | ShortList Magazine
And if that weren’t interesting enough, one of the most fun aspects of Steve’s data is the bluntness with which he’s labelled ‘voters now dead.’ Just look at that stat: 123,411 of them all estimated to have died since taking to the voting booths. Comparatively, his data suggests less than 30,000 of those who voted Remain have now bitten the dust, working out to almost a 100,000 difference.
eu  politics  Brexit 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – The Brexit white paper makes some very questionable claims about immigration
However, a citizen of an EU country can stay in another EU country for more than three months only in three cases:

If she/he finds a job (becomes employed or self-employed), or
If she/he and accompanying family have sufficient resources and sickness insurance and do not become a burden on the social assistance system of the host member state, or
If she/he has a student status and sufficient resources to cover living expenses and sickness insurance.

New jobseekers have a slightly more preferential treatment. Following European Court of Justice rulings, they can stay up to six (and not three) months. However, a six-month period is not that long and after six months host country authorities can ask the jobseeker to leave if she/he cannot prove to have a realistic chance of finding work there (see here). Host country authorities can also expel the jobseeker, although this cannot be an automatic process and all relevant circumstances have to be considered.

Therefore, the free residency right can be exercised unconditionally only for a period up to three months, for jobseekers up to six months. But only workers (and their family members), students and the very rich who do not rely on the social assistance system of the host country can stay for longer. Permanent residency is acquired only after a continuous period of five years legal residency according to the conditions described above.
immigration  eu  work  france  uk 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – Can ‘Global Britain’ forge a better trade deal with South Korea? This is why it’s unlikely
1) The UK outside the EU will be a ‘second tier’ player when it comes to negotiating free trade agreements, considerably weaker than the ‘big three’, of the US, the EU, and China;

2) It will be easier for the UK to sign trade deals with the 53 countries with which the UK already has free trade agreements, via its current EU membership;

3) One of the countries high on this list will be South Korea, which has a very comprehensive FTA with the EU, covering services and non-tariff barriers, which has already reaped important benefits to both the UK and South Korea;

4) But, South Korea will be reluctant to replicate the terms of the EU-South Korea FTA for the UK, because it would expect a better deal with the UK than it managed to negotiate with the EU (because the EU has an economy 10 times larger than South Korea, whereas the UK economy is only twice the size of South Korea);
Brexit  eu  uk  korea  politics 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Evasion fiscale : qui sont ces intermédiaires qui aident les plus riches à échapper à l’impôt ? - [Les eurodéputés Europe Écologie au Parlement européen]
Les Verts/ALE au Parlement européen ont utilité les données rendues publiques par le CIJI concernant les Panama Papers (mais également des Offshore et Bahama Leaks) pour enquêter sur le rôle des intermédiaires comme Mossack Fonseca, qui aident les plus riches à échapper à l’impôt en créant et gérant ces entreprises fictives. Malgré les limites des données recueillies, nous avons ainsi pu retracer l’identité et l’origine de certains de ces intermédiaires.

Hong Kong, le Royaume-Uni et les États-Unis sont les trois principaux pays d’origine de ces intermédiaires fiscaux. Si l’Asie est le premier continent d’accueil de ces intermédiaires, l’Europe décroche tristement la deuxième place. En Europe, le Royaume-Uni, la Suisse et le Luxembourg sont sur les marches du podium. 90% de tous les intermédiaires jouant un rôle dans l’évasion fiscale au niveau mondial sont regroupés en Asie, en Europe et en Amérique centrale et du Nord. Relativement peu d’entre eux ont choisi l’Amérique du Sud, l’Afrique et l’Océanie comme pays d’accueil. Le business de l’évasion fiscale ne concerne donc pas simplement le Panama ou les Bahamas ! Tous les pays du monde sont concernés, l’Union européenne y compris.
tax  finance  eu  us  uk 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
For Theresa May, London was the easy part – POLITICO
The Scottish National Party’s leader in Westminster Angus Robertson reminded her the Scottish parliament has just voted (symbolically, as it has no veto) against Article 50. Labour’s Owen Smith asked whether she agreed with the World Trade Organization’s assessment that the U.K. leaving the EU and relying on WTO rules would cost £9 billion in lost trade. She didn’t contradict the figure.

The U.K. would get “the best possible deal in trading with and operating within the EU single market,”
politics  eu  uk  scotland 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Britain Jumps Into a Brexit Wonderland - The New Yorker
For the City of London and British industries with close ties to Europe, such a “hard Brexit” represents a grave threat. Already, bankers in Frankfurt and Dublin are talking about poaching business and talent from their London-based competitors. Reflecting the blow to Britain’s competitiveness, the value of the pound sterling has fallen sharply since the referendum. In the short run, this has helped cushion the blow to the economy by making British exports cheaper, and G.D.P. growth has held up better than many analysts expected.

Over the long term, though, the United Kingdom faces the prospect of being a small open economy with a vulnerable currency and a persistent trade deficit. Britons with a long memory, of whom there don’t seem to be very many, will recall that during the nineteen-eighties it was exactly this uncomfortable set of circumstances that prompted Margaret Thatcher, who was hardly a lover of the Brussels bureaucracy, to support the single-market project, which eventually led to the E.U. we see today.
eu  uk  politics  Brexit  funny 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Juncker plans radical shake-up to save the EU from itself – POLITICO
Largely unknown to most Europeans, the word “comitology” is a neologism coined in Brussels by splicing the word “committee” with the suffix “-ology.”

It refers to committees of experts consisting of officials from the Commission and national governments, who are meant to take technical decisions on anything from safety requirements for offshore oil operations to intellectual property rights. But for the EU’s critics, it epitomizes what is wrong with the bloc’s democratic process: faceless Eurocrats voting on items of public interest behind closed doors and without public scrutiny.

Indeed, next month’s vote on GM crops will not by made by ministers or lawmakers inside the European Parliament but by civil servants within a comitology body known as the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals and Feed. It is these meetings that Juncker will try and reform next Tuesday — to gleeful celebrations in parts of Brussels.
politics  eu 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to ‘make arrangements to leave’
The first thing that struck me was the level of fear, anger and disgust – and in some cases resignation. I have disguised individual cases – that’s because few people are willing to speak openly, such is the degree of fear about what might happen after Brexit.
The impact on individuals

Some EU academics (along with others) who have been living and working legally in the UK for years decided, after June 23, that they should try to cement their position by applying for one or other of the various routes to permanent residency. The procedures are daunting and of Kafkaesque complexity – one form runs to 85 pages and requires forms of proof that make acquiring Catholic sainthood look simple. As a result many applications are failing – but it is the form of the rejection that is causing much concern. A typical letter from the Home Office says (in part):

“As you appear to have no alternative basis of stay in the United Kingdom you should now make arrangements to leave. If you fail to make a voluntary departure a separate decision may be made at a later date to enforce your removal…”
eu  academic  scholarly  uk  Brexit 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Dieselgate: les eurodéputés estiment que Volkswagen n'est pas le seul à tricher -
Malgré la diversité de leurs tendances politiques, les eurodéputés membres de la commission EMIS s'accordent en effet à dire que les constructeurs automobiles aussi bien que les États-membres de l'Union européenne contreviennent à la réglementation communautaire. Les premiers parce qu'ils ne respectent pas l'obligation qui leur est faite de produire des véhicules dont les émissions sont inférieures aux seuils légaux en conditions réelles d'utilisation ; les seconds du fait de leur incapacité à faire en sorte que leurs constructeurs nationaux respectent la loi.

Les eurodéputés critiquent ouvertement aussi la Commission européenne sinon pour son laxisme, du moins pour son manque d'empressement à demander un surcroît d'information aux États-membres.
airpollution  VWgate  eu  politics 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Can we have medical privacy, cloud computing and genomics all at the same time? | Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences
"The collection, linking and use of data in biomedical research and health care: ethical issues" is a report from the Nuffield Bioethics Council, published last year. It took over a year to write. Our working group came from the medical profession, academics, insurers and drug companies. As the information we gave to our doctors in private to help them treat us is now collected and treated as an industrial raw material, there has been scandal after scandal. From failures of anonymisation through unethical sales to the catastrophe, things just seem to get worse. Where is it all going, and what must a medical data user do to behave ethically?

We put forward four principles. First, respect persons; do not treat their confidential data like were coal or bauxite. Second, respect established human-rights and data-protection law, rather than trying to find ways round it. Third, consult people who’ll be affected or who have morally relevant interests. And fourth, tell them what you’ve done – including errors and security breaches.

Since medicine is the canary in the mine, we hope that the privacy lessons can be of value elsewhere – from consumer data to law enforcement and human rights.
healthcarerecordsystems  privacy  security  uk  politics  eu 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
EUROPA - Traités européens
Traité instituant la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l'acier (CECA)

Les traités fondateurs ont également été modifiés chaque fois que de nouveaux pays ont adhéré à l'Union européenne:

1973: Danemark, Irlande et Royaume-Uni
1981: Grèce
1986: Espagne et Portugal
1995: Autriche, Finlande et Suède
2004: République tchèque, Chypre, Estonie, Hongrie, Lettonie, Lituanie, Malte, Pologne, Slovaquie et Slovénie
2007: Bulgarie et Roumanie
2013: Croatie.
eu  history 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
European commission guilty of 'negligence' over diesel defeat devices, says draft report | Environment | The Guardian
Despite the VW scandal, 27 of the EU’s 28 states have taken neither financial nor legal action against car manufacturers, nor made mandatory recalls or retrofits of vehicles, nor withdrawn type approvals.

Sweden, the sole exception, began running an in-service test programme before it became an EU member in 1995.

France, Italy and Spain were spotlighted by the report for delaying real-world driving emissions standards and pushing for less stringent testing methods.

The dieselgate report condemned what it said was a standard reliance by national regulators on tests provided by car manufacturers’ certified laboratories that created potential conflict of interests.

Gerbrandy said: “Governments disregarded their legal duty to monitor and enforce the ban on defeat devices. There seems to be a blind trust in the good intentions of car manufacturers, especially when they have production plants in the country concerned.
eu  politics  VWgate 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Scandale du diesel : tout le monde savait... et continuait à polluer - L'Obs
les députés ont constaté que la plupart des pays européens s’étaient lavé les mains depuis des années de tous les contrôles des émissions polluantes. Seuls les pays concernés par les emplois des usines, ou par la pollution avaient été actifs à Bruxelles ce qui explique sans doute aussi la légèreté des règles et des contrôles existants : c’est la Grande-Bretagne, les Pays-Bas, l’Allemagne, la France, le Danemark et l’Espagne, et eux seulement, qui ont fait les règlements européens sur le sujet, et qui ont donné une grande latitude aux constructeurs. Ce sont eux qui ont privilégié les intérêts de l’industrie, et de l’emploi, sur la santé publique. Et pour le moment, rien n’a changé ni à Bruxelles, ni dans aucun des pays concernés.
eu  politics  airpollution  driving  VWgate 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
EU stalls pledge to carry out independent checks on car emissions –
an EU pledge to “organise and carry out” emissions tests has been deleted from a draft regulation, which will be discussed by EU ministers this week in Brussels.

Julia Poliscanova, a spokeswoman for the green campaign group, Transport and Environment, said: “There is a Mexican standoff going on, with governments afraid to act against their own fraudulent carmakers for fear it will put their domestic industry at a competitive disadvantage.

“This scandalous stalemate results from national governments prioritising the interests of domestic carmakers above citizens’ need to breathe clean air. National vehicle regulators in Europe have been captured by the car industry.”
pollution  air  driving  eu 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Europe Artificial Areas (Land Cover 2006) — European Environment Agency
Corine land cover 2006 is the latest update of the CLC database as part of the European Commission programme to COoRdinate INformation on the Environment (Corine) started in the early 1990s. It provides consistent information on land cover and its changes during the period 2000-2006 across Europe. The CLC2006 database covers 38 countries.
maps  eu  cool 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The shift in media’s business model played a critical role in Trump's victory
Demands for immediacy and unbundling changing media environment profoundly.
"In the post-fact society that is now ours, accuracy doesn’t weigh much. Only noise matters."
journalism  news  socialmedia  newspapers  france  eu  germany 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
How do you feel? Don’t ask. – Election Data
What the Remain campaign missed, and what data and polling often misses, is how people think and feel. I believe the same thing happened to Owen Smith in the summer and has just happened to Hillary Clinton in America. It’s the so-called progressive side of the aisle which has forgotten how to speak to people’s base emotions. It is they who still regale the audience with facts (apparently clear facts!) whilst Farage waves a passport. The left are repulsed by such imagery; UKIP know it. It is the progressives who hold dull press events about Corbyn’s inability to win elections whilst Corbyn holds mass rallies where logic gives way to emotion. Which is right? That’s less important to me than which has won. 2015, Corbyn, Brexit, Corbyn II, Trump. I make it 5-nil to emotion...
I won’t make the same mistake again. The key learning of the last year or so has been that the communication of effective emotional messages is currently beating data alone. This is particularly true in the age of social media which is effectively a delivery system for emotional weapons. Allied to which there is more volatility in our politics than there has ever been. Voter retention is weaker than ever, particularly on the left. Rich pickings for any party which knows the personality types of its voters and taps into base emotional instincts with effective messaging around issues they know the left are too feeble to confront. It doesn’t have to be this way.
politics  psychology  eu  us  uk  authoritarianism 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
EU Copyright Directive – privatised censorship and filtering of free speech - EDRi
The proposed Directive:

1) requires internet companies to install filtering technology to prevent the upload of content that has been “identified by rightsholders”

2) seeks to make internet providers responsible for their users’ uploads

3) gives internet users no meaningful protection from unfair deletion of their creations
copyright  eu 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Jeremy Corbyn gives Theresa May ultimatum: Agree to Labour's Brexit terms or I'll force election in spring - Mirror Online
Mr Corbyn’s bottom lines are:

UK access to 500 million customers in Europe’s single market.
No watering down of EU workplace rights.
Guarantees on safeguarding consumers and the environment.
Pledges on Britain picking up the tab for any EU capital investment lost by Brexit
uk  politics  eu 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Historic UN vote to negotiate a Nuclear Ban Treaty in 2017 | openDemocracy
a majority of 123 UN Member states have voted to convene a multilateral UN conference in 2017 "to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination". Led by a broad cross section of nuclear free countries, including South Africa which eliminated its nuclear arsenal in 1991, their objective is to create a nuclear weapons prohibition regime under International Humanitarian Law. Their intention is to accelerate the abolition of today's nuclear arsenals of over 15,000 weapons, reduce the proliferation-driving value attached to these weapons of mass destruction, prevent nuclear detonations and deter further modernization and proliferation.

Building on the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the new multilateral treaty will for the first time provide a comprehensive approach to prohibiting activities such as the use, deployment, production, transporting, stockpiling and financing of nuclear weapons. It will also extend the NPT's nuclear disarmament obligation by creating a clear, unequivocal legal obligation to eliminate existing arsenals that will apply to non-NPT as well as all NPT states.

The UK was among 38 states that voted against negotiating such a treaty, though diplomats privately acknowledged that they were in a weak position to stop negotiations from going ahead.
nukes  eu  UN  politics  uk 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
EU recognizes right to boycott Israel | The Electronic Intifada
The European Union recognizes the right of its citizens to boycott Israel, its top foreign policy official has said.

“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU member states’ territory, including with regard to BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] actions carried out on this territory,” Federica Mogherini told the European Parliament in answer to a written question in late September.
eu  law  freedom  humanrights 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
Stop the EMA Backsliding on Open Clinical Data [Updated] - Open Enterprise
the drug companies really don't want their dirty washing for all to see, and they have been lobbying extremely hard to water down the provisions. And in fact, it seems they have succeeded, as the All Trials Web site explains:

The good proposals in the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) draft policy on sharing clinical trial data could be at risk.

The EMA has produced a further draft of the policy which would introduce barriers to access to clinical trial data that would make the job of researchers who want to scrutinise it almost impossible.

The policy introduces terms of use which say that researchers can access the data on screen only with printing, sharing or saving of the data forbidden.

It allows the company who supplied the data to the EMA to decide which information to redact so researchers may never know what information is being kept hidden.
drugs  research  medicine  openness  eu 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
The City exodus is already happening. It just doesn’t look like you expect it to
Banks have – in the most dramatic fashion – been alerted to the fact that the old (super-efficient) hub-and-spoke system run out of London massively concentrates political risk. Some 87pc of the EU staff of US investment banks work in the UK, according to New Financial, the capital markets think tank. They are now coming to the conclusion it might make sense to spread themselves around a bit.

To which European cities will those activities migrate? Take your pick. Will X Bank move X thousand staff to Paris, Frankfurt or Dublin? No. Could X Bank cut a few hundred/thousand jobs in London (or just not replace natural churn) and then hire a few hundred/thousand people in a variety of different European cities (with some maybe going to New York)? Yes.

Will another European city rise to challenge London as the main financial hub in this time zone? No. But if each takes a few percentage points of market share from the City, it will start to add up. Will London cease to be a prominent global financial centre? Also no (only about 25pc to 30pc of the City’s business is with the EU).
finance  eu  uk  politics 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
EU Economics Meets Democracy - Green European Journal
What is possible is systems of transparency. To connect cameras inside the Council of the EU with the internet and smart phones, so you know what is being said. This is the first step we need to take in order to re-energise dialogue and debate in Europe. We need some checks and balances on our representatives within the existing framework. This can happen as of tomorrow. The next step is to stabilise.
eu  politics  dccomment 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Poll: Europeans push EU governments to accept independent Scotland | CommonSpace
The formal question for the poll was: “Would you endorse or reject Scotland joining the EU if it became separate from Great Britain?”

Seventy-one percent of Germans, 61 per cent of French and 67 per cent of Danes said they would support an independent Scotland if it desired to become part of the EU. The same study showed Scotland’s favourability as compared to the London government as high among the countries included.
eu  politics  scotland 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
EU caves in to auto industry pressure for weak emissions limits | Environment | The Guardian
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) welcomed the decision by a Brussels technical committee as a “robust but realistic package that will address the key environmental issues under a two-step approach”.

The industry argues that the exemptions – known as conformity factors – were needed to prevent earnings shortfalls, and to reflect testing uncertainties. But MEPs and campaigners were shocked at what they saw as a cave-in by the European commission.
pollution  eu  driving 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
CDU Gets Donation From BMW Owners During CO2 Talks - SPIEGEL ONLINE
After months of forceful lobbying from Germany, the ministers from the 28 EU member states agreed to reopen a deal sealed in June. German carmakers Daimler and BMW produce heavier vehicles that consume more fuel than vehicles made by firms such as Italy's Fiat. That means they would find it harder to meet a proposed EU cap on carbon emissions of 95 grams per kilometer for all new cars from 2020, analysts say.
driving  eu  germany  pollution 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Dear Brits: This is what it's like to be a non-EU citizen - Dispatches Europe
In all the post-Brexit hysteria, we were interested in finding out what the “ordinary” British voters thought about leaving the European Union. And the media has hundreds of stories about the motivations of those who voted to stay and those who voted to leave.

But let me tell you a few things about the life of a non-EU citizen.
eu  politics 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Action to cut food waste gains momentum across Europe | Environment | The Guardian
Simona Bonafe, the report’s author, told the Guardian: “While 800 million people in the world go hungry every day, nearly 100m tonnes of Europe’s food is wasted each year. This is a paradox of our time that is no longer bearable. At last, we have the opportunity to structure our legislation to prevent food waste in the EU.”

Food waste is thought to consume a quarter of all water used by agriculture, and to occupy a cropland space the size of China. It also generates around 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than Europe’s share of global emissions.
food  eu 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions
The rise of ISIS and the foothold it seized in Iraq and Libya were the direct by-products of the west’s military actions (as even Tony Blair admitted regarding Iraq). Western societies continue to divert massive resources into military weaponry and prisons for their citizens, enriching the most powerful factions in the process, all while imposing harsh austerity on already suffering masses. In sum, western elites thrive while everyone else loses hope.

These are not random, isolated mistakes. They are the by-product of fundamental cultural pathologies within western elite circles – a deep rot. Why should institutions that have repeatedly authored such travesties, and spread such misery, continue to command respect and credibility? They shouldn’t, and they’re not. As Chris Hayes warned in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, “given both the scope and depth of this distrust [in elite institutions], it’s clear that we’re in the midst of something far grander and more perilous than just a crisis of government or a crisis of capitalism. We are in the midst of a broad and devastating crisis of authority.”
Claiming that supporters of Brexit or Trump or Corbyn or Sanders or anti-establishment European parties on the left and right are motivated only by hatred but not genuine economic suffering and political oppression is a transparent tactic for exonerating status quo institutions and evading responsibility for doing anything about their core corruption.
politics  eu  libya  iraq 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Thoughts on the sociology of Brexit - Political Economy Research Centre
they observed that – in strong contrast to the Scottish ‘Yes’ movement – Brexit was not fuelled by hope for a different future. On the contrary, many Leavers believed that withdrawing from the EU wouldn’t really change things one way or the other, but they still wanted to do it. I’ve long suspected that, on some unconscious level, things could be even stranger than this: the self-harm inflicted by Brexit could potentially be part of its appeal. It is now being reported that many Leave voters are aghast at what they’ve done, as if they never really intended for their actions to yield results.
eu  politics 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer

Cabbages are among the products listed in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 2200/96 for which standards are to be adopted. Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1591/87 of 5 June 1987 laying down quality standards for cabbages, Brussels sprouts, ribbed celery and spinach (2) has been amended several times. For reasons of clarity, the rules on headed cabbages should be separated from those on other products under Regulation (EEC) No 1591/87 and laid down in a separate Regulation.
food  law  eu  maraîchage 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Can Matteo Renzi Save Europe from Austerity?
The prime minister’s optimism, though infectious, is not altogether convincing. French President Hollande came into office with solid majorities in both the National Assembly and Senate, his party in control of the lion’s share of French regional governments, and Article 49-3 of the French constitution, which usually allows a president to have his way with parliament whenever he dares to invoke it. Hollande’s reform efforts have nevertheless been timid and halting. A Renzi in firm control of his majority might well prove a less hesitant leader than Hollande, but Hollande has been stymied not simply by want of boldness but also by the balance of power in a Europe dominated by Germany and subject to intimidation by foreign investors.
france  politics  eu  germany  italy  economics 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Here Is Why Brexiters Are Completely Wrong On Trade
In conclusion, I think there is clear evidence that the UK is in a much more vulnerable political position regarding trade than the remaining EU member states if it comes to Brexit. Rather than being in a strong negotiationing position there is pressure on the remaining EU member states to set a deterring precedent and give the UK rather harsh treatment. And if you ever believed that the EU holds Britain back from trading with the rest of the world have a look at Germany and explain how this can possibly be the case.
eu  uk  politics 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
EUROPP – Yanis Varoufakis: “The UK should stay in the EU to fight tooth and nail against the EU’s anti-democratic institutions”
You have just launched a new political movement, DiEM25, which has the aim of democratising Europe. Your manifesto states that ‘the EU will either be democratised or it will disintegrate’ and calls for a constitutional assembly to be convened to decide on a future democratic constitution that will replace all existing European treaties within a decade. Why does Europe need DiEM25?

For a very simple reason. In 20 years’ time, if we don’t do something like what we’re proposing, the next generation will look us in the eye and say, where were you? Why didn’t you stop this slide into the abyss? In exactly the same way that in the 1950s young people asked their parents’ generation why they didn’t stop what was going on in the 1930s: a period that culminated in such a catastrophe in the shape of the Second World War.

We are now in a similar situation. We’re witnessing the disintegration of the European Union. Schengen is being suspended. The Eurozone is in an advanced state of deconstruction. Eastern European governments are openly stating their opposition to the principle of solidarity. The British electorate has become alienated from Brussels and might only vote to stay in out of fear of what would happen if it left. The only thing that can put an end to this inexorable slide toward catastrophe is a surge of democracy that gives hope and stabilises Europe.
veroufakis  eu  democracy  politics 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
Currency volatility a fear for SMEs as EU referendum looms » SMEInsider
less than half (47 per cent) take any notice of foreign exchange markets and 35 per cent don’t think that having a currency strategy is important.
The study also revealed that small and medium-sized firms are dangerously exposed to currency fluctuations, with 45 per cent admitting they have been affected by sudden exchange rate changes and 25 per cent saying they were severely affected.

Forty three per cent said they did not understand the impact forex movements have on their business, while more than half (51 per cent) are scared by the prospec
business  finance  eu 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Trade trumps climate | Corporate Europe Observatory
current trade agreements impact negatively on the climate, and any solution to climate change, or even the first feeble steps, requires changes to the global trade order and a revamp of trade agreements, including on “trade related” issues such as intellectual property rights and investment protection. Some have gone a step further and tabled demands on trade to be dealt with as part of an agreement in Paris.

But the EU position on such ideas appears to be crystal clear: no mention of trade in any agreement on climate change. A leaked document presented by DG Clima to the Council’s trade policy committee on 20 November shows the EU is against “any explicit mention of trade”, any mention of intellectual property rights, and vows the EU will “minimize discussions on trade related issues”.

The links between climate change and trade have been documented long ago. The expansion of world trade following the ratification of the WTO Agreements in 1994, pretty much undermined targets in the Kyoto Protocol . And on numerous occasions since then, trade agreements have been used to limit or prevent the use of policy measures intended to reduce emissions.
climatechange  eu  business 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Revealed: Oil giant Exxon lobbied against decarbonisation and electrification of EU transport - Energydesk
The current carbon price of 8 euros per tonne could correspond to adding only approximately 1.6 eurocents to the price of a litre, given that each litre of fuel would produce just under 2 kilos of CO2, according to a back-of-envelope calculation.

Analysts say the carbon price will be around 19 euros per tonne in 2020. At this rate, additional duty would be 3.8 euro cents per litre, adding up to only 15 cents for a 40 litre fill up.

Even if the policy were meaningful, it would be almost impossible to implement at EU level since fiscal measures are decided unanimously.
transport  climatechange  eu  environment 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Coulisses de Bruxelles - La France va-t-elle sacrifier l'Europe au nom de sa sécurité ? - Libé
On le voit, les signaux envoyés par Paris sont contradictoires, ce qui montre qu’au sein de l’appareil d’État, les deux tendances sont à l’œuvre. Rien ne garantit l’issue de ce bras de fer qui pour l’instant penche dangereusement du côté des souverainistes. Car il ne faut pas s’arrêter seulement à l’action européenne du gouvernement socialiste, mais considérer l’ensemble de sa politique. Or, son virage ultra-sécuritaire est clairement inspiré par la droite la plus dure et l’extrême droite : loi sur le renseignement intérieur, État d’urgence utilisé pour la première fois depuis la guerre d’Algérie, déchéance de nationalité pour les Français de naissance (alors qu’en 2010 la droite avait été traitée de fasciste et de pétainiste pour avoir institué la déchéance pour la nationalité acquise depuis moins de 15 ans), création d’une «garde nationale», etc. Même des camps d’internement administratif pour les Français rentrant de Syrie ne sont pas écartés. Le FN en est réduit à la surenchère en demandant désormais la suppression du droit d’asile…
france  politics  eu 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
(94) Scandale Volkswagen : la Commission européenne aurait été informée dès 2011 - Libération
l’hebdomadaire économique allemand Wirtschafts Woche est venu renforcer cette thèse en affirmant avoir pu consulter des documents montrant qu'«un équipementier automobile a informé le commissaire européen à l’Industrie de l’époque, Antonio Tajani, à propos de la fraude». La Commission européenne «savait depuis 2011 que les constructeurs automobiles trichaient au sein de l’UE sur les mesures de leurs émissions de gaz grâce à des systèmes de réglage de leurs moteurs», écrit le journal.
pollution  driving  environment  eu 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Translation Tribulations: European Commission Workshop - Contracts for translation services
The DGT does not differentiate and many of its best external contractors are individuals, either self-employed persons or dynamic teams of two or three professionals.

The DGT uses taxpayers’ money and must be transparent, with fair and equal treatment for each candidate. Reading their specifications may appear daunting at first, but taking a closer look is worthwhile! Questions may be submitted and are answered during the weeks when the call for tender is open; this can be done in three languages, almost in real time, with all questions and replies made public on the DGT web site.

Quality pays and they will pay for quality: decisions are based on a quality/price ratio of 70/30, in favor of quality. For each job done, a quality note with feedback is sent to facilitate ongoing improvement.
translation  eu  business 
october 2015 by juliusbeezer
Open Science | Innovation Policy Platform
open science has become an active area of policy development, both within the OECD area and beyond. Although recognising that open science is a broad concept that encompasses more than open access to research data and publications that takes place at all stages of research (see Glossary), this report aims to provide an analytical overview of recent open science policy trends, by focusing in particular on those initiatives to promote broad access to publicly funded research results, including both scientific publications and research data.
openscience  eu 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Not just emissions: manufacturers' dirty tricks fake everything about cars / Boing Boing
Worst of all, though, is that once this charade has produced a claim as to the car’s efficiency, no one checks whether it is true or not. In America, too, carmakers are responsible for their own tests. But there the EPA goes on to acquire vehicles at random for testing at a later date, to see if the cars on sale to the public live up to the claims. If the numbers do not match up substantial fines can follow. In 2014 Hyundai-Kia was fined $300m for misstating fuel-economy figures. Europe has no such system for punishing those who transgress. As a result more than half Europe’s claimed gains in efficiency since 2008 have been “purely theoretical”, says T&E. And the industry as a whole has developed a gaming attitude to tests and regulations that it should take seriously. As Drew Kodjak of the ICCT observes, VW’s activities in America are part of a pattern of behaviour that the “European system created”.
driving  politics  eu  pollution  environment  VWgate 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Morning Star :: Syria: The lies we tell ourselves
A Guardian editorial earlier this month referred in passing to “the refusal [of the West] to intervene against Bashar al-Assad,” while in August 2015 the Guardian’s foreign affairs commentator Natalie Nougayrede chastised Obama because he had “refrained from getting involved in Syria.” In the US Matt Schiavenza wrote an article in the Atlantic magazine titled Why The US Can’t Build An Opposition Army in Syria which, incredibly, failed to mention the 10,000 rebels the US claims to have armed. Over at the Brookings Institution Shadi Hamid argues the US has been “opting to remain disengaged in Syria.” How, I wonder, would these commentators describe a foreign power arming and training thousands of rebels intent on overthrowing the British or US governments?

Contrary to the actual actions of the West in Syria, much of the reporting and analysis of the mainstream press has presented a false narrative of Western inaction and benevolence. This blackout imposed on reality raises huge questions about the quality and purpose of our so-called free and rambunctious media, our democracy and our foreign policy.
syria  us  eu  uk  war  politics  media  journalism 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
The poisoned chalice | openDemocracy
J.K. Galbraith: There is no “rescue” going on here. There is no “rescue,” there is no “bailout,” there is no “reform” going on. I really need to insist on this, because these words creep into our discourse. They are placed there by the creditors in order for unwary people to use them, but there is nothing of the kind taking place. What is going on is a seizure of the assets owned by the Greek state, by Greek businesses and by Greek households. There is no sense that this has anything to do with the recovery of the Greek economy or with the welfare of the Greek people. On the contrary, the policy is utterly indifferent to those considerations.

LM: Even if that is the case, privatizations are a one-off event…

JG: The evidence is very clear: the creditors are not interested in whether the Greek state gets money for privatizations. This did not interest them. Had it done so, they would have paid attention when the Greek government, in February-March, said that they wanted to have a rational privatization policy rather than putting everything on the auction block at once. They are clearly not interested in that. What they are interested in is whether the assets pass into the hands of German construction companies, international hotel chains, international pharmacy chains and you can go down the list. That is clearly the agenda.
economics  greece  eu  europe  finance 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Here's how you can help during the refugee crisis in Europe
here are six concrete ways you can help during the refugee crisis.
politics  eu 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
In THE CONVERSATION answering to leading academics | Yanis Varoufakis
I represented a small, suffering nation in its sixth straight year of deep recession. Bluffing with our people’s fate would be irresponsible. So I did not. Instead, we outlined that which we thought was a reasonable position, consistent with our creditors’ own interests. And then we stood our ground. When the troika pushed us into a corner, presenting me with an ultimatum on June 25 just before closing Greece’s banking system down, we looked at it carefully and concluded that we had neither a mandate to accept it (given that it was economically non-viable) nor to decline it (and clash with official Europe). Instead we decided to do something terribly radical: to put it to the Greek people to decide.
economics  politics  greece  eu 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
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