Obama Promises to Increase Russia’s Isolation

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to increase Russia’s isolation, as the United States and the European Union agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia’s behavior in Ukraine.

Speaking after a summit with top EU officials and quoted by Reuters, Obama declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea.

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Report: EU loses faith in U.S. ability to manage Internet

The European Union will push for diminished U.S. influence on Internet governance because of “loss of confidence” in the current U.S.-centric model, according to a news report.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the E.U., is set Wednesday to propose a series of steps to globalize Internet governance functions, reported The Wall Street Journal, citing an E.U. draft policy paper. The proposal is sparked by revelations of mass U.S. surveillance activities online, the newspaper said. Continue reading

EU to force Britons to publish details of wills and property

A bill being debated in Brussels would force UK citizens to disclose ‘reams’ of private, financial information on a public register

New legislation planned in Brussels is set to heap fresh costs and paperwork on families’ financial planning, as well as leaving their affairs open to unwanted public scrutiny. Continue reading

EU Must Be Able to ‘Resolve’ a Bad Bank in a Weekend

The European Union must be able to wind down failing banks within a weekend, according to Sabine Lautenschlaeger, Germany’s candidate for a vacant seat on the European Central Bank’s governing council.

“So we need a structure where it is possible to start a resolution on Friday night and to finish it on Monday morning at 1 o’clock because then Japan, Tokyo opens. That is a really important requirement,” Lautenschlaeger told a European parliament committee in Strasbourg. Continue reading

Green Fade-Out: Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals

Climate opinions and controversy aside, what we see here are the foundational building blocks for a stronger European economy and another tool to be used in shifting away from the Russian bear and its energy strong-arm tactics. Berlin has come to the conclusion that environmental restrictions stifle its fourth rise.

The EU’s reputation as a model of environmental responsibility may soon be history. The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking — jeopardizing Germany’s touted energy revolution in the process.

The climate between Brussels and Berlin is polluted, something European Commission officials attribute, among other things, to the “reckless” way German Chancellor Angela Merkel blocked stricter exhaust emissions during her re-election campaign to placate domestic automotive manufacturers like Daimler and BMW. This kind of blatant self-interest, officials complained at the time, is poisoning the climate. Continue reading

Troika bullied Cyprus and Portugal, MEPs say

Berlin – The troika of international lenders “held a gun to the head” of Cyprus and Portugal and showed little sympathy for social measures, an MEP looking into its work has said.

“Both countries had very little room for manoeuvre in negotiating the terms of the bailouts. What they said basically was that ‘a gun was held to our head’, especially in Cyprus,” Juergen Klute, a left-wing German MEP, told this website.

“And the troika had very little interest in social measures, they were only concerned about cutting back the deficit,” he added.

The German politician said his four-member European Parliament delegation found there was a lack of democratic oversight when it came to the work of the troika – made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund. Continue reading

EU power shifts from Brussels to Berlin

Berlin – While the eurozone crisis in 2013 lingered in most countries, Germany seemed to be doing better than ever.

It had low unemployment, high productivity and exports so strong that the European Commission asked it to do more to help ailing periphery countries in the single currency bloc.

Merkel’s “safe pair of hands” are appreciated by Germans. They like her cautious governing style; the fact that she rarely rushes into decisions. Continue reading

The Elusive European Army

In both militarily intervention and investment in the defense industry, Europeans lack coordination and have lost credibility. Yet, after the French intervention in the Central African Republic, the issue has returned to the spotlight and will be discussed at the summit on December 19 and 20.

In 1991, the Belgian foreign minister of the time, Mark Eyskens, remarked on the EU’s incapacity to develop a common defence policy when he described Europe as “an economic giant, a political dwarf and a military worm.” In recent years, there is no denying that the EU has become more active in this field. But the grand and often expressed ambition for real investment in a common security and defence policy, which includes an independent military capacity, has yet to [sic] realised. And this continues to be the case at a time when global change is obliging Europeans to engage in a more serious consideration of security as an issue in common. Continue reading

EU to create intelligence service to counter NSA

The idea of “European Intelligence Service” was lifted after recent revelations of NSA’s activities abroad and alleged bugging of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor’s mobile telephone.

Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner and vice president of the European Commission, has urged European leaders with an idea to create this agency within a decade as part of proposals for a new EU treaty next year. Continue reading

EU To Consider Options for Deploying Battlegroups

While still in the planning and development phase, the United States of Europe is still well on its way to setting foot on the world stage. When you follow the money and trace the source of decisions that shape the social-political and economic landscape of Europe, all roads lead to Berlin and its Fourth Reich, via entities such as the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF — the “Troika”.

Enhancing its role as a “security provider” in “Southern neighborhood” implies the instability in the Middle East, including Israel.

More information on these categories can be found here:

European Army

United States of Europe

The Fourth Reich

BRUSSELS — Options for deploying European Union battlegroups —the EU’s rapid-response forces — will be discussed during a series of meetings Sept. 25-26.

The battlegroup discussion comes ahead of a meeting of EU defense ministers in November and a summit of EU heads of state and government on defense matters in December.

EU battlegroups are military units that support the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Member states contribute personnel and resources to the units, which comprise about 1,500 troops, on a rotating six-month basis. EU battlegroups have been on standby since 2007, but they have yet to be used. Currently, a British-led battlegroup is on standby with contributions from the Netherlands, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania. Continue reading

Russia piles pressure on former Soviet satellites to drop EU aspirations

As the Vilnius summit of EU’s Eastern Partnership draws nearer, at which several former Soviet states are expected to sign association agreements with the EU, Russia appears to have stepped up efforts to pull those same former Soviet states closer and into its own Customs Union, with mixed results.

On the surface, it appears to be a simple choice between which free trade agreement would offer those countries a better economic incentive – but where the EU can wield the carrot of foreign aid, Russia leans on the stick of threatening to withhold energy resources (and, unlike the EU, could not care less about asking for lasting reforms).

In the long run, Russian president Vladimir Putin sees the Customs Union as the building block of the Eurasian Economic Union – outlining its key institutions in an article he penned for Russia’s newspaper of record, Izvestia, in October 2011. Continue reading

Cyprus, Israel and Greece sign MoU on energy and water

Meet your new economic foundations of the European Union: Cyprus and Greece. From this point, it seems they are not likely to be kicked out of the union and could become part of the upcoming United States of Europe.

Cyprus, Israel and Greece have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of energy and water.

Speaking after the signing of the MoU, Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said “this is a monumental moment for the cooperation among the three countries”.

“The MoU is a framework which will determine the number of activities that the countries have agreed to jointly pursue, such as energy security supply, environmental concerns and a number of other issues which are common for us three”, he added. Continue reading