With Japan against China

 

TOKYO/BRUSSELS/BERLIN(Own report) – With the conclusion of their free trade agreement, the EU and Japan are about to establish the world’s largest free trade zone. As was reported, the agreement between the two highly export oriented economic blocks, generating nearly 30 percent of the global economic output, could already take effect in early 2019. According to the EU Commission and German economic institutes the Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA) could lead to significant economic growth and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. On the one hand, the agreement is aimed at making up for eventual slumps on the US market and, on the other, is part of the containment strategy against China, the emerging powerhouse. Despite their differences, Berlin and Washington continue to cooperate in their opposition to Beijing. Parallel to the JEFTA agreement, the EU, Japan and the USA have declared that they will jointly take on China more aggressively over trade issues.

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Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland

‘If the commission considers it is forced to resort to sanctions, we would also support the commission,’ Macron and Merkel said. (Photo: Consilium)

 

France and Germany have pledged to back the European Commission if it sanctioned Poland next week.

“If the commission thinks it has to trigger the [sanctions] procedure, we have a very clear and consistent position – we’ll support the commission,” French president Emmanuel Macron said in Brussels on Friday (15 December).

German chancellor Angela Merkel said: “If the commission considers it is forced to resort [to sanctions], we would also support the commission”.

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EU takes first steps to withdraw Poland’s voting rights

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EU bullies governments who refuse to toe the line.

Yesterday, the EU took its first step towards revoking Poland’s voting rights at the European Council, in response to the country’s alleged ‘breach of fundamental EU values. Continue reading

EU Creates New Defense Pact to Reduce Dependence on US

 

The EU on Nov.13 officially launched a new era in defense cooperation with a program of joint military investment in equipment, research and development, known as permanent structured cooperation, or PESCO. Foreign and defense ministers gathered at a signing ceremony in Brussels to represent 23 EU governments joining the pact, which is to become legally binding when signed by heads of state at EU summit in mid-December. With so many ministers signing, approval seems a given. From now on, the EU will have a more coherent role in tackling international crises, while reducing the reliance on the United States. Continue reading

Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military

The official flag of Eurocorps military contingent (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

As global threats increase, many nations support the idea of an independent and united European military. Here is why we expect it to happen, and where we expect it to lead.

The 100 years between 1815 and when World War i started in 1914 were one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But that isn’t to say it was peaceful.

Consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.

That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century.

The states of Europe spent 75 percent of the 17th century at war with each other, 50 percent of the 18th century, and 25 percent of the 19th. The periods of war became shorter—but more than made up for it with devastatingly more effective weapons.

This is why many are skeptical of the creation of a “European army.” How can a continent with such a long history of war and division form a united military force? Continue reading

FRIEDMAN: EU Officials Out Of Step With Reality, Europeans Don’t See What’s Coming at Them

Imagine the following scenario.

Texas votes to secede from the United States, sparking bitter tension between Austin and Washington. A neo-Nazi party wins seats in the California legislature.

Cook County, home to Chicago, threatens to break away from Illinois to form its own state. Worried about losing such an economically vibrant region, government officials try to prevent the election from taking place.

The federal government vows to suspend North Carolina’s voting rights in Congress simply because it didn’t approve of its behavior. It considers doing likewise for Arizona.

In such a scenario, you might conclude that something is terribly wrong with the United States.

The thing is, this is pretty much what is happening in Europe.

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Report: EU defence strategy ‘outsourced’ to arms industry

The march continues towards a United States of Europe with its own European Army. As in the Troika, the cards are stacked in Germany’s Fourth Reich’s favor per usual with its men in key circles running the show.

 

The European Defence Action Plan was “closely modelled on proposals made by the industry”, says the report (Photo: 1st BCT, 1st CD)

 

Europe’s defence industry has had a strong influence in the development of the European Union’s new defence strategy, according to a report by a Belgian peace organisation published on Tuesday (17 October).

“The European Defence Action Plan was closely modelled on proposals made by the industry,” said the report by campaign group Vredesactie (Peace Action).

During the preparatory meetings, Europe’s “arms industry has had a heavy footprint on the negotiations”, it says, while civil society, the academic world, and the European Parliament, were nearly absent.

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Catalan referendum: Region’s independence ‘in matter of days’

King Felipe VI: “Catalan society is fractured”

 

Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.

In his first interview since Sunday’s referendum, Carles Puigdemont said his government would “act at the end of this week or the beginning of next”.

Meanwhile, Spain’s King Felipe VI said organisers of the vote put themselves “outside the law”. Continue reading

Spain CHAOS as Catalans launch mass strikes in protest over referendum

Spanish Guardia Civil guards drag a man

Spanish Guardia Civil guards drag a man (AFP/Getty Images)

 

CATALAN independence protesters are holding strikes to bring swathes of the region to a standstill today in anger at the Spanish government’s refusal to accept the result.

Catalan trade unions and associates called for the action due to “the grave violation of rights and freedoms” seen when heavily armed Spanish officers clashed with voters on Sunday.

Madrid, which deemed the referendum illegal, deployed hundreds of officers in a last desperate attempt to stop the ballot from going ahead.  Continue reading

Juncker calls for united EU under one leader

Juncker wants a single EU president who campaigns in the 2019 elections (Photo: European Commission)

 

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker outlined his post-Brexit vision for a confident EU in his state of the union address on Wednesday (14 September), speaking of a Europe that has bounced back from the economic downturn and regained the political ground from populists and eurosceptics.

Juncker, in his second to last state of the union speech, has argued for a more united and effective EU that is based on freedom, equality and the rule of law, and signalled that he wants all EU countries to become full eurozone and Schengen area members by 2019 – except those with opt-outs. Continue reading

EU Gives Poland one Month Warning

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They face being dragged in front of the ECJ if they don’t submit.

Brussels has stepped up its war on national sovereignty, after rejecting a Polish appeal regarding changes to their judiciary, and say they risk being hauled in front of the ECJ if they refuse to comply. Continue reading

Macron revives multi-speed Europe idea

“We have to think up a Europe with several formats,” the French president said. (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

 

French president Emmanuel Macron has revived the idea of multi-speed Europe, while announcing that he will soon make ten “concrete” proposals to reform the EU after Brexit.

“We have to think up a Europe with several formats, go further with those who want to go forward, without being hindered by states that want – and it is their right – to go not as fast or not as far,” he said on Tuesday (29 August) in a speech to French ambassadors. Continue reading

Wintershall warns U.S. against playing ‘geopolitical football.’

 

German energy company Wintershall, a European partner with Russia’s Gazprom, said the European energy sector can’t be used for “geopolitical football.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill into law that sanctions Iran, North Korea and Russia. The Russian measure in particular is significant given the election issue clouding the Trump administration. Continue reading

EU To Force Poland, Hungary And Czech Republic To Accept Refugees

One month after the EU’s executive Commission launched legal cases against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for “defaulting on their legal obligations” by refusing to comply with the EU’s refugee quotas (i.e., accept migrants), on Wednesday the three Central European nations suffered another blow after Brussels mounted a legal fightback to force them to comply with EU refugee quotas. The top European Union court’s adviser dismissed a challenge brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the obligatory relocation of refugees across the bloc, as it prepared to sign-off legal suits against the holdout countries.

The two states, backed by Poland, wanted the court to annul a 2015 EU scheme to have each member state host a number of refugees to help ease pressure on Greece and Italy, struggling with mass arrivals across the Mediterranean. Supported by Germany, Italy and Brussels, the EU’s “relocation” law has become one of the bloc’s most divisive recent policy initiatives, forced through over the objections of states from eastern and central Europe. Continue reading

Insults fly after EU ultimatum to Poland

Kaczynski with Law and Justice prime minister Beata Szydlo in parliament (Photo: pis.org.pl)

 

The Polish government has accused the European Commission of “arrogance” and of “playing God” in a dispute on judicial reform.

Wednesday’s (26 July) barrage of reactions came after the Commission, earlier the same day, gave Poland one month to address concerns on political interference in the judiciary amid threats of an unprecedented EU voting penalty. Continue reading