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New Europe Print Edition Issue 1036

New Europe Print Edition Issue 1036

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New Europe Print Edition Issue 1036
New Europe Print Edition Issue 1036

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Published by: New Europe Newspaper on Jun 23, 2013
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Year of Publicationnumber 103623- 29 June, 20133.50
he European Commissionis advocating raising the re-tirement age as a remedy tothe rising fiscal deficits. And it leads by example. Vice President NeelieKroes, the European commissionerfor the digital agenda, will celebrateher 74th birthday on 19 July, andshows no sign of fatigue.Her mandate is ending in justover twelve months, but she doesnot slow down.On the contrary, despite a seriesof setbacks including the rejection by Council of her pet project, theConnecting Europe Facility, and the blocking of the Regulation on thecoordination of civil works that shetabled last April, the Dutch Com-missioner - nicknamed by MEPMarietje Schaake as “
the Queen of  Europe
” - continues to air new pro-posals to improve the EU's telecom-munications.On 11 June she unveiled herproposals to complete the EU singletelecommunications market to herfellow Commissioners in Strasbourg before presenting them on 17 Juneat a public hearing in Brussels.She announced legislation toguarantee:a. The freedom to acquire servic-es, wherever located, to bring greatercompetition and choice for the aver-age telecoms user, citizen or business. b. Ending unjustified distinc-tions between the cost of nationaland "international" (intra-EU) calls– especially given that such servicesare often based on Internet Proto-cols. She said that, in the mediumterm, roaming charges would haveto disappear.c. Protection for those signingup to internet contracts so that they enjoy an open and non-discrimina-tory access to services, as part of the'net neutrality' requirements.In the short term, she pushes fora change in the way national telecom-munications regulators regulate theprices from the main telecom net- work operators in the EU, allowing incertain circumstances greater flexibil-ity for high speed internet networks.Her draft has nevertheless beenstrongly opposed by a number of na-tional regulators, who see no reasonto change the methodologies thatsome of them applied for over a dec-ade. Given that regulators only haveto 'take utmost account' from Com-mission recommendations in thisarea, it is not clear whether and how the changes advocated by Mrs Kroes will be implemented in the variousEU countries.
Chizhov: ‘Russia is not supporting Assad’
Will there be any European telecoms company left in the single market? |
Russia’s EU Ambassador VladimirChizhov talked to New Europe aboutthe results of latest EU-Russia summitin Yekaterinburg, including visa nego-tiations, the Syria crisis, the Eurasian Eco-nomic Union and trade. Our interview also focused extensively on EU- Russiatalks on energy issues.In a wide-ranging interview, the ambas-sador spoke about foreign policy, includ-ing Syria, EU-Russia energy relations,differences with Europe over the energy charter and the third energy package,the privatisation of Greece’s DEPA, theTrans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Nabucco,and South Stream, and the effect of theupcoming Lithuanian EU Presidency onenergy ties.
(Pages 5, 12)
GENDER Page 10EU Page 07
 Aliyev in successfulEU talks
On 21 June, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said that co-operation in the energy sphere isone of the most important parts of the relation between Azerbaijan and the EU. He said in Brus-sels the Southern Gas Corridor will create evenstronger ties between Europe and Azerbaijan.
Page 28
Brussels callsfor legitimacy in Bulgaria 
Prodi: Growth'if we don’t killthe patient'
Tbdirtiv dilutd by unilGrk vrnmnt,TAP r HGA 
ENERGY Page 13INTERVIEW Page 06BULGARIA Page 06ToBAcco Page 09
 Waltzing on the Titanic
New Europe Brussels
(Continued on Page 03)
Last dance for Europes telecoms companies
23- 29 June, 2013
TheEuropeanCommissiondecidedtostrengthenitsstanceontheburningissueof thegeneticallymodifiedorganisms.ThisstephowevermustbeseeninthewidercontextoftheEuro-AmericanrelationsandinthisfronttheAmericansareontheaskingside.
BySkysignsdeal withSatlynx 
BySky,asatelliteserviceproviderbasedinRuinen,TheNetherlands,hassigneda volumereselleragreementwithSatlynx todelivertwo-waybroadbandsatelliteservicestoSMEs,PublicandEducation-alSectorsinBelgiumandTheNether-lands.
USSteelremainsinterestedinpurchas-ingPolishSteelMills(PHS)despitethefactrivalLNMGroup,theworld'ssec-ond-biggeststeelproducer,wonrecentlytheexclusivitytobargainafinaldealuntil August22,America'slargeststeelmakersaid.
HatchKaiserofCanadahaswonaten-dertoupgrade the Sayanogorskalu-miniumsmelter(SAZ)inKhakassia,RussianAluminium,ofwhichSAZispart,reported.
 p. 33
 An international syndicate of banksheaded by ABN Amro Bank NB Uzbek-istan AO has signed a pre-exportfinancing agreement for Almalyk Min-ing and Metals Combine worth USD 35million, company Director GeneralGennady Prokhorenko said.
 p. 44
Wallstrom gets toughon GMO legislation
Consumer rights is the issue
TheEuropeanCommissiontakesfour  memberstatestotheCourtoverthe"Guar- anteesdirective"andrightlyso.Belgium, France,LuxembourgandSpainfailedto fullyimplementtheDirectivethatsetsout minimumlegalrightsforconsumersbuying  goodsintheentireEU.Theseincludearighttoreturndefectivegoods,orhavethem repairedorreplaced,uptotwoyearsafter  delivery.MemberStateswereobligedtoimplementtheDirectivebyJanuary1,2002. FromthepointofviewoftheaverageEuro- peancitizenthereisnoreasonfortheEUto existatall,ifitdoesnotmakesurethathis orherrightsareprotected.Citizensvote onceeveryfouryearsfortheirgovernment buttheybuygoodsandserviceseverydayof  everyyear.Soconsumerrightsarethemostimportantofallcitizens’rights.Underthis light,allmatterspertainingtoconsumers mustberegardedassacrosanctandthe EuropeanUnionmustmakesurethatthoserightsarenotonlyrespectedbut extendedcontinuously. Inthisrespectthosefourmemberstatesmust facetheECJjudgementandbeobligedtotakeactionorriskheavyfinancialpenalties.TheCommissionputsitrightbysayingthat"ifconsumerscannotbeassuredtheirrights willbeprotectedtheyarenotgoingtoshop acrossborders...TheCommissionisdeter- minedtoproceedwiththeseinfringement actionstoensurenoneoftheEU'scon- sumersareshort-changed."TheveryideaofthisDirectiveistovalidate consumerrightsnomatterwhereintheEU thegoodsarepurchasedandthereisnobet-terwaytomakecitizensfeelathomenomat-terwhichcountryoftheUniontheyhappentobein.Thedirectivealsorequiresthatcom- mercialguaranteessuchasmanufacturers'  orretailers'guaranteesmustbetransparent andclearlydrafted.
he European Commissionreferred France, Luxem-bourg,Belgium,theNether-lands,Germany,Italy,Ire-land,Greece,Spain,AustriaandFin-landtotheEuropeanCourtofJusticeforfailingtotransposeEUlegislationonthedeliberatereleaseofgeneticallymodifiedorganisms(GMOs)intotheenvironmentintonationallaw.Thegov-ernmentsfailedtomeetthedeadlineforimplementingthelegislationpassedonOctober17,2002.CommentingonthedecisionEnvi-ronmentCommissionerMargotWall-stromsaid:"IhavebeenrepeatedlyinvitingMemberStatestoliveuptotheirobligationsandIamdisappointedthatthishasproducedfewresults.ThenewframeworkDirectiveonGMOs, whichenteredintoforceinOctoberlast year,providestheEuropeanUnionwithoneofthemostadvancedandcompre-hensivepiecesoflegislationexistinginthisfieldatworldlevel.Thislegislationhasbeentheresultofatransparentanddemocraticprocess,andprovidesasolidanswertopublicconcernsabouttheenvironmentalandhealtheffectsof GMOs. But our credibility will beseverelyunderminedifwearenotabletodemonstratethatwecanimplementit.ItisthereforehightimethatallMem-berStatesbringtheirnationallawsintolinewiththeEUlaw."Some of the specific measuresunderthedirectivearecompulsorypostmarketingmonitoringofpossiblelong-term effects on the environment,mandatorypublicinformationactivities,consultationofthescientificcommittee,andamaximuminitialapprovalperiodforGMOsoftenyears.
Year,Number 530
July 20-26,2003
New Europe
LargeswathesofEuropekeptswelteringinexceptionalsum-merheatassomeplaceshitthehighesttemperaturesfordecades.AlthoughfromGreecetoFinland,sunshinebroughtsmilesonthefacesof tourists,theagricultureandindustrysectorsscorchedundertherareheatwave.Switzerlandhittheirhighestfor200years-reaching37C(99F)andFrenchfarmersinSouthFrancealreadypulledoutwinterhayforthecattleasnoraincastadroughtlikesitu-ation.ButtheworsthitisItaly. Anunprecedentedtwo-monthlongheatwavehaspushedthecountry'spowersupplytothelimitandbeyond,sparkingthefirstmajorenergyshortagesincetheoilcrisisoftheearly1970s.InJuneanestimatedsix millionItalianswereleftwith-outelectricityforseveralhours,leavingscoresofpeoplestuckinliftsandcausingchaosinthestreetsastrafficlightsstoppedworking.Italiansagreedtoheedrecentappealsfromgovernmentofficialsandlimittheuseofelectricityasmuchaspossible.
 EU takes legal steps against eleven Member States
Oil prices rise asIraq July oil exportsdribble
orld oil prices rose last week as Iraq announcedthat it would export only eight million barrels of oil this month, a small fraction of its prewar output.Iraq's oil industry is in worse condition than westernexperts believed. The eight million barrels to be export-ed this month is only 258,000 barrels a day. Before the war Iraq exported, legally and otherwise, about twomillion barrels a day. "Our superiors at the Oil Min-istry said that we could export about 500,000 barrels aday in July," one oil industry official speaking on thecondition of anonymity was quoted as saying. "But we're not sure now. People are surprised. We thought we could do better than this." Meanwhile, US Ambas-sador Alexander Vershbow said the US does not intendto obstruct the interests of Russian oil companies inIraq. "Decisions regarding the development of new oilfields and the expansion of production are for thefuture Iraqi government to take," Vershbow said.
 ambassadorofUkrainetotheEU  on IntegratingCaspian oiltoWesternmarkets p.35
Awkward handshake of the week |
Alia Papageorgioualia@neurope.eu
ostis Geropoulos(Energy & Russian Affairs)kgeropoulos@neurope.euCillian Donnelly (EU Affairs)cdonnelly@neurope.euAndy Carling (EU Affairs)acarling@neurope.euAriti Alamanou (Legal Affairs)aalamanou@neurope.euLouise Kissa (Fashion)lkissa@neurope.euAlexandra Coronakis (Columnist)acoronaki@neurope.eu
 Alexandros Koronakisakoronakis@neurope.eu
ExEcutIvE lAyout producEr
Suman Haquesuman@neurope.eu
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In a rare moment of synchronicity, Europe was un-der a heatwave a decade ago, as Brussels finally waslast week, this time after a long, cold and wet Sum-mer for the continent. The weather is no longer aspredictable as we like to think it once was, but thepoint is the effect. Ten years ago, winter feed was be-ing put out early because of drought and even powersupplies were disrupted.Commissioner Walstrom, then in charge of the En- vironment was also taking action, over genetically modified food, having to take legal action againstmember states over agreements they had agreed with, but not put into law. As we said, Europe wassplit over GMOs, it still is. We were also raising consumer rights, beginning with the right to return faulty goods. We noted,“From the point of view of the average Europeancitizen there is no reason for the EU to exist at all,if it does not make sure that his or her rights areprotected.”
 n e  1 0  Y e A  R  S  A GO
The European Parliament, in fact the whole structure of the Eu-ropean Union, is a terminally undemocratic institution, nothingmore than a fascist regime. At least, that’s according to HunagrianMEP Krisztina Morvi.Morvi is a member of the far right Jobbik party, an organisationthat knows a thing or two about fascism, being, seemingly dedicat-ed to resurrecting the politics and tactics of 1930s thuggery, rightdown to the dress code.The reason she is up in arms about the supposed lack of democ-racy in the EU is that the parliament insists on investigating recentconstitutional changes in Hungary, which may not be in line withexisting European laws. But democracy is apparently in short sup-ply; the UN and the Council of Europe have also raised concernsabout the new laws in what Morvi must only assume is some formof fascist conspiracy.Before a vote on the situation in the parliament’s civil libertiescommittee, Morvi disrupted events by loudly calling into questionthe democratic legitimacy of the EU. She then unfurled a banneragain inquiring about the European Union’s level of democracy, before waving a Hungarian flag around.Being a flag-waving patriot, she says, does not make her a fascist, which is true; but coupled with Jobbik’s own particular brand of aggressive appropriation of nationalism for discriminatory ends, itkind of does. This, of course, is the party that wants a database of  Jewish members of parliament, as they apparently represent somesort of security threat.Morvi may very well be emboldened by the upsurge in support forpopulist parties in Europe, as well as a decline in trust of the EU,seen in many cases as interfering on one hand and remote and bu-reaucratic on the other. Jobbik might represent the more extremeend of populism, but parties and governments, like the conserva-tive administration of Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party in Hungary, arethemselves drawn to the trend; the centre is shifting rightward. And as long as they are tolerated in return for support in countrieslike Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands and elsewhere, the likeli-hood of their continued presence on the European political stageremains.Next year, the European Parliament will hold elections. Predictionsat this stage are that the make-up of MEPs will be vastly different.If elections were held right now, based on trends in, say, Italy andthe UK, that might very well be the case. In the latter, for instance,the Eurosceptic Ukip, buoyed-up by May’s local election results, isaiming to be the second-largest party in the country.The unwillingness of the established parties to engage in discus-sions about the merits or otherwise of the European Union is nothelping matters; deep down they must know they are on to a loser, but it shifts the debate to one of reactionary politics. Like KrisztinaMorvi, it is all bluster and ruckus posing as protest. Of course, withany luck, there may be the traditional low turnout, that saviour of the mainstream parties. That might be one way to win an election, but it is no way to win hearts and minds.
 The circus iscoming to town
23- 29 June, 2013
(Continued from Page 03)
For that reason, the industry was eager tohear more about the binding legislative meas-ures that Mrs Kroes discussed with her fellow commissioners. At the 17 June hearing, Mrs Kroes did notdisclose their precise content, which was badly received by the industry. “If we are to con-template new legislation it must be first prop-erly consulted upon and its potential impactshould be carefully assessed,” Erzsébet Fitorifrom the European Competitive Telecommu-nications Association (ECTA), stressed.Martin Whitehead, speaking for mobile-operator industry group GSMA Europe madethe same comment: “Any reforms must bepositive for the telecoms industry over all. Andit’s not clear that what is currently under con-sideration can deliver this.Luigi Gambardella, the chair of the Euro-pean Telecommunications Network Opera-tors’ Association (ETNO), which representsthe EU’s largest telecoms companies such asDeutsche Telekom and Telefónica, addedthat the problems of the EU industry will not be solved by imposing new regulatory bur-dens, in addition to the major interventionsalready put in place over the last decade, inparticular by Mrs Kroes’ predecessor, VivianeReding.During her mandate, Mrs Reding regu-lated mobile telephony charges, making cross- border calls if not cheap, affordable for eve-ryone. Mrs Reding also intervened to reducethe excessive tariffs for calling mobile phonesfrom fixed networks.The latest announcements from MrsKroes seem to copy, or at least to be inspired by, the successful measures adopted underher predecessor’s mandate. This may explain why Mrs Kroes’ announcements soundeddisconnected from the most recent consumerdemands. Today, consumers complain nomore about international mobile roamingcall charges, but about excessive charges toaccess hotspots with their smartphones whenabroad.Consumers will be baffled to hear that MrsKroes’ single market does not entail seam-less EU-wide access to all WIFI hotspots inthe EU. Technically, such a single market isfeasible, as shown by the reciprocal access totheir FON hotspots offered by Belgacom andBritish Telecom to their respective domestic broadband customers and could thus be man-dated EU wide.In her introduction, Vice PresidentKroes admitted that the current system of telecoms regulation was failing to release theindustry’s economic potential, noting thatthe EU telecom industry “has gone fromleader to follower”. According to Mrs Kroes, “Europe… strug-gles to compete in the global ICT eco-system…Investments are lagging behind: networks arenot being upgraded to meet tomorrow’s chal-lenges… A look at those third countries withhigh coverage of very fast fixed networks revealsthat in some cases this performance has bene-fited from extensive public financial support. InEurope, investment in LTE is being hampered by regulatory barriers and slow and inconsistentspectrum assignment.”However, at the hearing, diverging solu-tions were advocated. Both Peter Olson, presi-dent of DIGITALEUROPE, and ErzsébetFitori from ECTA stressed the need to imple-ment effectively existing measures across theEU, whereas Luigi Gambardella from ETNOcalled for “a bold revision of the regulatory framework in Europe.”Previously, ETNO had identified threeproblems:First, the way EU competition rules wereapplied: the commission gives too much atten-tion to the number of operators in each Mem- ber State and does not accept the idea that aconsolidation into a few major players may berequired to allow economies of scale and at-tract investors. This was illustrated when theEU Commission nearly blocked Hutchison’sacquisition of Orange’s mobile business in Austria arguing that number of competitorsmay not be reduced, without regard to theshrinking margins.Second, ETNO said that national regula-tors are dissuading new investment by requir-ing investors to provide cost based access totheir high speed fibre networks to competi-tors, allowing them to benefit from these net- works without taking investment risks.Third, ETNO claimed that the EU is toofocussed on lowering consumer prices and dis-regards the margins needed for investments inhigher quality and future new services.None of the proposals sketched by MrsKroes respond to these concerns. On thecontrary, Cecilio Madero from the Com-petition Directorate General of the EUCommission said that the latter would notpermit any consolidation that may result inprice rises for consumers.Investment bankers are pleading for merg-ers and therefore drew their conclusions. Ste-phen Howard, HSBC’s lead telecom analyst,said that investors have already ceased invest-ing in the shrinking EU companies. In a recentreport, AB Bernstein Research warned that theproposals will not provide the necessary boostto the EU telecommunications companies. As a result these companies are increas-ingly falling prey to non EU companies: TheMexican billionaire Carlos Slim has acquiredcompanies like the Dutch telecom operatorKPN and its Austrian counterpart, Telekom Austria. The US cable giant Liberty Globalrecently acquired the British cable company  Virgin Media. Russia’s VimpelCom has takenover Wind in Italy. Hong Kong based Hutch-inson is now in negotiations to take over Tele-com Italia, while the Spanish paper El Mundoreported that ATT was interested in acquir-ing the Spanish operator, Telefónica. At the hearing, Vice President Kroes ob-served that “These days major Internet players- Google, Apple, Amazon, Baidu – are amongthe biggest companies in the world; none of them are European.”The failure of the Barroso Commission todeal with the current downturn for the sectormay lead Mrs Kroes’ successor, in a few yearstime, to note that “besides some remaininglocal players, none of the European telecomcompanies are still European”.
 New Europe Brussels Team
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The current EU rules prevent telecom operators to capitalise on the IP traffic boom Source: Cisco, IDC

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