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New Europe Print Edition Issue no 1075

New Europe Print Edition Issue no 1075

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New Europe Print Edition Issue no 1075
New Europe Print Edition Issue no 1075

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Published by: New Europe Newspaper on Mar 31, 2014
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By H.E. Xi Jinping  President of the People's Republic of China 
remember reading two stories. One is about a young Belgian who has since 2004 taught farmers in China's southwest interior region to grow high-quality coffee to increase their income. The other one is about a Chinese doc-tor who came to Belgium in 1990 and has cured many patients.From these two and many other stories, I can feel the strength of China-Europe friendship and cooperation. Such strength was first created by the Silk Road 2,000 years ago, which has  bound peoples of different colors, languages and beliefs on the Eurasian continent in a common pursuit of bet-ter life, which is a shared desire of both Chinese and Europeans.It is with such a desire that I am pay-ing a state visit to Belgium and a visit to the EU headquarters.China-Belgium relations have come a long way in the past 43 years since the forging of dip-lomatic relations. Bilateral trade has grown by more than 1,000 times, mak-ing Belgium China's sixth largest trading partner in the EU. Mutual investment has grown in recent years. China's direct investment in Belgium has grown nearly 10 folds over the past five years, creating many jobs locally. The successful Eu-ropalia China Art Festival and cultural activities marking the 40th anniversary of China-Belgium diplomatic relations have brought our two peoples closer. Since establishment of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, two-way trade has quadrupled, reach-ing US$559.1 billion in 2013. Every  year, 5.5 million mutual visits are made  by Chinese and Europeans.
President Xi Jinping
 I󰁮󰁴󰁥󰁲󰁶󰁩󰁥󰁷 󰁷󰁩󰁴󰁨 A󰁭󰁢󰁡󰁳󰁳󰁡󰁤󰁯󰁲 Y󰁡󰁮󰁧 Y󰁡󰁮󰁹󰁩 
P󰁡󰁧󰁥 05
 Africa is changin
 While problems remain, Africa is also home to growing economies and innovative tech-nology. Germany’s Special Envoy for Africa, Gunter Nooke, speaks to New Europe about how we should change our perspectives of a continent.
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Friendship and Cooperation Bring Better Life To Both China and Europe
(Continued on Page 03)
'Historic' visit of Chinese President to Brussels
The visit marks the increasing importance of EU China relations and the start of the sec-ond decade of the strategic partnership. It’s also hoped that it will lead to greater under-standing, not only between the two sides, but  between peoples. Both sides are also looking to deepen their trading relationship, Europe looking for progress on investment regula-tions and China hoping to begin the long pro-cess of a free trade agreement. One change has been the increasing openness and engage-ment of the Chinese Mission to the EU and their new head, Ambassador Yang Yanyi, has taken diplomacy beyond the embassy gates and is making regular appearances in meet-ings, conferences and other events in Brussels.
EU wants to slow Russia gas spigot
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Tunisia is on a democratic  path
 R. G
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This week in
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interviews with
30 March - 5 April, 2014
 Aventis takeover?
Novartis,aSwisspharmaceuticalcompa-ny,wasbelievedtobeconsideringabidfor Aventisthatwouldhavea15percentpre-mium,valuingtheFranco-Germanphar-maceuticalcompanyat58.5billionEuro.
EU names security Czar,anti-terror measures
Expensive Euro exports jobs
There is no doubt that the European Union owes its well-being to external trade. TheUnion holds a leading position in worldtrade accounting for 20 percent of globalimports and exports. Free trade among its members underpinned the successfullaunch of the EU nearly 50 years ago. The European Commission said the EU is “aleading player in efforts to liberalise worldtrade for the mutual benefit of rich and poor countries alike.”  It is not by accident that Eurozone externaltrade surplus with the rest of the world was1.2 billion Euro last January, against a deficit of 1.5 billion in January 2003. The December 2003 balance was +6.1 billion,compared with +6.9 billion in December  2002. In January exports increased 0.3 per-cent compared to the previous month, whileimports fell 1.1 percent. The first estimate by Eurostat for January 2004 extra-EU15 trade was a 9.5 billion Euro deficit compared with -9.3 billion in January 2003. Throughout 2003 Eurozone trade recorded a surplus of Euro 72.7 billion compared with +98.9 billion in 2002. The energy deficit increased last year to 118.1 billion Euro versus -112.3 billion in 2002, while the surplus for machinery and vehicles decreased to 87.0 billion Euro compared to+95.3 billion in 2002.  But all these surpluses are in danger if the parity of the Euro continues to be in the region of 1.2-1.3 with the US dollar and130-135 with the Japanese yen. The presi- dent of European Union employer’s associ- ation last week said the industry is now working with a drawback: the expensive Euro. The fast rise of its external value may help consumers within the Union, keep energy prices under control and help con-tain inflationary pressures to low levels. Onthe other hand, the expensive Euro is a net exporter of jobs to the Union’s trade part- ners.
uropeanUnionleaderslastThursdayrushedthroughananti-terrorpackage,namingaformerDutchministertothenewlycreatedpostofsecurityczarandpledgingtheuseofmilitaryforcetodefendthebloc.“Wehavereaf-firmedourunityofpurposeinfightingterrorism,saidIrishPrimeMinisterBertieAhern,whosecountrycurrentlyholdstherotatingEuropeanUnionpresidency.Leadersweremeetingintheafter-mathoftheMarch11Madridbomb-ingswhichkilled190peopleandinjuredabout1,800-Europe’sworstterroristattacksincethe1988Locker-bie,ScotlandPanAmjetlinerbombing. AmidfearsofattacksinotherEUcities,leaderscreatedanewpositionof counter-terrorismsecuritychieftocoordinatepolicyandappointedfor-merDutchDeputyInteriorMinisterGijsdeVriestothepost.AstheEU’sfirst-ever“CounterTerrorismCoordi-nator,”deVriesischargedwithkeep-ingtrackandsharpeningthebloc’santi-terrorpolicies.TurningtotheEU’slong-soughtconstitution,leaderssetaJunedead-lineforclinchingagreementonanewconstitutionforthesoon-to-be25-nationbloc.Negotiationswouldbeconcluded“nolaterthantheJuneEuropeanUnioncouncil,”Aherntoldreporters.TheEUwillholditsnextcouncilsummitonJune17-18.ProspectsforagreeingthetreatyimprovedsuddenlyearlierinMarchafterSpain’sincomingPrimeMinister,JoseLuisRodriguezZapatero,pro-misedtodropMadrid’searlierhardlinestanceagainstanyrevisionofnational votingrights.
 Year, Number566
New Europe
Oil pricesurge
Oilpriceshit13-yearhighsin recent days and mayexceedUSD40perbarrel,aleadingenergyanalysthaspredicted, citing politicalturmoilintheMiddleEastandprofiteeringasreasonsforthesurge.OPECministersappeartoagreethatforcesoutofthecartel’shandsaredrivingthesurgeinprices.Minis-tersfromtheOrganisationofthePetroleumExportingCountries (OPEC) willmeetthisweekinabidtostemanupwardpricespiral.OPEC has long publicly worriedthatadropinglob-alfueldemandafterthenorthernhemispherewinterandarecoveryinIraqtopre-warcrudeexportvol-umeswouldbringoil’sfive- year price bonanza to ascreechinghalt.OPECoilministershavegiven mixed signals on whetherthegroupwillsticktoitsmid-FebruarydecisionandsliceproductionquotasbyfourpercentfromApril1.Theplannedproductioncutnowlooksonesteptoofarinthegroup’scampaignofsupplyrestrictionsthatofficiallyisdesignedtokeepprices in a USD 22-28range.
 EuropeanParliamentPresidentPatCox(sitting left)sharesa lightmomentwith ItalianPrimeMinisterSilvioBerlusconi (R)asIrishPrimeMinisterandCoun- cilPresidentBertieAhern(L)lookson
 Leaders set deadline for clinching elusive treaty dea
Commission cracks down on Microsoft
nanefforttostopMicrosoft’sabuseofadominantmar-ketposition,theEuropeanCommissionlastweek slappedarecordfineof497millionEuroontheUSsoft- waregiant.Thefine-thehighesteverslappedonacompa-nybyEuropeanUnionregulators-wasnotimposedlightly,EUCompetitionCommissionerMarioMontitoldjournal-ists.“Thiswasnotadecisionthatwastakeneasilyorhasti-ly,”Montiinsisted,addingthatachangeinMicrosoft’sbusinesspracticesasbeingorderedbytheCommission wouldboostconsumerchoiceinEuropeandstimulateinnovationinthesector.“Dominantcompanieshaveaspecialresponsibilitytoensurethatthewaytheydobusinessdoesn’tpreventcom-petitionanddoesnotharmconsumersandinnovation,Montisaid. Thecompanyhasbeengiven120daystodis-closecompleteandaccurateinterfacedocumentationtoallowrivalserverstoachievefullinteroperabilitywithWin-dowsprogrammes.Microsofthasalsobeengivenadeadlineof90daystooffercomputermanufacturersaversionofitsWindow operatingsystemwithoutWindowsMediaPlayer.ItisappealingtheCommissiondecision.
 The Shooting Gallery
Look who’s back
 After the Madrid bombings, anti-terror legislation  was passed and a new anti-terror Czar appointed. In this spirit of hyperactivity, Bertie Ahern, who  was holding the presidency, said that the new trea-ty would be concluded by min-June.Oil was rocketing up, with some analysts predict-ing to $40 a barrel and the Commission levied a €497 fine on Microsoft and the Euro was doing so  well, jobs were being exported because of the high exchange rate and labour shortages were begin-ning to occur, leading to an easing of work permit restrictions on the ten new members.Russia was accusing the EU of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and were airlifting supplies to the Serbs.
 N E  1 0  Y E A  R  S  A GO
Once again, we are being called upon to reflect on a question posed several months ago about the European Union’s final goal of political union. It is a question that has gained increasing relevance in the run up to the next Euro-pean Parliament elections. This question has also gained even greater urgency today in the shadow of Ukraine’s crisis and the new “Cold War” that is pitting the United States and the European Union, against Russia. EU leaders have threatened Russia with sanctions to counter President  Vladimir Putin’s plans for Crimea and the rest of eastern Ukraine. But here’s another problem. The EU just can’t seem to agree on the kind of sanctions or how harsh these sanctions should be. This is mainly due to the  varying degrees of dependence on Russia’s oil and gas. Not all EU member states depend on Russian gas. For instance, while Ger-many gets about a third of its natural gas and crude oil from Russia, Poland has its own resources to exploit - something that wasn’t allowed because of the EU’s policy towards Russian gas.  What is more, it appears that only Hungary has reached a final agreement on Russia – Hungary will not interfere in the conflict. This neutral stance is likely linked to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s recent visit to Moscow during which Putin agreed to finance the expansion of Hungary’s only nuclear plant.
Energy matters
Energy is a matter that is studied and considered by each national govern-ment differently. This is one of reason for the growing divide over a common EU position on Ukraine. Trade between each EU country and Moscow is another issue that needs to be considered. Many Baltic States have been punished for their deep anti-Russian sentiments and for steering a course towards other markets. Germany’s industrialists, however, are now also concerned about the recent escalation of the crisis. Despite the fact that Russia is not considered a big deal as regards German exports, there is always a question about money. Polish exports, for instance, have been affected by the financial developments in Russia. The devalua-tion of Russia’s Ruble has reduced dramatically the export potential of Polish products to Russia. In a similar vein, Slovakia’s exports are being affected by EU-Ukraine relations if Ukrainian products become more competitive than Slovakia’s products. Meanwhile, there is also another lingering question troubling the region. Not every country feels the same toward Russia. Some EU countries have a strong sentiment of a Russian threat possibly because past wounds have  yet to heal, like in Poland, or because of the presence of a huge Russian mi-nority within their territory as in the Baltic States. It is easy to understand  why both Poland and the Baltic states favour a tough position against Russia. This, however, cannot be said about many countries in the European Union. The Finns, for example, do not feel threatened by Russia and they are against the membership of their country in NATO and also against a common EU defence policy. Greece and Cyprus are another example. On the one hand, they have a tradition of pro-Russian sentiments, but on the other hand they see a double standard. Greece and Cyprus feel the EU has not shown an equal amount of concern over another similar problem: Turkey’s occupa-tion of the northern part of Cyprus. Overall, each country has a different answer to the question about what sanctions if any the EU should impose on Russia. But the big question is not whether EU sanctions will be imposed or wheth-er they will be effective. Quite possibly the biggest question today is whether the EU countries will continue to view the growing crisis through a narrow prism of national interests or if they will unite in their EU membership. Under such conditions, the goal of the political union of Europe seems to be the only path to follow as soon as possible.
Does the EU’s ‘defenceless’ policy require a political union?
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30 March - 5 April, 2014
The number of Chinese students in the EU and students from EU coun-tries in China has exceeded 270,000. These figures show that China-Europe friendship and cooperation have pro- vided our peoples a greater variety of goods, more jobs and better educa-tional opportunities.I hope that my visit will deepen the win-win relations between China and Europe so that our friendship and cooperation will deliver more  benefits to the Chinese and Euro-pean peoples.Today, both China and Europe are at an important stage of develop-ment. A strategic decision was made at the Third Plenum of the 18th Cen-tral Committee of the Communist Party of China to comprehensively deepen China’s reforms, and over 330 implementing steps covering 15 sectors have been introduced or are in the works. The 1.3 billion Chinese people are endeavoring to realize the Chinese Dream of great national renewal. Europe is also on a path of reform and development. With mas-sive structural reform introduced by the EU and strenuous efforts made  by the European people, the spring of recovery is dispersing the winter chill in the European economy. The new era presents new op-portunities for China and Europe to  boost their friendship and coopera-tion. China and Europe share com-mon interests in pursuing develop-ment, and China will continue to  view Europe as a strategic partner and support European integration.  We believe that the European people  will also support the Chinese people in pursuing a development model suited to China’s national conditions. The Strategic Agenda 2020 for China-EU Cooperation was released last November. China will work  with the EU to turn this blueprint into reality. In pursuing this strategic agenda, the two sides will step up cooperation and exchanges in trade, investment, finance, high technology, new energy and new type of urbani-zation. This endeavor will enable our friendship and cooperation to spur the development of both sides and  bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples.The new era adds new strategic dimensions to China-Europe friend-ship and cooperation. Together, Chi-na and the EU account for a quarter of the world’s population and one third of the global economy. Amidst the deepening of economic globali-zation, the growing trend towards multi-polarity and extensive IT appli-cation, China-EU relations have gone  beyond the bilateral context and ac-quired increasing global and strategic significance.󲀔 China and Europe are two ma- jor forces for upholding world peace. China is the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, and the EU is the largest aid provider in the world. We have engaged in effec-tive cooperation on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Middle East and anti-piracy. Let us join hands and work with all peace-loving people in the world to en-sure peace on our planet.󲀔 China and Europe are two markets that promote common de- velopment. As the largest developing country, China contributes close to 30% of world economic growth. As the largest economy, the EU’s GDP has reached US$16.7 trillion. We should jointly pursue win-win coop-eration, open markets and foster an open world economy so as to create good momentum and ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy.󲀔 China and Europe are two civilizations that promote human progress. For several thousand years, China and Europe, the birthplaces of the Eastern and Western cultures shining with brilliance, have enriched each other through interactions. We should uphold the diversity of civili-zations and advance global trend of inclusiveness, mutual learning and interaction between civilizations to promote progress of all civilizations.In the new era, more equal dia-logue and exchanges are called for to  boost China-Europe friendship and cooperation. Given their different national conditions and stages of de- velopment, we do not expect China and Europe to see eye to eye on all issues. The time we live in is both a time of cooperation and a time of distinctive dynamism. It is a time of  both unprecedented opportunities and challenges unmet before.“The wise seeks common ground  while the unwise clings to differenc-es”. China and Europe should respect each other, treat each other as equals, seek common ground while shelv-ing differences, and pursue win-win cooperation. By doing so, we will en-hance our dialogue and engagement, maximize common interests, share opportunities and jointly meet chal-lenges.Rapids and rocks can never stop a river from flowing into the sea. Likewise, I believe that no issues or differences can stop our friendship and cooperation from growing.Belgium, where the EU head-quarters are located, is known as the “heart of Europe”. The more strongly the heart beats, the more energy it  will create for China-Europe coop-eration.China-Europe friendship and co-operation is the choice made by the times and by the 1.8 billion Chinese and Europeans. This choice is il-lustrated by Xing Hui and Hao Hao, two cute pandas who have travelled half way across the world to Belgium from the “land of abundance” in Chi-na and settled down in the Pairi Daizi Zoo. Their names, meaning light and goodness, demonstrate our confi-dence in and best wishes for China-Europe friendship and cooperation.I am convinced that China-Europe relations will have an even  brighter future and make life even  better for all of us.
Resolution mechanism, a major step but not the end of the story 
By Christos Kissas, Phd
“Today’s political agreement on the single resolution mechanism completes our banking union,” 
 declared the Eu-ropean Commission’s President, José Manuel Barroso. So, is the banking union complete? Not quite, but a step has been taken󲀔even though, it took lengthy negotiations among the main European member states, and finally a political compromise to reach an agreement.But let’s take things from the start. The so-called “banking union” is an idea that was born out of the euro-zone crisis in 2012, and aimed at creating a centralized system for su-pervising EU’s too-big-to-fail banks. Its ultimate purpose is to prevent soverign debt crises from evolving into banking crises and vice versa. This system has three key compo-nents: a monitoring mechanism, a resolution mechanism, and a bank deposits guarantee scheme. After intense debate, the monitoring was assigned to the European Central Bank (ECB), but󲀔at Germany’s in-sistence󲀔only for “systemic” banks, thus excluding all the Landesbanken,  which Germans wouldn’t want to see audited by an external authority. Un-der this arrangement, smaller banks, that aren’t a threat to the euro system,  will continue to be supervised by the local central banks of the member states. Finally, the Single Supervisory Mechanism or SSM (in pure bureau-cratic language) was created.The second component is the the resolution authority, or Single Reso-lution Mechanism (SRM). The idea  behind a Europe-wide authority is to avoid situations such the one that prevailed in Spain, where the local central bank long covered the bank-ing system’s bad debts in order to avoid taking resolution decisions. Here again, Germany started by be-ing opposed to the idea, claiming that a single authority would be impos-sible under current EU treaties, and proposed the creation of national resolution funds, each using its own funds for bank resolution and restruc-turing instead. Another thorny issue  was that of decision-taking inside the authority; how would a member state  be protected from an external deci-sion to spend money from its budget in order to restructure one of its  banks? A pure veto option, supported  by several member states, would have undermined the very concept of the single resolution authority. Other solutions, such as giving the affected state’s vote more weight, or exercising some form of control on the author-ity’s board, were deemed unsatis-factory. Finally, a compromise was reached whereby ‘recommendationson whether to close down a bankrupt  bank and how to share costs of such closing will be presented by a single resolution board, while the European Commission will have the final say-ing. In some limited cases, the mem- ber state concerned will be able to oppose the decision.The resolution authority will be  backed by a common fund of 55 bil-lion euro that will be built up over eight years. The common fund will replace the national resolution funds,  which will ultimately merge. This fund will have permission to tap the markets, but (at Germany’s request)  will not get any government guaran-tees, neither will it be authorized to seek financing from the European Sta- bility Mechanism (ESM)󲀔another emergency fund set up to finance euro-zone governments in distress. All in all, the adoption of the single resolution mechanism is a positive step towards common banking super- vision. However, being a multilateral compromise, this system has several limitations that might render it inop-erative. The scope of the mechanism is only limited to ‘systemic’ and ‘cross- border’ banks and does not apply to all banks operating within the EU, as the Commission and the Parliament had initially planned. The common resolution fund is too small to face a major bank restructuring (remember, Dexia cost around double the fund’s assets), and the time frame for its creation is too long󲀔eight years, al-though European Commission nego-ciators consider this a success against the initially planned ten year period). Finally, the decision mechanisms are too complicated, and full of tightrope  walking; nobody can tell if all this is going to work in practice, or if it’ll end in deadlocks. Apart from the supervision and reso-lutiom mechanisms, there is a third key component for the banking un-ion to be complete: the common deposit guarantee scheme. Without such an EU-wide deposits insurance program, the whole supervision pro- ject cannot work. Let’s not forget, the ambitions are quite high󲀔to avoid new bank bailouts with the taxpay-ers’ money. We’re not quite there yet. 
Christo Kissas, PhD www.christoskissas.com(Continued from Page 01)
Friendship and Cooperation Bring Better Life To Both China and Europe

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