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New Europe Print Edition Issue 1082

New Europe Print Edition Issue 1082

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New Europe Print Edition Issue 1082
New Europe Print Edition Issue 1082

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Published by: New Europe Newspaper on May 25, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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t didn't happen in a day, cer-tainly not during the last few days when European voters  went to the polls to select their representatives to the European Parliament. But, as from today, the European Union has to face up to a series of challenges which accumulated to form a single ove-rarching challenge: An existential one. A new European Parliament  will meet for the first time in Strasbourg on the 1st of July. A new European Commission will soon be formed. All the institu-tions will get new heads repla-cing the old ones. One is temp-ted to say “good riddance” since it was under their watch that the EU reached the lowest point in its history.But are they solely to blame?  Are people like Jose Manuel Bar-roso, Herman van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton personally so important that their action or in-action can shape the future of a continent? Obviously not. They are just appointees, cho-sen by the Member States -some “more equal” than others- go- vernments in order to do their  bidding. They were chosen precisely  because of who they are and de-livered almost exactly what was expected of them. Compliance  with their patrons' instructions does not however fully exone-rate them. The “I was only following orders” approach has somehow lost its shine in Europe (not that anyone in the high offices would like to publicly admit their sub-servient position). It is the member states that are ultimately responsible for letting the European dream fade. These same member states that are now challenged to put a stop to the de-cline and to re-invigorate the EU. As we moved towards the Eu-ropean Elections, the omens were not good. A tug of war between the European Council and the European Parliament seemed set to discount even the small impro- vements made through the Lis- bon Treaty. While the European Parlia-ment tried to persuade voters around Europe to go to the polls  by promoting the “Spietzenkan-didat” novelty, German Chan-cellor Angela Merkel, always echoed by the Council president, Herman van Rompuy repeatedly stated that the vote will not neces-sarily decide the person who will  be President of the Commission, that this person will be chosen by the governments and that it can  be someone who is not among the party candidates.
Supporting pharmacies  with services
Innovation is the key to preparing a health-care system that is fit for the future. This is the central concern of the key conference of phar-maceutical wholesalers, whose work ensures safe and adequate supplies of medicines, when  budgets are under pressure.
󰁢󰁹 M󰁡󰁲󰁴󰁩󰁮 F󰁩󰁴󰁺 G󰁥󰁲󰁡󰁬󰁤 P󰁡󰁧󰁥 21
Europe the day afer
P󰁡󰁧󰁥 06
 Who runs Europe?
Putin will respect Ukraine election result 
Speaking at an investment forum in St. Pe-tersburg, Putin said Russia will "respect the choice of the Ukrainian people" and will  work with the new leadership. He said Rus-sia wants peace and order to be restored in its neighbor. The Russian leader also voiced hopes of mending ties with the United States and the 28-nation European Union, which have slapped asset freezes and travel bans on members of Putin's entourage and had threatened to introduce more crippling sanc-tions if Russia tried to derail Sunday's vote in Ukraine. He insisted Russia had nothing to do with what he described as the "chaos and a full-scale civil war" in Ukraine, saying that was triggered by the West's support of a "coup".
 And the  winner is...Democracy!
B󰁹 H󰁡󰁮󰁮󰁥󰁳 S󰁷󰁯󰁢󰁯󰁤󰁡
 P󰁡󰁧󰁥 05
Eurasian Union will test Brussels
P󰁡󰁧󰁥 07
Let us create Europeans
P󰁡󰁧󰁥 04
500m citizens, 751 MEPs or 28 Council members?
(Continued on Page 03)
25-31 May, 2014
Australia $3.4, Austria EURO 1.81, Balkans EURO 4, Belgium EURO3.50, Holland EURO 2.70, Central Asia USD7.5, Central EuropeUSD5, Canada $5, Cyprus CYP 1.80, Denmark: DKK 19.95, EasternEurope USD7.5, France EURO 3.04, Germany EURO 3.57, GreeceEURO 4, Hungary HUF430, Japan Y900, Italy EURO 3.62, Nordiccountries USD7, Pacific Rim USD8.5, Russia USD 4, SwitzerlandSFr4, UK GBP 4.5, USA $2.95, all other countries EURO 6
EU propels Russiainto WTO orbit
There is no doubt that the EuropeanUnion is taking very careful steps on the“slippery floor” of GMOs. In this respectthe Commission authorised the import of  canned genetically modified sweet cornunder new strict labelling conditions, so consumers can choose. No licence has been issued though for GMO seeds to beused in agricultural production. So the floor in these quarters remains very slip- pery, not only because Americans are pressing hard to introduce GMOs in Europe’s dishes but more so to introduceGMOs to European soil and the agricul-tural production. But the Union does not want to lose thetrainofprogressandmanyEuropeancoun-tries are making good progress in this cut-ting-edge technology of geneticallymodified organisms.SotheCommissionistakingthe very difficult path to keep calm the highly sensitive European public opinion on thisissue and at the same time not to lose con-tact with the progress of technology. All the recently licensed GM products to enter the EU markets consist of consump-tion products. No licences have beenissued for seeds to be cultivated in Euro- pean soil, at least not yet. Any imports to Europe of canned vegetable containing GMOs will have to be labelled clearly, cit-ing that the corn or other foods have been harvested from a GM plant.The Commission has put in place a clear,transparent andstringent systemtoregulateGM food, feed and plants. So EU legisla-tion ensures that authorised GMOs are safe for human consumption and for  release into the environment. Clear  labelling rules allow farmers to choose what to plant and consumers to choose what to buy. Each authorisation is granted on its own merits and requests for authori- sations, which do not fulfil all criteria, were and will be rejected.
uring the re-cently conclu-ded EU-Rus-sia Summit,the European Union (EU)and Russia decided tobridge the gap of differ-ences and Brussels threw its weight behind the long-run-ning bid of Moscow to jointhe World Trade Organisa-tion. The signing of this lat-est agreement will facilitateMoscow’s efforts to join theWTO as the importance of theEUintheRussiantradebooks can be gauged fromthe fact that it accounts formore than 55 percent of thecountry’s foreign trade.To a discerning eye,there is another factor thathas been tagging alongunofficially: the Kyoto Pro-tocol. Europeans have beenpushing for the ratificationof the Kyoto Protocol for acouple of years now and with the withdrawal of theUnited States of America,the biggest emission de-faulter, Russia, the secondone, has become veryimportanttotheratificationprocess.Russian President Vla-dimir Putin said that “thefact that the EuropeanUnion has met us halfwayin negotiations on WTOmembership cannot butinfluenceMoscow’spositiveattitude toward ratificationof the Kyoto Protocol. We will accelerate our move-ment toward ratifying thisprotocol.”AccordingtoEUTrade Commissioner Pas-cal Lamy, Putin had saidthat winning approval fromthe Duma would be harder without the EU agreeing tosupport Russia’s bid forWTO membership. Thatleaves both in a win-winposition. Lamy later com-mented, “I think that 2006is the closest likely date.”
 p. 2
 Year, Number 575
May 30 - June 5, 2004
New Europe
OPEC strives tohammer out oil price crisis
Oil prices are set to remainhigh despite a meeting by theOrganisation of PetroleumExporting Countries (OPEC)scheduledforBeirutonJune3,analystspredicted.OPECmin-istersareduetodiscussaSaudi Arabian proposal to lift thecartel’sofficialproductionceil-ing by at least two million bar-rels per day.Saudi Arabia’s call for in-creased production quotasfrom OPEC is creating a rarepublic rift in the group. Ana-lystssaidthateveniftheminis-ters overcome their disagree-mentsanddecidetoboostpro-duction, it may be too late tolower oil prices, which havebeen near USD 40 a barrel.Theypointoutthatthesoaringoil price is not due to a lack of supply but due to global politi-cal instability as a result of thecurrentsituationintheMiddleEast.Security concerns in the Mid-eastandelsewherecontinuetoratchet up tension in the ener-gy business, while persistentattacks on Iraq’s infrastructuredog attempts to keep its sup-plies flowing. Soaring demandfromfast-growingChinaisalso widely seen as one reason forthetight market.
 p. 45
 Moscow nods for Kyoto, EU enlargement hastens process
Institutional violence topshuman rights violations
n the introduction to its 340-page “Report 2004” paper,released last Wednesday, Amnesty International said:“The UN faced a crisis of legitimacy and credibility becauseof the US-led war on Iraq and the organisation’s inability tohold states to account for gross human rights violations.International human rights standards continued to be flout-ed in the name of the ‘war on terror’, resulting in thousandsof women and men suffering unlawful detention, unfair trialand torture – often solely because of their ethnic or religiousbackground.” Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said: “Govern-ments are losing their moral compass, sacrificing the global valueofhumanrightsinablindpursuitofsecurity.Thisfail-ureofleadershipisadangerousconcessiontoarmedgroups.Byfailingtoprotecttherightsofthosewhomaybeguilty,gov-ernments endanger the rights of those who are innocent andput us all at risk.” The report which reads like a chronologi-calaccountofinstitutionalviolencegavearaponthewristinEuropetomostlyBritain,France,Germany,GreeceandItaly, while Russia got a special treatment as the report pointedthat torture was endemic there and maltreatment virtuallynever brought to book.
 p. 3
 Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) smiles as he speaks with Irish Prime Minister and  EU Chairman Bertie Ahern (2-L) and European Commission President Romano Prodi(R), while EU Commissioner Pascal Lamy (L) signs a protocol during Russia-EU Summit
Productivityand subsidies
One of the most striking differencesbetween the economies of the EuropeanUnion and the United States is in labourmarketregulation.EUmemberstateshavea tradition of over-regulating their labourmarkets.
 Editorial p. 2
Cooperation with Argentina
The European Commission last Wednes-day renewed the strategy for its coopera-tionwiththeRepublicofArgentinatotakeintoaccountthenewsocialproblemsofthecountry.
 p. 5
Seven utilities tolist on bourse
Sevenstate-ownedenterprisesinthepublicutilities sector will be listed on theBucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) starting withthesecondquarterof2005,saidPrimeMinister Adrian Nastase last Tuesday.
 p. 30
Opel’s TigraTwinTop
TheTigraTwinTopcomes withanelectro-hydraulic retractable steel roof that opensand closes at the touch of a button andmakes Opel Germany’s first volumeautomakertopresentasportytwo-seaterof this kind.
 p. 44
Illegal refineriesin the spotlight
Eight illegal oil refineries have been elimi-nated in Chechnya recently, said AkhmedDakayev, chief of the Chechen interiorministry headquarters.
 p. 45, 46
Michael Moorestrikes back
Politics nudged art off centre-stage at the 57thFestivaldeCannes,givingMichaelMoore’santi-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11”topprize.
 p. 47 
 The Shooting Gallery
At a polling station in Gibraltar police asked Are you a candidate, canvasser or voter?”
There was a moment of international harmony a decade ago, when Russia made a significant step forward in their ambition to join the World Trade Organisation, with the help of the EU, in return for approving the Kyoto protocols.Elsewhere, Europe was being pressured by America to permit GMO food, but even with safeguards such as testing and labeling, the public were still disap-proving. Amnesty International were warning the UN of a loss of credibility because the UN approved war in Iraq had led to states not being held accountable for human rights breaches.Their report “reads like a chronological account of institutional violence.There was continuing concern over the price of oil,  but the rise to $40 a barrel was blamed on the out-come of the Iraq war and continuing violence and instability.
 N E  1 0  Y E A  R  S  A GO
Last week’s election in Greece was marked by the triumphant declarations of the leaders of the two coalition government partners: the conservative New Democracy Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his deputy, Evange-los Venizelos, who is the leader of PASOK.Their main victory was that over the next six years the number of the country’s unemployed – now 1.5 million unemployed people - will be reduced by at least half. Indeed, the New Democracy party promised to create 700,000 jobs. Pasok was even more generous with promises to create 900,000. Amidst this atmosphere, there also came declarations from the side of Brussels, where officials announced a promising future for Greece and the Greeks. The only problem is that Greeks don’t know it yet. In reality, there’s a sense of Euroscepticism that in Greece is diffused both to the left and the right of the political spectrum. The far-right, pro-Nazi party enjoyed a remarkable rise in popularity and influence. To the left of the pro-European Syriza, there emerged various anti-EU parties and movements – small, but with local influence.  Another movement, this one under the name of The River, is led by a well-known journalist and member of the country’s star system. This party at-tracted a considerable number of votes. Even though it can’t be character-ised as Eurosceptic or even anti-establishment, it is proposing something new in politics – something far removed from the current political system.The triumphant atmosphere was in the direction of stopping the general tendency of the electorate to abandon the two government coalition part-ners. New Democracy defended its positions, while PASOK, which has spent decades in power, collapsed. Any moment, any wrong move, there is a real threat for the coalition. And Brussels knows that a general election in Greece will see both the conservatives and the social democrats be pushed out of the government.Brussels, as well the government in Athens, are mainly responsible for the real situation of the economy. While the latest figures may present a posi-tive picture, the citizens’ daily experience shows a rather catastrophic situ-ation. The programme they implemented in Greece was not successful. The result was the total disintegration of the private economy. Small- and medium-sized enterprises, factories and private businesses, as well as pro-fessionals and shop owners, were forced to declare bankruptcy. Thousands of others have been black-listed by the banks.In turn, the tax authorities also do their best to force companies to close. They first call on businessmen to regulate their debts, promising a positive settlement, and then they confiscate anything they can find in their bank accounts. Thousands of others are arrested in hopes that such intimidation  will convince them and others to pay. In addition the entire tax system is uncertain and changes are so frequent that the country’s tax system resembles that of Eastern European countries in early 1990s. Real estate in Greece has lost its value as well. Hikes in property taxes and the bursting of the real estate bubble have erased any desire to invest. As a result unemployment is rising to unimaginable levels: 1.5 million in the private sector are without employment and this number does not include hundreds of thousands of shop owners and small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs who have closed up their shop. Is it possible to reverse this situation? Is it possible to create jobs for 50% of the unemployed population in just few years? What kind of rate of growth is necessary to achieve such a goal? Is there anyone in Europe who expects that a single European country, especially one as devastated as Greece, can reach a, so to say, third-world rate of growth over the next couple of years?Greece’s private economy, the only possible creator of employment, is dead. But the problem is that the same politics, the European Task Force and the Troika implemented in Greece, are not in question. At least not openly.  Will they only understand the size of the impasse they have created when there is not anything more to destroy?
Greece: How the private economy was extinguished
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25-31 May, 2014
Other voices in the EU, among them the British Prime Minister David Cameron, don‘t even want elections for the European Parlia-ment. They want it to be consti-tuted by representatives from the member state parliaments.Even the minimum lip ser- vice paid by the Lisbon Treaty compromise towards filling the democratic deficit in Europe seems to cause discomfort to some Member States, especially the most powerful ones. They seem happy to disrupt the fledg-ling attempts to increase voter interest and involvement in the EU, hoping perhaps to use voter apathy, which they helped create and feed, against the European Parliament. They are obviously and un-derstandably even more eager to nip in the bud any other trend that may in some way lead to a diffe-rent future for the EU, beyond the status quo deifying member state sovereignty.One such budding trend might prove to be the tendency of European regions openly as-king for, or less openly flirting  with, independence, as is the case with Scotland in the United Kingdom and Catalonia in Spain. Regions that might see their futu-re in a looser connection with a European mega-state than within a constrictive national state, even under devolution agreements, might create a trend that will drive the EU beyond a possible confederate state or even a feder-al union.Hence the eagerness of ap-pointees, like the President of the Commission, Jose Manuel Bar-roso, the Vice president, Viviane Reding and the President of the Council, Herman van Rompuy, to discourage visions of inde-pendence by trying to remove the safety net provided by EU membership.Beyond simply blaming the EU for every ailment, whilst cre-diting themselves for anything positive coming out of Brussels, resolving awkward internal politi-cal situations by dumping people in Berlaymont, member state go- vernments, especially the migh-tier ones, are trying to hold the EU back from transcending the crisis before it develops into a fully  blown existential one.The need for a new Treaty is in-creasingly mentioned by those that retain some hope for the future. The main challenge for the EU Institutions during the new 5 year period that starts today is to lead from the front, negotiate a way forward and bring the EU closer to the European Societies instead of the European governments.
 Konstantin Tsapogas - von Taube
500m citizens, 751 MEPs or 28 Council members?
Who is Herman Van Rompuy listening to?
(Continued from Page 01)
 Who runs Europe?

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