Reuniting Europe

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As the euro crisis deepens and may engulf Italy, many would agree that a deep shake up of the EU is needed, if it wants to survive. If unreformed, the EU will face the same fate as the Soviet bloc, argues James K. Galbraith. Communism was once a powerful threat to its capitalist rivals, and… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Belgium is descending into new chaos. In a nutshell, Flemish separatist N-VA leader Bart De Wever has given Waloon Socialist leader Elio di Rupo the middle finger, as Het Nieuwsblat described it. He was able to do so, because CD&V, the Flemish centre-right party, is siding with N-VA. The resulty is political paralysis which can… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Perhaps the biggest ever media scandal rocks Britain, with Rupert Murdoch’s empire being shattered by a storm of public revulsion, at last. The tabloid News of the World takes centerstage, as it became known that it had tapped the phones of victims of the 2005 London bombings to get scoops. Also, News of the world… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk mentioned Croatia at least ten times, as he was receiving the baton of the EU Presidency from his Hungarian colleague Viktor Orban. He obviously wanted to stress the biggest success of his predecessor, namely the closure of the Croatia accession talks. And to inspire a winning spirit to the entire… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Council President Herman Van Rompuy referred to it yesterday at the EU summit. Here is a photo and a link to the Council webpage. I’m not sure what to think about it. Basically it respects the rule that no building at Schuman square should be higher than the other, or rather, higher than the oldest… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

I’m back from the EPP summit meeting, which takes place just before the start of the EU summit. I didn’t find what I was searching for. TV journalists could take some footage of leaders coming and going, or sitting around the lunch table, but the other journalists basically had little to do. To make sure… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has asked all the Commissioners to provide him with material, preparing the Commission proposal for the next long-term EU budget, sources tell me. The proposal will be made public before the end of this month. More importantly, Barroso has asked the Commissioners to provide examples to substantiate the hypothesis that… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

I really like the title by EurActiv France: “Schengen : la France opportuniste“. By introducing de facto border controls at its borders with Italy, France created a huge political turmoil. But the bad example is always contagious. When Denmark did something worse, announcing it would re-introduce border controls at all its borders, France appeared as… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Schengen against Sham-gen

Turkey has been building its own visa-free area, resembling the EU borderless Schengen space, and dubbed Sham-gen (from al-Sham, or Bilad al-Sham, referring to the region bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea, usually known as the Levant or Greater Syria, comprising modern Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories). Indeed, Ankara established a visa-free regime… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Népszabadság, the biggest Hungarian daily, has published the letter by Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes to the Hungarian authorities regarding the controversial media law. The leaked document, dated 21 January, requires clarifications at this stage on three topics and requires an answer in the next two weeks, that is, before the next 4 February EU… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev