On June 1, 2015, The European Institute held a discussion on the EU’s approach to science diplomacy with The Honorable Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. Commissioner Moedas highlighted his efforts to embed science in the bloc’s diplomatic efforts, stressing that science diplomacy offers both Brussels and Washington a matchless opportunity to address some of the key political, demographic and environmental challenges of our age: food, water, energy and public health. A tri-dimensional effort, Commissioner Moedas said the EU is seeking to inform foreign policy objectives with scientific advice, facilitate international science cooperation through Horizon 2020, and using science cooperation to improve international relations between countries.
EURO DEPOSIT WITHDRAWALS ESCALATE
As pressure on Greek’s banking system mounted with depositors queuing last week to withdraw €4 billion in savings, and the dire situation reverberating in financial markets, creditors today signaled that Athens’ latest package of reforms was “broadly welcomed” as a “positive step” in securing rescue funds needed to meet a key debt payment due June 30. The next 48 hours are critical in ironing out the details, officials said.Read more...
The press and the public were almost breathless in describing her: “a Goblin under Google’s bed;” “the enforcer;” “a very steely character;” “a tough cookie;” and “Queen Margrethe III” – all descriptions of a 47-year-old Danish politician who has suddenly become the most talked about official in the normally staid European Union bureaucracy.
In three short weeks this spring, Margrethe Vestager, the European antitrust chief, came out swinging, announcing the European Union’s intention, after years of investigation, to call to account some of the wealthiest, most heavily muscled corporations on the face of the earth –many of them American. If it wasn’t quite a match between The Amazon vs. Goliath, it was a reminder that international political power can still challenge multinational economic power in a titanic battle over the rules of the capitalist game.Read more...
Less than 24 hours after his Conservative Party won an unexpected electoral victory, in which Britain's role in Europe played virtually no part, David Cameron found himself confronted on every side with questions about his European policy.
Not one of the major parties put Britain's membership of the European Union anywhere near the centre of its election campaign. It was scarcely discussed. The one party that made a British exit from the EU central to its appeal to voters, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), won only one seat in the new 650-member parliament (despite gaining nearly 14 per cent of the vote, a peculiarity of Britain's voting system).
But the minute the vote was in and Cameron, to his surprise and the blushes of the pollsters, found himself with an overall parliamentary majority of 12, the question was out there in front of the Prime Minister and the nation: what now with his pre-election pledge of a referendum before the end of 2017 on whether Britain should stay in or come out of the European Union?
Washington Post, June 22—Excellent piece on the roots of the Internet’s vulnerability to hackers, featuring early “grey hat” hacker group, known as “the Lopht” who testified in1998 to a Senate panel that the whole system, network, hardwire and software was riddled with weaknesses that would permit easy intrusion. This is the third of a multi-part series in the Post on security issues with the internet. Recommended by European Affairs.
Why Are Germans So Sympathetic to Russia? By Markus Ziener, Non-Resident Fellow at German Marshall Fund of the United States, based in Berlin, published April 21 by GMF. Interesting discussion of why so many Germans are willing to give Russia the benefit of the doubt in the ongoing Ukraine crisis and why continuation of sanctions represents potential political issue for Chancellor Merkel.
Greece and Sisyphus, When Myths Risk Becoming a Reality, by Alexander Privitera, AICGS. Good sketch of the extremely high stakes at play for the the Greek government, as it seeks to avoid a default and maintain the support of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. Privitera is a member of the Board of Advisors of the European Institute’s European Affairs Journal.
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