Edit

Can an EU Budget Deal Save the Lost Generation? 7/ 18

Email Print

By Caitlin Del Sole, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

The recently approved seven-year budget of the European Union provides a basis for addressing the serious and growing problem of youth unemployment throughout the region.

At the recent European Council summit, the heads of European governments agreed to frontload the 6 billion euro fund for the Youth Employment Initiative to ensure it is operational at the beginning of next year and disbursed in 2014 – 2015 and not over the full seven years of the budget through 2020.

Read more...
 
Edit

EU-U.S. Trade Talks – Europolitics Special Supplement (7/9)

Email Print

By Brian Beary, U.S. Correspondent for Europolitics

As some 60 EU trade officials descend on Washington this week to launch negotiations on a free trade agreement with the United States, Europolitics, the leading Brussels-based EU affairs newspaper, has just published a special section on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP.

Entitled ‘Transatlantic Common Market – Opportunity or Pipe Dream,’ the report explores the core issues involved in the TTIP talks. In exclusive interviews, top U.S. and EU trade officials outline their respective goals and potential red lines. The supplement also offers concise perspectives from the other key players, notably from the European Parliament, the U.S. Congress, the business community, the trade unions, the World Trade Organization and China. It drills down into the nuts and bolts of the talks, with a dozen special features focused on individual sectors. They range from public procurement, an area where Europe would like to see America open up its markets more, to agriculture, where it is the Americans that are on the offensive in seeking to get rid of EU trade barriers. The report also examines sectors that may or may not be included depending on how the talks go, from commercial air travel to banking to the cinema industry to U.S. liquefied natural gas exports. There are, in addition, brief biographies of a dozen key Europeans and Americans pivotal to the TTIP negotiations and a statistical overview of the EU-US trade relationship.

Download the issue here.
 
Edit

European Concern over Prism Program (6/24)

Email Print
By Caitlin Del Sole, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

The recent public revelation about U.S. government surveillance of emails and other internet communication from “foreigners” in the National Security Agency (NSA) Prism program has deeply unsettled Europeans. Data protection has always been a point of particular contention across the Atlantic, and the Prism program revelations confirm some of the worst fears about how the United States actually handles foreigners’ data. “Here we go again: Another violation of the basic right to privacy,” wrote Viviane Reding,  the European Commission’s Vice President for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship in an Op Ed piece in the New York Times. “Another public outcry.  Another blow to citizens’ trust in the security of their personal data,” continued Reding.  “Yet more evidence that something fundamental has to change…”

Read more...
 
Edit

Pew Survey Confirms Turmoil over Europe (5/14)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, former foreign editor of PBS News Hour

michaelmosettigThe numbers are as grim as the title of the latest Pew Research Center survey – “The New Sick Man of Europe: the European Union,”   released today in Brussels.

Read more...
 
Edit

Perspective -- No More Visas Required for Poles Soon? But Do They Care? (5/13)

Email Print

By Inga Czerny, U.S. Correspondent  for the Polish News Agency

inga czerny- 5The ongoing reform of the U.S. immigration laws opens the chance to resolve an issue, which for 20 years has divided Poland and the U.S.--  the tourist visa requirement for Poles traveling to U.S. Yes, Poland, once described by French diplomats as the U.S. Trojan horse in the EU, is one of only three EU countries (together with Romania and Bulgaria) that still are not a part of  the Visa Waiver Program, which allows foreign tourists to visit the U.S. without  a visa in advance.  Why is that? Because the percentage of Poles who are denied visas or who remain in the U.S. for longer than their visas allow, exceeds the rigid legal limit of 3 percent.

Read more...
 
Edit

Washington Policy Wonks Wait for Froman as Trade Rep (5/3)

Email Print

For Washington policy wonks it had become the equivalent of waiting for white smoke to emerge from the Vatican. But the selection of a new Pope came a lot more quickly in March  than President Obama's appointment of his top international economic advisor Michael Froman as U.S. Trade Representative.

Read more...
 
Edit

European Parliament Rejects Reduced Emissions Trading Proposal (4/17)

Email Print

By Dan Mahoney, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

In a narrow vote, 334-315, the European Parliament this week rejected a Commission proposal to reduce the amount of carbon permits granted by the EU under its Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Commission’s plan is called “backloading” because the withdrawn carbon allowances would be offered in future years.

Read more...
 
Edit

Threading the Needle: Armenia’s Policy towards the EU and the EAU (4/15)

Email Print

By Armen Sahakyan, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

In today’s globalized economy, many smaller states can no longer compete in the world market on their own. The formation of economic-political blocs provides a competitive edge by combining national economies into stronger and deeper regional partnerships. For some states however, the conundrum is figuring out which bloc best serves their long-term national interests.

Read more...
 
Edit

Asia Now Spends More for Defense than Europe (4/15)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS NewsHour

Some times great historical transformations come bundled in  packages of small statistics.

Read more...
 
Edit

EU and Japan Announce Launch of Free Trade Agreement talks (3/29)

Email Print

By Dan Mahoney, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

The first round of talks on the EU-Japan free trade agreement has been scheduled for 15-19 April in Brussels. The initial framework was agreed last year.

Read more...
 
Edit

Italian Economics Minister “Explains” Italian Elections (3/12)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

It was hardly an enviable assignment, but Italian Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera has been making the rounds in Washington trying to persuade U.S. officials and think tank audiences that the recent national elections were not a disaster for his country and the European Union.

Read more...
 
Edit

U.S. Tech Giants Duke it Out in Europe (3/11)

Email Print

By  Caitlin Del Sole, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

The European Union is becoming a prime arena for the latest tussles between  two U.S.  technology giants Microsoft and Google.  With Google and another internet browser competitor Opera as whistle blowers, the EU competition authority has issued Microsoft a €561 million fine for failing to adhere to its 2009 settlement with Brussels

Read more...
 
Edit

Kerry "Pivots" to Europe (3/5)

Email Print

By Dan Mahoney, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

Less than a month after becoming of Secretary of State, John Kerry embarked on his first international trip with an eleven day “listening tour” of Europe and the Middle East. In Europe, Kerry visited London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, and Ankara before moving on to Cairo. The State Department called Kerry’s choice to make Europe the first stop on his trip is “a real reflection of the degree to which we coordinate our global cooperation with these partners.”

Read more...
 
Edit

Serbia and Kosovo—Top Leaders in Talks, But Major Issues Remain (2/20)

Email Print

By Dan Mahoney, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

Top leaders from Serbia and Kosovo have had significant bilateral meetings in Brussels recently, raising some faint glimmers of hope for progress toward a more constructive relationship between the two former combatants. 

 

Read more...
 
Edit

The Arctic – It’s Getting Warmer, But Probably Won’t Boil (2/8)

Email Print

By Caitlin Del Sole, Editorial Assistant at European Affairs

It’s cold now, but the north will warm as summer approaches,  and so will  interest and tension in the Arctic region.  Again, large areas of the polar ice will melt making the Arctic Ocean  much more navigable and exploitable.   The expanding waterways provide an opportunity for new, more direct and less dangerous shipping routes to be developed during the summer months.  As roughly 30% of the world’s undiscovered gas and 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil is located in the Arctic, it is an increasingly attractive target of investment and energy. With this new opportunity, however,  comes new challenges of safety, environmental protection and conflicting interests.  For example, the Financial Times reports recently that companies, like ConocoPhillips, have been pressuring Norway to open up more Arctic water for exploration.

Read more...
 
Edit

The Nagorno Karabakh Conflict: Hotspot in the Caucasus (2/6)

Email Print

By Armen Sahakyan, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the commencement of Nagorno Karabakh uprising, which continues as an unresolved major conflict in the Caucasus.

Read more...
 
Edit

Cameron’s “Big” Speech on Britain and the EU Calls for Renegotiation and Referendum (1/23)

Email Print

By European Affairs

In the highly anticipated speech on the EU today, British PM David Cameron laid out a plan to renegotiate Britain’s role in the EU after British general elections in 2015, to be followed by an “in-out” referendum on continued EU membership by the UK.

For initial reaction to the speech across Europe see the attached compendium from the BBC.

Full text of the January 23 speech can be found here.

See also last week’s Michael White’s piece in ”European Affairs” on Britain’s eternally ambiguous relationship with the European Union.

 
Edit

Europeans Celebrate Fiftieth Anniversary of Historic French-German Elyseè Treaty (1/22)

Email Print

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

Twice in the past 100 years, leaders and representatives of France and Germany have gathered in glittering salons, amid gold trimming and mirrors, in Paris and its environs to sign historic treaties. The first, at Versailles in 1919, was an act of vengeance against a defeated Germany and helped pave the way for another war twenty years later.

Read more...
 

EU-U.S. Relations as Obama Starts Second Term (1/18)

Email Print

By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics  

As President Barack Obama begins his second term, a special report from Europolitics, the Brussels-based EU affairs daily newspaper, outlines the current state of transatlantic relations in 15 separate articles. Agreement and disagreements are covered, although the general tone is positive and upbeat.  

Included are articles on:

  •  the discussions to upgrade trade relations, moderated, however, by potential squabbles over agricultural subsidies;
  •  the dispute between the EU and U.S. on tax on airline emissions;
  • global security issues including the fight against terror and U.S. policies that draw fire in some European circles;
  • data protection issues, and
  • the impact of shale gas in the U.S. on Europe.  

Key transatlantic relationship scholars are interviewed, and a useful compendium of key EU-U.S. events during Obama’s first term is presented.  
The full Europolitics report - “EU-US relations: Time for closer links” – is available at: www.europolitics.info Click on “Obama”

 
Edit

The Uncertain Path Forward in Post-Election Catalonia (12/10)

Email Print

By Ryan Barnes, Senior Trade Specialist at U.S. Dept. of Commerce

The world was watching as voters hit the polls on November 25th in the most important regional elections in Catalonia since the return of democracy in Spain. Seen by many as a referendum on Catalan independence, the election created more questions than answers.

Read more...