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Remembering Europe’s “Remembrance Day”—94th World War l Armistice Day

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

For most Americans, it is the war that barely exists in historical memory, lost somewhere between the Civil War and World War II (and for the baby boom generation, Vietnam). For Europeans, as well as the British dominions, nearly a century later, World War I is the war that will not and cannot go away. Quite simply, the First World War changed almost nothing for most Americans. For all Europeans, nothing again would ever be the same.

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Europe Pivots East, European Leaders Trek To Vientiane, Laos

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By The European Institute

The U.S. is not the only country that is “pivoting to Asia.” A heavyweight contingent of Europeans including Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is assembling in the unlikely site of Vientiane, Laos, for a two day summit with Asian leaders.

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Europe Searches for Role in China as U.S. Pivots East (10/24)

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

It is hard to walk around Washington these days without bumping into a conference on U.S.-China relations. There was even a well informed and lively panel assembled in a crowded auditorium at the French Embassy, of all places.   Finally, as the meeting was drawing to a close, I felt compelled to say, "We are on French soil, and Europe has not been mentioned."  The panelists responded with some remarks about the European Union's trade with China, which indeed does now surpass that of the U.S.  See earlier European Affairs piece on Europe and China.

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Update on U.S. Dispute with EU on Airline Emissions (10/23)

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By Brian Beary, U.S. Correspondent for ”Europolitics”

When the US Congress reconvenes in lame duck-session after the November elections, it is expected to finalize legislation that would authorize the U.S. government to prohibit U.S airlines from participating in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).  Last month, the US Senate followed the House of Representatives in opposing the airlines emissions measure, and both houses will now have to reconcile the variances in their respective versions.

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The Other Dream Team; Lithuania Shoots Hoops (10/18)

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By Erik Peterson, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

A heart-warming documentary film, “The Other Dream Team,” on the unlikely basketball prowess of tiny Lithuania is showing in commercial theaters around the country and memorializes the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic team that got into a semi-final game against the mighty United States, playing with Michael Jordan and other superstars. Lithuanian’s “other” dream team gives new meaning to “punching above your weight."

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Eleven European Foreign Affairs Ministers Dare Articulate Their Bold Vision of the Future of Europe (10/4)

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By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Chairman of The European Institute

A highly significant report issued last month by a distinguished group of European Foreign Ministers is a bold rejoinder to those prophets of doom who predict the end of the euro and question even the viability of the European Union itself. Who said that Jean Monnet, one of the Fathers of the European Union, was wrong when he thought that trade liberalization in Europe would lead to economic and later to political union?

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European Union May Propose Law to Require More Women on Company Boards (10/2)

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European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is proposing draft legislation that would require state owned companies to name women to 40 percent of seats on boards by 2018. According to the European Commission women hold only14 percent of board member positions and 3 percent of board president positions in Europe’s biggest companies, despite the fact that around 60% of all European university graduates are female.  “I do not accept the argument that there aren’t enough qualified women to fill supervisory boards,” Reding said. “The pool of talent is there. Companies should make use of it.”

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Monti Warns Against Backtracking on Bailout Deal (9/27)

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By Michael Mosettig

Italy's prime minister has fired a warning shot across the bow of three hard-line EU governments that seemed to be backtracking on a  June deal to help Spain and Ireland get their banking crises under control.

Appearing at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, this morning,  Prime Minister Mario Monti was asked about the Tuesday statement from the finance ministers of Germany, the Netherlands and Finland that said money from the newly-created European Stability Mechanism would not cover "legacy" debt that governments incurred before this year to bail out banks.
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EU Promises 700 Million Euros to Egypt (9/26)

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By Erik Peterson, “European Affairs" Editorial Assistant

Undeterred by its economic crisis, the European Union has stepped forward with a sizeable aid package for Egypt, the key nascent democracy emerging from the Arab Awakening.

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Polling Results From German Marshall Fund and Chicago Council on Global Affairs (9/12)

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By Michael D. Mosettig

It's polling season again and not just in the last two months of the  U.S. Presidential elections. Two think tanks known for their comprehensive  surveys published  new studies of public opinion  this week, one barely  mentioning Europe and the other showing more parallel trans-Atlantic  attitudes than the daily headlines might suggest.

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European Union Opens Anti-dumping Investigation on Chinese Solar Panels (9/12)

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By Erik Peterson, “European Affairs” Editorial Assistant

The European Union announced last week it was opening an anti-dumping investigation into Chinese solar panel companies, perhaps following the lead of the U.S. which has already taken preliminary action.

The complaint was submitted to the European Commission on July 25th by EU ProSun, an industry association that represents the majority of EU solar companies, including German firm SolarWorld. The complaint outlined in the European Commission memo alleges that solar products imported from China are entering the European market with prices below market value, giving the Chinese companies an unfair advantage.

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German Constitutional Court and the European Bailout Fund (9/12)

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UPDATE—This morning the German federal Constitutional court upheld German participation in the European bailout fund. But it did impose the condition that any more money for the 500 billion euro fund will require approval of the German parliament.

At 10 am Wednesday morning in Germany, a panel of eight judges will  issue a ruling on whether the permanent European bailout fund passes constitutional muster in that country.

The case has brought unprecedented international attention to the federal constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) that sits in  Karlsruhe, hundreds of miles southwest of Germany's political and economic  centers of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.

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Euro Crisis Comes Back - After Relative Quiet Period (8/21)

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Although it is still August, klieg lights are back up on European debt/euro crisis after a couple of weeks of welcome summer (relative) quiet.  

This week, French President Francois Holland and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Berlin on Thursday Aug. 23 to wrestle once again with the debt crisis that threatens European and global economic stability.  Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras , whose country hangs by its fingernails to the euro, travels to Berlin the next day, Aug. 24, before going on to Paris on August 25.

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Minimizing the Implications of Britain's Defense Cuts (7/24)

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By Michael Mosettig, Former Foreign Editor, PBS News Hour

It was a tough sell to a worried and skeptical audience, but British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond insisted that his country's military, going through a severe round of budget cuts, will remain "advanced enough to operate alongside the United States anywhere in the world."

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EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Gets Boost from Interim Report (7/20)

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By Justine Revenaz, Editorial Assistant at “European Affairs”

While no one expects an EU-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to be completed in this U.S. election year, prospects for a pact in the medium term future have brightened with the publication of a favorable interim report from a joint U.S.-EU working group. The report and background surrounding it is the subject of a recent article in European Affairs.

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Chinese FDI Growth In Developed Countries Soars; Germany Emerges as a Preferred Target for Chinese Investment (7/19)

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Burgeoning Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by China into the developed world is the focus of a recent report issued by The Bertelsmann Foundation, and aptly titled “Cash in Hand: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. and Germany.”

The report’s scrupulously documented numerology on the increase of Chinese investment abroad is coupled with the eye-popping suggestion that Germany may ultimately overtake the U.S. as the leading destination for Chinese cash.

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Of Turkey, Syria and Europe (6/28)

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By Michael Mosettig, Former Foreign Editor, PBS News Hour

In a twist of fate, Turkey may provide the backdoor for deeper European and NATO intervention in the Syrian crisis. But whatever happens to Syria, the European Union is no closer to opening its front door to Turkey.

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Euro Crisis Has Washington on Edge (6/19)

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By Michael Mosettig, Former Foreign Editor, PBS News Hour

Washington policy wonks are so worried about the euro that a luncheon speech from German Vice Chancellor and Economics and Technology Minister Philipp Röesler packed a hotel ballroom. Sponsors of the event, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, said they haven't pulled in this kind of crowd in two decades.

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Hollande’s Socialist Party Wins Parliamentary Elections in France (6/18)

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By Justine Revenaz, Editorial Assistant at European Affairs

Francois Hollande, who last month unseated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy to win the French presidency, has added, in Sunday elections, a convincing victory in the parliamentary elections for his Socialist Party. Hollande said earlier on national TV that without a working majority in parliament he would be "a conductor without an orchestra."

Out of 577 total seats in the National Assembly the Socialists won 280 with another 34 from two allied parties, giving the parliamentary bloc 314 seats and a very responsive orchestra for Mr. Hollande, considerably more than the 289 needed for an absolute majority. Sarkozy's party, Union for a Popular Movement, won 194 seats.

The parliamentary victory is important for Mr. Hollande, to pass the legislation necessary to honor the promises he made during his campaign. Those promises include promoting economic growth with regulation, creating jobs, and strengthening the euro and protecting the eurozone. Mr. Hollande's victory will showcase him as a strong newcomer at the G20 meetings in Mexico.

 
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Fiscal Pact –Tally—Updated as of June 11, 2012

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As the European Union faces the most serious crisis in its founding, NINE eurozone countries have ratified the Fiscal Pact, designed to bring stability and increased fiscal discipline to the 27-nation union.

The Pact, approved in January, by leaders of 25 of the 27 EU countries (UK and Czech Republic withheld support) requires ratification by 12 eurozone members to become effective in January 2013. As shown in the Institute of International and European Affairs chart below, nine eurozone members have ratified the pact— Demark, Greece, Ireland , Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Romania. National parliaments ratified the Pact, except in Ireland, where ratification was by nationwide referendum.

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