Category Archives: events

Hammond: clarity on customs is top priority

“Britain is leaving the political institutions of the EU; but it is not leaving Europe, and British prosperity is, and always will be, closely bound to European prosperity,” – said  Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, addressing the European Business Summit in Brussels (24/05/2018) – “So Europe’s success – and the success of the Euro as a currency – is very strongly in Britain’s interest, and we will not do anything which jeopardises that success”.

“Our economy is recognisably a European-style economy with high levels of consumer and worker protection, a highly developed social welfare system and strong environmental standard, and it is the clear wish of the British people, regularly demonstrated, to keep it that way as we build a new deep and special partnership with the European Union” – Hammond continued.

“We have made significant progress since Article 50 was triggered, just over a year ago both in our own internal debate about what Brexit should mean, and in our negotiation with the EU”.

“I know that for business getting clarity on our future customs relationship is a top priority, and so it should be a top priority for European governments too” – Hammond underlined.

European Business Summit is an organization creating  and supporting networking and debating events in Brussels, including  the annual European Business Summit #EBS2018, with a principal goal to bring business and politics together and stimulate debate on the most challenging European issues of the moment. The latest event took place in d’Egmont Palace, Brussels on 23-24 May 2018.

#Marine promises #Frexit

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Launching the presidential  campaign this weekend in Lyon – France second biggest city and  major centre for banking, chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries – the leader of Front National Marine Le Pen promised to organise a referendum on the European Union membership, following the UK example.

In her speech #Marine gave a negative characteristic to the European Union, incapable to fulfill its promises on prosperity, and even less on security, becoming simply a “nightmare”for French citizens. The event gathered a considerable audience of three thousand people, approximately two thousands more could not enter, and over the weekend all together 10.000 supporters were involved in related activities.

A day earlier Lyon welcomed the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who upgraded his status after the disgraced front-runner Francois Fillon lost 16%  in approval polls. On contrary to #Marine, Macron favors closer ties with the #EU, namely in security and defence.

Although as a Finance minister Macron has urged the need to reform euro, and has criticized  the current status quo: “The truth is that we must collectively recognise that the euro is incomplete and cannot last without major reforms,” Macron said in his speech at the Humboldt University in Berlin. “It has not provided Europe with full international sovereignty against the dollar on its rules. It has not provided Europe with a natural convergence between the different member states.” He has never questioned French membership in the organisation.

Based on opinion polls Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron as highly probable contestants in the second round of the presidential elections. While the Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon would hardly be able to overcome  the unpopularity of his party in 78 days left before the vote; and after Francois Fillon self-inflicted downfall the centre-right Republicans entered a profound crisis, making a swift recovery almost impossible.

New Year 2017: Brussels fireworks

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The city of Brussels is going to celebrate the New Year 2017 with public  fireworks, however

the use of fireworks by private persons is prohibited by the General police regulation.

Part 2 of the general police regulation of Brussels is about dangerous activities in public places. Article 33 states: it is forbidden in public spaces and publicly accessible places to conduct an activity that may affect the public safety or the safe and smooth passage, such as: … use of fireworks, except with the authorization of the competent authority, this prohibition also applies to the private property.

Fireworks such as skyrockets, Roman candles, firecrackers, Bengal lights, fountains, … used in this way, will be seized.

The police regulation recalls that this matter is regulated by the Ministerial Decree of 3 of February 2000 on safety about fireworks for private use.

Although the sale of fireworks is permitted in Belgium, a municipality like Brussels has the right to prohibit or restrict the use on its territory.

Last year  2016 public fireworks were cancelled following the terroristic attacks in Paris.

(Source: City of Brussels)

Migrant's missing children

Young migrants make soap bubbles in a muddy field at a camp of makeshift shelters called the Grande Synthe jungle, near Calais

The ‘deep concern’ about the growing numbers of child refugees and about the situation of unaccompanied, missing or separated children is expressed in European Parliament Annual Report on human rights and democracy  in the world (2015), presented by Josef WEIDENHOLZER (S&D,AT).
Urging the Member States to make it an absolute priority swiftly to reunite unaccompanied minors with family members, the report also  stresses the need of providing children with access to health care and education as part of EU programmes to address the root causes of migration.
MEP Weidenholzer calls on states to end the detention of children, as well as to take into account the best interest of the child in all procedures and ensure protection for children according to international law.
A special focus is on protection of refugee and migrant children from violence, exploitation and abuse.

Reported by Europol there is a tremendous amount of crossover between smugglers smuggling refugees across borders and gangs ensnaring people for forced sexual and labour exploitation.

According to the Europal sources the prime vicitms of the exploitation by criminal gangs are unaccompanied childern and young women. Unfortunately the unaccompanied migrant children disappearance is mainly underreported. For many of these children, the journey into exploitation and suffering does not end once they arrive on EU shores.

Europol underlines that there is a “tremendous amount of crossover” between smugglers smuggling refugees across borders and gangs ensnaring people for forced sexual and labour exploitation.

Actual figures on anaccompanied migrant/refugee child situation in Europe is depressing: according to various sources half of them by arriving to Europe went missing, according to different estimates there are between nine and 13 thousands missing migrant children in the EU.