Tag Archives: Europe

NATO extends Stoltenberg mandate

NATO Allies agreed on March 28, 2019 to extend the mandate of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (60) by a further two years, until 30 September 2022.

Jens StoltenbergNorwegian politician, who served twice as Prime minister. During his mandates the defence spending increased substantially, resulting in Norway becoming one of the highest per capita defence contributors among allies of NATO. He has been enhancing  modernisation of the Norwegian armed forces, and conducted policies contributing troops to various NATO operations.

Trump points at Europe illegal immigration “mess”

While a flow of migrants in two ‘caravans’ is moving through Central America in hope to settle in the United States, President Trump  has issued a number of messages in his Twitter micro blog. The latest one is addressed to “advocates” of illegal immigration referring to European experience as a negative example. “…Take a good look at what happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they has that decision to make over again”.

The population  left the crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 13 October. From there, the migrants walked on foot to Nueva Ocotepeque, and then crossed into Guatemala.

Their aim is to reach the United States where they say they want to start a new life away from the criminal gangs which control parts of Honduras.

But US President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to curb illegal immigration to the US, said he would not let the caravan  cross into the US.

Keeping the promise is essential for reputation of his Republican Party at stake in the forthcoming midterm elections on 6 November.

 

Kurz welcomes plans for refugee centres outside EU

I am glad that it has come to one in the European . For the first time, there is approval for refugee centres outside the so-called #Anladeplattformen“, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at arrival for the second day of the EU Summit on migration (#EUCO).

European leaders called on the Council and the Commission to swiftly explore the concept of regional “disembarkation platforms” in close cooperation with relevant third countries, UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should operate, regarding individual situations in “full respect of international law and without creating a pull factor“,  EU Council final document says.

 

UK and Ireland face similar Brexit trade challenges

he United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland face similar trade-related exposures to Brexit a new report by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe finds.

The report – Brexit and the island of Ireland – finds Brexit trade-related exposure of the UK varies between 9.8% to 16.3%; in the Republic of Ireland it is 10.12-10.13%. UK is 4.6 times more exposed to Brexit than the rest of the EU; the Republic of Ireland is 3.8 times more exposed to Brexit than the EU; and Northern Ireland is 4.4 times more exposed than the rest of the EU.

 The 10 chapter report is being launched on the day of The UK in a Changing Europe’s Brexit and the island of Ireland conference in which keynote speakers are Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP. Other speakers include the former prime minster of Ireland John Bruton, Lord Bew, Gerald Angley from the Embassy of Ireland, Great Britain, Catherine Moroney, head of business banking at AIB and Lord Paddy Ashdown.

The report finds the peace process and Good Friday Agreement are absolutely critical in the Brexit negotiations. Brexit will unsettle many of the assumptions of the peace process around British and Irish identity and may exacerbate divisions. National identity may become a signifier not only of national difference but also of those who are EU citizens and those who are not.

 One of the report’s authors argues that the UK can deliver on the promise of no hard border in Ireland without remaining in the EU customs union or inventing new and complex schemes involving the tracking of individual consignments to their final destination.

 Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, the report finds the proportion of people in Northern Ireland wanting to Remain has risen since the 2016 referendum. 69% would vote Remain if there was another referendum compared to the 56% who voted Remain at the time of the referendum.

 Professor Anand Menon (pictured), director The UK in a Changing Europe, said: “This report shows that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, it will impact significantly, and in a number of different ways, on the island of Ireland. It is therefore incumbent upon all parties in the negotiations to deal with the issues with the due care, attention, sensitivity, respect and honesty.”

Russians refuse to appoint ambassador to NATO

Russian Federation will not appoint Permanent Representative to NATO unless and until it sees that the alliance is ready for “serious work”, Andrei Kelin, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Cooperation Department, said, according to TASS news agency reports.
“This position will remain vacant until we see the actual readiness on the part of NATO to work seriously,Kelin told while exchanging with presse.

The diplomat pointed that the political and military situation in Europe continues to be complex, and measures are required to ease tensions. “However, we see no willingness to conduct a serious dialogue,” the diplomat continued. “Therefore, against this background, one can safely say that our mission cannot function there to the full extent due to objective circumstances.”

The position of Russian Permanent Representative to NATO has remained vacant after Alexander Grushko who earlier served as Russia’s envoy to NATO was appointed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister at the end of 2017.

 

 

Russia considers removal from ECHR

Reportedly the authorities of the Russian Federation are examining the possibility of denunciation of the European Convention on Human Rights and termination of cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Russian Federation is ready to resort to such measures, if what they call ‘anti-Russian line’ of court decisions is not corrected, RIA Novosti agency informed with reference to sources in relevant Russian departments. The chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alekseeva has already called this step “careless and awful”.

“When considering complaints against Russia, the politicization of the position of the European Court of Human Rights increases,” the interlocutors of the RIA agency said, no arguments of the Russian side are not taken into account.”The court refuses to take into account the peculiarities of the Russian legal system and the norms of international law and often resorts to the practice of double standards,” unnamed governmental source said.

There is no solution in view for deep crisis between Russia and CoR, caused by two major reasons – the PACE sanctions and ECHR policy, tweeted Russian senator Alexey Pushkov.

 

Frontex warns about migrant pressure

The European Union’s Mediterranean countries will remain under increasing pressure from African migrants attempting to reach Europe, the head of the EU’s border agency Frontex said on Tuesday (20/02/2017).

The EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos reminded about the EU efforts to protect Mediterranean borders in his tweet.

However Commissioner’s efforts have not convinced critics of migrant crisis resolution, MEP Diane James is not short of words about flaws of EU deals with African governments.

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