Tag Archives: Europe

Europe biodiversity threatened

“In its conclusions , the Council reaffirms that the EU and its member states will lead and step up efforts to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems. The conclusions provide political guidance for the work towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Council also calls upon the Commission to develop without delay an ambitious, realistic and coherent 2030 EU biodiversity strategy as a central element of the European Green Deal.

“Member states unanimously stress the need for urgent global action at all levels to halt biodiversity loss. The Council notes with serious concern the alarming state of nature, with around one million species at risk of extinction, and the severe implications of unabated climate change. The Council underlines the importance for the EU and its member states to develop and adopt national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) for achieving the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

https://twitter.com/a_perrodet/status/1202654329993228288?s=21

“The Council is committed to leading by example and making a robust contribution to the adoption of an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework to halt the loss of and restore biodiversity by 2030. It is also committed to mainstreaming biodiversity into all relevant EU policies such as the new common agricultural policy (CAP). Member states unanimously underline the need to eliminate subsidies harmful to biodiversity and to enhance the review of the implementation and accountability of nature and biodiversity policies, actions and commitments, with the aim of stepping up actions on all levels.

“In addition, the Council calls for the full, effective and coherent integration of biodiversity into the design and implementation of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027 as well as in future policies such as the common fisheries policy and the circular economy action plan. Member states will accelerate the transition towards a resource-efficient, safe, circular and climate-neutral economy that also protects and restores biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Member states underline the importance of making domestic and international financial flows, including in public procurement, consistent with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

“The Council will revert to this issue in order to adopt a mandate for the EU position in the negotiations at the UN biodiversity conference (CBD COP15) in October 2020 in Kunming, China. The landmark conference is due to agree a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”

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.

Impact of Brexit on financial services

Services industries, including professional, scientific, administrative and technical services are likely to be the hardest hit by a ‘no deal’ Brexit, with up to £140bn and 2.5million jobs vulnerable or at risk across all UK industries, research by The UK in a Changing Europe finds.

The research also found that financial services is one of the least vulnerable sectors to Brexit as much of the sector is already highly globalised and therefore displays a low dependence on EU markets. Indeed, even when weighing the low Brexit exposure levels of the financial services, with their overall contribution to the UK economy, the effect on the UK’s loss of EU market access appears to be almost entirely negligible.

Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés, and her team from The UK in a Changing Europe, examined the extent to which British industries depend on trade with the EU.

 An analysis of global trade patterns across 43 countries and 54 industries allowed the researchers to calculate a Brexit risk-exposure index. They did this for each UK sector under a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario in which much of UK trade faces severe disruptions and impediments, and under a ‘hyper-competitive’ scenario in which UK industries can rapidly re-shore all imported activities from the EU back to domestic production.

 An industry’s exposure to Brexit is defined as its employment (or value added) that crosses a UK-EU border at least once, embodied in a product or service. Exposure levels indicate how much the industry has to restructure its role in supply chains (via re-shoring stages of production and exploiting non-EU markets, etc.) to mitigate the value added and employment losses due to reduced post-Brexit trade with the EU. Such exposure levels indicate which industries are likely to be hit hardest by a ‘no deal’ Brexit and which ones will most likely remain virtually unaffected.

In 15 out of 54 industries, more than 20% (and up to 36%) of economic activity is at risk from Brexit in industries such as fisheries, chemicals and motor vehicle manufacturing.

 In the ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario the results show:

  • More than 2.5 million jobs are at risk of the trade effects of Brexit
  • Annually, almost £140 billion pounds of UK economic activity is directly at risk because of Brexit
  • Many important manufacturing and primary industries are at risk of Brexit, but so are many service industries, and not just the financial services industry
  • Many of these services are not only exported directly to EU countries, but also sell intensively within domestic supply chains to UK manufacturing firms exporting to the EU
  • Workers in the jobs at risk are on average slightly more productive than the average British worker – so Brexit is likely to exacerbate the UK’s productivity problems.

 Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés, said: “The results suggest that while financial and manufacturing services are very important, the UK Government’s emphasis on securing special UK-EU agreements for City-based financial markets may be misplaced, and that emphasis should be placed on helping the other much more exposed sectors which do not have strong lobbying power.

“The sectors that are going to be hardest hit by a no deal Brexit are a range of services industries. They are parts of the economy who don’t lobby Westminster and rarely get the attention they need.”

 Research led by Dr Meredith Crowley’s team, from The UK in a Changing Europe, found in a `no deal’ scenario, where trade reverts to WTO rules, one-third of UK exports to the EU will remain tariff-free. However, one-quarter of UK exports (£47 billion) into the EU will face high tariffs and/or the risk of restrictive quotas or antidumping duties. Moreover those exports facing the high tariffs and restrictive quotas are in high value-added sectors.

 Dr Crowley conducted a detailed analysis of over 5,000 tradable goods and identified export industries that are at greatest risk of high tariffs.

 In the ‘hyper-competitive’ case the results of Professor Ortega-Argilés and her team suggest an increase in UK employment and GDP of approximately one third of the potential losses in the ‘no deal’ scenario, so evidently the balance of UK Brexit-related risks are very much on the downside. Current UK productivity figures suggest that most of the UK economy is nowhere near being hyper-competitive.

Netanyahu blames Europe “double standards”

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the European leaders the “hypocrisy” and “double standards” for condemned the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

 

“While I respect Europe, I am not prepared to accept a double standard from it,” The Times of Israel quoted the premier as saying ahead of his visit to Europe.

“I hear voices from there condemning President Trump’s historic statement but I have not heard condemnations of the rockets fired at Israel or the terrible incitement against it” – Netanyahu continued.

“I am not prepared to accept this hypocrisy, and as usual at this important forum, I will present Israel’s truth without fear and with head held high,” Netanyahu underlined.

 

« Older Entries