Sunday

19th Jan 2020

Why EU subsidy schemes don't work - the evidence

Counter to popular beliefs among policymakers, the positive effects of support schemes are found to be very limited. In order to revitalise Europe, the newly appointed EU Commission needs to reconsider government's role in innovation and entrepreneurship.

News in Brief

  1. 'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says
  2. French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions
  3. EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition
  4. EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions
  5. 'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal
  6. Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms
  7. EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'
  8. Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

Column

Why nations are egomaniacs

A nation, Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, is not capable of altruism. Even less so, if such a group has formed on the basis of strong emotions and casts itself as the "saviour of the nation".

Maltese murder - the next rule-of-law crisis in EU?

While Poland's government is escalating its rule of law crisis by introducing even more drastic measures against the country's judges, another problem is looming over the EU's commitment to upholding the rule of law: Malta.

Turkey's tightrope could finally snap in Libya

Turkey has embarked on a neo-Ottoman strategy, aiming to re-establish itself as a regional power. This involves simultaneously reaping the benefits of Nato membership whilst pursuing an overtly-expansionist foreign policy, even including a loose partnership with Russia in Syria.

Why EU minimum wage is actually bad idea for workers

As president of one of the largest trade union confederations in the EU, I see the need for good working conditions and decent pay in all member states - but an EU-wide minimum wage could be used to lower wages.

Europe, Scotland and Brexit - what next?

Despite its pro-Europeanism, joining the euro is remarkably unpopular in Scotland. Public opinion on Nato is also mixed, and defence will be another point of debate.

Can the Green Deal – and Europe – succeed?

We have invested €200bn in research and innovation since 1984, but have we achieved any leadership in quantum, semiconductors, storage, artificial intelligence? The simple answer is no.

MEPs: Don't waste your chance to change Vietnam

A growing number of MEPs have become aware of the brutality and unreliability of the Vietnamese regime, and realise that this vote is one of the rare occasions in which they have binding power in EU foreign policy.

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Europe's migration system is broken: Renew has a plan

The failure of successful integration of migrants and refugees granted stay in Europe puts the entire asylum and migration policy at risk. Member states have to step up their integration policies.

Methane emissions will be test of EU's Green Deal

Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is one area where the EU has a major opportunity to apply its market power to drive down global emissions, both through methane legislation and diplomacy.

Stop the misuse of EU funds under new budget

It is tempting to shun the issue of the misuse of EU funds altogether, as it might play into the hands of eurosceptics. But keeping silent pre-empts the healthy debate that is so vital to a genuine European democracy.

Serbian-Chinese ties - a potential threat for EU?

While many EU members have been arguing whether the Chinese company Huawei should be banned from their national 5G networks, EU candidate Serbia is beefing up its ties with China. Does this pose a security risk to the European bloc?

Column

When trust is low, 'servant leadership' is the answer

Poland doesn't trust Germany on defence, the Germans don't trust the Italians on money, nobody trusts that France's nuclear weapons can become a pan-European deterrent. Croatia won't accept North Macedonia's new name, Spain wants Gibraltar back. The Irish fear Brexit.

Lessons from Vučjak migrant camp in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Last week, the Vučjak camp in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina was finally closed. Termed "The Jungle" by people who were living there, the camp had no running water, no electricity, no usable toilets, and mouldy, leaking, and overcrowded tents.

Why Poland couldn't sign up to Green New Deal

We need to take into account the different state of economic and social development of each country, not to mention their varying energy systems. We cannot put a climate muzzle on economic growth.

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European shipping's dirty secret

As the EU launches its flagship Green Deal, the Greens call for shipping emissions to be included in carbon targets. Ships carrying goods to and from the UK emitted more CO2 than all the cars in Britain's 15-largest cities.

Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?

The Maltese Labour Party is a curious creature. No minister, MEP, MP, president, or former president has yet criticised Joseph Muscat publicly and outright over the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Europe needs a greener Common Agricultural Policy

Two Danish ministers - for environment, and for food and fisheries - call on the EU to reconsider the unintended consequences of zoning rules and income support in the Common Agricultural Policy.

Does EU have role in stopping backsliding in Georgia?

The EU's eastern neighbourhood is in flux. The collapse of the pro-reform government in Moldova and the stagnation of anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine was recently followed yet by another political crisis in Georgia.

Column

Keep an eye on the Swiss!

So many things are happening in Europe that many of us will have missed the small political earthquake that took place in Switzerland recently.

Nato at 70: not 'brain dead', but needs shot in arm

There is a significant risk that Nato will be weaker and more divided after the London meeting than it was before. What was supposed to be a low-key celebration of the 70th anniversary takes place against multiple crises.

Nato and EU: cooperate, not compete, on space security

Ahead of its summit in London this week, Nato foreign ministers confirmed the intention to make space an "operational domain" – alongside air, land, sea, and cyber. The move will bring space within the scope of the alliance's collective-defence commitment.

Gaza, where silence kills more than bombs

EU has to decide whether it wants to go down in history as a force for peace by aligning itself with victims or to be remembered on the side of an apartheid government that slaughtered a defenceless people with impunity.

EU's 'soft strengths' are enough to face China

As the share of the EU in the global economy shrinks, the soft power of its economic instruments and the attraction of the internal market is destined to decline.

Letter

Letter to the editor regarding Congo and Belgium

I want to make use of my right of reply and take the opportunity to rectify the numerous slanders and unfounded accusations against King Leopold II and the Belgians who created and developed the Congo.

EU investment bank 'wide open to abuse by fraudsters'

Fundamental reforms are needed if the EIB is to become more accountable, democratic and transparent. Establishing a firm grasp on corruption to ensure that public money no longer feeds corrupt systems is a vital first step.

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