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#1
Unity

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Thought this would be a good idea for a thread.

I'll start it off with:

Europe’s plan to forget Britain and unseat the US as leader of the free world

...

“The rest of world is now looking at Europe for leadership. And we can do it,” she said.

As Quartz’s series on Brussels after Brexit has shown, the EU is enjoying a rare moment of confidence in the wake of the Brexit vote. Losing Britain means losing a perennial thorn in the side of those pushing for greater cohesion and integration. And the exit of Europe’s biggest financial center and most powerful army is throwing open debates over how the continent’s internal economics should develop, its levels of security integration, and how to maintain—or grow—its geopolitical stature.

Europe’s path to world leader after Brexit
Despite all the excitement in Brussels, it’s hard to spin Brexit as anything but a knock to the EU’s global stature. Among EU member states, Britain’s diplomatic heft is matched only by France. The two are Europe’s most effective and far-reaching diplomatic services, its only nuclear powers, and UN Security Council permanent members.

Continued at...

Https://www.qz.com/1156996/europes-plan-to-forget-the-uk-and-unseat-the-us-as-leader-of-the-free-world/



#2
caltrek

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EU More Unified on Borders, but Migrant Divisions Remain

 

https://www.courthou...visions-remain/

 

Introduction:

 

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders ended a summit Friday deeply divided over how to get thousands of stranded immigrants out of Italy and Greece, with an eastern bloc of nations boasting it was resisting pleas to take in refugees in a “battle” with other EU member states.

 

European Council leader Donald Tusk put migration at the top of the summit’s second-day agenda by circulating a note in advance that described the EU’s scheme for relocating refugees as ineffective and “highly divisive.”

 

The assessment proved a catalyst for high emotions and debate, pitting the countries that have refused to accept asylum-seekers against those that received disproportionate shares of the desperate people who arrived in Europe starting in 2015.

 

The latter include Italy and Greece, where most migrants come ashore after crossing the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Germany and a few other countries that welcomed new arrivals.

 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who had razor wire fences built to keep migrants and refugees out of his country and has been the most outspoken of the anti-migrant voices in Europe, used war to describe a debate at a summit dinner Thursday night

In a Facebook video subtitled in English and posted after midnight, a smiling Orban said: “It’s 12:40 a.m. We struggled with each other till now. It was close combat, a type of political close combat.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#3
caltrek

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Polish parliament, defying EU, approves judiciary overhaul

 

https://www.reuters....l-idUSKBN1E21PR

 

Introduction:

 

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish lawmakers approved an overhaul of the judiciary on Friday, giving parliament de facto control over the selection of judges in defiance of the European Union.

 

The legislation, if agreed by the Senate and President Andrzej Duda, will heighten tensions with the EU which has threatened legal action over proposed reform that it says will subvert the rule of law.

 

The eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party, which holds a majority in parliament, argues the judiciary needs to be changed to repair a corrupt system and make courts more efficient. The EU says giving politicians a say in appointing judges will threaten the impartiality of the courts.

 

Critics of the deeply conservative government see the proposed reforms as part of a broader shift toward authoritarianism by the deeply conservative government.

The EU is also at loggerheads with the PiS over migration policy, logging in an ancient forest in Poland and the government’s efforts to take control of other state institutions such as public media.

 

A panel of constitutional law experts of the Council of Europe human rights body said on Friday the proposed reforms imperiled all parts of the judiciary and would “lead to a far reaching politicization of this body”

 

 

 



The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4
caltrek

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European Commissioner Günther Oettinger, 64, says in an interview with DER SPIEGEL that a United States of Europe is a worthwhile goal

 

http://www.spiegel.d...-a-1186035.html

 

Inttroduction:

 

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Oettinger, the head of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany, Martin Schulz, has said that he would like to see the European Union transformed into the United States of Europe. Even though you are a member of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), it is a goal that you, as Germany's representative on the European Commission, have a great deal of sympathy for, is it not?

 

Oettinger: The term is certainly not objectionable. Plus, Martin Schulz didn't invent it himself. Konrad Adenauer also spoke of the United States of Europe as did, much earlier, Victor Hugo. What they meant is more relevant than ever: There are challenges that we Europeans can only meet together -- controlling migration, for example, and making research more effective, and our militaries. To put it in the language of business, in the competition with the Pentagon and Silicon Valley on the one hand and China on the other, only Europe in its entirety has the necessary operational size.

 

DER SPIEGEL: The problem, though, is that the EU is currently far from being able to agree on common goals. On the contrary, divisions seem to be growing. Recently, the Commission even took the step of initiating rule-of-law proceedings against Poland.

 

Oettinger: The risk of division exists, but it was greater one year ago. As bad as Brexit is, it has brought Europeans together to a certain degree.

image-1233469-860_poster_16x9-tqin-12334

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5
Sciencerocks

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Science spending would go up! I don't see how it would be a bad idea as long as they respected the idea of federalism at the state level.



#6
Pisiu369

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European Commissioner Günther Oettinger, 64, says in an interview with DER SPIEGEL that a United States of Europe is a worthwhile goal

 

http://www.spiegel.d...-a-1186035.html

 

Inttroduction:

 

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Oettinger, the head of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany, Martin Schulz, has said that he would like to see the European Union transformed into the United States of Europe. Even though you are a member of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), it is a goal that you, as Germany's representative on the European Commission, have a great deal of sympathy for, is it not?

 

Oettinger: The term is certainly not objectionable. Plus, Martin Schulz didn't invent it himself. Konrad Adenauer also spoke of the United States of Europe as did, much earlier, Victor Hugo. What they meant is more relevant than ever: There are challenges that we Europeans can only meet together -- controlling migration, for example, and making research more effective, and our militaries. To put it in the language of business, in the competition with the Pentagon and Silicon Valley on the one hand and China on the other, only Europe in its entirety has the necessary operational size.

 

DER SPIEGEL: The problem, though, is that the EU is currently far from being able to agree on common goals. On the contrary, divisions seem to be growing. Recently, the Commission even took the step of initiating rule-of-law proceedings against Poland.

 

Oettinger: The risk of division exists, but it was greater one year ago. As bad as Brexit is, it has brought Europeans together to a certain degree.

image-1233469-860_poster_16x9-tqin-12334

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Günther Oettinger

 

I guess if they want to continue to break down the various cultures of Europe, this is the best way to do it.  



#7
Alislaws

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I'd say one of the biggest problems with the move towards a USE, is that no one has been willing to admit that that is the plan.

 

The UK has been probably the worst but UK politicians have def. been working towards a USE, while also blaming any unpopular moves they make on the EU, and telling everyone that its just a trade alliance etc. 

 

Other countries have done similar things, although not to the same extreme. 

 

The reality is being a state in in the USE makes you part of a global superpower, being alone makes you an irrelevant backwater (Unless you have a population in the billions like china or India, or you have 1/5 of the worlds resources like Russia)

 

Britain is looking like it will leave the EU, this isn't really a reaction to the USE stuff, its more about a lot of old people wishing things were like they were in the 50s.

British people are also obsessed with the empire, and seem to believe they are just like their ancestors, intelligent explorers who bravely conquered half the world!

 

They forget that the UK was 100-1000 years ahead of most of the places they conquered, with muskets, cannons and warships against sticks stones and canoes, and also that they have never done anything great in their entire lives.

 

Remember these are the same people who were upset that foreigners from across Europe have been coming to Britain and stealing their jobs, by being much better than them, or much cheaper than them, usually both.  

 

Plan A post Brexit seems to be to rebuild the commonwealth, Ignoring that they probably don't really like us much (after the hundreds of years of exploitation) and they may not be too enthusiastic about signing up for another round. Also India is scheduled to overtake us in GDP soon, and that nearly everyone in the world would offer better trade deals to the EU than to us (they have more to offer, they'll get a better deal)

 

So being part of a USE is looking better than the alternative, is what I'm saying. Although the alternative in the UK is "let a bunch of nostalgic idiots ram our economy through the floor"



#8
caltrek

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Eurozone Inflation Falls Despite Thriving Economy

 

https://www.courthou...riving-economy/

 

Introduction:

 

LONDON (AP) — Inflation across the 19-country eurozone remains stubbornly low even though the economic recovery across the single currency bloc appears to be gaining more and more momentum.

 

At first glance, that’s a bit of a paradox: a buoyant economy should help reduce unemployment, stoking wages and consumer prices. But in the wake of a near-decade economic crisis that saw unemployment in many parts of the region jump dramatically, that economic transmission mechanism appears to have broken down, for now at least, with workers still too wary to ask for big wage gains.

 

Official figures released Friday showed consumer prices rose 1.4 percent in the year to December, down from the previous month’s 1.5 percent rate, largely because of a smaller rise in energy prices.

 

The decline pushed inflation even further away from the European Central Bank’s policy goal of just below 2 percent. Of perhaps greater concern to policymakers at the bank is that the core rate as measured by statistics agency Eurostat, which strips out potentially volatile items such as energy and food, remained even lower at 0.9 percent.

 

That is a clear indication that wage rises remain subdued across the eurozone even though the recovery is going great guns and the ECB has slashed interest rates and pumped hundreds of billions of euros into the eurozone economy.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#9
caltrek

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We Are Seeing What Happens When the U.S. Pulls Back

 

http://www.spiegel.d...-a-1186181.html

 

Introduction:

 

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Gabriel, let's get the new year started with a couple of predictions. If you were to imagine a German foreign policy in 2028, what would it look like?

 

Gabriel: I hope that it will be part of a European foreign policy, because even the strong country of Germany won't really have a voice in the world if it is not part of a European voice.

 

DER SPIEGEL: What will the core issues of this European foreign policy be?

 

Gabriel: It is clear that we need a foreign policy in which we jointly define European interests. Thus far, we have often defined European values, but we have been much too weak in defining mutual interests. To preempt any possible misunderstandings: We cannot give short shrift to our values of freedom, democracy and human rights. On the contrary. But political scientist Herfried Münkler is right: If you only take normative positions, if your focus is solely on values, you won't find success in a world where others are relentlessly pursuing their interests. In a world full of meat-eaters, vegetarians have a tough time.

 

DER SPIEGEL: This political toughness is something Germany still hasn't learned.

 

Gabriel: In the past, we could rely on the French, the British and, especially, the Americans, to assert our interests in the world. We have always criticized the U.S. for being the global police, and it was often appropriate to do so. But we are now seeing what happens when the U.S. pulls back. There is no such thing as a vacuum in international politics. If the U.S. leaves the room, other powers immediately walk in. In Syria, it's Russia and Iran. In trade policy, it's China. These examples show that, ultimately, we are no longer achieving either -- neither the dissemination of our European values nor the advancement of our interests.

image-1233762-860_poster_16x9-txul-12337

 

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel

Peter Rigaud / DER SPIEGEL


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#10
Maximus

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EU drafting law to restrain Chinese takeovers

 

A draft EU law to restrain Chinese acquisitions of European firms and technologies is progressing, according to a deputy German minister. Matthias Machnig has said the initiative has found support in European capitals.

 
Matthias Machnig, deputy secretary in Germany's Economics Ministry, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that EU nations urgently needed a "legislative tool" to examine strategic takeovers and stake-holding by foreign states and, if necessary, powers to intervene.
 
Germany, together with France and Italy, had launched the legislative initiative, which also had European Commission approval and is now subject to consultations within the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, Machnig said.
 
"It is urgently necessary that within this year we are handed a sharper legislative instrument to resist takeover fantasies or outflows of technology and know-how," he told the weekly paper.
 
"The EU with its innovative businesses is attractive for many around the world," he added. "Firm takeovers are rising, unfortunately often under market-distorting financial conditions."


#11
BarkEater93

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So Italy has had its election, and the results are in.
 
But for the European Union, it’s not Italy’s election in of itself that is significant (no single party has won enough seats to form a government); it’s what the results represent. 
 
What the election has shown is that anti-establishment parties have become the true victors --- and that means an aversion to Brussels.
 
 The EU is being frayed. We are in an era in which the nation-state has reasserted itself. This is no truer than in Europe, a continent packed with very different nations harbouring very different cultures, many of which have existed for centuries. 
 
Italy is very different than Brussels. It has different needs and interests. The country has been in the throes of a banking crisis. Yet Italy doesn’t have control of its own monetary policy.
 
We have seen Brexit, growing tensions between Germany and Poland, and anti-establishment parties growing in support across the continent. 
 
There’s more of these sorts of things coming.


#12
BarkEater93

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Map of Italian Election Results:

 

_100293634_map_640-nc.png

 

Source: http://www.bbc.com/n...europe-43272700

 

Italy Before Unification: 

 

1763-004-C02DF919.jpg

 

Source: http://media-1.web.b...04-C02DF919.jpg

 

Italian Unemployment Rate in 2017:

 

italy-unemployment.jpg?w=676

 

Source: https://tomluongo.fi...yment.jpg?w=676



#13
caltrek

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Italy’s Surging Populists Run Into a Political Muddle. But for How Long?

 

https://www.nytimes....g-article-click

 

Introduction:

 

(New York Times) ROME — Another European election, another scene of political carnage. The stunning showing by the Five Star Movement and other populist parties in Italy’s election on Sunday shattered the establishment and suggested that the country was at the cusp of a political revolution.

 

Except Italy is Italy. A complicated law passed last year — and aimed at Five Star — made it difficult for any single party to win the election. Now, in typical Italian fashion, there is a muddle: No party, or coalition, has won enough support in parliament to form a government, thrusting the country into protracted negotiations over who will govern.

 

…On a continent that has been torn apart more than once by cataclysmic wars, many countries have built in safeguards against political extremes. But the question for Italy — and all of Europe — is how much longer these protections will hold.

 

Germany has a highly decentralized, consensus-based system. France has a two-step election that allows its citizens first to vote their hearts, and then their heads.

And Italy has its mess


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#14
caltrek

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EU sets election date for downsized European Parliament

 

http://www.worldaffa...pean-parliament

 

Introduction:

 

(DW) European affairs ministers have agreed on May 26 for the next European Parliament elections, bringing the date forward two weeks. With the exit of Britain from the bloc, the assembly is to shrink.

 

Most elections for the next term of the European Parliament are to take place on May 26, 2019, European affairs ministers agreed on Tuesday.

 

The decision reduces the amount of leeway the UK might have to temporarily remain in the bloc before the elections take place. The scheduled date for Britain's departure from the EU is March 29, and Britain will not be represented in the next parliament.

37155232_303.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#15
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'We Won't Simply Rubberstamp Everything'

 

http://www.spiegel.d...-a-1198818.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Spiegel Online) All eyes have been on Germany and France recently when it comes to reforming the European common currency. But in an interview with DER SPIEGEL, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, 51, says that the Netherlands should not be ignored.

 

 

See linked article for the interview.

 

 

image-1265303-860_poster_16x9-qvox-12653

 

Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#16
caltrek

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From the article linked above:

 

 

 

image-1265663-galleryV9-qkzi-1265663.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#17
caltrek

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Hungarians vote in parliamentary elections in 'test for Europe'

 

https://www.aljazeer...4085022556.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Al Jazeera) Hungarians are heading to the voting booth to cast their ballots in elections that have been billed as a test for the country and Europe, with opposition parties hoping to remove the ruling Fidesz party.

 

Polls opened at 6am local time (04:00GMT) on Sunday and will close at 7pm (17:00GMT).

 

Sunday's elections have been highly contested, with opposition parties struggling to form an electoral alliance capable of overcoming incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban's increasingly far-right Fidesz.

 

Hungary, where there are more than eight million registered voters, takes to the ballot box every four years to decide on the 199 seats in the country's parliament.

With far-right and populist parties making gains in a spate of recent European elections, including in Italy and Austria, analysts have speculated that Orban's anti-migrant and "illiberal" policies could have long-lasting implications for the European Union (EU).

b39aff7e44264c61a2d3ea3163dc2868_18.jpg

 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hopes his Fidesz party will maintain a supermajority.

[File: Valentina Petrova/AP Photo]


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#18
caltrek

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Hungarian populist Orban wins new term, party super majority

 

https://www.msn.com/...ID=ansmsnnews11

 

Introduction:

 

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his "decisive" re-election victory and the super majority in parliament his right-wing populist party appeared to have won Sunday were "an opportunity to defend Hungary."

 

Critics said they feared Orban will use his third consecutive term and the Fidesz party's two-thirds control of Hungary's national legislature to intensify his attacks on migration and to strengthen his command of the country's centralized power structure.

 

Hungary's remaining independent media, the courts that have made numerous rulings the government did not like and a university founded by Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, also are among Orban's likely targets.

 

"We created the opportunity for ourselves to defend Hungary," Orban told a rapturous crowd after his landslide win became undisputable. "A great battle is behind us. We have achieved a decisive victory."

 

With 98.5 percent of the votes counted, Fidesz and its small ally, the Christian Democrat party, together had secured 133 of the 199 seats in parliament, the minimum needed for a two-thirds majority.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#19
caltrek

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File this one under "things are never as simple as they may seem."  

 

 

Hungarians Take to the Streets to Protest an Election Seen as a Hammer Blow to Democracy

 

https://theintercept...blow-democracy/

 

 

Introduction:

 

(The Intercept) TENS OF THOUSANDS of Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest on Saturday to protest what they called a deeply undemocratic election last week that delivered two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to the ruling Fidesz party which won just 47 percent of the national popular vote.

 

In addition to complaints about a gerrymandered electoral system that left more than half the voters without effective representation, protesters voiced concerns about the government’s near-total domination of public and private media and Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s threats to crack down on journalists and rights groups who operate independently of the state.

 

Protesters also expressed alarm at Orban’s shrill, nativist campaign, which focused almost entirely on racist fear-mongering over the supposed threat posed to European civilization by the tiny number of Muslim refugees allowed into the country, and labeled Hungarians who dare to offer them legal, material or emotional support enemies of the state.

 

One protest organizer told Peter Murphy of AFP that younger voters, who are now contemplating emigration to other European Union countries, opposed Orban’s stated goal to transform Hungary into “an illiberal state based on national foundations,” more like Russia or Turkey.

 

merlin_136854519_f713d15e-5363-4924-8a13

 

Protesters in Budapest against the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Credit: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#20
Alislaws

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Sounds like their electoral system is similar to the UK's 


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