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#81
caltrek

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EU Hits Snarls in Filling European Commission

 

https://www.courthou...ean-commission/

 

Extract:

 

(Courthouse News) — BRUSSELS, Belgium — The start of the new European Commission, slated to open Friday, will be delayed at least a month, as three commissioners remain unseated.

 

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is short at least three commissioners for the Commission, which was scheduled to start Friday.

 

…The European Commission, or EC, is the executive body of the European Union and operates as a cabinet government with a representative from each of the 28 member states. Under EU law, every country must be represented and nations generally put forth a candidate in consultation with the president-elect. Candidates are scrutinized by the legal affairs committee.

 

This is where the trouble for two of von der Leyen’s commissioners started. In September, Romania’s Rovana Plumb and Hungary’s László Trócsányi were rejected for having conflicts of interest: Plumb for failing to disclose 1 million euros in loans in her financial declaration and Trócsányi for work for a law firm he founded, carried out on behalf of the Hungarian government.

 

…British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his first speech to parliament as prime minister, said: “We will not nominate a UK commissioner for the new commission.”


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


#82
caltrek

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Legal Opinion: Poland, Hungary, Czechs Broke EU Migrant Law

 

https://www.courthou...eu-migrant-law/

 

Introduction:

 

BRUSSELS (AP) — With overcrowded Greek migrant camps facing explosive new problems, a top EU legal adviser said Thursday that Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic broke European Union law by refusing to comply with a refugee quota program meant to address such challenges.

 

The legal opinion strikes to the core of Europe’s migrant crisis since 2015 — its struggle to create a unified migrant policy — a challenge that is resurfacing as Greece faces a new surge of migrant arrivals.

 

Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston recommended that the European Court of Justice — the EU’s highest court — should rule that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland “have failed to fulfill their obligations under EU law” to take in refugees. Such legal opinions are not legally binding but are often followed by the court.

 

Meanwhile, Dunja Mijatovic, a commissioner for Human Rights at the Strasbourg, France-based Council of Europe, was appalled after a five-day visit to migrant camps on Greek islands.

 

“The situation of migrants, including asylum-seekers, in the Greek Aegean islands has dramatically worsened over the past 12 months,” said Mijatovic. “It is an explosive situation.”

greece-migrants.jpg?resize=1024%2C683

Refugees and migrants take part in a protest outside an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos on October 18, 2019.

(AP Photo/Michael Svarnias)


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


#83
caltrek

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New European Commission Approved by Parliament After Delay

 

https://www.courthou...nt-after-delay/

 

Introduction:

 

STRASBOURG, France (Courthouse News) – After a month-long delay caused by the rejection of three candidates, the European Parliament on Wednesday finally voted in Ursula von der Leyen’s new European Commission.

 

By a 461-157 vote, the European Union’s legislative body approved the entire cabinet chosen by von der Leyen, the first woman to serve in the EU’s top executive post. Eighty-nine lawmakers abstained from the vote that took place in Strasbourg, France.

 

“Europeans can be the shapers of a better global order,” von der Leyen said in her first speech before Parliament as president of the Commission. “This is Europe’s vocation, and it is what European citizens want.”

 

She was elected to the role by Parliament in July. The vote on Wednesday was to approve her commission, the EU’s executive cabinet body which manages the day-to-day activities of the bloc.

 

The former German defense minister’s tenure had gotten off to a rocky start when three of her initial commissioner nominees didn’t survive the vetting phase. The first proposed candidates from France, Hungary and Romanian were rejected for conflicts of interests.

ECVonderLeyen-EP2.jpg?resize=995%2C489

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen speaks to the European Parliament, meeting in Strasbourg, France, on Wednesday ahead of the parliament’s vote to approve her full cabinet.

(Photo via EU/EP) 


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


#84
caltrek

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New EU Leader Begins Work on Climate Crisis and Equality

 

https://www.courthou...s-and-equality/

 

Extract:

 

BRUSSELS (Courthouse News) – The first woman to serve as president of the European Commission (Ursula von der Leyen)

stepped into her role on Sunday, vowing to combat the worsening climate crisis, promote equality and improve government efficiency.

 

…Climate change, she said in her first speech before parliament as president, was an “existential challenge” to Europe but that the 28-member political and economic union “had the duty to act and the power to lead.”

 

The major focus of her tenure, she said, would be a Green New Deal.

 

“I want Europe to strive for more by being the first climate-neutral continent,” she wrote in her guidelines for the next European Commission.

 

…Her other priorities as president include cracking down on sweetheart tax deals with multinational companies, reining in the power of tech giants and revisiting the Dublin Regulation, an EU law which, among other things, requires refugees to seek asylum in the first EU country they arrive in.

 

It always gets me how "conservative" politicians in Europe end up sounding like liberal Democrats in the United States.  It shows how really conservative the United States is in contrast.

 

Not included in the extract I provided but discussed in the linked article are some references to past scandals and hints of poor management, including charges of plagiarism in the preparation of her doctoral thesis, and cost overruns during her oversight of the refurbishment of Gorch Fock, a German naval ship.


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


#85
caltrek

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Austria Says Turkey Is ‘Blackmailing’ EU With Refugees

 

https://www.courthou...-with-refugees/

 

Introduction:

 

VIENNA (AFP) — Austria’s right-wing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Tuesday slammed Turkey for trying to “blackmail” the EU by opening its borders to thousands of refugees seeking to flee to Europe.

 

“It is an attack by Turkey against the European Union and Greece. People are being used to pressure Europe. … The EU must not be susceptible to blackmail,” Kurz told reporters.

Turkey has given a green light to refugees on its territory, many of them displaced Syrians, to leave for the European Union, in defiance of a 2016 deal to keep them in.

 

Kurz accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of luring people with “false promises” and transporting them to the Greek border, from where they are seeking to enter Europe, using them as a “weapon” to pressure the EU.

 

Kurz said it was a “test” for the EU to see whether it can protect its borders, saying Austria stood ready to support Greece and any other countries which may face an “onslaught.”


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


#86
caltrek

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Call for Common EU Approach to Fight Covid-19 and Protect Citizen's Rights

 

https://techcrunch.c...itizens-rights/

 

Introduction:

 

(TechCrunch) The European Commission  has responded to the regional scramble for apps and data to help tackle the coronavirus crisis by calling for a common EU approach to boost the effectiveness of digital interventions and ensure key rights and freedoms are respected.

 

The European Union’s  executive body wants to ensure Member States’ individual efforts to use data and tech tools to combat COVID-19 are aligned and can interoperate across borders — and therefore be more effective, given the virus does not respect national borders.

 

Current efforts by governments across the EU to combat the virus are being hampered by the fragmentation of approaches, it warns.

 

At the same time its recommendation puts a strong focus on the need to ensure that fundamental EU rights do not get overridden in the rush to mitigate the spread of the virus — with the Commission urging public health authorities and research institutions to observe a key EU legal principle of data minimization when processing personal data for a coronavirus purpose.

 

Specifically it writes that these bodies should apply what it calls “appropriate safeguards” — listing pseudonymization, aggregation, encryption and decentralization as examples of best practice. 


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


#87
caltrek

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"Italy Is Expecting a Collective Response to This Pain"

 

https://www.spiegel....3e-64bda3b551d5

 

Introduction:

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Foreign Minister, Italy has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus. Your government is calling for support from its partners in the European Union, including Germany. Is Europe now experiencing an ordeal similar to the one it faced during the euro crisis?

 

(Italian Foreign Minister Luigi)Di Maio: We have never experienced a situation like the one today. There is simply no historical comparison to the huge health and economic consequences of the pandemic. We will not find a solution if we just look back. It does not matter today how the Marshall Plan once worked, what German debts were forgiven after the war or the role Greece played in the euro crisis.

 

DER SPIEGEL: Rather?

 

Di Maio: The future of the European people is now at stake. We are facing a global challenge. Europe must measure itself against the United States and China. No one should expect to be able to trigger an economic upswing as an individual state after the crisis.

 

DER SPIEGEL: Italy and other southern European member states want new borrowing to be communitized in the form of EU bonds, which have been rebranded as corona bonds. But countries like Germany and the Netherlands oppose them. They fear they could become a bottomless pit.

 

Di Maio: Italy has always paid its debts. Furthermore: Last year, we even reduced our deficit to 1.9 percent of gross domestic product - although we had previously agreed on a margin of over 2 percent with the European Commission.

 

 

Also from Der Spiegel:   Germany Must Abandon Its Rejection of Eurobonds

 

Europe Struggles to Find Joint Approach to Coronavirus Catastrophe


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


#88
caltrek

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The European Union still hasn’t considered an economic proposal that can save it

 

https://www.alternet...at-can-save-it/

 

Introduction:

(Alternet) On May 5, Germany’s constitutional court ruled that parts of the European Central Bank’s bond buying operations to avert a mounting economic depression were illegal. In the wake of that decision, many new proposals have surfaced. First, the European Central Bank (ECB) added a further €600 billion to its earlier announced pandemic emergency purchase program (PEPP) to support Europe’s rapidly faltering economy. This brings the total bond buying up to €1.35 trillion. Additionally, a €500 billion “Next Generation” recovery fund was introduced by the governments of France and Germany, a figure that was later increased to €750 billion by European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen.

 

The numbers behind these programs sound impressive, but taken in aggregate, the proposals simply tweak the legal and fiscal status quo. The ECB proposals blithely ignore the problematic legal issues raised by the May 5 German constitutional court decision. And the Next Generation fund, although on the surface not suffering the same legal deficiencies as the ECB’s actions, is insufficiently large to yank the EU out of its COVID-19 depression, which will require trillions of euros to compensate for the lost economic output, not billions. Almost daily, the continent is experiencing record collapses in economic output—even powerhouses like Germany, as well as the periphery nations of the south. The problem is that at this stage, the EU can ill afford any more baby steps if it wants the European Union to survive as a workable political construct, or the euro to survive as a viable currency.

 

The Franco-German proposal in particular has been described as “Europe’s Hamiltonian moment,” which is about as accurate a characterization as comparing the dabbling of a five-year-old finger painter with the works of Claude Monet.


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


#89
wjfox

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The E.U. is prepared to bar American travellers when it reopens borders on 1st July, because the U.S. has not controlled the coronavirus, according to draft lists.







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