European Union-who, what, and the issues

European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:56 pm

Changing of the leaders time-I saw on CBC News Centre (yesterday) a video camera following one woman around in Europe at some meeting. She's the new European Union (EU) foreign minister. Her selection has caused ripples in the union but supporters say she is qualified for the new position.

11/20/2009

Europe's New Leadership
'Who' for President, 'I Don't Know' for Foreign Minister
By Carsten Volkery
Image
Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton have been chosen as the EU's new leadership duo.

The appointment of Herman van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton to the European Union's top spots has many scratching their heads. The two are relatively unknown, but expectations are so low, they can only exceed them.

After the European Union's top level positions were appointed, European parliamentarian Andrew Duff merely said out loud what many were already thinking: "It's not very exciting," said the Brit.

The European public has already had weeks to accustom themselves to the EU's new president, the pale Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy. The 62-year-old proved himself a capable crisis manager after holding together a shaky five-party coalition in his native country, making him a favorite choice for the office.

However, the big surprise came with the appointment of Catherine Ashton as the EU's new foreign representative. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown pulled her name from the hat at the last minute of Thursday's special EU summit. Ashton herself was taken by surprise -- that morning she had no idea her name was even an option. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,662516,00.html

There's an existing thread that has been following the Lisbon Treaty issue for most of 2009, so I'll put the link here:
http://www.speakezforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1681

In other threads, references to the EU have been made in aviation matters, personal care product labelling, elections (remember the countries whose citizens did not really know who they were voting for), and treaties--currently the Lisbon Treaty has been the main focus, but the Copenhagen Treaty relating to carbon taxes/climate change really needs attention too. I mean where is all this extra tax money supposed to come from in already pinched pockets? Is universal homelessness a byproduct of unaffordable treaties?
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:30 pm

News in English 19. nov 2009 KL. 12.51
EDITORIAL: Lower expectations for Cop15!
The United Nations is not the world’s climate cop.

We all know the power game from midnight thrillers – a bad cop and a good cop. Two officers - an aggressive one and a sympathetic one - trying to confuse scoundrels by sending them conflicting signals.

COP15 – an abbreviation of Conferenc e of the Parties – is the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen that is part of the United Nations series of meetings that continues next year in Mexico, and which in recent weeks has played its role as the bad cop. Copenhagen will not be the venue where world leaders will sit down and bind each other to a global climate agreement.

To put it diplomatically, the signals in recent weeks and months have been both conflicting and contradictory. But the tendency has been clear – Copenhagen is simply playing to the gallery. http://politiken.dk/newsinenglish/article839503.ece
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:40 pm

An important group is the most affected by climate change in countries where they have the least say in such matters.

11/20/2009

Gender and Climate Change
Poor Women Bear Brunt of Global Warming

With the world struggling to come up with an agreement ahead of December's Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, one important fact has been overlooked: Women are hit hardest by the extreme weather shifts, according to a new UN report.

When seas rise, droughts hit and glaciers melt, it is women from the developing world who are likely to come off worst, a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says.

"Poor women in poor countries are among the hardest hit by climate change, even though they contributed the least to it," wrote UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid in a press statement released on Wednesday.

Living in the most marginalized areas and dependent on agriculture to survive, it is the poor who are in the frontline of climate change. Given that most of the 1.5 billion people living on $1 a day or less are women, they are in the most vulnerable position, the report entitled 'The State of World Population 2009' said.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662401,00.html
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby guitarblues on Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:41 pm

This week, celebrity names have come up with that "Seal The Deal" campaign on climate change. Model/show host Heidi Klum wore the t-shirt; Korean actor Bae Yong Jun has a commercial voiceover and something about speaking at the UN? Can't be because the Secretary-General is from his own country?
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:25 pm

Thursday, December 17, 2009
EU signs aviation deal with Canada
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union on Thursday signed an aviation deal with Canada that will allow airlines to operate flights from any European city to Canada and will phase out restrictions on foreign ownership of carriers.

The deal replaces a patchwork of agreements between Canada and most — but not all — of the EU’s 27 countries that prevented one EU country’s flagship airline from running flights from another part of Europe to Canada.

This meant, for example, that British Airlines could only run flights from Britain to Canada. That’s no longer the case now and airlines can operate direct flights to Canada from any part of Europe. The deal also removes all restrictions on routes, prices or the number of weekly flights between the two regions. http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/12/17/12190076.html

The EU’s executive commission said the deal could generate economic benefits of more than $100 million and create more than 1,000 jobs in the first year.
Is there a citizens' watchdog in the EU that tracks such claims? I'd like to know if even 500 of those jobs materialize by the end of Dec. 17, 2010.
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby smitty on Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:14 pm

I worked so much for myself or was a partner of another to working for some small firm which had not union (always seemed fine to me) that when I ran into Unions (forced to belong to one) I was gunned down if I so much as oppened my trap when I saw a meeting way out when it came to thinking.
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:27 pm

Ah, union as metaphor for "toe the line" or be rebuffed. Actually, how do union members in disagreement get things hashed out--run for president of the local? Especially when union dues go to causes that the membership disagree with the leadership over.
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby smitty on Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:07 pm

If I read you correctly LieOnTop then this sounds like our small guild like union & were doing well for a large firm that made low-bend trailers for basically anything, to B-trains usually for finished wood or some steel products, to special trailers that carried the maze of drill pipes for drilling rigs, to logging rigs to also Chiptrailers.

So we have a few chaps, good workiers get in & all they would talk about is the Brown-Shoe Unon, for a name, & we had a vote forced on us. Of which the Brown Shoe Union lost by a few votes, but somehow forced another vote & yes they were at my helper & myself which was usless to any of the others that would have voted for our old Guild.

Next vote they lead, then suddenly we had a wildcat wild-cat strike that lasted some 6-9 months, so at the union there had crazy thoughts of how to get the top people there for the meeting of said union. I remember one was we come to work, put on our coveralls, hard hats, haul out a large tool & start hammering on some steel to get the attention. My wrong doing was I said one might not see the manager & his staff there for a few days & was told to shut-up & sit down. Result was simply be there & the brass was not there till sometime in the afternoon.

So some time later on my wage went from $9.98 an hour to something like over $13.plus coins & that caused the firm to fold up AS the hike of all welders to helpers went up as well.. Also the end of my job & to stay WITH the union I had to pay so much every darn month even thougth I was no longer with a job or any income.
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:32 pm

This time last year, Czech Republic had not signed the Lisbon treaty and there were worries that Ireland's approval would be for naught if Czech president did not sign the treaty.

Well, the satirical press in the UK has the story on the upcoming expansion of security powers for an EU agency. It seems to have the intent to supercede any country's privacy laws if the agency can share data not on a need to know basis but on an ongoing basis. Swell, so how would a person put on a list appeal such a designation or get the removal made when it is erroneous? This could a round of perpetual pin-the-blame on someone else plus time not best used. Would EU budget be used against EU citizens in court by the provision of lawyers? And against non-EU citizens? Filing forms costs money.

BIG BRUSSELS IS WATCHING YOU

EMBOLDENED by the Lisbon treaty, Brussels is making an ambitious grab for more surveillance powers. Plans to amass data on individuals and make it available across the continent are contained in an “internal security strategy for the European Union”, approved by justice ministers.

The strategy foresees a change in the way data held by Inspector Knacker and his security friends will be shared. Up until now this has been done on a need-to-know basis: authorities in one country can ask their counterparts in another for specific details on specific cases. But the upgraded “European security model” foresees “information exchange on a basis of mutual trust and culminating in the principle of information availability”. In other words, restrictions on shared data will be the exception, not the rule.
Health, school and university data targeted
More data is also to be collected. Brussels wants a say in the “anticipation of crime”, with plans to monitor health data, and information from schools and universities “in order to prevent young people from turning to crime”.

Such a significant incursion into what were nationally-sovereign areas (and even then questionable on privacy grounds) has been made possible by the Lisbon treaty. At the heart of the new security “vision” is a new body called the Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI). http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=hp_sauce&

"Anticipation of crime"--say, does the agency think the presumption of innocence is forgone? Does the agency intend to deliberately agitate citizens then put them away because of their resulting behaviour is perceived as a danger to society? I don't know that the EU has EU jails. Most countries don't have adequate space for those persons currently in the system for court dates or sentencing or remand.

http://www.european-council.europa.eu/the-institution.aspx?lang=en
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Re: European Union-who, what, and the issues

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:27 pm

The "Who" in the EU Presidency has a literary talent for haiku composition. Publication of his poems is forthcoming in April.

EU president to publish poetry book
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Last Updated: March 30, 2010 10:53am
BRUSSELS — Little known Belgian. Gets EU’s highest office. Publishes poems.

EU President Herman Van Rompuy, known to some as Haiku Herman, will publish a book of poetry next month.

The former Belgian prime minister is an avid writer of haiku, a traditional Japanese form of poetry. Van Rompuy has been criticized as boring since he was picked for the EU’s top job in November but some say his haikus stand out. http://www.winnipegsun.com/entertainment/books/2010/03/30/13408171.html
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