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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:11:21 AM EST
EurActiv.com - EU increasingly governed by the few, Belgian FM warns | EU - European Information on EU Treaty & Institutions
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Speaking on Monday (20 April) at the opening of an annual diplomatic conference in Brussels, Karel de Gucht said Belgium would make full use of its presidency in the second half of 2010 to re-establish the EU institutional balance, which he said was in "danger".

"It is absolutely unacceptable that small groups of member states put in danger the normal institutional process," de Gucht said. "Belgium has the duty of trying as quickly as possible to re-establish the institutional balance."

De Gucht lashed at the recent summitry, organised in haste to respond to different challenges.

"The number of formal European Council meetings has been outnumbered recently by all kind of 'ad hoc' meetings, organised in haste and often with a deplorable timing," he said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, I cannot resist this.

With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".

Where is the EU Senate?

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:20:07 AM EST
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won't help if the major decisions are continously made by the Council of national ministers, or the Commisision. Particularly when the council can so easily dismiss any proposition of Parliament. It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:17:34 AM EST
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Nomad:
It's not the lack of another EU institution, it's the increasing encroachment of the Councils that needs to be brought to a halt.
The encroachment is not by the Council but on the Council by prima donna prime ministers or presidents such as Sarkozy, Blair or Berlusconi. And it is a serious issue.

The EU Council is like the US Senate (before it was elected by Universal Suffrage), like the German Bundesrat, the Swiss Federal Council, the Presidency of the Former Yugoslavia, and a number of other similar institutions in Federal (US; DE), confederal (Switzerland) or quasi-federal (EU) organizations.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:41:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asdf:
Where is the EU Senate?
The Council of the EU.

What the Belgian Prime Minister is decrying is the recent fad of mini-summits. Brown (and Blair before him), Barroso, Sarkozy and Berlusconi love to meet in a small group to hash out EU-wide policy which then is rammed through the EU Council.

The small states could stage a revolt against this by refusing to go along, if they so wanted. After all, their approval in the Council is required.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:32:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
With just a year to go until the Belgian EU Presidency, the country's foreign minister denounced the functioning of the Union, which he said is increasingly governed by an "executive board of big countries".
So, does Belgium still support the new "EU Council President" role created by the Lisbon Treaty?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 06:43:10 AM EST
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Al Jazeera English Moldova recount sees Communist win

A recount of legislative elections in Moldova, called after mass protests against the result, has confirmed the ruling Communist Party's landslide victory of April 5, the country's election commission says.

The results of the April 5 election gave the ruling party of Vladimir Voronin, the country's president, 60 out of 101 seats in parliament.

It fell just one short of the 61 needed for the party to fully control the selection of the next president.

Moldova's liberal opposition parties declared they would lodge an appeal against the recount in the country's highest court, claiming voting lists were swollen with 400,000 extra people who were either dead or living abroad.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Communist victory confirmed in Moldova poll recount | International | Reuters

CHISINAU (Reuters) - Moldova's ruling Communist party was again declared the winner on Tuesday in the ex-Soviet state's disputed parliamentary election, in a recount ordered after violent protests against the initial result.

Iurie Ciocan, Secretary of the Central Election Commission, said the results differed little from the original figures issued after the April 5 election, which gave the Communists just short of 50 percent of the vote.

"The difference between the recount and original count is not significant," Ciocan told reporters after a Commission meeting.

He read out figures showing the Communists far ahead with more than 760,000 votes of 1.556 million cast in the country wedged between Ukraine and European Union member Romania.

Ciocan gave no percentages of the vote for each party.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:59:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
voting lists were swollen with 400,000 extra people who were either dead or living abroad.
In Chicago, no doubt, where there is a long tradition of active voting from graveyards, although many other cities could contest for pride of place here.

In the southern US it was long a tradition to vote for recently departed relatives.  This was facilitated by the custom of allowing the head of the household to cast votes for family members who were registered but could make it to the polls--adult children still living at home and the elderly, in particular.  A sort of extended, informal absentee ballot.   After all, the reasoning went, we know how (s)he would have voted. An aunt who was born in 1903 in rural Oklahoma told me of her father coming home and telling her: "I voted today, and I voted for you too."  She responded: "How did I vote?" "Democrat" he said.  "Of course" she said.  This was during the '20s

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:48:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Landslide Lyndon (LBJ) in Texas; notorious for that stuff.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 08:46:02 AM EST
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There's a joke in Israel that says that people whose last name is Cohen are not allowed to vote in Orthodox neighbourhoods in the middle of the day - that's when the dead people vote...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:42:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUobserver:Turkish Cypriot vote result of disappointment with EU

The victory of nationalist hardliners in Sunday's parliamentary elections in northern Cyprus is due to disappointment at the EU's failure to end its isolation, Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat has said.

The European Union had promised to take measures to end the economic isolation of northern Cyprus after Turkish Cypriots in 2004 strongly backed a UN blueprint to end the island's division.

But its efforts have been stymied by Greek Cypriots, who rejected the UN plan shortly before Cyprus became a member of the EU.

Reacting to the vote, the European Commission said it did not believe the nationalists' win would throw re-unification talks with the Greek part of the island off course.
by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:48:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eubusiness.com: Iceland PM predicts euro adoption 'within four years'

Iceland's prime minister said Monday EU membership would be the government's top priority if it wins Saturday's general election, and predicted the country would adopt the euro within four years.

"It is important to apply for (EU) membership right away, so that people can see what we can get," Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir of the Social Democratic Party told daily Morgunbladid in its online edition.

"I predict that in four years we will have adopted the euro," she added.

"We will defend our resources, our fisheries and agricultural policy," she said just days before Iceland goes to the polls in a general election in which European Union membership is one of the main campaign issues.

by Sassafras on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 02:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global News Blog » Blog Archive » EU stumbles over UN racism conference | Blogs |

The Czech Republic issued a statement on Tuesday condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at a U.N. conference on racism in which he called Israel a "cruel and repressive racist regime".

The statement by the country holding the EU presidency was meant to underline the bloc's unity but highlighted divisions on the issue.

Although 22 member states said they would stay to the end of the Geneva conference, four others have not attended from the start and the Czech Republic has decided to play no further role in the meeting.

The failure of member states to agree on a joint position shows how hard it is for the bloc to reach agreement on a common foreign and security policy now that it comprises 27 countries.

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said the decision of some EU member states to boycott the Geneva conference was "no sign of strength in the EU at this time".

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:56:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but I can't resist this, either.

The failure of member states to agree on a joint position shows how hard it is for the bloc to reach agreement on a common foreign and security policy now that it comprises 27 countries.

This is exactly the problem that led to the U.S.'s adoption of a federal system in her constitution, instead of continuing under the Articles of Confederation.

by asdf on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 01:28:16 AM EST
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Russia threatens to pull out of NATO meeting | World | Deutsche Welle | 20.04.2009
Russia has threatened to cancel a May 7 meeting with senior NATO officials if the western military alliance goes ahead with planned exercises in Georgia.  

Russia, which has been at loggerheads with Georgia since a fighting a brief war in August, has repeatedly criticized any cooperation between NATO and the pro-Western Georgian government in Tbilisi.

"From Russia's point of view, and from Georgia's point of view, and from the viewpoint of world affairs, such war games carry a clearly provocative character," Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said.

However, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, speaking at a press conference in Stockholm on Monday underlined his country's right as a sovereign state to host the exercises.

by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:02:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia invites Europe to join new energy charter - EUobserver

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Russia has floated plans for a new global treaty on trade in fossil and nuclear fuel in an attempt to consign to history an earlier pact, the 1991 Energy Charter Treaty.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev unveiled the project at a press conference with Finnish head of state Tarja Hallonen in Helsinki on Monday (20 April).

Mr Medvedev launched the new project in Helsinki on Monday

"Our task today is to maintain, or rather ensure for the future, the balance of producers of energy resources, transit states and consumers of energy resources," he said.

A detailed paper has been sent to G20 and G8 members as well as Russia's allies and neighbours. Talks at the EU level are to begin "as soon as possible."

by Fran on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:05:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Third postmortem to be carried out on Ian Tomlinson | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A third postmortem examination is to be carried out tomorrow on the body of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller who died shortly after a police officer hit him from behind during the G20 protests on 1 April.

Lawyers representing a Metropolitan police officer who is being questioned in connection with the incident have appointed a third pathologist and requested that the City of London coroner allow the test to be conducted. The officer has been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter.

The coroner, Paul Major, has agreed to the third examination. It will be carried out in the presence of a fourth pathologist, who will serve as an observer for the police.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
New G20 protest footage shows moment Ian Tomlinson's head hit the pavement | UK news | The Guardian

Footage has emerged showing the moment Ian Tomlinson's head hit the pavement after he was pushed over by a police officer at the G20 protests.

The video also revealed fresh details about events leading up to the alleged assault on Tomlinson. It appears to confirm ­witness testimony that the 47-year-old showed no resistance to advancing lines of police in the moments before he was hit and pushed to the ground.

The footage was shot by an anonymous bystander on Cornhill, near the Bank of England. It was handed over exclusively to the Guardian and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is ­conducting the criminal inquiry into ­Tomlinson's death.

The four-minute video was shot with a high-quality camera between 7.10pm and 7.30pm on 1 April. There are several moments in the footage that capture Tomlinson, a newspaper vendor who had been attempting to get home when he was pushed over, wandering around the crowd. At no point does he appear to confront police or protesters in an aggressive way, or ­provoke an altercation.

Last night the IPCC attempted to secure a court order to prevent the broadcast of a truncated ­version of the film that appeared ­momentarily on YouTube. The truncated version was copied by Channel 4 News, which planned to broadcast it, before it was removed from YouTube. But a judge refused to grant the injunction.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 04:20:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
MosNews: Russian President expands blogging activities with LiveJournal debut

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will launch his own page on Russia's most popular blogging site, a Kremlin source has announced.  Medvedev's LiveJournal page goes online tomorrow morning.

The president is no newcomer to Internet 2.0 - the LiveJournal page is effectively an upgrade of his video blog (vlog) that appears on the official Kremlin website. LiveJournal offers users the ability to comment on each other's comments and engage in discussions among themselves, a spokesman for the presidential administration noted to Vesti.ru. That source claimed that the Russian president pays close attention to the comment he receives online. The presidential blog will now be seen by a larger audience, who will not have to register to leave comments.

That's right.  MosNews is back!


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:43:18 PM EST
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