Thursday, July 22, 2010

Desmond Tutu aided and abetted terrorists

Archbishop Desmond Tutu 'to withdraw from public life'

BS Tutu - the wolf in sheep's clothing - should be hung for his part in aiding and abetting the terrorist Nelson Mandela (who Amnesty International refused to accept as a political prisoner).

Open Europe press summary: 22 July 2010



France and Germany restate calls for "political sanctions" for eurozone members but remain unclear on Treaty change;

Sarkozy envisages "fiscal harmonisation" between Paris and Berlin

France and Germany yesterday agreed a common position on the reform of economic governance in the EU. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble - who attended a cabinet meeting in Paris - and his French counterpart Christine Lagarde wrote a joint letter to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, which reads, "A single currency simply cannot work properly without enhanced economic policy coordination". It goes on, "political sanctions such as the suspension of voting rights should be imposed on member states which infringe common engagements in a serious and/or repeated manner [...] This mechanism should be included in any revision of the [EU] Treaty that could be accepted in the future".


FAZ notes that Germany conceded to enlarging economic surveillance not only to budgetary supervision, but also supervision of competitiveness and structural reforms. The article adds that no mention was made of previous German demands for an 'orderly sovereign insolvency procedure' for struggling eurozone members. On the thorny issue of Treaty change, which would be required to suspend voting rights for example, the article notes that the Franco-German text suggests that "in the short term, a non-binding political alternative could take the form of a political accord" between eurozone members.


Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke in favour of the "necessary" fiscal harmonisation between France and Germany. "Convergence between our fiscal systems constitutes an essential element of our economic integration and of the deepening of the internal market in Europe [...] Together, we must make common proposals for the reinforcement of the economic government of Europe and of the cohesion of the economic and monetary union".


An editorial in Le Figaro argues: "France and Germany have now agreed on a common position [on economic governance] and Herman Van Rompuy will have to take inspiration from it when he makes his proposals to the 27 [EU member states] in October. Budgetary coordination is taking shape. It paves the way for necessary fiscal harmonisation. Paris and Berlin are on a good path".  


Meanwhile, Le Figaro reports that, as a follow-up to Mr. Schäuble's visit, French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire will take part in a cabinet meeting in Germany - probably at the end of September - in order to discuss a common position on the Common Agricultural Policy.   

Schauble-Lagarde letter Le Monde Le Figaro La Tribune Les Echos Le Monde 2 EurActiv France Le Figaro: Rousselin FT Mail El Pais El Pais 2 EUobserver


Member states resist transferring powers to EU officials in crisis situations;

FAZ: "Since Ms. Ashton has been in Brussels, the EU has hardly featured on the stage of world politics"

European Voice reports that EU member states are objecting to proposals which would give EU President Herman Van Rompuy, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and EU Foreign Minister Cathy Ashton the ability to trigger crisis procedures in the event of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, under the EU's Crisis Co-ordination Arrangements (CCA).


The CCA sets out how EU institutions and member states should cooperate in such an event, and under existing rules, only the country holding the rotating EU Presidency can trigger the crisis mechanism. The only CCA which has been initiated to date followed the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, in November 2008.


Meanwhile, Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala, Chairwoman of the EP Sub-Committee on Human Rights, has called on EU Foreign Minister Cathy Ashton to be more outspoken on countries which violate human rights, saying her use of "quiet diplomacy" was insufficient for the EU to be treated as a serious player on the world stage. An analysis in FAZ on the internal power struggle which has occurred since the entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty notes that "since Ms. Ashton has been in Brussels, the EU has hardly featured on the stage of world politics." The article questions "whether she has any friends at all in Brussels", noting that there is "nostalgia for [previous High Representative Javier] Solana".


The Irish Times reports that the Irish government has presented a paper to EU ambassadors, calling for a debate in the EU on deeper military co-operation with the UN, including by directly supporting the planning and operational cycles of missions and exploring "the concept of EU force components forming an integral component of a UN 'blue helmet' operation".

European Voice European Voice 2 European Voice 3 European Voice 4 Irish Times FAZ


UK Takeover Panel warns against giving EU supervisors power to intervene in mergers

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), one of three new EU financial supervisors, may be given the power to set EU standards for buyout bids or intervene in individual deals, the London-based Takeover Panel said in its annual report today, Bloomberg reports. Such a move "would be inappropriate, not least because takeover regulation must reflect company law, which still varies considerably between member states," Gordon Langley, Chairman of the Panel, said in the report.



IMF joins chorus calling for more transparency on bank stress tests;

Robert Peston: Test exercise has revealed EU's "contempt for markets"

The FT reports that the IMF has added to the calls for greater transparency within the EU's banking stress tests, due to be published tomorrow. The IMF's annual health check on the eurozone economy, released yesterday, said that while the markets seemed to have taken a positive view of the process so far, "some uncertainty regarding the stringency of the tests is likely to remain". However, on the key question of banks' exposure to sovereign debt, Luc Everaert, Assistant Director of the IMF's European department, said only that it was a "delicate issue" and that Friday's tests would provide more information.


On his BBC blog, Robert Peston notes that "the European Union's governments, central bankers and financial regulators are not prepared to admit the possibility that an EU government could actually default on its debts - even as part of the totally theoretical exercise of the stress tests." This, he adds, reveals much about the EU's attitudes to markets: "Now it's all very well to argue that markets are frequently wrong. There's plenty of evidence of market prices overshooting in boom years and undershooting in lean years. But it is something different altogether to say that when the price of Greek debt falls by a quarter, that can never betoken a possible default by the Greek government."


Meanwhile, European Voice notes that markets are still not clear about important aspects of how the eurozone bailout fund will operate, particularly with regard to the kind of financial difficulties that could qualify a member state for support, and whether the facility can cope with an extreme situation in which a country fails to pay back its loans.

IHT FT Irish Times Reuters Telegraph Irish Times: Beasley BBC: Peston's blog AFP Nouvel Obs City AM European Voice


Cameron forced to reassure Wall Street that EU regulation will be "sensible"

The FT reports that David Cameron yesterday tried to "reassure" Wall Street that the UK is still a prime area for investment, despite imminent EU regulation. Cameron said that Britain would be "at the centre" of EU negotiations to ensure a "sensible" new framework is designed.



German think-tank criticises Big Three's calls to raise EU emissions target

In Handelsblatt, Lüder Gerken, of German think-tank Centrum für Europäische Politik, criticises the justifications made by the German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, together with the British and French ministers, to increase the EU's emissions target. "The politicians ignore what students of economics learn in their first semester - that the overall economic product falls when a production factor that was once free, bears costs; and it falls even more when one puts tax on it", he said. He adds that it will lead to a "decrease in production" and "cuts in employment".

Handelsblatt: Gerken


MEP hits out at colleagues' "lack of common sense" on rules for self-employed drivers

The Scotsman reports that Scottish MEP George Lyon has warned that MEPs' decision to oppose the Commission's attempts to exclude self-employed drivers from the EU's working time rules could have a devastating effect on the road haulage industry. "In striking down the Commission's common sense exclusion of self-employed drivers from the Directive, the European Parliament has set a dangerous precedent. It is quite clear this issue is being driven by ideology and not common sense," he said.

Scotsman Open Europe research


Malmström's "lack of concern" for privacy is surprising for a "liberal Swedish EU Commissioner"

In Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, Professor Detlef Quast argues that EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström does not pay sufficient attention to people's right to privacy. He suggests that, Malmström's "considerable lack of concern" is demonstrated by her role in the introduction of the Data Retention Directive, as well as by her handling of the Swift Agreement negotiations with the US on the transfer of citizens' bank data. Professor Quast argues, "It is surprising how a liberal Swedish EU Commissioner can act in this way, when the obvious starting point for any decision in questions of integrity must be the right to retain privacy".

Svenska Dagbladet


A leader in the Spectator argues that David Cameron "may well have no interest in Brussels, but Brussels has all too much interest in Britain...The government has adopted a see-no-evil policy - knowing that there can be no such thing as a united Tory-Lib Dem policy on the subject...If ministers will not speak about Europe, MPs must."

Spectator: Leader


The FT looks at the fortunes of the Italian, French and German ruling parties and writes, "At a time when members of the European Union are struggling to agree on new rules and a permanent crisis mechanism to stabilise the euro, leaders of the three largest economies in the common currency zone have been forced on to the defensive at home."

IHT Dagens Nyheter FT


The front page of FT Deutschland reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when commenting on the Commission's demand to halt state subsidies to inefficient coal plants in 4 years time, said, "It wouldn't have been mistaken to have talked with member states about it first."

Handelsblatt European Voice AFP Expansion


FAZ has published an interview with EU Justice Commissioner Vivian Reding, in which she proposes quotas for women on management boards. "If the companies do not place more women in senior position by the end of the year, the EU will have to intervene," she said.


EUobserver reports that the Commission is likely to propose caps on the size of handouts given to farmers under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013.



Writing in the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard notes that the surge in the Swiss franc is due to capital flight from the eurozone, for which the Swiss economy is too small to absorb.

Telegraph: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard


EUobserver reports that Paris and Berlin have agreed on the coordination of defence spending cuts. "We want to avoid that Germany or France take unilateral decisions that endanger common projects", said French Defence Minister Hervé Morin.



FAZ reports that Germany has rejected any increase to the IMF's financial resources, as proposed by IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, with a German official quoted saying "the priority should go to reaching agreement on the future role of the IMF".

No link


In the IHT, Judy Dempsey writes, "Were Berlin to establish a separate strategy for Ukraine instead of always looking at the region through the prism of Russia, Europe might have a real chance in halting Ukraine's slide away from democracy and into Russia's sphere of influence."

IHT: Dempsey


The long-awaited ruling on the legality of Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence will be disclosed by the International Court of Justice in The Hague tomorrow.



According to a report by corruption watchdog Transparency International, Spain, Cyprus and Luxembourg are the least transparent members of the EU.


Open Europe is an independent think tank campaigning for radical reform of the EU. For information on our research, events and other activities, please visit our website: or call us on 0207 197 2333.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Open Europe press summary: 21 July 2010



German Finance Minister: Meaningful eurozone reforms require Treaty change

It is widely reported that German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will today attend an official cabinet meeting of the French government in Paris. In an interview with French daily Les Echos, he explains that "the cabinet meeting will deal with the stance France will take within the task force [on economic governance] chaired by [EU President] Herman Van Rompuy. I have been invited to participate in this debate because we are working on a common position". He added: "The question is in what way can we make the Stability and Growth Pact more effective within the framework of the existing Treaties. But it is clear that we must also come out with other proposals and accept some Treaty changes, if necessary. There is, among our partners, a bit of scepticism with regard to possible Treaty changes. Many people say it is a long-term process. However, if we consider that we cannot limit ourselves to imposing financial sanctions, and that we must also take into account non-financial instruments - such as the temporary withdrawal of voting rights - in order to make member states respect the pact, then Treaty changes are necessary".     


When asked whether EU member states share the same idea of what 'economic government' is, Schäuble replied: "Substantially yes. We have a single currency, and we need better harmonisation [of economic policies] if we still want to move forward in the making of the EU. A debate is now under way in order to figure out if this can be better achieved at the eurozone level or among all 27 member states. The position of the [German] federal government has always been that it is better to act as 27 as long as possible, without questioning the fact that the single currency gives the 16 eurozone countries some special responsibilities".     


Meanwhile, FT Deutschland reports that Olli Rehn, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, wants 'quasi-automatic' sanctions for eurozone countries violating deficit rules. He is quoted saying, "if a country violates the Stability and Growth Pact, the sanctions will in future start automatically, unless a majority of EU finance ministers explicitly vote against it." Rehn wants to make concrete proposals in the autumn, after Ecofin approves stricter sanctions in principle.


Rehn also added that he understood the feeling of many Germans about bailing out other member states, but said that the loans were interest bearing and "at the end of this crisis, no single state, no individual citizen, will receive less money back than he contributed."

Le Figaro La Tribune Les Echos OE blog


Private school fund for EU officials' children increases to £147m

The Telegraph reports that the cost of privately educating children of EU officials will increase by 12.5 percent to £147 million over the next year. EU civil servants, or diplomats, are entitled to free schooling in 14 taxpayer funded 'European schools' as an entitlement alongside generous pay and pensions. By 2013, the school bill will increase by 24 percent to £163 million, meaning that in three years time British taxpayers will be paying an annual £22 million contribution to the private schooling of EU officials' children.

Express Telegraph


Markets sceptical of stress tests with far fewer banks than expected to 'fail'

The FT reports that market scepticism about the credibility of European bank stress tests intensified yesterday as results began to leak that showed far fewer banks than expected have failed. The article notes that the stress tests will not reflect banks' true exposure to sovereign debt because the sovereign debt haircuts are being applied only to bonds held in banks' trading books. According to research by Morgan Stanley, 90 percent of banks' Greek sovereign debt is now held not in trading books but in banking books.


Handelsblatt notes that, according to leaked reports, the only German bank to fail will be Hypo Real Estate (HRE), despite deep concerns over the regional Landesbanken, which suffered severely in the crisis. The FT quotes one analyst saying that "If HRE is the only German bank that fails, that completely discredits the tests - not just for Germany but for the whole of Europe"

IHT BBC: Hewitt blog Irish Times FT Eurointelligence Handelsblatt


Commission publishes review of EU's counter-terror and policing databases;

Commissioner: "Some of these measures are maybe not as effective as they seem in the first place"

EUobserver reports that the Commission has published an audit of the 17 EU programmes, agencies and agreements to exchange the personal, business and telecoms data of citizens. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is quoted saying, "The European Union has developed actions based on events, after an attack or an attempted attack causes a huge media tension, a great fear from the population and a pressure on the political leaders to act. But some of these measures are maybe not as effective as they seem in the first place."


Meanwhile, AFP reports that Cecilia Malmström will unveil a proposal in the autumn for an "EU internal security strategy" aimed at giving the EU an adequate capacity of action and reaction against terrorist groups operating within the territory of member states.

EUobserver Euro-correspondent Open Europe research AFP Presse


Government pledges overhaul of agency handling EU farm subsidies

PA reports that the Government yesterday pledged an overhaul of the leadership of the Rural Payments Agency, which is responsible for the distribution of EU agricultural subsidies in the UK, and said it would bring down the costs of administering the Single Farm Payment - currently costing an average of £1,043 per claim. In 2007/08, the number of claims for subsidies which were under £400 in value exceeded 14,000.

Telegraph OE blog


International Business Times reports that Roland Koch, Minister-President of Hesse, is suggesting that London and Frankfurt should combine their lobbying clout to stop damaging EU rules coming into effect, saying: "When we are not able to cooperate and communicate, especially in the issue of regulation, we both will suffer".

International Business Times


FAZ: EU citizens share a legal system with corrupt and inefficient states

It is widely reported that a document released by the European Commission has criticised Romania's efforts to fight corruption, while praising the work of Bulgaria's government. A leader in FAZ comments that "the EU shows patience towards Bulgaria and Romania, as if this were about agricultural reform somewhere in Africa and not about the fact that citizens in 25 other member states must continue to share their legal system with two countries which clearly have a corrupt and inefficient state".

IHT Irish Times EUobserver EurActiv European Voice El Mundo Les Echos Reuters Italia Welt Focus Presse Sueddeutsche


The FTD reports that the EU's data protection office has criticised a compulsory medical questionnaire by the EP's medical office which asks intimate questions about STDs, past encounters with haemorrhoids and the respondent's mental health history. Peter Hustinx, the EU's privacy chief has asked the medical office and the General Secretary of the EP to re-evaluate the relevance of the questions.

No link


Writing in the FT, Wolfgang Münchau looks at the waning domestic fortunes of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, and argues that "this crisis is global and requires leaders with a global and European mindset to solve them. In other words, it requires politicians other than Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy."

FT: Münchau


In the WSJ, Charles Forelle notes that the 'real-life examples' cited by a Commission press release on standardising the treatment of criminal suspects were in fact a product of the "fertile imaginations of the European Commission's press-release-writing team."

WSJ: Forelle


Following the Commission's announcement that it will increase its research and development budget, Handelsblatt carries the headline "EU projects are running out of control". The article notes that various high-tech projects are running over budget, including the EU's satellite navigation system, Galileo, which will need €2.5 billion more on top of its current budget of €3.4 billion euro.

No link


The European Commission has said that it wants to close down loss making coal mines in the EU by October 2014. The move will predominantly affect mines in Germany's Ruhr region, north-west Spain, Poland and Romania. New rules coming into force in January means that state aid to such mines will only be allowed to continue if closure plans are in place.

Business Week EUobserver EurActiv European Voice FT El Pais El Mundo Sueddeutsche Welt FTD


Writing in the FT, John Rathbone, Chairman of J.C. Rathbone Associates, argues that the EU's proposed reform of over-the-counter derivatives markets risks damaging the European property industry, which could become "one of the biggest victims of regulatory overreach".

FT: Rathbone


BNR Radio reports that the Dutch liberal VVD party has criticised the EU for spending €14 million on an investigation into the health of apples, with its EU spokesman Han ten Broeke MP saying it is "bizarre and laughable". The main conclusion is that eating 2 apples a day is good for health. 


The EU has this morning launched an appeal with the WTO against its ruling that EU subsidies to Airbus were illegal.

BBC EUobserver Reuters Bloomberg PA Le Figaro FTD Welt Spiegel FAZ


American economist Melvin Krauss argues in NRC Handelsblad that the chances of Bundesbank President Axel Weber becoming the next ECB President have considerably decreased, because he voted against the ECB decision in May to buy government bonds and disclosed his opposition to the public.

NRC Handelsblad


Die Welt reports that Germany's governing coalition has slumped to a record low in a new poll. According to the Forsa poll only 34 percent would vote for Angela Merkel's coalition.



An El Mundo blog piece by UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen questions why the EU's budget continues to rise when national budgets are being slashed.

El Mundo

Open Europe is an independent think tank campaigning for radical reform of the EU. For information on our research, events and other activities, please visit our website: or call us on 0207 197 2333.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Intercultural Mission Advisors

Newsletter 2010/07/15 - Intercultural Mission Advisors

BERLIN/MAYEN/TUBINGEN (Own report) - The Bundeswehr's psychological warfare department is recruiting engineers, development aid personnel and journalists for combat operations in Afghanistan. A "profound understanding" of the Afghan "cultural landscape" is demanded of applicants. "Civilian advisors" who have "lived at the Hindu Kush for several years" are in particular demand. The so-called intercultural mission advisors (IEB) are under direct command of German combat commanders. They are required to establish informational networks within the indigenous population and win over Afghan disseminators for the occupation forces' propaganda. Following their Afghanistan mission, the IEBs must remain at the disposal of - not closer defined - "civilian and military authorities" for an exchange of information. This formulation suggests that they will also be debriefed by intelligence services. In the past, Bundeswehr soldiers were already being prepared for combat operations with "intercultural training". Running parallel to this development, authorities of German agencies of repression are advertizing for scholars in Islamic studies and ethnologists. The recruitment of civilian experts is being facilitated by the fact that IEB veterans will receive teaching positions at German universities.


Arch of Titus

I visited the Arch of Titus years ago and spat at it (general direction). Later I found out that Titus was actually reluctant to destroy Jerusalem but clearly it was God's will.

No Israeli official should be in Rome during this time unless it is to make demands for the Temple treasures to be restored to Jerusalem where they belong.

Will the pope act like Belshazzar or Cyrus?

The Vatican Must Return the Temple Treasures

Furthermore, Am Israel Chai - the Nation and People of Israel lives - not because of the IDF but because of the tender mercies of God.

Among the Mysteries of the Menorah is this fact: "Studying the image on the arch, one can discern dragons or sea serpents adorning the steps of the pedestal—just the sort of pagan art that Jewish sages singled out as associated with idolatry. “If one finds vessels,” we are told in the Talmud, “upon which are the forms of a sun, or a moon, or a dragon, let him throw them into the Dead Sea.” Pillars decorated with dragons virtually identical to those on the menorah’s pedestal have been discovered in the Roman temple at Didyma in southern Turkey. It beggars belief that the Temple candelabrum would have incorporated such a fundamentally pagan aesthetic."

Go Back to Europe?

By David Ben-Ariel

The United States is mainly the prophesied biblical inheritance of Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples, as Manifest Destiny proves. We the People are Manasseh the son of Joseph - the single great nation that was foretold to have such great power and influence over the world. As for "Native Americans." Native Americans? They're primitive Beringian immigrants who fought and murdered each other fighting over the land until the rightful heirs of this land - the White Israelites - appeared and put them all in their place. Manifest Destiny is a wonderful thing!

We the People - White Israelites (Anglo-Saxon-Celtic and white peoples of NW Europe) don't need to return to Europe but people of white color need to remember our Hebrew roots and biblical responsibilities and appropriately exercise resolve and repatriate blacks to Africa where they belong and clean house: sweep out all the illegal aliens from Mexico, bring our troops home and put them on our borders to secure it and defeat the foreign invasion.

Open Europe press summary: 20 July 2010



Hungary tells IMF and EU that further austerity is "out of the question";

Bundesbank says PIGS "have no choice but to reduce domestic demand"

The WSJ reports that Hungary's government has told the EU and the IMF that they are ignoring the economic risks of excessive austerity measures and that Budapest can't make deeper spending cuts. Hungary's Economy Minister, György Matolcsy, is quoted saying, "We told our partners that further austerity packages were out of the question." Hungary's currency fell sharply against the euro yesterday following the collapse of the talks.


In the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard argues that Hungary's revolt against the EU and the IMF "augurs ill" for Greece and other members of the eurozone, noting that austerity measures in these countries are only now starting to bite. He quotes Lars Christensen, of Danske Bank, saying, "The Greek problem is even bigger by any measure, whether budget deficit, current account or public debt." Chris Pryce, of Fitch Ratings, added, "The issue is whether they can carry the Greek people when have to make the next round of cuts in 2011."


Meanwhile, the Irish Independent notes that the German Bundesbank has criticised Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Greece for running "persistently high" current-account deficits over the past decade, which the bank says constitutes a "source of danger" for the eurozone. "The respective economies have no choice but to reduce domestic demand to a sustainable level," it added. The bank also stressed that eurozone monetary policy was aimed at securing price stability for the currency bloc as a whole. "That means, that it generally should not take consideration of the economic problems in individual states," it added.

Telegraph: Evans-Pritchard EUobserver Irish Independent WSJ IHT FT FAZ Handelsblatt FAZ 2 Focus FTD


European banks will need up to €90bn for recapitalisation after stress tests' results are published

Les Echos reports that, according to analysts' forecasts, at least 20 out of the 91 European banks to be examined will fail the stress tests and will need significant recapitalisations. Crédit Suisse estimates that European banks will have to raise up to €90bn.


Meanwhile, an editorial in the WSJ looks at the EU's banking stress tests and notes that "Monday's announcement that we will get bank-by-bank results and some insight into sovereign-debt exposure offers hope that the results released to the public will at least provide some meaningful information on the health of Europe's biggest banks."

Les Echos AFP WSJ WSJ: Editorial


La Stampa: Why establish such a huge foreign service when "there are more divergences than convergences among EU members"?

An editorial in Italian daily La Stampa on the new EU External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU's common foreign policy argues: "While everyone can see that on all the main foreign policy issues the EU has to deal with - e.g. relations with Russia, Turkey or the US - divergences among member States are more evident than convergences [...] is it really indispensable to put into motion such a huge instrument [the EEAS] before making clear its role and functions?"


Writing in the WSJ, Bill Jamieson, Executive Editor of the Scotsman, argues that "The hiring spree at the EEAS and the administrative tooling up and kitting out required for this global diplomatic leviathan could not be taking place at a worse time. It has sparked an outburst of indignation and anger as EU governments have had to embark on tough austerity programs, cutting public-sector workforces, wages and pension benefits while the institutions of the EU appear quite untouched and impervious to the fiscal pain across the Continent... The juxtaposition of fiscal austerity at government level and apparent continuing largess at EU 'head office' is causing unease even in Brussels."


Meanwhile, in an interview with the Guardian, former EU Commissioner Chris Patten considers EU policy towards the Middle East and argues that: "The default European position should not be to wait to find out what the Americans are going to do, and if the Americans don't do anything to wring our hands. We should be prepared to be more explicit in setting out Europe's objectives and doing more to try to implement them."


An article in Die Presse looks at the failure of EU foreign policy towards Syria, where it argues that the EU is suffering from a lack of political and economic credibility due to the difficulty of finding a common position.

La Stampa Presse Guardian Guardian


Commission proposes that criminal suspects be read standard EU letter of rights

Euractiv reports that EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed a new Directive to strengthen the rights of suspects in criminal cases in all EU countries, which would see police forces obligated to inform the accused of his rights in writing in his own language at the time of arrest. The standard letter of rights would read: "You have the right to be informed of what offence you are suspected; to the assistance of a lawyer; to an interpreter and translation of documents [and] to know for how long you can be detained," according to the Commission's draft proposal. Such a letter already exists in 12 member states, with six other states providing oral information. Commissioner Reding will propose a standard format to be used in all 27 member states to be translated into all the EU's official languages, with some flexibility on the exact wording in each member state.

EurActiv Europolitics Stern


An article in Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on the EU 2011 budget negotiations, criticising the Commission's proposal to increase administrative costs by more than 4 percent to €8.2 billion. German MEP Ingeborg Gräßle, who sits in the European Parliament's Committee on Budgets, is quoted saying: "the Commission asks states to look into prolonging the working life of its citizens, while it keeps sending its own employees into retirement early."

Sueddeutsche IHT WSJ: Jamieson OE blog


Royal College of Surgeons: EU law on doctors' working hours must be changed to safeguard patient care

In a letter to the Telegraph, the President of the Royal College of Surgeons, John Black, writes that "dangerously low levels of medical cover, brought on by the EU's Working Time Directive", have raised demand for foreign doctors. However, requiring foreign medical professionals to sit language exams would breach European law on the freedom of movement of individuals within the European Economic Area. He continues to note that "language testing is not the only area where British legislation is needed".

Telegraph: Letters OE Research


Irish Parliament recommends increased scrutiny of EU legislation

EurActiv reports that the Irish Parliament's Joint Committee on European Scrutiny has recommended that a more robust system of legislative scrutiny over EU proposals be introduced, whereby all ministers will pledge that - bar certain exceptional circumstances - they will not agree to anything in the EU Council of Ministers until it has been cleared by the Irish Parliament. The article notes that the system is very similar to that which currently operates in the UK Parliament.



EU leaders pushing Switzerland for closer association

In a meeting with Swiss President Doris Leuthard, EU President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel Barroso have been pushing for a more efficient partnership between Switzerland and the EU, reports Die Presse. Sources from Brussels say the EU wants to make the 120 bilateral agreements with Switzerland 'easier to manage,' this could mean that Switzerland would automatically adopt EU legislation in certain areas.

Presse Presse 2 Le Monde Le Monde 2


Le Figaro reports that a two-day stakeholders' debate on future reforms of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is taking place in Brussels. The article suggests that "the most insidious discussions will concern European solidarity. CAP redistributes revenues. In times of thin cows, the transfer of billions of euros of public money from one country to another could turn out to be highly controversial. All the more so when Germany is the main contributor".

Le Figaro


In the FT Deutschland, MEP Manfred Weber criticises the EU's proposals for the harmonisation of asylum policy which could see the process of asylum application sped up, with increased legal and social care resources, saying: "Our aim should be to protect the victims quickly and effectively, and not to encourage the abuse of the asylum law."

FT Deutschland


The Independent reports that an advisory group of imams and rabbis have accused the EU of "naked discrimination" by ordering the compulsory labelling of all kosher and halal meat, while not requiring the identification of conventional methods of slaughter.



EurActiv reports on a leaked paper by MEPs, suggesting that the Citizens' Initiative threshold should be scrapped, just a few months after being adopted. The current threshold requires a petition of 100,000 signatures, before a proposal for new legislation will be considered. MEPs want to scrap this to make the system more accessible. The Commission have dismissed such plans as "impractical".



Europolitics reports that six EU member states, including France, Spain and Italy, have asked the European Commission for early payment of direct agricultural subsidies for 2010, which was due to be paid in October. The Commission intends to issue its decision on a case-by-case basis by the end of the summer.



The Mail reports that the Conservative election pledge to scrap unpopular fortnightly bin collections is unlikely to materialise, due to stringent EU recycling targets and hefty potential fines for noncompliance.



EU-Info Deutschland reports that the economic wing of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) has rejected criticism of Germany's export surplus. Kurt Lauk, the President of the CDU Economic Council said: "With the ongoing criticism of German export strength, the EU is in danger of going down a dangerous wrong path".

EU-Info Deutschland


Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, has announced that €6.4 billion will be spent on research and development in 2011 - a 12 percent increase on 2010.

Irish Times EUobserver European Voice Zeit Dagens Nyheter


The Register reports that Swedish Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom yesterday abandoned a meeting with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) EU negotiators in the European Parliament after he was forbidden from sharing any information received there with the public. The meeting was scheduled in order to update MEPs on the state of play of negotiations after the last round of talks in Switzerland.

The Register


Les Echos reports that, according to new IMF forecasts, Slovakia's public deficit will reach up to 7-8 percent of GDP by the end of 2010. It was initially estimated to be at 5.5 percent.

Les Echos


Open Europe is an independent think tank campaigning for radical reform of the EU. For information on our research, events and other activities, please visit our website: or call us on 0207 197 2333.