#EYE2018 : Participating in the European Youth Event

Barbara Zak

On the 1st and 2nd of June 2018, the third edition of the European Youth Event (EYE2018) occurred in the Strasbourg’s seat of the European Parliament (EP). Around 8,000 young Europeans came to the event to discuss ideas for a better European Union (EU), meet MEPs and develop their knowledge about the functioning of this institution, but above all to meet other young people from all over the EU and their ambitions, passions and projects. I participated in this year’s edition in order to have my own personal experience of this event.

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak

The core of the event consisted in the activities that each of the participants chooses to take part in. As for me, the most impressive one was the discussion with Antonio Tajani in the hemicycle where participants could directly ask the President of the European Parliament questions about already selected topics. It utterly felt as if we were in the shoes of the MEPs. Other activities that I joined were the fictional trial of the EU that was accused of having a democratic deficit (roles of the participants were divided between judges, prosecution, defence and jury), organised by the Paris-based think tank Argo ; a political rap battle between London-based rappers that represented the socialist, liberal, green and conservative parties of the EP ; and a conference about the Brexit negotiations and their impact.

 

 

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Workshop „Europe on Trial ! Who’s to blame for the break-up?”. Credits : Argo think tank

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Photo: Barbara Zak

It could be felt from this event that young European citizens are very much attached to the EU as they believe it helps them in various fields such as studying abroad (with the programme Erasmus+), in their search for a job or with the freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital.

The major focus of this edition was on the 2019 European Parliament elections, meaning that the EU encouraged the participants to vote at these elections. The EYE2018 seems to be a very good initiative to promote and thus increase the turnout of young European citizens at these elections as they are more inclined to spread the word about it to their fellow young European citizens.

 

 

 

Below you can find some impressions written by other participants of the EYE2018.

Zoé from Copenhagen

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Photo: Anaïs Cathala

During the EYE, I experienced a concentration of passionate and driven people, creating an inspiring atmosphere for me to extend my personal limits. Talking in front of a large audience in the hemicycle, a fraction of the European youth, was an experience that I will not forget. Overall, the EYE inspired me to further become active in youth groups and involve myself in activities that aim at strengthening the influence of the European youth.

 

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Photo : Maria Joanico

 

 

Maria from Lisbon

EYE was my first direct contact with the European Union. It had a vibrant atmosphere and the activities I participated in were very insightful – not only for understanding European youth’s ideas and thoughts nowadays, but also to understand EU problems and its benefits as well. It was a good and rewarding experience to participate in helping to build a better future for all of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felix from Kufstein

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Photo : Felix Buchauer

Many consider the European Union to have alienated with its people due to a lack of communication. The EYE offers a possibility for younger people to overcome this feeling and really embrace the EU. Lots and lots of discussions, presentations and talks allow not only to gain a lot of information about the EU, but also to get into contact with a lot people also involved in the topic. Overall it really is a great chance to broaden one’s horizon and to understand that the EU is not just a complicated superstructure, but our present and our future, we can shape it, we just have to get involved!

 

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Photo : Victoria Chatelier

Victoria from Nantes

As a European citizen but also a law student, I wanted to get a new experience and thus I took part in the event. I attended a debate about the corruption perception index of 1995 (transparency.org) and how to evaluate corruption in countries which are at the end of a civil war or not. The main part of the debate was the focus on the means used to decrease corruption and protect human rights. The speakers gave us some initiatives, projects that can be set up and then we shared our ideas with them. It was very concrete.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to hear Ms Lamiya Aji Bashar and Mr Denis Mukwege who are two Sakharov prizes laureates. They shared with us a part of what they have seen, what they have lived. It was very emotional and inspiring.

(The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought was established by the European Parliament in 1988 in order to honour people that consecrated their lives to the defence of human rights and the freedom of thought. Ms Lamiya Aji Bashar was awarded the prize in 2016 while Mr Denis Mukwege was awarded the prize in 2014.)

Eventually I was present at a debate about environment. I noted that young European people showed a particular interest in this issue since there was a very strong debate and the big lecture hall was overcrowded.

I have several impressions about this event that I would not have expected :

First of all, the participants’ age – they were teenagers who came with their teacher. Yet were very much involved. It depicted a positive image of the youth, very far from the cliché that we sometimes hear sometime about young people and their disinterest in what’s happening in the world in general.

Secondly, this event allowed us to share our ideas at the end of each discussion sessions. The first step to be heard was achieved, which means that if you want to do more for the European Union, you really can.

Thirdly, it was an event that was based a lot on culture. There were theatrical and dance performances, and also music bands from different European countries playing on open spaces in or outside the parliament, for instance the Yo!Fest. It was a very much appreciated surprise.

To conclude, this event was a real source of motivation and inspiration in getting more involved in what I believe.  I will finish with this little sentence which was on my mind at the end of these two days : « Be audacious, you can do something even if you’re young. »

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak

In addition, our group also visited the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg where we met with a legal expert who explained us the functioning of the Court.

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Photo: Barbara Zak

Last but not least, the city of Strasbourg is truly lovely with its timber framing houses, the river Ill in la Petite France historic quarter, and not to forget the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Strasbourg!

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak

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Photo: Barbara Zak
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Photo: Barbara Zak

The official site of the EYE2018 :

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/european-youth-event/en/home.html

EYE on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ep_eye/

Here you can find the coverage of the EYE2016 by fellow writers of the EUROpens blog :

https://europensblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/european-youth-event-2016-1/

https://europensblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/european-youth-event-2016-2/

 

 

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Reklamy

Irish people vote for the legalisation of abortion

Barbara Zak

On the 25th of May 2018, a referendum was held in Ireland concerning the legal authorisation of abortion in the country. The people voted in favour of maintaining or repealing of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, that is to say to allow or not the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas) to enact laws regarding the termination of pregnancy.

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Copyright : Niall Carson/PA

The Eighth Amendment was introduced into the Irish Constitution following the 1983 referendum. It prohibits abortion in almost all cases as both the mother and the unborn child have a right to live. It officially made abortion illegal.

The Yes won over the No regarding the legalisation of abortion with 66.40% vs 33.60% of the votes. Nearly in every parliamentary constituencies the Repeal of the amendment vote was predominant, except for the Donegal constituency. Thus, the Thirty-Sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018, which is the legal name of the amendment to the constitution, will abrogate the article 40.3.3° of the Irish Constitution that prohibited abortion. Health Minister Simon Harris said that Irish people could expect the abortion legislation to pass by the autumn.

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Photo by Blue-Haired Lawyer.

Most political parties endorsed a Yes campaign, such as the Labour Party, the Green Party or Sinn Féin. However, it was mostly the issue regarding Savita Halappanavar’s death after being denied an abortion during a miscarriage that affected people and stirred the controversy surrounding the strictness over possibilities to abort. We should note that the turnout was high with 64.13% of the registered voters that came to the polling stations. During the campaign, the focus was not only on the easing of the restrictive regime that already existed (e.g. the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (2013)) but to permit women to have the choice over abortion or not (up to twelve weeks of pregnancy). The international press welcomed the outcome of the referendum, even claiming that “liberty won in Ireland” (El País). On the other hand, anti-repeal partisans highlighted that every unborn child has a right to live and that abortion simply means killing a defenseless child who is not granted any choice over his own life.

In Europe, abortion is utterly illegal in Malta. It is legal in Northern Ireland and Poland when the life of the mother is in danger, when she faces health issues, in case of rape or if the foetus is defective. In the United Kingdom, Iceland and Finland, abortion is allowed just like in the case of Northern Ireland and Poland with the addition of socioeconomic factors.

 

 

 

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Sources :

„An Bille um an Séú Leasú is Tríocha ar an mBunreacht, 2018
Thirty-sixth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2018” (no. 29 of 2018, PDF) : https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2018/29/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/25/irish-abortion-referendum-explained-what-you-need-to-know

http://www.thejournal.ie/repeal-yes-4034251-May2018/

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/how-the-yes-and-no-sides-won-and-lost-the-abortion-referendum-1.3509924

http://www.thejournal.ie/world-reaction-4037769-May2018/

http://www.thejournal.ie/simon-harris-abortion-2-4039539-May2018/

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/25/europe/ireland-abortion-referendum-intl/index.html

What you need to know about Ireland’s bitterly-debated abortion vote

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/abortion-referendum/abortion-facts

http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/30/which-european-countries-have-the-strictest-abortion-rules-

https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/05/25/opinion/1527275725_504618.html

https://www.corriere.it/esteri/18_maggio_27/a-dublino-si-volta-paginaanche-tanti-erroridi-chiesa-sempre-venerata-7ce23972-611d-11e8-9f1c-2fb6ab417c7d.shtml?refresh_ce-cp

 

45th edition of the Summer School of Polish Language and Culture at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

Emil Wojtaluk


First of all welcome back after a long break! It’s been a long time since the last post was published on our blog. Finally we are back with something fresh and we hope you will enjoy it! The first entry after the break is about an unusual program organized by the School of Polish Language and Culture of the John Paull II Catholic University of Lublin. The School was established in 1974 making it one of the oldest institutions in Poland of such kind. Its students can receive American or European credits for taking the courses. The School of Polish Language and Culture KUL participates in the national system of granting certificates of Polish as a foreign language. Here we present a concise information on the Summer School program carried out by the School.


The Summer School of Polish Language and Culture runs each year in July and August since 1974

45th edition is coming this year!

 

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Copyright: The School of Polish Language and Culture KUL (fot. Cezary Ruta)


Tailor-made programs

 

Our program distinguishes itself from others by allowing our students to design their own programs, they are always adjusted to the needs of our participants. We always try to be flexible!
The uniqueness of our Summer School can be described
in a few simple points:

  • First of all our participants have a choice of courses lasting from 2 to 8 weeks that is the only program in Poland allowing for such a wide range of learning opportunities.
  • As mentioned above there is an option for modifying the program to your individual needs, e.g. if you require more individual consultations you can request more of them, at the same time resigning from lectures or taking more classes than envisaged in the original program under additional arrangements. Also if you are interested in specific vocabulary we can always try to adjust that to your own needs.
  • We offer one of a kind levels of intensity!
  • Semi-intensive – with 4 hours* a day + a lecture
  • Intensive – with 6 hours a day + a lecture
  • Highly-intensive – the same as in an intensive course but with additional four hours a week of individual consultations.


Apart from rich and intensive language courses the cultural component of the Summer School is carried out by providing lectures on Polish culture, history, literature, music, or contemporary issues. The lectures are delivered in Polish and English.

 

Explore our country!

 

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Copyright: The School of Polish Language and Culture KUL (fot. Cezary Ruta)

The Summer School of Polish Language and Culture is not only about studying! To give you a relief after hard working days spent on learning one of the most difficult languages in the world we prepared rich cultural and social activities. This includes:

  • one-day trips to picturesque places in the Lublin region where students are given a unique opportunity to see some of the masterpieces of Polish art and architecture;
  • sightseeing of Warsaw, the capital of Poland;
  • trips to interesting places along Poland’s eastern frontier;
  • all of these activities are included in the course fee!

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    Copyright: The School of Polish Language and Culture KUL (fot. Cezary Ruta)

 

Prices and application procedure

The prices of our courses ranges from 600 EUR to 3000 EUR depending on your individual choice (2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 weeks starting at the beginning or the end of July). The longer the course the lower the price per hour of lesson. The fee includes board and accommodation, course books and the necessary teaching materials as well as plays, concerts and the trips.
More information on specific dates and prices are available on our website (click here to redirect).
Attention! You can negotiate your price, contact us for more details!


The online application form is available HERE

The deadline for applications is May 30 each year!

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Copyright: The School of Polish Language and Culture KUL (fot. Cezary Ruta)

Feel free to ask in case of any questions!
You can drop us an e-mail at:
polski[at]kul.pl

Facebook:
School of Polish Language and Culture KUL

The EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights – one step back

Katarzyna Stachyra

It was believed that after entering into force of the Lisbon Treaty the accession of the EU to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter: the Convention) will be obvious. The Lisbon Treaty made accession admissible thanks to granting legal capacity to the EU. What is more, it even imposed obligation on EU to become party to the Convention. Negotiations, which have been conducted since 2010 by the European Commission and the Steering Committee for Human Rights Ad Hoc Negotiation Group, resulted in adoption of the draft agreement on accession[1]. This document was examined by the European Court of Justice (hereinafter: ECJ) and its opinion about compliance with the Treaties, released on 18 December 2014 (C-2/13)[2], is significantly negative. ECJ said that ‘the devil is, however, as so often, in the detail’ and pointed out legal issues which have to be solved in order to access to the Convention. Some of these problems are presented below.

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The Convention and its influence on relation between ECJ and ECHR

After the accession, the Convention will become part of EU law. It means that the EU, namely all of its institutions as well as Member States, will be bound by provisions of the Convention. Therefore, actions of institutions could be controlled according to measures contained in the Convention. In other words, they would be under jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (hereinafter: ECHR). In this light arises serious question concerning relation between ECJ and ECHR. Accession to the Convention will allow ECHR to assess judicial actions of ECJ or to impose interpretation of the law. Firstly, it is worth emphasizing that judicial independence is the most important feature of courts and tribunals. Secondly, as art. 2 of Protocol no 8[3] reads, ‘accession of the Union shall not affect the competences of the Union or the powers of its institutions’. ECJ as one of the EU institutions has its specific competences. Above all, ECJ has exclusive jurisdiction in disputes between Member States or Member States and institutions, related with interpretation or application of the Treaties. Hence ECJ stated, that possible jurisdiction of ECHR in mentioned matters should be distinctly excluded. Otherwise there is evident incompliance with EU law.

Coordination between the Convention and Charter of Fundamental Rights

The Convention and Charter of Fundamental Rights contain a catalogue of rights and freedoms. Despite the similarities between these catalogues, there are still certain differences which occur in provisions, as well as in interpretations given by ECJ and ECHR. Problem of coordination those two legal acts has significant meaning from the perspective of the level of human rights protection. It is necessary to avoid existing two different standards, because it could violate principle of primacy of the EU law. Because the Convention allows states to introduce higher standards than it presents itself it may lead to establishment of larger scope of protection than it is provided by Charter of Fundamental Rights. As a result, there would be a risk that Charter of Fundamental Rights would be ineffective, which would mean undermining the principle of the primacy of the EU law. According to ECJ opinion, agreement on accession shall include provisions which would prevent indicated situation.

Protocol no 16 – threat to the autonomy of the EU law

Problems with autonomy and primacy may occur after entering into force of Protocol no 16 to the Convention. This protocol introduces new function in ECHR system – advisory opinions, which may be given by ECHR at the request of highest courts and tribunals of state parties to the Convention. Generally speaking, advisory opinions may be compared to preliminary ruling given by ECJ, however they are not binding to national courts. Advisory opinions may infringe the autonomy of the procedure of request for preliminary ruling – use of the first solution may lead to resignation from the second one and, as a result, may constitute circumvention of the law. ECJ expressed in its opinion the concern about relation between those two procedures. It is on position that agreement on accession should clearly eliminate uncertainties in the application of those mechanisms.

Problems with control in the Common Foreign and Security Policy

Under provisions of draft agreement on accession, ECHR would be allowed to examine legal acts released in association with the Common Foreign and Security Policy (hereinafter: CFSP). Certainly, this examination would be conducted in the light of respecting fundamental rights. Since ECJ has no jurisdiction in certain matters related with CFSP, which results from EU law, after the accession to the Convention this jurisdiction will be granted to ECHR. ECJ emphasized that organ, which is not institution of EU, will be able to decide whether acts adopted in CFSP are in compliance with fundamental rights. In addition, it demonstrates that agreement does not follow the most important condition of accession, namely preserving the specific characteristics of the Union and Union law.

ECJ’s position – rationality or excessive precaution?

Undoubtedly we are witnesses of unprecedented event – as ECJ stated in opinion – ‘in which an international, supranational organisation — the EU — submits to the control of another international organisation — the Council of Europe — as regards compliance with basic standards of fundamental rights.’ Uniqueness lies in the fact that the EU is not a state but is pursuing to become the party to the Convention which is intended and formulated for states. Therefore there are various issues how to adjust legal mechanisms, suitable for states, for supranational organization. Opinion released by ECJ is very cautious. In certain aspects – too wary, for instance as regards of Protocol no 16. Draft agreement of accession does not contain provision concerning including this protocol in EU legal system – it would be possible in the future. Furthermore, Protocol no 16 has not even entered into force yet. However, general concern of ECJ about preserving features of the EU and its law is understandable. It is true that draft agreement on accession does not deal with all problems mentioned by ECJ. It seems that negative position of ECJ is intended to avoid confusion and uncertainty, which may occur after accession, if indicated issues will not be explained satisfactorily earlier. Problems with accession to the Convention, in the light of resistance against accession and duplication of similar systems of human rights protection, may provoke bold question – whether do we really need EU’s accession to the Convention?

[1]The full text of draft agreement is available on: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/standardsetting/hrpolicy/Accession/Meeting_reports/47_1(2013)008rev2_EN.pdf
[2]The full text of opinion is available on: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=160929&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=145591
[3]Protocol No 8 Relating To Article 6(2) Of The Treaty On European Union On The Accession Of The Union To The European Convention On The Protection Of Human Rights And Fundamental Freedoms.

Writing Competition – Results!

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Thank you for all articles that you’ve sent to us for the purpose of the competition. We are really grateful for your interest.

The Editorial Board has decided upon two students, the winners are:

1. Katarzyna Stachyra (MA in Law, 1st year student of MA in European Studies).

2. Magdalena Styrnik (Faculty of Law, 5th year).

Congratulations! The winning articles will be published soon.

 

As a result of the competition, this is our current Editorial Board:

Emil Wojtaluk – the Editor in Chief

Anita Weprzędz – Vice Editor in Chief

Adrianna Brzozowska

Kamil Augustyniak

Katarzyna Stachyra

Magdalena Styrnik

 

 

 

Writing Competition – „Find it! Like it! Write it!”

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EUROpens BLOG is a student initiative created in 2012 which already gained a lot of support within the country and abroad. In March we were invited by the European Commission to attend European Innovation Convention 2014. Now we face new challenges and that is why we announce the first Writing Competition.

Choose one of four topics and write an Article of 400-800 words:

  1. Ukrainian crisis (an opinion article concerning chosen events or the crisis in general).
  2. How EU funds have influenced your region?
  3. EU Erasmus Programme as your personal experience.
  4. Opinion on one of the latest ECJ judgments.

If you want to take part in the competition, please submit your entry till November 17, 2014 to europensblog@gmail.com.

Remember to add your full name, title, faculty and year of studies.

Try yourself and become the editor of EUROpens BLOG!

COMPETITION RULES: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-fSkFSNGXUPRUhGRDQzYTZ2Tk0/view

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/383127881834910/

 EDITORIAL BOARD

Press Review #3

Emil Wojtaluk

 

Welcome to our third Press Review, this time it will cover the last two weeks and only EU Observer news. Recently, one of dominating topics is the creation of a new College of Commissioners. Widely commented event was a rejection of Slovenian nominee for the post of commissioner and finally accepting a new one by the President of the European Commission. Now is the time for the last hearings before the European Parliament.

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EU enlargement heading into chilly period (EUobserver)

There is more skepticism in the enlargement of Western Balkans, EU is not recommending any further steps in the next 12 months. This region seems to be still too much filled with tensions and that is why the enlargement process is not so easy there. At the same time the European Commission seems to search for new instruments in talks with Turkey. What we know now is a quotations from Jean-Claude Juncker that “there will be no new EU countries during his term of office”. Here’s the full text: http://euobserver.com/enlargement/125961

Freedom of expression complicates EU law on ‚right to be forgotten’ (EUobserver)

The so-called “right to be forgotten” raised a lot of concerns among EU member states. On the one hand it gives us a new right, but on the other it can be a threat to freedom of expression and information. Check it here: http://euobserver.com/justice/126011

Ministers publish mandate for US trade talks (EUobserver)

The EU-US trade deal enters into another phase. EU governments have given the negotiation mandate for the European Commission to conduct talks on the free trade deal in June 2013 but published the official documents just recently. It was done so to avoid secrecy allegations – that the agreement is being made out of public. EU is optimistic that the negotiations will be finished before the end of 2015. For more on the current status of negotiations click here: http://euobserver.com/news/125994

Juncker approves new Slovenian commissioner (EUobserver)

Slovenia is in trouble after rejection of Alenka Bratusek, who nominated herself to be the next commissioner. Her hearing at the European Parliament was so terrible that MEP’s rejected her without any doubts. Now Slovenian PM nominated Violeta Bulc – known mostly as businesswoman. Jean-Claude Juncker is satisfied but we are curious if she will “survive” the hearings at the European Parliament. Read the news here: http://euobserver.com/political/126071

Farage’s eurosceptic EP group falls apart (EUobserver)

Nigel Farage, declared as strong eurosceptic is having significant problems. Today’s morning Latvian MEP, Iveta Grigule resigned from Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) which led to the break-up of Farage’s faction. To have your own EP group it is required to have 25 MEP’s from at least 7 countries, currently Nigel Farage has 24 members in his group – unfortunately for him. As a consequence he will also lose a lot of funding allocated for political groups. Read a full commentary: http://euobserver.com/political/126106

Belgian government under fire in its first week (EUobserver)

Charles Michel is holding the office of Prime Minister of Belgium since a week, but he already has to fight with allegations over his new ministers. The issue is about justifying collaboration with the Nazis. Just read the full context: http://euobserver.com/news/126096

 If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to write us at europensblog@gmail.com, just use the title “Press Review” in your message.   

Press Review #2

Emil Wojtaluk

We invite our readers to see the second Press Review after holiday break. This time I will focus mainly on recent weeks. Having in mind constantly changing situation in Ukraine I focused only on some of the aspects. Since the last press review a lot has happened, including MH17 crash and as follows EU and US sanctions targeted on Russia. The time will show what will happen next. More extended opinion on it from us will appear soon. These are few things that dominated EU political agenda last days and weeks…

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Lithuanian FM: Ukraine will not attack Russian convoy ( EUobserver):

Linas Linkevicius has visited Ukraine where he met with President Poroshenko and Pavlo Klimkin( Ukrainian FM). As he stated: despite “illegal” and “provocative” nature of the Russian convoy Ukraine is not interested to complicate this situation any further and won’t attack the “aid” convoy. Linkevisius thinks that there is no real chance for any diplomatic solution, he also named Russian actions as a breach of international law. He is very much in favor of clear condemnation of Russian actions by the UN Security Council immediately. See it here: http://euobserver.com/foreign/125325

Poland demands WTO challenge over Russia food ban (EUobserver):

Another article, this time it’s connected with the results of reverse sanctions from Russia imposed on EU. The issue concerns a ban on food and vegetables. Poland has made an official request that the EU should take actions against Russia before the World Trade Organization to overturn the sanctions. A written request has been sent on Tuesday, August 19. According to the presented data the value of Poland’s trade with Russia last year was 1 billion €. Poland will be for sure one of the countries hit hardest by the ban, if not the most. The only measure that WTO has is to impose fines for breaches of trade rules. For more info check it here: http://euobserver.com/news/125295

Sanctions Will Hurt Russia’s Rearmament Plans (Independent.mk):

The article presents detailed data on why Russia’s rearmament plans may not be realized in time, the deadline is 2020. Check it here how the sanctions imposed by USA, EU, Australia and Japan will affect Russian defense industry:

http://www.independent.mk/articles/8238/Sanctions+Will+Hurt+Russia%27s+Rearmament+Plans

Sikorski Candidate for EU Foreign Policy Chief (Independent.mk):

On 31st of July Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk has announced the official candidature of Polish FM, Radosław Sikorski for the position of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. For some member states politicians he is too “strong” towards Russa, for some too soft. Do you think he has a real chance to take this office? It will be decided on 30th of August, last EU summit didn’t bring any solution due to strong opposition toward Italian FM. This is how Independence.mk sees this:

http://www.independent.mk/articles/7896/Sikorski+Candidate+for+EU+Foreign+Policy+Chief

NATO’s Second-Class Members (New York Times):

An article from opinion writer, Sławomir Sierakowski on the importance of Baltic States for the NATO alliance. In his opinion those countries without any NATO bases are second-class members who, in case of aggression would wait for any moves from their allies for weeks or months. He strongly believe, the presence of such bases in Poland and Baltic States is necessary. You can read this interesting article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/opinion/slawomir-sierakowski-natos-second-class-members.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1

If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to write us at europensblog@gmail.com, just use the title “Press Review” in your message.

Press Review #1

Emil Wojtaluk

 

A brand new series on EUROpens BLOG has just started. I’m Emil Wojtaluk and I’ll be preparing summaries of internet publications for you, focusing on most relevant information concerning EU in world media. My intention is to encourage you to read international press. If you don’t have enough of free time to search for articles alone you’ve come to the right place. I hope you will like it!

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  •  Slovenia’s convicted ex-PM: down but refusing to be out (EUobserver)

An akward situation from Slovenia. Former Prime Minister of this country sentenced for two years in prison for taking bribes but still wants to lead his party. 13th of July is a day for earlier parliamentary elections in Slovenia and Janez Jansa(ex-PM) wants to run for a seat. But he got a court order to go to prison on 20th of June. Slovenia has a problem because its laws do not have any measures in such situations. So despite being in prison Mr Jansa can become a prime minister and run for a seat in national parliament. At least strange, don’t you think? For more on this topic please visit EUobserver: http://euobserver.com/eu-elections/124569

  • EU and US voice concern on reports of Russian tanks in Ukraine (EUobserver)

Another disturbing news from Ukraine and looks like Russians wants to destabilize this region further. Tanks and artillery crossed Ukrainian border on 12th of June. These tanks and other military equipment are being used by Ukrainian rebels. A suggestion is that Russia wants to escalate the conflict because Ukraine and EU will sign a free trade treaty on 27th of June which excludes a possibility for Ukraine to became a member of Eurasian Union promoted by Russia. What’s next? Well, nothing new than threats about economic sanctions possible to impose on Russia which are not changing anything. Ukraine won’t be the only country to sign a trade deal with EU, they will do it along with Georgia and Moldova. And speaking about the last indicated country, Moldova is now being threatened of trade sanctions from Russia if it signs the agreement with European Union. Not surprising looking on Russian policy last months… Check out a full article here: http://euobserver.com/foreign/124597

 

  • The eurozone’s unemployment crisis: Winners and losers (CNN.com)

Ivanna Kottasovaa from CNN has prepared an interesting interactive map, showing “winners and losers” of economic crisis in the eurozone. Which countries suffered the most and which of them remained untouched by a crisis? I’ll leave that to you, you can find it here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/10/business/eurozone-unemployment-interactive/index.html?hpt=hp_c3#index

 

  • Opinion: World is not ready for Google ‚right to be forgotten’ decision (CNN.com)

This opinion concerns a case which was described on EUROpens by our editor Kamil: https://europensblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/right-to-be-forgotten-google-case/ .

According to Jodie Ginsberg, CJEU decision is very unclear and leaves too much space for private corporations. A problem that she indicated is that these new laws leaves a decision on what information is considered as “irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate” to private corporations holding search engines. What is public interest or not is up to private bodies which is not a good decision. There’s also a problem with legal oversight of appeal process. For full opinion please visit: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/30/business/google-right-to-be-forgotten/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

  • We need a ‚right to be forgotten’ online (CNN.com)

Second Opinion on the same CJEU ruling as above, this time positive one by Marc Randazza. His main point concerns old information that with time can become “problematic” for people. Author compares United States and Europe, praising this new and very important decision wishing it could be binding in the US. A full opinion here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/14/opinion/randazza-google-right-to-privacy/

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