Sputnik News – January 21, 2017
The historic Élysée Treaty, signed by former President of the Fifth Republic Charles de Gaulle and then-German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on January 22, 1963, remains a major pillar of Paris-Berlin relations and European integration, providing the basis for trust-based cooperation between the two nations.
On the 55th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty of friendship and cooperation, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to enhance bilateral ties.
“Our ambition is to define common positions on all important European and international issues,” a joint statement read.
It added that the two nations “will study and jointly propose effective policies and new technological approaches, particularly in the areas of climate protection, energy, mobility, biotechnology and artificial intelligence.”
Jews News – January 13, 2018
Norway and the European Union announced on Wednesday they will convene an “extraordinary session” at the end of the month in an attempt to push the “two-state solution” to end the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide and the EU’s High Representative Federica Mogherini said in a statement on Wednesday they had decided to convene the session of the international donor group for “Palestine”, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC).
The meeting will be held in Brussels on January 31, according to the announcement.
“There is an urgent need to bring all parties together to discuss measures to speed up efforts that can underpin a negotiated two-state solution,” the statement said.
“Furthermore it is necessary to enable the Palestinian Authority to execute full control over Gaza, based on the Cairo agreement from October 12, 2017,” it added, referring to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement.
Sputnik News – January 17, 2018
The crisis in relations between Poland and the EU seems to have escalated beyond what either side anticipated. On Wednesday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was forced to emphasize that the bloc was “not at war with Poland,” notwithstanding Brussels deployment of Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty, which paves the way to sanctions, up to the deprivation of Poland’s voting rights in the European Council, unless Warsaw mends its ways.
According to Prokudin and Ardaev, to Russian observers, the issue is simple: “Warsaw doesn’t want to be an eternal periphery of the EU or any kind of ‘second-class Europe’.” Polish politicians, on the contrary, “intend to teach European bureaucrats about European and Christian values and, possibly, turn their own country into a new center of power.” But for this to happen, Warsaw would have to take the seemingly unlikely step of making friends with their eastern neighbor, Russia.
Last week, EC president Donald Tusk admitted the possibility of Poland may be the next country to leave the EU, saying that the government in Warsaw may push for “freedom from the burden” of continued membership once EU subsidies run out.
Sputnik News – January 16, 2017
Journalist and financial observer Ivan Danilov outlines why Berlin’s recent decision on the currency front has to be viewed in the broader context of a slowly but steady reformatting of the global financial system.
On Monday, Bloomberg confirmed that the Bundesbank plans to add the Chinese yuan to its currency reserves.
Commenting on the decision in a piece for RIA Novosti, Danilov noted that Berlin’s move, set against the background of a Yuan riding high against the dollar in currency markets, is obviously politically charged, “especially when one considers that the entire Western world is now waiting with a sinking feeling for a diplomatic showdown between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel during the World Economic Forum” in Switzerland later this month.
In fact, the observer suggested, the actions of the Bundesbank, which follow up on the repatriation of at least part of Germany’s gold reserves from the US, “indicate that Europe is ready to show in practice its ability to do without Washington’s ‘valuable guidance’ and ‘patronage’.”
DW – January 16, 2018
As European Union negotiators kicked off preparations for the second round of Brexit talks, European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday urged the UK to rethink its divorce from the bloc.
“Brexit will become a reality, with all its negative consequences, in March next year, unless there is a change of heart among our British friends,” Tusk posted on Twitter. “We here on the continent haven’t had a change of heart. Our hearts are still open to you.”
Unless there is a change of heart among our British friends, #Brexit will become a reality – with all its negative consequences – March next year. We, here on the continent, haven’t had a change of heart. Our hearts are still open for you.
Picking up on Tusk’s remarks, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, whose executive arm is negotiating the terms of the UK’s departure, said he hoped Brussels’ wishes would be “heard in London.”
Chloe Kerr – January 11, 2018
Protests kicked off in Sofia on the same night as Bulgaria takes over its first Presidency of the European Council from January 2018 until June 2018.
EU commissioners are in the city as Bulgaria begins its presidency – and guests at the opening ceremony of the presidency in Sofia, including European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Council head Donald Tusk.
The Sofia Globe reports 11 protests are being held across the city tonight.
Former president Rossen Plevneliev said: “These protests are not a symbol of future political action, but they are telling us something important – the whole political elite has not done its job over the years.”
DW – January 10, 2018
Donald Tusk, the EU Council president and former prime minister of Poland, warned on Wednesday that Warsaw’s Law and Justice (PiS) government could push the country towards what is already being dubbed in Brussels as “Polexit.”
In an interview in Polish weekly Tygodnik Powszechny, Tusk said that “for PiS the benefit of being in the EU boils down to the balance of payments, with a complete disregard for other benefits like the common market, legal order, guaranteed security, etc.”
He added: “As long as we’re not a net contributor, the game is worth the candle for them. So I can easily imagine a situation where if one day Poland finds itself among the (net) contributors, the Polish government will decide that it’s time to ask Poles if they still want Poland in the EU and then will work hard so that they come to the conclusion that it’s necessary to say goodbye to membership.”
Poland’s nationalist-conservative government has been on a collision course with the EU for around two years, driven mainly by its decision to impose a series of controversial judicial changes that, according to Brussels, threaten to undermine the country’s rule of law and democratic values.
PNW -January 09, 2018
It’s called PESCO. It stands for the Permanent Structured Co-Operation and is a treaty among EU nations providing a framework for mutual defense that many EU superstate proponents have been pushing for a long time.
Technically, it is not a European army, per se, but many consider it a necessary first step as it requires each country to strengthen its military assets and defense capabilities and cooperate if needed.
There are plans for enhanced joint training, streamlining of cross-border military operations, and medical operations. It establishes a defense fund for procurement of weapons and the development of “rapid reaction forces,” armed with tanks and drones.
The initial funding will include a 5 billion-euro ($5.83 billion dollar) defense fund. PESCO allows for integrated armed forces, a combined pool of Defense spending, and the creation of a joint command headquarters. European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini said the pact will focus not just on military cooperation, but also on cyber-security.
Liam Deacon – December 29, 2017
Approaching a third of German and French people want the European Union (EU) to become a single country, or ‘United States of Europe’, but only 10 per cent of Brits agree.
The plan to turn the bloc into a federal superstate by 2025 was put forward by Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament and a contender for German chancellor, earlier this month.
He called for an EU constitution and for the bloc to rapidly expand its power and erode the sovereignty of nation-states, as well as demanding that any country standing in the way must be ejected.
In a survey conducted before Christmas and published Thursday, YouGov found that 30 per cent of German respondents favoured the idea, making Germany the country that was most supportive of the plan among the seven European nations surveyed.
French respondents were also comparatively supportive of the idea, with 28 per cent endorsing the proposal of a United States of Europe.
Chris Tomlinson – December 28, 2017
Newly elected Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has urged the European Union (EU) to create safe zones within migrant-origin countries and deploy member states’ armed forces to stop the flow of migrants.
Chancellor Kurz, who has been vocal about solving the migrant crisis for many months and has previously called for the closure of the Mediterranean migrant route, also reaffirmed his stance against the redistribution of migrants from countries like Italy and Greece, Deutsche Welle reports.
“Forcing states to take refugees doesn’t take Europe any further. The discussion makes no sense,” Kurz said.
The EU migrant redistribution policy has been heavily resisted by Hungary and Poland over the last year with the bloc taking the matter to court and threatening both nations with potential sanctions and a decrease in EU funding.
“Migrants who set off for Europe don’t want to go to Bulgaria or Hungary. They want to go to Germany, Austria, or Sweden,” Kurz added.