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Welcome to 2009

Nothing changes, it seems. Just like 2008, 2009 promises to bring yet more Russian sabre-rattling and European fears about the continent’s long-term energy security. Also time to welcome in the Czech EU presidency. With the Czech Republic currently being run by the neoliberal, eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party of President Václav Klaus and Prime Minister Mirek… » read more

First – happy new year! I have been looking at the FT columnist predictions for 2009 and saw John Thornhill’s prediction that while it made sense 2009 would not be the year that President Sarkozy launched his euro group. You will not be surprised to learn I hope this prediction is wrong….. We have seen… » read more

How exciting. Last time was 2005, when I did singularly poorly in the face of tough competition. This time I’m up against the usual suspects of Dale and Guido (each with a daily readership that this blog would struggle to get in half a year, by their own accounts), mentalist lefty Neil Clark (who won… » read more

We recently spoke to Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Executive Director of The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which was set up by the European Union in 2002 as an “an independent source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain”. Ms Geslain-Lanéelle told us about EFSA’s remit, workload and resources; and went on… » read more

X-mas news from Bosnia were a bit confusing. The directors of Sarajevo’s day-care centres, kindergartens and pre-schools banned Santa. I personally detest Santa – especially its Coce version – but if someone likes him it’s up to them. More serious however is if this event reflects something more about today’s society in […] 

Lost in Showbusiness

CNN was wrong to use Anderson Cooper as a host for its Heroes gala. Anderson Cooper is a tough reporter. That is his trademark. Using him as a host of a tv gala is usurping his credits. Anderson Cooper hosted CNN’s Heroes show on 24th of December. It was classic tv -gala with pop stars… » read more

Sarah Pettitt, a farmer based in Lincolnshire in the UK, who is also Vice Chairman of the Board for Horticulture & Potatoes at the National Farmers Union, spoke to us very passionately about her fears concerning the pending revisions to the European regulation governing pesticides (91/414). Hear what she had to say in the video… » read more


That’s my excuse for the lack of posts, and I’m sticking to it… And as we head to 2009, it seems we’re in for more of the same, as Russia once again starts playing politics with Ukraine’s gas supply. Yay. (More at Siberian Light)  

Ariela Blätter: Many fear that International Criminal Court’s charges against the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir will have “disastrous consequences” for the peace process in Darfur. This, however, could only be true if there was evidence of a real and substantive peace process in the first place. Original post by Atlantic Community

Collapse of the Doha Round after seven years of negotiation must have been a major disappointment for the European Commission. As the Barroso team moves towards the twilight year of its five year term a positive result in Geneva would have somewhat alleviated the gloom following the Irish referendum, the suspension of the […] Original… » read more

German is the most important language of Europe when measured by the number of people who speak it as their first language. The German speaking family has no less than 90 million native speakers, which dwarfs French (65 million speakers) and English (64 million speakers) as native languages within the EU. Still, German is not… » read more

Daniel, designer

Quitting a prestigious job is not a typical German thing to do. Still, I found somebody today who has made `fun` the most important part is career. Daniel Siegl (26) has worked on graphic design projects of some of German best-known companies, but he has decided that it`s time to move on to work that… » read more

(Source: Point Carbon, London, 24 June 2008) The European commission is on the verge of dropping its opposition to giving power companies extra allowances from the region’s cap and trade scheme to kick start the development of carbon capture and storage technology, claims an MEP. Original post by markjohnston

Let’s get one thing straight once and for all. A two-speed, or multi-speed Europe is only a “tragedy” (as some EU leaders have said in recent days) for those countries that decide not to keep up. The EU has always had two speeds — those that want to do something together, and those that don’t.… » read more

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