European union – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:33:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://europasite.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-05T150327.373-150x150.png European union – Europa Site http://europasite.net/ 32 32 Latvia announces four weeks of lockdown as COVID-19 cases rise https://europasite.net/latvia-announces-four-weeks-of-lockdown-as-covid-19-cases-rise/ https://europasite.net/latvia-announces-four-weeks-of-lockdown-as-covid-19-cases-rise/#respond Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:22:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/latvia-announces-four-weeks-of-lockdown-as-covid-19-cases-rise/ RIGA, October 18 (Reuters) – Latvia announced a COVID-19 lockdown from October 21 to November 15 in an attempt to slow a spike in infections in one of the least vaccinated European Union countries. “Our health system is in danger (…) The only way out of this crisis is to get vaccinated,” Prime Minister Krisjanis […]]]>

RIGA, October 18 (Reuters) – Latvia announced a COVID-19 lockdown from October 21 to November 15 in an attempt to slow a spike in infections in one of the least vaccinated European Union countries.

“Our health system is in danger (…) The only way out of this crisis is to get vaccinated,” Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said after an emergency government meeting, accusing low vaccination rates to be behind the surge in hospital admissions.

Only 54% of Latvian adults have been fully vaccinated, well below the European average of 74%, according to EU figures.

“I have to apologize to those already vaccinated,” Karins said, announcing that shops, restaurants, schools and entertainment will be closed, with only essential services available and a curfew in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. hours of the morning.

Only essential jobs in manufacturing, construction and critical jobs will be allowed to continue in person.

One of Riga’s two largest hospitals has started installing makeshift beds for COVID-19 patients in its atrium to cope with the influx, the national broadcaster reported.

No travel restrictions have been announced “because infection rates elsewhere are much lower and we don’t see any immediate risks,” Karins said.

New cases in Latvia rose 49% in the week to Sunday, its health authority said, according to the BNS wire.

The Latvian government has canceled most hospital operations planned for last week due to an increased need for beds and staff as COVID-19 cases increase.

The country had reported the second-worst number of infections in the EU, after neighboring Lithuania, in the fortnight to October 10, with 864 new cases per 10,000 people.

Latvian President Egils Levits tested positive last week, prompting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who had lunched with Levits the day before, to go into self-isolation. Read more

Reporting by Janis Laizans, written by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius, editing by Chris Reese and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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The “concrete wall” that the European Union found in Hungary https://europasite.net/the-concrete-wall-that-the-european-union-found-in-hungary/ https://europasite.net/the-concrete-wall-that-the-european-union-found-in-hungary/#respond Mon, 18 Oct 2021 08:41:54 +0000 https://europasite.net/the-concrete-wall-that-the-european-union-found-in-hungary/ The whole mission of the European Parliament was surrounded by a climate of intimidation. The visit of the commission led by Delbos-Corfield dates back to the process open to Hungary under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides for EU action when there is suspicion that a state member may violate the […]]]>

The whole mission of the European Parliament was surrounded by a climate of intimidation. The visit of the commission led by Delbos-Corfield dates back to the process open to Hungary under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which provides for EU action when there is suspicion that a state member may violate the principles of the rule of law, and acquires new importance when the European Commission has decided to postpone the allocation of new EU funds to the state because of these same doubts. Even before Gwendolyn and her colleagues arrived in Budapest, Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga had already greeted them on Twitter as follows: “Finally, we can ask them face to face why they think the European institutions can abuse their power. “

The mission of the EP Freedoms Committee, better known as LIBE, is headed by Gwendolyn, but has a representative from each parliamentary group, which, in addition to the Green Party, includes the EPP (center-right), the Socialists (center-left), the European left (radical left), the renewal of Europe (liberals), identity and democracy (nationalists and far right) and the conservatives and reformists (eurosceptic right). Although the final report of the trip is only presented in the next few months (“I hope before Christmas”, says the head of the committee), the press conference to expose the first impressions has already made it clear that the most important thing. Certain is the consensus on the criticisms of Budapest among the various members of the Committee – with the exception of the representatives of the nationalists and the extreme right.

Nothing that Viktor Orban’s government was waiting for: on the eve of the mission’s arrival, a deputy from his party, Fidesz, noted the group Comment faire A collection of “Five crazy women and two ordinary men”.. The men, of course, are Nicolas Bay, from Identity and Democracy, and Jorge Boxadei Villabla, from Conservatives and Reformers. The group conducted a total of 85 interviews, including ministers and judges, including journalists, NGO representatives, academics, opposition leaders and cultural representatives. “The goal has always been to listen to people who are loyal to the government and those who criticize the government,” Delbus-Corfield told The Observer.

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EU lacks plan B as US gathers allies to talk tough with Iran https://europasite.net/eu-lacks-plan-b-as-us-gathers-allies-to-talk-tough-with-iran/ https://europasite.net/eu-lacks-plan-b-as-us-gathers-allies-to-talk-tough-with-iran/#respond Sat, 16 Oct 2021 18:48:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-lacks-plan-b-as-us-gathers-allies-to-talk-tough-with-iran/ The European Union is not thinking of a “plan B” if diplomacy with Iran fails, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Washington on Friday, contrary to a US statement that “all options “are on the table. “It’s time to get back to the negotiating table. And I don’t want to think about plan B […]]]>
The European Union is not thinking of a “plan B” if diplomacy with Iran fails, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told Washington on Friday, contrary to a US statement that “all options “are on the table.

“It’s time to get back to the negotiating table. And I don’t want to think about plan B because no… Plan B that I could imagine would be a good one, ”Borrell said.

Iran withdrew in June from indirect talks with the United States in Vienna on both sides to return to compliance with the deal, under which Tehran limited its nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has so far refused to resume these negotiations.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions against Iran. Since then, Tehran has replenished its stocks of enriched uranium, refined it to higher purity levels, and installed advanced centrifuges to speed up the enrichment process.

Western diplomats said they feared Tehran’s new negotiating team – led by a president known to be a hard-line anti-Western supporter, unlike his pragmatic predecessor – might make new demands beyond the scope of this. which had already been agreed.

IRANIAN PRESIDENT Ebrahim Raisi visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant earlier this month. (credit: OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL SITE / REUTERS)

Borrell’s comment against Plan B contrasted with remarks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken two days earlier that the United States “will consider all options to face the challenges posed by Iran.”

Blinken, who was speaking at an event with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed marking one year since the Abraham Accords, Normalization and Peace Accords between Israel and four Arab nations, added that “We continue to believe that diplomacy is the most effective way to do it, but it takes two to engage in diplomacy, and we have not … seen anything. ‘Iran has a will to do so at this point.

The Secretary of State last week met with top diplomats from the EU, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, with Iran being the main item on the agenda.

BORRELL said “time is running out” for Iran to resume talks and for the new government of the Islamic Republic to have had sufficient time to study the matter and instruct its negotiating team.

The EU foreign policy chief said not only is Tehran obscuring the question of when they will resume indirect talks with the United States, but Iran has not even committed to a timeline for them. preliminary negotiations he asked to be held in Brussels.

“I am ready to receive them if necessary”, said Borrell, adding that he did not think that talks in Brussels were absolutely necessary but that he had to be ready to be somewhat “patient on this matter because we cannot not allow us to fail “.

EU political director Enrique Mora, chief coordinator of the talks, was in Tehran on Thursday to meet with members of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team, four months after talks between Iran and world powers broke down.

After Mora’s visit, Iran’s foreign ministry said it would hold talks with the EU in Brussels in the coming days.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russian ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog that follows nuclear talks for Moscow, suggested Iran would be better served by returning to Vienna.

“Isn’t it safer to discuss the texts with the #ViennaTalks participants?” he asked on Twitter.

French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said negotiations should resume immediately where they left off in June to quickly reach a deal.

Lapid last week in Washington called on the world to take a stand against the mullahs’ regime, which he said is “dragging its heels” to advance its nuclear program while parties to the 2015 nuclear deal wait to resume negotiations. talks.

“If a terrorist regime wants to acquire a nuclear weapon, we must act. We must make it clear that the civilized world will not allow it, ”he said.

If diplomacy between world powers and Iran fails, “other options will be on the table,” Lapid said, later adding: “When we say other options, I think everyone understands here, in Israel, the Emirates and Tehran, what it means. “


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A conversation on economics and geopolitics with Paolo Gentiloni https://europasite.net/a-conversation-on-economics-and-geopolitics-with-paolo-gentiloni/ https://europasite.net/a-conversation-on-economics-and-geopolitics-with-paolo-gentiloni/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 20:31:40 +0000 https://europasite.net/a-conversation-on-economics-and-geopolitics-with-paolo-gentiloni/ The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy and the Center on the United States and Europe welcomed Paolo Gentiloni, European Union Commissioner for Economics, to “New generation Atlanticism? A conversation about economics and geopolitics ” October 14. Brookings researchers Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti and Thomas Wright led the conversation. David Wessel moderated. This article summarizes […]]]>

The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy and the Center on the United States and Europe welcomed Paolo Gentiloni, European Union Commissioner for Economics, to “New generation Atlanticism? A conversation about economics and geopolitics ” October 14. Brookings researchers Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti and Thomas Wright led the conversation. David Wessel moderated. This article summarizes the conversation, which focused on the key economic challenges Europe faces as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic (including the impact and potential uses of the European News Fund generation) as well as on transatlantic and other foreign policy issues. * The transcript of the event can be viewed here »

Mr. Gentiloni underlined both the speed and the scale of the political response to the COVID crisis at the level of the European Union: the actions of the European Central Bank, the suspension of the restrictions imposed by the Stability Pact and growth, which enabled national governments to undertake a strong fiscal response to the crisis, as well as the joint issuance of European debt to finance short-term work plans and subsequently the stimulus program. The common response to vaccine supply, after a difficult start, has now ensured that more than 75 percent of EU citizens are vaccinated. This allowed the reopening of activity and supported a strong economic recovery. EU real growth this year is forecast at around 5% by the IMF.

While risks and uncertainties remain – linked to the evolution of the pandemic, supply-side bottlenecks, soaring energy prices and sharply rising public debt – the The challenge for the European Union is to find ways not only to make up the ground lost due to the pandemic, but to generate more sustainable and sustainable growth, he said. Public investment spending to support the greening of the economy and its digitalization are important tools, as are the reforms to which national governments have committed in their stimulus plans.

Mr. Gentiloni also underlined the importance of the recent agreement on international taxation, and the fact that the 27 Member States of the Union have signed the agreement, including some, such as Ireland, for which the decision to accept a minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent has been difficult. With the other pillar of the international tax agreement – the reallocation of taxing rights, depending on where the profits are generated – this was a turning point. The European Union pledged to achieve its implementation by 2023. He said the long-discussed deal reflects the change in administration in the United States, and singled out Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for his role in building consensus.

On the geopolitical level, Mr. Gentiloni underlined the welcome turn of the new Biden administration towards multilateralism. The difficulties with the developments of the UKUS and especially with the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have heightened awareness within the European Union of the need to try to play a more important geopolitical role, he said. he declares. This is particularly important in areas crucial for Europe such as the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Balkans, and can be beneficial for NATO and for the US-EU partnership. The EU faces a challenge in achieving these goals – for example, progress in European defense has been very limited. At the same time, she is on the same wavelength as the United States on the need to meet the Chinese challenge, and strongly attached to NATO, which plays a crucial role vis-à-vis Russia.

As for China, said Gentiloni, the EU is fully aware of the challenge posed by an authoritarian model where economic success is not associated with democracy as we know it. Europe also faces this challenge in certain aspects of its own political landscape. It tries to support an open economy, open trade, and avoid the negative economic consequences of decoupling or closing these international economic relations. This dual path is difficult, not easy of course, as evidenced by the difficulties encountered by supply chains during the crisis and the need to ensure European autonomy in certain strategic supply chains without severing international trade relations. The EU realizes that it must strengthen its political position vis-à-vis China and Russia if it is to keep the doors to trade and investment open.

Regarding Brexit, Mr Gentiloni mentioned that the problems should not be exaggerated. It was very difficult to reach the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, which came on the basis of a British proposal which the Commission accepted. Of course, things can be relaxed, but this protocol cannot be attacked or overturned without leading to dangerous political consequences, even more in Ireland than in the EU – and it is not the right thing to do.

Regarding the availability of COVID vaccines for less developed countries, Gentiloni said the problem with allowing EU exports of 800 million doses is that these doses do not reach particularly low-income countries. , and here more efforts are needed. The next G-20 in Rome at the end of October could mark a turning point and increase the commitments of the various advanced economies. Rich countries need to be more ambitious, and it is possible. The problem is very important – no one is safe until everyone is safe, and the costs are not that high. It is not only a question of solidarity, but also of the well-being of advanced economies. On the COVID front, it’s also important to relax travel rules. The so-called green certificate in the EU has been a great success, allowing travel and access to indoor activities all over Europe with the same QR code. It is a good way to increase and facilitate trade and travel, and could be extended to developing countries.


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Afghan Taliban delegation to Turkey for high-level talks https://europasite.net/afghan-taliban-delegation-to-turkey-for-high-level-talks/ https://europasite.net/afghan-taliban-delegation-to-turkey-for-high-level-talks/#respond Thu, 14 Oct 2021 15:00:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/afghan-taliban-delegation-to-turkey-for-high-level-talks/ ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s foreign minister met with a high-level delegation of the new Afghan Taliban leadership on Thursday, officials said, the first such talks since the Taliban took control of the country in August , as US forces retreated after two decades of war. The meeting in Ankara between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu […]]]>

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Turkey’s foreign minister met with a high-level delegation of the new Afghan Taliban leadership on Thursday, officials said, the first such talks since the Taliban took control of the country in August , as US forces retreated after two decades of war.

The meeting in Ankara between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban-appointed foreign minister, comes after Taliban leaders held a series of talks with the United States, 10 European countries and European Union representatives in Qatar earlier this week.

The international community has condemned some actions by the Taliban since their flash takeover as US and NATO troops withdrew and the US-backed Afghan government collapsed. The Taliban have reinstated public hangings and other brutal tactics. They allowed the girls to go back to primary school but banned them from going to high school in all provinces except one. Women were not allowed to return to work.

The current Afghan government, appointed by the Taliban, which the former insurgents say is only interim, is made up entirely of Taliban figures, many of whom have been blacklisted by the United Nations.

Cavusoglu, speaking after the meeting in the Turkish capital, said they discussed flights from Kabul airport after the Taliban asked Ankara for help on the matter. He also said that Turkey had made suggestions regarding a more inclusive Afghan government as well as the education of girls under the Taliban.

“We have expressed our security expectations for the resumption of scheduled flights” from Kabul, Cavusoglu said. “We have once again shared our advice on educating girls and employing women.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday during a virtual meeting between the Group of 20 most powerful economies that the international community should keep open the channels of dialogue with the Taliban, to “orient them patiently and gradually” towards the establishing a more inclusive government.

Erdogan said Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.6 million Syrians, cannot withstand an influx of migrants from Afghanistan, warning that European countries would also be affected by a new wave of migrants.

The Taliban say they want international recognition. They warn that the weakening of their government will affect security and trigger an even greater exodus of migration from the country.

Turkey has worked with Qatar to reopen Kabul airport for international travel. However, repairs are needed before commercial flights resume.

There are currently two airlines, Islamabad-based Pakistan International Airlines and Kam Air, a private Afghan company, which operate charter flights to and from Afghanistan, but at high costs to account for insurance.

PIA on Thursday suspended flights to Kabul hours after the Taliban threatened to ban airlines unless they cut costs. Pakistani national airline spokesman Abdullah Hafeez said “the situation on the ground is not conducive to international air operations”, without giving details.

It was reported that some PIA staff were mistreated by Taliban officials after refusing to reduce ticket prices. There were no immediate details or comments from PIA or the Taliban.

Hafeez called the atmosphere in Kabul “overcrowded” and blamed the exorbitant ticket prices on the cost of the insurance PIA must purchase to travel to Afghanistan. A one-way PIA ticket from Kabul to Islamabad costs around $ 1,500, compared to $ 300 before the Taliban took power in August, Hafeez said.

___

Gannon reported from Islamabad. Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report. This story has been corrected to show that the last name of the minister appointed by the Taliban is Muttaqi, not Mutaqi.


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It’s time for the EU to grow as a democracy https://europasite.net/its-time-for-the-eu-to-grow-as-a-democracy/ https://europasite.net/its-time-for-the-eu-to-grow-as-a-democracy/#respond Wed, 13 Oct 2021 05:04:56 +0000 https://europasite.net/its-time-for-the-eu-to-grow-as-a-democracy/ US President Joe Biden’s initiative to convene a virtual “Summit of Democracies” in early December coincides with the “Conference on the Future of Europe”. The US summit offers the European Union an excellent opportunity to mark its position on the world stage. The Union can stress that it imitates rather than imitates the United States […]]]>

US President Joe Biden’s initiative to convene a virtual “Summit of Democracies” in early December coincides with the “Conference on the Future of Europe”.

The US summit offers the European Union an excellent opportunity to mark its position on the world stage. The Union can stress that it imitates rather than imitates the United States of America in the area of ​​good governance.

The desire to lay the foundations for an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe did not lead to the creation of a federal state, but to the emergence of the EU as a democratic regional organization – that is to say a Union of democratic States, which constitutes a democracy in its own right.

The dual character of EU democracy is underpinned by the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which requires the Union to uphold standards of democracy and the rule of law similar to those it demands of its states members.

On the eve of the Summit of Democracies, the EU itself can be characterized as a democratic regional organization with a dual democracy.

United States of Europe

In his famous Zurich speech of 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill expressed the aspirations of an entire generation in calling for the creation of the United States of Europe.

The dream of the old continent resurrecting from the ruins of war as a federal state by analogy with the United States continued to inspire politicians for decades to come.

Half a century later, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer reopened the debate on the ultimate goal of European integration with his speech “From Confederation to Federation”.

And after the rejection of the “Constitution for Europe” in 2005, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt showed his unwavering support for the federal ideal in a pamphlet defiantly titled “The United States Europe ”.

Brexit

Unfortunately, their concern for the ideal of the United States of Europe prevented the federalists from recognizing the realities on the ground.

In a dialogue that is mutually reinforcing with their opponents, the intergovernmentalists, they have failed to account for the specificities of European construction.

The two antagonists neglected the fact that the Member States, participating in the process of European integration, were constitutional democracies.

Although the European Council underlined their particular character by describing the Communities in 1973 as a “Union of democratic states”, federalists and intergovernmentalists preferred to continue their theoretical debate on the purpose of the EU as if the developments on the terrain had no relevance.

As a result, neither of the two dominant ideologies has been able to defend the emerging European democracy against the claims of populists and Brexiteers.

European democracy

In her 1997 Europe Conference, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson underlined the importance of the principle that whatever the result of the momentum towards European integration, it must be the result of ‘an organic process.

A quarter of a century later, history has proven him right. European democracy has emerged organically, as the EC / EU has evolved over decades from an organization of states to a “democratic union of democratic states”.

As foreseen by the standard formula of the EU treaties according to which “this treaty marks a new stage in the process of creating an ever closer union between the peoples of Europe”, the current European democracy is the result of a gradual process.

The first step, which the European Council took after identifying the Communities as “a Union of democratic States”, was also to confer on their Union its own democratic legitimacy.

They transform the Parliamentary Assembly into a European Parliament and organize the first direct universal elections for their democratic institution in 1979.

A Democratic Union of Democratic States

Building a representative democracy at Union level has taken a considerable amount of time, but the decisive steps can be highlighted as follows.

The introduction of European citizenship in 1992 laid the foundations for a direct relationship between the EU and its citizens. Moreover, it fulfilled the first precondition that democracies cannot function without citizens.

Once citizenship was introduced, the EU enshrined the concept of democracy in its core values ​​under the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997. The proclamation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights gave new citizens a special status whole.

The charter has been hailed as the Magna Carta of European citizens.

It gained the force of law through its inclusion in the 2007 Lisbon Treaty. The hallmark of ‘Lisbon’ lies in its construction of the EU as a dual democracy. It allows the EU to be described as a “Union of democratic states, which is also a democracy in its own right”.

Taking into account the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice, it can be concluded that the EU has reached its constitutional destination as a “Democratic Union of Democratic States”.

Some 70 years after the start of the European integration process, the EU can no longer claim to be a teenager in search of an identity of its own.

The European Union has developed its own form of international organization with a distinct system of governance.

The challenge of the Conference on the Future of Europe is to fill the gaps in this model of dual democracy. It urgently needs to improve democracy at Union level and avoid backsliding in the Member States.

The Summit of Democracies can be seen by the EU as a global platform to spread the message that it is developing its own model of democracy and that it is imitating rather than imitating the United States.


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How Delhi Came to See Europe as a Valuable Strategic Partner https://europasite.net/how-delhi-came-to-see-europe-as-a-valuable-strategic-partner/ https://europasite.net/how-delhi-came-to-see-europe-as-a-valuable-strategic-partner/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 01:35:35 +0000 https://europasite.net/how-delhi-came-to-see-europe-as-a-valuable-strategic-partner/ Last week’s in-person summit in Delhi was with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. This was fitting, as Europe is so high on India’s diplomatic agenda today and the small European states are attracting unprecedented political attention from Delhi. If the Danish meeting highlighted the immense possibilities of India with the small European countries, the prospects […]]]>

Last week’s in-person summit in Delhi was with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. This was fitting, as Europe is so high on India’s diplomatic agenda today and the small European states are attracting unprecedented political attention from Delhi.

If the Danish meeting highlighted the immense possibilities of India with the small European countries, the prospects for a broader strategic cooperation with the European collective opened up with the articulation of a global Indo-Pacific strategy by the European Union last month. May Denmark, a country of just six million inhabitants, be able to establish a meaningful green partnership with India, is a reminder that the small countries of Europe have a lot to offer in the economic, technological and social transformation of the country. India.

If little Luxembourg brings great financial power, Norway offers impressive maritime technologies, Estonia is a cyberpower, Czechia has strong advantages in optoelectronics, Portugal is a window to the Portuguese-speaking world and Slovenia offers commercial access. in the heart of Europe through its Adriatic Sea. port of Koper. The list goes on. As India begins to realize this untapped potential, there are new openings with the EU to 27 countries headquartered in Brussels.

The fact that the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy received little public attention in Delhi is part of the entrenched indifference to Europe in India’s foreign policy discourse. To be sure, the publication of the EU’s approach to the Indo-Pacific was overshadowed by the controversial announcement of the AUKUS partnership on nuclear-powered submarines. The nuclear-powered submarines that will be built by the United States and the United Kingdom for Australia will not sail in Indo-Pacific waters for years to come; but it generated a lot, if unnecessary, of excitement in Delhi. The EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy, barely noticed in Delhi, is likely to have a much bigger impact on the region more immediately and on a wider range of areas than military security. They range from trade and investment to green partnerships, from building quality infrastructure to digital partnerships, and from strengthening ocean governance to promoting research and innovation. Defense and security are important elements of the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy which “seeks to promote an open and rules-based regional security architecture, including secure maritime lines of communication, capacity building and a reinforced naval presence in the Indo-Pacific ”.

For the first time since European colonial powers withdrew from Asia amid the rise of nationalist movements in the mid-20th century, Europe is returning as a geopolitical actor in Asia and its waters – the Indo- Pacific if you will. But the context is very different. Few Asian countries view Europe with strategic mistrust. Many in Asia see Europe as a valuable partner. A survey earlier this year of policymakers and opinion leaders in the ASEAN region placed the EU as the region’s most reliable partner after Japan and ahead of the United States. China and India are at the bottom of the list.

As the escalating confrontation between the United States and China begins to weigh on Southeast Asia, Europe is widely seen as expanding strategic options for the region. The prospect is similar to Delhi, which now sees Brussels as a critical element in building a multipolar world. As Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says, India’s strategy is “to engage America, to manage China, to cultivate Europe, to reassure Russia, to play Japan”. For students of Indian foreign policy, the command to “cultivate Europe” is certainly new.

The Cold War, which divided Europe between East and West, distorted India’s view of the region. During colonial times, both nationalists and princes developed far-reaching engagement with Europe. After independence, India viewed Western Europe as an extension of the United States and Eastern Europe through the eyes of Moscow. As it leaned towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War, India developed political aggressiveness towards the western part of Europe and took the East for granted.

As Europe embarked on the daring Union-building experiment in the 1990s, Delhi had another set of diplomatic priorities – saving a relationship with post-Soviet Russia, normalizing relations with China, connecting with the United States and manage a more difficult relationship with nuclear. Pakistan. This left Delhi little diplomatic leeway to think strategically about Europe. When asked to explain his remarks on ‘cultivating Europe’ at the Bled Strategy Forum in Slovenia last month, Jaishankar admitted that Delhi had not paid sufficient attention to Brussels in the past. He added that Delhi is now focused on developing a strong partnership with Brussels and engaging each of its 27 members – large and small – individually. Brussels has long been ready to dance with Delhi.

The EU defined a strategy for India in 2018 focusing on four themes: sustainable economic modernization, promotion of a rules-based order, foreign policy coordination and security cooperation. At the summit in Portugal in May this year, the EU and India agreed to resume free trade negotiations and develop a new connectivity partnership that would expand options for the world beyond the initiative. “the Belt and the Road”. Above all, it is recognized in Delhi and Brussels that the India-EU strategic partnership is crucial for rebalancing the international system amid the current global flow.

The clamor in Europe for “strategic autonomy” has certainly increased in the wake of the UKUS which pushed France out of its submarine agreement with Australia. Washington acted quickly to restore confidence with Paris.

In a joint statement issued after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden affirmed “the strategic importance of French and European engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, including as part of the strategy recently published by the European Union for the Indo-Pacific “. Whatever the specific circumstances of the AUKUS agreement and its impact on France, the United States would like all its partners, especially European ones, to actively contribute to rebuilding the balance of power in Asia.

The EU strategy, in turn, envisions working with the Quad in the Indo-Pacific, while strengthening security cooperation with a number of Asian partners, including India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

A stronger Europe with a greater geopolitical agency is welcome in Delhi. India realizes that Europe cannot match America’s military weight in the Indo-Pacific. But it could help strengthen the military balance and contribute to regional security in several other ways. Delhi knows that Europe could dramatically increase India’s ability to influence future performance in the Indo-Pacific. It would also be a valuable addition to India’s Quad coalition with Australia, Japan and the United States.

It was Russia that defined India’s discourse on the multipolar world after the Cold War. Today, it is Europe – with its much greater economic weight, technological power and normative power – that promises to stimulate India’s quest for a multipolar world and a rebalanced Indo-Pacific.

This column first appeared in the print edition on October 12, 2021 under the title “European booster shot”. The writer is director of the Institute for South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore and associate editor on international affairs for The Indian Express


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‘Brexit can happen here’, Poles protest in favor of EU membership https://europasite.net/brexit-can-happen-here-poles-protest-in-favor-of-eu-membership/ https://europasite.net/brexit-can-happen-here-poles-protest-in-favor-of-eu-membership/#respond Sun, 10 Oct 2021 19:11:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/brexit-can-happen-here-poles-protest-in-favor-of-eu-membership/ WARSAW, Oct. 10 (Reuters) – More than 100,000 Poles demonstrated in favor of joining the European Union on Sunday after a court ruling that parts of EU law is incompatible with the constitution has raises fears that the country leaves the bloc. Politicians across Europe expressed dismay at the Polish Constitutional Court’s ruling on Thursday, […]]]>

WARSAW, Oct. 10 (Reuters) – More than 100,000 Poles demonstrated in favor of joining the European Union on Sunday after a court ruling that parts of EU law is incompatible with the constitution has raises fears that the country leaves the bloc.

Politicians across Europe expressed dismay at the Polish Constitutional Court’s ruling on Thursday, which they saw as undermining the legal pillar on which the 27-country EU rests. Read more

According to the organizers, protests took place in more than 100 cities in Poland and in several cities abroad, with 80,000 to 100,000 people gathered in the capital Warsaw alone, waving Polish and European flags and shouting “We are staying. “.

Donald Tusk, former President of the European Council and now leader of the main opposition Civic Platform party, said the policies of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party were jeopardizing Poland’s future in Europe.

“We know why they want to leave (the EU) (…)

PiS says it does not have a “Polexit” project.

But right-wing populist governments in Poland and Hungary have found themselves increasingly at odds with the European Commission on issues ranging from LGBT rights to judicial independence.

“Just as Brexit has suddenly become a fact, something that no one expected, the same can happen here,” said Janusz Kuczynski, 59, standing on a street in Warsaw’s historic district leading to the Royal Castle.

Welcoming the court ruling on Thursday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said every member state should be treated with respect and that the EU should not be just “a grouping of those who are equal and more equal”.

State broadcaster TVP, which critics say focuses heavily on presenting the government’s point of view, broadcast a ticker saying “protest against the Polish constitution” during its coverage of Sunday’s events.

Speakers at the protests included politicians from across the opposition, artists and activists.

“This is our Europe and no one is going to get us out of it,” said Wanda Traczyk-Stawska, a 94-year veteran of the 1944 Warsaw uprising against the German Nazi occupiers.

Reporting by Kacper Pempel and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk Editing by Frances Kerry

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Moderna, Racing for Profits, keeps Covid vaccine out of reach of the poor https://europasite.net/moderna-racing-for-profits-keeps-covid-vaccine-out-of-reach-of-the-poor/ https://europasite.net/moderna-racing-for-profits-keeps-covid-vaccine-out-of-reach-of-the-poor/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 15:06:57 +0000 https://europasite.net/moderna-racing-for-profits-keeps-covid-vaccine-out-of-reach-of-the-poor/ Moderna’s market value has nearly tripled this year to over $ 120 billion. Two of its founders, as well as an early investor, were on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s 400 richest people this month. As the coronavirus spread in early 2020, Moderna rushed to design its vaccine – which uses a new technology known […]]]>

Moderna’s market value has nearly tripled this year to over $ 120 billion. Two of its founders, as well as an early investor, were on Forbes magazine’s list of America’s 400 richest people this month.

As the coronavirus spread in early 2020, Moderna rushed to design its vaccine – which uses a new technology known as messenger RNA – and to schedule a safety study. To manufacture the doses for this trial, the company received $ 900,000 from the nonprofit Coalition for Outbreak Preparedness Innovations.

The nonprofit group said Moderna had accepted its “fair access principles”. This meant, according to the coalition, that the vaccine would be “first available to populations when and where they are needed and at affordable prices for populations at risk, especially low- and middle-income countries or entities in the sector. public who procure on their behalf.

Moderna agreed in May to provide up to 34 million doses of the vaccine this year, plus up to 466 million doses in 2022, to Covax, the struggling United Nations-backed program to immunize the world’s poor. The company has yet to ship any of those doses, according to a spokesperson for Covax, although Covax has distributed tens of millions of doses of Moderna donated by the United States.

Mr Bancel said many more doses would have been sent to Covax this year had the two sides reached a supply agreement in 2020. Aurélia Nguyen, a Covax official, denied this, saying: “It has become clear from the start that the best we could expect were minimum doses in 2021.

At the end of last year, the Tunisian government was hoping to order doses of Moderna. Dr Hechmi Louzir, who led Tunisia’s vaccine supply efforts, was unsure of how to contact Moderna to begin talks and asked for help from the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, t -he declares. Officials contacted Moderna, he said, but nothing came of it.

“We were very interested in Moderna,” said Dr Louzir. “We tried.”


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EU executive pushes Greece to investigate refoulement reports https://europasite.net/eu-executive-pushes-greece-to-investigate-refoulement-reports/ https://europasite.net/eu-executive-pushes-greece-to-investigate-refoulement-reports/#respond Fri, 08 Oct 2021 08:55:00 +0000 https://europasite.net/eu-executive-pushes-greece-to-investigate-refoulement-reports/ A Greek national flag and a European Union flag fly inside a recently opened closed-type migrant camp on the island of Samos, Greece, September 18, 2021. REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis / File Photo October 8 (Reuters) – The European Union executive on Friday urged Greece to open an investigation into reports of refoulements of illegal […]]]>

A Greek national flag and a European Union flag fly inside a recently opened closed-type migrant camp on the island of Samos, Greece, September 18, 2021. REUTERS / Alkis Konstantinidis / File Photo

October 8 (Reuters) – The European Union executive on Friday urged Greece to open an investigation into reports of refoulements of illegal migrants, while praising Croatia for pledging to open an investigation.

“I have to say that the Croatian government takes this very seriously, it will immediately investigate,” EU Home Commissioner Ylva Johansson told an EU meeting in Luxembourg.

“My discussion with the Greek minister was different, and I made it clear that I will not accept that Greece does not investigate this matter,” she added.

“We have to protect our external borders, but we also have to protect our values, the rule of law and fundamental rights. And it is entirely possible to do it together.”

Johansson met the interior ministers of Croatia and Greece on Thursday, after German media Der Spiegel and ARD documented what they said were Greek and Croatian officials carrying out illegal and sometimes violent pushbacks of migrants. Read more

Reports indicated that German media had video footage of 11 pushbacks by Croatian police in Bosnia and also evidence, including footage, of Greek coast guards forcing migrants back to the Aegean Sea.

Reuters has not independently verified the allegations.

The Migration Ministry in Athens denied reports of refoulements of migrants and said it was operating under international law to protect Greek and European borders.

Under international law, people have the right to seek asylum and it is prohibited to return potential asylum seekers to places where their life or well-being could be in danger.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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