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epa06454547 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) prior to their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 19 January 2018. Merkel is in Paris for a one-day working visit.  EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON Merkel, Macron map out Europe’s future
epa06407140 A woman wears a protective mask while riding her bicycle between cars in the center of Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 27 December 2017. Macedonian government ordered free public transportation as part of emergency measures to combat air pollution.  EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI Brussels calls out nine member states that break the EU’s air quality limits
epa06442960 President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades (C) is flanked by his guests King of Jordan, Abdalla ?? (L) and the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras (R) as they pose for the media during their meeting for the Cyprus-Greece-Jordan tripartite meeting, at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, 16 January 2018. The meeting is the first of its kind at this level during which - apart from the signing of mutual agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding - it is expected that it will lay the foundations for a strategic cooperation at all levels. The Declaration of Nicosia is also scheduled to be adopted, constituting a roadmap of the actions which will follow and the common approaches of the three states on important current issues, including regional developments.  EPA-EFE/IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / POOL / POOL Greece, Cyprus, Jordan heads of state agree renewable energy package
epa04660432 Euro banknotes secured at cash control during the balance sheet press conference for the Frankfurt Airport central customs office in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 13 March 2015. Following the Washington Convention, the import and export of ivory is forbidden. In the past year, the Frankfurt central customs office took in a billion more euros than in the previous year. 4.15 billion euros were collected from tariffs, taxes, and duties in 2014.  EPA/ARNE DEDERT Franco-German axis to submit common Eurozone reform deal by June
epa06272821 The controversial herbicide Roundup, which contains glyphosate, pictured in a garden in Hoechenschwand, Germany, 18 October 2017. Roundup is manufactured by the Monsanto company in St. Louis, USA. Germany's chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer intends to acquire Monsanto Corporation.  EPA-EFE/STEFFEN SCHMIDT European Parliament to set up pesticides committee after ‘glyphosate wars’
epa06449633 Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs gives a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, 18 January 2018, on the proposals to reform of the EU VAT system in Europe.  EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET Moscovici accuses some EU member states of being “black tax holes”
Julian King MEPs call for boosting EU resilience to Russian propaganda
epa05734477 The facebook logo inside the facebook Chalet on the sideline of the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, 20 January 2017. The meeting brings together enterpreneurs, scientists, chief executive and political leaders in Davos January 17 to 20.  EPA/GIAN EHRENZELLER Facebook widens investigation into Russia’s involvement in the Brexit campaign
epa06042576 Ireland's new Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar (L) is welcomed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) prior to a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 22 June 2017. European heads of states and governments later the same day will gather for a two-days European Council meeting.  EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET Ireland’s Varadkar says the EU is at a decisive point
Corina Creţu From waste to energy, EU backs construction of Lithuanian heat and power plant

EU National News

3142922876_33369f14d0_o European Commission blocks Austrian regulator from favouring national broadcaster
epa06148221 Plastic waste seen at the ALBA Group recycling plant in Berlin, Germany, 15 August 2017 (issued 17 August 2017). Some 140.000 tons of plastic waste per year are processed at the plant of the ALBA Group in Berlin. According to a European Union report, one third of all plastic waste in EU is sent to a landfill instead of it being recycled. According to a EU estimate, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans, much of it breaking into small particles called microplastic, harming all sea life. The EU has activated the 'Circular Economy Action Package', adopted in December 2015, making plastics a priority. While plastic waste already needs to be collected separately, the 'Package' proposes raising the recycling target for plastic packaging to 55 per cent, and reducing landfilling to no more than 10 per cent by 2030. A EU environment paper says the  European Commission is preparing a new dedicated plastics strategy aimed at helping Europe improve recycling, cut marine litter, and remove potentially dangerous chemicals.  EPA/CLEMENS BILAN Special tax left out of EU Commission’s new strategy for plastics
image_content_7718231_20180116202443 Catalan parliament elects pro-independence lawmaker as speaker
epa06443371 A Carillion crane stands at a construction site in London, Britain, 16 January 2018. Thousands of jobs in the UK and abroad maybe lost following the news that Construction company Carillion is to go into liquidation. Talks between lenders and the UK government has failed to reach a deal.  EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN Carillion’s collapse calls into question the UK government’s outsourcing culture
epa04828019 (FILE) A file picture released by the US Coast Guard on 22 April 2010 shows a fire aboard the mobile offshore oil drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, located in the Gulf of Mexico some 80 kilometers southeast of Venice, Louisiana, USA. An explosion on board BP's mobile offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on 20 April 2010 triggered the worst oil spill in US history. Reports on 02 July 2015 state the US government and Gulf States have agreed on a tentative settlement whereby British BP is to pay compensation for damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the settlement, BP will pay 18,7 billion USD in damage compensation over a period of 18 years.  EPA/US COAST GUARD / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY As Deepwater Horizon claims near closure, BP to take $1.7 billion post-tax non-operating charge

World News

gr-2 Greece-Macedonia/FYROM Name Talks appear to lose the strong momentum seen at the start of 2018
epa06443375 A woman walks past an election poster reading 'Strong President Strong Russia' in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), and a self-nominated candidate in the upcoming presidential election and Presidential candidate from Russian Communist Party Pavel Grudinin (L), in St.Petersburg, Russia, 16 January 2018. Presidential election in Russia is scheduled for 18 March 2018.  EPA-EFE/ANATOLY MALTSEV US-Russia relations to become even worse in 2018, report shows
epa04515171 Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaks with the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov (R) during a working meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 04 December 2014. At least 19 people were killed when Islamist militants clashed with security forces in a gunbattle in Chechnya on 04 December, government officials said. The gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint overnight to Thursday in the regional capital Grozny before holing up in a nearby office building and in a school, Russia's Anti-Terrorist Committee said. The agency, which coordinates operations against terrorists, said that 10 officers had been killed and 28 injured during the operation.  EPA/ALEXEI DRUZHININ / RIA NOVOSTI / KREMLIN POOL Chechnya’s Kadyrov says “real Chechens” don’t work for NGOs
epa05432055 A prisoner with cats in a prison cell in the Lukyanivska detention center in Kiev, Ukraine, 19 July 2016 The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice organised a press tour for the media to the Lukyanivska detention center.  EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY Ukraine not respecting its human rights pledges: HRW
epa05276865 (FILE) A file picture dated 22 July 2015 of customers being silhouetted inside of an Apple store in Sydney, Australia.  Apple will release their financial year 2016 2nd quarter results on 26 April 2016.  EPA/PAUL MILLER AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT Apple’s massive cash repatriation a test for trickle-down economics

Leaders' Perspectives

 

 

 

Failing fat cat executives must face greater scrutiny

By: John Caudwell

Trump’s Quest to Make America White Again

By: James Q. Whitman

epa06318488 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the Opening Bell in New York, New York, USA, on 09 November 2017.  EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

Global Markets Make Global Rules

By: Daniel Schlaepfer
Hugo Kruyne

In defense of economic populism

By: Dani Rodrik

The best hope for the Iranian people

By: Geoffrey Hoon

What’s driving Iran’s protests?

By: Hassan Hakimian

Europe between Trump and Xi

By: Zaki Laïdi

European leaders and Erdoğan’s charm offensive

By: Selcuk Gultasli

Commerciality is required to make the best of Brexit

By: John Caudwell

Applaud and not criticise the Commission for upholding the Birds’ Directive in Malta

By: Nicholas Barbara

Trump’s Jerusalem rationale and its consequences

By: Richard N. Haass

Does Europe really need fiscal and political union?

By: Dani Rodrik


Bulgaria’s Borissov warns of instability risk in Balkans without EU support epa06445756 Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov delivers his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 17 January 2018, during a debate on the preview of the Bulgarian Presidency. Bulgaria took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe on 15 January 2018.  EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Thursday that Brussels needed to offer a clear message on future EU membership to the

By Irene Kostaki Journalist, New Europe

Energy

epa06442960 President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades (C) is flanked by his guests King of Jordan, Abdalla ?? (L) and the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras (R) as they pose for the media during their meeting for the Cyprus-Greece-Jordan tripartite meeting, at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, 16 January 2018. The meeting is the first of its kind at this level during which - apart from the signing of mutual agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding - it is expected that it will lay the foundations for a strategic cooperation at all levels. The Declaration of Nicosia is also scheduled to be adopted, constituting a roadmap of the actions which will follow and the common approaches of the three states on important current issues, including regional developments.  EPA-EFE/IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU / POOL / POOL Greece, Cyprus, Jordan heads of state agree renewable energy package
Corina Creţu From waste to energy, EU backs construction of Lithuanian heat and power plant
epa06443409 A general view of the European Parliament during in a voting on a new fishing law in the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 16 January 2018. The new law would provide common measures on fishing gear and methods and regulate which specied would be allowed to be caught for all EU waters.  EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER MEPs adopt tighter targets for energy efficiency, renewables by 2030
epa06148221 Plastic waste seen at the ALBA Group recycling plant in Berlin, Germany, 15 August 2017 (issued 17 August 2017). Some 140.000 tons of plastic waste per year are processed at the plant of the ALBA Group in Berlin. According to a European Union report, one third of all plastic waste in EU is sent to a landfill instead of it being recycled. According to a EU estimate, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans, much of it breaking into small particles called microplastic, harming all sea life. The EU has activated the 'Circular Economy Action Package', adopted in December 2015, making plastics a priority. While plastic waste already needs to be collected separately, the 'Package' proposes raising the recycling target for plastic packaging to 55 per cent, and reducing landfilling to no more than 10 per cent by 2030. A EU environment paper says the  European Commission is preparing a new dedicated plastics strategy aimed at helping Europe improve recycling, cut marine litter, and remove potentially dangerous chemicals.  EPA/CLEMENS BILAN Special tax left out of EU Commission’s new strategy for plastics
IMG_9110 US to strengthen its presence in Central Asia
epa02865449 (FILES) A file photo, taken in March 2009 and provided by Royal Dutch Shell of the  Gannet Alpha platform in the North Sea.  A leak has been discovered on the platform owned by Royal Dutch Shell who say 13 August 2011 it was working to repair the leak which was found in a flow line connecting an oil well to the alpha platform.A clean up vessel and spotter plane have been sent to the site 112 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland  EPA/ROYAL DUTCH SHELL HO Shell to redevelop UK North Sea field, sells Iraqi stake to Japan’s Itochu
epa04828019 (FILE) A file picture released by the US Coast Guard on 22 April 2010 shows a fire aboard the mobile offshore oil drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, located in the Gulf of Mexico some 80 kilometers southeast of Venice, Louisiana, USA. An explosion on board BP's mobile offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on 20 April 2010 triggered the worst oil spill in US history. Reports on 02 July 2015 state the US government and Gulf States have agreed on a tentative settlement whereby British BP is to pay compensation for damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to the settlement, BP will pay 18,7 billion USD in damage compensation over a period of 18 years.  EPA/US COAST GUARD / HANDOUT  HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY As Deepwater Horizon claims near closure, BP to take $1.7 billion post-tax non-operating charge
epa06429139 Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni (R) welcomes Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (L) at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, 10 January 2018. The leaders of the southern European countries are meeting in Rome to attend the fourth summit on migrants and EU future. The summit aims to strengthen the united front on topics such as migration, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), and growth and investments in 2018, considered a critical year for the European Union. The countries participating in the summit are Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta and Cyprus.  EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI At Rome ‘Club Med’ summit, Greece gets a line on TAP gas to Italy
epa06418376 A man walks in front of the European Parliament building with the logo of the parliament, in Brussels, Belgium, 05 January 2018.  EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET MEPs call for more research, innovation, mindset change to boost clean energy
epa06307841 A ferry passing under the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, 04 November 2017.  EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN EBRD hails Turkey’s national plan to boost energy efficiency

Internet & ICT

epa06453413 European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, gives a press conference on the results of the 3rd monitoring exercise of the Code of Conduct on countering illegal online hate speech at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, 19 January 2018.  EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ European Commission’s Jourova says digital wild west is over
3142922876_33369f14d0_o European Commission blocks Austrian regulator from favouring national broadcaster
epa06354905 Visitors at the Google booth during the eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, 28 November 2017.  EPA-EFE/JAGADEESH NV Will the EU step in to regulate Amazon, Facebook and Google in 2018?
epa06227255 Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, speaks at the Seoul Ethereum Meetup in Seoul, South Korea, 25 September 2017.  EPA-EFE/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT Ethereum father Buterin leaves Fenbushi Capital to focus on crypto’s scalability problems
860_handsaway3 HandsAway: Brussels wants to use bait women to catch harassers
epa06307386 An Iranian woman holds an effigy of US President Donald J. Trump in front of an anti-US mural during an anti-US demonstration marking the 38th anniversary of US Embassy takeover, in front of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran, 04 November 2017. Media reported that Thousands of protesters chanting 'Death to America' gathered at the former US embassy in Tehran to mark the 38th anniversary of the start of the Iran hostage crisis. Iranian students occupied the embassy on November 04, 1979 after the USA granted permission to the late Iranian Shah to be hospitalised in the States. Over 50 US diplomats and guards were held hostage by students for 444 days.  EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH EU, Iran to discuss preserving nuclear deal in Brussels
epa06424944 French President Emmanuel Macron (L) chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, 08 January 2018.  EPA-EFE/ANDY WONG / POOL Macron visits China, profiting from Trump’s incoherences
deze-map-van-de-federation-of-american-scientists-toont-de-lokatie-van-de-kernbommen Belgium asks Google to blur aerial images of nuclear weapons storage areas
epa06063160 (FILE) - A general view of the Iranian South Pars quarter one (SPQ1) gas platform in the Persian gulf waters on the edge of the Qatar territorial waters, near the southern Iranian port of Assalouyeh, Iran, 26 January 2011 (reissued 03 July 2017). French energy company Total and Iran will sign a contract on 03 July 2017 over the development of South Pars Phase 11  EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH France says “no” to fossil fuel extraction
epa04025992 (01/25) Two surveillance cameras hang from what looks like a lamp post outside the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 20 September 2013.  EPA/JIM LO SCALZO PLEASE REFER TO ADVISORY NOTICE (epa04025991) FOR FULL FEATURE TEXT Two Romanians to be extradited to US for hacking Washington surveillance cameras at Trump inauguration

From the NE Knowledge Network



Catalan parliament elects pro-independence lawmaker as speaker image_content_7718231_20180116202443

Catalan lawmakers on Wednesday elected pro-independence politician Roger Torrent as speaker of the regional parliament in a sign of strength

By Dan Alexe Contributing Editor, New Europe

New Europe Columns





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