Kassandra

Enlargement yes, but why…

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Western Balkan countries are anxious to get a date to start entry negotiations and this is good because most of the countries of the former Yugoslavia suffered a lot in the last three decades....

France unmoved on EU Enlargement

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Recent diplomatic exchanges cited by Reuters indicate France has not backed off of its opposition to the immediate launch of EU accession talks with Albania or North Macedonia, leaving the situation much as it...

Good-bye Downing Street, bienvenue Élysée!

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After so many good-byes, though without leaving, I think that the time for the United Kingdom has come to say a final adios! to the bloc within a matter of days; maximum, in a...

Enlargement tales: Albania, North Macedonia, and influencers of a different kind

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On October 15, the General Affairs Council may decide whether to issue a starting date for EU Membership negotiations with Albania - the first in line to join - and North Macedonia, who is...

LIFE is easy with spaghetti con salsa italiana (abbondante)

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Margrethe Vestager is the new Executive Vice-President for Competition, plus Digital, who was graciously nicknamed by Donald Trump as “tax lady” and who earned great praise for raising record multi-billion fines on American tech...

Scary Movie in Cine Beijing

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Whoever thinks that last week’s shooting of a Hong Kong demonstrator while Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed - in a Mao Zedong-style suit, no less - a parade of 100,000 adoring people in Beijing,...

Scary Movie (Part II) (update Oct. 3 08:47 CET)

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Whoever thinks that the shooting of a Hong Kong demonstrator while Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed - in a Mao Zedong-style suit, no less - a parade of 100,000 people in Beijing was not...

Scary Movie

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The Chinese experiment, which separates the Communist socio-political system into a political dictatorship and a Wild West-type market economy, has failed. In China, the market economy is private but under the total control of the...

Hungary and Romania need to send other Commissioner candidates after new European Parliament vote

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In a morning vote on 30 September 2019, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted that Commissioners-designate from Hungary and Romania cannot stay on. The two separate votes pertained to whether the Commissioners-designate are...

Von der Leyen faces dilemma as OLAF concludes Polish Commissioner-designate Wojciechowski must return €11,243

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The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has concluded its investigation of Polish Commissioner-designate Janusz Wojciechowski and recommended the European Parliament recover €11,243 that had been unduly paid to him while he was a Member of...

Kovesi clears hurdles and prepares to take charge of EPPO

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Will the new Chief Prosecutor of  EPPO be A European from Romania or a Romanian in Europe? Laura Codruta Kovesi has cleared (perhaps) the most difficult hurdle in her appointment as Europe›s first Chief Prosecutor, though...

Von der Leyen’s first big win: Diversion from substance

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While some squabble over the European Way of Life, von der Leyen is working on everything that matters Political backlash for a non-issue followed by the subsequent media frenzy. This is the only way to...

A fair way out

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Never is late, but sooner or later late becomes too late. Absolutist Europe died four centuries ago as a result of the Renaissance and was slowly and gradually replaced by compromise. Nowadays, however, instead of...

Italy – EU turn the page, for now

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A few years ago, my son who has passion for watches, went to our family house in Corfu and returned to Brussels wearing a beautiful, antique Omega watch that he proudly showed me. I...

Watch your language CJEU!

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Because Kassandra can always have more friends Kassandra gets some fan mail, and sometimes even hate mail. What we love most is communication from concerned citizens and stakeholders. A few days ago, Kassandra was made...

Greek tax collectors prepare for hand-to-hand combat

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Over the summer, as the Greek government sought to curb tax evasion during its peak season, several incidents of attacks of tax collectors took place. Some came away unscathed, being chased out of restaurants,...

Change on the horizon; brace for impact

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The European Union has entered into a phase of critical uncertainty. The Brits made the second blunder in their post-war history with Brexit and are totally confused. The first mistake was that upon the end...

It’s time to make EU funding opportunities equal for all

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Sucking the LIFE out of Europe’s economy As Kassandra has explained in the last year, the tender for the monitoring of the LIFE program worth €80 million over four years, has been at least problematic....

Ursula von der Leyen’s incoming Commission is now ready

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With former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni being announced as the 27th European Commission member for the incoming mandate, President-elect Ursula von der Leyen is now ready to present a complete picture to the...

What were the Americans thinking at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 2018?

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As the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) is inaugurated 7 September, high-level officials, pundits and regional business leaders will be focusing on economic policy pronouncements made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, this year...

Why the Cypriot Auditor General undermines the solution of the Cyprus’ EU related waste...

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Despite its immense natural beauty and the fact that its heavy industry is tourism, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is facing a growing waste management problem and is missing a golden opportunity to absorb European Union funds to tackle this key issue that is rapidly becoming one...

Can Ursula, be the emerging Margaret of Europe?

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The fact that in last spring’s European elections, Euroscepticism did not hit the record levels many were afraid of, does not mean that the danger is over. On the contrary, the threat is there...

When an independent competition authority becomes politicised – The troubling example of Greece

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In recent months, the Greek Competition Authority (HCC) has been in turmoil over the appointment of Vassiliki Thanou at the helm of the Agency, amid heavy criticism that her selection was politically-motivated. And while...

In an EPPO stalemate, the alternative for Kovesi to tackle corruption from within the...

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There is no question that momentum is coming back into favour for the Candidate for European Chief Prosecutor,  Laura Codruta Kovesi. Kovesi, who comes from Romania, and is the former chief prosecutor of the National...

That’s Life!

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Summertime. The livin' is easy and while watching the deep blue of the Aegean, took the opportunity to review some of my files that were set aside but not forgotten. In one of them, which...

The name is Ambassador. EU Ambassador.

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It's very cool to have a great twitter handle. Typically, for the European Commission politicians, and civil servants you would expect to find something that combines ones name with the letters EU. Or maybe...

Cyprus, the island sinking in waste

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Cyprus, the island of Aphrodite, as myth has it, is often described as the crown jewel of the Mediterranean, with pristine waters and year-round mild weather have been powering the ever-expanding local tourism and...

Garbage in paradise

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Last week, Kassandra looked at the overall disquieting situation of inefficient waste management practices in South-eastern Europe. Among the worst offenders are the two island states of Cyprus and Malta. Worse, those two member...

Wasting waste and wasting an opportunity

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The optics of it certainly look extraordinary: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, aged 16, sat down with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in February to discuss climate action. Two months later, in April,...

Enlargement, going back to square one

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North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

Did Weber unwittingly throw himself under the bus?

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Before all of the European election ballots have been counted and all of the new Members of the European Parliament seen their names in the official results, the EPP Group has already rushed to...

An election different than any other before

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In recent years, the European establishment, both in the EU capital and government leadership, was taken by surprise twice - Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump. But both of these are none...

One debate, many questions

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The six potential candidates to succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker clashed last Wednesday at the last Spitzenkandidaten debate, the Eurovision Presidential Debate, hosted by the European Broadcasting Union in the European Parliament’s Brussels...

A letter from Inge Gräßle

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Dear Mr Coronakis, I was pleased to see that you devoted the "Kassandra" column in the Easter issue of New Europe to the creation of the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the future of...

European Parliament election video campaign breaks taboos, smashes viewing records, and leaves Hollywood envious

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The European Parliament as an institution has one job between now and the EU elections. To raise election participation through a communications campaign that is non-partisan, as neutral as possible, and makes all the...

Timmermans wins, Eickhout shines, Verhofstadt loses, in Maastricht debate

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A snap poll of attendees and online viewers of the Maastricht debate found Frans Timmermans to be the winner of the debate – as the Party of European Socialists (PES) jumped to emphasise in a late-night...

Beyond China

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First to trap, and therefore politically dominate, poorer countries into huge national debt which they will get from China in order to build the national infrastructure required. Second to get under direct Chinese control,...