Category Archives: international

Schaeuble: EU needs flexible speeds

It is not realistic to take further steps towards European Union integration at this point and after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc its remaining members must be ready to form ‘coalitions of the willing’, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

“Given the current situation, it is not realistic to think that we can take further steps towards deepening European integration at the moment,” he said on Thursday on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington.

“We need to respond to urgent questions in a way that is visibly European, and we need to find European solutions to acute problems,” he added, “We need flexible speeds, variable groupings of countries, ‘coalitions of the willing’, whatever you want to call it in a particular situation.”

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Trudeau to address Europarl

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a formal speech to MEPs on the EU-Canada relationship on Thursday 16 February at 11.00 in the Strasbourg chamber. Mr Trudeau will be the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the European Parliament, Strasbourg.

On Wednesday 15 February, Parliament approved the EU-Canada Comprehensive economic and trade agreedment (CETA).

EP President Antonio Tajani and Prime Minister Trudeau will hold a joint press conference on Thursday, 16 February at 12.00.

Al-Sarraj request of EU funds: where is Gaddafi's gold?..

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“The European Union supports the Government of National Accord and your work, Mr Prime Minister (Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj), since the very beginning and is fully committed both here and on the ground to work with you for the benefit of all Libyans when it comes to security that we know very well is the first concern of your citizens … offering a secure country and from the field of education, health, services, trying to deliver for the Libyans in Libya, ” – said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini in her welcome word to Libyan Prime Minister Al-Sarraj.

“… The Prime Minister and myself discussed more at length – the ways in which the European Union can support his work to unite the country, to overcome this long and difficult time that Libya has been living and to make sure that the enormous Libyan potential can be turned at the benefit at the Libyans”.

In return to Ms.Mogherini couresy PM Al-Sarraj pointed the most efficient way the EU can help Libya requesting a substantial payment, funding his government efforts to prevent the migrant flows crossing Mediterranean.

“We hope that the EU mechanisms to help Libya will be more practical. We are not going to mention the amount of money that are dedicated to Libya for this help because they are very humble, very small amounts,” – said Al-Sarraj.

Noticning the discatisfation of the PM the EU has not reveiled the amount dedicated to Libya, but presumably it looks unsignificant next to six billion worth EU- Turkey deal supposed to reduce the flow of of migrants from the Middle East to Greec islands.

The financial issue raised by Al-Sarraj leads to two conclutions: first, is that the EU-Turkish deal created a precedent the Libyans would see as a benchmark.

(On photo: PM Al-Sarraj with president Tusk).

Second, the Colonel Gaddfi’s gold is still missing five years after the assassination.

Where is Gaddfi’s gold? Reportedly shortly before the assassination on 20th October 2011 during the battle of his native Sirte, Gaddafi sold a fifth of Libya’s gold reserves, and most of the proceeds from this sale is still missing. “King of Kings of Africa” had an enormous fortune,  supposedly worth over $200 billion, vanished without trace.

Prime Minister Al-Sarraj also visited NATO headquaters, meeting GenSec Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj on Wednesday (1 February 2017) for talks on the security situation in Libya. The Secretary General said he was encouraged by the progress being made in the fight against ISIL in Libya and conveyed NATO’s support to the Government of National Accord.

However many experts and social media users question NATO’s role in the collapse of the Libyan state, and the migrant crisis as a derivative.

 

 

Europol tracks wildlife crime

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Europol Director Rob Wainwright met with Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC, at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague today to discuss further cooperation in fighting environmental crime, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties in 2016.

The scope of the MoU is to facilitate the exchange of information and support, as well as to improve coordination between the two organisations to fight environmental crime, particularly the illegal trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

“Europol is pleased to extend its partnerships in this area as a means by which to help protect the environment and our economies. Countering environmental crime also supports broader efforts to combat other crimes such as corruption, money laundering, counterfeiting, fraud, forgery, and sometimes even terrorism or drugs trafficking,” – Europol Director Rob Wainwright highlighted.

“Wildlife trafficking is a global issue that must be addressed through international collaborations: TRAFFIC looks forward to supporting Europol to fulfil its challenging role in addressing wildlife crime through providing strategic assessments and operational support to EU Member States”,- said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.

Environmental crimes represent a highly lucrative business, especially for organised crime groups, as these offences are harder to detect and sanctions are lower in comparison with other crime areas. The transnational nature of environmental crimes has led to the need for enhanced cooperation between law enforcement agencies and non-governmental organisations, making strategic agreements crucial in the fight against the trafficking of endangered animal and plant species.

In addition, the EU is a key transit point for illegal trade in wildlife, notably between Africa and Asia. Given TRAFFIC’s presence on five continents, the MoU enables Europol to reinforce its position in dealing with this emerging threat.

This initiative is also in line with the EU Action Plan aimed at combating wildefaire trafficing  in which Europol plays an important part.

'New London' in Dublin refused

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“There is not going to be any new London in the EU 27. History happened in a certain way. You can’t just lift institutions and drop then somewhere else,” Philip Lane, the head of the Irish  central bank  at an event in London.

“You may well have this fragmented but integrated financial system so location X has a cluster of derivatives trading, location Z has a cluster of insurance etc.”

Lane, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB)  Governing Council, underlined that Europe’s future financial centres may be more fragmented geographically, even if they were integrated as part of a Single market.

Cities around Europe are eager to host the potential new business, including financial centres in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland.

The City moves to Ireland?

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Many of British-based financial services firms have already decided to relocate at least part of their operations to Ireland, and others are expected to follow in the first half of this year, Ireland’s minister for the sector said this week.

Speaking at an event hosted by the London Irish Business Society, Eoghan Murphy said Britain’s decision to trigger #Brexit at the end of March had been a catalyst for these moves.

“With the time horizon we now have around Article 50, some decisions have already been made for relocation,” Murphy said, declining to name the companies, or give a number.

Earlier this month Irish finance minister Michael Noonan confirmed Irish central bank had received over 100 inquiries from British-based financial firms considering a move.

 

May bets on talks with Trump

 

Bmay-smileritish Prime Minister Theresa May  will be the first foreign leader to meet new U.S. President Donald Trump, launching talks on renewed ‘special relationship’ between two countries. Reportedly a free trade deal is high on the agenda,  allowing May to strengthen her position during Brexit at home and towards EU27, shifthing trade vector from the EU to the US.

Trump underlined a deal can be done “very quickly”, but he added that the US interest goes first . Trade experts wonder how the two leaders will overcome disagreements over GMO food, meat production and public-sector procurement, and fear that U.S. companies might want to buy into its prized public health service.

May will meet Trump in Washington on Friday after stopping off in Philadelphia to meet senior Republican leaders from Congress ahead of the meeting in White House. Even a warm welcome, and a promise on patching the differenced between two allies can give May a stong hand in Brexit talks with the EU.

 

 

 

 

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