Monday, 15 September 2008

Blogs : 15th September (en, fr)

Japan - The Recession is Here. Alpha Sources CV (en)
European communication. Julien Frisch, watching Europe (en)
Lawrow on Ukraine. Julien Frisch, watching Europe (en)
Oh Ek. Open Europe Blog (en)
Trouble in Ljubljana. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
European communication. Julien Frisch, watching Europe (en)
Anti-Bush industry collapse. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
Juncker, l'inoxydable. Jean Quatermer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
The blindness of the political classes. Richard, The EUReferendum (en)
Legislative inflation (in France). en.europa-eu-audience (en, fr)

Duly Noted: More Masking Tape. George Handlery, The Brussels journal (en)
" ... The symptoms of “if you dread to fix it, cover it with masking tape” are appearing. Accordingly, Russia is, as under her previous systems, insecure. Recognition and respect by the West is wanted. Post Soviet times brought humiliation. The equality of living standards was not achieved while equality in power was lost.
... Since about 1700, Russia held membership in the club of Great Powers. She played this role while her system (political order, development, wealth) differed radically from that of the other major players. In today’s terminology, a third world system was used to support a first world role. (To focus limited means a dictatorship was needed and global power justified the tyranny.) There were repeated attempts to close the developmental gap ...
... Meiji Japan and now China offers a revealing contrast. Both have realized that their weakness in the international arena was caused by having a system that differed from the norm of the leading nations. Accordingly, Japan has and China seems now, to be adjusting their system to conform to the vanguard. If successful, this correlation between economic performance and political institutions and military-political might, could make China a more effective challenger of the West than Russia ... "

How I met Radosław Sikorski. Vitaliy, The 8th Circle (en)
" ... But it would be misleading to say that Sikorski was pessimistic, rather his message was realistic and cautious. As a skillful public speaker, he interspersed his speech with an occasional anecdote or a joke. Here is one:
"What is a secure border with the Soviet Union? A secure borer with the Soviet Union is one that has Russian soldiers on both sides of the border."
Commenting on the Medvedev doctrine, Sikorski pointed out how problematic it is for European security and how closely it is felt in Poland due to historical reasons. After all, on September 17th, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland partially on the pretext of needing “to protect” its citizens ..."

Lithuania's president Adamkus on World War III. Julien Frisch, watching Europe (en)
"... Adamkus : In my imagination Crimea will be first, and then the Baltic countries as part of the former sphere of interest will follow, and then the Southern Caucausus. : With your horror imagination you are describing a scenario that would start the Third World War. How realistic is this?
Adamkus : The tendencies are going into this directions, but I hope that the world will oppose and prevent its self-annihilation. If crazy people in Russia were planning an intervention into our country, they could overrun us within minutes. But everyone imagening this horror scenario would back off, and maybe this will keep us alive ..."

Come back global warming Richard, The EUReferendum (en)
" ... Inflation is poised to peak and then slide ... In terms of the near future, Smith thinks food prices are still a risk in view of the bad harvest in the UK, but he also notes that prices are set globally. In the round – with record harvests elsewhere in Europe and the world, the risk is likely to be minimal ... The funny thing is that, in order to avoid the meltdown that would come with higher energy prices, Gordon Brown really needs global warning – just as it looks like it is a thing of the past ... "

Pouvoir d'achat ou chômage, il faut choisir. Jean Quatermer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (fr)
" Les banquiers centraux européens sont « plutôt surpris » des analyses qui sont faites de la crise économique que traverse actuellement l’Europe ... Pour eux, il ne s’agit nullement d’une conséquence de la crise financière venue des États unis : « le cœur du déclenchement de la crise, à 80 ou 90 %, c’est l’augmentation du prix du pétrole et des matières premières qui a entraîné un regain inflationniste et une perte de confiance des ménages et des entreprises ». Le dévissage du dollar face à l’euro – mais aussi face à la plupart des autres devises mondiales — a achevé de plomber la croissance européenne. Mais, comme l’a martelé à un petit groupe de journalistes Christian Noyer, le gouverneur de la Banque de France (photo ci-dessous), « la crise économique est avant tout un choc d’inflation » ... "

Who will fill the leadership vacuum? Stanley Crossick, (en)
" ... The United States is leaderless.Europe is leaderless; the world is leaderless. But neither Russia nor China are - and a vacuum does not remain a vacuum. The conclusion is obvious.
... Europe only has a year or so to get its act together. Unfortunately, the timing is not good, with the Lisbon Treaty in limbo, the Commission towards the end of its mandate and upcoming European Parliament elections. But this opportunity must be seized.
... Europe can only influence the responses to (the) challenges (facing the world) if it has a leadership role ... EU citizens realise this. In reply to the question whether they were in favour or against a common foreign policy, asked by Eurobarometer 67 and published in November 2007, 72% were in favour, with even 52% in the UK and no less than 67% in Ireland ... "

A new job description for EU Commissioners? PO Neil, A Fistful of Euros (en)
" ... commissioners are not a dispassionate executive branch of the European Union, but people who bring their country interests to their respective portfolios — so why not make this explicit and let the commissioners be the interlocutors of their countries with the EU policy apparatus? ..."

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