Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Blogs : 9th December

Will the Dalai Lama wreck the Sino-European relationship? Stanley Crossick, BlogActiv.eu (en)
" ... The gulf of misunderstanding between China and the West over Tibet and the Dalai Lama is enormous and misperceptions abound. This subject is highly sensitive to all Chinese, whereas it is not on the radar screen of most Europeans. Even highly intelligent, Chinese scholars, who also feel deeply concerned, find it difficult to appreciate that their European counterparts have no interest in it. Tibet goes to the very touchstone of Chinese sovereignty and anything seen as a threat to China’s territorial integrity is hypersensitive ..."

The Irish send out good vibrations on Lisbon. Hugo Brady, Centre for European Reform (en)
" ... The report sets down some sensible parameters for the debate to come:
... Saying no to the Lisbon treaty automatically implies that some further action must be taken. Legally, the EU can continue as it is with the current treaties. In reality, if the treaty is declared dead, other member-states will find ways of working together more closely. Ireland would become increasingly isolated ...
... Ireland’s rejection of the treaty is affecting its ability to “promote and defend” its national interests ...
... One of the views underpinning investment by multinational companies in Ireland is that the country is and will remain a full member of the EU. Foreign companies which invest in Ireland are worried about the uncertainty thrown up by the current situation ..."

Aides aux banques: Neelie Kroes dénonce "le petit jeu de la recherche du bouc émissaire". Jean Quatremer, Les Coulisses de Bruxelles (en)
" ... La Commission a eu quelques difficultés, de fait, à adapter sa politique en matière d’aide d’Etats, celle-ci étant traditionnellement destinée à sauver des établissements en difficulté. Or, notamment dans le cas du plan français, l’argent de l’Etat n’est destiné qu’à réamorcer la pompe à crédits : il n’est donc pas question de « punir » les banques qui y ont recours en exigeant par exemple un gel des dividendes ou une rémunération trop élevée, comme en Grande-Bretagne ...
... Pensez-vous que les Etats, en particulier la France, ont tenté un coup d'Etat contre la Commission en la remettant ainsi en cause?
- Je ne crois pas qu’ils aient essayé de remettre en cause la politique de la Commission. L'idée européenne, qui vient de France d'ailleurs, est de ne pas mettre la France et l'Allemagne face à face, (ou ses variantes: Etats riches contre Etats pauvres), mais d'utiliser l'arbitrage d'une institution supranationale comme la Commission. Une guerre des subventions ne tournerait pas forcément à l'avantage de la France, qui n'a pas les caisses si bien remplies que son voisin germanique par exemple ..."

Grecian flames. Richard, EUReferendum (en)
" ... Certainly, The Daily Telegraph is directly reporting that the shooting has been but a catalyst for the violence. It comes against a background of high youth unemployment, the rising cost of living, stalled pension reform and a widening gap between rich and poor ..."

Mind Your Language. EURSOC Two, EuroSoc (en)
" ... The latest edition of Britain's Oxford Junior Dictionary drops words associated with Christianity, the Monarchy and the British countryside, replacing them with words taken from the technology and corporate worlds.
Out go abbey, chapel, saint, sin and devil, in come broadband, MP3 player, attachment and database. Monarch, coronation and empire are consigned to the dustbin of history, while interdependent, citizenship and EU are swept in to replace them. Dozens of nouns related to wildlife and the countryside are removed: acorn, ash, gorse, hazel, chestnut, clover and lavender, replaced by concepts like celebrity, tolerance, vandalism, bilingual and committee...
... They are mistaken: Orwell trod this path first, in his prophetic novel 1984, when he wrote how Newspeak limited citizens' expression, and thus their understanding ..."

The fake strategy: European scientific co-operation. Julien Frisch, Watching Europe (en)
" ... In other words, the member states invite themselves not to start but just to encourage a dialogue. They just facilitate consultations, they don't encourage them, and they do it just in order to identify, not to address opportunities in global scientific co-operation ..."

Blog update and ouch for Bulgaria. Vitaly, The 8th Circle (en)
" ... The more problematic issue seems to be the use of Transparency International CPI rankings to provide justification, in part, for cutting Bulgaria’s funds (i.e. Bulgaria is “described by Transparency International as the most corrupt country in the EU” therefore it deserves to have its funds cut). What may happen is that countries nearest the bottom of the EU corruption scale, such as Romania, Lithuania, Poland, and Italy may wonder if they are next? In effect, the Commission’s decision places the TI in a powerful position, because its ranking is now used to guide policy with real consequences ..."

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