VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

It was last Thursday when the European Parliament together with the Council and the Commission agreed to enhance the car testing system by providing extra checks to the cars that are or will be placed in the market based on the proposal of the European Commission made on January 2016. Despite the fact that this […]

Hazy ‘breakthrough’ saves PM May, leaves Ireland in limbo: Brexit

With only a couple of hours sleep in the very early hours of last Friday, the British PM Theresa May boarded a RAF aircraft and landed in Brussels before dawn. Weary as she was, she rushed to Berlaymont building, the EU Commission headquarters. There she met Jean-Claude Juncker the President of the European Commission and […]

Trump: Hostile to Europe, voids Tillerson’s “ironclad” ally pledge

At the end of last week, Rex Tillerson, the US State Department Secretary was intentionally undermined by President Donald Trump. This surprise move from the White House came only hours after the former gave an “’ironclad’ promise of U.S. support to its oldest allies in Europe”. To undercut this pledge, the White House leaked information […]

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

The European Commission published its third annual energy report last Friday showing the progress that has been made so far since the last report in February of this year. Many policies’ amendments have been proposed for the next decade towards a greener environment and a more harmonised EU gas market. The majority of the EU […]

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

If last Friday’s Reuters report from Brussels is correct and Theresa May and Donald Tusk agreed to solve the Brexit dead-end in ten days, then the wild Brexiteers must have retreated  and the orderly exit side has won the first round. Tusk, the President of the European Council said in a tweet that he told […]

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) concluded last Saturday in Bonn but little progress was achieved and everyone is now awaiting next year’s negotiations in Poland where a rule book for the Paris agreement has to be finalised. All member states should reconsider their emission cuts upwards via […]

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

Last week the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, son of King Salman placed the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Al-Hariri under house arrest in Riyadh and forced him to resign his premiership. The Sunni Lebanese premier has a double citizenship, Lebanese and Saudi Arabian. His family has extended business interests and wealth […]

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

The Confederation of British Industry annual conference which took place last Monday in London was a chance for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask for more patience from the business world. Something though that seems to have been lost as negotiations show no significant progress and time presses both sides. A survey by the Chartered […]

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

The Catalonia crisis and the aftermaths after its diffusion can offer valuable lessons for the nature of jingoist politics and the motives, goals and the character of its main actors, on both sides of the fence. The Catalan secessionists led by Carles Puigdemont proved experts in setting the fire, but were incapable of making anything […]

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

The next UN climate summit (COP23) will take place in Bonn, Germany from 6 till 17 November with everyone to await its outcome and whether it will be beneficial for the global warming adding to the Paris agreement. It is a crucial year for the climate as the US has declared to leave the Paris […]

Czech Babis, Austrian Kurz and others threaten Europe with nationalist populism

Andrej Babis, a media magnate and second wealthier Czech leading his anti-immigration, nationalist and populist ANO party, won last Sunday’s election, with around 30% of the vote. He is to become the next Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Babis did that on an anti-systemic Trump-like ticket. He was recently implicated in a tax fraud […]

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

It was last week when the EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss how to support Italy with managing the refugees’ crisis in the central Mediterranean. The increase of the financial aid in the Trust Fund for Africa is believed to be one of the main ways to deal with this long-lasting issue. However, this […]

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

President Abraham Lincoln has said “when someone says it’s a matter of principles not money, then it’s a matter of money”. This famous saying was flagrantly confirmed last week in Brussels, when the 27 EU leaders – with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron prominent amongst them – made it clear to Theresa May she has […]

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

The immigration crisis of 2015 in Europe exposed the hollowness of the political system of the new millennium in the Old Continent, anguishing to cover the huge social cavities the economic neo-liberalism has created. Unfortunately, economic neo-liberalism didn’t lead to political liberalism, but instead to chauvinism, xenophobia and the insurgence of the extreme right wing […]

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

The EU leaders meet tomorrow in Brussels in a two-day summit where the relations with Turkey and particularly the accession procedure is going to be one of the main topics. The European Commission has been supporting the freezing of the EU membership talks as Jean Claude Juncker condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on political […]

Trump’s pounding of Iran less harsh than expected, leaves arrangement open

Trump did again what he has been good at. This time he pounded the non-nuclear proliferation agreement with Iran. To be reminded, this was the P5+1 nations (US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) agreement of 2015 with Iran , by which the latter country accepted to stop its nuclear program and be duly inspected […]

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

Last Monday the British Prime Minister Theresa May told the lower house of the Parliament, The Commons a no-deal Brexit is not ruled out. She clarified also that the government ‘is planning for all eventualities”, including the possibility the UK sails after Brexit as an “independent trading nation”. Then she concluded “The ball is in […]

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

The Tories, the governing party of Britain is falling apart, being deeply divided about the kind of Brexit their country should pursue. It’s not the disastrous political circumstances of Prime Minister Theresa May that blocks the negotiations with the European Union, but the chaos dividing the hard Brexiteers from their colleagues preferring a smooth partition […]

German political spillovers: ECB’s Draghi resists first attacks by AfD

Last Monday, Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, speaking at the Economic Committee of the European Parliament had the opportunity to test the grounds and familiarize himself with the nature of political climate he may come across after the German elections. He had a heated exchange with the head of the AfD group […]

E-energy declaration: will energy digitalization be beneficial to the climate?

It was last Wednesday when the EU energy ministers met in Estonia with industry representatives to sign the Tallinn energy declaration targeting at the digitalization of the market. This declaration aims at helping the EU to meet its climate and energy targets via digital and innovative solutions. This action is meant to add significantly to […]

Elections results: Austerity’s black to prevail in the new multicolored German government

During the past ten years, Germany has become a politically boring country and yesterday’s election is not going to change that, despite the loss of around one million votes for the Chancellor’s party. Angela Merkel’s win came to none’s surprise and the results permit her to embark on a fourth term in the top job. […]

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

It was last Wednesday when the president of the European Commission made his annual State speech address to the European Parliament pointing out the top priorities for the next year. Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his optimism for the boosting of the EU economy, trade, investment, cybersecurity, industry and democracy. The president of the EC respected the […]

The EU stops being soft with 10 Downing Street about Brexit

After the failed successive meetings about Brexit between the European Union and the British negotiation teams, the European Commission decided to stiffen its position. Last week EU’s executive arm issued a Press Release saying, “As it was a UK’s decision to leave the EU, it’s a UK’s responsibility to propose solutions…”. One of the most […]

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

It was last Wednesday when the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia regarding their denial on relocating refugees from Greece and Italy. Both countries though do not intend to change their position on the issue. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned that there has […]

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

The British Prime Minister Theresa May is amidst an agonizing effort to put together a decent package of trade deals or at least initial and relevant MOUs for the after Brexit era. The obvious reason for that is to convince the Brits and the Parliament that her country will survive after March 2019, in case […]

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

It was last week when the leaders of Italy, France, Germany and Spain met in Paris with the African leaders of Chad, Niger and Libya to discuss on how to manage the influx of migrants through Libya and across the Mediterranean. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, hosted the summit and mentioned that refugee crisis is […]

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Chinese acquisitions of European companies have attracted the attention of the EU’s largest economies, who requested from the Commission to play a more active role on deciding whether these takeovers are ‘politically driven’ or not. The president of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker, in turn, is expected to announce plans on how to manage foreign investments […]

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

Last Thursday the European Sting, alone amongst the English language media, announced that “At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit”. Only hours later the British government published a policy paper envisaging the continuation of the European Union’s supervision of UK borders, even after the ‘full’ realization of Brexit. One of the two alternatives described in […]

At last Britain considers a super-soft Brexit

After more than one year, the Brexit road map has been more or less drafted between the two opposing groups of the governing Tories, the hard Brexiteers and the Bremainers. Minister for Finance, Philip Hammond, and Trade minister, Liam Fox, leaders of the Bremainers and Brexiteers respectively, jointly wrote an article published in the last […]

After Brexit and Grexit, Brussels to deal with Poloust

After Grexit and Brexit that have both been haunting the European Union for quite some time, and will continue doing so in the foreseeable future, Brussels seems obliged to ponder Poloust that is kicking Poland out. The country is steadily sliding to rightwing coercion, under the leadership of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a rampant populist, authoritarian and […]