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Philip Stephens in his, a little unkind, article in today’s Financial Times, rightly emphasizes the need to have a European Council President who commands recognition and respect in Washington, Moscow, Delhi and Beijing. He believes that Angela Merkel qualifies on every count (see post of 6 February) but recognises that she prefers to remain as… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Slovenia yesterday indicated that it will seek agreement on this thorny issue during its Presidency. Industry wants a new, unitary Community patent to sit alongside the present national and European patent systems. The Commission’s Proposed Regulation of August 2000 was approved by Parliament and the EESC, but remains blocked in Council over the language issue.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Protectionist winds (3)

Fears of growing protectionist sentiment in the US are worrying (see 4 March post). The US Air force decided that the Northrop Grumman/EADS (Airbus) refuelling tanker was to be preferred to that of Boeing; a huge sum of money is at stake. The outcry against the decision continues to grow, and is now mixed up… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

My 5 March posting commented on Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy making up after a period of strained relations. In a discussion yesterday, the sustainability of this rapprochement was questioned. The personal chemistry of the current Franco-German couple is unlikely to lead to the relationship matching that of several of its predecessors, but Franco-German cooperation… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The annual session of China’s 2 987 member parliament met last week and will meet all this week. China’s government runs in five year cycles, starting with the first congress in 1956. This year marks the first annual session of the 11th congress. The Communist Party’s priorities for the coming 12 months are routinely ratified… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I do not usually spring to the defence of President Bush, and I am not able to assess how much of what he says is reality and how much rhetoric (a common problem in politics). However, he is entitled to be heard. On Wednesday morning he spoke at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008.… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

An important responsibility of the European Parliament is to oversee the Commission’s expenditure and indeed the Santer Commission was forced to resign due to alleged financial irregularities. MEPs have, however, refused to publish how much they pay their staff and claim on expenses, contrary to the recommendation of the European Ombudsman. Ironically, the Ombudsman is… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The Barroso Commission has lost Markos Kyprianou, who has become Cypriot Foreign Minister. Joaquin Almunia could become a Spanish minister if Zapatero is re-elected this week-end. Franco Frattini is expected to join the next Italian government if Berlusconi wins the forthcoming Italian election. There was a time when this was most unlikely to happen. While… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Listening to two Israeli Knesset members, Dani Yatom and Isaac Ben-Israel, talking about the Iranian nuclear threat brought into stark focus that there is not a lot of time left to avert a potential disaster. According to the Israelis, Iran could have a nuclear weapon with delivery mechanism within one year; others say that the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy both referred on Monday 3 March in Hanover to the friendship between the two countries, after a period of cool relations. They announced agreement on Sarkozy’s ’Mediterranean Union’ project, originally opposed by the German Chancellor. No details were given and there will be a Franco-German proposal to next week’s European… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick