Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

Posts Tagged ‘political’

Alexei Navalny quizzed by MEPs on Kremlin crackdown against political opponents

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 novembre 2020

Prominent Russian opposition figures called on the EU to step up the fight against “dirty” Russian money in the European Union, in a meeting with MEPs on Friday.On Friday, MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee and several members of Russia’s political opposition and non-governmental organisations, including Alexei Navalny, debated the political and socioeconomic situation in Russia in view of next year’s parliamentary elections.The invited speakers stressed the importance of the Russian political opposition being able to actually participate in the upcoming legislative elections, and not just keep an eye on the result of the election, which they said is already expected to be fraudulent.Should President Vladimir Putin remain in power after 2024, they called on the EU to formally withhold recognition of his position as president. They described recent changes to Russia’s constitutional presidential terms limits as illegally enacted.Members and the invited guests also discussed the effectiveness of the current EU sanctions regime. Mr Navalny and the other participants stressed that the EU must properly target the money of oligarchs close to President Putin and not just officials with no real estate or bank accounts in Europe. Rather than the current EU sanctions regime, which the Russian state can use as a pretext to spread propaganda and sow distrust among the Russian population vis-à-vis the EU, targeting the “corrupt money” of oligarchs could be a much more effective way to create a rift within the “Kremlin elite”, they said.Mr Putin does not enjoy as much popular support at home as the Russian government often proclaims, they pointed out, including with regard to Russia’s assertive foreign policy.For all the interventions and details, you can watch the debate again here. (27.11.2020) MEPs quizzed the guests on a range of issues, including what the EU can do to better support the Russian opposition, on their views on EU relations with a future democratic Russia and on how they see developments in Belarus affecting the political climate in Russia. They also expressed their admiration for the continuous work of the Russian political opposition and called for the EU’s money laundering rules to be more effectively and fairly implemented throughout the European Union.Participating via videoconference, Mr Navalny was joined by: Vladimir Kara-Murza, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation. Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation; •Vladimir Milov, politician, publicist, economist and energy expert. Former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia; • Ilya Yashin, politician, Head of the Krasnoselsky Municipality.

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Committee and political groups meetings

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 16 novembre 2020

Brussels The week ahead 16 – 22 November 2020. Building a European Health Union. The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will have a first discussion on the Commission’s proposals on serious cross-border threats to health, the revamp of the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as well as the proposal on “Building a European Health Union: preparedness and resilience”, with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (Monday).Terrorism, organised crime and cybersecurity. The Civil Liberties Committee will debate, with Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson and the German Presidency, EU tools to fight terrorism, organised crime and cyber threats, in the light of recent terrorist attacks. The need to enhance the exchange of police information, particularly DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data, is likely to be addressed (Monday).ECB President Lagarde. Christine Lagarde will be heard by MEPs of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in her capacity as both President of the ECB and Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board. The economic recovery from the pandemic will top the issues to be discussed (Thursday). EU long-term budget. Parliament’s negotiating team on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Own Resources will debrief the Budgets Committee on the political agreement on future EU financing reached with the German Presidency on 10 November. Parliament met its objectives to secure top-ups for key EU programmes, obtained a legally binding calendar for the introduction of new Own Resources and strengthened the role of the budgetary authority (Monday). EU aid for COVID-related measures and natural disasters. Over 132 million euros will be given to Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Spain as advance payment to cover expenses related to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 in early 2020. This support will be mobilised through the EU Solidarity Fund, and will be put to the vote in the Budgets Committee. MEPs will also vote on freeing up almost 700 million euros to help Croatia after the March earthquake, and Poland following floods in June (Monday). High-level Conference on Migration and Asylum. MEPs and national MPs will gather virtually to discuss the way forward to manage migration and asylum in Europe. High-level speakers include Parliament and Commission Presidents David Sassoli and Ursula von der Leyen, the Presidents of the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, of the Portuguese parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, and of Slovenia’s parliament, Igor Zorčič as well as UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino. (Thursday). Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 23-26 November plenary session, where MEPs will debate and vote on media freedom and how to protect journalists in Europe, and tackle hate speech and disinformation; on a new industrial strategy for Europe; on guaranteeing product safety; and on tackling homelessness. During the next session, MEPs will also debate the consequences of COVID-19 on foreign policy and on the Schengen system and give their input for the 10-11 December EU summit.

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Equal political representation in free and fair elections

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 1 novembre 2020

On Wednesday, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs approved (with 22 votes to 5 and 1 abstention) a draft resolution that takes stock of the May 2019 European Elections and the state of play of the reforms initiated by Parliament and adopted in 2018.MEPs welcome the higher voter turnout (also highlighting the role of Parliament’s “This Time I’m Voting” campaign), which demonstrates that the negative trend in Europe can be reversed. Citizen consultations and the Conference on the Future of Europe can be employed to reinforce the substantial increase of youth participation, as well as the harmonisation of minimum voting age across EU countries.Although the last elections improved gender balance in Parliament, substantial room for improvement and divergence between EU countries remain, which could be addressed by introducing “zipped” lists. Further, MEPs stress that the representation of minority groups needs to be improved. An estimated 800.000 citizens with disabilities were not able to vote, so MEPs call for accessibility improvements at polling stations.An equal right to vote has to be guaranteed for all European citizens in the context of a European political space, they note, including those who do not live in their country of origin, who are homeless, or who are in prison (in accordance with national laws). Therefore, they call for the harmonisation of rules to improve clarity for voters and candidates, increase visibility for European political parties and movements, and ensure equality of vote across the EU.MEPs warn against disinformation and interference by foreign and internal actors, which have to be tackled through education and awareness-raising, in combination with institutional efforts such as East StratCom and Parliament’s new special committee on foreign interference. The role of social media platforms is also mentioned, on which MEPs propose scrutiny for their algorithms and the reform of online campaigning rules.MEPs declare that the “lead candidate” process failed to produce a Commission President in 2019 largely because European citizens do not understand it. This has to be addressed, potentially through better coordination between political parties, European institutions and broadcasters. They point out though that Parliament remains the institution that elects the EC President on the basis of European election results, and that “nothing prevents European parties and movements […] to put forward a joint program and a single coalition Spitzenkandidat” under current rules. They also support the use of transnational lists, which will elevate European elections above national interests.The text reiterates the call for reforms that would establish the individual and collective responsibility of the Commission towards Parliament and the Council, and the transformation of the Council into a second legislative chamber. It also welcomes the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe and awaits its launch so that it can deal with issues related to democratic processes and institutional matters.The rapporteur Pascal Durand (Renew Europe, FR) commented that “our report feeds the institutional debates with important proposals, which certainly could help solve the challenges ahead, and to extract ourselves and the member states from national protectionism. As shown in this report, solidarity and union pave the way for resilience and progress”.Parliament is expected to vote on this resolution during the 23-26 November plenary session.

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Committee and political groups meetings

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 4 Maggio 2020

Brussels The week ahead 04 – 10 May 2020.Conference of Presidents. EP President Sassoli and political group leaders will debate with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the Commission work programme for 2021 and a new proposal for the long-term EU budget (MFF) (Tuesday).Update on the COVID-19 situation. The Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will brief the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on the ECDC’s work to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including on its latest risk assessment and a report looking at ways to limit transmission of the virus on public transport (Monday).
Safety net to protect beneficiaries of EU programmes. The Budgets Committee will vote on a request to the Commission to set up a contingency plan to extend all EU programmes beyond 2020, so that regions, firms and citizens can continue receiving EU support, if agreement is not reached in time on the 2021-2027 long-term budget. The file falls under the legislative initiative procedure, which means the Commission has a duty to react (Monday).
Security, migration and privacy during the crisis. How home affairs policies, including Schengen, security and asylum and migration, are influenced by the response to COVID-19 will be debated by the Civil Liberties Committee with Commissioner Johansson. In a separate discussion with data protection experts, MEPs will debate the use of personal data in the fight against the pandemic (Thursday).
Impact of the pandemic on ERASMUS, media and creative sector. The Culture and Education Committee will debate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on ERASMUS+ students as well as on media and the creative sector, with Commissioners Gabriel and Breton. This is the follow-up to a letter written by the committee to the Commission, proposing, inter alia, an ad-hoc financial instrument for the culture sector and an emergency fund to support media (Monday).
Role of digital technologies in tackling the COVID-19 crisis. EU measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis and ways the digital transformation can boost recovery will be discussed by the Internal Market Committee with Commission Executive Vice-President Vestager (Monday).
Digital Services Act. The first draft recommendations to the EU Commission on how digital services, including online platforms, should be regulated in the future Digital Services Act, will be discussed in the Internal Market Committee and Legal Affairs Committee (Monday and Thursday, respectively).
Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 13-16 May Brussels plenary session with a strong focus on the expected new long-term budget (MFF) proposal and EU Recovery plan as well as the conclusions of the 23 April European Council, to be presented by President Michel. They will also discuss votes to be taken on budgetary matters (discharge 2018, budget 2021) and on setting up an MFF contingency plan. Other topics likely to be discussed within political groups include the impact of COVID-19 on foreign affairs, rule of law and the fight against disinformation.
Europe Day. To mark Europe Day and the 70th anniversary of the Schuman declaration, Parliament will host a “stay-at-home” Open Day, where doors will be opened to citizens virtually, with a programming schedule across EP media channels. This year, the focus is on EU citizens, particularly those directly helping in the crisis, as well as on informing citizens about and debating on EU solidarity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Saturday).

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The fragility of the Italian political system

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 gennaio 2016

matteo renziThe Italian political system, now pole for the substantial disappearance of all perhaps centrist and intermediate – so inspired liberal Catholic – wobbled dangerously. One leg, one of the Democratic Party, is solid, or if you want less fragile, apparently. Renzi the controls but not the rules, both at the national level, where the party is now reduced to being the only parliamentary groups – the majority with Renzi renziani but not – as at regional and local level, where the prime minister does not touch the ball to the point to have already put in the account of losing the next administration (at least not to have his men truly in the race). In addition, the perception that the results obtained by the government, especially on the decisive front of the economy, are well below of what was promised and repeatedly stated, exposes the majority party to an inexorable erosion of consensus, for more accentuated by certain events like that of Banca Etruria, that in the climate of witch hunt that remains in the country – and that Renzi did nothing to make it less phobic – is likely to go far beyond its true scope.
The second leg, the center-right, is a victim of the dimming of the star without Berlusconi that neither Berlusconi nor his have the courage to acknowledge it. Which blocks the physiological as well as necessary parts and assigns the League Salvini a leadership role entirely improper. Far from making the “nice gesture” that Giuliano Ferrara has repeatedly asked – interpreting the thought of all the faithful reasoning, by Confalonieri Doris, Ghedini by Gianni Letta – the former Knight continues to imagine a return to the field – with such bellicose statements as pathetic – but at the same time avoids concrete commitments and keeps ambiguously open some channels of communication with what it considers its most natural disciple (who has just made the mistake of being on the wrong side). And he persisted, it becomes impossible to form a new government of moderate strength, with leadership and renewed programs.
Finally there is the third leg, that of the Movement 5 stars, which is just as supported by the growth in Europe of forces inflated by the wind of anti-politics, which blows stronger than ever, is likely to implode under the weight of contradictions which brings with it since its inception and that the story of the mayor of a municipality in the Neapolitan pentastellato put so mercilessly stripped to make them look as irresolvable. In fact, when Beppe Grillo and other elders first defended the mayor of Quarto, then gave up in the belief that doing so would save their (alleged) virginity of executioners of bad policy, the movement ends victim of his own watchwords executioner, so just a suspicion (easily made at the table) to finish the gallows. Game that pays when you are meant to stay and a protest movement, essentially anti-system, but that becomes deadly when it comes into play as the ruling party (in local and national level). So far Grillo and Casaleggio had exorcised the problem with the expulsions – until it became a mass phenomenon – and marginalization (see the mayor of Parma). But this affair, despite the stinging resignation of folklore Professor Becchi, accusing the leaders grillini had abandoned the dream of direct democracy by opting for the old democracy-directed, and the fracture on the election of constitutional judges was produced between MPs, finally convinced of how it takes the political negotiation, and the “base of the web”, who lived the agreement with the Democratic Party as a mess, are all unmistakable signs that the process of transformation, or if you institutionalization , the M5S weigh heavy question marks as macigni.Dunque, a political system already weak because pole in a country that does not have an inherent simplification policy, and already sick because it suffers from the fact that none of the diseases that have arisen with the end of the First Republic has been remedied in almost a quarter century, now it threatens to go into a coma because none of the three legs on which make it stand up. Sure, Renzi has its advantage, as noted by Alessandro Campi, had many critics but no real opponent. But this is both the reason for his strength (momentary) and its weakness (structural), because a leader who is such a lack of others is always destined to be a loser, sooner or later.
No hope, then? Well, three flames, though feeble, we can keep them on. The first concerns its Renzi. The man has untapped potential qualities that could turn to bear for lack of alternatives is essential. But change must register: study statesmanlike, transform personal ambitions in political ambitions, change his attitudes and behavior, perhaps the most solid programmatic bases and really innovative, build a team of government and a ruling class capable of making conductor and no more solo. Do not have much time, 2016 will be a year darn complicated. The second hope, this really small, is that some members pentastellare emerge from the gray, and knows how to bring all those votes from the populism that the political ambitions of the government. It is said that man right there, and it’s called Di Maio. Even here we have already spoken. The assessment remains the same: I wish it were. But even here the clock is ticking, and the explosion of contradictions grilline does nothing but shorten it. So, if you really Di Maio and those with him, or he has something different to say and to give the country other than the heated soup of rejection and contempt of the policy without an organic vision of the international and domestic problems that we have, you face forward. Now or never. Finally, the last expectation is now a flame extinguished, and goes on again: the construction of a liberal-reformist subject, able to revive the confidence of those who had once hoped for Monti and centrists. And, of course, is not the assembly of pieces and scraps of existing things. Some answers in the field there, but with flounder and Marchini so far he has turned to Milan and Rome. While it is the national stage that demands a new force. And it’s also a new force in the sense of not having those traits leaderistici that are typical of the Second Republic. There needs to be a real party, not to be born in the house of a master but by a handful of men and women who share some values, have in common the strain cultural and define a project for the country. Off the three flames of hope, off Italy. (Enrico Cisnetto editor Terza repubblica) (Traslate by Google)

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Conference of European Churches

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 ottobre 2015

KarasYesterday MEP Othmar Karas (EPP/Austria) hosted an ecumenical conference on climate change at the European Parliament. The event was organised by CEC, COMECE, Caritas Europe, ACT Alliance EU, and CIDSE. Presentations were made by Msgr. Luc Van Looy, Bishop of Gand, and H.E. Metropolitan Athanasios of Achaia. Both speakers and respondents stressed the need to look beyond short-term actions and the importance of overcoming political divisions. They also expressed solidarity with the poor, and called on the EU to respond robustly to the scientific, ethical, political, and educational issues associated with climate change. (Photo: Karas)

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Pope Francis plans for radical change in encyclical on caring for our common home

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 18 giugno 2015

climate_change“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” asks Pope Francis in his first encyclical, as he offers a positive plan to tackle climate change, inequality, poverty and exclusion. “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years,” writes Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato Si’, on ‘Caring for our Common Home’. However, he writes, “All is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start”.Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines said, “I visit communities where people are living on trash heaps. Children are born in trash, grow up and die there. Three generations know nothing but the rubbish tip. They feel like trash. This is not God’s creation, this is manmade.“Pope Francis is inviting everyone to reflect on this reality. He is calling on us to ‘aim for a new lifestyle’, to change the economic and social systems that have caused so much harm and regain our responsibility for others and the world. Laudato Si’ is above all a message of hope and of action.”The papal letter looks at “the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet”. It touches on key aspects of Caritas’ work around the world such as the environment, labour exploitation, agriculture and social inequality. “The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation,” writes the pope.On climate change, the pope says that it’s “one of the principal challenges facing humanity” where the “huge consumption on the part of some rich countries has repercussions on the poorest areas of the world”.“Recent World Summits on the environment have failed” writes the pope. With a key UN summit due to take place at the end of 2015 in Paris, he calls for “the establishment of a legal framework” to “ensure the protection of ecosystems”.Caritas says the Paris summit must agree on reducing emissions from now until 2020, with developed countries reducing by a range of 25–40 percent to give a 50-50 chance of global average temperatures staying below a 2°C temperature increase.The pope writes that climate change affects us all. “There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalisation of indifference.”The encyclical says climate change is a symptom of a wider sickness. “Every ecological approach needs to incorporate a social perspective which takes into account the fundamental rights of the poor and the underprivileged,” writes the pope. ““By itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion”.Individually, the pope writes, we have a responsibility to live more frugal lives where we end the cycle of wanting more as it means less for the poor and less for the planet. He is inviting everyone to play a role, highlighting that other faith are already leading the way. He says that Christians must realise that their “duty towards nature and the Creator, are an essential part of their faith’”.Caritas Internationalis chose “One Human Family, Caring for Creation” as its global vision as a result of Pope Francis’ calls for a “poor church, for the poor‘ and to end a “throwaway culture”.

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New Urban Art Portraits of Political Figures at the Unit London

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 marzo 2015

Ryan Hewett'sLondon 24th April – 24th May 2015 The Unit London are all set to launch South African painter Ryan Hewett’s debut European Solo exhibition in April 2015. The exhibition focuses on the depiction of political figures from the past and present who have somehow shaped the world in which we live. Alongside such revered icons as Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, Hewett also portrays such infamous persona as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Osama bin Laden. It is an incredibly bold and challenging narrative that allows us to see iconic rulers in ways we have never seen them before with the date falling just before the UK elections in May, as well as an interesting counterpoint to the media interest in The Tate’s current retrospective of fellow South African Marlene Dumas, where critics have focussed upon the ephemeral nature of her work set against the stark political realities of her country. Hewett’s work holds up a different mirror and viewpoint to that same political cauldron and delivers an urban slant and vibe to the mix. (photos: Ryan Hewett’s)

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The Juncker Commission: emerging from the crisis, averting a political crisis

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 febbraio 2015

Juncker CommissionSofia Fernandes, senior research fellow for economic and social affairs, presents the summary of a debate on the topic “The Juncker Commission: What Internal Priorities (Growth, Social, Subsidiarity and so forth)?” held at the annual meeting of the Jacques Delors Institute’s European Steering Committee (ESC) on 13 December 2014.On the basis of introductory speeches by former European Commission Vice-President Etienne Davignon and by former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, participants debated the Juncker Commission’s main internal priorities. The ensuing debate revolved around three core issues:
1. The impact of the new institutional and political landscape on European action and how to avoid plunging headlong into the pit of a political crisis.
2. The priorities for strengthening growth in Europe: towards a “New Deal” based on debt reduction, investment and structural reforms. (Photo. Juncker commission)

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Legal and political instruments within the Eu

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 marzo 2012

Toronto Wednesday, March 21, 2012 Times: 6:30pm – 8:30pm Istituto Italiano di Cultura – 496, Huron St., The Italian Cultural Institute, in collaboration with the Centre of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, presents the lecture Twinned, but Different. Legal and political instruments to enhance judicial cooperation within the EU by prof. Daniela Piana (Università di Bologna). Is the EU an integrated judicial area or a space featuring a high level of inter-governmental judicial cooperation? If, for decades, the European Member States committed the bulk of their legal and political resources to deal with the interdependence effects created by the single market, this was no longer possible at the end of the 1990s. The geopolitical face of the world had changed and the European political space needed new instruments to tackle, among others, cross-border crime, terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering. Prof. Daniela Piana will present the main legal instruments set up by the European Union in order to handle the new challenges; she will show how the main legal instrument – the European Arrest Warrant – works and how legal and political tools are intertwined; finally, she will zoom into the organizational, cultural, and institutional conditions which may have an enabling/disabling effect on the desire of turning a judicially integrated region into an institutional effective practice.
Prof. Daniela Piana will also deliver a talk at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, 14 Queen’s Park Crescent West (The Canadiana Gallery Building), second floor, on Thursday, March 15, 12:00pm-2.00pm. The title of her talk will be “Cultures of Prosecution in the Regions of Italy: Realizing the Right to a Fair Trial.”
Daniela Piana is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna where she teaches political science and politics and institutions of the European Union. She is coordinator of the European Academic Network of Judicial Studies and vice-chair of the research committee on Quality of Democracy at IPSA. (Ue criminology)

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Team Culture 2012: “Europe’s financial crisis is also cultural”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 marzo 2012

Copenhagen On Monday and Tuesday, the Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk, convened 13 European notables in Copenhagen to investigate the way in which culture and art can play a decisive role for Europe in the midst of the financial crisis. All agree that the challenges of the current crisis are global and that Europe has a responsibility to lead the way.The Danish Minister for Culture, Mr Uffe Elbæk, says: “It has been tremendously exciting to experience how—despite the vastly different geographic and professional backgrounds of the group members—all have been convinced that art and culture both can and ought to contribute to finding solutions to the massive societal challenges facing Europe.” Mr Moukhtar Kocache, art historian and former programme manager at Ford Foundation (France/Lebanon), states: ”The question is how we can raise awareness and revalue European cultural capital? And what responsibility do we in the cultural sector have in retaining and securing our value systems? I hope we will be able to initiate a debate about these issues.”Until June, the group will seek out answers to how art and culture can contribute to solving these challenges. Firstly, each group member will find a concrete European example of how culture can contribute to a solution of one or more of the challenges. Secondly, the group will jointly draw up a manifesto with recommendations for the general public and politicians of Europe. Both will be presented in Brussels to EU’s ministers for culture, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and representatives of the European public.Ms Josephine Green, Beyond 20:21st Century Store (Great Britain/Netherlands-Italy), adds:
”Culture can not be seen isolated from the larger political picture. I hope that we through this project can shed a light on the many social and cultural innovative projects that take place under the radar and could serve as an inspiration at a political level.” “Our talks with the group today show in all plainness that it is the diversity of the European voices and cultures that are capable of jointly shedding light on the burning social and political platforms for Europe. I am therefore very excited to see which concrete projects and answers the group will arrive at and present in Brussels in June,” says Mr. Uffe Elbæk.

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Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble along the trigger line

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 luglio 2009

Source: International Crisis Group As sectarian violence in Iraq has ebbed over the past year, a new and potentially just as destructive political conflict has arisen between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil. This conflict has manifested itself in oratory, backroom negotiations and military manoeuvres in disputed territories, raising tensions and setting off alarm bells in Washington just as the Obama administration is taking its first steps to pull back U.S. forces. A lasting solution can only be political – involving a grand bargain on how to divide or share power, resources and territory – but in the interim both sides should take urgent steps to improve communications and security cooperation, run joint military checkpoints and patrols in disputed territories and refrain from unilateral steps along the new, de facto dividing line, the so-called trigger line.

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