Sun 20 Jan 2008
José Barroso President of the EU Commission
16.01.2008 - EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Commission has indicated it will not bow to the pressure coming from several member states and soften plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions across the 27-nation bloc by the end of the next decade. Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (15 January), commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "Do not expect us to compromise on European interests." He might have added: Because we all risk to lose a lot of money, if we do!
"Both our international credibility and credibility before European Union citizens (as opposed to international!) depend on fulfillment of the targets." He was speaking exactly a week before the commission is due to unveil a raft of legislative proposals detailing how to each member state is to contribute to ambitious green targets by 2020.
In March last year, EU leaders agreed that the bloc should reduce its CO2 emissions by 20 percent and have renewable sources account for 20 percent of energy production in 12 years time. Renewable energy in the EU currently stands at 8.5 percent of production.
In recent weeks, as the commission fine-tunes its proposals, it has been subjected to strong lobbying from member states who are keen to play down their capacity to produce renewable energy and the extent to which they can be expected to reduce their CO2 emissions.
France, Germany and Spain have sent letters of complaint to Brussels while other countries are said to be supportive of the criticism of the commission.
In addition, the business lobby says that European companies will be disadvantaged if they have to comply with stricter environment rules than their counterparts in the US or China
But who has the say?
For its part, the commission has on several occasions argued that the EU by acting now will have the advantage of moving into the green market first (which has only one meaning: money for every one concerned!).
Its international reputation for being a flag-bearer for environmentally friendly proposals is also at stake.
"Childish behaviour" : Protest by powerless and outcast EU-sceptic MEPs in EU Parliament when the EU Human Rights Charter were about to be signed in Dec. 2007. Now their diets are to be docked!
The action which attracted his wrath was provoked by a speech from Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates, currently holding the EU presidency, who called the signature of the document "one of the most important events of my political career … a fundamental date in the history of Europe". Eurosceptic MEPs wearing black t-shirts with a white "referendum" sign on them, jeered and booed, brandishing banners in protest and delaying and interrupting the premier's speech several times.
After calling on them to let their "guest" speak, the parliament's president angrily asked them to leave the hemicycle. The protesters stayed however, and after the Portuguese prime minister's speech, they booed the commission president as well.
The protest was actually initiated by the Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), which does not view itself as Eurosceptic but which wanted referendums on the treaty but it was joined enthusiastically UKIP MEPs led by Nigel Farage. The Services immediately turned off the television coverage of the incident, leading Farage to comment that, "This is the new EU in action, showing the world a united face as they steam-roll towards their own super-state while totally refusing to allow anyone to see a different point of view." Others took more direct action and one member of the European People's Party dragged a female observer from the Independence and Democracy Group out of the chamber and demanded her camera, which showed footage of the protest.
The guilty ones, including Austrian Andreas Moelzer, Britain's Roger Helmer and Jim Allister, are being summonsed before parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering, for "personal meetings" … before he takes a "reasoned decision" on the matter, this being a precursor to docking the MEPs' daily allowances.
EU treaty censored by Euro-federalists (Daniel Hannan 17.01.2008)
Shall I tell you the most annoying thing about Eurocrats? It's not their readiness to toss aside inconvenient referendum results, nor their intolerance of dissent. No, the truly maddening thing about them is the flagrancy with which they break their own rule
This week, a small group of MEPs decided to protest against the ratification, without the promised referendums, of the Lisbon Treaty (née European Constitution). The method we decided on was procedural delay.
At worst, we would have kept MEPs from their lunch for half an hour. But even this was too much for the parliamentary authorities. With brazen disregard for their own rulebook, they disallowed our requests for explanations of how members voted and suspended the session Their action had no legal basis. The parliamentary rules state that "once the general debate has been concluded, any Member may give an oral explanation on the final vote for not longer than one minute".
Well, we are certainly a minority: perhaps 40 MEPs out of 785. We can inflict little direct damage, but we can, perhaps, so enrage the beast that, in its furious thrashings, it wounds itself. By refusing to countenance any opposition, the European Parliament has put itself morally in the wrong. And, by failing to follow its own procedures, it has put itself legally in the wrong.
The authorities are now threatening - almost unbelievably - to disallow requests for electronic votes, despite proved inaccuracies in the show-of-hands procedure, and despite the fact that no one will be able to find out how his representative voted. They are thereby opening themselves to a court challenge, on the ground that Bills passed in violation of parliamentary procedure have not been properly ratified.
Their dislike is psycho-political. The people they really resent are their own voters, who keep on mulishly voting "No". But, of course, they can't be openly contemptuous of their constituents. So they take out all their frustration on us, the handful of Euro-sceptics in the chamber. Hence their latest suggestion that MEPs who protest in the chamber should - angels and ministers of grace defend us! - have their allowances docked.
The Grand Mufti of Syria in the EU Parliament on the occasion of the Year of Intercultural Dialogue
"Completely missing from the EU’s own reporting was the warning Dr. Hassoun has for the Netherlands (NL): Should it come to riots, bloodshed and violence after broadcasting the Quran movie by PVV-leader Geert Wilders, then Wilders will be responsible.
This was said by the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, Tuesday in the European Parliament, where he gave a speech at the invitation of the fraction presidents.
"If Wilders tears up or burns a Quran in his film ‘this will simply mean he is inciting wars and bloodshed. And he will be responsible", according to te Grand Mufti.
Al Hassoun thinks it is "the responsibility of the Dutch people to stop Wilders".
Why was this loudmouth allowed to address the EP in the first place? And why wasn’t he taken to task anout the persecution of Christians and others of a faith not islam in Syria and the ME at large? It speaks volumes about the EUnions dedication to freedom (none) that the entire parliament enthusiatically applauded a speaker that made some not very veiled threats against one of the EU member states, one of the founding states, even. No protests."
No Questions allowed.
The grand Mufti also lashed out at Jyllands-Posten for its Cartoons. And he demanded limitations of the freedom of expression. Which the EU has already introduced.
Sarkozy seems to be the trendsetting political playmaker of the EU empire. Who is he?
With his close friends owning many major media outlets, there are fears that the freedom of the French press is now being stifled. BBC Paris correspondent Emma Jane Kirby reports.
Wherever he is and whatever he is doing, Nicolas Sarkozy makes sure it never goes unnoticed
From the very beginning, he has styled himself as a star and, as his recent romance with pop star Carla Bruni has Colombe Pringle, the editor of glossy magazine Point de Vue, believes it is a clever ploy to help cover up political failures.
"Everyone is only talking about the love story. Why are you here talking to me?
shown, he enjoys going public with his private life.
ean Louis Missika, a media analyst, believes he deliberately force-feeds the media machine until it can take in no more.
Every new event that happens under Mr Sarkozy starts before the end of the last one.
This means there is no space for the opposition and no space for the media to make commentary, or analysis and evaluation, on what happened during the last media event.
That accusation is not denied by the president's spin doctor.
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