Transatlantic data protection – the long road to compromise

IMG_1644 (Kopie)The issue over the massive collection of data of foreign nationals’ private phone conversation (German Chancellor prominently among them) was met with outrage across Europe – to the great surprise of many in the US, who, quite matter-of-factly, expect no less of a nation’s intelligence agencies: the surveillance of potential threats abroad. Continue reading

Upcoming event: Türkiye – Back to old days? The current state of EU-Turkey relations

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Tuesday, 18 February 2014
12 – 14.00 h

Tensions in Turkey have reached a new high after the recent corruption scandal involving three ministers which resulted in the reshuffling of the cabinet. The AKP government responded to this bad publicity by denouncing it as a “conspiracy operation” run by externals and their Turkish allies. As a result the government launched a large-scale purge of hundreds of high-ranking members of the police, prosecutors and officials insisting they were all part of a “parallel state”. The European Commission expressed its deep concerns during Prime Minister Erdogan’s recent visit to Brussels. Breaches in the separation of powers and threat to the independence of the judiciary are a major concern. The government’s agenda to push through a number of controversial laws, such as the re-structuring of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will undo several key reforms that have been taken over the last decade.

This expert meeting will analyze the current situation in the country and its impact on EU-Turkey relations.

Kindly register by 17 February 2014 here:

Please find the invitation here.

An event in cooperation with  tuskon

Klimaschutz und erneuerbare Energien aus der Nähe betrachtet

KOMIn Europa steht das Thema Energie schon längere Zeit ganz oben auf der Agenda, nicht zuletzt wegen der ehrgeizigen Klimaziele, die sich die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten 2007 gesetzt haben: Bis zum Jahr 2020 sollen die Treibhausgas-Emissionen um 20% reduziert, der Anteil erneuerbarer Energien am Energiemix auf 20% erhöht und die Energieeffizienz um 20% verbessert werden. Sind diese Ziele realistisch? Wie sollen diese Ziele erreicht werden? Sollten andere Länder dieses Modell nachahmen oder wie ließe es sich anderen geographischen Gegebenheiten anpassen? Zum Austausch über diese Fragen kam eine Delegation lateinamerikanischer Politiker und Vertreter von Think Tankvertreter aus Argentinien, Brasilien, Costa Rica, Mexiko, Guatemala und der Dominikanischen Republik nach Brüssel.

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Lithuania and its EU Presidency: a small country with a big vision

Sir Graham Watson MEP and Leonidas Donskis MEP
Sir Graham Watson MEP and Leonidas Donskis MEP

“Today is a great day. The first former Soviet Republic presides over our Union. We have come a long way in 25 years. We look to Lithuania to breathe new life into Europe,” ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP opened the discussion on the occasion of Lithuania taking over the EU Presidency on July 1. Lithuania is the first of the three Baltic states that joined the EU in 2004 to hold the rotating presidency.

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Negotiating the 2014-2020 EU Budget: Barrage without land gain?

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once famously said that the EU Budget is harder to negotiate than the Peace Talks in Northern Ireland. Budget negotiations continue to put the European Union in a stalemate on a regular schedule. The European heads of state have failed to come to an agreement on the terms of the new multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 at the special budget summit last week. Jan Mulder MEP, Member of ALDE and the Committee on Budgets outlined the liberal position in the European Parliament and argued for more flexibility in the budget at the Liberal Breakfast, organized by the ALDE Party and the FNF and moderated by Sir Graham Watson MEP.
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