Friday, December 11th: Unresolved questions of Paris climate agreement, EU sues Germany, Geneva on maximum alert in hunt for terrorist suspects


Unresolved questions of Paris climate agreement: Despite intense negotiations, the climate conference in Paris has only made slight progress. Gao Feng, special representative for climate change negotiations in China’s foreign ministry, was nevertheless confident that a new climate treaty would be decided. Both India and China have expressed concern that an overly ambitious target will eventually mean emission reductions that would crimp economic growth.

EU concessions in TTIP: The Europeans have made significant concessions regarding agricultural trade in talks about the free trade agreement TTIP with the United States. Customs duty on sensitive products such as meat and milk could be eliminated after a transitional period of one year. This could result in problems for EU farmers. The EU has accused the initiative “KMU against TTIP” of unfounded criticism. The small and medium enterprises criticised that the EU misjudged the situation of the middle class in Europe.

EU sues Germany: The EU Commission has taken Germany to court, accusing it of ignoring a 2013 EU directive that carmakers must use a new air-conditioning coolant called R1234yf, which is reputed to produce far less greenhouse gasses. Heavy fines could result for Germany, based on the duration and severity of the alleged infringement of EU law. The case puts further pressure on Germany’s auto industry amid a separate pollution cheating scandal involving Volkswagen.

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European Year of Development scores unevenly across EU: The European Year for Development officially closed on Monday with a ceremony in Luxembourg, the country holding the rotating presidency of the EU Council. EYD2015 is the first year designated with such a global theme, since European years have been designated thematically since 1983. The aim of the European Year of Development was to spread the message: ’Dignity for all’. Promoting respect for diversity in hermetic Poland, however, is an especially difficult task. Many development-focused NGOs incorporated the aims of the year into their annual schedule, but most of them did not prepare any special events for EYD2015.

Nobel Peace Prize awarded: A Tunisian pro-democracy group accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday and set the fight against terrorism and helping Palestinians to achieve self-determination as global priorities. The National Dialogue Quartet, which won the Peace Prize for helping build democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, accepted the award at a ceremony in Oslo held under tight security following the armed attacks in Paris on November 13th.

German pirate fights for free Wi-Fi: On Wednesday, the case of German Pirate party member Tobias McFadden was negotiated in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. This specific case is about who is liable for law violations on open wireless networks, so-called open WLANs. McFadden had offered an open internet access, over this WiFi a music album was offered and downloaded via a file exchange network. McFadden was subsequently sued.

Asylum law: Commission opens infringement procedure against Hungary
Fight against terrorism: IS head of finance killed in US airstrike
Civil Society Prize: Grassroots organisations from Germany and Finland win first prize
Commission: Giving Europeans more choice in financial services
Air passengers: EU plan for blanket collection of data clears key hurdle


Europe must be willing to switch tracks in the face of the migrant movement. The nation states should give up their sovereign rights completely or at least partially.
German CDU politician Volker Kauder has called for the formation of a European border police force.

We still have some ammunition left. But the effect would be much greater if the necessary reforms would be undertaken.
ECB board member Yves Mersch warns that the European Central Bank‘s policy of cheap money for financial markets is running up against its limits.


Marine Le Pen could lose regional election fight: The far-right Front National’s highest profile figures stand to lose their regional election fight, latest polls suggest. The FN had a historic showing in the first round of elections last Sunday, in which it clinched pole position in six regions and took the largest slice of the national vote. According to surveys, however, Xavier Bertrand, a former labour minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, could win in the northern Nord-Pas de Calais-Picardy region.

Geneva on maximum alert in hunt for terrorist suspects: Geneva security officials have said they have raised the alert level in the city and are looking for suspects in connection with investigations into the Paris attacks on November 13th. Policemen armed with submachine guns were posted at the entrances to United Nations institutions as well as the airport, train station and other key landmarks. UN buildings were evacuated shortly before midnight on Wednesday night.

Macedonia builds another border fence: The country is building a second fence along its border with Greece to stop migrants from entering. Macedonia has introduced strict border controls, saying it’s trying to separate economic migrants from refugees fleeing war. The result is thousands of asylum seekers who are now stranded in Greece. The Macedonian policy is to allow through people from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq since those countries are at war.

Constitutional dispute in Poland: Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal has struck down parts of laws passed by the new ruling party aimed at appointing judges to the court who sympathize with the new government’s conservative outlook. The verdict appears to undermine the appointment of five new judges to the 15-member court by the ruling Law and Justice party. Shortly before the court convened Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda swore in the last of those five judges.

Khodorkovsky calls for a Russian revolution: Top Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of an unconstitutional coup. Khodorkovsky delivered a damning summary of Putin’s rule and announced the intention to prosecute his regime. He said a revolution was inevitable in Russia and could happen as soon as 2018. Russia has enough reserves to last until 2017, Khodorkovsky said, predicting that when they run out this could trigger economic and political collapse.

Serbia: Restitution of property for Holocaust victims
Bosnia: Five suspected war criminals arrested
Great Britain: Rotherham sex abuse trial
Germany: Deportations have doubled in 2015
Greece: Unemployment at 24.6 percent

⊂ DATA ⊃

The Austrian central bank’s forecasts for gross domestic product growth are unchanged at 0.7 percent for this year, 1.9 percent next year and 1.8 percent in 2017.

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃ Fundació Barcelona Promoció seeks Brussels Liaison Officer (German Speaker) *** Verband öffentlicher Versicherer sucht Policy Advisor (m/w) *** Kellen AGEP seeks Stagiaire Consultant *** Inclusion Europe seeks an Executive Director *** VDMA sucht Referent (m/w) Handelspolitik/Wirtschaftsrecht *** Bayer seeks EU Policy Manager *** POLITICO seeks Policy editor/Account Manager *** RISE Foundation seeks Researcher *** ECDHR offers Advocacy & EU Public Affairs Internship, (Inserat schalten)


Chancellor of the free world: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is “Time” magazine’s Person of the Year. While US President Barack Obama congratulated his fellow head of state, a rejected Donald Trump on Wednesday said he had been the favorite to be the magazine’s Person of the Year and ripped winner Merkel. “They picked person who is ruining Germany”, Trump tweeted. “Time” magazine had called Merkel the “Chancellor of the Free World”.


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