Skip to content

Category: Europe

Brexit

Washington Post on “Brexit and Britain’s delusions of empire“: The article goes through the former British colonies and checks how much they need the British and their trade to succeed. TL;DR: They don’t.

The Guardian on “Up to 100,000 UK jobs at risk as Merkel and Juncker ally warns on euro clearing“:

“EU citizens decide on their own money,” Weber said during a press conference in Strasbourg on Tuesday. “When the UK is leaving the European Union it is not thinkable that at the end the whole euro business is managed in London. This is an external place, this is not an EU place any more. The euro business should be managed on EU soil.” […]

Clearing houses are independent parties that sit between the two parties in a trade and are tasked with managing the risk if one side defaults on payment. London clears around three-quarters of all euro-denominated trades.

And German Die Zeit has an article titled simply “Vergesst Großbritannien!” (“Forget Britain!”), an interview with Labour-Politician and EU Trade Commissar Perer Mandelson.

 

Leave a Comment

European Parliament ends visa-free travel for Americans

The Independent reports:

The European Parliament has voted to end visa-free travel for Americans within the EU.

It comes after the US failed to agree visa-free travel for citizens of five EU countries – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania – as part of a reciprocity agreement. US citizens can normally travel to all countries in the bloc without a visa.

The ban, if it comes, affects all Americas, not just Redneckistanis. Will it come? It depends:

Following the committee’s vote, the Commission must act to suspend the visa waiver for Americans, but the European Parliament or the Council of the European Union may object.

1 Comment

Being German, with a Hyphen

The BBC reports:

The Brexit debate in the UK is focusing on the rights of EU migrants in the country, among them about 300,000 Germans. Many people are worried about what will happen to them after Brexit. But how are the 100,000 Brits in Germany feeling?

and tells the story of Esme, a young british Expat living in Berlin (of course), applying for German Citizenship and getting it just now.

For Esme, and I suspect for a lot of the Brits who are now becoming German, what started out as a practical decision about visas and passports, is unexpectedly raising deeper questions about identity. Can you really be both German and British? And what does it mean to be German anyway?

Not so very long ago, saying to other Brits that you’re becoming German would almost inevitably lead to some tired gag about Nazis or towels on sun loungers. And although some British headlines might still use those cliches – and you can expect a few more if Brexit talks get nasty – today, modern Germany is seen more often as a bastion of tolerant values: international, democratic and open to immigrants.

Let’s keep it that way. In fact, let’s make or keep this a European thing.

1 Comment

On Normalcy: The rest times of truck drivers in Europe

DVZ Landverkehr reports (article in German):

LKW-Fahrer dürfen ihre wöchentliche Ruhezeit nicht im Fahrzeug verbringen. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt Generalanwalt Evgeni Tanchev in seinen Schlussanträgen vom 2. Februar vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof (EuGH). Hintergrund ist die Klage des Transportunternehmens Vaditrans gegen den Belgischen Staat.

(“Truck drivers must not spend their weekly downtime within the vehicle. That’s the conclusion drawn by general attorney Evgeni Tanchev in his final plea of Feb, 2nd before the ECJ. Background is a complaint of Vaditrans vs. Belgium”)

Most European countries require that the weekly downtime of truck drivers must not be spent in the vehicle. Vaditrans sued against this rule and the penalties for violation. European law allows daily downtimes to be spent in the cabin, but says nothing about weekly downtimes. Local rules in many states require that the drivers must not spent them on the vehicle.

The same proceedings are also reported in Eurotransport (article in German). The comments below the article rage against the ruling, with many commenters asking how this could possibly be implemented or how the ruling is unfair, cost intensive and generally wrong.

The definition of what is normal apparently can be distorted quite heavily – normal for most people obviously would be that drivers to park their vehicles next to a motel and sleep in proper rooms and beds, with proper meals and sanitary installations, every day, because that’s how jobs work in a civilization. Instead, people rage against requiring that drivers can and should be doing this at least on their weekends, claiming this to be impossible and abnormal.

1 Comment

Amnesty International: We have achieved surveillance society in Europe

The Amnesty Report “Dangerously Disproportionate: The Ever-Expanding National Security State in Europe” (PDF) goes through the states of Europes and their respective implementation of the surveillance state – emergency laws, principle of legality, privacy, freedom of expression, liberty, freedom of movement, and other categories are being investigated.

The summary states:

[B]y proposing, adopting and implementing wave after wave of counter-terrorism measures that have eroded the rule of law, enhanced executive powers, peeled away judicial controls, restricted freedom of expression and exposed everyone to government surveillance. Brick by brick, the edifice of rights protection that was so carefully constructed after the Second World War, is being dismantled.

This report aims to give a bird’s eye view of the national security landscape in Europe. It shows just how widespread and deep the “securitization” of Europe has become since 2014. The report reflects a world in which fear, alienation and prejudice are steadily chipping away at the cornerstones of the EU: fairness, equality and non-discrimination.

Leave a Comment