Nothing really new or thrilling. This is how we could summarize the British “wish list”, sent by Prime Minister David Cameron to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk on Tuesday, in which are contained the “four main areas where the United Kingdom is seeking reform.” The letter and its requests represent the basis for negotiations and talks with other EU Member States during the next European Council summit in December. What are the wishes that the EU and its other 27 states should realize to keep the UK in the Union?
If there will be no fast action in dealing with the refugee crisis, “the EU will start to fall apart.” With this quote the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar warned the heads of State of the countries along the “Balkan” refugee route, who attended last Sunday’s special summit, and other heads of State, about the seriousness of the situation the EU has to cope with. Even if he was quoted by several (European and world) media (the quote was listed also on the list of the 10 most apocalyptic warnings on EU’s future prepared by POLITICO) and it has to be taken seriously into account, it hasn’t brought any bigger action.
Do you know who won the Olympics in London in terms of the medal count? If you think it was the United States then think again. In fact, the winner by medal count at the last Olympics in London (as well as earlier) was the European Union! Invincible athletes of the Member States of the European Union jointly achieved 305 medals (92 gold, 104 silver and 109 bronze), while their American counterparts collected a total of 104 medals (46 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze) (more information here and here). Even when translated into number of medals per capita, Europe remains in the lead with one medal for each 1.7 million citizens, where the Americans won one medal for every 3 million citizens.
So, you know that the European Union is an Olympic superpower. Now read what makes Europeans so very successful in sports and in what ways we work together to create a healthier and more sporty continent.
Last Friday premiered the third season of the series House of Cards. For the first time since the series began, I can legally view it at the same time as in the US, where the series comes from and also at the same time as in France, the UK, Ireland and other countries where Netflix is available. However if, for example, I would decide to return home to Slovenia, I couldn’t access to the service, even though I paid for it. To exaggerate, it is as if I would buy a book in Belgium and it would be confiscated at my arrival at the airport in Ljubljana, just because this book is not sold in Slovenia. The only difference is that the second thing is forbidden, while the first is still allowed. But why?
Ta teden bo v Bruslju živahno. V Evropskem parlamentu bodo poslanci delali v odborih, hkrati pa bodo nekaj sto metrov stran, v stabi Sveta EU, potekala zasedanja ministrov držav članic z različnih področij. Zunanji ministri se bodo srečali v Rigi, pri nas pa bodo na voljo trije zanimivi dogodki.
“The problem is not in the lack of confidence into the EU institutions, but in the decision process, which is not part of the public sphere because of its secrecy”. This tweet is a reaction (for which I am very thankful) to my interview on the e-participation of citizens, that was published on the website of the Institute for electronic participation (InEPA). As 140 characters are not enough to answer to it, I decided to write my answer here. Briefly I can say just the following – the lack of confidence into the EU institutions (and the consequent feeling of impotence) is a consequence of the lack of knowledge of their work and of the decision process. Which is in fact not even so closed as it seems.
151 days after the EP elections, the European Union should today get the 12th Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker. After all the problems, insinuations and controversies Slovenia too got its commissioner. This post will be held by Violeta Bulc, who successfully underwent Monday’s hearing. The naming process was very difficult and, unfortunately, Slovenia emerged very ridiculed. Some other candidates were also controversial (Jonathan Hill, Tibor Navracsics, Miguel Arias Cañete), however not so much as the Slovenian candidate. In any case, it’s no use crying over split milk. What can we therefore change until 2019, when the next Commission would be named, to minimize any future problems?