Because it's that sort of day and these b@st@rds never seem to sleep - they must work 24/7 shifts.
'Outcry' over EU politicisation of aid. But this is what our own Coalition did last year when it merged the Dept for International Development (formerly the Dept of Overseas Aid) under the auspices of the Foreign & Commonwealth office. I think the best thing to do when the Westminster govt adopts a policy is to question it and ask how it furthers the aims of the EU (much the same with the Big Society and localism - smells of Acorn and Agenda 21).
Stop it right now! ex-Maoist Barroso stamps his feet and says there's too much inter-governmental agreement and that everything should go via the EC. The European Commission is "much more political and much more powerful than any national government". "The Commission is a system that doesn't get blocked," said the supportive EU Trade Commissioner whose name I can't be bothered to go back and retrieve.
I wonder if this is the sort of agreement Barroso had in mind? Weimar Triangle invite Russia to tea.
Spain eyes up Western Sahara fishing grounds Having contributed to the rising price of our national dish of cod & chips by encroaching on what were once the UK's territorial waters, the Spanish Environment Minister has found more plentiful supplies.
Austria/Germany lobby for Croatia entry This is despite the fact that Croatia is described as having 'rampant political corruption' and an 'unreformed' judiciary. I don't know enough, or anything at all actually, about Croatia's judiciary to say whether it needs reform or not. I suppose a lot would depend on what our progressive modernisers in the EU consider to be 'reform'.
Q. When is a paper not a paper yet still retains the properties of a paper?
A. When it's a 'non-paper'. "This is not a non-paper of the Council," said van Rompuy. I think he should stick to his haikus.
Put out the flags - sorry, flag - because it's 112 Day. "Enforce the Accessibility" reads the sub-heading.
The Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Committee (IMCO) is about to prepare an initiative report on the Universal service and 112 emergency number and yesterday (10 February) held its first exchange of views on the subject. The report will be drafted by Greek Socialist Sylvana Rapti and will assess the current state of play and challenges, namely the financing, call handling (response time, calls in foreign languages, caller location, etc) and quality of access for vulnerable people and disabled consumers.Whoopidoo.
The Brussels-Strasbourg Study shows that up to 91% of MEPs want a single seat in Brussels and think that a different use should be found for the Strasbourg complex. From the Executive Summary -
Hotel availability and profiteering in Strasbourg is considered a serious and growing problem. Anecdotal evidence and spotchecks suggest that Strasbourg hotels routinely as much as double their prices during plenary sessions.Open Europe spells out the differences between the Charter of Fundamental Rights, The European Act of Human Rights, the ECHR, and the ECJ. Good reading.
A survey has found that the European Commission "must do better". Apparently there were "412 participants, including MEPs, national and European officials, members of NGOs and corporations, consultants and EU affairs students and other interested parties." No mention of 'people' unless we were grouped in with 'other interested parties', which is unlikely. Lots of mentions of stakeholders, actors, players and so on but rarely does the word 'people' get a look in.
I had to do a double-take at the first sentence of this article: The newly-formed EEAS... The poor dears are being hampered by a lack of money - who'dathunkit? It's actually a lie anyway - the structures for the EEAS were laid long before the Lisbon Treaty came into force on Dec 01 2009. For example, there were already roughly 23 EU 'embassies' in existence around the world at that time, just begging for Cathy Ashton to formalise the appointments of Ambassadors. Ever wonder why the FCO is scaling back some of our own British embassies?
Accepting freebies from dictators There are too many planes and too many holidays to mention in this French farce.
EU-related issues that made it into the msm:
Stop consuming so much, you nasty little oiks
Axel Weber persona non grata with Merkel
30% CO2 cuts will lead to faster European de-industrialisation
2 days training for foreign NHS nurses & English optional
Portugal in the euro-zone economic mire
Finally, this article, which, strictly speaking, isn't about the EU but it is about Sarkozy: Sarkozy prompts judiciary strike
Let's give due deference to the EU: