Tagged European Commission

Malpractice in the Mediterranean

Libya is sick. And on 23 April, the European Council effectively wrote a prescription for ibuprofen. The absolute horror currently taking place in the Mediterranean- individuals packed onto a rickety boats like sardines in a can, trapped behind locked doors, drowning slowly as their last hope for a future escapes along with the last bit of air in their lungs- is symptomatic of the utter hell plaguing the failed state. A hell, bear in mind, that the West had a heavy hand in creating after the UNSC invoked the Responsibility to Protect, paving the way for military intervention and the subsequent ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

The energy isolation of the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe is hopefully coming to an end, or at least progress is expected to be made in that direction, following the 4 March 2015 signing of the Madrid Declaration by the Prime Ministers of Spain and Portugal, the President of France and the President of the European Commission. They met in Madrid and agreed to expedite energy interconnection efforts in South-West Europe and ensure timely implementation of ongoing and planned projects.

Three documents issued by the European Commission on 25 February 2015 aim to advance work on the Energy Union, a project figuring prominently on the Juncker Commission’s agenda. It is hoped that the proposed actions will help diversify Europe’s energy sources and turn the EU from the world’s largest energy importer to the world’s leader in renewable energy production.

Greece continues to be financed with the help of the European Union. Eurozone Ministers of Economy and Finance have approved the new package of economic measures presented to Brussels by Athens. This then paves the way to extend Greece’s bail-out. The spokesman for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said that the proposals are “sufficiently complete” and are a “good start”. The same expression was used by Mario Draghi in a statement, however the ECB president added several ‘buts’. According to Draghi, what counts is the current memorandum.

The European Commission published a report on employment and social developments in Europe, on 15 January, where it is noted that more than nine million more are unemployed compared with 2008. The unemployment rate in the 28 EU member states reached 10.0% in November 2014, down from 10.7% in November 2013. Youth unemployment reached 21.9% in the EU and 23.7% in the euro area, compared with 23.2% and 23.9% respectively in November 2013. Unemployed young people under 25 are now 5.1 million in the EU, compared with 3.4 million in the Eurozone.

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