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40 years – the age of maturity?

Ideas on Europe Blog - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 16:34

May 1975: Chinese Vice-Premier Li Xiannian and ECC Commissioner for external affaires Christopher Soames.

These days, the People’s Republic of China and the European Union celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship. At the age of 40 one might assume that this relationship has indeed ‘grown up’ by now.

But has it, really?

Here are three indicators supporting this view and three against it:

FOR: China established diplomatic relations in 1975 with the – back then – European Economic Community at a time that is commonly dubbed “Eurosclerosis”, with European integration stalling and a Community that was far from establishing a common foreign policy. The move thus underlines the strategic importance for global politics that China has seen in the European integration project from the very beginning, and even during an era that was clearly dominated by only two Cold War superpowers.

AGAINST: Times have changed, notably the old bipolar
world has come to an end. But even if we believe theories
of a multipolar configuration, there are still doubts
whether the now much more mature European Union,
which even has a face to show to the world, can be considered
one of these “poles” or even an actor in global politics, with
institutional crisis having become a permanent feature
and 28 members attached to their individual prerogatives.

FOR: The trade relationship between China and the EU
is still the largest in the world. For several years now,
China is Europe’s No. 2 partner and Europe is China’s
No. 1 partner. Goods and services of over 1 bn EUR
per day 
are exchanged between the two economic giants.
Initiatives such as the new investment treaty and
possibly a free trade agreement are likely to foster
EU-China trade further.

AGAINST: If TTIP comes, the US-EU trade relationship may
outperform the Sino-European one. The fact that Europe and
China could not even find common ground in terms of China’s
WTO-status (market economy or not) indicates the level of
difficulty to turn negotiations into concrete outcomes.
What is more, EU-China relations are still based on an agreement
of 1985
as the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement failed.

FOR: Even if international relations are increasingly
dominated by business, investment and economics,
one cannot exclude politics. We’ve come a long way
over the last 40 years in terms of approaching each
other politically. Since 1998 China and the EU have
held annual summits. Politicians at all levels from
China and all member states and at EU-level constantly
meet each other. Chinese has become a popular
 to study and cities such as Beijing and Shanghai,
which host some of the finest universities worldwide,
have become attractive destinations for European
exchange students and vice versa.

AGAINST: Notwithstanding the exponential increase of
people-to-people exchange, a recent survey by the
EU-Asia Institute at ESSCA School of Management
and Oklahoma University has confirmed the negative
perceptions of Europeans towards China, notably the Chinese
government. It is noteworthy that strong trade relations do not
seem to help mitigate the situation: the Germans are among the
most skeptical Europeans vis-à-vis the Chinese.

This blogpost was published simultaneously on the website of the EU-Asia Institute and on

The post 40 years – the age of maturity? appeared first on Ideas on Europe.

Categories: European Union

Marosvásárhely is csatlakozik holnap a Múzeumok éjszakája rendezvénysorozathoz

Erdély FM (Románia/Erdély) - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 16:29

A múzeumok délelőtt 10 órától éjjeli kettőig tartanak nyitva. A rendezvény délelőtt 10 órától kézművesvásárral indul, ennek helyszíne a Színház tér. A hétvége utolsó lehetőség arra, hogy megtekintsék a Románia ókori arany- és ezüstkincsei kiállítást a Kultúrpalota Tükörtermében, a kiállítás a Múzeumok éjszakája karkötővel és 3 lejes külön belépővel látogatható. Délelőtt 10 és 12 óra, majd délután 1 és 4 óra között a Maros Megyei Múzeum gyermekfoglalkozásokat ajánl, amelyeket a Kultúrpalota kistermében tartanak. A múzeumpedagógiai műhelyekben arcfestésre, modellezésre és üvegfestésre kínálnak lehetőséget. A rendezvény keretében látogatható lesz a városháza tornya is. A Néprajzi és Népművészeti Múzeumban a Maros megyei városok és falvak világa-, az Erdélyi csipkék- valamint a Kivonatok a bábszínház történetéből kiállításokkal várják a látogatókat. A Természettudományi Múzeumban a Romániában élő vad orchideák kiállítást lehet megtekinteni, ugyanitt délután 1 és 4 között gyerekfoglalkozások lesznek, kertészkedni hívják a gyerekeket, és állatokat készíteni. A Várban Az avar harcosok Erdélyben kiállítást ajánlják a szervezők. A kiállítások és a gyermekprogramok Múzeumok éjszakája karkötővel látogathatók, a szabadtéri programok ingyenesek. Karkötőket a Kultúrpalotában és a Maros Megyei Múzeum részlegeinek székhelyén, valamint a társszervezőknél lehet beszerezni.

OSCE-supported meeting of CIS Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units takes place in Kyrgyzstan

OSCE - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 16:24

BISHKEK, 16 May 2015 – The fifth meeting of the Council of Heads of Financial Intelligence Units of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) focused on combating money laundering and terrorism financing took place on 16 May in Bishkek, supported by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek.

The participants discussed the establishment of an information exchange between the Financial Intelligence units of the CIS countries. They also discussed the draft Protocol on Amendments and Additions to the Agreement on counteraction of laundering of criminal incomes and financing of terrorism and the Protocol on Co-operation between the Council of the Heads of Financial Intelligence Units of the CIS Member States.

“The establishment of an effective system for combating money laundering and terrorist financing is key for the economic and social stability of every country and the integrity of its financial system,” said Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Ambassador Sergey Kapinos. “It represents an essential tool towards improving the investment climate and attracting foreign investments. No country can counteract these threats alone. It requires joint efforts by all stakeholders.”

As a result of the Centre’s assistance Kyrgyzstan was removed from the FATF’s ‘grey list’ in July 2014 and is no longer subject to the FATF’s monitoring process under its ongoing global process of compliance with requirements on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. In a related, more recent achievement, the Eurasian Group on combatting money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG) removed Kyrgyzstan from its monitoring list.

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Categories: Central Europe

Annals of Army generals: ‘penny stock’ Wesley Clark, and who is the new chief?

Foreign Policy - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 16:17

Wesley Clark, once a four star officer, next a failed presidential candidate, and then involved in some kind of reality TV show, has become “a penny stock general,” says Bloomberg News. In an impressive story, Zachary Mider and Zeke Faux write that:

“Since he ran for president in 2004, Clark has joined the boards of at least 18 public companies, 10 of them penny-stock outfits, whose shares trade in the ‘over the counter’ markets, a corner of Wall Street where fraud and manipulation are common.”

All but one of the 10 lost value during Clark’s tenure. Three went bankrupt shortly after he left their boards, and the chief executive officer of one pleaded guilty to fraud.”

In the department of picking Army generals: I have never met the new Army chief of staff, Mark Milley, that I can recall. But I am hearing some very bad vibes about him, real unhappiness with this selection. People wonder how it happened that of all the available candidates, it was Milley, kind of a non-entity, was tapped.

In other officer news, the commander of the Air Force “boneyard” in Arizona got fired.

John Foster/DefenseLink Multimedia/Flickr

T-14 Armata: Russia's new six-zone tank shocks the West / Russia - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 16:17
The appearance of Russia's state-of-the-art Armata tank at Victory Parade on May 9 in Moscow produced a bombshell effect. Indeed, the T-14 Armata has no analogue in the world. Moreover, Armata is the only tank to date that corresponds to the military principle of six zones. Why did the new tank get so much attention?
Categories: Russia & CIS

Mythologie du front républicain

Le Monde Diplomatique - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 15:15
Depuis quelques années, la vie politique française a beaucoup tourné autour de la question du front républicain. Il renaît à chaque succès électoral du FN. Fort confus, il renvoie à une mythologie plutôt qu'à un débat rationnel et factuel. / France, Démocratie, Élections, État, Extrême droite, Histoire, (...) / , , , , , , , , , , - 2015/03

OSCE/ODIHR provides training for prosecutors on hate crime

OSCE - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 15:06
157556 Thomas Rymer, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Public Affairs Unit, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

The skills and tools required to successfully prosecute hate crimes were at the centre of the first training-of-trainers event organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as part of its Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training (PAHCT) programme. The training was provided in Warsaw from 13 to 15 May 2015.

"ODIHR is committed to helping participating States end bias-motivated violence, and prosecutors are a central part of our strategy. This training event is essential to help us prepare prosecutors for PAHCT's implementation," said Ales Hanek, Hate Crime Officer with ODIHR's Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Department and a trainer at the event. "By bringing together officials with extensive experience in prosecuting hate crimes with other prosecutors who want to strengthen their knowledge of this critical issue, we are able to help them guide their colleagues in the most effective way."

"This event is a natural evolution from the creation of PAHCT and its accompanying guide. Bringing together prosecutors with different backgrounds helps raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem and the ways in which we can challenge it effectively," said Elizabeth Howe, General Counsel to the International Association of Prosecutors. "Recognizing the damaging impacts of hate crimes on both individuals and to the fabric of society is essential if we want to actively counter this scourge."

The accompanying guide – Prosecuting Hate Crimes: A Practical Guide – was written in co-operation with the International Association of Prosecutors to improve the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes across the OSCE region. The guide, which complements ODIHR’s Prosecutors and Hate Crime Training (PAHCT), was released last year and is relevant to different legal systems and legislative frameworks. It aims to explain the impact of hate crimes by highlighting their specific features compared with other crimes.

The training is the latest part of ODIHR efforts to reinforce prosecutor's abilities to prosecute hate crimes effectively. PAHCT aims to expand and hone prosecutors’ abilities to identify hate crimes and bring hate crime cases to trial, to gain convictions and to ensure appropriate sentencing.


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Categories: Central Europe

Egy héttel tovább lehet szankciómentesen benyújtani az egységes kérelmeket!

EU Pályázati Portál - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 14:52
Megjelent az egységes kérelem benyújtási határidejének meghosszabbításával összefüggésben egyes agrártámogatási tárgyú miniszteri rendeletek módosításáról szóló 22/2015 FM rendelet, melynek alapján az ügyfelek egy héttel tovább, május 22-ig nyújthatják be egységes kérelmeiket szankciómentesen a Mezőgazdasági és Vidékfejlesztési Hivatalhoz.
Categories: Pályázatok

OSCE co-organizes discussion on legislative regulation of freedom of speech in Kazakhstan

OSCE - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 14:46
Colin McCullough, OSCE Programme Office in Astana

An OSCE-supported international roundtable discussion on the legislative aspects of freedom of speech took place on 15 May 2015 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The event was co-organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, the International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech Adil Soz, the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan and the international non-governmental organization Article 19 with Norwegian Government’s support.

It brought together some 40 parliamentarians, officials from the Communications, Informatization and Information Committee of the Innovation and Development Ministry, representatives of non-governmental organizations, journalists, national and international media experts.

Michael Unland, a Senior Adviser from the OSCE Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media presented a review of the situation with freedom of expression in Kazakhstan and the Office’s recommendations in this regard.

Participants discussed and analysed the dynamics of development of Kazakhstan's media legislation, most notably related to criminal and administrative justice reforms and a draft law on access to information. They prepared a list of recommendations for drawing a "road map" for its further improvement in accordance with international standards of freedom of speech.

The event is a part of Office’s multi-year activities in promoting media freedom and access to information.

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Categories: Central Europe

Európa helyett máshol talált partnereket az USA

Eurológus - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 14:45
Egyre több a probléma a transzatlanti szabadkereskedelmi egyezmény körül. Miközben húzódnak a tárgyalások, az EU szépen lemarad.

Európa helyett máshol talált partnereket az USA

EU Pályázati Portál - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 14:45
Egyre több a probléma a transzatlanti szabadkereskedelmi egyezmény körül. Miközben húzódnak a tárgyalások, az EU szépen lemarad.
Categories: Pályázatok

OSCE Representative welcomes legislation aiming to enhance journalists’ safety in Ukraine

OSCE - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 14:26

VIENNA, 15 May 2015 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today welcomed the adoption of a law in Ukraine which increases penalties for crimes committed against journalists and their close relatives.

On 14 May, the Supreme Rada amended the Criminal Code increasing criminal responsibility for hindering journalists’ work. The amendments include sanctions for:

  • threats of murder and violence;
  • deliberate attacks;
  • deliberate destruction or damage to property;
  • murder or attempted murder;
  • abduction and detention.

“I trust that these important legislative changes will contribute to ensuring journalists’ safety in Ukraine,” Mijatović said. “The authorities should spare no efforts in fully investigating the circumstances of all crimes committed against members of the media, including the numerous attacks and killings in recent years. There must be no impunity for crimes committed against journalist.”

In addition, amendments have been adopted to the Law on state support of mass media and social protection of journalists, which enhance support to journalists or their families if a member of the media is killed or injured on the job.

“The security situation for journalists in different regions of Ukraine remains worrying,” Mijatović said. “Unfortunately, members of the media continue to pay a very high price for doing their job.”

Mijatović noted recent cases involving journalists of television channels 112 and ZIK, whose work was obstructed in Zhitomir and suburbs of Kyiv. The journalist with 112 was attacked by a member of the city council, while the ZIK’s crew was attacked by men who seized its recording equipment. Reportedly, the police have launched investigations into both incidents.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on

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Categories: Central Europe

OSCE promoted sectoral legislation development at conference in Astana

OSCE - Fri, 15/05/2015 - 13:35

ASTANA, 15 May 2015 – Current trends, principles and tasks in developing sectoral legislation topped the agenda of an OSCE-supported international conference in the framework of annual ”Shaikenov Readings”, which took place today in Astana.

The event, named in honour of Nagashbay Shaikenov, one of the most prominent legal scholars and state figures in the modern history of Kazakhstan, was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s Constitution and was organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana in partnership with the Justice Ministry’s Legislation Institute.

Some 90 high-level government officials, parliamentarians, representatives of academia, non-governmental and international organizations, legal practitioners and national and international legal experts discussed a wide range of issues related to the theoretical and practical aspects of reforming various sectors of national legislation. They also reviewed progress in legal reform under the 2010-2020 Concept of Legal Policy of Kazakhstan related to criminal, administrative and civil justice modernization with an emphasis on the protection of citizens’ rights. Other topics included strengthening the responsibility of business entities under a draft Commercial Code and the role of labour legislation in the fulfilment of state’s social obligations.

Zauresh Baimoldina, Kazakhstan’s Justice Deputy Minister said: "Ensuring the rule of law is one of the most important tasks of institutional reforms aimed to strengthen statehood and implement national development strategies. It focuses on legislative protection of fundamental rights, improved law-making process and a business-friendly investment climate as a prerequisite to sustainable economic growth and citizens’ well-being."

“Well-balanced and reasonable development of all branches of legislation in line with OSCE principles and commitments is instrumental in reinforcing the rule of law and ensuring the better protection of human rights and freedoms enshrined in Kazakhstan’s Constitution,” said Natalia Zarudna, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana.

As a result of the discussions, participants developed a set of recommendations, inter alia, related to further development of legislation on access to information, local self-governance, the green economy, Commercial, Civil and Tax Codes as well as the continuation of administrative, civil and criminal justice reforms.

The conference is part of the Programme Office’s long-term activities in supporting the process of legal system reform in Kazakhstan.

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Categories: Central Europe