Bursting the Bubble

Who is this mysterious Neven Mimica, the first Croatian Commissioner?

27 May 2013 | by

On the 25th of April, Neven Mimica was named by Croatia as the 28th EU Commissioner of the European Commission. President Barosso expressed his agreement; that he was “happy” about the designation of “an experienced and committed European able to make an important contribution to the work of the European Commission”. This expected nomination coincides with the accession of Croatia to the EU on the 1st of July. Who is this man who will serve as Commissioner for Consumer Protection? Let’s learn more about him.

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Zoosadism We All Pay For: How The EU Keeps Bullfighting Alive

22 May 2013 | by

With his thought-provoking article on the EU approach to animals, published last Monday, my fellow blogger Emanuele seems to have magically brought about an event, that ultimately proved his point. Two days later, a group of European Parliament members asked the Commissioner of agriculture if it’s true that the EU Common Agricultural Policy funds are used to finance bullfighting in Spain.

On Wednesday 15 May, green MEP Raül Romeva presented a letter signed by 17 members of the Green, Socialist and Liberal political groups to the EU agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos. They urge him to respond to a report by Alfred Bosch, a Spanish and Catalan parliamentarian, who proves that without the funding from the EU and the state, bullfighting would naturally cease to exist. Continue reading

Britain in Europe: An Amputation, Prosthetic Limb or a Benign Island?

20 May 2013 | by

These are the three options open to the UK on the issue of Europe. The rise of UKIP and the Tory implosion on the topic go a long way to suggest how it may end. I offer my own theory of how events may unfold between now and this fateful referendum.

It is over two weeks since the Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) performed unexpectedly well in local elections across England.   In the two weeks since, the Tory Party has begun the age-old debate on Europe (age-old at least for someone of my years, who came to know the Tory party for their inability to form a common  [sense]  stance on Europe). Without focusing on any other policy areas (although the Tory’s broad shift to the Right of British politics is manifest in many policy areas way beyond Europe), over the past few days we have seen drama in the Tory Party over the Europe issue not seen since the John Major years. Continue reading

Why do SMEs Hesitate to Step on the Cloud?

17 May 2013 | by

The Cloud is everywhere.

You can always access the Cloud, wherever you are.

We should move all our data on the Cloud!

At present, cloud computing may sound like something from Inception. But it looks like it is going to be the future for computer systems. For those who are not familiar with it, simply put, it is the online storage of data. You have probably already accessed the cloud by using Dropbox, Google Documents and Gmail. So, consumers like you and me normally use it for email, file storage, payment services and music and video streaming. Businesses use it mainly for basic office tools, collaboration, project management, and the design of custom applications. Cloud computing can be an efficient and effective way for businesses to manage their data and, in the future, companies will be as dependent on centralised computing (i.e. cloud computing) as they are on centralised electric production. However, many organisations – especially SMEs – do not yet see  the advantages cloud computing offers. How come? Continue reading

EU Competition: One for All, or All for One?

15 May 2013 | by

The EU economic recovery has been a slow and tortuous process, the debate singularly focused on austerity with the pretence of balancing the books across the Union (no matter the market strength or diversification of that state), stalling all other avenues of economic debate. However, this increasingly jars with the economic rhetoric amongst the member states. Manufacturing and construction (industrial policy) is often labelled as the key source of recovery, exports will grow due to low exchange rates (or labour costs in the Euro area) and this will offset any welfare reduction or tax hikes – simplistically speaking. But with 27 (soon to be 28) member states competing in this race to the top in terms of manufacturing output, does this benefit the EU as a whole? Or will this detrimentally affect the nations which have already been unfairly maligned as lost causes through the Troika? Essentially, is the North vs. South stand-off once again occurring? Continue reading