Bursting the Bubble

EU Enforcement Action Against Google

15 April 2013 | by

Google is facing enforcement action and possibly fines in six EU member states for violating EU privacy law. The six countries are: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. Continue reading

Italian politics? No hurry, it can’t get worse than this.

12 April 2013 | by

The mess after the ballots

The days after the elections, the 24th and 25th of February respectively, every candidate claimed to be satisfied of their victory. In Italian politics such an attitude is quite common. People sitting in the Parliament for decades can hardly admit a loss. However, in those day’s comments there was a frightening truth – nobody had won and no government was foreseeable. Let’s be clear, Italy does have a government in charge and it is led by Mario Monti. This government however is less popular at home than in the EU, and his hands are tied. After more than a month the scenario is even more unclear and uncertain. Let’s take a step back, to see things clearly. Italy has a perfect bicameral system, with the two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate performing identical functions. In February Italians voted with a complex electoral system full-of-issues, the so-called “porcellum” (dirty trick could be an appropriate translation). Continue reading

Russia VS. EU Common Energy Policy

9 April 2013 | by

From the very beginning of the European Union (European Communities) the main incentive for states involved in the integration progress was the conviction that cooperation would bring them more benefits than the actions taken on their own. Even in such controversial and extremely important matters like foreign policy, security and a monetary union, a “single voice” has been more or less achieved. In this respect, it is quite surprising that an issue where joint actions and strategies are more than desirable was not paid due attention to. It is the external energy (oil and gas) policy and security where the EU member states are struggling to have a unified position. Obviously, the question arises: can we speak of a truly consolidated European Union if a Common Energy Policy (CEP) cannot be achieved?

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Fraternité and the Swimming Salmon

5 April 2013 | by

Decades after the signing of the Schengen Agreement, the EU can boast of having created a space with no internal borders in almost all of its Member States. The agreement’s aim was to improve the functioning of the internal market and to bring the benefits of integration to the citizens of Europe.

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Same Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights in France

3 April 2013 | by

Massive protest in Paris, opponents’ last attempt before final vote

France, Sunday 24.03.2013. Families marching in the streets of Paris. The collective “la Manif pour tous”* demonstrated before the legislative proposal on same sex marriages was to be examined by the Sénat (France’s upper chamber) in a plenary session on the 4th of April. The manifestation garnered around 300 000 opponents to the legislative bill according to the police (1.4 million according to the people who organised it) and was therefore considered a success. However, the manifestation was marked with scuffles – some protesters wanted to spill over onto the Champs Elysees and the police fired tear gas. Protesters reported that whole families were caught up in the tear gas onslaught. Continue reading