Bursting the Bubble

Today in Euronews: Gremlins 3! Cyprus trip!

20 March 2013 | by
[caption id="attachment_422" align="alignleft" width="300"]Gremlins Creative Commons Use – http://slashertheater.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/vintage-horror-review-gremlins-2-new.html[/caption]

Again, the Gremlins have escaped. This time they went to Cyprus – after a long winter it is always nice to get some fresh air – they have stolen suits, snaked on board airplanes and broken into offices. They are causing panic amongst EU citizens. It is true that Cyprus’s economy needs reform and they have been doing things in their own way, but for a Gremlin intervention? Perhaps this is too excessive.

Who are these Gremlins? Who is the alpha Gremlin? What do they want? And can someone please, for god sake, lock them back into their cages?

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Multi-annual financial framework negotiations, the EP resists and prepares for a fight!

18 March 2013 | by

We are now entering the final stage of the MFF 2014-2020 negotiations. The long-term budget, which determines EU expenditure for the next seven years, broken down by policy area, may be adopted by the end of this year if the European Parliament gives its consent to the Council’s position. The process started in 2011 and has already gone through a long preparatory phase as well as tough negotiations between Member States.

[caption id="attachment_401" align="alignleft" width="300"] European Parliament Flickr Stream – Creative Commons[/caption]

After the European Council of the 7th and 8th February, the Member States have finally struck a deal for €960 billion long-term budget (€908 billion for payment appropriation), that is to say 1.00% of EU’s gross national income. This represents an important decrease compared to the Commission’s proposal and even Herman van Rompuy’s proposal of last November. Institutional “battles” usually take place in budgetary negotiations. The Council tries to lower down the figures while the Commission and EP stand for higher ones (e.g. the in extremis 2013 budget deal). It is no wonder that the struggle is even tougher in time of crisis, when austerity is the catchphrase. Member States try to push for cuts in the EU budget to reflect the national situation and to look good in the eyes of their electorate.
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A small step for the European Parliament, a giant leap for CAP

15 March 2013 | by

The news which hit the Brussels based Associated Press on Monday evening (11th March 2013) may not sound like a big deal to many Europeans. The announcement that over 350 proposed amendments to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will go before the full European Parliament (EP) plenary session on Wednesday (13th March) will probably just elicit groans of “Agriculture? Farming? Pfft, boring” (to which I would probably nod my head in agreement) from many of you; whilst a few others might shrug and mumble “Parliaments going to vote on amendments? Isn’t that what they do for a job…?” (once again, hard to disagree with you.)

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Legitimacy In Lobbying: Interest Representation vs Own-Interest Representation

13 March 2013 | by

About five weeks ago, I took part in a debate concerning the legitimacy and efficiency of lobbying in the EU. I had never really given this issue enormous ideological and ontological attention, which is why my first spontaneous question was, “why should we suppose lobbying is not legitimate in the first place?”. One answer I received from one of the participants to the debate struck me, making me stop to rethink about the very basis of lobbying itself for a minute. Which is the reason why I find it worth reporting here. Continue reading

The Fantastic and Magnificent Magic Comedy Show of the Spanish Government

8 March 2013 | by

I am very happy to be able to share my views, thoughts and feelings on what is occurring within the European Union and the Spanish policy making sphere through this blog.

In this article, my first for European Public Affairs, I have to satisfy a personal need. I need to eliminate the rage, impotence and stupor I harbour, before being able to find the objective perspective required to analyse  further issues.

In a way, a lot of the occurrences in Spanish government seem like a comedy act. Is the Spanish government laughing at all of us when there are no cameras recording them? This is the feeling that the average Spaniard could have, particularly when the evening news – at least it is the feeling that I have, one of being in a magic comedy show. Continue reading