Tag Archives: European Union

UK, EU regimes kick off Brexit negotiations

Source: Hindustan Times [India]

“A year after its historic vote, Britain on Monday finally opened negotiations with the other 27 European Union nations about leaving the bloc, with the final outcome, due in 2019, as globally important as it now seems unpredictable. The two chief negotiators, Michel Barnier of the EU and David Davis from Britain, immediately set off to find common ground in their working relationship, an important touchstone to see how amicable the biggest political divorce in decades will become.” (06/19/17)


European taxpayers may have paid millions for non-existent offices

Source: Acton Institute
by Kaetana Leontjeva-Numaviciene

“The EU’s decision-making bodies have long been accused of a lack of transparency and being detached from their citizens. A new report has uncovered how the lack of accountability has created a new scandal. Even the means of providing a more direct link between EU citizens and their representatives has become a source of widespread abuse and potential corruption, raising a number of moral and ethical issues. Members of European Parliament (MEPs) receive a tax-free monthly General Expenditure Allowance of around $4,870, or $58,400 a year to maintain offices in their home nations and other expenses. Their national offices are supposed to allow their constituents to communicate with them more easily. The overall cost of the program is $44.9 million (€40 million). But one-third of MEPs’ national offices either do not exist or cannot be located, according to The MEPs Project, run by Investigative Reporting Denmark.” (06/13/17)


Kaspersky files frivolous complaint against Microsoft for disabling its anti-virus software

The Verge

Source: The Verge

“Kaspersky Lab has filed antitrust complaints in Europe against Microsoft. Kaspersky first filed a complaint against Microsoft with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), claiming that Microsoft is using its dominant position with Windows to push its own anti-virus software over competitor products with Windows 10. While Microsoft has made some product changes since the initial complaint, Kaspersky isn’t happy these are enough and has filed complaints with the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office recently. ‘Microsoft uses its dominant position in the computer operating system (OS) market to fiercely promote its own — inferior — security software (Windows Defender) at the expense of users’ previously self-chosen security solution,’ says Eugene Kaspersky, the Russian co-founder of the anti-virus company. Kaspersky claims Microsoft has been removing its software when users upgrade to Windows 10, and enabling its own Windows Defender solution.” [editor’s note: If customers prefer Kaspersky’s product, they’ll figure out how to run it on Windows or they’ll abandon Windows. Trying to get the state to force that is effectively saying that your product is inferior – TLK] (06/06/17)


A rift with “Europe,” or just the EU?

Source: Acton Institute
by Rev. Ben Johnson

“The United States is doing Europe no favors by alleviating the continent’s need to pay for its own defense. Indications are funds that otherwise would have gone to defense — a core function for which governments are instituted among men — instead go to fund the EU’s generous welfare state. Such programs, Pope John Paul II wrote in Centesimus Annus, lead to ‘a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients.’ … urging leaders to fund central government responsibilities and avoid costly agreements that sap energy (both human and natural) does nothing to harm ‘Europe.’ Such principles are valid for every nation. The current rift is not between the United States and ‘Europe’ but between the U.S. and the EU superstructure.” (05/30/17)


Post-summit, Merkel says Europe “must take our fate into our own hands”

Source: USA Today

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday warned that Europeans ‘must take our fate into our own hands,’ suggesting that President Trump’s visit last week — and his contentious relations with the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — show that the days when Europe could rely on others were ‘over to a certain extent.’ Speaking at a campaign rally in a packed Bavarian beer hall, Merkel told the crowd, ‘This is what I have experienced in the last few days,’ The Washington Post reported. Merkel never mentioned Trump by name, but the remarks seemed a clear response to the president’s trip, which included a fraught Group of Seven summit.” (05/28/17)


Moldova: Corruption arrests rock pro-EU coalition

Source: Reuters

“A minister in Moldova’s pro-European government and two of his deputies resigned on Monday, after their party withdrew from the ruling coalition over the arrest of its deputy chairman on corruption charges. While the now two-party coalition retains a de facto majority in the 101-seat parliament, the Liberal Party’s exit threatens more instability in the ex-Soviet nation, which has seen three governments fall since 2015. On Friday, the Liberals quit the coalition in protest at the arrest of Chisinau mayor and Liberal deputy chairman, Dorin Chirtoaca, for alleged abuse of office linked to the distribution of parking contracts in the capital.” (05/29/17)


EU extortionists demand $122 million from Facebook for doing what EU extortionists do

Source: Engadget

“After months of deliberation, the European Commission has ruled that Facebook intentionally mislead officials over its ability to utilize data following its acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. As a result, the social network has been fined €110 million ($122 million or £94 million) and becomes the first company to be penalized under the Commission’s Merger Regulation law since it was introduced in 2004. The case, which was opened in December 2016, focused on Facebook’s admission that it would be unable to reliably automate the sharing of data between a user’s Facebook and WhatsApp accounts. However, in August 2016 — nearly two years after the companies had merged — Facebook announced an update to its terms of service, noting that it could link WhatsApp users’ phone numbers to their Facebook profile. The Commission filed a Statement of Objections three months later. According to today’s statement, Facebook was judged to have lied on two occasions.” [editor’s note: Do the European Commission’s members have to squat and defecate money all over the people they lie to on a regular basis? – TLK] (05/18/17)


EU starts legal action against Italy over Fiat Chrysler emissions

Source: Business Insider

“The European Commission launched legal action against Italy on Wednesday for failing to respond to allegations of emission-test cheating by Fiat Chrysler, in a procedure that could lead to the country being taken to court. The Commission said Italy had failed to convince it that devices used to modulate emissions on Fiat Chrysler vehicles outside of narrow testing conditions were justified.” (05/17/17)


EU judges to tackle idiotic “right to be forgotten” again

Source: US News & World Report

“In May 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled that people could ask search engines, such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing, to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results appearing under searches for people’s names — dubbed the -right to be forgotten.’ Google has since received over 720,000 removal requests and accepted about 43 percent of them, according to its transparency report. Four individuals who had asked Google to remove links to webpages about them appealed to the French data protection authority after the search engine company refused their request. The French privacy regulator, the CNIL, agreed with Google’s decision, prompting the individuals to take their case to the French Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme administrative court, which referred it to the Luxembourg-based ECJ.” (05/16/17)


Secret new European copyright proposal spells disaster for free culture

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm

“EFF has learned about a new proposal for European law that takes aim at online streaming services, but which will strike a serious blow to creators and their fans. The proposal, which would effectively ban online streaming services from hosting works under free licenses, could spell an end to services like the Luxembourg-based Jamendo that offers access to free music online, and raise new barriers to offering freely-licensed works on other streaming platforms. This is all part of Europe’s proposed new Digital Single Market Directive, which is presently doing the rounds of the three European institutions (the European Commission, European Parliament, and Council of the European Union) that will have to reach agreement on its final text.” (05/15/17)