Tag Archives: European Union

Belgium: UK's Davis resumes Brexit talks as cabinet splits turn ugly

Source: Bloomberg

"U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis returned to Brussels Monday to resume Brexit talks with the European Union, as infighting among ministers in London over the future of Prime Minister Theresa May gathered pace. Davis and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, shook hands before talks started on the priority issues identified by the bloc, including the rights of EU citizens in the U.K. and Britain’s financial obligations. … Davis is in a rush to move talks toward the crucial issue of future trade even as open divisions in the cabinet back home make it hard for Europe to know what Britain wants. A Sunday Times photo montage illustrated May’s tenuous grip on power with an image of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — all names touted as potential successor — aiming pistols at each other." (07/17/17)


EU to reject Brexit deal if UK fails to secure "favorable" status for EU citizens


Source: CNBC

"The European Parliament has criticized the U.K.'s proposals on EU citizens' rights as a 'damp squib' and has vowed to reject a Brexit deal if Britain does not offer more. Chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt and leaders of four of the parliament's main groups wrote in a joint letter to newspapers that Britain's plans for the three million EU citizens expecting to remain in the U.K. post-Brexit 'fall short' of what they are entitled to and what U.K. nationals are being offered in the EU." (07/10/17)


The EU's got it all wrong on Google

Source: Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman

"By fining Google £2.1bn for giving special prominence to Google Shopping in shopping-related searches, European regulators have made exactly the same mistake that they and US regulators did when they fined Microsoft for bundling its Internet Explorer with Windows in the 1990s. The basic error is to assume that Google or Microsoft’s dominant position in the market is unchallengeable — that they are akin to 'natural monopolies' like, say, water or electricity companies, and can use their position to exploit consumers — and that instead of competition between platforms being able to take place, they must brute-force competition within those platforms. … If people can switch between platforms it doesn’t matter that much if, within a platform, there isn’t that much competition. Prioritising a particular shopping search engine is not akin to gouging water users with higher prices because there are alternatives to Google that users can switch to easily." (06/27/17)


EU extortionists demand €2.4 billion from Google

Source: The Verge

"Google has been hit with a record-breaking €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) fine by the European Union for breaking antitrust law. The decision follows a seven-year investigation into the US company’s search algorithms, which ended with the judgement that Google had 'abused its dominant position by systematically favoring' its own shopping comparison service. Today’s fine is the largest antitrust judgement handed out by the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, and beats a €1 billion penalty given to Intel in 2009." (06/27/17)


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)