Energy efficiency, employment and SME support are where the bulk of future investments will go
The Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion on 23 July pub­lished its 6th Cohe­sion Report ana­lys­ing how the EU Cohe­sion Pol­i­cy is deliv­er­ing on Europe 2020 growth goals by cre­at­ing jobs and reduc­ing social and eco­nom­ic dis­par­i­ties across the union. Look­ing ahead to 2014-2020, the report out­lines how invest­ments will be focused on key are­as like ener­gy effi­cien­cy, employ­ment and SMEs to get the most of the invest­ments to the ben­e­fit of cit­i­zens. The report anal­y­ses the state of the EU's cohe­sion and high­lights the chal­len­ges faced by nation­al, region­al and local author­i­ties in over­com­ing the impact of the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis. In par­tic­u­lar it finds that the Cohe­sion Pol­i­cy has cush­ioned the decline of pub­lic invest­ment, inject­ing much need­ed invest­ment resour­ces in many Mem­ber States.
Foreign ministers expressed concerns about the continued escalation of violence in Gaza
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
The devel­op­ments in Ukraine, par­tic­u­lar­ly fol­low­ing the down­ing of the Malay­sian Air­lines flight MH17, topped the agen­da of the For­eign Affairs Coun­cil that took place in Brus­sels on 22 July. The meet­ing start­ed with a minute of silence to pay trib­ute to all of the vic­tims who died aboard the plane. The min­is­ters empha­sised that those direct­ly and indi­rect­ly respon­si­ble for the down­ing must be held account­a­ble and brought to jus­tice, and called on all states and par­ties to ful­ly coop­er­ate to this end.
 
The Council is expected to take a final decision on the new policy framework in October
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
A new ener­gy sav­ing tar­get of 30% and the nec­es­sa­ry steps to achieve it in 16 years, was pro­posed by the Com­mis­sion on 23 July. The tabled com­mu­ni­ca­tion on ener­gy effi­cien­cy focus­es on the last piece of the 2030 Cli­mate and Ener­gy frame­work.
 
Funding boost for European SMEs
Two sep­a­rate ini­ti­a­tives to increase fund­ing for small and medi­um-sized enter­pris­es (SMEs) were unveiled by the Com­mis­sion on 22 July. Under the first drive, SMEs in Europe will soon have access to up to €25bn of addi­tion­al finance, as a result of an agree­ment signed between the Com­mis­sion and the Euro­pe­an Invest­ment Fund (EIF).
Citizens have stronger say on EU urban agenda
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Cur­rent­ly in the EU almost 359 mil­lion peo­ple, which is 72% of the total EU pop­u­la­tion, live in cit­ies, towns and sub­urbs. As the fore­cast shows, in 35 years the urban pop­u­la­tion is pro­jec­ted to exceed 80%.
Katainen in running for challenging EU post
Fin­land's former Prime Min­is­ter Jyrki Katain­en has moved to Brus­sels to take up his post as an inter­im EU com­mis­sion­er, and is expect­ed to be part of the new Com­mis­sion due to be appoint­ed in Octo­ber.
Cultural heritage to gain from stronger EU support
Cul­tur­al her­it­age organ­i­sa­tions should seize the oppor­tu­ni­ties of EU fund­ing pro­grammes and pol­i­cies to help address the chal­len­ges fac­ing the sec­tor, accord­ing to a new report by the Com­mis­sion released last Tues­day.
Oresharski resigns
With 180 out of 240 MPs "in favour", the Bul­gar­i­an Nation­al Assem­bly voted to accept the res­ig­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Pla­men Ore­shar­ski's cab­i­net on 24 July. The now former pre­mier and his col­leagues were sent off under the applause of membeers of the Parliament. "It was an honour and a great respon­si­bil­i­ty for me," said Ore­shar­ski aft­er­wards. In a reca­pit­u­la­tion of the work the gov­ern­ment had done, he point­ed out that the year his cab­i­net spent in pow­er was the most chal­leng­ing in terms of the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment in Bul­gar­ia's mod­ern his­to­ry. "Nev­er­the­less, we made good on the major­i­ty of our elec­tion prom­is­es," he add­ed.
Varna Port reaches 30,000 tonnes in daily grain exports
Dobro­mir Radush­ev
Bul­gar­ia has export­ed almost 950,000 ton­nes of cere­als via Var­na Port since the begin­ning of the year. The cur­rent capac­i­ty of the facil­i­ty exceeds 30,000 ton­nes of grain exports on a dai­ly basis, the Port's exec­u­tive direct­or Boz­hi­dar Chap­ar­ov announced. Wheat is the larg­est export crop (with approx­i­mate­ly 550, 000 ton­nes), fol­lowed by sun­flow­er (160, 000 ton­nes), bar­ley, maize, rape­seed, etc. Anoth­er 70,000 ton­nes will be export­ed in the next few days, Chap­ar­ov explained.
Ten priorities for Juncker's Europe
Edouard Tetreau
Jean-Claude Junc­ker will pre­side over the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion and he will do so aft­er endur­ing one of the most vio­lent and den­i­grat­ing cam­paigns by the Brit­ish press, among oth­ers. The results seem all the more pit­i­a­ble for David Cam­er­on: apart from the ultra­na­tion­al­ist Vik­tor Orban, first min­is­ter of Hun­ga­ry and a friend and admir­er of Vlad­mir Putin, not one of the oth­er 28 heads of states of the Euro­pe­an Union dared join the Brit­ish posi­tion.
Grief, anger and despair
Frans Timmermans
We are here to dis­cuss a trag­e­dy: the down­ing of a com­mer­cial air­lin­er and the death of 298 inno­cent peo­ple. Men, wom­en and a stag­ger­ing num­ber of chil­dren lost their lives, on their way to their hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions, their homes, loved ones, their jobs or inter­na­tion­al obli­ga­tions, such as an impor­tant HIV/Aids con­fer­ence in Aus­tral­ia.
Israel pummels Gaza Strip
At least 15 peo­ple were killed and many wound­ed last Thurs­day when Isra­eli for­ces shelled a UN-run school shel­ter­ing Pal­es­tin­i­an ref­u­gees in north­ern Gaza. A Reu­ters pho­tog­ra­pher at the scene said pools of blood had col­lect­ed on the ground and on stu­dent desks in the court­yard of the school near the appar­ent impact mark of the shell. Scores of cry­ing fam­i­lies who had been liv­ing in the school ran with their chil­dren to the hos­pi­tal where the vic­tims were being treat­ed a few hun­dred metres away. UN human­i­tar­ian chief Val­er­ie Amos said that civil­ians in Gaza were in a "ter­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble sit­u­a­tion."
Mystery remains of who fired the fatal missile
Aft­er a res­o­lu­tion for a prop­er inves­ti­ga­tion, unan­i­mous­ly adopt­ed by the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil and under mount­ing world pres­sure, pro-Rus­sian rebels hand­ed over to Malay­sian offi­cials in Don­etsk last Tues­day the data-filled "black box­es" from the Boe­ing 777, downed on 17 July over east­ern Ukraine with 298 peo­ple aboard.
Black money pulls out of black hole
In a major devel­op­ment in the fight against black mon­ey, the Organ­i­za­tion for Eco­nom­ic Coop­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment - the OECD - released on 21 July a "sin­gle glob­al stand­ard" for auto­mat­ic exchange of finan­cial account infor­ma­tion across dif­fer­ent coun­tries. The Group of 20 lead­ing econ­o­mies tasked the OECD with devel­op­ing a tool to help gov­ern­ments clamp down on cor­po­rate tax dodg­ing.
Saudi Arabia to open bourse to foreigners
Sau­di Ara­bia plans to open its stock mar­ket to direct invest­ment by for­eign finan­cial insti­tu­tions in the first half of next year, the Cap­i­tal Mar­ket Author­i­ty said in a state­ment last Tues­day.
China food scandal engulfs US companies
A food scan­dal is spread­ing fast in Chi­na, drag­ging in US cof­fee chain Star­bucks, Burg­er King World­wide and oth­ers, as well as KFC and McDo­nald's pro­ducts as far away as Japan, news wires report­ed.
And the finalists are...
Three films from Slo­ve­nia, France and Poland will have the chance to win this year's Lux Prize aft­er being point­ed at as final­ists for the award, the EP press serv­ice report­ed. The final­ists were announced last Tues­day in Rome by Sil­via Cos­ta, the new­ly-elect­ed pres­i­dent of the Par­lia­ment's cul­ture com­mit­tee. Class Ene­my (Raz­red­ni sov­raz­nik) by Rok Bicek, Girl­hood (Ban­de de fil­les) by Celine Sci­am­ma and Ida by Paw­el Paw­lik­ow­ski will be sub­ti­tled into the EU's offi­cial 24 lan­gua­ges and will be screened in all 28 Mem­ber States dur­ing the LUX Film Days this autumn.
I paint money, I do not print banknotes
Lilyana Karadzhova
A big part of my work is a reflec­tion of Amer­i­cans' pos­i­tive atti­tude towards mon­ey as some­thing worth striv­ing for. Prot­es­tant­ism teach­es its fol­low­ers that any oppor­tu­ni­ty to make mon­ey is God's bless­ing and by tak­ing it you are doing His will.
Book signing
Cana­di­an writer Mich­ael Ondaat­je is com­ing to Sofia for a book sign­ing event at the Hel­i­kon on 26 Sep­tem­ber. The author of The Eng­lish Patient nov­el will talk about his work and his lat­est nov­el, The Cat's Table, which is yet to be pub­lished in Bul­gar­ia by Lache­zar Minc­hev ET.
The city of Dionysus
Ade­li­na Loza­no­va
Bal­chik is a small town on the north Bul­gar­i­an Black Sea coast­line, stand­ing on pic­tur­esque white hills slop­ing down to the sea. The first set­tlers in the region were the ancient Thra­ci­ans , evi­dence of whose pres­ence in these lands (ves­sels, adorn­ments and weap­ons) has been found in the town and its sur­round­ings.
In Brief
.
Happy birthday, Irena!
 
Like a true Leo, our pub­lish­er, Ms Ire­na Kras­teva, chair­per­son of the Edi­to­ri­al Board of EURO­POST and exec­u­tive direct­or of New Bul­gar­i­an Media Group Hold­ing, pos­sess­es a zeal for vic­to­ry, ambi­tion and resil­ience. Born on 22 July, the first day of the sign, she is a fiery lion­ess with a gen­er­ous heart. A nat­u­ral lead­er, a vision­ary and an inspi­ra­tion to us all, she is always the one to lead the way.

Dear Ire­na, the EURO­POST team wish­es you good health, cour­age and good tid­ings! Let your enter­pri­sing mind and bold under­tak­ings take you far!

Christmas in summer
 
San­ta Claus­es pre­pare to leave in a canal tour boat from the stat­ue of The Lit­tle Mer­maid to Gam­mel Strand dur­ing the Annu­al World San­ta Claus Con­gress in Copen­ha­gen, Den­mark, 21 July. Pho­to: EPA

Google to face regulators over 'right to be forgotten'
 
Goo­gle is to meet data reg­u­la­tors from across the EU in the com­ing days to dis­cuss the impli­ca­tions of the recent 'right to be for­got­ten' rul­ing, news wires report­ed. At the meet­ings in Brus­sels, rep­re­sent­a­tives from oth­er search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, will also par­tic­i­pate. An EU court ruled in May that links to out­dat­ed data should be erased from search­es. Goo­gle, which has pub­lic­ly expressed its dis­a­gree­ment with the court's deci­sion, has already received more than 70,000 requests for links to be tak­en down.

Swiss request to revise freedom of movement rejected
 
The EU on Thurs­day for­mal­ly reject­ed Switz­er­land's request to ren­e­go­ti­ate their free­dom of move­ment accord so as to take into account a Swiss vote ear­li­er this year to lim­it immi­gra­tion, EU sour­ces told AFP. The deci­sion was tak­en at a meet­ing of the 28 Mem­ber State ambas­sa­dors to the EU. The Swiss ref­er­en­dum in Feb­ru­a­ry fin­ished with a nar­row vic­to­ry in favour of immi­gra­tion curbs. The Swiss gov­ern­ment has three years to put the ref­er­en­dum result into effect.

Ukraine’s PM resigns as coalition falls apart
 
Ukrain­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Arsen­iy Yat­sen­yuk announced his res­ig­na­tion on 24 July, cre­at­ing new uncer­tain­ty in his nation at a cru­cial moment in its mil­i­tary offen­sive against pro-Rus­sian rebels in the east. Two Ukrain­i­an par­ties, the nation­al­ist Svo­bo­da and Udar - said they had left the major­i­ty coa­li­tion in par­lia­ment to allow for a new elec­tion. The Pres­i­dent Pet­ro Porosh­en­ko wel­comed their depar­ture, a move that opened the way for new par­lia­men­ta­ry elec­tions to give the coun­try what he called "a full reset".

Poland sanctioned by EU court over secret CIA prison
 
The Euro­pe­an Court of Human Rights ruled on 24 July that Poland had vio­lat­ed the Euro­pe­an Con­ven­tion on Human Rights by allow­ing the CIA to detain two sus­pects on Pol­ish ter­ri­to­ry. The case was brought to Stras­bourg by Abu Zubay­dah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nash­i­ri who claimed that in the years 2002-2003 they were flown in secret to a CIA-run jail in a Pol­ish for­est and sub­ject­ed to treat­ment that amount­ed to tor­ture. Accord­ing to sour­ces, the inci­dents took place in the mil­i­tary base in Stare Kiej­kuty. 

Yogurt Fair
 
Raz­grad host­ed the tra­di­tion­al Yoghurt and Folk Crafts Fair with par­tic­i­pa­tion of folk dan­cers from Europe, Asia, and the Amer­i­cas, as well as 200 Bul­gar­i­an and for­eign crafts­men. Pho­to: BTA

Most viewed
.