Strengthening EU-Japan ties
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Looking through the progress in the ongoing talks on the Free Trade Agreement with Tokyo, launched in 2013, topped the agenda of the European Union-Japan Leaders meeting that was held on 21 March in Brussels. During their discussions, European Council President Donald Tusk, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underlined as well the importance of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that is being negotiated in parallel between the two parties.
Protectionism would undermine prosperity
European Union finance ministers expressed on 21 March worries about the surge of protectionism particularly prompted by the United States and vowed efforts to safeguard free trade after what one of them called a "surreal" meeting of finance chiefs of the world's 20 biggest economies on 18-19 March, Reuters and Xinhua reported.
New reform aims to better shield customers online
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Rules that will ensure effective detection and breaking online breaches of consumers’ rights across the EU were backed on 21 March with a wide majority by the members of the EP Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.
Giving people's say on Europe's future
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A few days before the official celebration of the Treaties of Rome in the Italian capital, the European Parliament in Brussels on 21 March hosted a unique session of the so-called “Citizens' Parliament”.
BGN 220m more in revenues
The state coffers have been replenished with BGN 220m more in tax and non-tax revenues, the Council of Ministers’ press office announced after the cabinet’s regular meeting on 22 March. According to figures of the National Revenue Agency and the Customs Agency, tax and non-tax revenues for the period from 27 January 2017 to 20 March 2017 amounted to BGN 3.23bn. This means that revenues increased by BGN 220m compared with the same period of last year.
IT specialists choose Sofia over London
There really is an upturn in job creation. The question is whether the labour market will be able to provide suitable candidates for the positions. Unemployment has been steadily falling at the end of last year and the beginning of this but at the same time employment growth has been slowing down. In other words, jobs are being created but not with the rate of the early 2016.
What will Europe look like in 2077
With the European Union's 60th birthday upon us, it seems appropriate to look ahead to the next 60 years: what will Europe look like in 2077? An alpine valley springs to mind. The years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome are sunlit meadows that stretch gently downhill. The six people strolling along the slope are quite soon joined by three more, even if one of them seems reluctant and a bit sulky. With a pleasant breeze at their backs, the going is fairly easy.
In search of patriotism
Dr Ahmed Dogan
The birth of Bulgaria’s unifying patriotism in a democratic environment is a unique phenomenon in cultural, historical and political terms. I revere the legacy of Vasil Levski, the apostle of freedom, and what I want to say is the fruit of the seeds he once sowed in the soil of the collective spiritual make-up. This unifying patriotism markedly differs from European and regional nationalisms in that it does not view the ethnic-based nation as an end in itself or a prerequisite for consolidating processes in society to occur.
Macedonia locked in crisis
The EU made new diplomatic efforts last week to help the Macedonian parties to resolve the government crisis, but hopes for the outcome are not great. Street demonstrations against the so-called "Albanian Platform" continue. President Gjorge Ivanov has not made any new steps to overcoming the crisis after he refused to hand over the Social democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and Albanian coalition partners the mandate to form a government.
Defeating ISIS: number one goal
Defeating ISIS is the United States number one goal in the Middle East, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last Wednesday, addressing at the State Department in Washington top diplomats of the 68-nation anti Islamic State coalition.
G20 turns its back to anti-protectionism
Finance ministers from the G20 concluded talks in the German city of Baden-Baden last Saturday without agreeing on a joint position that would have explicitly renewed their long-standing pledge to free trade, news wires reported. Following pushback from US officials, led by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the G20 finance ministers' communique backtracked on past commitments, such as promoting open trade and an outright rejection of protectionism.
Robots rule at CeBIT, firms showcase future
The CeBIT, Germany's largest digital trade fair, was last Sunday officially opened in the northern German city of Hanover with the main aim to showcase the technologies of the future. The fair lasted for five days with more than 3,000 exhibitors from 70 different countries presenting their latest achievements.
Gazprom, Eni bet on southern gas corridor
Italian oil and gas company Eni and Russian state giant Gazprom signed last Tuesday a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the so-called Southern Gas Corridor from Russia to Europe.
Too talented for too short
Until 16 July the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa is hosting an exhibition highlighting the artistic path of the great Italian sculptor and painter Amedeo Modigliani. The show is allowing visitors the opportunity to view the most popular works in Modigliani’s short but exceptionally prolific career. The exhibition tells of his friendship with Constantin Brancusi and his passion for art from Africa, Egypt and ancient Greece - notable sources of influence on Modigliani’s early sculptures.
Conscience is the toughest inspector
There could be no independence in art without dedicated people who religiously believe in artistic freedom. You need people willing to stand up for their artistic credo and be guided by the idea that they should be explorers in the world of art and not manufacturers.
Plamen Trifonov's shy photography
Street photography as a demonstration of mutual trust between photographer and model - the young artist Plamen Trifonov shows his series of portrait pictures taken between 2014 and 2016.
Just 4 km east of the city of Svishtov and 80 km north of Veliko Tarnovo lie the ruins of an ancient Roman military camp, which grew over the years to become a town on the River Danube.