Providing jobs for migrants
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Migrants make an essential contribution to the EU, by working and paying taxes, by setting up companies and creating jobs, explained Christa Schweng, president of the Labour Market Observatory of the European Economic and Social Committee. She was among the organisers of a conference on “Integrating migrants in the labour market: a win-win situation for both migrants and society” held in Brussels on June 25.
Improving transport links across Europe
A series of projects for improved transport links across Europe were being pitched and discussed at a two-day meeting 22-23 dubbed TEN-T Days, in the Latvian capital Riga. Transport Ministers from 12 European Member States, CEOs and over 1000 transport stakeholders were looking at prospects for implementation and financing of future transport projects from Scandinavia in the north down to the Mediterranean.
Alliance for Apprenticeships set to provide jobs for youth
More than 40 companies and other organisations last Monday joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships, coordinated by the Commission, and committed to providing more and better apprenticeships for young people in order to help the fight against youth unemployment across Europe, the EU press service reported.
Innovation urgently needs clock speed
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A new initiative for which the Commission is now preparing a call as to identify the possibility of creating a space with open access to research results, the so-called European science cloud. It will also work for setting standards for management, interoperability and quality of scientific data.
Bringing down grey economy to 12%
The government’s goal is to reduce the share of informal economy in Bulgaria by one-third from its current level of 32%, bringing it down to its average for the developed European Union Member States of about 12%. The proclamation came from PM Boyko Borisov during the Business to the Rules roundtable, held by the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria on 22 June.
Migration wave increases human trafficking risk
The escalating refugee crisis in Europe requires better ties between the mechanisms for protection of human trafficking victims and the tools for granting asylum. An international conference to that effect took place in Sofia on June 23-24.
Is this the end of haters?
Emil Radev, MEP (EPP/GERB)
The European Court of Human Rights hears each of its cases on an individual basis. Its judgment on the Estonian online news portal regards Estonian legislation since the issue here is a ruling of the Estonian courts of justice which apply their laws. Therefore, we cannot say that we have a precedent. The ECHR does not argue the fact that the rulings of national courts constitute interference with the right to freedom of expression of the online news portal Delfi, but that the restriction was aimed at the protection of the reputation and rights of others as provided by Article 10 of the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Four horsemen of Apocalypse
Four horsemen will be circling around this week's European Council. They represent four crises that threaten the EU: 'Grexit', the Mediterranean migration crisis, Russian aggression, and Britain's threat to leave if the club is not reformed. Any of these issues could dominate the Council's agenda: each could alter the fundamental character of the Union. While none of them is particularly new – Greece's economic and financial woes have troubled the EU for six years – they are circling together and affecting each other.
US snooping insults France
France reacted with outrage to revelations from WikiLeaks last week that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had eavesdropped on three French presidents - Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac - between 2006 and 2012.The disclosed top-secret intelligence documents revealed that the NSA accumulated information on French positions on economic policy, UN appointments, the 2008 financial crisis and Middle East peace talks. Right away, the French President, Francois Hollande, met his top security officials and the French Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador, Jane Hartley, to discuss the disclosures.
NATO reinvents strategy to tackle Russia's threat
NATO is returning to its roots by re-focusing its strategy on tackling Russia's threat. Defence ministers from the Alliance's 28 Member States unveiled during their meeting in Brussels the biggest reinforcement of US forces in eastern Europe since the fall of the communism. According to a US defence official, the Pentagon plans to temporarily increase the 65,000 troops stationed in Europe.
EU imposes fines for running cartels
The European Commission has fined eight manufacturers and two distributors of retail food packaging trays a total of €115m for having participated in at least one of five separate cartels. The eight manufacturers are Huhtamаki of Finland, Nespak and Vitembal of France, Silver Plastics of Germany, Coopbox, Magic Pack and Sirap-Gema of Italy and Linpac of the UK. The two distributors are Ovarpack of Portugal and Propack of the UK. The companies fixed prices and allocated customers of polystyrene foam or polypropylene rigid trays, in breach of EU antitrust rules.
Foreign investors lift up Spanish property prices
Spain's property market is enjoying a foreign currency-driven recovery, new research has shown. The sector, one of the country's worst-performing areas since the real estate crisis of 2008 which dragged the Spanish economy into the doldrums, has received a new lease of life recently, thanks to wealthy foreign investors.
Supermarkets Delhaize, Ahold agree merger deal
Dutch-based supermarkets operator Ahold reached a deal last week to buy Belgian peer Delhaize, the companies announced on Wednesday, cited by news wires. The move will create the biggest food retailer in the Benelux region and one of the world's largest as well.
Bridge of light
A retrospective of 11 Bulgarian and 15 American artists who have crossed the cultural bridge built by US Poet Laureate William Meredith opened on 21 June in Norwich, USA. The display, mottoed Bridge of Light, contains 100 works and will be on until 28 August at the Slater Memorial Museum.
Music is deeply philosophical
My opera is not set in a particular era, it could happen anywhere and in any time. I am fascinated by the whole idea of the hereafter, eternal life in a world of light, and my opera explores this theme.
The Situation Sofia 2015 project showcases Ivan Kyuranov and the Photography Studio with the National Art Gallery at the Goethe Institute in Sofia.
Embroidery's magic world
Embroidered traditional costumes, skirts resembling flower gardens and modern apparel with unique needle-work are shown as part of The Magic of Bulgarian Embroidery Exhibition by Stoyka Popova and Zlatka Popova in the Ethnographic Museum in Sofia.