Reaping benefits from worker mobility across the Union
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Labour market and employment policy in Europe underwent a great change, due to the six years long financial and economic crisis. Even the signs of recovery indicated in the last 12 months are still timid.
Making European Youth Initiative work
Member States need to make more efficient use of €6bn in EU funds to ease the transition from education to jobs for young people and foster entrepreneurship, MEPs urged last Wednesday in a debate on the European Youth Initiative.
Better shape where we live
Over 2,000 European towns and cities joined in the 13th edition of European Mobility Week, an annual European campaign about getting around town in a sustainable way.
Europe: Let's embrace space
Last week Rome hosted two European Commission-run events that proved that Europe deserved to be a leader in space research.
Bulgarians abroad vote in 59 countries
In the early parliamentary elections scheduled for 5 October Bulgarians residing abroad will have 427 polling stations in 59 countries to cast their vote, announced Alexander Andreev, spokesperson for the Central Electoral Commission (CEC), during an official press conference on 17 September. As usual, the largest number of foreign stations will be set in Turkey - 136 in some 85 towns and villages. Another 40 polling posts will serve voters in the United Kingdom, four in Spain, 19 in Germany and 42 in the US, added Andreev. CEC has selected five constituencies where experimental machine voting will be used in 300 stations. At its latest meeting CEC also agreed on the ways a ballot paper is to be folded.
Gas supplies to last 2 months
The Bulgarian gas storage facility in Chiren has been filled to 75% of its capacity. According to latest data of Bulgartransgaz gas operator, it contains currently 412.9 million cubic metres out of the total of 550 million cubic metres of natural gas it can hold. In the event of crisis, these supplies would serve the country for two months.
NATO's new challenge: how to demonstrate unity
Now that the euphoria surrounding the NATO summit in Wales in the beginning of September has subsided, it is time for us to try and assess the results. Opinions diverge widely, with qualifications about the meeting ranging from "historic" to "routine". It all seems to depend on the viewpoint, like in that anecdote about the glass being half-full or half-empty, the eternal dispute between optimists and pessimists.
Look at NAFTA, think about TTIP
Petar Klisarov, political scientist
We should not forget that the classified Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which the US and the EU are preparing to sign, started as a US initiative. In its documents the US Department of State has described in great detail the potential benefits for the Americans to be had from such a deal, but there is no mention of the advantages the Europeans can expect. Based on the scarce information that is public knowledge, we have no reason to think that the two parties' interests are equally protected. On the contrary, the partnership is being forged under an extremely hostile, demanding tone, which has garnered its own term in Europe, one describing a situation in which corporations are given too many rights. Fortunately for us, a very informing parallel can be made with the history of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994.
Lustration hits million Ukrainians
Around one million people fall under the lustration law passed by the Ukrainian parliament to root out corrupt practices from the past, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk told government last Wednesday. The Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, adopted the Lustration Act on 16 September after two failed attempts. Following the failure of the first voting, activists started burning tyres in front of the building of the Ukrainian parliament.
General spurs 'boots on ground' debate in IS fight
A comment by America's top military officer speculating that US troops advising and assisting Iraq's military may be deployed to fight reminded Americans of the morass that was the war in Iraq but was quickly knocked down by the White House.
Global companies to feel the heat
Global companies such as Google and Amazon would not be able anymore to shave billions off their tax bills to tax havens, news wires reported. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced last Tuesday a series of measures that, if implemented by members, could stop companies from shifting taxes via dubious structures.
China injects $81bn into top five banks
China's central bank is injecting a combined 500 billion yuan ($81.35bn) of liquidity into the country's top banks, the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed Chinese bank executive, said.
Airbus to sell off defence and space business units
Airbus Group last Tuesday unveiled plans to sell half a dozen businesses with combined annual revenues of around €2bn, simplifying its Defence and Space division to focus on warplanes, missiles, launchers and satellites, news wires reported.
Meeting the genius of Michelangelo
For the first time four drawings by Renaissance genius Michelangelo will be displayed in Bulgaria. The exhibition will take place at the National Museum of Bulgarian Visual Arts in Sofia (the former Royal Palace) until 15 December, courtesy of Florence's Casa Buonarroti Foundation.
Painting brings me back to my childhood
Jean Solomonov, Lyon
As you know, whale hunting is banned, but the Japanese continue to shoot and eat them. It is an abomination! I was vacationing up north in Lille when I saw that boat and decided to turn it into a message against this cruelty.
World artists gathered in Berlin
For six days, Berlin became a world of art. The Berlin Art Week, held from 16 to 21 September, presented numerous highlights, including the big opening of Akademie der Kuenste on Hanseatenweg, a conference, an art fair, gallery nights, many exhibition openings, special events, and artist talks.
Glorious city of seven hills
To be selected as European Capital of Culture is a great honour for every city. Earning the prestigious status twice is nothing short of a feat. A feat Plovdiv now has under its belt.