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Obama Signs "EU Emissions Trading Prohibition" Measure (11/29)   Print E-mail

By Brian Beary, U.S. correspondent for “Europolitics”

The transatlantic row over EU moves to force airlines to curb their emissions to tackle climate change has been directly confronted by the U.S. government.   On November 27, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law the ‘European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Prohibition Act,’ which Congress had sent to his desk earlier this month. The new law empowers the U.S. Transportation Secretary to forbid U.S. airlines from participating or paying penalties in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). The ETS works by giving out emissions allowances to participating companies who, if they emit more than their quota must buy extra permits on the ETS market.

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President of European Parliament Supports EU-U.S. Trade Pact (11/28)   Print E-mail

By Michael D. Mosettig, former foreign editor of PBS News Hour

In the weeks since the U.S. presidential election, there  has been growing talk in Washington policy circles and think tanks that it is time for a new push for a trans-Atlantic trade pact. But the idea runs into the practical question of whether the Washington political and policy machinery can handle two big trade deals at the same time, especially amid a still-faltering economic recovery.  "A good idea whose time has not come," said one wag, recently,  of a EU-U.S. trade agreement.  Currently, the international trade community in the American capital is consumed with negotiations already well advanced on a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that would stretch from Canada to Chile and across to Southeast Asia and possibly Japan.

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Palestine, Europe and the UN (11/26)   Print E-mail

By Geoffrey Paul, Middle East Specialist Based in London

Coincidence or historical irony? Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas goes to the UN General Assembly on Thursday to seek an upgrade in the international status of Palestine from “permanent observer” at the UN  to  “non-member observer state,” the same status as enjoyed by the  Vatican. His bid comes  65 years to the day since, on November 29, 1947, the  UN passed a resolution calling for the establishment of separate Arab and Jewish states in the British mandated territory of Palestine.

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Remembering Europe’s “Remembrance Day”—94th World War l Armistice Day   Print E-mail

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

For most Americans, it is the war that barely exists in historical memory, lost somewhere between the Civil War and World War II (and for the baby boom generation, Vietnam). For Europeans, as well as the British dominions, nearly a century later, World War I is the war that will not and cannot go away. Quite simply, the First World War changed almost nothing for most Americans. For all Europeans, nothing again would ever be the same. read more...

 

Europe Pivots East, European Leaders Trek To Vientiane, Laos   Print E-mail

By The European Institute

The U.S. is not the only country that is “pivoting to Asia.” A heavyweight contingent of Europeans including Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is assembling in the unlikely site of Vientiane, Laos, for a two day summit with Asian leaders.

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Europe Searches for Role in China as U.S. Pivots East (10/24)   Print E-mail

By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS NewsHour

It is hard to walk around Washington these days without bumping into a conference on U.S.-China relations. There was even a well informed and lively panel assembled in a crowded auditorium at the French Embassy, of all places.   Finally, as the meeting was drawing to a close, I felt compelled to say, "We are on French soil, and Europe has not been mentioned."  The panelists responded with some remarks about the European Union's trade with China, which indeed does now surpass that of the U.S.  See earlier European Affairs piece on Europe and China.

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Update on U.S. Dispute with EU on Airline Emissions (10/23)   Print E-mail

By Brian Beary, U.S. Correspondent for ”Europolitics”

When the US Congress reconvenes in lame duck-session after the November elections, it is expected to finalize legislation that would authorize the U.S. government to prohibit U.S airlines from participating in the EU Emission Trading System (ETS).  Last month, the US Senate followed the House of Representatives in opposing the airlines emissions measure, and both houses will now have to reconcile the variances in their respective versions.

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The Other Dream Team; Lithuania Shoots Hoops (10/18)   Print E-mail

By Erik Peterson, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

A heart-warming documentary film, “The Other Dream Team,” on the unlikely basketball prowess of tiny Lithuania is showing in commercial theaters around the country and memorializes the 1992 Lithuanian Olympic team that got into a semi-final game against the mighty United States, playing with Michael Jordan and other superstars. Lithuanian’s “other” dream team gives new meaning to “punching above your weight."

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Eleven European Foreign Affairs Ministers Dare Articulate Their Bold Vision of the Future of Europe (10/4)   Print E-mail

By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Chairman of The European Institute

A highly significant report issued last month by a distinguished group of European Foreign Ministers is a bold rejoinder to those prophets of doom who predict the end of the euro and question even the viability of the European Union itself. Who said that Jean Monnet, one of the Fathers of the European Union, was wrong when he thought that trade liberalization in Europe would lead to economic and later to political union?

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European Union May Propose Law to Require More Women on Company Boards (10/2)   Print E-mail

European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is proposing draft legislation that would require state owned companies to name women to 40 percent of seats on boards by 2018. According to the European Commission women hold only14 percent of board member positions and 3 percent of board president positions in Europe’s biggest companies, despite the fact that around 60% of all European university graduates are female.  “I do not accept the argument that there aren’t enough qualified women to fill supervisory boards,” Reding said. “The pool of talent is there. Companies should make use of it.”

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