International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics
Saturday, 21.01.2017, 15:22
From January to the end of June 2017, Malta assumes the rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, for the first time since its accession to the EU in 2004. It will take over the Presidency at a difficult period in European integration. In this situation, the Maltese Presidency will have to find consensus and achieve agreements in the Council and also with the European Parliament.
Keyword tags: EU – Baltic States, Modern EU
During 2017, Aarhus and Pafos will hold the title of European Capital of Culture. For these cities it is an excellent opportunity to show “the city’s image”, put the city on the European and the world map and attract more tourists. At the same time, the event provides opportunities for the city’s authorities to rethink the cities’ development through culture.
The European continent is full of confrontation and conflicts. Prognoses for 2017 do not seem bright: threats of terrorism, migration and refugees’ problems, general economic downturn, unstable EU and uncertainty in Brexit’s aftermath, to name a few. Besides, EU-Russia relationships deteriorating too; something must be done, i.e. generally, through dialogues and respectful attitude to avoid conflicts in future.
The latest Standard Eurobarometer survey published at the end of December 2016, together with the Special Eurobarometer survey “Future of Europe” signaled two key outcomes: Europeans continue to see immigration and terrorism as the major challenges facing the EU. Support for the EU’s priorities and policies remains strong, and has increased since spring 2016.
Both in Europe and around the world (e.g. in the UN Sustainable Development Goals) education quality has become a hot issue. Hence various European education facilities are willing to take part in education quality assurance. Annual European Quality Assurance Forum provides a platform for discussion involving teachers, academics and professionals.
A Declaration was reached by the European Commission, the European Council and the Prime Minister of Denmark to minimise the negative referendum’s effect on Danish participation in Europol.
Baltic Sea region’s cooperation is a priority for all countries in the area. The report on the state of the Baltic Sea region’s for 2016 shows the ways the region’s countries keep their positions as one of the most dynamic regions in the world. However, the report concludes that it is unlikely that the region would make a central platform for common actions.
The European Commission quite regularly invites religious representatives from churches and religious associations, spiritual communities and philosophical and non-confessional organisations for high-level meetings and working level discussions. At the present migration crisis, it is really highly important.
The European Commission’s has set out strategic approaches for achieving sustainable development in Europe and around the world. The EU has already strong starting position and track record, with a high level of economic development, social cohesion, democratic societies and a commitment to sustainability. Hence, the new policy choices are made.
New Commission’s start-up and scale-up initiative aims to give EU’s innovative entrepreneurs additional opportunities to become European-world leading companies. It pulls together all the possibilities that the EU already offers and adds a new focus on venture capital investment, insolvency law and taxation.
Already this September, Polish government decided to initiate coal mine closure process by providing financial support of about €1.8 billion to workers who might lose jobs due to closures. The EU sees these funds of no obstacles to competition while requiring that mines receiving “closure aid” must cease mining activities by the end of 2018.
Sustainable transport leaders, catalyzing the necessary transformation alongside governments addressed climate change at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22, 12.xi.2016) for the Global Climate Action event on transport. They demonstrated progress on 15 landmark initiatives in all transport modes in over 100 countries to tackle emissions from transport in a cost effective way.
Commission approved an investment package of €222.7 mln from the EU budget to support Europe's transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future. The EU funding will spur additional investments leading to a total of €398.6 mln to be invested into 144 new projects in 23 member states; two projects are from the Baltic States.
Several hundred participants from eight countries around the Baltic Sea Region are gathering in Stockholm to discuss the future of the region within a 2030 perspective. Two events -the EU Strategy Forum and the Baltic Development Forum are hosted by the Swedish government, together with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Commission.
Contemporary diplomatic services are being split into several “sectors”: economic, cultural, popular, etc. However, as everything in life, diplomacy is subject to modern challenges. The BC looks into four Nordic embassies’ functions in Latvia –Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian -- to find out how they promote Nordic-Latvian relations and provide assistance to Latvian socio-economic development.