New European Regulation Forces Finance to Up its ESG Game
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Sophia Wright
10M ago
Europe has introduced a new set of rules for the financial sector focused on sustainability, social and environmental change. The Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation was designed to increase transparency in sustainable investment markets and covers a broad range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. This is good news, of course, perhaps long overdue, some would argue.  The SFDR came into effect in March 2021 as a fundamental aspect of the European Commission’s sustainable finance agenda. The draft regulation, drawn up in November 2019, “lays down harmonised rules fo ..read more
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Is the Façade of European Unity Already Full of Cracks?
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Peter Rodgers
10M ago
A number of mostly European scholars and officials reckon that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has culminated in the geopolitical cohesion of Europe. After the invasion, EU members collaborated with each other, supported Ukraine militarily and financially, imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia’s economy, opened their borders to Ukrainian refugees, and accepted the proposal of NATO to increase their defense budget to 2% of their GDP. Many in Brussels hailed the emergence of this unified Europe. After decades of decline, Europe has come to the scene in response to the threat of Russia and showed off ..read more
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The EU Faces Major Challenges This Autumn
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by John Bruton
10M ago
The biggest challenge the EU will face starting this autumn will be the high price, and insufficient supply, of natural gas. This will have a disproportionately damaging effect on Germany and Northern Italy, the two manufacturing hubs of western Europe. Recession in China has hit these hubs hard as they have lost export markets. I have always taken the view that, without Germany, there would  be no EU. Germany provides the financial backstop on which all the EU’s ambitious plans, including the Green Deal, and the recently acquired capacity of the EU to borrow, rest. Without a healthy Germ ..read more
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To Save Ukraine, America Must Help Europe
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Gary Grappo
10M ago
Ukraine’s recent gains in the eastern sections of the country underscore the critical importance of continued Western support for Ukraine. The oncoming winter will test the West’s, and most especially Europe’s, commitment to maintain that support in order to provide Ukraine the political, economic and military backing indispensable to Ukraine’s ultimate victory. Ukrainians are rightly ebullient over their forces’ recent impressive victories over Russian occupying forces, primarily in the east but also in the south near Kherson. These triumphs prove what many military planners and strategists h ..read more
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Peace Talks Essential as War Rages on in Ukraine
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Medea Benjamin
10M ago
Six months ago, Russia invaded Ukraine. The US, NATO and the EU wrapped themselves in the Ukrainian flag, shelled out billions for arms shipments, and imposed draconian sanctions intended to severely punish Russia for its aggression. Since then, the people of Ukraine have been paying a price for this war that few of their supporters in the West can possibly imagine. Wars do not follow scripts, and Russia, Ukraine, the US, NATO and the EU have all encountered unexpected setbacks. Western sanctions have had mixed results, inflicting severe economic damage on Europe as well as on Russia, while th ..read more
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Belgium’s Regrets Not Enough: Congo Deserves Apology and Reparations for War Crimes
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Mehdi Alavi
10M ago
On June 8, 2022, Belgian King Philippe expressed his regrets for the exploitation, violence and racism during the colonization of the Congo Free State, now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This followed  years of denials and excuses by Belgian authorities. The DRC, a territory 76 times bigger than Belgium, is the second largest country after Algeria in Africa and the 11th largest in the world. Today, it is torn by conflicts between armed groups that recruit children as soldiers. To make matters worse, DRC’s security forces operate with impunity. They continue harassing ..read more
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Alarm in Ireland About Natural Gas Supplies Next Winter
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by John Bruton
10M ago
Natural gas supplies 30% of all Ireland’s energy needs and forms a large part of the country’s imports. Apart from the Corrib field, to which there was so much objection, an increasing share of our natural gas has to be imported from, or through, Britain.  The Corrib field is running out and our dependence on the UK for natural gas supplies is estimated to rise from 53% today to 90% in 2030. The electricity interconnector with France will not come on stream until 2027. Depending on one supplier, the UK, places Ireland in an inherently vulnerable position, especially given the fact that re ..read more
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How Britain Has Seen Its Place in the World from 1815 to 1955
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by John Bruton
10M ago
I have just greatly enjoyed reading Douglas Hurd’s book, Choose Your Weapons: The British Foreign Secretary – 200 years of Argument, Success and Failures. Hurd has had a distinguished career, which included not only holding the office of the foreign secretary but also of the secretary of state for Northern Ireland. He is an excellent writer who combines historical analysis with vivid sketches of political personalities. Published in 2009, this book shows how the life experiences and assumptions of successive foreign secretaries influence the content and outcome of diplomatic policies. There is ..read more
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Is Russia’s War in Ukraine Creating a New European Security Architecture?
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Federica Fazio
10M ago
Since Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, we have been witnessing some important changes in not only European but also national foreign, security and defense policies. In the past, Europeans often appeared reluctant to coordinate their national foreign, security and defense policies. Instead, they preferred to “go it alone”. The Ukraine crisis, however, has elicited a strong, unified response from the European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and their member states as never before. To put pressure on the Kremlin and bring the war to an end as soon as possible, th ..read more
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Do Rumors of Boris Johnson’s Purported Twelfth Child Matter?
Fair Observer » European Politics News
by Atul Singh
10M ago
I have just flown back from London, a city where history seems to seep through every brick. Over the last five centuries, this has been the city that has defined the destiny of the world. Plaques on houses remind us as to who lived when and where. During this trip, I saw plaques on houses where the painter John Constable and the writer George Orwell once made their homes. Whilst on the way to a dinner with friends, I also saw Hugh Gaitskell’s tomb but more about this Labour Party leader later. The most striking bit of gossip that I picked up was that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has kn ..read more
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