EU's FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS: WHERE DO WE STAND?

Over the next two years, 90% of world demand will be generated outside the EU. That is why it is a key priority for the EU to open up more market opportunities for European business by negotiating new Free Trade Agreements with key countries. If the EU were to complete all its  current free trade talks , it would add 2.2% to the EU's GDP or €275 billion. In terms of employment, these agreements could generate 2.2 million new jobs or additional 1% of the EU total workforce.

SLOVENIA IN TROUBLE: THERE'S NO TIME TO WASTE

Slovenia’s banking problem is not overleveraging, but failing state banks. Unlike all other new eastern EU members, Slovenia never privatized its big banks. Four state banks have a market share of 80 percent. Now the three biggest of these banks (Novaja Ljubljanska Banka d.d., Nova Kreditna Banka Maribor d.d., and Abanka Vipa d.d.) are in trouble, each one having suffered large losses in the last three years. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) assesses their bad loans at €7 billion.

FRANCE TO TIGHTEN RULES FOR INTEREST REPRESENTATIVES

Based on a report of the National Assembly of February 2013, several measures are being proposed. They include the following:

UNDERSTANDING THE ROOTCAUSE OF DISTRUST OF POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT

The distrust of politicians and government is strongly connected to how citizens feel about the overall state of their country. The discontent with the honesty of elected officials is a leading cause of distrust of government. Disillusionment with political leaders is essentially as important a factor in distrust of government as is criticism of the way government performs its duties.

THE LEGACY OF MARGARET THATCHER

The secret of Margaret Thatcher's success lies in a combination of qualities, which both saw her into leadership and were the essence of her period in power:

CODES OF CONDUCT FOR PARLIAMENTARIANS

Out of 25 countries, only eight (France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom) have codes of conduct in place for Parliamentarians. Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland DO NOT have a code of conduct for Parliamentarians. In some countries, rules of procedures cover ethical issues (Denmark, Finland and Switzerland).

IN THE DEFENCE OF OUR WORK

Our work as Public Policy Advocates entails a wide range of activities:

HOW CIVIL SERVANTS AND MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT CAN DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCATES

Engaging with Public Policy Advocates is vital in many respect for civil servants or MPs, since it is the job of most Public Policy Advocates to promote the interests of their organizations, clients or corporations in a way that builds positive working relationships with government, and it is important for government to consult with representatives of key stakeholders.

ETHICS IN POLITICS

Politicians cannot be expected NOT to be political. It makes good policy sense to take precautions against unethical forms of political conduct. The path of distrust leads to greater and greater public accountability of politicians, with many external accuntability agencies holding the line against formal breaches of ethical rules and expectations. But it also makes good policy sense to promote higher forms of ethical political conduct, beyond simple compliance with the rules.

MOST WANTED: POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

Society today is in a leaderhip crisis.  If leadership is to be defined as the ability to influence people then trust is the foundation for leadership. Each scandal (as we’re witnessing in France) chips away at the trust people placed in their political leaders.

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