TOP PERFORMING EUROPEAN ECONOMIES IN TERMS OF GLOBAL COMPETIVENESS

The Global Competitiveness Index (2012-2013) produced by the World Economic Forum lists the following European countries among the top 10. The ranking includes 144 countries.

Ranking

1          Switzerland

3          Finland

4          Sweden

5          Netherlands

6          Germany

8          UK

12        Denmark

15        Norway

16        Austria           

17        Belgium

21        France

22        Luxembourg

27        Ireland

34        Estonia

MAXIMIZING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN ASEAN COUNTRIES

The challenge for ASEAN civil societies is to push demands for good governance covering the political, economic, social and cultural spheres and for the reforms undertaken to be as concrete and time specific as possible. There is a need for bottom-up not top-down governance.

CELAC-EU BUSINESS SUMMIT CONCLUSIONS: RHETORIC OR REAL ACTION PLAN?

About of a thousand business and political leaders of Latin America, the Caribbean (CELAC) and the European Union (EU), met for three days (24, 25 and 26 of January) in Santiago, Chile to share points of views on how integrate the economic growth with the social inclusion, the environment and the human capital development.
 

The appoinment was the IV CELAC-EU Business Summit 2013 and was held in the frame of the meeting of leaders of the member countries of both regional blocs, also held in late January in Chile.
 

TRUST BAROMETER AND MISERABLE SCORE FOR GOVERNMENT LEADERS

The annual "Trust Barometer" survey published by Edelman reports widespread scepticism about the ethics practised by political and business leaders. The lowest scores were when those surveyed were asked if they trust leaders to “tell the truth, regardless of how complex or unpopular it is”: only 18% trusted business leaders, whilst government leaders scored a yet more miserable 13%.

THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM RESILIENT DYNAMISM AGENDA

The Davos Summit counts 2,600 participants (lobbyists, journalists, captains of industry and economists) from 100 countries and includes 45 Heads of States or Government and more  than 900 top business executives

28 percent of CEOs said they expected the world economy to decline further in 2013, against 48 percent last year, while 52 percent expected it to remain stable. But only 36 percent said they were "very confident" in their companies' growth prospects in the next 12 months, down from 40 percent last year and 48 percent in 2011.

A FORUM FOR LOBBYISTS

Making information publicly available (e.g. EU Transparency Register) does not automatically make information useful. For transparency policy to be effective, the information must be both easy to understand and easy to utilize. Users must be able to register their choices clearly and disclosers must have the ability and incentive to respond meaningfully. Citizens need to know who is advocating for what and why and how.

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S BUDGET BY NUMBERS

The 2013 EU budget amounts to € 132.8 billion. The European Parliament's budget represents 1.3% of the total EU budget or € 1,7 billion.

37% of the EP's budget (€ 629 million) is for staff expenses, mainly salaries for the 6000 officials working in the General Secretariat and in the Political Groups. Moreover, this expenditures covers interpretation costs, the costs of external translation and staff mission expenses.
 

APPEAL FOR A TWO CHAMBER EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG???

The European Union already in effect has two legislative bodies: The European Parliament itself and the Council when acting in a legislative capacity (co-decision), although the Council does not do so in the formally open manner usually associated with a parliament.

FRENCH CRUSADE AGAINST TAX EVASION

The total amount of French tax evasion is estimated at € 50 billions per year according to the French Senate Enquiry Committee. Fraud is estimated at € 2 billions. The total amount of French assets in tax havens is estimated at no less than € 600 billions.

SWISS BANKING SECRECY UNDER FIRE!!!

A cold war on banking secrecy is turning hot. Tax evasion costs governments $3.1 trillion annually, according to Tax Justice Network, a lobby group. Swiss law entrenched bank secrecy in 1934, making it a criminal offence to reveal a client's identity. This has created the world's biggest tax haven: Switzerland's banks house around $2.1 trillion, or 27%, of offshore wealth.

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