DECLARATIONS OF THE FRONT NATIONAL ARE NOT TRIVIAL

The President of the Front National (FN) Marine Le Pen has made a formal request to French President François Hollande to organize a referendum in January 2014 for the exit of France from the European Union.

The four reforms wanted by the FN are the following :

1 –an organised return to the national currencies;

2 –the dissolution of the Schengen space allowing free circulation within 22 of the 27 member states;

AN EU POLITICAL UNION PROPOSAL ?

As expressed by Ms. Vivian Reding, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, the proposal would be as follows:

1. Prior to the European elections in 2014, European leaders would agree that the next Commission President, once elected by the European Parliament would also become the President of the European Council, to ensure a stronger European political leadership.

2. The new President would convene a convention to elaborate a Treaty on European Political Union (EPU).

BENEFITS OF SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS ADVOCACY

Many governments have placed a high priority on reforming the business environment because of its significant influence on levels of private sector development and therefore on long-term economic growth and poverty reduction.

U.S. SEQUESTER SHOULDN’T BE CAUSE FOR PANICKING AT LEAST FOR NOW

The U.S. is $ 16.4 trillion economy. The broad US $ 85 billion spending cuts, known as sequestration that take effect today would be phased in over seven months. According to the IMF the U.S. growth forecast for 2013 is 2.0 percent and economists expect that full implementation of the sequestration will substract at least 0.5 percentage points from that growth but growth in the economy would still be around  1.5%. and it will not hit the global economy as predicted. The sequester is not big enough to cause a recession.

FRANCE IS CHASING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS

With 20,000 foreign companies already doing business in France, and 700 new foreign investment decisions are made annually. France  is a leading destination for foreign direct investment. Foreign direct investments are critical for France as the economy is barely growing and jobless claims are at a 14 year high. France has set the ambitious objective of attracting 1,000 foreign investment decisions and 300 new companies to France per year by 2017. 

APPLIED PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY (APPA) TRAINING

The practice of public advocacy requires a strong training in the methods of political analysis, the structure of political institutions, the process of political change , and the most efficient ways of effecting such change. An essential aspect in understanding applied politics is knowledge of political power and public policy.

A TRANSATLANTIC FREE TRADE AGREEMENT IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE?

As a potential path back to growth for the ailing economies on both sides of the Atlantic, the proposal to create a Transatlantic Free Trade Area has resurfaced. It would be a very good idea, but achieving it is easier said than done.

L'ITALIE DANS L'IMPASSE:MAMA MIA!

L'Italie est dans une impasse avec une Chambre des députés à gauche et un Sénat sans majorité à l'issue des élections.  La coalition de gauche de Pier Luigi Bersani a remporté 29,5% des voix et s'adjudge ainsi la majorité des sièges à la Chambre (340 des 630 sièges), grâce à un système qui accorde 54% des fauteuils à la formation arrivant en tête. Mais au Sénat, où la prime de majorité est accordée par région, les résultats donnent le centre gauche très loin de la majorité absolue des 158 sièges. En termes de voix, la gauche en remporte 31,63 % et la droite 30,71%.

MYANMAR: THE NEW GLOBAL HOTSPOT???

Myanmar (Burma) has all the elements required to create another Asian economic miracle. With a population of 54 million, the country has a large pool of low-cost workers custom made to attract the labor-intensive manufacturing that jump-started income growth from South Korea to Malaysia. Natural resources, such as timber and mineral resources could woo billions in foreign investment. And its strategic position nestled between China and India could turn the country into a prime location for tapping into the megagrowth of those two Asian giants.

EU CITIZENS INCREASINGLY PESSIMISTIC ABOUT POLITICS

EU citizens are becoming more pessimistic about politics. They have lost faith in politics and there is dismay and disillusionment about how politics works. The malaise of pessimism that surrounds public debate owes part of its cause to a growing recognition of the scale of the financial, economic, social and environmental challenges we face. It also draws much of its power from an increasing sense that there is not much that can be done about them collectively given the current atrophied state of politics and governmental institutions.

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