ITALIAN ELECTIONS: CAUSE FOR WORRY!

The lower Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei deputati) counts 630 seats while the upper Chamber  the Senate (Senato della Repubblica) counts 315 seats (+ 4 named for life). Seats in both chambers are based on proportional representation within the respect of certain limits in order to encourage parties to form coalitions. 

GERMANY IS AT THE HELM OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Germany is at the helm of the European Commission. Indeed, Berlin greatly benefits from the accelerated ‘return to balance policy’. It is the only country in Europe to have an economic structure that is already balanced, namely because the country has a catastrophic demography. The country therefore does not have to face the problem of young people who have a hard time finding jobs. Further, the German economy is strongly turned towards exports and benefits from the strong euro and records enormous profits in trade to the detriment of its European neighbours.

THE SHRINKING EU ECONOMY: IT'S CALLED RECESSION

The European Union executive said the euro zone economy would shrink 0.3 percent in 2013 after a 0.6 percent recession last year.

Negative growth is projected for Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

Here below is the economic forecast provide by the European Commission for the 27 bloc:

Austria: Embarking on a moderate upturn. Projected Growth Rate for 2013: 0.7%

Belgium: Sluggish growth and ongoing fiscal consolidation. Projected Growth Rate for 2013: 0.2%

PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

At present 17.4% of all EU citizens are age 65 and older. This represents a population of 87 million people.

A PROPOS DE L'EVALUATION DES POLITIQUES PUBLIQUES

L'évaluation des politiques publiques doit favoriser l'émergence d'un pluralisme de l'expertise et, in fine, accroître la participation des acteurs intéressés par les politiques publiques.

UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF A PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCATE

Companies and organizations usually hire or employ a Public Policy Advocate if they want government to do to – or NOT to do – something they care about. Companies and organizations  also hire or employ Public Policy Advocates  to be their “eyes and ears” in Brussels and/or in Member States capitals  to monitor and report on what is happening in areas of interest to them. And some companies and organizations also hire or employ Public Policy Advocates  to raise the profile of the company or organization among decision makers.

THE RIGHT OF U.S. COMPANIES TO LOBBY BRUSSELS

The proposed EU data protection regulation is currently being looked at by the European Parliament, and it is there that lobbying is taking place, by U.S. multinationals like eBay and Amazon, Facebook and Google, as well as digital technology lobby platform Digital Europe whose members include all the big IT names like Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft and Amcham EU, the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union.

LOBBYPLAG THE SELF-APPOINTED EU GATEKEEPER

LobbyPlag (a blending of lobby and plagiarism) aims to be an open source European tool on lobbying or should it be anti-lobbying? The platform will have the following features:

U.S. LOBBYING IN EUROPE: THE CASE OF EU DATA PRIVACY LAWS

U.S. companies are discovering that the hottest spot in the lobbying and advocacy world is suddenly Brussels.

As an illustration: The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU has 9 registered lobbyists;  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce maintains an ofice in Brussels; Google has 7 registered lobbyist and spends about $ 1 million in lobbing activities; Facebook has 3 registered lobbyists and spends about half a million dollars on lobbying; Microsoft has 17 registered lobbyists.

LOBBYING MISUNDERSTOOD BY THE MEDIA

It can hardly be denied that lobbying faces an extremely bad reputation amongst the public at large in Europe. The term lobbyist is seen by many as an insult, and lobbying is often considered an illegitimate or distasteful activity. Reports in the media are usually negative about lobbying. Critics’ main objections are a lack of transparency in lobbying, implied links between lobbying and corruption and that lobbying lacks legitimacy or indeed even that it poses a threat to democracy.

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