European Union


The free-trade agreement between the U.S., Japan and another nine Asia-Pacific countries (TTP) should speed up the negotiations between the European Union and the U.S. regarding The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These talks started over five years ago and there have been, and continue to be, some critical moments.

Risk: Geography trumps Economy

WASHINGTON | By Pablo Pardo | Geopolitics have returned with a vengeance in Europe right when Barack Obama’s economist view of international relations seemed to be on track with the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The IMF warns that geopolitical risk is back on stage.

“Ukraine sees EU as governance model”

BRUSSELS | By Jacobo de Regoyos | After Mr Poroshenko’s victory in Ukraine elections, expectations have risen to end the profound civil unrest. And many citizens are “identifying the EU with governance quality,” former head of the Spanish diplomacy (2002-04) and MEP Ana Palacio pointed out. She just came back from Kieve, where she was part of an international poll observers’ mission together the former US Secretary of State Madeleine Allbright.

Greece’s ultimate sacrifice for stability

ATHENS | By Nick Malkoutzis via Macropolis| Concern has been frequently expressed about some of the people surrounding Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras. In November 2011, he ousted former minister Sotiris Hatzigakis from the party because he complained that “far right elements” were changing the face of New Democracy. Several dozen criminal cases, including murders, involving Golden Dawn had piled up in Public Order Minister’s drawers. The question now is whether these, and other policy decisions, were driven by a warped ideology that has no place in a European Union country.

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Fiware: EU’s challenge to build the future Internet

SEVILLE | By Ana Fuentes | When it comes to innovation and data management the U.S. is the absolute global leader. But Brussels wants to make up for many years of sitting on its hands: the cake is too yummy to allow Amazon or Google to eat it all. Fiware, a tech platform born from a public-private partnership, aims to finance an open ecosystem for SMEs to develop innovative projects. The budget for the best ideas is 100 million euros, way less than the American big firms are investing. But Spanish entrepreneurs eager to leave the crisis mood behind insist it’s worth to give it a try.

Ukraine, the Decisive Pawn- And Why the EU Moved Away From the US

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | The West is losing ground in the international arena: the United States’ credibility is damaged and Europe is so self-centered, focused in its own business that it has underestimated Russia. Now Ukraine is in the middle of a boiling debate between pro-Russians and pro-westerns and Putin won’t let the EU snatch the former soviet country.

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Austerity, The Savings Paradox or The Confederacy of Dunces

MADRID | By Luis Arroyo | Some people consider the external surplus of southern countries in the EU as the ultimate proof that the austerity process was a success. But they are wrong. The reality is that everybody is increasingly saving more money –even wealthy people… but nobody is consuming.

Banking union

Don’t hurry; the banking union won’t start tomorrow

MADRID | By JP Marin Arrese | Angela Merkel is now more powerful as chancellor than before, and the Euro-sceptics have lost their influence over the future of Germany’s and Europe’s issues. However, despite all the good intentions, it is more than likely that Banking Union and the European integration will be relegated to a mere supervisory exercise.