ChristiansUnite Forums

Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: Shammu on April 30, 2004, 11:26:24 PM



Title: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on April 30, 2004, 11:26:24 PM
I'm not sure if this is where this should go.
I just found this tonight;

At midnight tonight at a Grand Ceremony of Ascension in Ireland, which is the present President of the European Union, ten new countries will be welcomed into the EU.

So welcome to:
Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta.

25 countries and approximately over 350 million people.
One money system coming closer. The money system is the euro. Which is talked about in the Bible. :eek:


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: twobombs on May 01, 2004, 03:21:28 AM
I wanted to open up a topic on that since it's now the 1st of may here, in my view the EU is now officially both economical and biblical *the* most important country in the world.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/04/30/eu.enlargement/index.html
http://www.eurunion.org/legislat/agd2000/agd2000.htm

And ehrm: Dreamweaver, it's 450 million people and 39 million square kilometers

Compare that with the USA with 272 million people living in an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: ebia on May 01, 2004, 03:43:30 AM
And ehrm: Dreamweaver, it's 450 million people and 39 million square kilometers
3.9 million sqkm, not 39 million.   I haven't the faintest idea why the area is relevent, but let's not be out by an order of magnitude.


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: twobombs on May 01, 2004, 04:19:22 AM
Ebia: oops :) the size is for an idea of the amount of ppl per sqkm.
And the size of the land can be compared with the old roman empire; making the EU the revived roman empire.


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: Shammu on May 01, 2004, 04:21:17 AM
I wanted to open up a topic on that since it's now the 1st of may here, in my view the EU is now officially both economical and biblical *the* most important country in the world.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe/04/30/eu.enlargement/index.html
http://www.eurunion.org/legislat/agd2000/agd2000.htm

And ehrm: Dreamweaver, it's 450 million people and 39 million square kilometers

Compare that with the USA with 272 million people living in an area of 9.6 million square kilometers. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/us.html
Excuse me, for saying, approximately over 350 million people.
Sorry.
DW


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: ebia on May 01, 2004, 04:39:50 AM
Ebia: oops :) the size is for an idea of the amount of ppl per sqkm.
So western europe is considerably more densely populated than the US (which is, in turn, massively more densely populated than Australia).  So what?  

Quote
And the size of the land can be compared with the old roman empire; making the EU the revived roman empire
That doesn't follow.  The area may be roughly comparable at the moment (I don't know how big the Roman empire was) but it isn't the same places.  As the EU grows, there was bound to be a point where it passes the size of the Roman empire at some point - how does that prove that it is the Roman Empire?


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: twobombs on May 01, 2004, 05:06:28 AM
hehe .. not answering :)
GIYF :  www.google.com > revived roman empire
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=revived+roman+empire&btnG=Google+Search

take it or leave it, I'm not answering basics


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: ebia on May 01, 2004, 07:46:03 AM
 ::)


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: ollie on May 01, 2004, 08:31:00 AM
Ebia: oops :) the size is for an idea of the amount of ppl per sqkm.
And the size of the land can be compared with the old roman empire; making the EU the revived roman empire.
"And the size of the land can be compared with the old roman empire; making the EU the revived roman empire."

This comes across as someones personal opinion.
What is the documented proof that the "EU is the revived Roman Empire"? Would you please produce it in this thread to establish your words as given here?

Ollie


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: twobombs on May 01, 2004, 09:38:04 AM
http://www.bible-prophecy.com/roman.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin86.htm
http://www.tribulationalinstitute.com/new_page_7.htm


Doing google's work here....

http://www.geocities.com/Baja/8137/rome.html
http://www.konig.org/wc36.htm
http://www.prophecybook.org/PMm.j2001.html
http://www.cornerstonechurchonline.com/biblestudies/beast7heads.htm


[humming a song while cut-n-pasting along]

http://www.cephasministry.com/terror_roman_empire.html
http://www.tnnonline.net/tribnews/europe/revival-romanemp/
http://www.cuttingedge.org/detail.cfm?ID=436
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860803.html
http://www.prophecywatch.com/articles/7_heads_10_horns_p4.htm
http://millenniafever.org/BibleStudies/revromemp.html
http://www3.telus.net/thegoodnews/empire.htm

Now I quit, i'm getting bored doing this

I can do the same cut-n-paste thing with the Rapture, any unbelievers in that area ?

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22the+rapture%22+&btnG=Search

Hey, look ! Google can show some nice pictures from US soldiers too !

the US will get bombed for what they did  ! ;D I already can read the headlines :
" babylon away in one day ", " Their arrogance paid back in full "

Ebia + Ollie ; stop wandering around like drunkards, the day of the Lord has come nigh; REPENT AND FORSAKE YOU SIN !

_____________
* now where is a4c when you need him ?


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: Shammu on May 01, 2004, 10:19:10 AM

Hey, look ! Google can show some nice pictures from US soldiers too !

the US will get bombed for what they did  ! ;D I already can read the headlines :
" babylon away in one day ", " Their arrogance paid back in full "
You know, you come across as arrogance. But this is my own opinion. I found about the EU adding 10 more members and all you have done is blast me for it.
So since you are arrogance towards me, and my country, I won't bother to post here any more with any information I find. And yes I know I will more then likely be banned, after blackeyepeas reads this post.
Good bye
DW


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: nChrist on May 01, 2004, 06:26:33 PM

Hey, look ! Google can show some nice pictures from US soldiers too !

the US will get bombed for what they did  ! ;D I already can read the headlines :
" babylon away in one day ", " Their arrogance paid back in full "
You know, you come across as arrogance. But this is my own opinion. I found about the EU adding 10 more members and all you have done is blast me for it.
So since you are arrogance towards me, and my country, I won't bother to post here any more with any information I find. And yes I know I will more then likely be banned, after blackeyepeas reads this post.
Good bye
DW

Oklahoma Howdy to DreamWeaver,

There is no problem at all, discuss all you wish. This is a mild and gentle discussion compared to many on the forum. It's also an important topic that needs to be discussed.

Love In Christ,
Tom


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: BUTCHA on May 01, 2004, 10:07:35 PM
http://www.bible-prophecy.com/roman.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin86.htm
http://www.tribulationalinstitute.com/new_page_7.htm


Doing google's work here....

http://www.geocities.com/Baja/8137/rome.html
http://www.konig.org/wc36.htm
http://www.prophecybook.org/PMm.j2001.html
http://www.cornerstonechurchonline.com/biblestudies/beast7heads.htm


[humming a song while cut-n-pasting along]

http://www.cephasministry.com/terror_roman_empire.html
http://www.tnnonline.net/tribnews/europe/revival-romanemp/
http://www.cuttingedge.org/detail.cfm?ID=436
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0860803.html
http://www.prophecywatch.com/articles/7_heads_10_horns_p4.htm
http://millenniafever.org/BibleStudies/revromemp.html
http://www3.telus.net/thegoodnews/empire.htm

Now I quit, i'm getting bored doing this

I can do the same cut-n-paste thing with the Rapture, any unbelievers in that area ?

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22the+rapture%22+&btnG=Search

Hey, look ! Google can show some nice pictures from US soldiers too !

the US will get bombed for what they did  ! ;D I already can read the headlines :
" babylon away in one day ", " Their arrogance paid back in full "

Ebia + Ollie ; stop wandering around like drunkards, the day of the Lord has come nigh; REPENT AND FORSAKE YOU SIN !

_____________
* now where is a4c when you need him ?
a4c watching and lerking ;D HAIL MARY


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: Shammu on May 02, 2004, 02:51:13 PM
The EU is definitely becoming a world power of clay (diversity) and iron (power) with striking similarities to the fourth kingdom or fourth beast of Daniel’s prophecies. A world power of so many ethnic groups and representing so many states could easily become a very influential leader at the United Nations and the world. It’s possible that the U.N. is a beginning for this world government that will eventually be ruled by a revived Roman Empire and the Antichrist.

There are, however, other views on these prophesies that can be considered. Some think that the fourth kingdom is the revived Roman Empire (ten kings are the 10 nation military alliance of the EU) and the U.N. is the 4th beast (10 horns being the 10 bio-regions the UN has established for the globe). Only time will tell which is the case.

If the EU is the revived Roman Empire that will bring about the rise of Antichrist, then it is important to look at the religious symbolism of the EU. After all, riding on the beast’s back will be the harlot that represents a global pagan religious system that will unite the world and play a part in the persecution of the tribulation saints (Rev. 17).

The EU flag has a circle of 12 stars on a blue background. These stars were inspired by the halo of 12 stars appearing around the Madonna as depicted in Catholic pictures of her. Leon Marchal, former secretary general of the Council of Europe, confirmed that the stars are representative of "the woman of the Apocalypse". He expounded, "it’s wonderful that we have gotten back to the introit of the new Mass of the Assumption. It’s the corona stellarum duodecim of the woman of the Apocalypse". He is referencing the woman in Revelation 12 who appears with a crown of 12 stars. The Bible uses this symbolism to represent Israel, however the Catholic Church has always claimed that she represents the Virgin Mary, "the mother of God". A leaflet titled "Building Europe Together" states that "The European flag is a shared flag, blue with 12 gold stars symbolizing completeness. The number will remain 12 no matter how many countries there are in the European Union."

The anthem of the EU "Ode to Joy" also contains religious symbolism. "Ode to Joy" is the prelude to the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which has religious implications. EU publications state that the anthem really is an "ode to freedom, community, and peace", however the lyrics, by Friedrich von Schiller, are actually about the entering of the shrine of a pagan goddess and the uniting of all men in brotherhood, by the power of magic.

Further evidence of a religious side to the European Union is a poster that was issued by the EU, showing the tower of Babel. The poster carried the slogan "Many tongues, one voice." As if the celebration of the pagan tower that led God to confuse the languages of a defiant people (Genesis 11) isn’t enough, a crane in the background was shown rebuilding the tower. Now, once again, a rebellious people are rebuilding mystery Babylon. In a parliament building in Strasbourg, France, you will find an enormous replica of the unfinished tower of Babel that the secular press has named "Eurobabel".

If that religious symbolism seems too obscure to be that significant, perhaps a snapshot of Revelation 17 will peak your interest in the religious symbolism of the EU. Revelation 17 depicts a great harlot riding on a beast. The beast in Revelation 17 represents the world government and the great harlot is a global religion that will ride in on its back. This harlot riding a beast was used when Britain issued a stamp to commemorate the first EU parliament election in 1979. It is now the official picture of the EU, and is painted on the dome of the parliament building in Brussels. It is also pictured on the same building that holds the "Eurobabel".

The EU constitution has also raised the ire of protestant leaders by banning the mention of Christianity as part of Europe’s cultural heritage, while at the same time, including references to the civilizations of Greece and Rome, and the philosophical heritage of the Enlightenment. EU government representatives excused this revisionist view of history by claiming any mention of Christian values would upset the Muslim population of the EU.
As you can see, the stage is being set for the emergence of a global political system(the EU and the UN), a global economic system(the Euro and WTO), and a global religious system (the interfaith movement). The EU would seem to fulfill many of the prophesies of the fourth kingdom that is to come, from which will arise the Antichrist of the end-times. Only time will tell, but as we are encouraged in the Bible to be aware of the signs, we should all be looking up. We may soon be with our Lord.  :P

There are those who are sowing discord-brother against brother-criticizing one another. These are men who misunderstand holiness and equate righteous living with hardness of heart and condemning one another. One must anchor himself deeply in the Word and stand upon the principles of God's Word, seeking the face of the Lord and His divine direction. We cannot allow these factions-whether to the left or to the right-to affect our spirit and attitude. We must stand for Biblical holiness and the Biblical doctrine of the new birth. Allow no man or clique to buy your soul or ministry. Jesus Christ is not portrayed in Scripture as a hard-nosed legalist.

He is the compassionate Christ who was more concerned with the needs of hurting men than the letter of the law. That same attitude was transmitted to the apostles who taught us to "Come out from among them and be ye separate" (1 Corinthians 5:17). Our holiness message was never intended to be used to hurt others, to bring condemnation or to be an indicator of our righteousness. We are not saved by works, and thus our holiness message must be more than legislation; it must come from a faith relationship that calls us from an immoral world to a desire to be like Him.

Go in peace with God.
DW


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: nChrist on May 02, 2004, 05:58:49 PM
Quote
DreamWeaver Said:

There are those who are sowing discord-brother against brother-criticizing one another. These are men who misunderstand holiness and equate righteous living with hardness of heart and condemning one another. One must anchor himself deeply in the Word and stand upon the principles of God's Word, seeking the face of the Lord and His divine direction. We cannot allow these factions-whether to the left or to the right-to affect our spirit and attitude. We must stand for Biblical holiness and the Biblical doctrine of the new birth. Allow no man or clique to buy your soul or ministry. Jesus Christ is not portrayed in Scripture as a hard-nosed legalist.

He is the compassionate Christ who was more concerned with the needs of hurting men than the letter of the law. That same attitude was transmitted to the apostles who taught us to "Come out from among them and be ye separate" (1 Corinthians 5:17). Our holiness message was never intended to be used to hurt others, to bring condemnation or to be an indicator of our righteousness. We are not saved by works, and thus our holiness message must be more than legislation; it must come from a faith relationship that calls us from an immoral world to a desire to be like Him.

AMEN DreamWeaver!

Isaiah 26:3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.


Title: Re:Welcome to the 10 new member states of the EU...
Post by: Shammu on May 03, 2004, 03:42:11 AM
More bad news.

The European Union has its first step Oct. 20 2003 towards the creation of an EU-wide health identity card able to store a range of biometric and personal data on a microchip by 2008. Approved by Union ministers in Luxembourg, the plastic disk will slide into the credit-card pouch of a wallet or purse.

The European Health Insurance Card is intended to end the bureaucratic misery of E111 forms currently used by travellers who fall ill in other EU countries. Eventually it will replace a plethora of other complex forms needed for longer stays.

But civil liberties groups said it was the start of a scheme for a harmonised data chip that would quickly evolve into an EU "identity card" containing intrusive information off all kinds that could be read by a computer.

During the first phase from June 1 this year, each country will be able to choose whether to include photographs, fingerprints and biometric data, such as eye measurements, on the "national" side of the card. Britain is opting for a minimalist version.

The European Commission has said, that the final phase in 2008 would add a "smart chip" containing a range of data, including health files and records of treatment received. "The ultimate objective is to have an electronic chip on the card, as the technology improves."


Title: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:19:35 PM
European Union Seeks Greater Impact on World Affairs

Thursday , October 18, 2007

AP
LISBON, Portugal  —
European Union leaders sought Thursday to set aside their national differences and unite behind a new EU treaty designed to give their 27-nation bloc a more influential say in world affairs.

But they launched a two-day summit in the Portuguese capital amid 11th-hour political squabbling over the final text of the document that aims to translate the bloc's economic might into a bigger diplomatic punch.

The treaty would accelerate decision-making so that EU member countries can act more swiftly on global issues such as defense, energy security, climate change and migration.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the bloc's most senior official, warned that the continent risks seeing its international influence diminished if it remains unable to take a common stand on pressing questions. "We need this agreement," he said upon arrival.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was cautious, saying she expected "difficult" talks to secure a deal, though she said the leaders "are now just a few millimeters from the finish line."

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown — attending his first EU summit at Britain's leader — backed the draft treaty, assuring critics at home that it guarantees British sovereignty in justice, home and foreign affairs and security issues.

"On these major issues ... the British national interest is protected," Brown told a news conference.

But Poland's president arrived holding out for more voting rights.

"We don't want anything more than what has already been agreed," Polish President Lech Kaczynski said. "Otherwise, we will have to put off this discussion."

And Italy's Prime Minister Romano Prodi said he would not endorse the treaty unless his country gets more seats in the European Parliament. The draft treaty foresees a 750-seat EU assembly — down from 787 — which would see Italy lose six of its 78 legislative representatives.

Italy "will say 'No,' without hesitation," to the treaty if its demand is not met, Prodi said.

Reservations by Italy and Poland could scuttle the draft treaty and deliver another setback for closer cooperation that would severely damage the EU's credibility.

"We should all be aware that public opinion wouldn't understand if we don't get an agreement," Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said. "We can't talk and talk again and then talk some more."

Also, doubts remained about whether the leaders would subject an agreement to referendums in their countries. Many Europeans are uneasy about the possibility of a superstate that could neglect the concerns of individual countries.

The treaty under discussion is a revised version of a draft constitution that was approved by EU leaders in 2004 and was intended to mark a new era in European integration. But French and Dutch voters rejected it at the ballot box the following year.

Poland, which goes to the polls Sunday, refused to endorse new voting rules that would allow more decisions by majority instead of unanimous consent. Warsaw fears those rules — devised to prevent decisions being held up — could weaken its influence over EU policy.

"An EU where a minority imposes its will on the others may be a union headed for disintegration," Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said in Chorzow, Poland.

Neither Britain nor Poland are to sign up to a planned bill of rights.

The new treaty has kept some details from the defunct constitution, including an EU foreign minister, a smaller EU executive arm and an exit clause for nations wanting to quit the EU. The new document scrapped a planned EU flag and anthem.

European Union Seeks Greater Impact on World Affairs (http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,303203,00.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:21:44 PM
EU agrees new 'Lisbon Treaty'
19.10.2007 - 06:49 CET | By Renata Goldirova
EUOBSERVER / LISBON – The European Union has overnight agreed the precise text of its new 'Lisbon Treaty' to be formally signed off on 13 December in the Portuguese capital.

At around 02:00 local time on Friday morning - following shorter-than-usual discussions - Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates announced that a deal has been struck, describing it as "victory for Europe".


"With this agreement we have managed to get out of stalemate...we will be ready to tackle the world's challenges", Mr Socrates said.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso also branded the accord as "historic", providing the EU with the "capacity to act".

The decision effectively ends a six-year long period of trying to internally reform.

The first bullet in this battle was fired in February 2002, when the European Convention headed by former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing started drafting the EU Constitution.

This project, however, was buried when French and Dutch voters rejected the document in 2005 - something that resulted in a two-year long phase of soul searching.

The deal
The final hours in the run up to Friday morning's agreement saw battles on two main fronts - with Poland and Italy seeking to strengthen their political weight within the 27-nation union.

In response to Warsaw's demands, a decision blocking mechanism - known as the Ioannina clause - will be written into a declaration of the treaty. However, the declaration will be linked to a legally stronger protocol, saying that the clause can be modified only by unanimous consensus of all EU leaders.

"We got everything we wanted", Polish president Lech Kaczynski said on Friday morning, adding this compromise means that the clause cannot be removed without his country's approval.

Another headline-stealing issue of the summit was how to distribute seats in the European Parliament among EU member states after the next EU elections in 2009. Italy was demanding to have the same number of deputies as France and the UK.

Under the newly-agreed treaty, Rome will get one extra MEP, while the president of the parliament would no longer be counted as a lawmaker in order to preserve the 750 overall ceiling of MEPs.

Originally, Italy was supposed to end up with 72 deputies, compared to 73 for the UK and 74 for France.

Finally, leaders also overcame Sofia's objections towards the spelling of the word 'euro' and agreed to use the spelling 'evro' in the Bulgarian version of legal documents and the treaty.

The date
The new treaty will be formally signed by all European leaders in Lisbon on 13 December and subsequently go for ratification next year, with a view to coming into place by mid-2009, ahead of the next European elections.

Among other things, the new treaty introduces an EU president, a post that can be held for up to five years, strengthens the post of its foreign policy chief and takes away national vetoes in areas such as terrorism. It also gives more power to the European Parliament.

EU agrees new 'Lisbon Treaty' (http://euobserver.com/9/25001)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:23:41 PM
Calls for EU treaty referendum across Europe

By Toby Helm and Bruno Waterfield in Lisbon
Last Updated: 3:04am BST 20/10/2007

Gordon Brown comes under intense pressure today from across Europe to hold a referendum on the EU treaty as academics, diplomats and politicians unite to demand votes in all 27 member states.

The formation of the European Referendum Campaign, announced on the letters page of today's Daily Telegraph, comes after the Prime Minister agreed last night to rubber-stamp the biggest transfer of powers to Brussels since the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.

The deal, to be finalised at his first EU summit as Prime Minister, will end 40 national vetoes, create a European foreign policy chief and a permanent European president and also give Brussels the power to sign international treaties.

Mr Brown, who effectively ruled out a referendum on the handover of powers contained in the treaty, was accused by the Tories of surrendering British interests without a fight.

But the new pan-European campaign is proof that referendum fever is not confined to Britain. The group spans the full political spectrum in EU politics, from Conservative euro-sceptics to Socialists, Liberals and Greens, and even Tony Blair's former economic adviser Derek Scott. It also includes academics, former diplomats and the Sixties arts-cinema pin-up turned Left-wing activist, Susan George.
advertisement

In their letter, the group says: "The adoption of this far-reaching document without referendums would further decrease the legitimacy of the EU and seriously damage democracy in Europe."

Before giving his final assent to the treaty, Mr Brown said that when it was finally agreed, Europe had to concentrate on the real concerns of citizens.

He claimed to have fought successfully to defend the so-called "red lines", which he insists mean Britain can run its own foreign, justice and social security policies as well as preventing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights from encroaching on UK law.

"At every point we have been determined to protect the British national interest and ensure the interests of the British people are safeguarded," Mr Brown said.

Despite the mounting public pressure for a referendum, he said he did not believe one would be necessary. "If it was the old constitutional treaty that was proposed before, there would have been a referendum. But the constitutional concept was abandoned," he said.

Mr Brown set the stage for a ratification process in the House of Commons early next year. The treaty needs to be ratified in all member states to come into force.

His Government is bracing itself for parliamentary guerrilla warfare over the treaty. But Mr Brown insisted that he was relaxed about the danger that Labour faced the kind of internecine internal battles that hit the Tories over the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

He said: "Let us now have the debate in the country which will be reflected through what will be a very substantial number of days we will debate this issue in Parliament. People can judge for themselves, as I believe they will, that we have acted that the British national interest has been protected."

Calls for EU treaty referendum across Europe (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=IEKHWGNURMVSHQFIQMGCFFOAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2007/10/19/neu119.xml)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:26:00 PM
EU leaders agree new treaty deal

European Union leaders have reached a deal on a landmark treaty to reform the 27-member bloc, officials say.

The agreement in Lisbon was sealed shortly after midnight after objections from Italy and Poland were overcome.

The treaty is designed to replace the European Constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005 and will be formally signed on 13 December.

It includes the creation of a new longer-term president of the European Council and an EU foreign policy chief.

If what will become known as the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified by all member states, it will come into force in 2009.

National pride

After seven hours of talks, EU leaders emerged embracing and slapping each other on the back in sheer relief that the most serious crisis in the bloc's 50-year history seemed to be over, the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Lisbon says.

In the last-minute negotiations, Italy gained an extra seat in the future European Parliament, returning it to parity with the UK and restoring Italian national pride, our correspondent says.

Poland secured a guarantee that small groups of countries would be able to delay EU decisions they do not like - a victory for the Polish government just days before Sunday's early parliamentary election, she adds.

Earlier, Austria reached a deal over its bid to maintain quotas for foreign students, with the European Commission agreeing to suspend for five years its legal action over the country's quota.

Bulgaria also won the right to call the EU single currency the "evro", rather than euro, in its Cyrillic alphabet.

The new Reform Treaty is designed to speed up decision making in the expanded European Union. It will also create a new president of the European Council, a new EU foreign affairs chief, a reformed voting system and scrap vetoes in dozens of areas.

However, the 250-page document has been stripped of any trappings of a super-state, such as the mention of the EU anthem and flag.

It amends, rather than replaces, existing EU treaties, a point which some countries - notably the UK - have argued means there is no need for national referendums on the document.

'Great achievement'

After the agreement was reached, Jose Socrates, the prime minister of Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency, said Europe had emerged from an "institutional crisis".

"With this treaty, Europe is showing that the European project is on the move. Now we can look forward to the future with confidence," he added.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the treaty was a "great achievement".

"I believe we have a treaty that will give us now the capacity to act," he said.

"Our citizens want results. They want to see in concrete terms what Europe brings them in their daily lives."

The UK government had little to say in Friday's negotiations.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the UK's "red lines", which his government had declared around various policy areas, had been secured.

"The British national interest has been protected," he added.

On Thursday, Mr Brown once again ruled out a referendum on the treaty.

Despite pressure in the UK and several other countries for a popular vote, only Ireland is legally bound to hold a referendum, and most governments will do what they can to avoid another embarrassing failure, our correspondent Oana Lungescu says.

EU leaders agree new treaty deal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7051999.stm)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:29:16 PM
Brown welcomes deal on EU treaty

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has welcomed the agreement of a new EU treaty, reached after last-minute changes at a summit in Portugal.

"The red lines have been secured. The British national interest has been protected," Mr Brown said.

He said Britain can still set its own policies on justice, home and foreign affairs, as well as security.

But shadow Europe minister Mark Francois said the Conservatives would continue to campaign for a referendum.

Mr Brown said: "It is now time for Europe to move on and devote all our efforts to the issues that matter to the people of Europe - economic growth, jobs, climate change and security."

Earlier the European Commission's president Jose Manuel Barroso said Britain's requests for concessions in the EU treaty were likely to be met, but it must not make any fresh demands.

He added he hoped for no further "difficulties" at the two-day summit in Lisbon as he urged all EU leaders to back the treaty.

"We prefer to have a solution that is broadly agreed with some specific opt-outs for some countries than not to move forward," he had said.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The consequence of this treaty is that Europe has to prove that it can make a real difference to people's lives on issues like climate change, jobs and terrorism."

'National interests'

The opt-outs, which Mr Brown referred to as "red lines", were in areas such as human rights, tax and benefits, foreign policy and justice.

The prime minister said that if these made the final draft of the treaty, it would avoid any significant transfer of power to Brussels.

"I've been determined that Britain will continue to decide in justice and home affairs - and I believe that the detailed changes that are being made with the opt-in for Britain in this area protect the British national interests," Mr Brown said at a news conference in the Portuguese capital before the deal was reached.

"On foreign affairs and security matters, it is important for us that Britain can decide, and that's why we have been determined that foreign policy remains inter-governmental and decisions are made by unanimity.

"On social security, we have been determined that there is an emergency break - and in some cases a veto - so that decisions are made in the interests of Britain."

Mr Brown, attending his first EU summit as prime minister, had pledged to veto the treaty if Britain's "red lines" were not fully incorporated.

Referendum calls

Tory Mark Francois said: "In the small hours of the night Gordon Brown has agreed the revised EU constitution which potentially transfers massive powers from Britain to the EU.

"He had absolutely no democratic mandate to do this and we will now step up our campaign to secure the referendum which he promised the British people all along."

And shadow foreign secretary William Hague said that by failing to agree to a referendum, Mr Brown was "still treating the British people like fools" with comments that had "reached new depths of cynicism".

"He still claims that because the name 'constitution' has been dropped, this treaty is somehow different, even though the European Scrutiny Committee has specifically told him his argument is misleading.

"He claims that this treaty is about making a free-trading Europe work better, when he knows that it downgrades the importance of free competition."

But Mr Miliband said the constitution was "dead" and "by no measure" could the treaty be called a constitution.

He said it was time to dispel the "myths" that the treaty amounted to "the end of Britain".

'Country called Europe'

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has also demanded a referendum, along with some Labour MPs, while ex-Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell has said a public vote should be held on the wider question of UK membership of the EU as well.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4, UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: "We've agreed a treaty that makes the European Union a country, a country called Europe now exists.

"Once this treaty goes through there's no legal debate or argument about that."

But Mr Brown was adamant a referendum was not needed.

"If we were debating as big an issue as Britain's membership of the euro, I would have been the first - indeed, I was the first - to say this is such an issue of great significance that the British people must vote in a referendum," he said.

"If it was the previous constitutional treaty, I would have argued, as we did, that there should have been a referendum. But this is an amending treaty, where the constitutional concept has been abandoned."

He said this was "a very different document" to the failed EU constitution, on which voters in the UK were promised a referendum.

And a parliamentary debate would be "the proper way of discussing this", he insisted, as long as the "red lines" made the final draft.

Brown welcomes deal on EU treaty (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7052005.stm)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:31:57 PM

EC Unveils New EU Maritime Policy
European Defence Agency | Oct 16, 2007

The European Commission has adopted an Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, which has the world’s largest maritime territory, marking the first time in its 50 years that it will have a strategic approach to decision-making in Maritime Affairs. The policy was unveiled at a press conference on 10 October in Brussels, Belgium.
 
European Commissioner in charge of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Joe Borg said: "This is a crucial first step for Europe's oceans and sea – unlocking the potential and facing the challenges of a Maritime Europe will be our common goal. It will allow us to make the most of the geopolitical realities of our continent and will help Europe face some of the major challenges before it.
 
"At the European level, it is clear the transnational character of maritime affairs demands a European approach: shipping and traffic corridors cross the waters of our Member States, oil spills and pollution know no borders in Europe's waters and illegal activities … are transnational by nature, affecting all of Europe."
 
The European Commission (EC) said the new policy will build on Europe's strengths in marine research, technology and innovation and will be anchored in the European Union's (EU) overarching commitment to ensuring that economic development does not come at the price of environmental sustainability.
 
Under the European Space Policy, ESA is responsible for implementing space capabilities that respond to EU policy needs. The Integrated Maritime Policy will facilitate efficient exploitation of space systems in the maritime sector, which ESA has been actively involved in over the last 25 years.
 
ESA’s ERS satellites have been the main vehicles for testing and demonstrating the feasibility of using satellite Earth Observation (EO) data in different maritime policy areas. The ERS missions supported developments in oil slick detection, sea ice monitoring, wind and wave forecasting, regional ocean current forecasting, coastal bathymetry mapping and vessel detection.
 
Because both ERS-1 and ERS-2 significantly exceeded their original design lifetime of three years, it was possible to build an extended, continuous and homogeneous time series of oceanographic measurements, which were not previously possible.
 
In particular, accurate measurements of sea surface height variation by the radar altimeter instrument provided a unique capability to monitor variations in currents at the regional level while the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) series of instruments have delivered a highly accurate time series of sea surface temperature variations over a 16-year period.
 
In addition, satellite data from the radar altimeters onboard ESA’s ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat and NASA/CNES’ Topex-Poseidon detected a trend in sea level rise between 2.64 and 3.29 mm/year over the last 15 years.
 
In 2002, the newly launched Envisat acquired images of the Prestige oil spill in Spain with its Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument. Since this time, ESA has been working within the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Services Element to demonstrate and qualify the capacity for pan-European oil spill surveillance. Last year, an operational satellite-based oil slick detection service based on SAR data from Envisat and the Canadian Radarsat satellite was set up for all European waters under the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The service, named CleanSeaNet, is the first operational pan-European satellite based surveillance service for European waters.
 
Under this service, a notification of a pollution event can be provided within 20 to 30 minutes of the satellite overpass. By integrating the SAR oil slick information with vessel information, it becomes possible to identify potentially responsible vessels.
 
"This is a first, and significant, step in the process whereby EMSA assists Member States and the Commission in detecting illegal and accidental discharges at sea," Willem de Ruiter, Executive Director of EMSA said.
 
Intentional and accidental discharges threaten fragile coastal ecosystems, impact on tourism and generate significant clean-up costs. The European policy goal, as stated in the Marine Thematic Strategy of the 6th Environment Action Plan is a complete elimination of discharges into the marine environment by 2020. Effective surveillance such as CleanSeaNet is essential if this objective is to be met. However, oil spill detection is not the only area where satellite based SAR surveillance is being applied.
 
There is growing interest in the use of satellite SAR for fisheries and for maritime border control. In particular, the Integrated Surveillance System for Europe’s southern maritime borders as requested by the European Council is intending to integrate satellite based surveillance with conventional vessel tracking systems.
 
Routine monitoring of water quality in European coastal areas is important to effectively protect fragile coastal ecosystems. Within the MARCOAST Consortium under the GMES Services Element, most European coastal states are provided with key parameters, including chlorophyll-a concentration, transparency and suspended sediment load, for their region of interest several times per week.
 
Due to the extensive winter transport levels in the Baltic Sea, Europe hosts the largest volume of commercial shipping activity in ice-infested areas. The timely delivery of accurate, up-to-date sea ice information by national ice services is critical in maintaining the security and efficiency of this transportation. Many national ice services have routinely integrated Envisat and Radarsat SAR imagery into their operational sea ice charts for several years.
 
These capabilities are based on EO satellites that have already been operating for some time. ESA is working to ensure continuity of the key data streams underpinning these services within the framework of GMES. The Sentinel missions will ensure that SAR, ocean colour, radar altimeter and sea surface temperature observations will be continued beyond the lifetime of the current missions. In addition, ESA is working with the European scientific community to bring new observation techniques, the so called Earth Explorers, to support research in critical Earth science issues such as global change and biodiversity.
 
ESA welcomes the Integrated Maritime Policy and intends to work with the different actors involved in areas where it sees current or potential future demand for space-based capabilities in the maritime sector. 

EC Unveils New EU Maritime Policy (http://www.defencetalk.com/news/publish/defence/EC_Unveils_New_EU_Maritime_Policy30013773.php)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:33:24 PM
New EU foreign policy think tank created
03.10.2007 - 09:10 CET | By Helena Spongenberg
A group of European politicians and intellectuals have started a new think tank aimed at pushing EU capitals to creating a "more coherent and vigorous" foreign affairs policy in an attempt to make Europe a stronger player on the global stage.

The new think tank - European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) - was launched on Tuesday (2 October) by fifty founding members such as former prime ministers, presidents, European commissioners, MEPs and ministers as well as intellectuals, business leaders, and cultural figures from the EU member states and candidate countries.


They include Martti Ahtisaari, former Finnish president and current special UN envoy for Kosovo; Joschka Fischer, former German foreign affairs minister; Gijs de Vries, former EU counter-terrorism coordinator; Timothy Garton Ash, renowned professor of European studies; and Bronislaw Geremek, MEP and former foreign minister of Poland.

They call on European governments "to adopt a more coherent and vigorous foreign policy in support of European values and interests backed by all of Europe's power: political, cultural, economic and – when all else fails – military."

The centre will be based in seven EU capitals - Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Sofia and Warsaw - and headed by Mark Leonard - a writer and former director of Foreign Policy at the UK-based Centre for European Reform.

"Europe needs to come of age. We need to stop complaining about what others are doing to the world, and start thinking for ourselves. We want a can-do foreign policy, where European power is put at the service of European values," he said in a statement after the launch.

New EU foreign policy think tank created (http://euobserver.com/9/24891?rss_rk=1)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:35:25 PM
Brussels could extend anti-terror rules to EU flights
05.10.2007 - 09:28 CET | By Lucia Kubosova
The EU is considering checking the private data of air passengers in a security scheme similar to the controversial US model.

While the scheme is initially to be applied to travellers from third countries heading to Europe, Brussels could at a later stage extend the data controls to intra-EU flights, as well.


The plan is to be part of a new list of anti-terror measures to be unveiled by the European Commission in November.

"In the package I will propose to the ministers on 6 November, there will be a proposal to collect passenger data for extra EU flights," Commissioner Franco Frattini, in charge of security issues told a press conference in Slovenia on Thursday (4 October).

But he added that his proposal will "for the moment" not include checking travellers flying within the EU's borders, adding that due to some privacy and Schengen passport-free zone rules, it is "premature" to say if such controls will be introduced later.

"We are evaluating the impact of collection of personal data of passengers for intra-EU flights given also the problem of compatibility with Schengen rules, which guarantee full freedom of movement within the territory of the EU," Mr Frattini said, according to Reuters.

The Schengen passport-free zone consists of 13 "old" EU member states (excluding Britain and Ireland), plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. Later this year, it is set to be enlarged by nine countries of the ten 2004 newcomers (except for Cyprus).

The idea of gathering private information on air passengers is based on the system set up by the US after terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in September 2001.

The American database on European air passengers currently collects 34 types of data such as names, addresses and credit card numbers, with the possibility of storing data for three and a half years.

The data inflow from airlines to the US authorities was enabled by a deal between Washington and EU member states - strongly criticised by the European Parliament particularly on personal privacy grounds.

Under the European scheme, airlines flying passengers to the 27-nation bloc would submit certain data to national security agencies.

Brussels could extend anti-terror rules to EU flights (http://euobserver.com/9/24912)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:37:41 PM
New French, German Approach to Russia Welcomed in 'New Europe'
By Elena Nikleva
CNSNews.com Correspondent
October 19, 2007

Prague (CNSNews.com) - A newly assertive approach towards Russia by France and Germany is being welcomed in parts of Europe that formerly were dominated by the Soviet Union and are once again feeling pressure from Moscow.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have proven far more willing than their predecessors to speak their minds to Russian President Vladimir Putin on sensitive issues such as the Kremlin's energy-driven policies, human rights issues and Iran's nuclear program.

"We had enough of Gerhard and Jacques," said the Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny, referring to the approaches taken towards Russia by former Chancellor Schroeder and former President Chirac.

Schroeder, who was criticized for calling Putin a "flawless" democrat, is now the chairman of a German-Russian gas consortium controlled by Russian state-owned energy giant, Gazprom.

Chirac drew fire for saying that the new Eastern European democracies had "missed an opportunity to shut up" when their leaders voiced support for the U.S. position on Iraq in 2003 -- in contrast to Western European governments.

A restored common European Union (E.U.) stance towards Russia is seen here as one of the most important results of the new leaders in Paris and Berlin.

"After recent changes of leadership in France and Germany fences between Old and New Europe have been mended considerably, as may be seen for instance in European policy towards Russia," Jiri Schneider, program director at the Prague Security Studies Institute told Cybercast News Service.

The personal backgrounds of Merkel and Sarkozy may also explain why they connect differently to the former communist-dominated parts of Europe. Merkel grew up in communist East Germany and Sarkozy's father fled from communist Hungary.

Sarkozy recently visited Moscow following meetings with Czech and Polish leaders, at a time Russia vehemently opposes U.S. plans to deploy Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland.

The two governments back the proposals, while polls show public opinion is divided on the matter.

Media commentators here said what matters for the new democracies is a consistent line towards Russia. It is very encouraging to hear the same messages voiced in Berlin and Paris then being delivered to Moscow, the Hosposdarske noviny newspaper said.

Sarkozy's popularity in another former communist country, Bulgaria, stems from different reasons: France played a leading role in the release of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor sentenced to life in prison in Libya in 1999 after being accused of deliberately infecting children with HIV.

Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia, were heavily involved in final negotiations leading to the release of six over the summer. Their personal intervention won the hearts of many Bulgarians -- even as elsewhere in the E.U., Sarkozy was accused of claiming credit at the end for an effort that had been under way long before he became involved.

Bulgaria differs from other nations in Central and Eastern Europe in its approach towards Moscow, a situation that Vasil Garnizov, a political analyst at the New Bulgarian University attributes to the political leanings of Bulgaria's leaders.

President Georgi Parvanov is a former member of the Bulgarian Communist party and headed the successor Socialist Party until resigning when becoming president. Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev is a Moscow-educated Socialist.

The two politicians would never agree to a tougher line by regional leaders towards Moscow, Garnizov told Cybercast News Service.

Furthermore, most Bulgaria political parties, whether in the ruling coalition or not, tend to avoid criticism of Russia, either because they do business with Russia or because they have succumbed to Moscow's aggressive energy-based pressure, he said. The only exceptions are rare debates in parliament staged by the fractured center-right opposition, he added.

Bulgaria was considered the most loyal Soviet satellite during the Cold War. Some foreign analysts says its increasing dependence on Russian energy supplies undermines E.U. efforts to develop a common energy policy to respond to Russia's assertiveness.

At a recent international conference in Prague, Bulgaria and Slovakia were mentioned as small nations particularly vulnerable to Russia's energy pressure.

The conference, which devoted significant attention to Russian policies in the region, discussed the importance of the change of leadership in Berlin and Paris in upholding a united European stance towards Russia.

As Paris-based political scientist, Jaques Rupnik, put it: "Nobody will tell New Europe to 'shut up' anymore."

New French, German Approach to Russia Welcomed in 'New Europe' (http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200710/INT20071019c.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:39:02 PM
Al-Qaeda: The Next Goal Is to Liberate Spain from the Infidels

Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi

Large parts of the Iberian Peninsula were under Islamic rule from 711 until 1492, with the final eviction of the Moors from what they called al-Andalus, and the memory of Islamic rule in Spain has become increasingly part of the discourse in radical Islam.

Osama bin Laden has written: "We request of Allah...that the [Islamic] nation should regain its honor and prestige, should raise again the unique flag of Allah on all stolen Islamic land, from Palestine to Andalus." Bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam, established that the Islamic obligation to wage jihad in order to recover lost Islamic territories applies to Andalusia.

Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, has written that while Islam was twice evicted from Europe - from al-Andalus and from Greece - it is now in the process of returning.

A children's magazine published by Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called on Palestinian children to restore the city of Seville to Islamic rule as well as the rest of what was once Islamic Spain.

Israel, therefore, is a small link in the greater confrontation between radical Islam and the West. Accepting the Arabs' terms for a Middle East settlement, or even going so far as "liberating" Palestine from Israeli rule, will not be the last stop in the radical Islamic journey being led by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, which share the vision of spreading Islam all over the world.

Indeed, for the West, Israel constitutes a dike against the great wave of radical Islam. The very same principle invoked for waging war against Israel - recovery of what was once Islamic territory - is being applied to Spain, the Balkans, Southern Russia, and India. European pressure on Israel to make political concessions that endanger its security will only bring closer the next stage of Islam's offensive, this time aimed at the heart of Europe.

Al-Qaeda Recalls Islamic Rule in Spain

Historically, large parts of the Iberian Peninsula were under Islamic rule from 711 until 1492, with the final eviction of the Moors from what they called al-Andalus. Despite the passage of over five hundred years, the memory of Islamic rule in Spain has become increasingly part of the discourse in radical Islamic circles.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy of Osama bin Laden in the al-Qaeda leadership, in a new tape publicized on 20 September 2007, referred to the global aspirations of the Islamic Revolution:

O, our Muslim nation in the Maghreb [North Africa], zone of deployment for battle and jihad! The return of Andalus [today's Spain] to Muslim hands is a duty for the [Islamic] nation in general and for you in particular. You will not be able to achieve this except by purifying the Islamic Maghreb of the French and the Spanish who have once again returned, after your fathers and grandfathers had expelled them unsparingly in the way of Allah.

Earlier, in December 2006, al-Zawahiri made a passing reference to "Spain's occupation of Ceuta and Melilla," two small enclaves on the North African coast that are under Spanish sovereignty.

This is not the first time al-Qaeda leaders have referred to the Iberian Peninsula as occupied Muslim territory to which the commandment of jihad applies until it is liberated and Islamic rule is imposed there. On 29 September 1994, Osama bin Laden wrote to Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Baz, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia: "All in all, we request of Allah...that the [Islamic] nation should regain its honor and prestige, should raise again the unique flag of Allah on all stolen Islamic land, from Palestine to Andalus, as well as Islamic lands that were lost because of the treachery of leaders and the helplessness of the Muslims."1

This view is deeply embedded in the thinking of those Islamist leaders who served as an ideological wellspring for al-Qaeda. Bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam, established that the Islamic obligation to wage jihad in order to recover lost Islamic territories applies to al-Andalus.2

Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, who was one of the most powerful Islamist preachers in Saudi Arabia, wrote a letter to President George W. Bush on October 15, 2001 - after the 9/11 attacks - in which he explained: "Imagine Mr. President, we still weep over Andalusia and remember what Ferdinand and Isabella did there to our religion, culture and honor! We dream of regaining it."3

It should not be surprising that these repeated references in jihadist circles to al-Andalus have had an impact on how new al-Qaeda affiliates have defined their long-term goals. These groups do not work in a vacuum; the Saudi Gazette reported in March 2005 that there are four million descendents of refugees from Muslim Spain currently living in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. In Morocco, the fall of Granada and al-Andalus is commemorated by many of these descendents.4

The theme of al-Andalus appears among jihadi organizations in a variety of ways. In a January 2007 speech, Abu Musab Abdul Wadud, the commander of the Algerian Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat (GSPC), addressed Algerian Muslims as the grandchildren of Tariq bin Ziyad, who crossed the Straits of Gibraltar in 711 with an Islamic army and conquered most of the Iberian Peninsula.5 GSPC cells have been known to have operated across Spain in the last number of years.

More recently, in June 2007, Islamist websites announced the establishment of "Ansar al-Islam in the Muslim Sahara, Land of the Veiled Ones."6 The organization promised to win back al-Andalus, as well as declaring war on the current North African regimes: "Our raids will not encompass just the Muslim Sahara, but will go beyond it....Al-Andalus is before our eyes, and with Allah's help we will take back the Land of Islam and what was plundered from our forefathers, no matter how long this takes."7

One website announcing the formation of the group featured a map showing "The Great Islamic Caliphate" which it sought to advance, stretching from Spain across North Africa and the Middle East to India and Western China.

cont'd next post


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:40:30 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood Views Spain as Part of the Islamic Homeland

This view is also held by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose doctrine calls on the Muslims of the world to rise up and unite in the struggle to liberate parts of the "Islamic homeland" that have fallen into the hands of the "infidels," "enemies of Allah," and "enemies of humanity." Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, has written that while Islam was twice evicted from Europe - from al-Andalus and from Greece - it is now in the process of returning.8

The fall of Andalus is mentioned in the speeches of Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad Mahdi Akef in one breath with the loss of Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.9 Akef believes Islamic goals should be achieved through jihad and armed struggle against any foreign rule that occupies Islamic land. In a letter of 26 August 2004, Akef sets forth this strategy in detail under the heading, "Liberating Parts of the Homeland Is an Obligation under Islamic Law:"

[One must develop] the culture of resistance in dealing with the invasion [of Muslim territory], and this is a culture of the occupied and oppressed peoples, for whom Allah has permitted jihad and resistance as a means of achieving liberation....The culture of resistance to occupation and invasion exists on all levels: intellectual, military and economic. The experience in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan has proved to everyone that resistance is not an imaginary strategy, a false option or impossible. It is a feasible option when the will of the members of the nation is united, they reinforce each other, and coordinate their words, weapons and faith to confront the occupier, whether it comes with weapons or bombards us with its ideas, its values or its invalid morality. 10

It should come as no surprise that two years ago a Hamas children's magazine called on Palestinian children to restore the city of Seville to Islamic rule as well as the rest of what was once Islamic Spain.11 According to its charter, Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and, therefore, reflects the parent organization's viewpoints on global issues, like the recovery of al-Andalus.

 

Israel Is the Front Line in the Defense of Europe from Radical Islam

Israel, therefore, is a small link in the greater confrontation between radical Islam and the West. Accepting the Arabs' terms for a Middle East settlement or even going so far as "liberating" Palestine from Israeli rule will not be the last stop in the radical Islamic journey being led by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, which share the vision of spreading Islam all over the world and establishing a global organizational infrastructure under a new caliphate to make this possible.

Indeed, for the West, Israel constitutes a dike against the great wave of radical Islam. The very same principle invoked for waging war against Israel - recovery of what was once Islamic territory - is being applied to Spain, the Balkans, Southern Russia, and India. Gustavo de Aristegui, a conservative Spanish parliamentarian, has disclosed that former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer once said that if Israel were to fall and be defeated, the next in line would definitely be Spain.12

European pressure on Israel to make political concessions that endanger its security will only bring closer the next stage of Islam's offensive, this time aimed at the heart of Europe. The fate of Spain and other European states will be no different from that of Israel. Neither the Spanish withdrawal from the Coalition's war against the Iraqi insurgency, nor proposals for a Spanish dialogue with Hamas, have abated in any way the anti-Spanish hostility coming out of radical Islamic movements in recent years. It emanates from a long-term historical grievance.

Al-Qaeda regards the large Muslim communities in Europe as a strategic hinterland for when the time is right. There is no point in pursuing reconciliation and dialogue with a worldwide terror organization that preaches the ideology of ethnic cleansing and genocide. This is an existential struggle over the nature of the world, pitting dark religious fanaticism against democracy and humanism. Israel can serve as a crucial front line in the defense of Europe. Moreover, the more Israel is accepted as a legitimate part of the Middle East, with full peace treaties with its neighbors, this will serve as a powerful indicator that the forces behind the current radical Islamic wave against the West, as a whole, are receding and going into a period of decline.

 

Notes

1 http://www.alarabnews.com/alshaab/GIF/26-10-2001/Ben%20laden.htm

2 Gilles Kepel, Jihad: The Trail of Radical Islam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 222.

3 Patrick Sookhdeo, Understanding Islamic Terrorism (Wiltshire: Isaac Publishing, 2004), p. 159.

4 "Saudi Daily: Andalusian Muslims Recall Mass Exodus," MEMRI Special Dispatch Series, No. 873, March 4, 2005, http://memri.org/bin/opener.cgi?Page=archives&ID=SP87305

5 "Speech by Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud, Commander of the Algerian Salafist Group for Prayer and Combat (GSPC)," Global Terroralert, January 3, 2007, http://www.globalterroralert.com/pdf/0107/gspcwadoud0107.pdf

6 "The ‘Ansar Al-Islam in the Muslim Sahara' Group Declares Jihad Against the North African Regimes and Promises to Take Back Muslim Spain," MEMRI Special Dispatch Series, No. 1653, Islamic Websites Monitor No. 118, July 3, 2007, http://memri.org/bin/opener.cgi?Page=archives&ID=SP164307

7 Ibid.

8 http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=2042

9 http://www.ikhwan.net/vb/showthread.php?+=21095

10 http://www.daawa-info.net/letter.php?id=8

11 http://www.al-fateh.net/arch/fa-66/ana.htm

12 Aaron Hanscom, "A Fatwa in Spain," FrontPageMagazine.com, September 4, 2006, http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID={715C1193-821F-47F0-8332-1FA10C86CEB6}


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:41:51 PM
EU informal summit ends with new treaty, strong commitment on globalization challenges

11:21, October 20, 2007

Leaders of the European Union (EU) wrapped up their two-day informal summit here Friday, with a new treaty aimed at improving EU decision-making and pledges to better deal with the challenges of globalization.
"We've managed to complete our plan at the summit," Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, which holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters at the end of the summit.

"We had a treaty yesterday, and today we went straight into high quality debate on the real issue for the future ... the issue of how Europe can successfully rise to the challenges of globalization," he said.

He said the EU is ready to tackle the challenges of globalization and intends to "lead" the world debate on globalization, in three areas in particular.

The three areas are the redesigning of global institutions, the globalization agenda, which should be an agenda of innovation but not of isolation or protectionism, and the environmental issue, especially climate change.

Climate change is the most severe challenge arising from globalization, he said.

Socrates said Portugal will prepare a declaration on globalization, which will be submitted to discussion at the Dec. 13 summit in Lisbon. Portugal will also push for the formation of a "group of wise men," who will make proposals for the EU to cope with globalization.

Meanwhile, he said the EU leaders also discussed the issue of stability of the EU financial market.

He said the leaders have confidence in the EU economy, and pledged their full support to the EU finance ministers who are drawing up a plan to increase transparency on risk assessment of the financial market.
At the joint press conference with Socrates, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the Lisbon summit has the importance of "a milestone."

"We turned a page in Lisbon. Now we look into the future confidently," he said.

He said the EU must protect its citizens without being protectionist, and should not close its doors, and also encourage others to open their doors.

On climate change, he said the momentum is with the EU after the Group of Eight summit last June.

He said the UN framework and the setting of "binding, mandatory" targets is the "right way forward." He also said that Europe must " continue to show leadership" on the issue, with the EU executive playing its part.

"I promise to bring forward an ambitious package in January to implement those decisions," he said, in order to keep up "pressure" on progress leading up to a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

Early Friday morning, the EU leaders adopted the new treaty, the so-called Treaty of Lisbon, which will improve EU decision making and streamline EU institutions.

"The treaty is the basis of the renewed Lisbon strategy," said Barroso. "With the agreement, we can now start to build for reforms."

The new treaty will replace the defunct EU constitution, which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in referenda in 2005.

The document will be signed on Dec. 13 in Lisbon by the EU leaders, and will be signed by the member states before it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

Among institutional changes, the new treaty installs a new foreign policy chief for the EU and a long-term president for the European Council to replace the current six-month rotating presidency, but it avoids any mention of what may suggest a constitutional nature, such as EU symbols -- the flag, the anthem and the motto.

It also introduces the double majority voting system in decision-making, reduces the size of the executive European Commission, and gives national parliaments more power.

The deal was possible after last-minute concessions were made to some aggressive demanders, notably Poland and Italy.

Poland threatened to veto the treaty unless the so-called "Ioannina" mechanism, which allows a minority group of states disagreeing with a resolution to freeze it for a considerable period of time, was written into the new treaty.

Under a compromised arrangement, though there will be no Ioannina clause in the treaty, the European Council, composed of 27 EU leaders, will adopt a declaration on the substance of the Ioannina mechanism, making it legally binding. In addition, the declaration will be attached with a protocol, which requires consensus in any change to the Ioannina mechanism.

Another Polish demand, a permanent advocate general on the European Court of Justice, was also satisfied.

"Poland has got everything it asked for," said Polish President Lech Kaczynski after the talks.

Italy had disagreed with the plan to redistribute EU parliamentary seats. According to the new rules, Rome's seats in the European Parliament should be cut from 78 to 72 in 2009, the biggest decline among member states.

The EU leaders finally agreed to add one more seat to Italy without breaching the 750-member cap by excluding the non-voting president of the parliament from the count.

EU informal summit ends with new treaty, strong commitment on globalization challenges (http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90856/6287186.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:42:56 PM
Brown: Blair would be great EU president

By CONSTANT BRAND, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 19, 3:01 PM ET

LISBON, Portugal - Let the jockeying begin!

Will it be former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern or former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski?

After agreeing on a European Union governing treaty, leaders began jostling Friday over who should become the first full-time president of the union — and Blair drew backing from his successor and the president of France.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Blair would be a "great candidate" to become EU boss.

"Tony Blair would be a great candidate for any significant international job," Brown told reporters at the end of the EU summit. "As you know, the work that he is doing in the Middle East (as a peace envoy) is something that is of huge international importance."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also said Blair would be a good candidate.

Blair "is a very remarkable man. The most European of all Britons. To think of him would be a good idea," Sarkozy said, adding it was too early to rule out other potential candidates.

Blair recently became the new Middle East envoy for the international Quartet of peacemakers. Asked about the EU job, his spokesman, Matthew Doyle, said: "Tony Blair's focus is on his role in the Middle East. That is what he is thinking about and spending his time on."

The new EU treaty needs to be ratified by all member nations before a president could take office, likely in 2009.

Under the treaty, the president has to be backed by all leaders and can serve for a maximum five-year term. The new system replaces one in which EU leaders and nations rotate into the presidency every six months.

Media reports in recent days listed Blair, Kwasniewski and Danish Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the short list for the job, which is meant to boost the profile and unity of the 27-nation union.

Ahern has also been touted as a candidate and he refused to rule himself out, saying: "It's an interesting job."

The new position will have few formal powers but will chair leaders' summits and meetings and help the EU's foreign policy chief represent the bloc on the world stage.

Kwasniewski is a front-runner, according to Andrew Duff, a longtime British member of the European Parliament who helped draft the new EU treaty.

"Kwasniewski, he's very good. He's from the east, and he's a social democrat, which we need as well," Duff said.

However, Polish President Lech Kaczynski sought to discourage Kwasniewski, a former communist and his political rival, from seeking the post.

"The first president ... will probably come from old member states," Kaczynski said. "If I was him ... I would not run for another post."

Kwasniewski's party is running in Polish elections Sunday, but is polling at a distant third. The former president is not seeking a legislative seat himself, but if his party is successful he could become prime minister.

Duff rejected the idea of a Blair candidacy, saying other countries would never pick him because of his record, notably on backing the U.S. war in Iraq, which was opposed by many EU nations.

"He's just too British, and a Brit doesn't deserve the job," Duff said.

Former Danish Premier Poul Nyrup Rasmussen backed his successor, Fogh Rasmussen. "You should always hope that it will be someone from your own country, no matter who it might be," Nyrup Rasmussen told the Danish daily Politiken.

But Fogh Rasmussen said he was not interested in the post.

Other candidates mentioned include Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker and outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.

EU nations will also pick a new "high representative" to coordinate foreign policy, a post now held by Javier Solana of Spain. Sweden's Foreign Minister Karl Bildt has been mentioned as a possible successor.

The post will have more power and will get a seat on the EU's executive commission when the treaty comes into force. As vice president of the European Commission, the foreign policy chief will control the EU's aid budget and its network of diplomats and civil servants.

Brown: Blair would be great EU president (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071019/ap_on_re_eu/eu_first_president;_ylt=As2FP70dg.XMkFbG1F0gRC10bBAF)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:43:53 PM
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on October 20, 2007, 02:48:59 PM
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust and take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
Hidden with Christ in God.Col 3:3 NKJ)
DreamWeaver I am sorry but I just had to put that in ,what  a good opening that was thank you..Love in Jesus always ..God bless you..Dreamweaver i like you..Def (+¸+)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2007, 02:51:42 PM
European FMs launch new bid to end Lebanon crisis

by Jocelyne Zablit Sat Oct 20, 8:29 AM ET

BEIRUT (AFP) - The foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain met Saturday with Lebanon's feuding political leaders in a bid to break a long-running deadlock that is preventing the election of a president.

France's Bernard Kouchner, Italy's Massimo D'Alema and Spain's Miguel Angel Moratinos were meeting with parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a leading member of the Hezbollah-led opposition, and with Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora in hopes of a breakthrough just days before parliament is to convene for a vote on the presidency.

They were also to meet with Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, the influential leader of the Maronite Christian community, from which the president is usually drawn, and with various other political leaders.

"Today is an important and historical visit," Moratinos said at a press conference earlier at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) headquarters in Naqura, southern Lebanon, where the three ministers visited their contingents.

"The three Euro-Mediterranean countries came together with the same purpose -- to help assist and to commit themselves for peace and stability in Lebanon," he said. "It's a very strong sign that the three countries come at a very timely moment where Lebanon has to look forward for hope and peace in Lebanon and the region."

Their visit comes as parliament prepares to convene Tuesday to pick a successor to the current pro-Syrian head of state Emile Lahoud, whose term ends on November 24.

A first meeting on September 24 was postponed due to disagreement among the ruling majority and the opposition and it is feared that Tuesday's session will also end in failure.

D'Alema said the ministers' day-long visit was a sign of Europe's political will to help end the crisis and move forward.

"This afternoon we are going to meet the main political leaders, of course not because we want to interfere in the Lebanese political life but because we want, as friends of Lebanon, to encourage the dialogue and the search of a national agreement in order to provide stability and strengthen the democracy in this country," he said.

The three ministers on Saturday also laid wreaths in Beirut at the tomb of MP Antoine Ghanem, who was killed along with five others by a car bomb last month, just days before the first parliamentary session.

That session was postponed until Tuesday because of a lack of consensus among the ruling majority and the opposition, which includes factions backed by Syria and Iran.

Ghanem was the sixth lawmaker to be killed since 2005 in attacks blamed by the ruling coalition on Syria, which has denied involvement.

Siniora's government has been paralysed since opposition forces withdrew six ministers from the cabinet in November 2006 in a bid to gain more representation in government.

Fears are running high that the standoff over the presidency could lead to two rival governments, a grim reminder of the end of the 1975-1990 civil war when two competing administrations battled it out.

Many Lebanese also fear that another MP from the ruling coalition could be assassinated.

The leading An-Nahar newspaper in an editorial on Saturday termed the one-day visit by the troika of ministers "Mission Impossible."

"The more cooks, envoys, and people with ideas and advice the more fear among the Lebanese about the presidential vote and Lebanon's destiny," the daily said.

European FMs launch new bid to end Lebanon crisis (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071020/wl_mideast_afp/lebanonvotediplomacy;_ylt=Al01wVtpwBgh5BeQCwMEdwR0bBAF)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 20, 2007, 04:30:21 PM
Did you know?
That the E.U is going to vote soon on the time period that a president will serve?
They tried it  a couple years ago!
Right now i think they choose a different Pres. every 2 years?
They want to change it to every "7" years!
Sound familar?
It Should,
Thats how long the Anti christ will rule for !


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 21, 2007, 07:03:14 PM
Right now i think they choose a different Pres. every 2 years?
They want to change it to every "7" years!
Sound familar?

That is interesting Littleboy. 
Could someone please tell me what E.U. stands for?  European something or other I assume.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 21, 2007, 07:14:14 PM
European Union. The European Union currently has 27 member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. There are currently three official candidate countries, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. In addition the western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia are officially recognised as potential candidates.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on October 22, 2007, 02:50:48 AM
Fascinating Information!

Fast movement and development in the EU is yet another SIGN of the end days of this Age of Grace. YES - Most people who study Bible Prophecy consider the EU to be the revived Roman Empire. The ties are ancient and the players are ancient. It's almost amazing how many ancient entities of Bible times are still with us and fairly easy to identify in many cases.

Bible Prophecy is one way that the Bible proves itself to be GOD'S WORD, and it's more than fascinating how many Prophecies from Old Testament Prophets have already been fulfilled most perfectly. It has to be GOD'S WORD because it would be impossible for Old Testament Prophets to be so accurate in what has already been fulfilled and accurately describe the events of today and what's left to fulfill. As an example, the Prophecies surrounding just JESUS CHRIST and the cross would be impossible without GOD being in charge and the WORDS of the BIBLE being HIS WORD - GOD'S WORD. If an odds-maker were to figure the probability of the events surrounding JESUS to match prophecy, the odds-maker would come up with numbers so large that they would have to be expressed in mathematical terms that most people don't understand. By the way, that odds-maker would also be wanting to know more about JESUS CHRIST and the Cross.

If the events of the end days of this Age were a play, we could say that the stage is set, the actors are in place, and the actors know their parts. They just don't know that the play was written thousands of years ago, nor do they know that they could look in the Bible and determine what they are about to do. Even if they did know, the play wouldn't change and each would do their part perfectly. This is really just more absolute proof that the Bible is GOD'S WORD. The actors just don't know when the play will start, but GOD does!


Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 22, 2007, 09:11:37 AM
Why the EU is called the Revived Roman Empire. The Roman Empire at the height of it's existence:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/800px-RomanEmpire_117svg.png)


The current European Union:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/EU_MAP_2007.jpg)


There are many other nations that are currently under consideration to be added to the EU that were a part of the original Roman Empire.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 22, 2007, 02:52:35 PM
Thanks for the info and the maps!  This is fascinating stuff!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 22, 2007, 03:03:09 PM
You're most welcome. It is indeed fascinating to read about. A wonderful study on Bible prophecy and to see it come together right in front of us.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on October 22, 2007, 11:43:27 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

I think that things are going to get more fascinating by the minute. If these are the end days of this Age of Grace, we simply need to remember that GOD is in charge AND we know that JESUS CHRIST will completely defeat evil for final judgment.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 23, 2007, 01:18:09 PM
When i was little(12/13)-(1974/75) I told people that Europe would rise & rule the world and that the Antichrist
would come from their goverment!
When i was a kid, people always said that we're the revived roman empire or it was the U.N!
I Praise God, he has always given me the truth!
And i know this, because of what all the preachers are saying!
Exactly what i've been saying for over 30 yrs.
P.S
GrammyLuv
the E.U= European Union...


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 23, 2007, 01:34:22 PM
You're most welcome. It is indeed fascinating to read about. A wonderful study on Bible prophecy and to see it come together right in front of us.



These are truely exciting times that we are living in.  I wake up each day wondering what will be in the news and if today will be THE Day!
Amen!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 03:55:21 PM
Turkey continues buildup along border

By VOLKAN SARISAKAL, Associated Press Writer Tue Oct 23, 6:22 AM ET

SIRNAK, Turkey - Turkey sent more troops to its border with Iraq, and its foreign minister flew to Baghdad Tuesday to pressure top Iraqi officials to crackdown on Kurdish rebels who ambushed and killed 12 Turkish soldiers two days before.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, was quoted Tuesday in the country's leading daily Hurriyet as saying that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had talked of a possible joint U.S.-Turkish operation against the rebels during a telephone call Sunday.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan — who was expected to meet in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart and also Iraq's president, both Kurds — had said Monday that Turkey will pursue diplomacy before sending in its military.

The military movements overnight came just two days after a rebel ambush near the Iraqi border left 12 Turkish soldiers dead and eight missing. Several helicopters ferried commando units and pro-government Kurdish village guards for five hours toward the border, reporters said. The governor's office said more combat-experienced units were being deployed.

The airlift of troops late Monday came several hours after dozens of Turkish military vehicles loaded with soldiers and heavy weapons rumbled toward the Iraqi border. Turkish F-16 warplanes were also ready to take off from several bases in southeastern Turkey, according to local reports.

The military launched a major operation in retaliation to Sunday's rebel attack that killed 12 soldiers and wounded 16 others. Since the rebel attack, Turkish troops, backed by Cobra helicopter gunships, have killed 34 guerrillas, the military said.

Eight soldiers were reported missing by the military Monday and the rebel group claimed they have captured the soldiers and released their names. Turkish officials, however, said the search was continuing for soldiers from Sunday's attack and would not comment on the rebels' claims.

If confirmed, the seizure would be the largest since 1995, when guerrillas grabbed eight soldiers and took them to northern Iraq before releasing them two years later.

The rebel group Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, on Monday called on Turkey not to attack Iraq, claiming that a unilateral rebel cease-fire declared in June was still in place although it did not halt fighting.

"We have not officially ended the cease-fire," the group said, according to the pro-Kurdish Firat News Agency. "We're stating clearly that if the Turkish state stops its attacks then increased tensions will be replaced with a clash-free environment."

However, the rebel group said it was determined to defend itself against Turkish attacks.

In Baghdad, Babacan on Tuesday rejected any cease-fire.

Cease-fires are "possible between states and regular forces," Babacan said. "The problem here is that we're dealing with a terrorist organization."

Turkey has rejected several past unilateral cease-fires declared by rebels, saying it would keep fighting until all rebels surrender or are killed. In the past, rebels have pressed ahead with attacks despite cease-fires on grounds that they were defending themselves.

Sunday's ambush outraged an already frustrated public. Demonstrations erupted across the country and opposition leaders called for an immediate strike against rebel bases in Iraq, despite appeals for restraint from Iraq, the U.S. and European leaders. Funerals were being held for the slain soldiers on Tuesday in several cities.

The United States is pressing hard to keep Turkey from invading northern Iraq and possibly further destabilizing Iraq and the region.

The U.S. designates the PKK as an international terrorist organization.

Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband issued a joint statement Monday urging Iraq and Turkey to work together on the issue.

"We continue to believe that cooperation and coordination between Turkey and Iraq is the most effective means to eliminate the PKK threat," Rice and Miliband said, adding that they had proposed a three-way meeting with the U.S., Iraq and Turkey at a Nov. 2-3 meeting in Istanbul of officials from Iraq's neighboring countries.

The rebel attack occurred four days after the Turkish Parliament authorized the government to deploy troops across the border in Iraq, amid growing anger in Turkey at perceived U.S. and Iraqi failure to live up to pledges to crack down on the PKK.

Sunday's attack raised the death toll of soldiers in PKK attacks in the past two weeks to around 30.

Rebels periodically cross the border to stage attacks in their war for autonomy for Turkey's predominantly Kurdish southeast. More than 30,000 people have died in the conflict that began in 1984.

Turkey continues buildup along border (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071023/ap_on_re_mi_ea/turkey;_ylt=AqdNQzTpURC2ocidbYs0E4ELewgF)


Title: EU informal summit ends with new treaty, strong commitment on globalization chal
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 04:09:34 PM
EU informal summit ends with new treaty, strong commitment on globalization challenges
11:21, October 20, 2007

Leaders of the European Union (EU) wrapped up their two-day informal summit here Friday, with a new treaty aimed at improving EU decision-making and pledges to better deal with the challenges of globalization.
"We've managed to complete our plan at the summit," Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, which holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters at the end of the summit.

"We had a treaty yesterday, and today we went straight into high quality debate on the real issue for the future ... the issue of how Europe can successfully rise to the challenges of globalization," he said.

He said the EU is ready to tackle the challenges of globalization and intends to "lead" the world debate on globalization, in three areas in particular.

The three areas are the redesigning of global institutions, the globalization agenda, which should be an agenda of innovation but not of isolation or protectionism, and the environmental issue, especially climate change.

Climate change is the most severe challenge arising from globalization, he said.

Socrates said Portugal will prepare a declaration on globalization, which will be submitted to discussion at the Dec. 13 summit in Lisbon. Portugal will also push for the formation of a "group of wise men," who will make proposals for the EU to cope with globalization.

Meanwhile, he said the EU leaders also discussed the issue of stability of the EU financial market.

He said the leaders have confidence in the EU economy, and pledged their full support to the EU finance ministers who are drawing up a plan to increase transparency on risk assessment of the financial market.
At the joint press conference with Socrates, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the Lisbon summit has the importance of "a milestone."

"We turned a page in Lisbon. Now we look into the future confidently," he said.

He said the EU must protect its citizens without being protectionist, and should not close its doors, and also encourage others to open their doors.

On climate change, he said the momentum is with the EU after the Group of Eight summit last June.

He said the UN framework and the setting of "binding, mandatory" targets is the "right way forward." He also said that Europe must " continue to show leadership" on the issue, with the EU executive playing its part.

"I promise to bring forward an ambitious package in January to implement those decisions," he said, in order to keep up "pressure" on progress leading up to a summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

Early Friday morning, the EU leaders adopted the new treaty, the so-called Treaty of Lisbon, which will improve EU decision making and streamline EU institutions.

"The treaty is the basis of the renewed Lisbon strategy," said Barroso. "With the agreement, we can now start to build for reforms."

The new treaty will replace the defunct EU constitution, which was rejected by French and Dutch voters in referenda in 2005.

The document will be signed on Dec. 13 in Lisbon by the EU leaders, and will be signed by the member states before it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2009.

Among institutional changes, the new treaty installs a new foreign policy chief for the EU and a long-term president for the European Council to replace the current six-month rotating presidency, but it avoids any mention of what may suggest a constitutional nature, such as EU symbols -- the flag, the anthem and the motto.

It also introduces the double majority voting system in decision-making, reduces the size of the executive European Commission, and gives national parliaments more power.

The deal was possible after last-minute concessions were made to some aggressive demanders, notably Poland and Italy.

Poland threatened to veto the treaty unless the so-called "Ioannina" mechanism, which allows a minority group of states disagreeing with a resolution to freeze it for a considerable period of time, was written into the new treaty.

Under a compromised arrangement, though there will be no Ioannina clause in the treaty, the European Council, composed of 27 EU leaders, will adopt a declaration on the substance of the Ioannina mechanism, making it legally binding. In addition, the declaration will be attached with a protocol, which requires consensus in any change to the Ioannina mechanism.

Another Polish demand, a permanent advocate general on the European Court of Justice, was also satisfied.

"Poland has got everything it asked for," said Polish President Lech Kaczynski after the talks.

Italy had disagreed with the plan to redistribute EU parliamentary seats. According to the new rules, Rome's seats in the European Parliament should be cut from 78 to 72 in 2009, the biggest decline among member states.

The EU leaders finally agreed to add one more seat to Italy without breaching the 750-member cap by excluding the non-voting president of the parliament from the count.

EU informal summit ends with new treaty, strong commitment on globalization challenges (http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90856/6287186.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 04:11:06 PM
Academic handbook could form basis for EU civil code
22.10.2007 - 07:07 CET | By Mark Beunderman
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Academic researchers are finalising a big European Commission-funded legal handbook containing the core principles of EU member states' private law.

EU officials say the catalogue, to be presented to the commission in December, could in future form the basis for a full-blown European civil code.


More than 150 law researchers from across Europe are drawing up a so-called 'Draft Common Frame of Reference' which will consist of legal articles related to the exchange of goods and services - for example on leasing, damage, the right to withdraw from contracts and unjustified enrichment.

The articles will seek to describe what is the common core of European private law (in this case, mainly contract law), the bulk of which is currently covered by the 27 EU member states' national private law systems.

Private law is deeply rooted in national legal traditions which are often centuries-old, such as the UK's common law or France's Code Civil introduced by Napoleon. Any possible EU interference in the area of private law is therefore seen as highly sensitive.

One of the leading researchers involved in the project, Osnabrück university professor Christian von Bar, told EUobserver that "with the Common Frame of Reference we would have a common basis of private law, with common legal terms."

"Currently, words like 'intention' or 'damage' can have extremely different meanings in different member states' legal systems. At least with the Common Frame of Reference we would have a set of model rules covering the common core of our private law systems," he added.

Commission is cautious
The document will in an initial paperback edition count between 300 and 350 pages, but a second, full version - to be finalized by 2009 – is likely to contain no less than 3,000 pages, including not only law articles but also comments plus extensive footnotes.

Mr Von Bar stresses that at the moment, the draft framework remains a purely academic exercise which has no legal or political status in the EU.

"We as academic researchers are developing the technique - but it fully depends on a political decision of the European Commission, the [EU] Council and the European Parliament if in the end, the Common Frame of Reference will be adopted as an EU instrument", he said.

The commission - which has funded the project to the tune of €4.3 million through its research budget – publicly takes an extremely cautious line on the issue.

It says it sees the Common Frame of Reference merely as a "tool box" for updating existing and preparing new EU private law in the consumer- and business areas, for which it will "select carefully" the "parts of the draft" it needs.

"The scope is not a large scale harmonisation of private law or a European civil code," The EU executive stated in a report in July this year.

The commission's low-key approach to the project reflects member states' deep unease with even a small attempt by Brussels to harmonise their private law systems or - seen as even worse - to create an EU civil code.

MEPs have less taboos
But the European Parliament has less taboos about the similarities between the planned Common Frame of Reference - draft articles of which can already be found online - and a European Civil Code.

A parliament resolution adopted in March 2006 said "Even though the Commission denies that this is its objective, it is clear that many of the researchers and stakeholders working on the project believe that the ultimate long-term outcome will be a European code of obligations or even a full-blown European Civil Code."

"In any event the project is by far the most important initiative under way in the civil law field," it added.

German Christian Democrat MEP Klaus-Heiner Lehne said "The draft Common Frame of Reference indeed comes down to a European Civil Code. But as this is a pure academic piece of work it is up to the responsible political bodies to decide how to further proceed."

Diana Wallis, UK liberal MEP, said "At the moment, this is an exercise by academics. Will it ever form the basis of a Civil Code? I have no crystal ball. Perhaps in very many years. Currently the political climate is not ripe, but perhaps at some point it will be."

"In my own country the word 'code' sounds very foreign," said Ms Wallis who in an earlier speech remarked "Napoleon is immediately seen to be approaching the white cliffs of Dover!"

She added that the current EU treaties as well as the new Reform Treaty offer "no legal basis" for a European civil code.

What kind of EU code?
If ever adopted in the future, an EU civil code could be based on the Common Frame of Reference blueprint. It would harmonise member states' contract law, as well as other legal areas which do not strictly fall under contract law such as tort law.

It is however not expected to include the most sensitive parts of national civil law systems - notably family law and inheritance law.

A European civil code could replace domestic civil law codes or - what is more likely - exist alongside national systems as an "optional" scheme.

Consumers and businesses could in that case choose to be protected by EU civil law when operating in another member state, in order to avoid the bureaucracy and legal uncertainty of foreign contract rules.

"This could take the form of a European 'blue button' for internet purchases," Mr Lehne said. "A consumer buying a product or service on the internet may choose to be protected under EU contract rules by clicking on a blue button, next to buttons for national contract law."

Academic handbook could form basis for EU civil code (http://euobserver.com/9/24979)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 04:13:31 PM
EU, Mediterranean nations renew commitment to establish free trade zone by 2010
08:16, October 22, 2007

Trade ministers of the European Union (EU) and the southern Mediterranean countries on Sunday renewed their commitment to establish a free trade area in the region by 2010 and to enhance bilateral ties.

"The southern Mediterranean nations are important neighbors of the European Union. We are determined to deepen and strengthen ourlinks with them," said European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson at the press conference at the end of the sixth EuroMed Trade Ministerial Conference.

The meeting drew ministers from the 27 EU members and 10 southern Mediterranean countries, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia.

Mandelson said that although significant progress has been made in trade between the EU and the southern Mediterranean nations, "more needs to be done to reach the full potential of this relationship, and there is still huge untapped potential for increased trade and investment flows in this region."

"Even small steps forward bring significant benefits," he said.

The commissioner said that thanks to the association agreement under the Barcelona process the southern Mediterranean countries had doubled their trade with the EU over the last decade and their trade deficit with the EU has been cut in half.

He announced that the ministers had agreed to forge ahead with bilateral agreements on services between the EU and the Mediterranean countries which had shown an interest in undertaking these negotiations.

"I am pleased to say that already Egypt, Morocco and Israel have said they wanted to start such negotiations with the EU," he said.

He said the EU very much welcomed the strong support shown at the meeting for further South-South regional integration.

Mandelson also said that the meeting had agreed on the establishment of a group of senior officials who will be responsible for drawing up a roadmap on how to diversify and enhance EuroMed trade.

The meeting also agreed on the formation of a EuroMed business forum and network, which will have a strong contribution to the bilateral relations, he said.

EU, Mediterranean nations renew commitment to establish free trade zone by 2010 (http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90778/90858/90865/6287861.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 04:14:45 PM
The EU's 'Reform Treaty'

The creation of a committee of wise men to consider the Union's future was put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in August. Up to twelve "highly respected personalities" would be mandated to produce "a plan for the development of the EU until the year 2030", in time for the 2009 European elections.

The October paper calls for "a true European debate" rather than "the development of specific strategies behind closed doors", but concedes that "it would be wrong to underestimate" what the committee might achieve.

Most member states would prefer to ignore the proposal, claim the authors, but Germany, France and the UK have welcomed the idea, as has the Commission, albeit with more caution. However, Parliament has "lashed out at the proposals", preferring a new convention with parliamentary and civil society involvement.

The authors believe the extent to which the EU should further integrate is an unanswered question, and highlight the success of the Spinelli, Delors, Sapir and Kok reports produced by such committees in the past in influencing the direction of integration.

They outline five challenges that must be addressed for the committee to be a success:

    * Heads of state and government must ensure that Sarkozy cannot 'instrumentalise' the committee in order to achieve his political goals.
    * It should concentrate on providing political orientation rather than institutional reform, especially coming so soon after the Reform Treaty.
    * It would be wrong to evade the issue of the committee's democratic legitimacy, and it must not be allowed to negate the principle of participation.
    * The committee must not be dominated by active politicians.
    * It must take into account the current reality of EU politics, namely that it is very difficult to reconcile the differing goals and substantial compromise is necessary.

The committee should cover strategic issues to avoid getting "bogged down in details":

    * Identifying future political and strategic challenges for the EU, and establish its future political and economic significance of the EU in the global context.
    * Considering differentiation strategies to allow for multi-speed integration.
    * Considering how to politicise EU institutions and make them interest citizens.

They conclude that a committee of wise men would be able to do things that are impossible in the narrower decision-making sphere, but warns that the member states and EU institutions will have to be prepared to take note of its recommendations.

The EU's 'Reform Treaty' (http://www.euractiv.com/en/opinion/europe-future-chance-wise-men/article-167764)


Title: EU vows to shape globalisation
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2007, 04:15:58 PM
EU vows to shape globalisation
22.10.2007 - 08:30 CET | By Renata Goldirova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – Having finally put six years of institutional wrangling behind it with last week's agreement on a new treaty, the 27-nation EU says it is now confident to face outside challenges.

In December, EU leaders are expected to adopt a declaration, which should underline the bloc's change of priorities – moving from institutional matters towards issues such as globalisation and climate change.


"We have agreed that we should rule out further institutional change for years ahead", UK prime minister Gordon Brown said on Friday (19 October) – something he said he personally hoped would be the case for at least a decade.

The union now has less than two months to agree a list of new priorities linked to globalisation and subsequently move on to agreeing the best political recipe for how to deal with the phenomenon.

According to the European Commission, the EU should avoid being a passive spectator, but rather "shape" globalisation.

In practice, it is promoting the so-called principle of reciprocity - meaning trading partners should open their markets as much as the EU does.

"We should be open, but not naive. We should not close our doors, rather we should encourage others to open theirs", commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said, suggesting that openness is a two-way street and that third countries should offer comparable levels of openness to EU exporters and investors.

In addition, foreign companies wishing to do business in EU territory should not be allowed to by-pass the rules applied in the union's internal market.

Speaking at the EU summit Friday (19 October), French president Nicolas Sarkozy proved to be the strongest advocate of such a principle.

"Let's not be naive, we must demand a reciprocity", he said, complaining about the severe environmental and social requirements placed upon EU businesses, but not followed by their non-European competitors.

"We have to remind others there are rights as well as obligations", Mr Sarkozy added, singling out Russia and China.

EU vows to shape globalisation (http://euobserver.com/9/25008)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 26, 2007, 01:57:02 AM
Praise be to God,
The Beast Rises & the power he will ride is with us!
Halliluhia, Glory be to God!
Hang on we're in for a quick ride(shout)


Title: France on Turkish membership talks
Post by: Shammu on October 26, 2007, 06:40:30 PM
France on Turkish membership talks
24.10.2007 - 17:43 CET | By Jochen Luypaert
The European Commission has said membership negotiations with Turkey should be expanded in the coming weeks, challenging France's stance that such a decision should wait until a "committee of wise men" has been set up to discuss the future of the European Union.

On Wednesday (24 October), enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn said that new chapters should be opened in the membership talks between the EU and Turkey in order to encourage further reforms in the candidate member state.


"The European perspective of Turkey has proven to be a key incentive for the reforms in the country," the commissioner said during a plenary session of the European Parliament.

"[T]o have a serious political leverage to encourage reforms, the European Union itself has to stick to own its commitments. We have to keep our word (...) All member states [also] continue to support accession negotiations with Turkey," he added.

"We should therefore open further chapters once they are technically ready. At least, two chapters – consumer and health protection, and trans-European networks – could be opened in the coming weeks," he explained.

But French president Sarkozy, a vocal opponent of the accession of Turkey to the union, said earlier this year that he would only support Turkey's bid if a "committee of wise men" was set up.

This committee would be entrusted with the task to think about the future role and borders of the EU – a course of action that is perceived as a way of stalling further negotiations with Turkey.

Last week, he reiterated this vision during an EU meeting in Lisbon, saying that the EU should not open any new accession negotiation chapters before the proposed committee is put in place.

Urgently needed reforms
The tension between the Brussels and Paris stance on Turkey comes just ahead of the commission's annual report on Turkey's progress towards the EU, set to be published on 6 November.

In his speech, the commissioner already highlighted the main points of the report by welcoming the newly-elected Turkish government's promised to accelerate reforms, and by warning that some issues should be urgently addressed, in particular the freedom of expression and religion.

"The Commission welcomes the fact that the government has put the constitutional reforms at the top of its agenda, with a view to improving democracy and expanding individual freedoms," he said.

"But this should not result in postponement of reforms that are urgently needed today, such as the revision of the Turkish Penal Code and the adoption of the Law on Foundations to ensure freedom of expression and freedom of religion," he added.

The commissioner also warned that there were several other issues that were in urgent need of attention.

"Further efforts are also needed to ensure democratic supremacy of civil-military relations, protect the rights of women, children and trade unions, improve the judicial system and enhance the fight against corruption," he said.

The European Parliament mirrored this in an EU-Turkey resolution agreed on the same day.

France on Turkish membership talks (http://euobserver.com/9/25035)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 26, 2007, 07:12:27 PM
Yeh Baby,
I've been waiting for the E.U & Turkey to step up again...
I think they will be allowed to join this time & this will cause the tentions between The Muslim Nations in that region
to intensifiy against the nations that belong to the E.U...
I believe this because, One of the Main reasons that the Muslim nations are mad at us, because we're in their backyards.
How much more radical do you think they will become with the E.U Living at their Borders?
They(E.U) will push for Global Law, And they will make and enforce all Global Laws!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 26, 2007, 07:25:11 PM

I believe this because, One of the Main reasons that the Muslim nations are mad at us, because we're in their backyards.


I agree with the majority of your statement except the sentence above. It isn't because we are in their backyard. This is a statement that the liberals have been using as a reason for us to get our Troops back home and to stay out of the ME. The reason that muslims are upset with us is that we have been standing in their way of destroying Israel and in taking over the entire world with their sharia law. Their main objective is to take over the entire world and remove all Jews from the face of the earth.

We are in their backyard because of this.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on October 26, 2007, 07:28:14 PM
Their main objective is to take over the entire world and remove all Jews from the face of the earth.


And Christians, from this earth.

The reason that muslims are upset with us is that we have been standing in their way of destroying Israel and in taking over the entire world with their sharia law.


YUP!!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 26, 2007, 09:21:58 PM
I said one of the MAIN reason, Not the MAIN reason!
The MAIN reason is because God say's so, you know? ISSAC & ISHMEAL, ESAU & JACOB, CAIN & ABLE
I was just saying they will use that to insite disention among themselves..
What they hate us for, is what America stands for, freedoms that they don't agree with:
Homosexuals,christians,woman able to be equal,ect.ect.ect. Which i agree w/some..
We can't protect Isreal from Iran, Russia, China.
Back in 1979 when i lived in Japan and almost went to Iran to walk a mile for a camel (sorry old corps joke)
I started studying them, other than what i already knew from scripture...
I wrote the Pres. of Iran a couple yrs. ago and told him if he wanted find out who God is, to go ahead and attack Isreal!




Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on October 27, 2007, 03:22:04 PM
Praise be to God,
The Beast Rises & the power he will ride is with us!
Hallelujah, Glory be to God!
Hang on we're in for a quick ride(shout)
Praise be to God
I am ready.
Let them ride.
soon i will be changing this" rock and roll chair", for a Magnificent white horse .Shouting Praises to our God.
Come Lord Jesus come and let them fight it out .
alleluia ,We win and that I am sure  of..
move fast Satan give it all you've got
for their is a pit waiting just for you.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Littleboy on October 27, 2007, 04:51:07 PM
AMEN Def,
Satans FINAL destination is the Lake of Fire though..
He'll only be in the Sealed pit for a 1000 yrs.
It's ok, alot of people confuse the two,
The lord says that HELL, Satan and all the others will be cast into The Lake of Fire.
For those that don't believe it...
My ? would be:
HOW can Hell be cast into itself & WHY would God just put him back where's he's been?
Does'nt make sence and i dare not call the Lord a Liar...
Your Lovig Brother Duane





Title: Pope to meet King Abdullah of Saudi
Post by: Shammu on November 02, 2007, 10:43:47 AM
Pope to meet King Abdullah of Saudi

Richard Owen in Rome

Pope Benedict XVI is to meet King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia next week in the first talks between a Saudi monarch and a Pope.

The Vatican said the uprecedented meeting would take place at the Vatican on Tuesday. King Abdullah has been paying a visit to Britain as part of a European tour. The Pope has sought to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue, and last month October opened a three day inter faith conference at Naples which included Muslim representatives.

The Vatican does not have formal diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, and relations have been strained, with the Holy See demanding "reciprocity" in religious observance. While Muslims are free to practice their faith in the West Christians are not given the same rights in Saudi Arabia. Bibles and crosses are confiscated at the border.

From the Muslim point of view tensions were increased by the Pope himself last year after Benedict, speaking at Regensburg University in his native Bavaria, quoted from a Byzantine Emperor who had suggested Islam was inherently violent. He said he was misunderstood and later expressed his esteem for Muslims.

Last month the Pope met the Saudi Foreign Minister at Castalgandolfo, his summer residence outside Rome, to discuss the Middle East and the "defence of religious and moral values".

Pope to meet King Abdullah of Saudi (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article2784301.ece)


Title: Saudi Arabia’s King Hits a Few Bumps in His Visit to Britain
Post by: Shammu on November 02, 2007, 10:46:10 AM
Saudi Arabia’s King Hits a Few Bumps in His Visit to Britain

By SARAH LYALL
Published: November 1, 2007

LONDON, Oct. 31 — First, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia chastised his host, the British government, for not doing enough to combat terrorism. Then the acting leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party announced that he was boycotting ceremonial events for Abdullah to protest his country’s human rights policy. Then the mayor of London criticized British officials for “bending over backwards, desperate to win arms deals” with the Saudis.

Other than that, the three-day state visit by the king, the first by a Saudi ruler in 20 years, has gone more or less without a hitch, from the moment he landed on Monday. (He was met at Heathrow Airport by Prince Charles, which helped ensure that he would not encounter traffic problems coming into London.) There was a white-tie state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, and Abdullah met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. The talks, a spokesman said, centered on terrorism, Middle East peace issues, health and education, but not human rights.

Britain regards Saudi Arabia as a vital ally, for its strategic position in the Middle East, for its oil, for its antagonism toward Al Qaeda and for its influence in the Islamic world. Saudi Arabia is Britain’s largest Middle Eastern trading partner and an avid supporter of the British aerospace and weapons industry. The two countries share a relationship that is of “mutual benefit,” Queen Elizabeth said Tuesday.

In September, the two countries announced that they had signed a deal for Britain to sell 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia, for Ł4.43 billion, about $9.1 billion.

Last year, the British government announced that it was shutting down an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into accusations that the defense company BAE Systems had paid bribes to Saudi officials as part of a multibillion-dollar arms deal. Lord Goldsmith, then the attorney general, said that continuing the investigation “would cause serious damage to U.K.-Saudi security, intelligence and diplomatic cooperation.”

Saudi Arabia’s records on human rights and combating terrorism have dogged Abdullah’s trip. Last week, a research group called the Policy Exchange released a report that said that extremist material, much of it published in Saudi Arabia, was being distributed in a number of big-city mosques across Britain.

Before his visit, King Abdullah set off a minor diplomatic flurry when, in an interview with the BBC, he accused Britain of not taking the issue of terrorism seriously enough and said it had ignored Saudi intelligence “that may have been able to avert the tragedy” of the bombings in London on July 7, 2005. (In a highly unusual public response, the internal security agency MI5 posted a statement on its Web site saying that “no prior warning of the attacks was received from any source.”)

In London, Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International U.K., said, “Gordon Brown should use this meeting with the Saudi king to make absolutely clear that the extent and severity of human rights abuses in King Abdullah’s country are totally unacceptable.”

Saudi Arabia’s King Hits a Few Bumps in His Visit to Britain (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/01/world/europe/01britain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 02, 2007, 10:51:36 AM
Quote
Saudi Arabia’s King Hits a Few Bumps in His Visit to Britain

I'm not fully awake yet and will probably think of other things (not enough coffee going through my veins yet) but what I've noticed is that it seems there's more global interest in Middle East. No matter what country is visited or being visited, the middle east seems to be the central topic during that visit (Iran, Israel, Syria, Iraq) And what I think are key players in end times have come to the forefront in the news (Russia, EU, Asia)

Now look what Daniel 12 says......

Daniel 12:4 But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the Book until the time of the end. [Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously, and knowledge [of God's purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be increased and become great.


Title: Turkey closes N Iraq airspace
Post by: Shammu on November 02, 2007, 11:38:21 AM
Turkey closes N Iraq airspace
Nov 1, 2007 10:08 PM

Turkey has closed its airspace to flights to and from northern Iraq, NTV television said, as part of economic sanctions targeting groups supporting Kurdish militants operating in northern Iraq.
   
Private broadcaster NTV gave no source for its report and it was not clear whether any ban would affect US military planes operating between NATO member Turkey and Iraq.

Officials were not immediately available to confirm the NTV report.
   
Ankara is furious with the autonomous Kurdish administration of northern Iraq for failing to crack down on PKK guerrillas who are battling Turkish troops near the Turkish-Iraqi border.
   
Turkey's cabinet approved on Wednesday unspecified economic sanctions against groups deemed to support the outlawed PKK in a move widely seen as targeting Masoud Barzani's Iraqi Kurdish administration.
   
"I cannot discuss the measures we are thinking of. The measures are directed against the PKK and those that directly support them," Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek said late on Wednesday.
   
Turkish newspapers have mentioned a flight ban as one of the possible measures, along with restrictions on traffic through the Habur border gate with Iraq, curbs on exports of electricity and cement to northern Iraq and a clampdown on the operations of firms belonging to Barzani in Turkey.
   
On Tuesday, airline officials said Turkey's civil aviation authority had denied Istanbul-based charter airline Tarhan Tower permission to fly two of its three weekly flights to Arbil, Barzani's capital, this week.
   
The United States uses Turkey's Incirlik airbase to provide logistical support to its forces in Iraq, though it has very few troops in the mainly Kurdish and relatively peaceful north of that country.
   
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will discuss the PKK issue with Turkish leaders in Ankara on Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will then hold talks next Monday in Washington with US President George W Bush.

Turkey closes N Iraq airspace (http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1320238/1425722)


Title: EU seeks leadership trio for new institutions
Post by: Shammu on November 06, 2007, 07:09:45 AM
EU seeks leadership trio for new institutions
Mon Nov 5, 2007 12:08pm EST

By Yves Clarisse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Even before European Union leaders sign a treaty reforming the bloc's institutions next month, speculation is rife in Brussels about who will take the three key leadership jobs in the new EU structure from 2009.

The reform treaty provides for a long-term president of the European Council of national leaders, appointed for a renewable two-and-a-half year term, a strengthened foreign policy chief at the head of an EU foreign service, and a president of the executive European Commission.

Diplomats say Jose Manuel Barroso, the centre-right former Portuguese prime minister, has a good chance of a second term as Commission president in 2009 thanks to the backing of France and Germany, whose previous leaders were cool towards him.

Barroso, 51, has implemented a relatively modest vision of the EU executive's role, preserving the single market, reducing new legislation to a trickle, axing some old regulations and focusing on the economy and environment rather than on politics.

A senior Commission official called Barroso's ambition for a second five-year term "the worst kept secret in Brussels".

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, 53, the EU's longest-serving leader, has emerged as favorite for the new job of president of the European Council, with backing from Paris, Berlin and smaller EU states -- if he wants it, diplomats say.

The president would prepare and chair the bloc's four annual summits and be the EU's top face on the world stage.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy cited both Juncker and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as good candidates for the post last month, but diplomats say Blair, 54, would face hurdles because of Britain's semi-detached membership of the EU.

IN THE THICK

"Britain is not in the euro, not in Schengen (zone of borderless travel), not in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and now it has opted out of police and judicial cooperation," one senior diplomat said. "That's a lot, and when you realize that Blair wanted these new exceptions, it's too much."

By contrast, Juncker already chairs the Eurogroup of finance ministers of the 13 member states that share the single currency and has been in the thick of every EU compromise since he became head of government in 1995.

The chain-smoking Christian Democrat, who bridges most EU political divides but is seen by London as too much of a European federalist, chose to stay in Luxembourg rather than seek the Commission presidency in 2004.

If two moderate conservatives from small countries get two of the top jobs, the third member of the leadership triangle is likely to be a socialist from a bigger member state, for reasons of political and geographical balance.

That description fits perfectly with Javier Solana, the EU's current foreign policy chief, who is said by diplomats to be keen to stay on, although he will turn 67 in July 2009 and will have been in the job for a decade.

Solana, a former Spanish foreign minister and NATO chief, has built up the role through patient diplomacy, deferring to the big EU nations and staying onside with the United States.

EU diplomats said he might stay on as a bridge for a few months until a new European Commission is appointed in late 2009, but a new face is likely to take over after that.

Among possible contenders are former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, respected but perhaps too outspoken for some, and current EU enlargement chief, Olli Rehn of Finland. But none is a socialist.

If Juncker goes to the European Council, diplomats say it will be hard to find a stable successor as Eurogroup chairman, an increasingly important role. Few euro zone finance ministers are guaranteed his longevity in domestic office.

If neither Juncker nor Blair runs, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who proved a skilled negotiator during Dublin's 2004 EU presidency, is seen by some EU officials as a possible compromise candidate.

EU seeks leadership trio for new institutions (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL0525681620071105?sp=true)


Title: Relief as EU leaders strike treaty deal
Post by: Shammu on November 06, 2007, 07:11:44 AM
Relief as EU leaders strike treaty deal
Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:52pm EDT

By Ingrid Melander and Mark John

LISBON (Reuters) - European Union leaders voiced relief at clinching a deal on Friday on a treaty to reform the 27-nation bloc's institutions, replacing a defunct constitution and ending a two-year crisis of confidence in Europe's future.

"It's an important page in the history of Europe. Europe is now stronger, more confident and ready to face the challenges in the future," Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said after brokering agreement at an EU summit.

After their post-midnight deal, leaders hugged each other and toasted with champagne a treaty that will be signed on December 13 in Lisbon.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who faces uproar at home over his refusal to put the treaty to a referendum, declined the champagne. For enthusiastic European integrationists, on the other hand, celebration was tinged with regret for the constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the political mandate for the treaty in June, told reporters: "Certain items had to be taken out of the treaty but after what happened at the referendums we could not just go back with the same text. People would say that is not democratic."

This time, only Ireland is likely to hold a referendum.

Provided it is ratified by all 27 member states, the treaty will take effect in 2009 giving the EU a long-term president, a more powerful foreign policy chief, more democratic decision making and more say for the European and national parliaments.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested former British Prime Minister Tony Blair or veteran Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker would make excellent candidates for the new president's job. He also hinted at endorsing Jose Manuel Barroso for a second term as president of the European Commission.

NEW PRIORITIES

The more modest treaty is not styled a constitution and omits any mention of an EU anthem or flag, but it retains all the key reforms in the original charter.

Barroso told a news conference: "We have said many times that reform is not an end in itself. With these institutions now, we can look after the most important priorities for our citizens."

To underline the point, the Portuguese presidency set out new priorities in a post-summit statement, including strengthening Europe's response to globalization, working for transparency on financial markets, and pressing ahead with ambitious climate change and renewable energy targets.

Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel issued a joint statement calling for market solutions in response to recent financial turmoil while urging EU finance ministers to study ways of increasing transparency to improve risk management in crises.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the agreement marked an end to "six years of institutional navel-gazing".

The opposition Conservatives and the mass-circulation Sun newspaper stepped up their campaign for Brown to give Britons a vote on the treaty, accusing him of breaking a promise to hold a plebiscite on the old charter.

"Brown surrenders Britain's power to Europe over dinner," said the tabloid Sun newspaper in a double page spread under the banner headline "The Last Supper" likening the British prime minister to Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus Christ.

In the final wrangling, Italy won one extra seat in the European Parliament. Poland won a guarantee that a provision allowing small groups of states to delay EU decisions could only be overturned by unanimity, plus a permanent advocate-general's job at the European Court of Justice for a Pole.

There were also concessions on side issues to Austria, Bulgaria and the European Parliament in a typical package deal.

Warsaw, which before the start of the two-day summit had threatened to delay the talks if its demands on new voting arrangements were not met, said its key demand had been met.

"Poland achieved all it wanted," President Lech Kaczynski told reporters.

Poland had fought against the changed voting system at a bitter summit in June, saying it would give too much power to Germany, Europe's most populous nation, at Warsaw's expense.

Other leaders ascribed Kaczynski's brinkmanship to the fact that Poland holds an early parliamentary election on Sunday. The president's brother, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is fighting for re-election and flagging in opinion polls.

Relief as EU leaders strike treaty deal (http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL182769520071019?sp=true)


Title: EU Holds Talks with Israelis, Palestinians; Praises Olmert
Post by: Shammu on November 06, 2007, 07:24:46 AM
EU Holds Talks with Israelis, Palestinians; Praises Olmert

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  In Lisbon, the EU will try to pave the way for a later US meeting on Mideast peace
 
Foreign ministers from Israel and the Palestinian territories are holding talks with EU officials during a two-day conference in Lisbon. They are a prelude to upcoming discussions in the US on Palestinian statehood.

The foreign ministers will talk separately with senior European Union in Lisbon at the 9th Euro-Mediterranean Conference which runs until Tuesday, Nov. 6. Discussions are expected to focus on the Middle East peace process.

Tensions are now high in the Middle East after Israeli air and ground strikes on Sunday killed four Palestinians, including three civilians. Palestinian militants fired six missiles at western Israel, causing a power outage in one town.

There are not expected to be any direct talks between Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart, Riyad Malki, but the two of them are expected to face each other during a dinner Monday with fellow foreign ministers from the EU and the Mediterranean area.

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership was set up in 1995 and aims on establishing a common area of peace and security and works toward enhancing cooperation between the EU and 10 of its southern neighbors.

Praise for Olmert

The European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana on Monday praised the "constructive" approach of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the upcoming US-sponsored conference on the Middle East, saying it could help bring peace to the region.

Preparations are being made for the international conference to be held later this year in Annapolis, Maryland, although no specific date has been set.

"Olmert yesterday gave a very constructive speech, one of his best in recent times," Solana said. "If that is the spirit with which he is approaching the [Middle East peace] process, I think we have many chances of having a positive outcome."

Solana was addressing reporters in Lisbon ahead of talks between senior EU officials and the foreign ministers of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Speaking in Israel on Sunday, Olmert said he was willing to deal with the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the conference.

"[The conference] will be the start of a future process ... we will enter into intense and continuous negotiations," Olmert said.

Before Bush leaves office

Many of the players in these upcoming negotiations have said they hope that a two-state solution to the complex Israeli-Palestinian problem can be arrived at before US President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009.

After talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she hoped the peace conference in the United States could be the "launching pad" for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations leading the way to a Palestinian state.

"Negotiations that I sincerely hope, as Prime Minister Olmert said last night, could achieve their goals in the time remaining in the Bush administration," she said.

Rice met Palestinian leaders one day after talks in Israel on her eighth visit to the region this year.

"All the parties agree and are determined to reach an agreement before the end of Bush's term in office and we are determined that this serves as our deadline and we are working towards that," said Abbas.

Olmert also said he hoped for the negotiations could be completed before January 2009. And speaking in Lisbon, the EU's Solana said Europe shared Olmert's hopes of seeing the peace process bring about results by that date.

The EU's foreign policy chief, whose official title is the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, plans to visit the region next week.

"I hope to see for myself what are the chances of success. I think a success is possible," Solana said.

EU Holds Talks with Israelis, Palestinians; Praises Olmert (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2871298,00.html)


Title: EU should create core membership
Post by: Shammu on November 07, 2007, 09:46:17 PM
EU should create core membership

07.11.2007 - 09:24 CET   | By Honor Mahony
Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested that EU member states should have the possibility to become just part members of the bloc.

Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday (6 November), the veteran politician noted that without being fully conscious of the move, Britain is already moving towards this status.


"It must be possible not only to be a full member," said Mr Juncker, according to Austrian news agency APA.

"Without noticing it, the British are on their way to becoming part members," he noted, with London not taking part in the single European currency or the EU's borderless zone, the Schengen area, and lately having opted out of key areas in the new EU treaty, such as police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

Mr Juncker, who also heads the 13-nation eurozone, said that he believed the EU should develop a core of EU countries. Other countries who do not want to fully take part in all policies should be able to circle around this core and should be able to integrate to a greater or lesser extent in various areas.

In his opinion, the EU is heading towards a "crash" if it does not develop in this way.

This is not the first time that EU politicians have spoken about a core centre of countries that push ahead with integration leaving others to decide whether they want to join at a later date.

The main idea has taken various names include two-speed Europe, multi-speed Europe, Europe ŕ la carte, a Europe of variable geometry, a concentric Europe and a core Europe.

However, in the past, ad hoc suggestions for greater co-operation among some countries have given rise to strong criticism with some member states fearing it will mean a directoire run by big states such as France and Germany, or that it would eventually lead to the break up of the EU.

The new EU reform treaty, supposed to come into force by early 2009, contains the means for pro-integration states to move ahead however, so long as there is a minimum of nine states involved.

EU should create core membership (http://euobserver.com/9/25096)


Title: Peres and Abbas to address Turkish Parliament next week
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 01:00:51 AM
Peres and Abbas to address Turkish Parliament next week
Greer Fay Cashman , THE JERUSALEM POST    Nov. 6, 2007

President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to address the Turkish Parliament next week during their visits to Turkey as official guests of President Abdullah Gul.

Peres made the announcement on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert after the two met for a working session.

Olmert said no Israeli president had ever before addressed a Muslim parliament.

The invitation to Peres to visit Turkey is of great significance, he said, and the invitation to speak in the parliament "is an extraordinary event."

Both Olmert and Peres emphasized the good relations that exist between Turkey and Israel. Turkey could be an important facilitator in enabling Israel to have good relations with other Muslim countries, they said.

Peres said Turkey could "play a first-tier role in the peace process," adding that the country's moderate and democratic nature served as a counterweight to the extremist Islam embodied by Iran.

"If the Turkish way wins, all of us win - Muslims and Jews, Arabs and Israelis," Peres said.

The two presidents will address the parliament in Ankara on November 12, said Peres spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch.

Citing Peres's statesmanship and popularity abroad, Olmert said he was sure Peres would be received with great excitement in Turkey and that he would convey Israel's message in a powerful manner.

Asked by a reporter whether he would raise the issue of the kidnapped IDF soldiers while in Turkey, Peres replied that there was no visit abroad by Israeli officials in which the matter was not raised.

In addition to the positive ties Israel enjoys with Turkey today, Peres said, it should not be forgotten that Turkey provided a haven for Jews fleeing from the Spanish Inquisition more than 500 years ago. He said he was convinced that Turkey could also play "a very important role" politically and economically in creating a climate for peace in the Middle East.

Peres said he felt "very optimistic" about the upcoming Annapolis summit, especially after speaking to Arab leaders.

"I feel that they are also optimistic," he said, adding that America's involvement aided both sides.

Turkey's influence exceeds its borders, Peres said, and the Turkish school of thought could lead to peace.

Olmert said he expected the Annapolis meeting to take place at the end of the month, but could not name a specific date because the date had not yet been determined by the Americans.

If Israel succeeds in its negotiations with the Palestinians, he said, it will be beneficial to future negotiations with the Syrians.

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, an aide to Abbas, said the visit to Turkey was "part of the Palestinian relationship with friendly countries to coordinate positions and gain support, particularly before the Annapolis conference."

In September, Turkey demanded an apology from Israel after it said IAF jets crossed into Turkish airspace and jettisoned fuel tanks during a raid on a military target in Syria. Israel hasn't officially confirmed the raid, but Olmert offered an ambiguous apology last week, saying, "If Israeli planes indeed penetrated Turkish airspace," Israel regretted any harm that "might have been caused."

In an interview published Tuesday in Ma'ariv, Gul said, "We regard the matter as closed and hope it won't recur."

Peres and Abbas to address Turkish Parliament next week (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1192380751705&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: Re: Peres and Abbas to address Turkish Parliament next week
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 01:04:45 AM

Oh this is big, oh this is big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Turkey has just formally announced they are on in picture now.


Title: Re: Peres and Abbas to address Turkish Parliament next week
Post by: nChrist on November 09, 2007, 01:12:20 AM
Oh this is big, oh this is big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Turkey has just formally announced they are on in picture now.

Brother Bob,

There's really been quite a few big events recently that seem to be parts of the puzzle falling together. These are exciting times.

Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 01:15:21 AM
Brother Bob,

There's really been quite a few big events recently that seem to be parts of the puzzle falling together. These are exciting times.

Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!

AMEN brother AMEN!!!!!!!


Title: EU leaders will fly across Europe just to sign treaty
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 03:46:39 PM
EU leaders will fly across Europe just to sign treaty


David Gow in Brussels
Tuesday November 6, 2007
The Guardian

The European Union opened itself up to criticism from eurosceptics and environmentalists yesterday after agreeing to split next month's summit of 27 heads of state and government between Lisbon and Brussels. Barring a last-minute change of heart, 26 presidents and prime ministers will fly by private jet to Lisbon, swiftly sign the contentious new EU treaty and hop back onto their planes, returning to Brussels for the normal sumptuous summit dinner and discussions about climate change, the Middle East crisis and the credit crunch.

Article continues
Portugal, currently holding the EU presidency, insists that the new treaty be signed by the 27 leaders in its capital on December 13. That will ensure that the treaty, the successor to the doomed constitution, will go into history as the Treaty of Lisbon in the manner of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty and the 2001 Nice Treaty. Belgium, however, insists that the summit resume its business in its capital on the nights of December 13 and 14, in accordance with the 2001 treaty. Neither side will back down.

The decision by EU leaders to cave in to the demands of Portugal and Belgium that they fly at least 48,000 person-miles to sign into being a "reform" treaty designed to bring Europe "closer to its citizens" is being denounced as a wasteful extra cost and an unnecessarily increased carbon footprint.

A series of top-level meetings to resolve the diplomatic impasse has failed, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who suggested staying in Lisbon for the whole summit, recanting, followed by the British, French and Italians.

Experts calculate that the split summit will add between 10 and 15 extra tonnes of CO2 to the carbon footprint of an EU that sees itself as the global champion of the fight against global warming - on top of the 20,000 tonnes produced by the monthly journeys to Strasbourg of MEPs, commissioners, officials and aides.

EU leaders will fly across Europe just to sign treaty (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 09, 2007, 04:09:44 PM
EU leaders will fly across Europe just to sign treaty


David Gow in Brussels
Tuesday November 6, 2007
The Guardian

The European Union opened itself up to criticism from eurosceptics and environmentalists yesterday after agreeing to split next month's summit of 27 heads of state and government between Lisbon and Brussels. Barring a last-minute change of heart, 26 presidents and prime ministers will fly by private jet to Lisbon, swiftly sign the contentious new EU treaty and hop back onto their planes, returning to Brussels for the normal sumptuous summit dinner and discussions about climate change, the Middle East crisis and the credit crunch.

Article continues
Portugal, currently holding the EU presidency, insists that the new treaty be signed by the 27 leaders in its capital on December 13. That will ensure that the treaty, the successor to the doomed constitution, will go into history as the Treaty of Lisbon in the manner of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty and the 2001 Nice Treaty. Belgium, however, insists that the summit resume its business in its capital on the nights of December 13 and 14, in accordance with the 2001 treaty. Neither side will back down.

The decision by EU leaders to cave in to the demands of Portugal and Belgium that they fly at least 48,000 person-miles to sign into being a "reform" treaty designed to bring Europe "closer to its citizens" is being denounced as a wasteful extra cost and an unnecessarily increased carbon footprint.

A series of top-level meetings to resolve the diplomatic impasse has failed, with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, who suggested staying in Lisbon for the whole summit, recanting, followed by the British, French and Italians.

Experts calculate that the split summit will add between 10 and 15 extra tonnes of CO2 to the carbon footprint of an EU that sees itself as the global champion of the fight against global warming - on top of the 20,000 tonnes produced by the monthly journeys to Strasbourg of MEPs, commissioners, officials and aides.

EU leaders will fly across Europe just to sign treaty (http://www.guardian.co.uk/)
DreamWeaver Hello, please tell me is Pastor Roger Ok
Love in Jesus Def..


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 09, 2007, 04:22:18 PM
Hello Def,

Pastor Roger is at his sons graduation from Boot Camp. He should be back in a few days.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 09, 2007, 04:47:20 PM
Hello Def,

Pastor Roger is at his sons graduation from Boot Camp. He should be back in a few days.
thank you .
Dreamweaver would you please pray for me.
Satan is practicing is bark on me again
 and i know that what is on the outside is not inside
He jumps at every chance and right  now he rattling and hissing
but  i need some prayer for strenght  here please.
He is using my work for christ against me, and it is at the door.
Love in Jesus Def


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on November 09, 2007, 05:08:41 PM
I am sure that on here somewhere is a list of what countries are considered to be the 10 +1 little horn.  Since I am now ready through Daniel again I'd really like to see that list. 
Thanks.  :)

In Chirst,
Grammyluv


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 09, 2007, 05:16:26 PM
thank you .
Dreamweaver would you please pray for me.
Satan is practicing is bark on me again
 and i know that what is on the outside is not inside
He jumps at every chance and right  now he rattling and hissing
but  i need some prayer for strenght  here please.
He is using my work for christ against me, and it is at the door.
Love in Jesus Def
Dreamweaver ,the reason i ask for the prayers
is because Jesus ask us to do so, to ask so i did.. hope it does not take to much  to send me a little prayer my way,
I as i will do every day your way
.. love in Jesus  Def.(+¸+)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 10, 2007, 12:30:32 AM
thank you .
Dreamweaver would you please pray for me.
Satan is practicing is bark on me again
 and i know that what is on the outside is not inside
He jumps at every chance and right  now he rattling and hissing
but  i need some prayer for strenght  here please.
He is using my work for christ against me, and it is at the door.
Love in Jesus Def

Hello Sister Def,

You will be and are in our prayers. Sister, I think that you know that many of us pray for each other every day, and I would appreciate you remembering me in your prayers. We all have needs and GOD loves to hear our prayers. Prayer is a part of our love for each other and our fellowship.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Colossians 3:15-16 NASB
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2007, 02:29:15 AM
I am sure that on here somewhere is a list of what countries are considered to be the 10 +1 little horn.  Since I am now ready through Daniel again I'd really like to see that list. 
Thanks.  :)

In Chirst,
Grammyluv

Replies # 18 and 20 on page two of this thread.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on November 10, 2007, 10:08:31 AM
Why the EU is called the Revived Roman Empire. The Roman Empire at the height of it's existence:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/800px-RomanEmpire_117svg.png)


The current European Union:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v311/randers/EU_MAP_2007.jpg)


There are many other nations that are currently under consideration to be added to the EU that were a part of the original Roman Empire.

Good Morning Pastor Roger!
Is there a link where I can see these maps a bit larger?  The ol' eyesight isn't what it used to be.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2007, 10:43:04 AM
Right click on them and select "View Image" it should give you a larger image.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 10, 2007, 04:47:02 PM
Hello Sister Def,

You will be and are in our prayers. Sister, I think that you know that many of us pray for each other every day, and I would appreciate you remembering me in your prayers. We all have needs and GOD loves to hear our prayers. Prayer is a part of our love for each other and our fellowship.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Colossians 3:15-16 NASB
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
thank you brother Tom i feel safe now.
you see I gave what was holy to the dogs and my pearls before the swine very close to me.
and they turn against me and now they are tearing me to pieces
you see in a wheel chair  you try spreading around you
and Tom, it back fired big time,
it is Ok now that i put it in the open.
i am stronger today  after laying it at Jesus feet.and asking for prayers it took courage for me to ask,
My brother and sisters ,Tom ,thank you for being with me.
If yo go to this site (www.dolesparklers.ca
                              click on photos red carpet
                             and enter this 'nip'   s2368dole2858284
                             and then click on"sparkle"
you will see a lady in a wheel chair with a little chihuahua (i am in a snow suite cause it started to be cold here ,and in a wheel chair it is cold out side.)it is the only way i can say with a picture God bless you and have a nice thanksgiving to you all.
Love in Jesus Def
please let me know if you get the picture
you will see my guardian angel
he is the bait when i go fishing (fisher of men)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 10, 2007, 05:24:26 PM
thank you brother Tom i feel safe now.
you see I gave what was holy to the dogs and my pearls before the swine very close to me.
and they turn against me and now they are tearing me to pieces
you see in a wheel chair  you try spreading around you
and Tom, it back fired big time,
it is Ok now that i put it in the open.
i am stronger today  after laying it at Jesus feet.and asking for prayers it took courage for me to ask,
My brother and sisters ,Tom ,thank you for being with me.
If yo go to this site (www.dolesparklers.ca
                              click on photos red carpet
                             and enter this 'nip'   s2368dole2858284
                             and then click on"sparkle"
you will see a lady in a wheel chair with a little chihuahua (i am in a snow suite cause it started to be cold here ,and in a wheel chair it is cold out side.)it is the only way i can say with a picture God bless you and have a nice thanksgiving to you all.
Love in Jesus Def
please let me know if you get the picture
you will see my guardian angel
he is the bait when i go fishing (fisher of men)
just want to mention that the picture was taken by  a paparazzi!!it was a supprise that is what my little dog brings supprise ..Love in Jesus DEF


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 10, 2007, 05:43:14 PM
You look like you, and your little chihuahua had fun sister, congratulations. :D :D


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 10, 2007, 05:55:38 PM
You look like you, and your little chihuahua had fun sister, congratulations. :D :D
DreamWeaver you got it,cool so cool..
As for all those rumors of war our King Jesus Christ says
  "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour
   in which the son of Man is coming.(Matthew 25:13 NKJ)
Come Lord Jesus Come,come.
love in Jesus Def (';')


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 10, 2007, 06:03:58 PM

As for all those rumors of war our King Jesus Christ says
  "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour
   in which the son of Man is coming.(Matthew 25:13 NKJ)
Come Lord Jesus Come,come.
love in Jesus Def (';')

AMEN def

Today would be a good day for Christ to call us home, in the mean time.

KEEP LOOKING UP!!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 10, 2007, 06:14:43 PM
AMEN def

Today would be a good day for Christ to call us home, in the mean time.

KEEP LOOKING UP!!
AMEN


Title: EU economy strong, but clouds gathering, Almunia warns
Post by: Shammu on November 11, 2007, 06:48:24 AM
EU economy strong, but clouds gathering, Almunia warns

09.11.2007 - 17:31 CET
By Jochen Luypaert

Recent financial turmoil, the US economic slowdown and soaring oil prices are taking their toll on the EU economy, cutting growth forecasts and upping inflation, according to the European Commission.

On Friday (9 November), economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia presented the commission's economic forecasts for 2007 and the coming two years.

While Mr Almunia generally spoke in a positive tone about the EU economy, he stressed that several problems were dragging down the economic outlook of the bloc.

"Clouds have clearly gathered on the horizon with this summer's turbulence in the financial markets, the US slowdown and the ever-rising oil prices," the commissioner warned, revising down the growth prospects of the coming two years.

"This year, for 2007, we are estimating today a growth rate of 2.9%, that's quite a good one, slightly higher than in our interim forecast in September. (...) The same happens in the euro area, 2.6% for this year," the commissioner said during the press conference.

But he added that "for next year, growth is expected too slow down somewhat" both in the EU and in the euro area, with the commission forecasting 2.4% growth in the EU in 2008-2009, and 2.2% (2008) and 2.1% (2009) in the eurozone.

The commission pointed to possible disruptions in financial markets and the possibility of a sharper or more protracted economic slowdown in the US when identifying the main risks to growth.

Thanks in part to the current healthy state of the European economy, the budget deficit for 2007 in both the EU and the euro area is forecasted to fall to its lowest level in recent years, averaging 1.1% of GDP in the EU and 0.8% in the euro area.

In addition, the level of general government debt is on the decline, expected to reach 63.4% of GDP in the euroarea by 2009 and to fall below 60% in the EU in 2007.

Millions of new jobs
Unemployment meanwile is likely to continue to drop, with new jobs being created in both the EU and the eurozone.

The commission estimated that an additional 4.5 million jobs – 3.2 million in the eurozone - will be created in the EU the next two years, adding to the 3.5 million jobs created in 2007.

As a result, employment is expected by 2009 to drop from the current 7.3% to 7.1% in the euro area and in the EU from the current 7% to 6.6% with labour shortages becoming more common.

On the issue of inflation, Mr Almunia warned that oil and commodity prices were going up. Currently, oil prices are nearing the $100 per barrel threshold.

The inflationary pressures of these exceptionally high oil prices are partially offset by the rising strength of the euro on exchange rate markets, with Europe paying for its oil in cheap dollars.

EU economy strong, but clouds gathering, Almunia warns (http://euobserver.com/9/25120)


Title: Global to increase investments in Turkey
Post by: Shammu on November 11, 2007, 06:57:03 AM
Global to increase investments in Turkey

10 November 2007 - Issue : 755

Global Investment House (Global), the largest investment company in the Persian Gulf region, plans to increase its investments from 75 million Euro to 300 million Euro by the end of 2008. This move will further gain a stronger foothold in Turkey, it was reported. Global Chairman and Managing Director Maha K. Al-Ghunaim said Turkey has transformed its economy into a rising star in just half a decade. The company is managing a total sum of assets worth 8.5 billion Euro and is enticing more clients to Turkey.

Al-Ghunaim said at a meeting in Istanbul that Turkey’s dynamic economy and stability are key factors which attract foreign investments towards Turkey. She preferred Istanbul to hold their first private equity seminar as Turkey’s opportunities for Global are important. She added: “Turkey is extremely important for us.” Global manages 1.5 billion Euro in private equity, and this figure makes it one of the biggest investment groups in the region. The company also steers another 1.5 billion Euro in capital belonging to its clients as private equity. Al- Ghunaim said the company is ready to serve the Turkish private sector with its assets. The Kuwaiti company already has a five percent share in TAV, Turkey’s leading airport operator, which they bought last year for 75 million Euro. “Our investment in TAV is a real success story,” she emphasised and pointed to their support for TAV as an illustration of their capacity to help Turkish companies.

“We are providing financial support for TAV in its expansion in the region. We are helping them in their operations in Kuwait, and we will continue backing them anywhere we have an office,” she was quoted as saying. A whole range of clients are working with Al-Ghunaim’s company, from government institutions to family firms and large conglomerates.
Among them, six companies, each of which has annual growth rates of over 40 percent, are seriously interested in Turkey, Al-Ghunaim noted. She stressed that Turkey’s relations with the EU are very crucial for the Gulf countries. “The whole world has been looking at Turkey to see whether it will become a part of Europe. But for us, regardless of the outcome of its relations with Europe - although accession would be an extremely positive development - Turkey is really an important country,” said Al-Ghunaim.

She noted that they will first consider possible acquisition opportunities as they step in and then will look at strategic partnership possibilities. The political risk factors, the largest of which is the looming possibility of a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to eliminate Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror camps there, are not too worrying for the Kuwaiti businesswoman, it was reported. She alluded to the war-torn past of her own country and said they were already well accustomed to such strains. “We believe in the region,” she noted, adding that whatever happens, it will not deter eager investors.

However, Al-Ghunaim believes educating investors is still a vital need, which Turkey, as well as companies like Global, must always consider. Global was established to meet the high expectations of local and international clients and to enhance the investment service industry in Kuwait. Global’s primary role is to promote investment opportunities on the Arabian Gulf Peninsula to international investors through expert financial engineering.

Global to increase investments in Turkey (http://www.neurope.eu/articles/79803.php)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 11, 2007, 07:36:23 AM
Quote
Def Said:
just want to mention that the picture was taken by  a paparazzi!!it was a supprise that is what my little dog brings supprise ..Love in Jesus DEF

Hello Sister Def,

That's a beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing it. Even your little dog is smiling.

Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/verse/Verse010.gif)
   


Title: EU's border-free zone to expand
Post by: Shammu on November 12, 2007, 03:07:54 PM
EU's border-free zone to expand
By Oana Lungescu
BBC European affairs correspondent, Brussels

The European Union has decided to scrap border controls with nine of its newest members from next month.

People will be able to move freely across Europe from Portugal to Estonia.

The Schengen free travel area will include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta.

The nine countries joined the EU in 2004. EU ministers will confirm the decision next month, after consulting the European Parliament.

At one minute past midnight on 21 December passport checks will be scrapped at land and sea borders across much of eastern Europe.

It is a Christmas present for millions of people from the former communist bloc, who had long complained they did not enjoy full freedom to travel, despite being part of the EU.

They will still have to show their passports at airports in most of continental Europe, but only until March.

Criminals too will be able to travel freely from the Baltics to the English Channel.

But after years of training and preparations, all the nine countries have been declared ready, including Slovakia, whose mountainous border with Ukraine had caused particular concern.

All of them have now been connected to the Schengen Information System, a huge police database with information on hundreds of thousands of wanted people and stolen cars.

The Schengen area, created in 1985 in the Luxembourg village of the same name, currently includes 13 EU countries, plus Norway and Iceland, but not Britain and Ireland, which retain border controls.

Cyprus and Switzerland are also expected to join the free travel area next year.

However, Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in January, still have more work to do to meet security criteria and will have to wait for several more years.

EU's border-free zone to expand (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7086985.stm)


Title: Increased EU Police Co-operation
Post by: Shammu on November 12, 2007, 03:11:34 PM
Increased EU Police Co-operation
Photo: Jessica Gow / Pressens Bild

Guidelines on how the police forces of EU member states can act within the union was hammered out amongst justice ministers in Brussels Thursday.
 
After the terror attack in Madrid 2004, European heads of state expressed statements of intent which formed the basis for this week’s agreement.  The new rules include how police cooperation and reaction forces should be developed across borders.

Swedish Minister of Justice Beatrice Ask told news agency TT, that it is up to each individual nation to ask for help in crisis situations.  Sweden is positive to the changes and Ask underlines that the measures will also create a much stronger preparedness for crises.  While there are no immediate consequences for Sweden, Ask is considering a proposition to present to the Swedish parliament outlining Swedish cooperation with EU colleagues.

The Social Democrats have asked for more detailed information before they give their support.  This type of cooperation allows foreign officials to act on Swedish soil, a move that requires at least a 3/4 majority in Parliament.

Increased EU Police Co-operation (http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/International/nyhetssidor/artikel.asp?ProgramID=2054&Nyheter=&artikel=1707533)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 12, 2007, 04:22:47 PM
Hello Sister Def,

That's a beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing it. Even your little dog is smiling.

Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/verse/Verse010.gif)
  
Thank you  brotherTom,
both my little dog and I work For Our Loving Savior Our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of our Father in heaven
please can i say that I am not as big as the picture shows
 for i am just a 130 pound (pride you know _female_ pride )
but the situation of the cold ,call for the suit.had to say that...lol ;)
because if i would let myself go to get that big i would suffocate in my sleep and die.
so fasting has a pleasure side for me at times.Praise the Lord .thank you Jesus
Love in Jesus Tom
I am glad I clear that  :D


Title: Solana: Iranian issue must not be ignored
Post by: Shammu on November 14, 2007, 08:05:13 PM
Solana: Iranian issue must not be ignored

EU foreign policy chief meets with Minister Mofaz in Jerusalem. Solana composing report on Tehran's nuclear progress, which will be submitted at the same time as UN nuclear watchdog's report. Reports to be used as basis for third round of sanctions against Islamic republic

Roni Sofer
Published: 11.14.07, 13:11Israel News

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said Wednesday that "the remarks made by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed Elbaradei, that there is no information on Iran's military nuclear plan were a very bad surprise.

"The report he is composing is extremely important for the imposition of further sanctions on Iran, both at the UN Security Council and in the European Union," Mofaz, who in charge of the strategic relations between Israel and the United States, told EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana during a meeting in Jerusalem.

Solana, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday after visits to Cairo and Ramallah, is composing a report on Iran's nuclear progress. This report is scheduled to be submitted at the same time as the IAEA report.

The two reports, which will be submitted in the coming days, will be used as the basis for a decision by the Security Council's five permanent members and Germany regarding a third rounds of sanctions against Tehran.

Solana's report is significant also in terms of a possibility of imposing independent sanctions on Iran by the EU, a move which is being advanced by France.

Solana met Wednesday morning with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In his meeting with Mofaza, he conveyed the message that Europe has no plans to ignore reality.

Ignoring reality may halt the international move against Iran, he said.
 
"China and Russia were looking for an excuse to avoid such sanctions," Mofaz told Solana.

Mofaz: Goodwill not enough

The EU foreign policy chief is expected to meet with President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni later in the day.

"I hope the European Union will be part of the united front against an Iranian nuclear progress, and will push and encourage the sanctions. The Iranian strategy is an attempt to stall, while the nuclear program moves forward fast," the minister said.

Addressing the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast peace conference, Mofaz told Solana, "I have a lot of experience with the Palestinians. Over the past 14 years we have seen many drafts which have not been implemented.

"I hope that the main product of the Annapolis conference will be bolstering the Palestinian Authority. At the moment the Palestinians are unable to control cities in the West Bank. Goodwill is not enough.

"They must have the power in every aspect. The Palestinians have asked for a timetable for the implementation of the permanent agreement, but processes cannot be cut short; we refer to a permanent agreement in terms of months. I do not see a permanent agreement before an interim agreement."

Solana: Iranian issue must not be ignored (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3471374,00.html)


Title: Olmert meets with EU envoy Solana
Post by: Shammu on November 14, 2007, 08:25:58 PM
Olmert meets with EU envoy Solana
14 Nov 2007

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning (Wednesday), 14 November 2707, held a working meeting with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, mainly on preparations for the Annapolis meeting.  The two men discussed scenarios ahead of and after the international meeting.  Sr. Solana thanked the Prime Minister for his efforts to advance the peace process.

Prime Minister Olmert briefed his guest on the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and on the steps that he intends to take ahead of the meeting.  He referred to Israel's insistence that the foundation for the post-Annapolis negotiations with the Palestinians be recognition of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish People.  The Prime Minister made it clear that from Israel's point-of-view, this issue is not subject to either negotiations or discussion.

EU envoy Solana noted that the EU will be represented at the Annapolis meeting and cited the efforts being made to enable more moderate Arab countries to attend the meeting, which he sees as very important.

The two men also discussed various regional issues.

Olmert meets with EU envoy Solana (http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Government/Communiques/2007/PM+Olmert+meets+with+EU+envoy+Solana+14-Nov-2007.htm)


Title: Israeli relations with the European Union to be enhanced
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 01:08:39 PM
Israeli relations with the European Union to be enhanced
14 Nov 2007

Israel and the European Union have established a "reflection group" to find ways to enhance Israeli relations with the EU beyond the existing and developed relations,  with the purpose of expanding pre-existing Israeli cooperation in European programs

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

In March 2007, the Israel-European Union Association Council, headed by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and her German counterpart, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, established a "reflection group" to find ways to enhance Israeli relations with the EU beyond the existing and developed relations within the framework of the Israel-EU Association Agreement and within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy.

A key part of the enhancement is based on Israel's incorporation in European agencies and programs in matters of mutual interest, including: financial issues, research and development, trade, energy, environmental protection, culture, the media, youth issues, etc. The purpose is to expand the already existing cooperation in European programs such as the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development, the framework of the GALILEO European Satellite Navigation System project and the framework of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), which Israel recently joined.

To promote Israel's incorporation into European agencies and programs, the MFA held an interministerial meeting on Tuesday 13 November with Dr. Andreas Herdina, head of the Sector Coordination Unit for European Neighbourhood Policy in the European Commission in Brussels and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Tourism and also the Bank of Israel,  the Council for Higher Education, the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Manufacturer's Association of Israel, the Standards Institution of Israel, and the Economic-Social Council.

In his opening remarks, MFA Deputy Director General Rafael Barak emphasized that Israel has significantly advanced it relations with the European Union within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, and stressed Israel's ambition to further enhance the relationship. Dr. Herdina stated that the EU is willing to open additional agencies and programs to Israeli participation and described the practical means to do so.

The EU has budgeted Euro 8 million to support the operative program with Israeli ministries for the period 2007-2010.

Israeli relations with the European Union to be enhanced (http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2007/Israel-EU+relations+to+be+enhanced+14-Nov-2007.htm)


Title: 'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 01:10:22 PM
'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST    Nov. 17, 2007

A senior Vatican diplomat who served as papal envoy to Israel has described Vatican-Israeli relations as worsening, blaming Israel for failing to keep promises related to church land, taxes and travel restrictions on Arab clergy.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi lashed out at Israel in an interview posted Friday on Terrasanta.net, an online publication about the Holy Land.

"If I must be frank, the relations between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel were better when there were no diplomatic ties," said Sambi, interviewed earlier in the week in Washington, where he now serves as Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to the United States.

"The Holy See decided to establish diplomatic relations (in 1993) with Israel as an act of faith, leaving to latter the serious promises to regulate concrete aspects of the life of the Catholic community and the Church" in Israel, Sambi said.

Among the issues hanging are the status of expropriated church property, services that Catholic groups perform for Israel's Jewish and Arab population, and tax exemptions for the Church.

The Vatican diplomat also cited a current sore point - the granting of permits for Arab Christian clergy traveling to and around the West Bank.

Israel has rescinded some travel privileges for those clergy because of security concerns.

Israel and the Palestinian territories are home to a small Christian minority.

Sambi complained that the Knesset has failed to give necessary approval to various accords that had been signed by both sides, and noted that an impasse over taxes has been discussed on and off for nearly 10 years without resolution.

He blamed the situation on Israel's "absence of political will."

"Everyone can see what kind of trust you can give to Israel's promises," Sambi said.

Asked about Sambi's criticisms, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: "Israel is interested in good relations with the Vatican and Israeli and Vatican officials are working to overcome gaps that exist."

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the interview with Sambi "reflects his thinking and his personal experience" during the diplomat's former posting in Israel.

Lombardi said the Holy See reiterated the hope, expressed in September when Benedict met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, for a "rapid conclusion of the important negotiations" and a common solution to "existing problems."

Earlier this year, tensions developed between the Vatican and Israel when the Holy See's ambassador to Israel initially decided to boycott a Holocaust memorial service because of allegations that during World War II Pope Pius XII was silent about the mass killings of Jews.

'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening' (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195127524397&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 01:13:22 PM
Quote
Israeli relations with the European Union to be enhanced

Quote
'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'

(http://www.hurricane-katrina.org/images/180pxdoomsdayclock.jpg)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 18, 2007, 02:21:33 PM
Hello Dreamweaver,

I don't think that I've seen this particular clock graphic before. I think that it represents what folks call the doomsday clock. I'll also assume that it indicates seconds now for the countdown - midnight being it.

It's interesting how many different thoughts there are about doomsday, all with completely different meanings. As an example, some think about doomsday as the absolute end, nuclear war, and any number of other things.

As Christians, we should know that there is yet much Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled. There won't be an end, rather just an end to this Age of Grace. Many Bible Scholars refer to the time that we are living in as the "CHURCH" Age. Both terms are right, and they represent a unique time in human history. The "CHURCH" is much different than what the world considers things. In fact, the reality of the "CHURCH" is something that most people don't understand at all, even after it's explained.

The "CHURCH" was a mystery not known to men of other ages. As an example, the Old Testament Prophets didn't know about it, and it does not appear in Old Testament Bible Prophecy. Most of mankind attaches this term to brick and mortar buildings or man-named religions and denominations. That isn't it. In fact, this involves a secret that was kept by GOD since before the foundation of the world.

The Mystery of the "CHURCH" was only revealed to one Apostle, the Apostle Paul - Apostle to the Gentiles. This Mystery was unknown to the Twelve Apostles to the Jews until the Apostle Paul revealed it to them. Study of the "Mystery" reveals the most precious TRUTHS in the Bible. The "CHURCH" spoken of isn't made with human hands, and it isn't of this world.

The ONLY TRUE CHURCH is the BODY OF CHRIST. CHRIST HIMSELF is the HEAD, and the members of HIS CHURCH are HIS BODY. Membership in HIS CHURCH is exclusive, and there is only one way to join HIS CHURCH. Faith in JESUS CHRIST and what HE did on the CROSS is the only way to join this exclusive and Eternal CHURCH. Membership is offered as a GIFT by GOD that can't be earned or bought. Faith in the HEAD of the CHURCH is the ONLY way to enter this HOLY and Eternal CHURCH. There aren't any men to place any faith in.

Brothers and Sisters, I think what we are looking at is possibly the end days of this Age of Grace - the CHURCH Age. If so, this would mean an end of GOD'S patience to evil men who have rejected HIM. The Seven Year Tribulation Period is what comes after the CHURCH Age. This period of time will be one of terror and horrible things happening to the people of the earth. I believe that CHRIST'S CHURCH is taken HOME to Heaven before this horrible time begins, but others would disagree with my opinion. The SECOND COMING OF CHRIST happens at the end of the Tribulation Period. Great Battles will be fought, and JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will pour out HIS Righteous Wrath on evil men who have rejected him.

JESUS CHRIST is and always has been the Anointed KING of the JEWS, but HE was denied HIS Throne by Israel's rejection. Israel will come close to total annihilation during the Tribulation Period and will cry out to GOD. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will answer them and fight their final battles. Israel will accept their KING and MESSIAH this time, and GOD will restore Israel. JESUS CHRIST will rule and reign over the earth from the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

As Christians, our end in this short life is simply a new and glorious beginning. Our HOME and CITIZENSHIP is in Heaven for Eternity, so we have no end. The lost don't have an end either. The lost will spend eternity in the fires of Hell.


Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 18, 2007, 02:26:02 PM
GOOD NEWS!

1:  Romans 3:10 NASB  as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

2:  Romans 3:23  NASB  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

3:  Romans 5:12  NASB  Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--

4:  Romans 6:23  NASB  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5:  Romans 1:18  NASB  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

6:  Romans 3:20  NASB  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

7:  Romans 3:27  NASB  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

8:  Romans 5:8-9  NASB  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

9:  Romans 2:4  NASB  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

10:  Romans 3:22  NASB  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

11:  Romans 3:28  NASB  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

12:  Romans 10:9  NASB  that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

13:  Romans 4:21  NASB  and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.

14:  Romans 4:24 NASB  but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

15:  Romans 5:1  NASB  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

16:  Romans 10:10  NASB  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

17:  Romans 10:13  NASB  for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."

Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on November 18, 2007, 03:18:19 PM
'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'

Surprised???? Not.


Title: Re: 'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 18, 2007, 03:48:57 PM
'Vatican-Israeli ties worsening'


Surprised???? Not.

Nope and it's not surprising that Vatican-Islam ties are improving.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 18, 2007, 04:27:51 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

There appears to be a large number of huge bombs in the Middle East with the fuses already lit. It's only a matter of time before 1 or more goes off and probably starts a chain reaction. The alliances are falling into place for Bible Prophecy, and the entities mentioned in Bible Prophecy are already active. It won't be just Israel, Syria, and Iran. Just consider the Revived Roman Empire, and make sure that you include Russia and China into the equation. Things are happening right now that don't appear to make much sense, and they won't until Bible Prophecy is unfolded.

These are dangerous and evil times for the entire world. But they are fascinating times for Christians and might represent our HOME-COMING soon! Israel doesn't make much sense yet either, but GOD isn't through teaching them. In fact, GOD isn't through teaching the entire world. The entire world will find out soon what belongs to GOD and how foolish it is to disobey and reject HIM. However, it will be too late, and the time is getting short. ALMIGHTY GOD has more power wrapped up in one breath than all of mankind's weapons combined. In fact, HIS Power can't be measured because it is without limits.

Most of the world mocks and laughs about anything said in the Holy Bible. They don't believe that GOD is real, so they obviously don't believe that the Bible is GOD'S WORD. They will have to find out the hard way. Christians might not be here tomorrow. Have you ever thought about how that would impact the entire world. I know that many would simply say "Good riddance", but there will be a dramatic impact. All we can do is yield to GOD'S Will and pray. GOD'S Will be done, and we can be sure that it will be!


Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/favor/favor162.gif)
   


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on November 18, 2007, 04:43:56 PM
. Have you ever thought about how that would impact the entire world.

In one way I'd like to see their faces when it happens, but on the hand I think that the look on some of their faces would break my heart.


Title: EU-Africa-Summit - Creating a true and equal partnership?
Post by: Shammu on November 18, 2007, 05:15:15 PM
EU-Africa-Summit - Creating a true and equal partnership?

From 8th to 9th December 2007 heads of states and governments of African countries and of the European Union will meet in Lisbon for the second time ever to conclude a common vision and joint strategy for future relations. The first EU Africa summit- held in Cairo in 2000 - ended with the adoption of the Cairo Declaration. In recent years and with achievements like the EU Africa strategy of 2005, the foundation of the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), but also the negotiations for new regional free trade agreements, the so-called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), the relationship between the EU and Africa has evolved substantially.

The EU wants mutual relations to move towards a new strategic partnership that is guided by the political vision of a joint EUAfrica strategy. The joint strategy is an attempt to concentrate fragmented EU sector policies dealing with African countries into a coherent strategy that serves the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development and democratic governance.

But in political reality, are these objectives what the ambitious joint strategy is to accomplish? Are the institutional preconditions met in both Europe and in Africa to implement the joint strategy? What is the meaning of a true and equal partnership if it is to evolve beyond - politically correct - rhetoric and past experiences? Will Europe be able to free itself from the paternalism of the past? How does the EU’s economic self-interest relate to Africa’s economic development? Will the expanding EU security interests- from supporting peace operations to meeting its energy supplies - dominate other external policies such as development or humanitarian aid? Judging by the outcomes of the recent G8 summit in Germany a long way is still to go.

These are some of the political challenges on the eve of the EU Africa summit. Taking into account latest developments in governance, security, energy, trade and economic development between the EU and African countries the international conference aims to shed light on existing obstacles and political challenges a new vision for EU-Africa-relations faces as they appear from a development perspective.

EU-Africa-Summit - Creating a true and equal partnership? (http://www.weed-online.org/themen/aktuell/761330.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 19, 2007, 06:30:13 AM
In one way I'd like to see their faces when it happens, but on the hand I think that the look on some of their faces would break my heart.

Hello Grammyluv,

Sister Yvette, I really wonder how many people will understand it and connect it to Bible Prophecy. I also believe that many will be glad to see the Christians gone. They will have to come up with some type of story and explanation about why so many graves are empty and why so many living Christians have disappeared from the face of the earth. Now, think about our mainstream news media and wonder about what story they will come up with. I seriously doubt it will be from the Bible.

We know what the real headlines should be, but what will they actually be? I just can't imagine the real headline of "JESUS CHRIST Raptures HIS CHURCH Home to Heaven". They'll have to cover it in some way. How about "Aliens Abduct Millions"?

Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on November 19, 2007, 03:46:00 PM
Hello Grammyluv,

Sister Yvette, I really wonder how many people will understand it and connect it to Bible Prophecy. I also believe that many will be glad to see the Christians gone. They will have to come up with some type of story and explanation about why so many graves are empty and why so many living Christians have disappeared from the face of the earth. Now, think about our mainstream news media and wonder about what story they will come up with. I seriously doubt it will be from the Bible.

We know what the real headlines should be, but what will they actually be? I just can't imagine the real headline of "JESUS CHRIST Raptures HIS CHURCH Home to Heaven". They'll have to cover it in some way. How about "Aliens Abduct Millions"?

Love In Christ,
Tom

KEEP LOOKING UP!!
Hello, Brother Tom
I think they are getting prepare  to cover their back.
you are right, they will be saying "Aliens Abduct Millions.
3 more years is not to soon
Come Lord Jesus come
bring it on  ,Im ready 'im Saved
 set appart
 looking up!
got my white dress on
 and Im good to go!
Love in Jesus (":") Def


Title: ROME I: time for European Parliament to demonstrate commitment to better regulat
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2007, 01:48:28 AM
ROME I: time for European Parliament to demonstrate commitment to better regulation
19 November 2007

ESBA today once again voiced the serious concerns of its members regarding the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations in civil and commercial matters (Rome I). A draft report will be adopted in the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday 20th November but, as yet, the proposal has not undergone a full Impact Assessment by any of the EU Institutions.

ESBA today once again voiced the serious concerns of its members regarding the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations in civil and commercial matters (Rome I). A draft report will be adopted in the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday 20th November but, as yet, the proposal has not undergone a full Impact Assessment by any of the EU Institutions.

In contrast to current arrangements, which give consumers the protection of their home country's mandatory laws when a business actively targets customers in that country, Article 5 of Rome I implies that this jurisdiction will now govern all contracts relating to business online, in their entirety. Any well run SME trading across borders online will therefore want to understand the legal systems in up to 27 EU Member States.

Speaking ahead of the Committee meeting, ESBA President, Tina Sommer said, 'SMEs will simply not be able to afford the legal, translation and implementation fees necessary to trade across the EU. They will act as a deterrent to cross-border e-commerce.' Indeed, in the absence of an Impact Assessment at EU level, The Federation of Small Businesses, an ESBA member, has estimated these to be at least EUR 15,000 per SME, per member state - in excess of EUR 240,000 for the whole EU Market!ą

Beyond the vast financial burdens, ESBA considers that 'Rome I' will limit growth and jobs. In addition, completion of the Single Market (a Review of which is ironically scheduled to be published this week) will be hindered. Far from protecting consumers, individuals and SMEs will be disadvantaged. According to a Eurobarometer poll, only 29% of retailers today sell cross-border, using distance-selling methods.˛ This will get worse if Article 5 of the Commission's proposal is applied, reducing choice in the EU.

'Whilst a series of amendments have been proposed, ESBA considers that the only way forward with this proposal is to take a step back,' Tina Sommer added. 'There is a lack of evidence to suggest that the current Rome Convention needs changing into a Regulation and our research has revealed Rome I's damaging implications. I again urge the Parliament to demonstrate its commitment to Better Regulation by calling for the proposal to be withdrawn until a full Impact Assessment is carried out'

The European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) is a non-party political European group, which cares for small business entrepreneurs and the self-employed and represents them through targeted EU advocacy activities. ESBA also works towards the development of strong independent advocacy and benefits groups in European countries. ESBA is one of the largest organisations based on free/voluntary membership in Europe. Through its direct membership, associate membership and cooperation agreements, ESBA today represents almost one million small businesses and covers 35 European countries.

ROME I: time for European Parliament to demonstrate commitment to better regulation (http://www.eubusiness.com/Press/esba-press.07-11-19/)


Title: EU ministers call for more defence research and technology
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2007, 01:51:09 AM
EU ministers call for more defence research and technology
20 November 2007, 18:53 CET

European defence ministers have called for more joint spending on weapons research so as to boost the EU's military coherence.

'Investing in the right technology is critical for the future of European defence, and the strategy is exactly in line with the absolute requirement for us to spend more, spend better and spend more together,' said Javier Solana, the Head of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

The ministers agreed that they should boost their spending on equipment procurement by half a percentage point to 20% of total defence outlay, and make at least 35% of all procurement expenditure in collaboration with other members.

'Today's decisions have put in place building blocks for our common work of making Europe's armed forces and military budgets fit for the challenges of the 21st century,' said Alexander Weis, Chief Executive of the EDA.

The ministers agreed to raise their spending on weapons research and technology (R&T) from 1.2% to 2% of their total defence budgets, with a fifth of that amount being spent on collaborative European projects - double the current rate.

Although these collective benchmarks are voluntary, they will be monitored annually by the EDA, Mr Solana said.

Member States should also work more closely together to identify the most important weapons technologies that should be developed at EU level, ministers agreed.

The call could prove controversial, as some Member States are fiercely protective of their national arms-development programmes - an issue they see as a matter of national security.

The ministers agreed to increase the annual budget of the EU's armaments agency by almost one third, from EUR 22 million in 2007 to EUR 32 million in 2008.

The EDA is controlled by the defence ministers of all EU Member States except Denmark. It was founded in 2004 to promote weapons research, production and cooperation in Europe.

In 2006, EDA members spent a total of EUR 200 billion on defence, with EUR 38.7 billion spent on equipment development and procurement, according to official figures.

By comparison, the US spent just under USD 500 billion (EUR 338 billion) on defence in 2006, with USD 86 (EUR 58) billion spent on equipment.

EU ministers call for more defence research and technology (http://www.eubusiness.com/Defence/defence-research.33)


Title: EU-Turkey membership talks to move a step further in December
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2007, 11:48:44 AM
EU-Turkey membership talks to move a step further in December
20.11.2007 - 17:26 CET | By Elitsa Vucheva

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The EU is planning to open two new chapters of its accession negotiations package with Turkey in December, it was announced on Tuesday (20 November).

The two chapters – consumer and health protection, and trans-European networks – would "probably" be opened on 18 December, said Portuguese foreign minister Luis Almado, whose country currently holds the six-month EU presidency.

The EU is hoping that the opening of the new chapters will give Ankara the political motivation to heed European calls to pick up the pace on reform.

"The European perspective of Turkey has proven to be a key incentive for the reforms in the country," EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn told MEPs last month.

An EU progress report on Turkey released on 6 November cited persisting shortcomings in the country in the area of freedom of expression, the civilian control of the military, and the rights of non-Muslim communities.

It also criticised the lack of progress concerning the "normalisation" of bilateral relations with Cyprus.

In 2006, the EU suspended eight chapters of Turkey's 35-chapter EU negotiations package, in order to sanction Ankara's continuing blockade on traffic from EU member Cyprus - which is illegal under an EU-Turkey customs agreement.

On Tuesday, Mr Rehn "reiterated the importance" of Turkey meeting its obligations on this point and expressed the commission's "support for beginning serious negotiations on a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem under the auspices of the United Nations".

The decision to press ahead wih opening the two new chapters also comes despite France's insistence that such a move should not be taken before a 'wise committee' has been set up to discuss the future of the European Union.

Asked to comment on the French position and on how it could impede the process, Mr Almado remained optimistic saying that "the EU is a very dynamic entity (...) The European Union is adapting and is moving and has a very peculiar dynamic".

In addition, the opening of the chapters would take place only a few days after a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels, which will be an opportunity for the French stance to be discussed, the Portuguese minister said.

For his part, Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan underlined that "political issues should not put an obstacle before our accession process and our EU friends should do their best in order to prevent this".

The chapters, which are technically ready, should be opened without delay and "not be subject to any discrimination", he added.

"Those discussions are much more important than the political choices of certain countries and we believe that the political agenda globally is much more important than short-term political interests."

EU-Turkey membership talks to move a step further in December (http://euobserver.com/9/25183)


Title: Interview with Javier Solana, Common Foreign and Security Policy, ahead of Annap
Post by: Shammu on November 23, 2007, 01:46:55 PM
Interview with Javier Solana, Common Foreign and Security Policy, ahead of Annapolis conference
22/Nov/2007

The 65-year-old Javier Solana is EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy since October 1999.

In July 2004 he was appointed for a second 5-year mandate.

Born in Madrid, the Professor of solid-sate physics entered politics in the Sixties when he joined the Spanish Socialist party.

After being elected at the Parliament, he held various posts in the Spanish government, notably as Minister for Culture, Minister for Education and Science and in 1992 Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 1995 he was named secretary general of NATO.

EJP: Are you more optimistic about the Annapolis meeting than before your Middle East trip?

Javier Solana:
During my recent trip to the Middle East, I met Egyptian, Palestinian and Israeli leaders and in my discussions with them I gained the clear impression that although it will be very difficult, it is possible for the international meeting in Annapolis to launch a bilateral negotiation process that will lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. It is "doable". All leaders are fully aware that a failure at Annapolis will have dramatic consequences. There is a momentum towards re-launching the peace process; the international community is behind it, with the active involvement of the international Quartet and the support of the Arab League. All parties must do their utmost to ensure that the meeting has a successful outcome because failure is not an option. The period after Annapolis will be more important than the meeting itself and it will be crucial to have a political follow-up, in which the international community will play an important role.

EJP: What was your report to the European Parliament this week?

Javier Solana:
In my discussion with European Parliament Group leaders at a special conference they convened on the European contribution to the Middle East peace process, I briefed them on my recent trip, my impressions in the run-up to Annapolis and the role of the European Union in accompanying and supporting the Peace Process.

EJP: What do you expect from the Israeli and Palestinian parties ?

Javier Solana:
We expect the parties to begin negotiating final status issues and to implement their obligations under Phase 1 of the Road Map in parallel. The Israelis and the Palestinians have to demonstrate their commitment to the two-state solution by taking without delay the measures needed to prepare the ground for the end-game. Israel has to freeze and then reverse its settlement policy in the Occupied Territories. The Palestinians have to demonstrate their will and their ability to assume the responsibilities that come with statehood, including the responsibility for security.

EJP: Which role should the EU play at the Annapolis meeting ?

Javier Solana:
The EU will be present at the Annapolis meeting as a member of the Quartet. A number of Member States will also be present. In the run-up to Annapolis the EU has focused on creating the conditions that would allow for a successful meeting. At the meeting the EU will join the international community in supporting the bilateral talks between the parties and the final status negotiations. The EU is also ready to adapt its policies and activities in the light of progress in the peace process.

EJP: Do you think additional sanctions against Iran are still avoidable?

Javier Solana:
In June 2006 the EU put forward to Iran a generous and comprehensive offer. Iran still has the option to re-enter negotiations on that basis. The international community and the European Union will continue to pursue its dual-track policy of working at UN level on measures to apply if Iran does not suspend its uranium enrichment activities and of holding out at the same time the June 2006 offer of negotiations on a broad relationship if Iran does suspend those activities. On 28 September 2007 I received a clear mandate from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, with the full backing of the 27 EU member States, to encourage Iran to return to talks on a long-term agreement. I have, as you know, been in regular contact with the Iranians in order to see whether we can create the conditions for starting these negotiations. After the 23 October meeting in Rome I hope to be able to meet the Iranian negotiators again very soon, preferably before I brief, at the end of this month, the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on the outcome of my contacts with the Iranians.

EJP: What is your view on ElBaradei’s report?

Javier Solana:
The international community has asked the Iranians to do three things to restore confidence: deal with outstanding issues relating to the past; implement the Additional Protocol, relating to the present; suspend their uranium enrichment activities in order to enter into negotiations for an overall agreement, relating to the future. The report by Dr ElBaradei, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, deals mainly with the first issues, relating to the past. This represents a modest step forward but leaves many issues unresolved. There was some progress in dealing with the past but I would like to see more clarity about the present and the future situation.

Interview with Javier Solana, Common Foreign and Security Policy, ahead of Annapolis conference (http://www.ejpress.org/article/21966)


Title: EU 'super-president' idea
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2007, 09:50:20 PM
EU 'super-president' idea

By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels and James Kirkup
Last Updated: 1:44am GMT 26/11/2007

Gordon Brown has broken his promise to prevent the creation of a European Union "super-president", the Conservatives have claimed, as the new treaty comes under fresh scrutiny this week.

A Government White Paper on the European Treaty, published in July with a foreword by the Prime Minister, pledged that any future EU president would be ruled out of simultaneously holding the powerful job of European Commission president. But the final treaty text, agreed by Mr Brown in Lisbon last month, allows one person to hold both posts, creating the risk that power will be further centralised in Brussels.

The prospect of a new "super-president" is already being enthusiastically discussed by many Brussels officials. Tony Blair is among the contenders for the post, to be elected by Europe's leaders in late 2008 for a two-and-a-half-year term.

William Hague, the Tory spokesman on foreign affairs, has written to David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, asking why "the Government has reneged on its promise". "It is clear that there could be a new EU super-president, something Brown and Miliband promised would never happen," he said.

"Did they forget about their promise? Brown and his ministers have proved as poor at negotiating as they are at running anything. Labour is now running very short of public trust. While they continue to break their promise of a referendum on this treaty that trust will not be rebuilt."

Mr Hague is concerned at the power one person would wield if the jobs were combined. "The consequence of one person holding both posts would be an effective president of Europe, determining the EU's agenda, able to propose as well as being in charge of guiding through EU laws with real clout on the world stage," he said.

The pressure on Mr Brown comes as Parliament's European scrutiny committee makes the unusual decision to publish a second report on the treaty, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The committee's first report last month embarrassed the Government by concluding that the new treaty was "substantially equivalent" to the EU constitution rejected by the French and Dutch in 2005. Tomorrow, the Labour-led committee will publish a second report, casting a critical eye over the treaty negotiating tactics.

EU 'super-president' idea (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/26/ntory126.xml)


Title: European security treaty raises worry
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2007, 10:10:14 PM
European security treaty raises worry
Might affect US interests, analysts say

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff  |  November 26, 2007

WASHINGTON - European nations are poised to ratify a treaty that would give the European Union sweeping power over the continent's security policies, raising concerns among homeland security specialists here that keeping track of suspected terrorists across the Atlantic may become more difficult for the United States.

Although the EU Reform Treaty has received scant attention in the United States, analysts say it could profoundly affect American interests. Until now, the US government has worked nation-to-nation with Europeans on homeland security matters from issuing visas to sharing intelligence.

But the treaty, which will be signed next month and subject to ratification by member countries next year, would increasingly centralize authority over security in the EU, which has been less willing to cooperate with the United States than the governments of some European countries.

"The treaty will be a big deal for law enforcement and antiterrorism agencies in Europe and the US," said Stewart Baker, the assistant secretary for policy at the US Department of Homeland Security. "Europeans will be transferring responsibility for some of their law enforcement to Brussels. That's bound to change the way American agencies work with their counterparts in Europe."

The Bush administration has been largely satisfied with the level of cooperation it has received from European countries on counterterrorism. But some US security analysts worry that if the Reform Treaty is ratified, the larger EU government would be more likely to cite privacy concerns to shield data or to allow political differences with the United States to interfere with cooperation.

Earlier this year, several said, the EU Parliament condemned European nations that had quietly cooperated with the CIA on its "extraordinary rendition" program to seize, transfer, and interrogate terrorism suspects without legal rights. The Parliament also has been reluctant to share data about European airline passengers flying into the United States, citing EU privacy laws.

"There is a concern that if and when the European Parliament is engaged, it is not going to be helpful to law enforcement," said Stewart Verdery, who was the Bush administration's top homeland security policy official from 2003 to 2005. He added, "Clearly the Parliament has been to the left of the European governments' structures as a whole."

Sally McNamara, a European specialist at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the EU has often been "anti-American" in recent years, more quick than many of its members to take exception to US government policies on a range of matters. She warned that a stronger EU might punish the United States in future disputes by restricting cooperation in counterterrorism efforts.

The reform treaty would give the EU greater authority over a range of security issues including immigration, asylum, freezing the assets of suspected terrorists, criminal defendant rights, defining terrorism-related offenses, and making rules for the "collection, storage, processing, analysis, and exchange of relevant information" for law-enforcement purposes.

The accord would not give the EU exclusive control over security matters; instead the EU and member-nations would largely share authority, with an extensive process for resolving disputes. But most analysts believe the EU position would prevail on broad matters involving cooperation with the United States. In addition, they say, the EU's new authority over security matters would affect the United States both in the negotiation of any new policy agreements and with cooperation on individual counterterrorism cases.

Upcoming policy issues to be negotiated include an effort by the United States to require European travelers to register their fingerprints before visiting America, and the future of US rules that allow citizens of some European countries, but not others, to travel to the United States without first obtaining a visa - rules the EU has already denounced as discriminatory.

As an example of how involvement by the EU can complicate negotiations over security policies, analysts point to a dispute over data about airline passenger name records. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States wanted to set up a system to check names and addresses of people flying in from Europe against watch lists of suspected terrorists.

Under existing law, the EU controlled air travel regulations. The Bush administration struck a deal with the European Commission - the EU's executive branch - to get the records in 2004. But the European Parliament voted against the deal, and an EU court struck it down, saying the deal violated EU privacy laws. The EU and United States finally struck a replacement deal in July.

"The European Parliament is out, basically, to frustrate the American-led war on terrorism," said McNamara. "They are the bastion of human rights and think that the war on terrorism is an evil thing. That's why we [at the think-tank] believe that further European integration in these areas is a bad idea."

The Reform Treaty might also affect US homeland security by complicating the sharing of sensitive classified intelligence.

For now, even if the Reform Treaty is ratified, the United States and individual European nations would still be able to share high-level intelligence - without including the EU - when investigating specific terrorists plots. But if the treaty is ratified, the EU could play a larger role in sharing watch lists of suspected terrorists across the Atlantic Ocean, analysts said.

Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA counterterrorism official who left government in 2005 and now teaches at Georgetown University, said US officials have long preferred to share intelligence with individual nations that they trust not to leak the information. Pillar said his former colleagues would be leery about handing sensitive classified information to the 27-member EU.

"The more countries you get involved and the more it becomes multilateral, the harder it is to deal effectively with matters of counterterrorism because of problems of sharing information more broadly," Pillar said.

"This would come into play when dealing with a huge bureaucracy of multiple nationalities, as opposed to just the British or just the French or just the Germans," he said. "It's not that the US doesn't want to deal with the EU as a policy preference - it's just the practical matter of dealing with classified information."

European security treaty raises worry (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/11/26/european_security_treaty_raises_worry?mode=PF)


Title: "State building for peace in the Middle East: an EU Action Strategy."
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2007, 10:15:37 PM
"State building for peace in the Middle East: an EU Action Strategy."
25/Nov/2007 16:38

BRUSSELS (EJP)--- Here is the full text of the document "State building for Peace in the Middle East: an EU Action Strategy" endorsed by the EU Council of Foreign Ministers ahead of the Annapolis Mideast Summit November 27.

 

NEW MOMENTUM IN THE PEACE PROCESS

"Recent developments have created a sense of cautious optimism for progress towards resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert are engaged in a substantive and wide-ranging bilateral dialogue. The United States Government is actively supporting their efforts, including by calling for an international meeting before the end of the year, in order to launch a bilateral negotiation process that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The new momentum in the peace process benefits from the full backing and active involvement of the Quartet. Arab support has been expressed through the voice of the Arab League follow-up Committee.

Comprehensive peace in the Middle East is a strategic objective for the European Union. Any lasting and just settlement to the conflict should be based on the principle of land for peace, relevant UNSC resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative, the Roadmap and previous agreements reached between the parties.

The EU considers that the present opportunity should not be missed and is ready to take its responsibilities, in accordance with the vital European interests involved. The EU is therefore committed to supporting current efforts in a serious and substantive way, offering a comprehensive and coherent contribution to the process, including during the crucial implementation period.

The European Union calls on all other interested parties to support the current process, bearing in mind the high cost of failure for everyone involved.

The forthcoming international meeting in Annapolis should launch a bilateral negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians on final status issues, as a first step towards a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It should establish a robust follow-up process under the auspices of the Quartet and with the involvement of the international community.

The EU calls on its Quartet, Arab League and other international partners to contribute to the success of the upcoming donors conference in Paris, which will constitute an indispensable complement to the political process launched at Annapolis.

To accompany a credible political process the European Union commits to:

• Support the Parties in their bilateral efforts;
• Support the US Government in its current facilitation efforts;
• Ensure the active involvement of the Quartet in the run-up to the international meeting and in its follow-up;
• Continue cooperation with Arab partners in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative.
• Sustain its high levels of support to the region and accompany the political process with a shift to post-conflict support in due time.

SUBSTANTIVE SUPPORT TO A SUBSTANTIVE PROCESS

Only an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state can be a reliable neighbour for Israel. The EU’s commitment will therefore focus on assisting Palestinian state building efforts as well as providing support for the transition period. We will strengthen ongoing activities and adjust our priorities in light of developments in the political process, working in partnership with the Palestinian Authority government. The results of the Annapolis meeting and the kind of process it will set in motion will determine the pace and the extent of these adjustments.

Developments on the ground will also play an important part in creating the conditions for success at Annapolis and beyond. Israelis and Palestinians will have to fulfil their responsibilities in that respect, by refraining from measures and decisions which undermine the bilateral process, and by pursuing efforts to improve security and lift obstacles to access and movement. International monitoring and assistance will be crucial for progress in this area.

Palestinian State building

• Supporting the establishment of modern and democratic police forces, in full cooperation with the US Security Coordinator. The EU will expand the work of its existing police mission to cover training, equipment and reconstruction of police, prison and training facilities. Our assistance to the civil police will be complemented by wider support to the rule of law, including helping to establish an efficient penal and judiciary system.

• Comprehensive institution building and good governance. For over a decade the EU has been at the forefront of efforts to empower the PA via institution building and its work in the Jerusalem based "Governance Strategy Group". The EU foresees intensifying these activities, in areas which complement PA plans, for example health, education and the judiciary.

• Support for sustained growth of the Palestinian economy. We will build on existing support to the Palestinian private sector including credit guarantees, vocational training and trade facilitation. These efforts will have a positive effect on the PA’ s revenues.

• Customs and trade: the EU will build on its activities in this area, inter alia by providing technological solutions for the swift control of goods passing through the borders of the future Palestinian state, and supporting the PA’ s efforts to develop its trade policy and institutions (such as an agency dealing with customs and border issues). The EU is ready to resume the work of its trilateral trade policy group.

Support for the transition period

• Support to sustainable PA finances. Achieving a sustainable financial situation will require support to public recurrent and development expenditure, but also the generation of adequate revenues. The EU will continue to encourage private sector activity as well as its institution building work in the area of customs/ tax revenues and accountability of public finances.


• Planning modalities for institution building and economic revival, as well as the implementation of projects with quick impact on the ground, will be closely coordinated with Quartet Representative Tony Blair. Active involvement of the Palestinian Authority is necessary for these efforts to have their full effect, in line with the priorities set out in its Reform and Development Plan. In parallel, Israeli cooperation is needed for their implementation, in particular with respect to access and movement as a pre-requisite for Palestinian economic revival.

• Emergency and humanitarian support: the EU will continue to deliver various forms of aid in the West Bank and Gaza. It will sustain its provision of fuel, which is vital for the continued provision of electricity and clean water; its allowances to low income families; and its support to Palestinian refugees. ln Gaza, the EU will design its programmes and activities so as to contribute to the unity and contiguity of the future Palestinian state.


Support for Conflict Resolution

• East Jerusalem: part of building a Palestinian state involves resolving the status of Jerusalem. For many years the EU has supported hospitals, schools and community centres for the people of East Jerusalem. In the context of a political process, these activities could be stepped up.

• Refugees: Since 1971 the EU has been providing significant support to the work of agencies providing vital services to the Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). It is committed to adapting this support as appropriate, in pursuit of a just and equitable solution to the refugee issue.

• Security arrangements: if requested, the EU will be ready in due course to contribute to a system of security arrangements that would be agreed between the parties in the framework of a permanent settlement.

It is our view that the range of support offered by the EU will assist the parties in taking the steps necessary to achieve conflict resolution and the two-state solution. As the process develops, the European Union is ready to help meet the expectations of all regional parties and realise the dividends of peace. In that context, it will continue to work with Israel to upgrade bilateral relations. The EU will also make full use of existing instruments and frameworks to leverage the benefits of regional cooperation for post-conflict rehabilitation, sustained economic and social development and regional security."

"State building for peace in the Middle East: an EU Action Strategy." (http://www.ejpress.org/article/22040)


Title: Re: "State building for peace in the Middle East: an EU Action Strategy."
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2007, 10:22:49 PM
There is so much happening lately that it is hard to keep up with. If we are still here, 2008 is gonna be a blast to watch unfold....... :D :D :D

I don't think the EU or the UN care a whip about peace. They only care about destroying Israel. Everything they do is to that end. If they had let the Arabs fend for themselves after they attacked Israel each time, they would have long ago moved into Muslim countries instead of being a thorn in Israel's side for all these years. But, Europe tends to support anyone that is against Israel.


Title: African nations in EU trade deal
Post by: Shammu on November 27, 2007, 08:19:07 PM
African nations in EU trade deal
27 November 2007

The five countries that make up the East African Community have agreed a plan that will gradually open their markets to the European Union (EU).

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda are covered by the EU deal.

The new agreement will replace preferential trade obligations, which are due to expire in December and have proved controversial in recent years.

A number of other nations in Western Africa, and some Pacific nations, have yet to accept the new arrangements.

Steady move

The East African Community (EAC) trading bloc has agreed to "gradually open their markets to goods from the EU over a period of 25 years", an EU official said.

Despite giving European firms more access to their markets, some industries will still be protected from competition to prevent local businesses from going bankrupt.

Under the terms of the new deal, about a fifth of EAC trade would still be exempt from the requirement to lower customs duties.

Industrial products and agriculture are among the sectors that are to be given extra protection.

The EU said that negotiations would continue next year in an effort to have a more comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in place by 2009.

Tough choices

The new deals will replace earlier preferential trade obligations that linked the EU and many of its trading partners but which have been heavily criticised by other nations, particularly those in Latin America.

The deals have been ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization and the 27 members of the trade bloc have until the end of the year to establish new arrangements with partners.

But it is not thought that all 80 nations in Europe's former African, Caribbean and Pacific colonies will have signed up to the EPAs by 1 January because there is still a lot of opposition to the deals.

Critics argue that the EPAs could damage developing economies by cutting their customs revenue and making it harder for local businesses to compete with larger foreign rivals.

African nations in EU trade deal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7114830.stm)


Title: EU-India talks follow China visit
Post by: Shammu on November 29, 2007, 09:56:53 PM
EU-India talks follow China visit
29 November 2007

Asia is expected to become the new driver of global growth
The European Union (EU) is expected to hammer out details of a proposed free trade deal with India at bilateral summit this week in New Delhi.

Such an agreement, which both sides want in place by 2008, would help support the global economy, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said.

The talks come in the same week that EU officials met Chinese leaders to push for fairer access to China's markets.

The booming Asian economies are key to future EU growth, analysts have said.

On Friday the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barrsoso, will meet with Indian Prime Minsiter Manmohan Singh.

It is thought they will put in place a timetable for future negotiations to thrash out an agreement that the EU hopes will reduce barriers to trades in goods and services.

Increasing intellectual property protection and boosting investment flows between the countries are also on the agenda.

Both countries have a lot to gain from an "ambitious" free trade pact, Mr Mandelson observed.

'More encouraged'

While India's economy has been expanding at a break-neck pace in recent years - second only to China - it is in need of hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign investment to sustain this growth.

"Spurring Indian economic growth (and) poverty reduction, is of course very good for India, but it would also take up the slack if, as is widely expected, other parts of the global economy begin to slow," said Mr Mandelson.

Separately, EU officials have been ratcheting up the pressure on China to reform its currency policy that they say is causing dangerous trade imbalances.

They also want Beijing to tighten its intellectual property protection laws to create a more level playing field.

Mr Mandelson has been deeply frustrated by what he has seen as China's intransigence over investment barriers and counterfeiting.

But after the summit, he said: "I arrived unhappy and leave more encouraged.

"There is a clearly stated political commitment by the Chinese leadership at the highest level to address the deficit including market access and intellectual property issues."

EU-India talks follow China visit  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7118620.stm)


Title: EU-Iranian Talks Break Up; No Compromise
Post by: Shammu on December 01, 2007, 02:08:47 PM
EU-Iranian Talks Break Up; No Compromise
By George Jahn
Associated Press Writer
November 30, 2007

CBNNews.com - LONDON -- Talks between Iran and the European Union broke up Friday without compromise on Tehran's refusal to freeze uranium enrichment, and the top EU foreign policy envoy said he was disappointed at Tehran's refusal to budge.

"I expected more and therefore I am disappointed," EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said after a five-hour session with the Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. The failure of the meeting was likely to increase pressure for new U.N. Security Council sanctions, with the five permanent council members set to discuss such actions Saturday.

Just minutes before Solana spoke, Jalili had sent a different message, describing his meeting as "good" and saying the two men had arranged to meet again next month.

But Solana's words - and his tense body language - made clear they had failed to reach common ground. The fact that the two men spoke to reporters separately also appeared to reflect the divisions between them.

Before the talks between Solana and Jalili, senior European officials said that nothing short of an Iranian pledge to seriously consider freezing its enrichment program would defuse a push by the U.S. and its allies for new sanctions. While not going into specifics, Solana's statement made clear the Iranians had not budged on their refusal to do so.

Throughout the 18 months of EU-Iran talks, Tehran has publicly insisted it will never suspend enrichment. Although Tehran says it wants the technology to create fuel for nuclear reactors, concerns that it might use it to produce the fissile core of nuclear weapons have led to two sets of sanctions since December.

The London talks will be followed by a strategy session Saturday in Paris by top representatives of the Security Council nations plus Germany - the six countries at the forefront of efforts to dissuade Iran from developing its enrichment program.

While the Paris meeting will formally wait for a report from Solana on the outcome of his talks with Jalili, European officials told The Associated Press that there were few illusions that Tehran would change its mind on enrichment.

Comments Thursday by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband indicated the low expectations the Western powers - the United States, Britain, France and Germany - had for the London talks. He told reporters that "work is already under way and will continue" on the language of a Security Council resolution that would impose a third set of sanctions on Tehran.

"There's a lot of discussion going on about the content of a resolution," he said - an allusion to differences among the Western council members and Russia and China, who have watered down the two previous sanctions resolutions and appear skeptical about a third. Still, he said, "the marching orders. are set out."

The council first imposed sanctions on Dec. 23, 2006, ordering all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs, and freeze assets of 10 key Iranian companies and 12 individuals related to the programs.

In March, the council imposed moderately tougher sanctions, including banning Iranian arms exports and freezing the assets of 28 people and groups involved in Iran's nuclear and missile programs.

Both times, Iran responded by expanding enrichment. Tehran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and designed to generate electricity for civilian use. Many fear it masks a plan to develop weapons.

Iranian officials have repeatedly insisted that enrichment is not up for debate. During the EU-Iran discussions, which began in June 2006, the six nations have offered technological and political incentive if Iran mothballed the program.

Tehran was at pains to reinforce its message as late as Tuesday, when Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham told reporters that suspension of enrichment is "not on the agenda" of the London talks.

A switch of Iranian negotiators complicates the chances of success. Ali Larijani, who resigned last month, was a relative moderate. But Jalili is loyal to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has shown no sign of compromise in the nuclear dispute. One of the officials said that the rapport established at the talks had disappeared with the replacement of Larijani.

EU-Iranian Talks Break Up; No Compromise (http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/278678.aspx)


Title: Germany Not Keen On Intrusive EU-Wide Census Proposals
Post by: Shammu on December 01, 2007, 02:46:11 PM
Germany Not Keen On Intrusive EU-Wide Census Proposals
Senior citizens protesting pension reform
How many intrusive questions will a population tolerate?
 
The first hurdle on the road to a major national census in 2011 has been crossed, but Berlin is resistant to Brussels's plans for a unified EU census.

The census will be the first in Germany since reunification. Expense and sensitive data protection issues mean that it will less comprehensive than those carried out in West Germany in 1987 and in East Germany in 1981. But it will nonetheless comprise data gathered from up to 8 million citizens and 17.5 million property-owners.

The project has been mired in controversy over a range of issues. Most problematically, the various states objected to the financial contribution they were expected to make. The preparations alone are set to cost 176 million euros ($261.4 million), in addition to the 137 million-euro expense of the actual census.

Harmonizing data

But there are even more ambitious plans afoot.

Keen to end the practice of 27 states asking different questions at different times, Brussels this month discussed the possibility of a unified EU census, which would need approval from EU governments.

Last week, plans to harmonize census data across the EU were approved by members of the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs at the European Parliament.

They include a list of questions the EU would like all member states to ask on how people live -- including education, occupation, hours worked, and marital status -- which would result in better quality data on areas such as housing and population. The European Commission says it needs this information to formulate policies.

While this form of information is usually gathered nationally, the Commission is arguing that it needs more central control to help its work.

"The data has to be fully comparable at the European level, and is often requested at a level of regional detail and in a quality that can only be guaranteed by European legislation on population and housing censuses," its said in a statement.

Prurient questions

The data requested would include ethnicity, literacy, size and type of family, religion, while the survey also wants to find out about issues such as computer literacy, number of cars owned, cooking facilities and "durable consumer goods possessed by the household."

Other questions were considered too prurient and have since been dropped. Supposedly, one would have asked the "date(s) of the beginning of consensual union(s) of women having ever been in a consensual union: (ii) first consensual union and (ii) current consensual union."

Many felt these questions were too intrusive, while others feared that confidentiality could not be guaranteed.

Doubtful that privacy could be ensured on a European level, Thomas Mann, a Christian Democrat and Member of the European Parliament, believed that it was inadvisable to pass national data on to the EU's Eurostat office in Luxembourg.

"Does anyone seriously think that data protection is as thorough everywhere as it is in Germany?" he asked.

Germany Not Keen On Intrusive EU-Wide Census Proposals (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2977837,00.html)


Title: oint Parliamentary Meeting on "the Lisbon Treaty: new foundation for the EU's fu
Post by: Shammu on December 01, 2007, 02:47:17 PM
oint Parliamentary Meeting on "the Lisbon Treaty: new foundation for the EU's future"
Institutions - 29-11-2007 - 13:56
Members of the 27 EU national parliaments and of the European Parliament will be at the EP in Brussels on 3 and 4 December 2007 for a fourth joint meeting on the future of Europe. This conference will give citizens' national and European representatives an opportunity to discuss key issues of concern to them as the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty gets underway.

The first three meetings, held on 8 and 9 May 2006, on 4 and 5 December 2006 and on 11 and 12 June 2007, helped to the re-launch the debate on the future of Europe.
 
The issues to be addressed during this meeting, in working parties and in plenary, will include: "enhancing the role of Parliaments in the EU, wider responsibility for national Parliaments", "ratification and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty" and "the new institutional set-up: more efficiency and coherence".
 
This event, jointly organised by the European Parliament and the Portuguese Assembleia da Republica, will also contribute to the ratification process of the new Treaty.

oint Parliamentary Meeting on "the Lisbon Treaty: new foundation for the EU's future" (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/008-14084-337-12-49-901-20071128IPR14082-03-12-2007-2007-false/default_en.htm)


Title: Mediterranean Union no alternative to EU membership
Post by: Shammu on December 01, 2007, 03:09:36 PM
Mediterranean Union no alternative to EU membership

The New Anatolian / Ankara
28 November 2007

President Abdullah Gul said the Mediterranean Union project could not be an alternative for Turkey's full membership to the European Union.

In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro, President Gul said Turkey's relations with the EU had legal foundations and stated that the negotiations for its membership are underway.

Gul said Turkey is part of the Barcelona process in which the Mediterranean Union Project --proposed by French President Sarkozy- has been debated.

"We are interested in everything that touches the Mediterranean. We are also studying attentively the project proposed by Mr Sarkozy," Gul said.

"Negotiations are ongoing, the goal has been set. There is no question of the (Mediterranean) project being an alternative to our joining the European Union.

"The negotiations process is launched, we will pursue the reforms whatever the outcome and, when the time comes, I am sure that those who are sceptical today will understand that Turkey has a lot to offer the European Union."

Answering a question on the French opposition to Turkey's membership to the EU, Gul said Turkish-French relations had a historical dimension and in the past France served as a gateway to Europe for Turkey .

"Nobody doubts that there are more Renault brand cars in the the streets of Istanbul than in Paris," added Gul.

Sarkozy says Muslim but secular Turkey is not really part of Europe and should instead be offered a special partnership with the bloc, and floated his Mediterranean Union idea as a way to deflect Turkey's EU interest.

European External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said this month the French proposal over a Mediterranean union was no alternative to Turkey's EU ambitions.

Answering a question regarding the resolution on the incidents of 1915 submitted to the French Parliament, Gul said this draft contradicts with the freedom of expression that France was loyal to.

When asked about the possibility of Turkey launching a crossborder operation to the north of Iraq, Gul said the instability in northern Iraq made this region a safe haven for the terrorist organization and said Turkey would absolutely not tolerate PKK attacks.

Later addressinga press conferebce in Paris after meeting French Prime Minister Francois Fillon Gul said that Turkey has never weakened democracy while fighting terrorism and added that Turkey has broadened fundamental rights and freedom while several countries restricted them in the name of cambatting terrorism.

"Democracy isolates terrorism and terrorists. Turkey has broadened fundamental rights and freedom while several countries restrained them in the name of fight against terrorism. All these helped isolate terrorist group," Gul said.

"Consolidating democracy in Turkey will strengthen our fight against terrorism," Gul told reporters.

Gul also said that the closure case regarding Democratic Society Party (DTP) was not discussed at his meeting with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon. He said it is Turkey's own business.

Gul said French Prime Minister Fillon, it is historians, not politicians who must decide on the Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915.

"If Izmir hosts the EXPO 2015, this would contribute to the promotion of Izmir, the Aegean region and whole of Turkey," Gul said. He was in paris to promote the Izmir bid.

"The theme of Izmir's EXPO is health. Health is a matter of interest to both rich and poor nations," Gul stressed.

In reference to his upcoming visit to Pakistan, Gul indicated that "Pakistan is a very friendly and brotherly country for Turkey. We will visit Pakistan to provide support to them."

Mediterranean Union no alternative to EU membership (http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-29790.html)


Title: EU prepares for early 2008 Kosovo independence
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 10:29:53 PM
EU prepares for early 2008 Kosovo independence

05.12.2007 - 09:16 CET | By Lucia Kubosova and Elitsa Vucheva
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The outgoing prime minister of Kosovo, Agim Ceku, has suggested that a declaration on the province's independence is planned for early next year, while the European Commission has urged the bloc's member states to stay united on Kosovo "if needed."

Less than a week before a UN deadline on finding a solution between the Serbs and ethnic Albanians on the future status of Kosovo, Mr Ceku told EUobserver "We are not willing to accept any continuation of discussion and any delay of the declaration."

He said that the move is foreseen for "very shortly after 10 December" and added that it would be "along the line" envisaged in Brussels, around January or February.

According to diplomats, the European Commission itself has informally asked the member states to use all their diplomatic efforts to convince the Kosovo Albanians to delay the declaration of independence at least until after the presidential elections in Serbia, scheduled for 20 January and 3 February.

One floated scenario suggests that if Pristina accepts such a plan, it will then be able to announce independence as a result of "coordinated" procedure with the international community - despite lacking the formal blessing of the UN's security council.

It would also immediately implement the practical proposals of an independence blueprint drawn up by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, especially on the protection of national minorities, while the EU would then take over the chairing of civilian and police missions in Kosovo.

"With all this preceding the actual announcement of declaration and Kosovo claiming to have coordinated it with the international community, the idea is that the EU would then formally 'take note' of the declaration as earlier in the case of Montenegro and leave it up to member states to recognise it or not," said one diplomat.

Question marks over EU unity

But even given these conditions, the EU's unity on the issue is not guaranteed. Romania and Cyprus are seen as key critics of independence without UN approval, while Slovakia also remains hesitant.

Speaking to journalists after meeting Slovak prime minister Robert Fico on Tuesday (4 December), European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said "It is my duty to ask all governments of Europe, including the Slovak government to reach a consensus on Kosovo."

"In case - unfortunately it seems to be the case - they [Serbs and Kosovo Albanians] don't reach an agreement, it is important that the EU reaches an agreement," he noted.

"The Americans have a position, the Russians have a position. I hope that Europeans will have a position as well, if needed," he said.

Mr Fico replied: "I would consider it a huge mistake if the EU got divided over Kosovo. It would make us weak and I have a feeling some superpowers are relaying on this weakness even ahead."

But he said the Slovak government's standpoint has not changed. "We want to be very communicative and cooperative on this issue but we can hardly imagine that we would recognise Kosovo that would unilaterally announce itself as being independent."

Who is afraid of unilateral independence?

Speaking at a Brussels conference organised by Friends of Europe on Tuesday (4 December), Mr Ceku dismissed suggestions that unilateral Kosovo independence could lead to violence in the region.

He argued that after having worked with UN officials for eight years, the Kosovars' plan can no longer be viewed as "unilateral" but rather as continually prepared and "the most unsurprising and predictable event" that South Eastern Europe has seen for generations.

Meanwhile Serbian deputy prime minister Bojidar Djelic spoke out against the move.

Stressing that Serbia was offering Kosovo "a level of self-government that no other region in no other country has seen", Mr Djelic said that all Belgrade is asking for is "not to break up our country".

"Is it too much to ask for a solution which Belgrade can be part of?", he added.

In this he was backed by Russia, a traditional ally of Serbia.

Also a firm opponent to a Kosovar independence which would by-pass Serbian feelings, Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov argued that any such decision would go against international law.

Russia wants to "stick to the principles of international law above all" according to which respect for the territorial integrity of states is guaranteed, said Mr Chizhov.

He said he was against "splitting" Serbia without Belgrade's accord.

EU prepares for early 2008 Kosovo independence (http://euobserver.com/9/25269)


Title: Merkel warns of EU break up amid Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union plans
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 10:40:52 PM
Merkel warns of EU break up amid Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union plans
Berlin, Dec 5, IRNA

Germany-France-EU
German Chancellor Angela Merkel here Wednesday warned of an imminent collapse of the 27-nation European Union amid plans by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to press ahead with the Mediterranean Union, news reports said Wednesday.

Pointing to the threat of the Mediterranean Union, Merkel said it could ultimately lead to the 'corrosion of the EU's core area'.

"This could unleash explosive powers in the EU which I do not wish for," added the German leader, speaking at a conference in Berlin.

Merkel, who is due to meet Sarkozy in Paris on Thursday, said common EU resources should not be used to create a Mediterranean Union.

The French president has repeatedly called for such a strategic alliance since winning elections in early May.

Sarkozy seeks to include countries like Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Libya, in this union.

Merkel has been at odds with Sarkozy on several issues including the French nuclear deal with Libya and the degree of autonomy of the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank.

Both leaders are also openly vying for the European leadership role.

Merkel warns of EU break up amid Sarkozy's Mediterranean Union plans (http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0712056846195246.htm)


Title: Italian, Spanish leaders discuss EU future, immigration
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 10:44:26 PM
Italian, Spanish leaders discuss EU future, immigration
2007-12-05 21:25:36

    ROME, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Italian and Spanish prime ministers began their annual talks in the southern Italian city of Naples Wednesday, focusing on the future of the European Union (EU) and immigration issues.

    Italian Premier Romano Prodi and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero were expected to discuss the future of the EU and its role in the world after EU member states sign a new treaty to replace the failed EU constitution later this month.

    The two leaders are also to talk about looming immigration problems. Both lying south on the European continent, Italy and Spain have become the first destinations for African immigrants, just across the Mediterranean. Prodi and Zapatero called it an issue of the whole EU, and asked for more resources for the EU border agency, Frontex.

    Other topics including the Kosovo status, Afghanistan and business cooperation will also appear on the agenda.

    The two leaders' last meeting was at the start of this year, on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

Italian, Spanish leaders discuss EU future, immigration (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-12/05/content_7205944.htm)


Title: A call to Putin puts Sarkozy at odds with his EU allies
Post by: Shammu on December 05, 2007, 10:46:49 PM
A call to Putin puts Sarkozy at odds with his EU allies

Reuters
Tuesday, December 4, 2007

BRUSSELS: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has telephoned President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his party's victory in the Russian parliamentary elections, putting him at odds with European Union allies who say the voting was deeply flawed.

"The president called Vladimir Putin to congratulate him," Sarkozy's spokesman, David Martinon, said Monday evening during a visit to Algeria.

But Germany flatly called the election "neither free, fair nor democratic" by Western standards, and most other EU governments expressed concern about reports of voting irregularities.

Donald Tusk, the new prime minister of Poland, on Tuesday questioned the legitimacy of the Russian elections, saying that they had not respected democratic standards.

"We in Europe should not be tolerant of a situation when democratic standards are not being respected or are downright broken," he said.

Poland's skeptical attitude toward Russia could aggravate the European Union's already fraught relations with Moscow, analysts said.

In November last year, Warsaw blocked negotiations on a new EU-Russia pact covering energy, economic cooperation and human rights to protest a Russian ban on Polish meat imports. Tusk said he was working to have the ban lifted.

The differing European responses to the vote, in which Putin's United Russia party won a landslide victory, highlighted the EU's problems speaking with a single voice on Russia, its major energy supplier.

After two days of wrangling over the wording, the EU presidency, currently held by Portugal, issued a mild rebuke over the conduct of the election.

The EU regrets "that there were many reports and allegations of media restrictions as well as harassment of opposition parties and NGOs in the run-up to the elections and on election day, and that procedures during the electoral campaign did not meet international standards and commitments voluntarily assumed by Moscow," the statement said. "The EU hopes that investigations will clarify the accuracy of these allegations."

Diplomats said the presidency had had difficulty finding consensus in national capitals on a text. "Some people want one thing, others want another," a Portuguese diplomat said in Lisbon.

The EU regretted that the election monitoring office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had abandoned its mission in Russia, citing restrictions imposed by the Kremlin, removing a reliable basis for assessing the vote.

Since he took office in May, Sarkozy has adopted a more critical tone toward Moscow on human rights than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, who cultivated a special relationship with Putin, partly to balance U.S. global power. Opposition politicians have nevertheless accused Sarkozy of putting economic interests above rights.

The French minister for European affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, defended Paris's stance Tuesday: "There's no contradiction between making France's voice on the defense of human rights heard everywhere and assuring our economic development, safeguarding our jobs," he said in Parliament.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said Monday that it was working on a joint EU response to the Russian poll.

Asked what had happened to the joint response, a spokesman, Johannes Laitenberger, said: "I think that there is a common analysis between the member states of the EU on this matter and this common analysis is shared by the commission."

He declined to elaborate except to say: "Everybody is aware that observers have denounced a number of irregularities," and "it is in the interest of Russian democracy, in the interest of a credible and strong Russia, to completely clarify all these allegations of irregularities."

In a similar incident last week, the Portuguese presidency put out a critical statement three days after the arrest of opposition activists in Russia, including the former chess champion Garry Kasparov, only to withdraw it and issue a milder version without explanation.

A call to Putin puts Sarkozy at odds with his EU allies (http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=8586018)


Title: Iran a threat, say Europe allies
Post by: Shammu on December 06, 2007, 05:27:22 PM
Iran a threat, say Europe allies
6 December 2007
Angela Merkel (l) and Nicolas Sarkozy


German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have said Iran continues to pose a threat.

The comments came as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice began talks with European and Russian officials in Brussels on Iran's nuclear programme.

A US intelligence report published on Monday said Iran had suspended a nuclear weapons programme in 2003.

But the report also said that Iran was continuing to enrich uranium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran says the aims of its nuclear programme are peaceful.

"Iran continues to represent a threat," Mrs Merkel said during a joint news conference with Mr Sarkozy in Paris.

She did not specifically express support for a new UN sanctions resolution against Iran, which the US is calling for.

'Dialogue'

"We and our partners would like to continue with the UN process," Mrs Merkel said.

"I think we and our partners need to continue to seek dialogue with Iran," she said.

Mr Sarkozy said he agreed with his German counterpart that Iran still posed a danger, and that he supported the push for more sanctions.

"Notwithstanding the latest elements, everyone is fully conscious of the fact that there is a will of the Iranian leaders to obtain nuclear weapons.

"What made Iran move up to now, it was sanctions and firmness," he said.

The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released on Monday reversed earlier statements on Iran by the Bush administration.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the US report a "great victory" for Iran.

Ms Rice, who was in Brussels to urge more international pressure on the Iranians to halt uranium enrichment, said they still needed explain a covert programme up to 2003.

"I don't see that the NIE changes the course that we're on," Ms Rice said while travelling to Brussels, AP reported.

Iran a threat, say Europe allies (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7131703.stm)


Title: Merkel Rebukes Zimbabwe's Mugabe at EU-Africa Summit
Post by: Shammu on December 08, 2007, 09:56:23 PM
Merkel Rebukes Zimbabwe's Mugabe at EU-Africa Summit
By Leon Mangasarian and Mike Cohen

 Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at an EU-Africa summit, saying ``time is of the essence'' for his country's people and upbraiding his suppression of political opposition.

``The current situation in Zimbabwe damages the image of the new Africa,'' Merkel told representatives from 80 EU and African states in a keynote speech at the meeting in Lisbon today, with Mugabe among those in the audience. ``Nothing can justify the intimidation of those holding different views and hindering freedom of the press.''

Mugabe's presence came close to wrecking the summit, the first such gathering since 2000. The Zimbabwean leader, who's banned from the 27-nation EU, received a special visa from the Portuguese government only after African leaders said they wouldn't come if he were barred. This prompted a boycott by some European leaders, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who says Mugabe is responsible for ``the collapse of Zimbabwe's society and economy.''

In addition to the U.K., Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus didn't send heads of state or government to the summit, according to a list of participants from the Portuguese foreign ministry.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Mugabe sat impassively during Merkel's speech in which she labeled the Zimbabwe administration, along with Belarus, Sudan and Myanmar, as ``bad government, violating human rights.''

`No Reaction'

Mugabe ``stayed in the room and I saw no reaction,'' said Reinfeldt, adding that Merkel spoke for ``all the EU'' on the issues raised.

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country holds the EU's rotating, six-month presidency, spoke of the ``serious situation in Zimbabwe'' in his opening address.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, who made Africa's keynote speech at the summit today, didn't mention Zimbabwe in the text of his remarks distributed at the meeting.

Zimbabwe is in its ninth successive year of economic recession following a land-seizure program implemented by Mugabe in 2000. The southern African nation has the world's fastest- shrinking peace-time economy and the highest inflation rate, estimated at 14,841 percent in October.

``Europe wanted this summit to end 50 years of uneasy post- colonial relations. But the meeting is attended by a leader who exploits the colonial past and uses it as an excuse for his human- rights violations and endemic corruption at home,'' Fredrik Erixon, director of the Brussels-based European Centre for International Political Economy, said in an interview.

Colonial Powers

Several EU countries are former African colonial powers including the U.K., France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal. ``This summit is a summit of equals,'' said Socrates. ``There are no minor cultures; there are no superior civilizations.''

EU and African leaders also clashed over trade talks, with the African Union calling on its 53 member nations to resist pressure to swiftly sign accords that would oblige them to open up their markets to a wider range of goods and services.

``It's a bad approach,'' said Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade in remarks to reporters.

Alpha Oumar Konare, chairman of the African Union commission said ``speeding up these negotiations will bring no benefits.'' He said a hasty deal might come at ``a tremendous cost to the rural African populations and to African industry.''

Trade Deals Expire

A series of preferential trade agreements between the 27- nation EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries is due to expire at the end of the year. The EU is pressing for the adoption of new economic partnership agreements, which are often referred to as EPAs and cover trade in agricultural and industrial goods, services, investment regulations and competition policy.

European Commission President Jose Barroso defended the proposed treaties.

``They will turn our trading relationship into a healthy, diversified, development-oriented partnership,'' he told the summit. ``They are tools at the center of our common development goals.''

Aside from human rights, migration and security, EU leaders are using the two-day meeting as a bid to counter growing Chinese influence in Africa as competition for the continent's energy and mineral resources grows.

`Losing Ground'

``The EU hasn't missed the boat, but they've certainly lost a lot of ground,'' John Kotsopoulos, an Africa expert at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre research institute, said in a telephone interview.

China is providing $8 billion in loans and investment to Africa and attaches no political demands to aid -- in contrast to Europe, which often links aid to governance and human rights.

Mugabe isn't the only target of criticism at the summit. Protests are planned against human-rights abuses in Sudan's western Darfur region, where at least 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been turned into refugees since 2004.

Merkel Rebukes Zimbabwe's Mugabe at EU-Africa Summit (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=ag_9P5wRcVyA)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 14, 2007, 12:37:16 PM
 EU leaders have signed landmark treaty

A treaty that is expected to greatly alter the operations of the 27-member states of the EU has been signed in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon and this treaty which creates an EU president is a replacement for the EU Constitution which was abandoned following French and Dutch opposition.

The treaty, a slimmed down version of the European Constitution, is meant to ease decision making by scrapping national vetos and developing a foreign policy chief with thousands of diplomats and officials.

The historic signing of the Lisbon Treaty which makes the EU a political, economic, military power with a powerful leader is a precursor to the prophetic scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy.

The year long celebration in 2007 of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome that established the European economic community, a forerunner of the EU, was crowned when the leaders of the 27-member states of the EU meeting in Lisbon, Portugal signed the Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty also sets in place a permanent powerful president that will lead this supra state into the future as a major geopolitical player on the world scene.

With the signing of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU is in position, with its new permanent leader, to be the absolute infrastructure for the revived Roman Empire that is called for in Bible prophecy for the Last Days. The ancient Jewish prophet Daniel wrote prophetically of this scenario 2,500 years ago when he called for a revival of the old Roman Empire, geographically the EU of today, an event that would take place in the days just prior to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, Daniel 7:7, 24. Daniel's prophecy also revealed a powerful personality who would lead this revived Roman Empire, Daniel 7:8, 24-28. This leader would be a major player in the Middle East peace process, Daniel 9:27.

This historic signing of the Lisbon Treaty by the EU leaders has indeed set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.


Title: Merkel: new EU treaty 'historic success'
Post by: Shammu on December 16, 2007, 06:13:15 PM
Merkel: new EU treaty 'historic success'

BERLIN (AP): German Chancellor Angela Merkel described this week's signing of a new European Union treaty as a ``historic success'' for the 27-member bloc, and said Wednesday she hopes the German parliament will ratify it by next May.

EU governments say the so-called Lisbon Treaty, to be signed Thursday in the Portuguese capital, will ensure the bloc's international influence and prosperity in the 21st century.

``I really am not inclined to exaggerated euphoria _ but I think we can declare that this day marks a historic success, a success for Europe,'' Merkel told the German parliament. ``It will perhaps be seen later as a decisive milestone for a greater ability to act in Europe.''

Merkel noted that the treaty reforms the EU's institutions to cope with its enlarged membership. She argued that ``it takes on board the concerns and worries of citizens that have been heard over the past two years.''

Germany _ along with all the other EU members except Ireland _ plans to ratify the new treaty through its parliament, rather than by referendum.

Merkel, who was a key figure in drawing up the treaty during Germany's turn in the EU presidency earlier this year, said her government would approve the necessary legislation next week.

``I would like it if the parliamentary procedures in Germany could be completed successfully by mid-May 2008,'' she said. ``I am also confident that ratification will take place in the other member states.''

Merkel: new EU treaty 'historic success' (http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/003200712122021.htm)


Title: Re: Merkel: new EU treaty 'historic success'
Post by: Shammu on December 16, 2007, 06:16:05 PM
Interesting that it will be ratified in the parliaments and not by referendum. I guess they learned their lesson after the constitution got voted down by referendum. The natural tendency is for federal government to seize more and more power which is what (I think) we will see in Europe.


Title: Brussels names first 'EU ambassador'
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 05:12:39 PM
Brussels names first 'EU ambassador'

Justin Stares in Brussels
Last Updated: 2:55am GMT 17/12/2007

Brussels has appointed the European Union's first "ambassador" more than a year before the EU Reform Treaty comes into force, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

The powerful dual role will involve Belgium's Koen Vervaeke representing both the European Commission and the EU's 27 member states in Africa.

The position is part of a diplomatic corps created under the treaty signed by Gordon Brown in Lisbon last week amid claims by Eurosceptics of a betrayal of Britain's national interests.

Brussels chiefs have pressed ahead with Mr Vervaeke's appointment before any countries have begun ratifying the treaty, which is scheduled to come into effect in 2009.

Critics have accused the commission of riding roughshod over the ratification process, which in Britain will see the treaty subject to parliamentary scrutiny and votes over more than 20 days next year.

Dr Charles Tannock, a Conservative Euro-MP and the party's foreign affairs spokesman at the European Parliament, said: "By appointing this man to Africa they are obviously testing the waters. This is the way things will work in the future. But until the treaty is ratified they have no mandate to set up anything like an EU diplomatic corps."

The official Brussels line is that Mr Vervaeke's role is "an exception".

Under the treaty, there will be a powerful EU foreign minister, or "high representative", who will also service member states and the commission, deriving his power from what Brussels officials call a "double hat" arrangement.

Javier Solana, the Spaniard who heads the EU's fledgling foreign office, is tipped for the job, which will involve taking on more than 100 existing commission delegations around the world and turning them into a corps of diplomats.

Mr Vervaeke, 47, who will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is essentially a regional foreign minister with a mandate to talk on behalf of the entire EU.

Brussels names first 'EU ambassador' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/12/16/wbrussels116.xml)


Title: EU opens talks with Turkey on 2 new areas
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 06:02:52 PM
EU opens talks with Turkey on 2 new areas
Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:01am EST

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union opened negotiations with Turkey on two more reform areas on Wednesday as part of Ankara's bid to join the bloc.

This brings to five the number of so-called "chapters" Turkey has opened of the 35 that must be completed to conclude the accession process. The EU said it hoped to open talks on two or three others in the first half of 2008.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the opening of the chapters on health and consumer protection, and trans-European transport networks, showed accession talks were on track despite difficulties.

Rehn, who said he was concerned by the "political atmospherics" in EU-Turkey relations, said "the opening of these two chapters indicates the EU accession process of Turkey continues and it delivers results".

Asked what progress could be expected in the first half of next year, Rehn told a news conference it would be realistic to expect two to three areas to be opened, but declined to name which ones.

Ankara began EU entry talks in 2005 but they have moved very slowly because of rows over Cyprus and human rights.

Eight chapters have been blocked since the end of last year because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to ships and planes from EU member Cyprus.

Wednesday's meeting with Turkish Foreign minister Ali Babacan follows a decision taken by an EU summit last week to create a reflection group on the future of Europe.

This was wanted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who opposes Turkey's EU membership.

Babacan criticized on Wednesday countries who he said wanted to derail the accession process, but declined to say which countries he was referring to.

"Some member states are in the effort of eroding our political and judicial position with regard to the accession process," Babacan told a news conference.

"We believe that such attitude is not proper and does not display a responsible approach," he said.

EU opens talks with Turkey on 2 new areas (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL1951359620071219?sp=true)


Title: Back in the 'EUSSR'
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 06:05:29 PM
Back in the 'EUSSR'


December 19, 2007

By Paul Belien - Last Thursday, the heads of government of the 27 member states of the European Union convened in the Portuguese capital Lisbon to sign the EU Reform Treaty. That "Treaty of Lisbon" is almost identical to the European Constitutional Treaty, the so-called EU Constitution, which was rejected two years ago in referendums in major EU member states.

The EU rules stipulate that treaties only become effective when they have been ratified in all 27 member states. The "no" votes in the 2005 referendums killed the constitution, which would have transformed the EU from a supranational organization of 27 sovereign member states into a genuine single European federal state with 27 provinces. It was clear from the outset, however, that the peoples of the various European states were not willing to renounce their national sovereignty for a "United States of Europe."

Nevertheless, the European leaders are determined, no matter what their electorates say, to transform the EU into a USE. As Jean-Claude Juncker, the prime minister of Luxembourg, said prior to the referendums: "If the vote is yes, we will say: We go ahead. If it is no, we will say: We continue." Or as the former president of France, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the chairman of the so-called convention, which drew up the constitution, said: "The rejection of the constitution [by the voters in referendums] was a mistake which will have to be corrected."

In order to correct the voters' mistake the reform treaty was drafted. This treaty is a copy of the constitution, with the articles in a somewhat different order, with many additions to deliberately complicate the text and without references to a national flag or anthem. As Mr. Giscard explained in June to the Paris leftist paper Le Monde: "Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly... All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."

Or as Guiliano Amato, the foreign minister of Italy and the former vice chairman of the convention, said about the document that the European leaders signed last week: "They decided that the document should be unreadable. If it is unreadable, it is not constitutional, that was the sort of perception."

The EU leaders agreed that none of the member states (apart from Ireland, which is obliged to do so under its own constitution) will hold a referendum about the new treaty. Instead, the national parliaments will ratify the treaty. "There is a cleavage between people and governments," admitted French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no treaty if we had a referendum in France."

Once the Lisbon Treaty is ratified in all member states, the legal nature of the EU will change into that of a state. The national constitutions and the national parliaments will be subordinate to the EU, which will be enabled to unilaterally increase its own powers.

Europe's politicians are very eager to sell out their national sovereignty to the EU because the Brussels-based EU governing bodies are either unelected (the commission) or unaccountable (the council). Moreover, the European Parliament is not a real parliament. It cannot reject the so-called EU directives, which the national parliaments are obliged to incorporate into their national legislation. Even today, up to 70 percent of the legislation in the various 27 EU member states emanates from Brussels.

Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has coined the term "EUSSR" to refer to the EU. He claims Europe is on its way to developing into a totalitarian state. In the early 1990s Mr. Bukovsky was given permission to research the secret documents of the Soviet leadership. To his amazement he found a transcript there of a conversation held during a visit in January 1989 of Mr. Giscard to then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. In this conversation the former declared to the latter that "within 15 years Europe is going to be a federal state." The USE project was delayed a bit by the 2005 referendums, but European politicians have managed to get it back on track in Lisbon. "Today's situation is really grim. Major political parties have been completely taken in by the new EU project. None of them really opposes it. They have become very corrupt. Who is going to defend our freedoms?" Mr. Bukovsky asks.

In America, the supporters of Rep. Ron Paul, the maverick Republican presidential candidate, claim that there is a growing rift between the political leadership and the people. Hence, they say, it is time for a second American Revolution.

Considering the far greater rift between the people and the governments in Europe, the need for a revolution is more urgent on the old continent than in Washington. If the EU reform treaty is ratified, ancient nations such as England, France, Denmark and Hungary will lose their sovereignty. They will be absorbed by a United States of Europe — a USE which a former Soviet dissident can only describe as an EUSSR.

Back in the 'EUSSR' (http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071219/EDITORIAL/814033841&template=printart)


Title: Hungary first to ratify new EU treaty
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 06:57:43 PM
Hungary first to ratify new EU treaty
18.12.2007 - 09:02 CET | By Honor Mahony
Hungary on Monday (17 December) became the first of the 27 member states to ratify the bloc's new treaty, making the move just days after the document was formally signed off by EU leaders.

A parliamentary vote saw 325 votes in favour, 5 votes against and 14 abstentions for the new set of rules, according to Austrian news agency APA.


Reacting to the vote, Hungary's prime minister praised the "historic achievement" of his country.

In taking the ratification step so quickly, Budapest has stolen the crown from Poland and France, both of whom had indicated they were aiming to be the first.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country rejected the original EU constitution in 2005, had suggested that France should be among the first to prove that the country is back on track in Europe.

Speaking before MEPs in the European Parliament last month, he said that French voters had rejected the constitution because they wanted more from Europe.

The new EU treaty takes on most of the features of the rejected European constitution, including a foreign policy chief, a long-term president of the EU, a binding citizens rights charter as well as cutting down on the areas where member states have a right to veto.

The new institutional rules, six years in the making, were signed off in a formal ceremony on Thursday (13 December) in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, with EU leaders happy to draw a line under the negotiations.

Each member state has to ratify the treaty for it to come into force, with governments aiming to get it in place by early 2009.

Ireland is the only country to have a referendum on the document, while the British government is undergoing strong pressure from opposition conservatives to hold a popular vote.

Mr Sarkozy has sidestepped the awkward question of why French voters will not be having a second say on the treaty by suggesting that if France had a referendum then the British government would be forced to follow suit, resulting in a probable rejection of the document.

Hungary first to ratify new EU treaty (http://euobserver.com/9/25356)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 20, 2007, 03:05:19 PM
'Muhammad boys' prove 'Islam will enter every house in Europe'
Terror leader boastful after British government lists most popular baby names

Statistical information released yesterday showing Muhammad is the second most popular boys name in Britain "proves Islam is becoming the majority in the UK and will one day enter every house in Europe," a senior terror leader told WND in an interview.

"We see from this study of Muhammad's name that Islam is on the rise and cannot be stopped no matter what your crusader governments do," said Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group.

The Committees is a coalition of Palestinian terror organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has taken responsibility for thousands of shootings and deadly rocket attacks and is suspected of carrying out a 2003 bombing against a U.S. convoy in Gaza that killed three American government contractors.

According to statistics released yesterday by Britain's Office of National Statistics, Muhammad was the most popular boys name in the UK when all of its spellings are accounted for. Jack, cited as the most popular boy's name, fell from last year by 156 babies, while Muhammad showed a regular spike. If trends continue, Muhammad could be the most popular boys name in Britain next year.

Abdel-Al is known for his fiery threats against Western targets, but he said statistical trends indicating Muslims are gaining a major foothold in the UK show there is no need for violence to spread Islam.

"In Europe there is no need for war because if people keep on joining Islam in these countries then Islam will become the majority, which I think is the process that is taking place now, so there will not be any necessity to have war with [non-Muslims]," he said.

Also reflecting on recent trends, Sheik Yasser Hamad, a cleric and a Hamas leader in the northern West Bank, said in a recent WND interview he too sees Islam quickly spreading in the West.

"Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him, said that the sun will shine from the West. This will physically happen as part of the signs of Judgment Day, and it will practically happen as part of a big revival of Islam," said Hamad. "Islam ... may start its new campaign from the West."



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on December 20, 2007, 03:37:11 PM
'Muhammad boys' prove 'Islam will enter every house in Europe'
Terror leader boastful after British government lists most popular baby names

Statistical information released yesterday showing Muhammad is the second most popular boys name in Britain "proves Islam is becoming the majority in the UK and will one day enter every house in Europe," a senior terror leader told WND in an interview.

"We see from this study of Muhammad's name that Islam is on the rise and cannot be stopped no matter what your crusader governments do," said Muhammad Abdel-Al, spokesman and a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees terror group.

The Committees is a coalition of Palestinian terror organizations, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It has taken responsibility for thousands of shootings and deadly rocket attacks and is suspected of carrying out a 2003 bombing against a U.S. convoy in Gaza that killed three American government contractors.

According to statistics released yesterday by Britain's Office of National Statistics, Muhammad was the most popular boys name in the UK when all of its spellings are accounted for. Jack, cited as the most popular boy's name, fell from last year by 156 babies, while Muhammad showed a regular spike. If trends continue, Muhammad could be the most popular boys name in Britain next year.

Abdel-Al is known for his fiery threats against Western targets, but he said statistical trends indicating Muslims are gaining a major foothold in the UK show there is no need for violence to spread Islam.

"In Europe there is no need for war because if people keep on joining Islam in these countries then Islam will become the majority, which I think is the process that is taking place now, so there will not be any necessity to have war with [non-Muslims]," he said.

Also reflecting on recent trends, Sheik Yasser Hamad, a cleric and a Hamas leader in the northern West Bank, said in a recent WND interview he too sees Islam quickly spreading in the West.

"Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him, said that the sun will shine from the West. This will physically happen as part of the signs of Judgment Day, and it will practically happen as part of a big revival of Islam," said Hamad. "Islam ... may start its new campaign from the West."


Come Lord Jesus come one more time come.


Title: Europe's border-free zone expands
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2007, 09:22:46 PM
Europe's border-free zone expands
21 December 2007

Celebrations have been held after midnight to mark nine new states joining a European border-free zone.

The Schengen agreement, which allows passport-free travel across the area, now embraces 24 nations.

Some 2,000 people celebrated with the EU anthem, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, and fireworks in the town of Frankfurt on Oder at Germany's border with Poland.

The Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia joined the zone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish PM Donald Tusk will mark the event on Friday morning in the town of Zittau, near the point where Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic meet.

Crime wave fears

They will be joined by Czech PM Mirek Topolanek and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

On Thursday a checkpoint between Austria and Slovakia was dismantled in one of several events marking the enlargement from the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer sawed through a barrier at the Berg border crossing.

Other ceremonies took place in Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Poland and the Baltic states.

Initially the lifting of internal controls involves just land and sea borders, but that will be extended to airports at the end of March 2008.

Mr Gusenbauer welcomed the extension of the Schengen zone, rejecting fears that it might create a crime wave in Austria.

The European Commission says that one billion euros (Ł720m) has been spent on beefing up security on the new EU frontiers, including the establishing of missions along the Polish and Slovak borders.

Mr Fico said: "From midnight tonight you can travel 4,000km (2,485 miles) from Tallinn in Estonia to Lisbon in Portugal without any border controls."

Although the enlargement allows passport-free travel throughout the area, travellers can be asked to carry documents by any of the countries concerned.

Vast database

For non-EU nationals, a Schengen visa allows travel across all the participating countries.

Thirteen existing EU states have already been part of the Schengen accord as well as two non-EU countries, Norway and Iceland.

The UK and Ireland are not involved in the zone - which embraces 400m people - but they have signed up to agreements on security.

A significant element of the Schengen agreement is the Schengen Information Service (SIS) which features an enormous database in the French city of Strasbourg.

The SIS database enables police in any Schengen state to find out whether a suspect has been involved in any kind of crime across the EU.

Europe's border-free zone expands (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7153490.stm)


Title: EU TO HELP PALESTINIAN TRADE WITH ARAB COUNTRIES
Post by: Shammu on December 21, 2007, 02:30:00 PM
EU TO HELP PALESTINIAN TRADE WITH ARAB COUNTRIES
(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, DECEMBER 19 - The European Commission has signed an agreement with the Palestine Trade Centre (PalTrade) and the Palestinian Shippers' Council (PSC), to help promote Palestinian trade with neighbouring Arab countries and improve market access for Palestinian products. The project, which is worth 432.614 euro, will last for 17 months. The first phase of the project will involve comprehensive research and identification of the improvements for existing trade corridors into Egypt and Jordan. The private sector will be heavily involved in this research phase, providing in-depth analysis of the current situation, and recommendations for the future. The second component of the project will focus on engaging the Palestinian and Israeli public sectors, as well as officials in third countries (Jordan, Egypt), to promote policies and measures that will help to facilitate trade. The project will also produce an Export Information Guide on trade logistics for the use of Palestinian exporters. In addition, it will provide logistical cost analysis on importing from Egypt and Jordan.

EU TO HELP PALESTINIAN TRADE WITH ARAB COUNTRIES (http://www.ansamed.info/en/news/ME01.YBX14435.html)


Title: Former Cold War borders fall away in new Europe
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 01:40:21 AM
Former Cold War borders fall away in new Europe
Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:11am EST

By Lars Rischke and Wojciech Zurawski

ZITTAU, Germany (Reuters) - Frontiers in east Europe once guarded by machineguns and barbed wire in the Cold War fell away on Friday as nine mostly former communist states joined the EU's border-free zone amid fireworks, cheers and music.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, herself from ex-communist East Germany, hailed as historic a move seen by many as a final lifting of the old Iron Curtain.

From midnight, the nine joined 15 existing members to create an area one third the size of the United States, allowing passport-free travel for 4,000 km (2,500 miles) from Estonia to Portugal.

The extension of the European Union's so-called Schengen zone brought in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The move is expected to boost business and tourism, though some worry about a rise in crime or illegal immigration.

Border posts were ceremonially lifted or cut, border guards left their booths and people walked freely across frontiers that once divided the former Soviet bloc from the West.

"We are very pleased to be able to experience this genuinely historic moment," Merkel said at a ceremony in Zittau on the German border with Poland, noting the borders had caused much suffering in the past.

New Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the new measure was heart-warming.

People at border posts the length and breadth of eastern Europe celebrated with fireworks, cheers and music from midnight as the European Union's so-called Schengen zone was expanded.

In the German town of Frankfurt on Oder on the Polish border, one of the most politically significant frontiers in Europe with a past of war, about 2,000 people celebrated with the EU's anthem, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", and fireworks.

"It is very good. There are no borders, so there is equality. People can communicate now and travel from one place to another without any controls," said Polish student Mikhalina Yszczak, 23, shortly after midnight.

Frontiers also fell away between the Baltic states, including Latvian-Estonian Valga-Valka where a main street had been split by a border. At the Slovak-Austrian Petrzalka/Bergen crossing, people got souvenir stamps in their passports.

"There were soldiers with machineguns here and concrete blocks which even a tank could not run over. Not even a mouse could sneak in," said pensioner Kolomam Prekop.

SOME FEARS REMAIN

The move to expand Schengen, named after a Luxembourg village where a first agreement on passport-free travel was struck in 1985, has aroused fears of increased crime or that the EU will be less secure against illegal immigration.

In Austria, the village of Deutschkreutz near Hungary hired a private security firm to patrol its streets.

Outside the EU, some in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia fear a "Fortress Europe" that will make travel more difficult, though European officials say this will not be the case.

The expansion of the Schengen zone will mean it covers 24 countries or about 400 million people. It initially covers land and sea borders but will be extended to airports next March.

The eastward enlargement of the EU in 2004 has already meant travel across borders has become much simpler.

Thousands of people from countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have gone to work in Britain and Ireland, which opened their markets to workers from the new EU countries. Britain and Ireland themselves have remained outside Schengen.

Cyprus, also in the EU from 2004, has asked for a year's delay before opening its borders. Romania and Bulgaria, which became EU members this year, have yet to meet security criteria.

Former Cold War borders fall away in new Europe (http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2024805220071221)


Title: Early UK vote can help Ireland ratify EU treaty
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 09:09:11 PM
Early UK vote can help Ireland ratify EU treaty
By Paul Taylor
Reuters
Thursday, December 20, 2007

BRUSSELS: The incoming holder of the European Union's presidency said on Thursday he was counting on Britain to ratify a fiercely-contested EU reform treaty before Ireland holds a referendum next year to ease its passage.

EU leaders signed the Treaty of Lisbon last week to overhaul the bloc's creaking institutions, replacing the defunct draft EU constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005. The new treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU states to take effect.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel said ratification by the British parliament would make an Irish "Yes" vote easier.

"I ... expect that our British friends will have their ratification let's say sometime in the spring, so this will be a very good sign also for our Irish friends, so that they can have a relaxed kind of referendum," he told a news conference.

Of the 27 EU states, only Ireland is planning a referendum on the text, which would give the bloc a long-term president, a stronger foreign policy chief, more majority decision-making, a fairer voting system and more say for the European and national parliaments.

Rupel said Irish leaders had told him the referendum was "a slightly more complicated process ... but they do not foresee more grave or more serious problems".

The relative timing of the two votes is sensitive because Eurosceptics want Britain to wait until after the Irish vote in the hope that a "No" would kill off the treaty.

On the other hand, supporters of the EU treaty say ratification by Britain would leave Ireland isolated if it voted against the treaty, improving the chances of a "Yes" vote.

In London, a British Foreign Office spokesman said that since the government had introduced a bill to ratify the treaty into parliament last week, it was reasonable to expect a vote between Easter (March 23) and the summer.

But he stressed: "The legislative timetable is not connected to any other state's timetable."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern has not announced a date for the referendum but Irish officials say it is likely to be in May or June.

Ahern said last week that the leaders of France and Germany would come to Ireland next year to boost the "Yes" campaign.

Ireland voted against the previous Treaty of Nice in a 2001 referendum but approved the same treaty the following year in another popular vote after winning assurances on its neutrality.

Most diplomats believe an Irish "No" this time would kill the treaty stone dead and there could not be a second vote.

Early UK vote can help Ireland ratify EU treaty (http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=8842279)


Title: Re: Early UK vote can help Ireland ratify EU treaty
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 09:12:16 PM

Ireland was never part of the Roman Empire. The Romans had influence there, but never conquered it, thanks to Boudicca. Ireland had ocean to the north and west, and Roman territories to the east and south. Of course, it was therefore in a relatively isolated position as an island on the edge of the Empire, so technically Rome didn't need to conquer it.


Title: Tony Blair joins Catholic Church
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 09:15:59 PM
Tony Blair joins Catholic Church
22 December 2007

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has left the Anglican Church to become a Roman Catholic.

His wife and children are already Catholic and there had been speculation he would convert after leaving office.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, who led the service to welcome Mr Blair, said he was "very glad" to do so.

But ex-Tory minister Ann Widdecombe - herself a Catholic convert - said Mr Blair's voting record as an MP had often "gone against church teaching".

Last year, Mr Blair, who is now a Middle East peace envoy, said he had prayed to God when deciding whether or not to send UK troops into Iraq.

And one of Mr Blair's final official trips while prime minister was a visit to the Vatican in June where he met Pope Benedict XVI.

'Regular worshipper'

Mr Blair was received into full communion with the Catholic Church during Mass at Archbishop's House, Westminster, on Friday.

Quote from: Ann Widdecombe
If you look at Tony Blair's voting record in the House of Commons, he's gone against church teaching on more than one occasion

 Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, who is the head of Catholics in England and Wales, said: "I am very glad to welcome Tony Blair into the Catholic Church.

"For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion.

"My prayers are with him, his wife and family at this joyful moment in their journey of faith together."

Chief Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church in Rome shared Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's "satisfaction".

"The choice of joining the Catholic church made by such an authoritative personality can only arouse joy and respect," Fr Lombardi added.

BBC correspondent David Willey said it had been no secret in Rome that Mr Blair had been taking instruction from a Catholic priest as a prelude to conversion.

He added that the Pope was informed of Mr Blair's intentions prior to his visit to the Vatican in June 2007, shortly before he left office.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, leader of the Anglican church, wished the former prime minister well in his spiritual journey.

He said: "Tony Blair has my prayers and good wishes as he takes this step in his Christian pilgrimage."

Northern Ireland

Downing Street confirmed the former prime minister had converted, but said it was a private matter and it would not comment further.

Quote from: Tony Blair
In the end, there is a judgement that, I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people... and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well

 But Miss Widdecombe, who became a Catholic in 1993, told the BBC Mr Blair's move raised some questions.

"If you look at Tony Blair's voting record in the House of Commons, he's gone against Church teaching on more than one occasion. On things, for example, like abortion," she said.

"My question would be, 'has he changed his mind on that?'"

But Mr Blair's biographer, Anthony Seldon, said the former prime minister's faith had always been a major influence on his politics.

Mr Seldon said: "He's a profoundly religious figure. Religion brought him into politics in the first place, not reading Labour Party history.

"Catholicism has been the religion of his wife - Cherie Blair has been incredibly important to him throughout his political life, encouraging him to go into politics and adopting many of his positions, so I think it was the obvious part of the Christian faith for him to come into."

Northern Ireland

There has never been a Roman Catholic prime minister of Britain, although there is no constitutional barrier to such a move.

Quote from: Mr Blair's ex-spokesman, Alastair Campbell
It's something I suspect he probably felt he couldn't do when he was prime minister and he's done it now

However, it had in the past been suggested that Mr Blair would wait until after leaving office, to avoid possible clashes such as over his role in appointing Church of England bishops.

Catherine Pepinster, editor of Catholic magazine The Tablet, said the news was not quite the same as if Mr Blair had changed Churches while still prime minister.

"I understand that one of the issues he was concerned with, because he was so closely involved in negotiations over peace in Northern Ireland, that perhaps some people there might have been uncomfortable with the prime minister converting to Catholicism at such a time.

"This situation is different. Although he remains a public figure now, and clearly has a role to play in the Middle East, it isn't perhaps quite the same."

'Nutter' fear

Mr Blair's ex-spokesman, Alastair Campbell, once famously told reporters "We don't do God". But reacting to news of Mr Blair's conversion, Mr Campbell said: "I can't say it surprises me at all. His faith does matter an awful lot to him.

"It's something I suspect he probably felt he couldn't do when he was prime minister and he's done it now."

Mr Blair last year told ITV1 chat show host Michael Parkinson he had prayed while deciding whether to send troops into Iraq.

"In the end, there is a judgement that, I think if you have faith about these things, you realise that judgement is made by other people... and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well," he said.

And earlier this year, he told the BBC that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for fear of being labelled "a nutter".

The news of his conversion comes as a document showed Mr Blair had raised "concern" over ongoing business negotiations in a letter about an investigation into a Saudi arms deal.

Days later the probe was dropped, and Mr Blair said the decision to stop it was taken because of national security, and was not linked to commercial interests.

Tony Blair joins Catholic Church (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7157409.stm)


Title: Iran-EU bank branch to open soon
Post by: Shammu on December 26, 2007, 10:54:49 PM
Iran-EU bank branch to open soon
25 Dec 2007

A branch of Iran-Europe commercial bank is to open in two weeks in Tehran, says an official at Iran's Bank of Industry and Mine.

The bank, a joint financial institution run by Iranian and German banks, is registered in Germany, Iran's biggest trading partner in the European Union, and has a major stake in the Iranian Bank of Industry and Mine (San'at va Ma'dan), with other Iranian banks such as Mellat, Tejarat and Refah also holding shares.

The bank has been operating in Iran's Kish Island since early 2005, as the first foreign bank operating in the country after the 1979 revolution, Abbaspour, head of the public relations bureau of Bank of Industry and Mine, was quoted by IRIB as saying.

While foreign owned banks are currently allowed to operate in Iran's free trade zones, but not in the mainland, joint Iranian and foreign banks have been permitted to engage in banking operations in Iran since last May, when a new policy was adopted by the Money and Credit Council of Iran's Central Bank.

Opening foreign bank branches in Iran could sharpen competition among national financial institutions and, more importantly, attract foreign investments as well as facilitating trade transactions with other countries.

Banks applying for establishment of branches in Iran are required to operate within the framework of Iran's banking system, in particular the usury-free banking regulations introduced after the Islamic Revolution.

Iran-Europe bank branch to open soon (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=36262&sectionid=351020102)
~~~~~~~~~

NOTE: This could also be posted in Ezekiel 38 & 39.


Title: Britain to adopt the euro - on its bases in Cyprus
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2007, 08:51:40 PM
Britain to adopt the euro - on its bases in Cyprus

11 hours ago

NICOSIA (AFP) — Euro-sceptic Britain may have doubts over the single European currency but its sovereign military bases on this Mediterranean island will still embrace the euro when Cyprus adopts it from January 1.

The British bases are not officially part of the European Union even though Britain itself joined decades ago. But Dhekelia, Episkopi and RAF Akrotiri -- an area of 99 square miles -- will soon become euro-savvy.

"We are absolutely ready. A lot of people here have served in Germany, so using the euro will not come as a shock," British forces Cyprus spokesman Captain Nick Ulvert told AFP on Thursday.

"It's good news for Cyprus so we have to mirror the republic's harmonisation with the EU as far as possible, otherwise it would make life unbelievably impossible," he added.

As around 10,000 Cypriots live on bases territory and many also work there, Britain has tried to stick closely to the country's EU-harmonisation since Cyprus joined the 27-member bloc in 2004.

Locals also use beaches, restaurants, shops and cafes on the British bases, so different currencies would be impractical. Goods and services on the bases are currently priced in both Cyprus pounds and euros to help with the switch.

Along with most Cypriots, the 10,000 British service personnel and their dependents stationed on the island are concerned that prices could be rounded up during the change.

But bases law has been changed to reflect the Cyprus republic's tough stance against profiteering come January 1 -- and with some unlikely beneficiaries.

"We have rounded down fixed traffic fines because that (rounding up) would be profiteering and it wouldn't look good," said Ulvert.

"I'm pretty sure profiteering won't happen on the SBA, because it's small and we have an efficient police force who will stamp it out."

Britain retained the two sovereign base areas under the agreement which granted Cyprus its independence from colonial rule in 1960.

Britain to adopt the euro - on its bases in Cyprus (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5i6nutZElbYXV1kEsg47xxyQqHruw)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2007, 08:53:20 PM
An incremental strategy, and another step closer to one world government.


Title: Turkish and Spanish PMs to co-chair Alliance of Civilizations forum
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2007, 08:54:45 PM
Turkish and Spanish PMs to co-chair Alliance of Civilizations forum

The New Anatolian / Ankara
19 December 2007

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will co-chair the initiative conducted under the auspices of the United Nations (UN).

The First Annual Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations will take place in Spanish capital of Madrid on January 15th-16th, 2008.

"Zapatero and Erdogan will make public their national projects within the scope of the forum," Bernardino Leon, Spanish secretary of state for foreign affairs, told reporters on Tuesday.

Leon said Turkey can have significant contributions to the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative.

According to Leon, two important projects will be made public. They are "rapid response media mechanism" and "information center of Alliance of Civilizations."

The "rapid response media mechanism will consist of experts on international culture and will give advice to media groups during international crises.

The information center will serve as an internet-based education medium that aims to improve mutual understanding among cultures as far as multilateral matters are concerned.

In general, the first forum will focus on media and youth. Participants will present projects and opinions that will further improve understanding among cultures.

Erdogan, Zapatero, Jorge Sampaio, the high representative for the alliance, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will make opening remarks at the forum in which 67 countries and 11 international organizations will be represented.

Meanwhile, Leon said the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been invited but have not yet responded positively.

Turkey will host the second forum in 2009.

Turkish and Spanish PMs to co-chair Alliance of Civilizations forum (http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-30148.html)


Title: Samardzic sharply criticizes Solana over EU mission
Post by: Shammu on December 28, 2007, 02:53:05 PM
Samardzic sharply criticizes Solana over EU mission
28 December 2007 | 15:00

BELGRADE -- International law does not exist for Javier Solana, Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardzic said Friday.

Samardzic told Tanjug that the EU foreign policy chief's stand that the sending of an EU mission to Kosovo would not represent a violation of international law “can only mean that for Solana, international law does not exist at all.”

"Announcements that the EU Council of Ministers might reach a final decision on January 28 on sending the EU mission to Kosovo would not only represent a most brutal violation of international law and Resolution 1244, but such a decision would also annul the initialed Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA)," Samardzic warned in a strongly worded statement for the agency.

He underlined that having initialed the SAA, both Serbia and the EU had “strictly obliged” themselves to observe the UN Charter, Resolution 1244 and the Final Helsinki Act.

“All these basic documents fully guarantee the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia within its current internationally recognized borders,” Samardzic pointed out.

“International law has to be observed and because of this the EU is not allowed to reach a decision on January 28 on the illegal deployment of its mission in Kosovo and Metohija,” he added.

Solana said, in an interview for the Belgrade weekly NIN, that the fact the EU had decided to send its mission to Kosovo could not be qualified as a violation of international law, although UN Security Council Resolution 1244 did not mention such a possibility.

"I do not know that anyone wants to violate international law," Solana said in comments published this Friday.

"The EU has only reached a decision to prepare a mission which could assist the police, judiciary, protect the churches and provide economic assistance to Kosovo," he explained.

"I do not believe that this can be qualified as a violation of international law," Solana concluded.

Samardzic sharply criticizes Solana over EU mission (http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2007&mm=12&dd=28&nav_id=46532)


Title: Sarkozy, in Egypt, offers French nuclear assistance to Cairo
Post by: Shammu on December 29, 2007, 08:03:02 PM
Sarkozy, in Egypt, offers French nuclear assistance to Cairo
By Reuters
29/12/2007

France stands ready to help Egypt develop civilian nuclear technology, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told an Egyptian newspaper ahead of meetings in Egypt with President Hosni Mubarak.

"Egypt has considerable energy needs and it naturally envisages constructing nuclear reactors," Sarkozy told Egypt's Al-Ahram newspaper, according to a French language transcript provided by his office on Friday.

"France, which probably has the best expertise and the greatest experience in the matter, is ready to cooperate with Egypt, if it wants," he said.

Sarkozy, who has been holidaying in Egypt since Tuesday, is due to begin an official visit on Sunday.

In recent months, France has agreed nuclear cooperation deals with Morocco, Algeria and Libya and in July Sarkozy said the West should trust Arab states to develop such technology for peaceful purposes or risk a war of civilizations.

Egypt said in October that it would build several civilian nuclear power stations to meet its growing energy needs.

It ratified the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1981 but said earlier this month it would not sign on to an additional protocol that would allow the UN nuclear watchdog the right to make intrusive short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities.

It already has nuclear cooperation offers from China, Russia and Kazakhstan.

France generates almost 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

State-controlled Areva is the world's biggest maker of nuclear reactors and its activities cover the full nuclear energy cycle from mining to waste.

Sarkozy, in Egypt, offers French nuclear assistance to Cairo (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/939475.html)


Title: Solana praises EUPOL COPPS (policing the Palestinian Territories)
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 04:44:31 PM
Solana praises EUPOL COPPS (policing the Palestinian Territories)

FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Spokesperson of the Secretary General, High Representative for CFSP

internet: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/solana

Brussels, 28 December 2007
S376/07

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), today welcomed the completion of the procedures for the accreditation of EUPOL COPPS and made the following statement:

"I welcome the completion of the procedure that paves the way for the accreditation of the European Union police mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS) by the Government of Israel.

Solana praises EUPOL COPPS (http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/declarations/97869.pdf)

For more information on EUPOL COPPS - http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.asp?id=974&lang=en

Other articles:

EU Support to the PA (http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/d80185e9f0c69a7b85256cbf005afeac/3052b2087c25cf548525734d0058c259!OpenDocument)

EU to the rescue?  (http://www.cafebabel.com/en/article.asp?T=A&Id=1598)

SOLANA, EU High Representative for CFSP, welcomes appointment of Head of EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories http://217.25.48.35/mbn/en/news/view/line-20/0511167788230242.htm  http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/HMYT-6J7MZW?OpenDocument  http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/3d14c9e5cdaa296d85256cbf005aa3eb/24d2201f5298ad7385257258006a8c57!OpenDocument

EU Security teams to region taking shape (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1132053869225&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull)

Read the Bible to be wise, believe in it to be safe, practice it to become more Christ like........
Bob


Title: France's Sarkozy Asks Israel To Make Gestures/ Boycots Syria
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 05:20:21 PM
France's Sarkozy Asks Israel To Make Gestures/ Boycots Syria

by Philippe Alfroy Sun Dec 30, 3:08 PM ET

CAIRO (AFP) - France will have no more contact with Syria until Damascus shows willingness to let Lebanon end its long-running political crisis and find a new president, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday.

France "will have no more contact with Syria... until we have proof of Syrian willingness to let Lebanon appoint a president by consensus," Sarkozy told journalists after talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak covering thorny regional issues.

The French president was on his first official trip to the Middle East since taking office in May and his Cairo talks followed a private Egyptian holiday with his new girlfriend ex-model Carla Bruni and a swarm of paparazzi.

Former colonial power France "wants a president for Lebanon," Sarkozy said. "It's time to provide proof (of goodwill), it's time for Syria to show it."

Keen to stress a continuation of his predecessor Jacques Chirac's Arab-friendly policies, Sarkozy called on Israel to make gestures to show its commitment to peace with the Palestinians.

"I've said several times... that it's time for Israel to make gestures which would show that peace is possible, including ending settlements," in the occupied West Bank, Sarkozy said.

"Our position (toward Israel) is unchanging, being a friend doesn't mean being complacent," Sarkozy said,

Sarkozy has ruffled Arab feathers by showing friendship for Israel and rejecting anti-Americanism, with sections of the Egyptian press deriding him as President George W. Bush's new poodle, replacing British ex-premier Tony Blair.

While the US remains Israel's key ally, France is seen by many as the Western power most able to end Lebanon's political impasse.

"It's time for Syria to prove with facts what it has not stopped saying in speeches," Sarkozy said. "We are now waiting for acts on Syria's part and not speeches."

Only last month, Sarkozy called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reopening top-level contacts after a three-year break in a bid to end Lebanon's political crisis, Syrian media reported at the time.

Mubarak described the political deadlock in Lebanon as "dangerous" and appealed to Syria to "use its influence in Lebanon to work towards reconciliation so that the parliament elects a president".

Syria pulled its troops out of Lebanon in 2005 after a nearly 30-year presence in the face of strong international and domestic pressure but continues to be accused of meddling in Lebanese affairs.

Lebanon has been without a president since November 23 when Syrian-backed incumbent Emile Lahoud ended his term with rival parties unable to agree on a successor.

A parliamentary vote to elect a president has been postponed 11 times amid sharp divisions between the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and the opposition, backed by Syria and Iran.

A Lebanese pro-government MP hailed the new tougher line from Paris.

"These comments express the disillusionment of the Arab world and the international community about the chances of agreeing anything positive with the Syrian regime," said Wael Bou Faour.

Earlier this month, US President George W. Bush also ruled out direct talks with the Syrian leader, saying: "My patience ran out on President Assad a long time ago."

On Sunday, Sarkozy also said France would free up funds for a planned international tribunal intended to try those behind a series of assassinations in Lebanon that began with the murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

UN investigators probing Hariri's murder have identified several people who they say may have been involved in the slaying, but no one has been charged.

Many in Lebanon blame Syria for the attacks, charges denied by Damascus.

The French president refused to take any questions about the political furore at home about his use of a billionaire businessman friend's private jet for his Christmas holiday with his new girlfriend.

French opposition parties have accused the president of compromising his office and asked what plastics-to-media magnate Vincent Bollore can expect in return for his generosity.

But Sarkozy insisted that he had "nothing" to say on the controversy before his return to Paris.

France's Sarkozy Asks Israel To Make Gestures/ Boycots Syria (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071230/wl_mideast_afp/egyptfrancesarkozydiplomacy)


Title: Re: France's Sarkozy Asks Israel To Make Gestures/ Boycots Syria
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 05:23:37 PM

Did you not take notice that Sarkozy also asks Israel, to make STILL more gestures with the Palestinians?? Even Sarkozy can't be trusted either to be a friend of Israel...........  :'(


Title: Re: France's Sarkozy Asks Israel To Make Gestures/ Boycots Syria
Post by: nChrist on January 06, 2008, 03:22:29 AM
Did you not take notice that Sarkozy also asks Israel, to make STILL more gestures with the Palestinians?? Even Sarkozy can't be trusted either to be a friend of Israel...........  :'(


YES Brother! I've noticed this and many more events recently that all appear to point to end of this Age of Grace events. Brother, we should know that things are going to get much worse! Israel is going to face isolation and persecution like nothing in human history, but the end result will be GOD'S Will. Israel will be restored! However, we both know that things will be very ugly and deadly for at least 7 years prior to GOD setting things right! The MESSIAH HIMSELF will be Israel's only trusted friend before the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, but HE will be more than enough!

This might be a good object lesson for Christians to consider right now. Persecution of Christians is increasing around the world, and the Bible tells us this will get much worse. HOWEVER, we are never alone and GOD will not forsake us. This doesn't mean that we won't face hard times. I think that all Christians will face hard times, even in this part of the world. This reminds me of the old and beautiful hymn, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". When it comes right down to it, JESUS CHRIST is our ALL IN ALL!


Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/mine/mine045.jpg)
 


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 08, 2008, 09:29:36 AM
 Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity

In fewer than 50 years, Britain has changed from being a society with an acknowledged Christian basis to one which is increasingly described by politicians and the media as "multifaith".

One reason for this is the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to these shores. Their arrival has coincided with the end of the Empire which brought about a widespread questioning of Britain's role.

On the one hand, the British were losing confidence in the Christian vision which underlay most of the achievements and values of the culture and, on the other, they sought to accommodate the newer arrivals on the basis of a novel philosophy of "multiculturalism".

This required that people should be facilitated in living as separate communities, continuing to communicate in their own languages and having minimum need for building healthy relationships with the majority.

Alongside these developments, there has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into "no-go" areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability.

Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them. In many ways, this is but the other side of the coin to far-Right intimidation. Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character on certain areas, for example, by insisting on artificial amplification for the Adhan, the call to prayer.

Such amplification was, of course, unknown throughout most of history and its use raises all sorts of questions about noise levels and whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker.

This is happening here even though some Muslim-majority communities are trying to reduce noise levels from multiple mosques announcing this call, one after the other, over quite a small geographical area.

There is pressure already to relate aspects of the sharia to civil law in Britain. To some extent this is already true of arrangements for sharia-compliant banking but have the far-reaching implications of this been fully considered?

It is now less possible for Christianity to be the public faith in Britain.

The existence of chapels and chaplaincies in places such as hospitals, prisons and institutions of further and higher education is in jeopardy either because of financial cuts or because the authorities want "multifaith" provision, without regard to the distinctively Christian character of the nation's laws, values, customs and culture.

Not only locally, but at the national level also the establishment of the Church of England is being eroded. My fear is, in the end, nothing will be left but the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

In the past, I have supported the establishment of the Church, but now I have to ask if it is only the forms that are left and the substance rapidly disappearing. If such is the case, is it worth persevering with the trappings of establishment?

Much of this has come about because of a "neutral" secularist approach which refuses to privilege any faith. In fact, secularism has its own agenda and it is certainly not neutral. It is perfectly possible for Britain to welcome people on the basis of its Christian heritage.

Christian chaplains can arrange for people of other faiths to have access to their own spiritual leaders without compromising the Christian basis of their own ministry.

Instead of this, the multifaith "mish mash" is producing a new, de facto, establishment as the Government attempts to bring particular communities on to its agenda for integration and cohesion, an agenda which still lacks the underpinning of a moral and spiritual vision.

If it had not been for the black majority churches and the recent arrival of people from central and eastern Europe, the Christian cause in many of our cities would have looked a lost one.

At last it seems the Government may be waking up to the situation; to the importance of English as a means of communication, to greater integration in housing, schools, and leisure pursuits and in citizenship education.

But none of this will be of any avail if Britain does not recover that vision of its destiny which made it great. That has to do with the Bible's teaching that we have equal dignity and freedom because we are all made in God's image.

It has to do with a prophetic passion for justice and compassion and it has to do with the teaching and example of Jesus Christ regarding humility, service and sacrifice. Let us pledge in this New Year to restore this noble vision to the centre of our national life.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 08, 2008, 09:37:46 AM
UK Bishop Sparks Row With Comments on Islam, Multiculturalism

The only Asian-born bishop in the Church of England is under fire for saying Islamic radicals have turned parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.

Muslim representatives called for the resignation of Michael Nazir-Ali, the bishop of Rochester in southeast England, saying his comments published in a weekend newspaper were stirring hatred against Muslims.

Some politicians also weighed in, voicing doubt about the veracity of Nazir-Ali's claims.

Writing in the London Sunday Telegraph, the bishop was critical not just of Islamic extremists but also of those pushing secularist and multicultural agendas, with disregard for "the distinctively Christian character of the nation's laws, values, customs and culture."

It was becoming increasingly difficult, he said, for Christianity to survive as Britain's traditional religion.

Nazir-Ali was born in Karachi, Pakistan, the son of a Muslim who had converted to Catholicism. He later joined the Anglican Church and was appointed a bishop in the Church of England in 1994. Although he chairs the Anglican Church's inter-faith dialogue group, he has angered Muslims before, for example by saying in a 2006 interview that many Muslims have a "dual psychology," seeking both "victimhood and domination."

He is also a conservative with strong views on the issues of homosexual clergy and same-sex marriage that are threatening to split the worldwide Anglican Communion. He said last October he would not attend the Communion's once-a-decade Lambeth Conference this year because of the presence of liberal American bishops who elected the openly homosexual Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

His latest comments come shortly before the Church of England Newspaperpublishes the results of its first opinion poll of members of the church's general synod, or governing body. The newspaper says that more than half the respondents feel that the British government is unsuccessful in upholding the place of Christianity in the U.K. today.

Nazir-Ali decried the changes seen in Britain over the last half-century, attributing them in part to "the arrival of large numbers of people of other faiths to these shores" and Britain's attempt to accommodate them "on the basis of a novel philosophy of 'multiculturalism.'"

"This required that people should be facilitated in living as separate communities, continuing to communicate in their own languages and having minimum need for building healthy relationships with the majority," he wrote.

Meanwhile, an ideology of Islamic extremism was alienating the young from the country in which they were living and turning some communities into "no-go" areas where those of non-Muslim faiths faced hostility.

He cited efforts to promote Islamic law (shari'a), including shari'a-compliant banking systems, as well as the use by mosques of amplifiers and loudspeakers to increase the volume of the Islamic call to prayer over surrounding areas.

That move, Nazir-Ali said, "raises all sorts of questions about noise levels and whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker."

Although several fellow bishops cautiously supported Nazir-Ali's comments, Muslim groups reacted strongly.

"It is clear from this latest racist and prejudice[d] article that he is determined to create unnecessary division and hatred towards Muslims," said Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, the country's leading Muslim youth organization. Nazir-Ali should resign for promoting hatred towards Muslims, he said.

Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said the comments were of the type expected from the ultra-right British National Party, "not a responsible figure in the Church of England.""

Another MCB representative, Ibrahim Mogra, said Nazir-Ali "should accept that Britain is a multicultural society in which we are free to follow our religion at the same time as being extremely proud to be British."

"We wouldn't allow 'no-go' areas to happen," said Mogra, who is an imam in the city of Leicester, where Muslims account for 11 percent of the population, compared to the 3.1 percent national average according to 2001 census figures.

Senior Conservative lawmaker William Hague said in televised comments he did not think the claims of "no-go areas" was factually-correct, while Nick Clegg, leader of the third-largest party, the Liberal Democrats, said the comments were "extraordinarily inflammatory."

Simon Barrow, co-director of the liberal Christian think-tank Ekklesia, said the bishop had "echoed the fear many people feel about the changing demography and make-up of Britain, and while I disagree with his overall analysis it is better to get the issues out in the open than to mumble in the dark."


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 08, 2008, 09:39:23 AM
 Muslims call for 'no-go' CoE bishop to resign

Religious groups have demanded the resignation of the Bishop of Rochester after he claimed that Islamic radicals had turned parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali wrote in The Sunday Telegraph that fundamentalism had made some communities hostile to Christians and those from other faiths.

But Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign."

Ajmal Masroor, of the Islamic Society of Great Britain, said: "It's a distortion of reality. Our communities are far more integrated than they were 10 years ago.

"If the Church of England had an iota of fairness they would take serious action."

But senior figures from the Church of England have backed the Bishop of Rochester's remarks about faith and said Christians in predominantly Muslim areas could feel isolated and nervous about how to express their belief.

The Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev John Goddard, said his colleague had raised serious questions about the role of faith, race and culture in British society.

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, said it was becoming difficult for Christians to share their faith in areas where there was a high proportion of other faiths.

William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "I don't think that view is factually correct. I'm not sure where these no-go areas are, I don't recognise that description."

But Bishop Goddard said that Christians, who are outnumbered in many parts of Blackburn, were frightened that their ideas could be misinterpreted by other faiths and seen as a form of oppression.

"It is not fear that there is going to be retaliation but it is a fear that you get it badly wrong and cause hurt to others of integrity of other faith you did not intend," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"When you engage in proclaiming the Christian faith in an area dominated by another religion, I and others tread very carefully so that the message is heard and not seen as some sort of oppression."

Bishop Goddard said Christians in northern towns such as Blackburn and Burnley, where 95 per cent of the Asian population is Muslim, could find life difficult.

"I think they sometimes feel as though they are strangers," he said. "It is a question of how people of different beliefs work together. Of course, the vast majority of Muslims are peace loving."

Endorsing Bishop Nazir-Ali's comments, he said: "Bishop Michael has raised these issues as a start of a debate which has serious connotations.

"The seriousness is how do you enable people of different cultures, races and faiths to live together as one nation, that seems to be at the back of what he is saying."

Bishop Goddard said the increased wearing of the hijab in parts of Britain was a cultural rather than religious phenomenon.

He added: "So many tensions are driven by culture rather than faith. My hope is that we can work effectively across the boundaries of other people then faith can be used as a means to understand each other."


Title: Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job
Post by: Shammu on January 12, 2008, 03:21:17 PM
Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job
09.01.2008 - 09:28 CET | By Elitsa Vucheva
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will attend a conference of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right party UMP on Saturday (12 January), in what is said to be his first intervention for a party other than his own.

The move is fuelling speculation that Mr Blair, who belongs to the UK's center-left Labour party, is in the running for EU president – a new high-profile job that can be held for up to five years starting in 2009.


The two men will debate Europe and Mr Blair may get clear backing from Mr Sarkozy in exchange of his participation at the conference, according to media reports.

The UMP meeting marks the launch of its pre-electoral campaign before the municipal elections in France on 9 and 16 March – but there is set to be much speculation around Mr Blair's attendance.

The president of the socialist group in the French national assembly, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has accused Mr Sarkozy of preparing the ground for Mr Blair's candidacy for the EU top job with Saturday's event.

"I see something emerging from the UMP's side and from the president of the republic (…), which is preparing Tony Blair's candidacy for EU president", Mr Ayrault was reported as saying by French news agency AFP on Tuesday (8 January).

"This candidacy is not acceptable, because it is not acceptable that the first EU president is a man who supported and participated in the war in Iraq", he added.

Other politicians who have already expressed interest in what is to set to be one of the EU's top jobs include Luxembourg's prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern.

Two more positions are also up for grabs next year – president of the European Commission and EU foreign minister.

Haggling over the nominations for the post is set to start in earnest in the second half of this year when France takes over the EU presidency.

Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job (http://euobserver.com/9/25415/?rk=1)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Def on January 12, 2008, 03:47:21 PM
Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job
09.01.2008 - 09:28 CET | By Elitsa Vucheva
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will attend a conference of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right party UMP on Saturday (12 January), in what is said to be his first intervention for a party other than his own.

The move is fuelling speculation that Mr Blair, who belongs to the UK's center-left Labour party, is in the running for EU president – a new high-profile job that can be held for up to five years starting in 2009.


The two men will debate Europe and Mr Blair may get clear backing from Mr Sarkozy in exchange of his participation at the conference, according to media reports.

The UMP meeting marks the launch of its pre-electoral campaign before the municipal elections in France on 9 and 16 March – but there is set to be much speculation around Mr Blair's attendance.

The president of the socialist group in the French national assembly, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has accused Mr Sarkozy of preparing the ground for Mr Blair's candidacy for the EU top job with Saturday's event.

"I see something emerging from the UMP's side and from the president of the republic (…), which is preparing Tony Blair's candidacy for EU president", Mr Ayrault was reported as saying by French news agency AFP on Tuesday (8 January).

"This candidacy is not acceptable, because it is not acceptable that the first EU president is a man who supported and participated in the war in Iraq", he added.

Other politicians who have already expressed interest in what is to set to be one of the EU's top jobs include Luxembourg's prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern.

Two more positions are also up for grabs next year – president of the European Commission and EU foreign minister.

Haggling over the nominations for the post is set to start in earnest in the second half of this year when France takes over the EU presidency.

Sarkozy seen as backing Blair for top EU job (http://euobserver.com/9/25415/?rk=1)
it smell   "666"


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on January 14, 2008, 12:49:27 PM
it smell   "666"

Hello Sister Def,

This was also my first thought. Who Knows? - It's an increasingly wild and evil world that is changing dramatically by the day. It appears that all that's left is a few more pieces of the puzzle to fall into place. This is all like a giant picture already in the development solution, and many parts of the picture can already be seen.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Revelation 13:11-18 NASB
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.


Title: Joint US-EU-NATO security body mulled
Post by: Shammu on January 18, 2008, 09:22:04 PM
Joint US-EU-NATO security body mulled
Yaakov Katz
THE JERUSALEM POST
Jan. 17, 2008

While rejecting the idea of Israel or other countries in conflict joining NATO, five former Western defense chiefs called Wednesday for the alliance and the European Union to create a joint security "directorate" to address global terrorism and the challenges posed by Iran and China.

In a report presented in Brussels, former military commanders of the United States, Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands laid out a new strategy for NATO designed to create stronger ties between the US and its European allies. The authors of the report included Gen. (ret.) Dr. Klaus Naumann, former German chief of staff, and Gen. (ret.) John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"There is a great mismatch between the interconnected list of dangers and the international and national capabilities to respond to them - capabilities that are weakened by their disunity," the authors wrote in the report, titled "Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World."

"No institution and no nation is capable of responding to these dangers and risks on its own; and just a cursory glance at our international organizations leads us to ask whether we have a proper basis for coordinated action. Unfortunately, it would appear that we do not," the report concluded.

The report's authors recommend the establishment of a US, EU, NATO "steering directorate" to coordinate operations when common interests are in danger.

"The point of such a directorate would be to better liaise for the common good, to coordinate who takes the lead on which issue, and to ensure that the three entities support each other," the report reads.

The proposal comes ahead of a NATO summit set for April during which leaders of the 32 member states are expected to discuss the alliance's post-Cold War future.

While Israeli defense officials were not familiar with the report they were not surprised by its recommendation that the Western alliance undergo a major restructuring.

"For years now, NATO has been looking for a new purpose," said one Israeli official. "With the Cold War over, they are looking to preserve their strength, and a new directorate uniting the US, NATO and the EU could do that."

While the report does not specifically mention the issue of Israeli membership in NATO - for years debated within the IDF and the Defense Ministry - it does recommend not accepting as a member any country that is engaged in conflict or territorial disputes. Outgoing Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman has over the past year pushed for Israel to ask for full membership in the military alliance.

"NATO should state that it will not extend membership invitations to countries in which the standards of NATO members - such as democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and good governance - are not fully adhered to. It should also be agreed that the alliance will not accept any country as a member which has unresolved territorial claims or which is involved in ongoing armed conflicts," the report reads.

The report's authors also referred to the Second Lebanon War, citing it as an example of non-state actors involved in asymmetric warfare and saying that Hizbullah engaged in "war crimes" by positioning its fighters and launching rockets from within civilian population centers.

Joint US-EU-NATO security body mulled (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1200475897694&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: Italy seeks way out of crisis after Prodi quits
Post by: Shammu on January 26, 2008, 01:56:11 PM
Italy seeks way out of crisis after Prodi quits
Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:19pm EST

By Silvia Aloisi and Phil Stewart

ROME (Reuters) - President Giorgio Napolitano started crisis talks on Friday meant to rescue Italy from political limbo after Prime Minister Romano Prodi's resignation raised the specter of snap elections.

Italy's 61st government since World War Two collapsed late on Thursday after Prodi lost a confidence vote in the Senate, just 20 months after taking office.

Napolitano, who will consult a long list of political leaders and former presidents until Tuesday, met among others Senate President Franco Marini -- tipped as a possible candidate to lead an interim government.

Such a government would need cross-party backing and would be charged with making the electoral system less unstable.

It is Napolitano's only option if he wants to avoid calling Italians back to the polls immediately.

But opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister and Italy's richest man, is pressing for snap elections that opinion polls suggest would return him to power.

"There is no reason to waste any more time, we must go to the polls as quickly as possible," Berlusconi, 71, said on Friday at a packed rally in Naples, where a garbage crisis has embarrassed the local centre-left council.

"This is the start of our election campaign for freedom," he said, to shouts of "Silvio! Silvio!" from the crowd.

Berlusconi also denied reports that he would be prepared to back an interim government if it was led by his closest aide, Gianni Letta. "I have never heard of this option," he said.

The centre left, shattered by Prodi's resignation, does not want elections now. But Prodi, who remains caretaker prime minister, said he would not lead an interim government.

"I don't think I am the right person for the job," he told reporters. "I'll just be a grandfather."

LONG IMPASSE

A long political impasse would likely delay sorely needed economic reforms, just when a global slowdown looms. In worried markets, the spread between Italian government bonds and German bunds widened to levels unseen in more than six years.

Analysts said the demise of Prodi's government should not hurt growth prospects because he had been too busy surviving politically to carry out deep reforms, but it could threaten a recent improvement in public finances.

Italians are jaded by the instability of their governments, along with endless political bickering that reached new extremes at Thursday's vote. One senator spat at and insulted another, who fainted and was carried out of the chamber on a stretcher.

Napolitano, an 82-year-old former communist, is known to oppose holding snap polls under the same messy electoral system that saddled Prodi with a razor-thin Senate majority.

But small parties on both sides of the divide fear reforming the voting rules would reduce their weight in future coalitions.

The crisis did not seem to hurt shares, which have been more affected in recent days by global trends. The Milan bourse closed down slightly, in line with other European markets.

Shares in state-owned Alitalia, which is in the final throes of being sold to Air France-KLM, plunged on opening but recovered during the day. A source close to the French airline said the turmoil would not affect the timing of its bid, due in the coming weeks.

Italy seeks way out of crisis after Prodi quits (http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL2417475720080125?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=22&sp=true)


Title: Blair sets out EU vision amid talk of top European job
Post by: Shammu on January 28, 2008, 06:13:34 PM
Blair sets out EU vision amid talk of top European job
14.01.2008 - 09:07 CET | By Honor Mahony
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair appeared to launch a bid to become president of the European Union in a speech on Saturday (12 January) in Paris by setting out his vision for the 27-nation bloc.

Addressing members of French president Nicolas Sarkozy's centre-right UMP party, Mr Blair, of the UK's centre-left Labour Party, said that member states could achieve more if they worked together.


"Europe is not a question of left or right, but a question of the future or the past, of strength or weakness," said Mr Blair, who works as a Middle East envoy since leaving Downing Street in June last year.

"Terrorism, security, immigration, organised crime, energy, the environment, science, biotechnology and higher education. In all these areas, and others, we are much stronger and able to deliver what our citizens expect from us as individual nations if we are part of a strong and united Europe," he said, according to Reuters.

Mr Blair attended the UMP conference at the invitation of Mr Sarkozy, who first mentioned him and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as possible candidates for president of the European Council, representing member states at EU leader level, in October.

Negotiations on who should hold the new two-and-a-half-year post are expected to begin in the second half of this year, when France takes over the helm of the EU.

The European president post - expected to be a very high-profile job - is part of the new EU treaty, which still has to be ratified by the majority of member states.

At the Saturday meeting, Mr Sarkozy did not say outright that he thought Mr Blair should be appointed to the post, but praised him as one of "Europe's greats."

"When we appoint this president of the European Union, I want us to set the bar high and not aim for the lowest common denominator," said the French president.

But while Mr Blair appears to have the French government in his corner, he remains a highly controversial figure for others.

The leader of the opposition French socialists, Francois Hollande, said Mr Blair's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq makes him unsuitable for the post.

"[Blair] has evident qualities and had successes in his country but the position he took on the invasion of Iraq means he cannot be the next president of Europe," Mr Hollande told France's Radio J over the weekend.

Similarly, he is remembered in Brussels for having failed to deliver on Europe. He was greeted with open arms when he came to power in 1997, seen as a fresh face and pro-Europe after years of Conservative and generally more eurosceptic government.

But his years in office became mired in the Iraq affair, which proved highly divisive in Europe, and he did not move forward on major EU questions such as the country's membership of the euro, while keeping the country at arm's length from Europe on questions of foreign policy and justice and home affairs.

Blair sets out EU vision amid talk of top European job (http://euobserver.com/9/25445)


Title: Rightist EU politicians plan new party
Post by: Shammu on January 28, 2008, 06:16:05 PM
Rightist EU politicians plan new party
Associated Press , THE JERUSALEM POST    Jan. 26, 2008

Far-right politicians from four EU nations have announced plans to form a pan-European "patriotic" party, the BBC reported on Saturday.

The leader of far-right parties from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and France said their aim was to defend Europe against "Islamisation" and immigrants.

At a news conference in Vienna, they said they planned to launch the party by November 15.

In Vienna, the heads of Austria's Freedom Party, Belgium's Vlaams Belang, Bulgaria's Ataka and the French National Front said the new party would be a counter-balance to other political forces in Europe, the BBC reported.

"We say: Patriots of all the countries of Europe, unite! Because only together will we solve our problems," Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache said.

"Irresponsible mass immigration to Europe from outside Europe due to irresponsible politicians... is the problem," he said.

Asked about the likelihood of the new party's success, French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said: "It's not necessary to hope in order to try."

The far-right leaders require the support from seven EU parties to launch the group, but Strache said that the goal was to have "more than 10 parties as members and ideally one party from each EU country".

The new party has no name yet, but Strache said European Patriotic Party or European Freedom Party were working titles.

Austria's governing Social Democrats condemned the plan saying the proposed political party was absurd and contradictory, the BBC reported.

Rightist EU politicians plan new party (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1201367872179&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)
~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anyone seen "V" for Vendetta?  Because this is how that started, a far right party formed in Europe that was against islam, Christians and Jews. Just seems oddly familiar..............


Title: Brussels to tighten EU external borders
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 12:50:23 PM
Brussels to tighten EU external borders
06.02.2008 - 08:00 CET | By Renata Goldirova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – The European Commission is working on a new set of measures aimed at strengthening the EU's external borders in order to monitor migrants and track down criminals.

Next Wednesday (13 February), EU home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini is expected to table a border control package, consisting of three proposals.


The package suggests setting up an entry/exit register of non-European visitors to the EU, and a European Border Surveillance System designed to detect those who enter the bloc between border crossing points.

In addition, Brussels is set to push for better use of the EU's border control agency, Frontex, particularly via "intensified" joint operations between member states at sea borders.

"It is now time to look ahead and develop the next generation of border management tools", Mr Frattini's paper says, while suggesting the package should become part of a priority list of the current Slovenian EU presidency.

All proposed measures could then enter into force between 2012 and 2015.

Travellers to face tighter checks
The cornerstone of Brussels' plans is the proposal to establish an electronic entry/exit register, which would enable the 27-nation bloc to keep better track of who is entering and leaving its territory.

In practice, the system would record the dates of entry and exit of each non-EU national admitted to the Schengen passport-free area.

The commission says it wants to have a better overview of travellers from beyond the EU who do not need a visa to enter the EU bloc. It also argues that thousands of foreigners currently overstay their visa, but the union has no tools for identifying them.

Apart from the entry/exit system, Brussels is also set to encourage member states to introduce "automated border-crossing checks", a procedure that employs new biometric technology such as eye scanners.

It will also open up a discussion on the possibility of setting up a system that requires non-EU travellers to obtain an electronic authorisation to travel before they leave for Europe - something that is already in place in Australia.

"The objective is to enhance security as well as to facilitate legitimate travelling," a commission official told EUobserver, underlining that crossing the external border must remain simple and quick for bona fide travellers.

Constant surveillance
Another of the commission proposals envisages the EU bloc eventually having a common European surveillance system for all land and maritime borders. This would be called EUROSUR.

The idea was first floated back in 2006 in relation to the EU's southern sea borders, which have been under the biggest immigration pressure.

"EUROSUR will ensure that unauthorised border crossing will not go undetected", the commission draft paper says, referring to advanced technology, including satellites, which would put Europe's borders "under constant surveillance".

The system should connect all EU member states and provide them with the information needed to intercept people trying to enter Europe who are bypassing regular border checks.

Brussels to tighten EU external borders (http://euobserver.com/9/25606)


Title: EU wants border surveillance, exit checks
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 12:51:50 PM
EU wants border surveillance, exit checks

Published: Feb. 6, 2008 at 8:00 PM

BRUSSELS, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The European Union will next week weigh a package of tough new measures for its external frontiers, mirroring some of the changes at U.S. borders.

A draft proposal reported Wednesday by EU Observer outlines three sets of measures the EU commission will weigh at its meeting next week -- the first time formal proposals have been made.

The online newsletter reported they are: an entry-exit record system for all non-EU visitors; a European Border Surveillance System -- a virtual fence -- to detect those who enter between border crossing points; and a bigger role for Frontex, the EU's border control agency, with more joint operations between member states at sea.

If the measures are taken up with energy right away, EU Observer quoted officials as saying, they could be in place by 2012-15.

The most remarkable of the proposals envisages a common surveillance system for the external land and sea frontiers of the 27-nation bloc, dubbed EUROSUR.

"EUROSUR will ensure that unauthorized border crossing will not go undetected", the commission draft paper says, referring to advanced technology, including satellites, which would put Europe's borders "under constant surveillance."

The entry-exit system, rather like US-VISIT, the biometric entry system used at U.S. borders, would record the dates of entry and exit of each non-EU national admitted to the Schengen passport-free area.

"The commission says it wants to have a better overview of travelers from beyond the EU who do not need a visa to enter the EU bloc," reports the EU Observer. "It also argues that thousands of foreigners currently overstay their visa, but the union has no tools for identifying them."

EU wants border surveillance, exit checks (http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Briefing/2008/02/06/eu_wants_border_surveillance_exit_checks/9293/)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 12:56:36 PM

Unfortunately, I can see this getting passed and being in operation very soon. The sad part, it's needed due to who is infiltrating by open borders and sea. Lots of hidden people are willing to strap on things they shouldn't, to destroy and kill innocents.


Title: "Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 01:00:31 PM
"Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City
Wed Feb 6, 2008 4:09pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the latest example that the U.S. dollar just ain't what it used to be, some shops in New York City have begun accepting euros and other foreign currency as payment for merchandise.

"We had decided that money is money and we'll take it and just do the exchange whenever we can with our bank," Robert Chu, owner of East Village Wines, told Reuters television.

The increasingly weak U.S. dollar, once considered the king among currencies, has brought waves of European tourists to New York with money to burn and looking to take advantage of hugely favorable exchange rates.

"We didn't realize we would take so much in and there were that many people traveling or having euros to bring in. But some days, you'd be surprised at how many euros you get," Chu said.

"Now we have to get familiar with other currencies and the (British) pound and the Canadian dollars we take," he said.

While shops in many U.S. towns on the Canadian border have long accepted Canadian currency and some stores on the Texas-Mexico border take pesos, the acceptance of foreign money in Manhattan was unheard of until recently.

Not far from Chu's downtown wine emporium, Billy Leroy of Billy's Antiques & Props said the vast numbers of Europeans shopping in the neighborhood got him thinking, "My God, I should take euros in at the store."

Leroy doesn't even bother to exchange them.

"I'm happy if I take in 200 euros, because what I do is keep them," he said. "So when I go back to Paris, I don't have to go through the nightmare of going to an exchange place."

"Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City (http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?articleId=USN0655798320080206)


Title: Re: "Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 01:04:16 PM
One world currency, that sounds familiar..........

I believe this is going to become very common within the next couple of years on both the East and West coasts.


Title: Europe watchdog scraps plan to monitor Russia vote
Post by: Shammu on February 09, 2008, 01:07:41 PM
Europe watchdog scraps plan to monitor Russia vote
Thu Feb 7, 2008 3:15pm EST

By Christian Lowe and Conor Sweeney

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Europe's main election watchdog cancelled plans on Thursday to monitor Russia's presidential election, citing unacceptable restrictions imposed by Moscow.

Dmitry Medvedev, an ally of outgoing president Vladimir Putin, is overwhelming favorite to win the March 2 contest, which opponents of the Kremlin say is slanted in his favor.

"We made every effort in good faith to deploy our mission," said ODIHR director Christian Strohal in a statement. "The Russian Federation has created limitations that are not conducive to undertaking election observation."

A verdict from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is regarded by Western states as the best yardstick of whether a vote is fair, and the group's withdrawal is likely to damage further Russia's democratic credentials.

The pullout follows weeks of argument. Russia said the monitors could arrive only 11 days before the vote but the watchdog, described by Russian officials as a tool of Western states, said they needed longer.

Russia said the ODIHR decision was unacceptable.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) parliamentary assembly also said it would not monitor the vote. The assembly monitors elections jointly with the ODIHR, but usually plays a junior role.

"Unless there is a miracle and the foreign minister comes and says take as many (observers) as you want into Russia, the mission is off," Strohal told Reuters.

"We are a small group that stands around politely and looks at the (election) process. If the big Russian Federation is afraid of that, well, I can't believe that," he said in Vienna.

The only official Western observer group that has not pulled out is a team from the Council of Europe, which does not usually take the lead in monitoring major elections.

In a statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry said ODIHR had displayed "contempt for basic ethical norms ... which, it seems, indicates that ODIHR from the start was not even trying to agree on mutually acceptable conditions for monitoring".

Last year the ODIHR pulled out of monitoring Russia's parliamentary election over similar issues, though the OSCE's parliamentary assembly did send a team. Putin's United Russia party won a landslide victory.

ASSERTIVE RUSSIA

The European Union said it attached great importance to credible international election observation and that it regretted the ODIHR would not be going to Russia.

"Once again I urge the Russian authorities to make sure that these elections will be conducted in accordance with Russia's commitments as a member of the OSCE," said EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

In Washington, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said:

"We think Russia and all countries should feel open enough to allow observers into their country to keep an eye on elections."

Russia is showing increasing assertiveness in its dealings with the West and has said it will no longer tolerate Western governments lecturing it about democracy.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking before the ODIHR announced its pullout, said the watchdog had been trying to dictate terms to Russia. "A country that respects itself accepts no ultimatums," he told a news briefing.

Masha Lipman, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank, said the OSCE pullout would "add to the sense that something is deeply wrong with Russian democracy".

"Of course this is a blow to Russia's image, but this is one more message to the Russian constituency that Russia stands up to the West."

Opinion polls indicate Medvedev enjoys over 70 percent support. The 42-year-old first deputy prime minister emerged as front-runner after receiving Putin's endorsement.

Putin is constitutionally barred from serving a third consecutive term. Most analysts predict that he will be the power behind the throne under a Medvedev presidency.

Opposition parties have called the election a farce, pointing to blanket coverage of Medvedev's campaign on state-controlled television and the lack of strong rivals.

The SPS, a small opposition party, said on Thursday the election process was "obviously unconstitutional and false".

The SPS is a small party but has influence over Russia's marginalized intelligentsia. It has already said it will not field a presidential candidate.

Europe watchdog scraps plan to monitor Russia vote (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL3011403920080207)


Title: Re: "Euros Accepted" signs pop up in New York City
Post by: nChrist on February 10, 2008, 03:40:18 AM
One world currency, that sounds familiar..........

I believe this is going to become very common within the next couple of years on both the East and West coasts.

"One World" many things appear to be escalating by the day now. One doesn't need to watch for many years to see dramatic changes in this day and time. More and more radical changes are taking place in fairly short periods of time.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 14, 2008, 10:44:51 AM
 Tony Blair says he will be President of Europe if they give him the power

As the EU prepares to name the first permanent president of the member-states, 27 of them now and sure to include additional states in the future, one name keeps surfacing as the very first European president, Tony Blair, the former PM of Great Britain.

French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, Gordon Brown, current PM of the UK, and even US President George W. Bush have suggested Tony Blair would make a great president of Europe. In response to these suggestions, the former UK PM said that he is increasingly willing to put himself forward for the job if it comes with real power to make a difference.

The EU with a permanent powerful president is a page out of Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

The former PM of the UK, Tony Blair, is today the Middle East Peace Envoy for the Quartet, the US, EU, UN and Russia. Blair has an office in Jerusalem where he has been playing a major role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. This European leader has been holding discussions with some of his oldest allies on how he could mount a campaign to become the first full-time president of the European Council. The President of the European Council is a post created under the Lisbon Treaty and he would chair Europe's chief decision making body. The EU-Lisbon Treaty to be implemented in 2009 would set in place a perfect prototype of the political power and position that is called for in Bible prophecy.

Daniel, an ancient Jewish prophet, revealed 2,500 years ago a scenario that calls for the revival of the old Roman Empire. It will have a leader known as the Antichrist, a very powerful political leader, Daniel 9:7-24.



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 13, 2008, 11:18:42 PM
 The European Parliament is 50 years old and said to become a substantial powerhouse in 2009

Many European leaders believe that the European Parliament has changed profoundly since its meager beginnings in 1958 to the substantial powerhouse it is set to be from 2009, the year that the Lisbon Treaty from the EU will be implemented.

Established as the European Assembly with its 142 members and 4 official languages, its ranks have swelled to 785 members in the European Parliament today and it has 23 official languages. The European Parliament is the world's only directly elected multinational legislature and under the EU's new treaty, the power of the MEPs will be extended to include virtually all policy areas.

With the expanded powers that will be given to the European Parliament under the EU treaty the stage is set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

As the European Parliament marks its 50th birthday, it is preparing to become a powerhouse in the worldwide, political, economic and governmental arena in 2009. The EU treaty, the Lisbon Treaty which will be implemented in 2009, will empower the European Parliament and give it extended powers in virtually all policy areas. As the only directly elected multinational legislature in our world today, this governmental body will be a major powerhouse on the world scene.

The European Parliament, the European Commission and the 27 member-states of the EU do actually fit a model that is described in Bible prophecy for the Last Days. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream 2,500 years ago that the prophet Daniel interpreted for the king, an interpretation that is actually a prophecy of the revived Roman Empire that will come to power in the Last Days, Daniel 2:40-45. Daniel himself had a dream that predicted the exact same scenario, Daniel 7:7-8, 23-24.

The European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU do indeed set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.


Title: Solana calls on Syria to intervene in 'positive' way in Lebanon
Post by: Shammu on March 17, 2008, 09:22:54 PM
Solana calls on Syria to intervene in 'positive' way in Lebanon
hizbullah slams eu minister for 'repeating us position'
By Hussein Abdallah
Daily Star staff
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

BEIRUT: French Foreign Ministry spokesman Pascale Andreani said on Monday that Syria must play a positive role in Lebanon by facilitating the election of a new president.

Andreani reiterated an earlier call by European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, who urged international pressure on Syria over Lebanon's presidential crisis.

"Just like Solana, our position has not changed. We believe that Syria, as the rest of the parties concerned, must exercise a positive role in Lebanon to allow the election of a president, as stipulated by the Arab initiative," Andreani said.

Hizbullah on Monday criticized Solana's recent remarks as insulting to the majority of the Lebanese people.

"What Solana said is far from being objective. It is an echo of the United States' position," Hizbullah said in a statement.

"An independent European policy on Lebanon is more beneficial to Europe than simply repeating the US position," the statement added.

Mohammad Jassem al-Saqr, the head of Arab Parliament, an arm of the Arab League,  said on Monday that the Arab delegation that arrived in Lebanon on Sunday has come with the aim of encouraging all parties to stay away from violence and engage in reconciliation talks.

"We are worried about the fragile security situation in Lebanon," Saqr said.

"We discussed the current situation with Prime Minister Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who believes that renovating strained ties between Saudi Arabia and Syria will help end Lebanon's crisis," he added.

"We asked Speaker Berri about closing down Parliament and he said that he could not open sessions for an illegitimate government."

The Western-backed Siniora government is deemed illegitimate by Lebanon's Syrian-backed opposition.

Saqr said he will be visiting Syria ahead of the Arab summit later this month.

The Arab delegation later met Hizbullah's second in command Sheikh Naim Qassem and Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan on behalf of LF leader Samir Geagea, who is on a visit to the United States.

Geagea was due to meet late Monday with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his envoy Terje Roed Larsen.

Pro-opposition newspaper Al-Akhbar said on Monday that Larsen was preparing for an international meeting on Lebanon to be held in Paris.

Meanwhile, Berri was quoted by Lebanese newspaper As-Safir on Monday as saying he was pessimistic about electing a president ahead of the summit later this month. Berri added that the 2009 parliamentary elections might not take place if the feuding parties do not agree on an electoral law.

Meanwhile, Siniora was handed on Monday Syria's invitation to participate in the upcoming Arab summit, scheduled for March 29-30 in Damascus.

But the Siniora government is not likely to be represented at the summit after three ministers affiliated with Progressive Socialist Party of Druze leader Waild Jumblatt said they will vote against attending the Damascus conference.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said on Monday he would not recognize Siniora as Lebanon's representative in the Arab summit. "Siniora is not eligible for representing Lebanon," he said after a meeting of the Reform and Change parliamentary bloc.

Aoun also lashed out at the ruling coalition, saying that "the rulers of today are the same people who ruled the country under Syrian tutelage."

"Syria pulled out, but they continued to rule because the greater master never changed," Aoun said, referring to the United States.

Asked about not inviting MP Michel Murr's to the bloc's meeting, Aoun said that bloc members are never invited to meetings.

"The meetings take place every Monday. None of the bloc members receive invitations to take part in the meetings," Aoun added.

Asked about the prospects of losing the support of Murr in the Metn district, Aoun said it was too early to speak about losing Murr. "Do not jump to quick conclusions for the mere fact that MP Murr did not attend the bloc's meeting," Aoun told reporters in Rabieh.

Earlier on Monday, Murr, a member of Aoun's parliamentary bloc denied to Voice of Lebanon Radio that he was at odds with Aoun. But Murr said he had not been invited to take part in the bloc's regular weekly meeting.

"I am not at odds with Aoun and I am ready to attend the meeting if invited," Murr said.

The Metn lawmaker earlier blamed Aoun's bloc for blocking the election of a new president.

Murr's criticism triggered reactions from other bloc members and FPM officials.

Murr also said on Monday he was against Lebanon's participation in the Arab summit in the absence of a new president.

The last chance to elect a president before the summit will be on March 25. The presidential seat has been vacant since Emile Lahoud stood down last November. Scheduled Parliament sessions to elect a successor have been delayed 16 times.

Also on Monday, former President Amine Gemayel briefed a number of Arab ambassadors on the latest developments in Lebanon.

Gemayel was quoted by Lebanese daily An-Nahar on Monday as saying that Lebanon should attend the Damascus summit "in order to make its voice heard."

"The summit is hosted and not owned by Damascus," the former president said.

Solana calls on Syria to intervene in 'positive' way in Lebanon (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=90013)


Title: Balkans, Mediterranean to join forces
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 02:08:36 PM
Balkans, Mediterranean to join forces
Thursday, March 27, 2008

ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

  Parallel to Turkey's integration process into the European Union, collaboration for synergy would not only serve Balkans but also surrounding regions, said Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB).

  Our main concern is to develop regional cooperation. Within this framework, we will sign a business cooperation agreement as the Association of Balkan Chambers (ABC) with the Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) to establish strong business relations between countries of the region, said Hisarcıklıoğlu, during ABC's first general assembly in Istanbul yesterday.

  Within the framework of regional cooperation, the "Mediterranean Business Partneria" will be organized between May 15-18 in Antalya. Some 300 buyers of 10 sectors from 44 countries are expected to participate in the event. This project aims to further develop markets for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) via establishing a wide business network and building partnerships on sector level from different countries, said Hisarcıklıoğlu.

  Turkey's total investments in Balkan countries have reached $1.5 billion, he said. Adding to that Turkish capital that is invested through third countries, the figure is approximately $1.9 billion, Hisarcıklıoğlu said.

  The value of housing projects [in the Balkans] that have been undertaken by Turkish contractors is $4.5 billion. These data show that we are strengthening our economic relations with Balkan countries,said Hisarcıklıoğlu. Currently 15,000 Turkish companies and 20,000 Turkish business people are operating in Balkan countries.

Balkans, Mediterranean to join forces (http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=100160)


Title: Bulgarian Parliament chooses Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly represent
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 02:10:39 PM
Bulgarian Parliament chooses Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly representatives
26.03.2008

The Bulgarian Parliament will debate on a decision who will be the country's representatives in the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliament's schedule for Wednesday reveals.

The Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly consists of 120 members representing the European countries and an equal number from the 10 Mediterranean partner countries. The assembly considers political, economic and cultural matters of common interest and discusses ways of strengthening the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.

In the working schedule of the Parliament are also debates on changes in health insurance laws, submitted by the Socialist Party, and changes in the Value Added Tax laws, submitted by the right-wing opposition.

Bulgarian Parliament chooses Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly representatives (http://www.bgnewsnet.com/story.php?lang=en&sid=23187)


Title: EuroMed talks 'important for global stability'
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 02:12:32 PM
EuroMed talks 'important for global stability'

ATHENS (EUX.TV) -- Elected representatives of 37 parliaments from Europe and the Mediterranean started a two-day meeting here on Thursday. The agenda is to address energy cooperation, the environment and relations between Israel and Palestine, among other issues.

The meeting includes a total of 240 parliamentarians. Half of them are from the 27 members states of the European Union and the European Parliament. The other 120 are from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean.

The EuroMed "is important for global stability," said Greek President Karolus Papoulias while meeting a delegation at his residence Thursday morning.

"Cooperation between the Mediterranean and Europe has a long history," he said. "Today, it's political, economic, financial and cultural cooperation that really matters."

The Athens meeting is the 4th of the EuroMed parliamentary assembly.

The meeting will also discuss plans adopted by the European Union's heads of government earlier this months for closer cooperation with Mediterranean countries. This will be discussed further at a conference organized under the French EU presidency in July.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy last year launched a plan to create a Mediterranean union that would resemble the European Union. But - largely due to German pressure - that plan has been amended to ensure that all 27 member states of the EU will be involved, not just those on the Mediterranean.

Thursday has been reserved for Committee meetings, while a plenary session takes place on Friday in the presence of Hans-Gert Poettering, President of the European Parliament.

The EuroMed meeting, formally known as the Euro Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, is a product of the 'Barcelona Process,' which aims to improve EU cooperation with the Mediterranean countries.

The EuroMed assembly is the only international political body that includes both representatives from Israel and the Palestinian territories.

EuroMed talks 'important for global stability' (http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=19999)


Title: Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly in Athens
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 02:14:53 PM
Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly in Athens
03/29/2008
 
The 4th plenary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly opened in Athens on Friday, with keynote addresses by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering, and EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas.

Other speakers included Greek Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas, as chairman of the Assembly, and Deputy FM Yannis Valinakis.
 
In his opening address to the Assembly, Premier Karamanlis stressed that the Mediterranean, as a crossroads of peoples and cultures, comprised and must comprise a source of wealth, development and progress.
 
Consequently, cooperation was required for better exploitation of the "common opportunities", consolidation of the vision of the region where "the historical past meets the hope-bringing future", he said.
 
Regarding the meeting's agenda, which focuses mainly on energy and environmental protection issues, Karamanlis noted that this was a "twin, modern-day challenge" which was at the center of European interest, and called on the Assembly's 37 member countries to highlight their common backgrounds and jointly tackle the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities.
 
Sioufas, as chairman of the Assembly, noted that the Euro-Med cooperation was marking the 14th year since the institution of the Barcelona Process, and the 4th year since the founding of the Parliamentary Assembly, which recently met with the encouragement of the leaders of France and Germany for its renewal and reinforcement.
 
On the Assembly's agenda, Sioufas stressed that development, energy and environmental protection were intertwined targets, and referred to the Athens Treaty of 2005 that instituted the Southeastern Europe Energy Community.
 
He further referred to Greece's proposal for the establishment of a Euro-Med Energy Cooperation, and highlighted the discussion for a new energy policy that would promote sustainable development and consolidate renewable forms of energy. "Europe, the Mediterranean, our peoples and our countries can send a clear message, from Athens today: Protection of the environment is the best policy, the biggtest legacy, for the coming generations," he stressed.
 
Deputy FM Valinakis stressed Greece's long-standing and intense interest in the Mediterranean region, and outlined the course and progress of the EU's Partnership Relations with the countries of the Mediterranean, noting the development of the political dialogue, the strengthening of economic relations, the inter-cultural dialogue, the cooperation on security and immigration matters.
 
"Now, we are discussing the substantive development of the regional dimension of an integrated cooperation among the EU member states and the countries of the Mediterranean south," he said, highlighting the role of the Parliamentary Assembly in the new scheme that was evolving.
 
Noting that the Assembly has also acquired a political dimension and realises the importance of the issues of the region, Valinakis referred to the Declaration adopted recently at the 5th Euro-Med conference of energy ministers aimed at the gradual creation of a single energy market in the region, with parallel promotion of sustainable development and exploitation of alternative energy sources. Regarding the evolution of the Barcelona Process into a Union for the Mediterranean, he stressed the need for preserving the principle of co-ownership, while noting that the 3rd conference of culture ministers would convene in Athens in May to discuss the inter-cultural dialogue.
 
Valinakis further proposed the creation of a Mediterranean "Erasmus Programme" for inter-university cooperation, stressing that "cooperation is the key to stability, development and progress".
 
Barroso, Poettering
 
European Commission chief Barroso noted that EU decisions impact the Mediterranean, and vice-versa, and consequently the interactive function mandates cooperation for meeting the major challenges of the times.
 
Therefore, he added, "the Mediterranean is an immediate priority for the EU", noting that this message had been "received and transmitted" during trhe recent EU summit, with the leaders calling for upgrading of the Barcelona Process, and cited as tangible results the imminent founding of the Euro-Mediterranean University in Slovenia, as well as the existing cooperation on migration issues, which he said needed to be strengthened.
 
Barroso further noted that, of the Community funds, 10 billion euros were earmarked for the Mediterranean, adding also that EU imports from the Mediterranean countries were increasing at an annual rate of 4 percent. He remarked, however, that the prospect of creation of a Mediterranean Free Trade Zone was still far away while, in the tertiary sector of the economy (provision of services), the Euro-Med cooperation has had limited results, as also were the results in environmental protection and in establishing gender equality.
 
He said the problems in the Middle East had been an obstacle to further development of the Euro-Med cooperation, and stressed that only through cooperation and dialogue could peace and security be consolidated in a region.
 
European Parliament head Poettering said that "our future is at stake today, and protection of the environment is our immediate and highest priority".
 
Although a German national himself, he said, he firmly believed that "the Mediterranean is the cradle of Europe and democracy, the birthplace of which we find ourselves today".
 
Poettering stressed that the Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly must follow in the steps of the European Parliament which "in the past, had limited authorities, but today we have enhanced powers", and urged the Assembly to acquire "expanded authorities, so that its decisions will be binding".
 
Environment Commissioner
 
European Commissioner Dimas stressed the problems created by contamination and pollution of the environment, adding, however, that "as energy comprises a part of the problem, improvement of energy yield comprises part of the solution.
 
Turning to climate change, Dimas noted that the Commission has designed a "holistic policy" in the framework of which it has formulated a cluster of proposals, "because this issue constitutes a global threat and immense effort is required to confront it".
 
Turning specifically to the Mediterranean, Dimas noted that the region was particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, and backed a proposal by European Commission president Poettering for setting up an ad-hoc committee.
 
Dimas said that the cooperation on the issue must involve governments, parliaments, businesses and NGOs, noting that the crux of the Commission's policy was to achieve reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in tandem with counteracting the consequences that have already been caused. He said the rise in temperatures has caused destabilisation of the climate, imposing adaptation to the changing climatic conditions.
 
He warned that the climate changes, global warming, drought, melting of the ice, wildfires and desertification of large expanses of land, would put international security at risk, and cause clashes and tension. "It is a global problem that the EU cannot tackle on its own," he said, noting that a new international agreement in 2009 was hoped to establish a global basis of cooperation in the direction of increasing energy yield as well as the use of renewable energy sources.
 
Expressing conviction that the EU will achieve its targets and exceed its share of targets arising from the Kyoto Protocol, Dimas said that the package of proposals drafted by the Commission was totally compatible with the financial aspect, noting indicatively that the cost corresponded to 3 euros per week, per family.
 
As for the Mediterranean, he said the area was threatened by marine pollution caused by industry, shipping and urban waste, but also by over-construction, given that, in the immediate future, it was estimated that 50 percent of the coasts of the Mediterranean will have been built upon, with disastrous repercussions on the ecosystem and on bio-diversity.
 
He further noted that the cost from environmental destruction corresponded to 3 percentage points of GDP for the Mediterranean countries of Africa. 
 
Dimas noted that in the last 30 years the Mediterranean region has dramatically deteriorated, stressing that steadfast political volition was required to reverse the situation. "Protection of the environment in the Mediterraean ins a top-line priority," he said, warning that a "destroyed environment means a destroyed economy".
 
"We must dissolve the myth that protection of the environment counteracts development and the economy," the Commissioner said, stressing that, "on the contrary, they are targets that are inter-cnnected and which we must jointly advance, because the Mediterranean is our common heritage".

Euro-Med Parliamentary Assembly in Athens (http://www.ana.gr/anaweb/user/showplain?maindoc=6285253&maindocimg=6285162&service=6)


Title: EU borderless zone to be extended to airports
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 03:07:17 PM
EU borderless zone to be extended to airports
28.03.2008 - 14:55 CET
By Elitsa Vucheva

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – At midnight on Sunday (30 March) the enlargement of the EU's borderless zone to eight Eastern European countries and Malta will be completed through the lifting of air border controls between them and the 15 countries already part of the area.

The enlargement of the so-called Schengen area started on 21 December when land and sea border checks between Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, and the other Schengen countries were abolished.

"The enlargement of the Schengen zone to 24 member states is now complete," EU transport commissioner Jacques Barrot stated on Friday (28 March) referring to the inclusion of airports.

"I would like to underline the symbolic and concrete importance of this change," he said.

"The free movement of persons represents one of the fundamental [EU] principles. [It is] concrete, as the life of the citizens moving within the Schengen zone will be very simplified," he added.

While air companies will continue to perform identity checks at check-in and boarding, people will from Sunday onwards be allowed to fly from one airport to another within the Schengen area without being subjected to other formalities.

In addition, "it will be the end of a certain number of long queues and procedures for EU citizens, as well as for third country nationals travelling within Schengen by air", said Mr Barrot.

In order to celebrate the lifting of air borders, several member states have planned media events at their main airports.

At the airport of Ljubljana, the capital of current EU president country Slovenia, EU commissioner Janez Potocnik, himself from Slovenia, will represent the European Commission at a ceremony celebrating the border opening.

The Schengen area was established in 1985 and named after the small Luxembourg village where it was signed by Germany, the Benelux countries and France.

It now comprises 22 EU member states, as well as Norway and Iceland.

Non-EU member Switzerland is also to become a member of the Schengen area later this year, while EU members Ireland and the UK do not participate in the zone.

Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania still have to meet the necessary requirements. It is not yet known when they will join Schengen, but Cyprus is expected to do so around 2009, while Bulgaria and Romania are hoping to follow suit by 2011.

EU borderless zone to be extended to airports (http://euobserver.com/9/25883)


Title: Importance of EU-Israel relations to be stated by EU leaders?
Post by: Shammu on April 11, 2008, 04:04:46 PM
Importance of EU-Israel relations to be stated by EU leaders?

by:  Yossi Lempkowicz
08/Apr/2008

BRUSSELS (EJP)---The European Union might endorse later this year a new political statement stressing the importance of EU-Israel relations, an EU official said Tuesday.
"Such a statement is now circulating among the EU member states and could be endorsed at a summit meeting before the end of this year," Patrick Child, cabinet chief of EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said.
 
He was one of the speakers at an event in the European Parliament organized by B’nai B’rith International to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary.
 
Last week, Ferrero-Waldner announced that the EU would deepen its political dialogue with Israel and involve the country more closely in several EU policies, as part of the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the EU’s framework foreign policy covering its eastern and southern neighbours.
 
Israel was described as the "front-runner" among non-EU members participating in EU programs that range from scientific cooperation to trade integration.
 
A "reflection group" is considering areas where the future EU-Israel relations could be upgraded to a "special status”.
 
But Patrick Child said that while Israel is a leading country in the European Neighbourhood Policy, the EU "cannot ignore" the political developments in the Mideast peace process. 
 
Speaking at the same event, Israel’s ambassador to the EU, Ran Curiel, praised the fact that after years of mistrust and suspicion, the EU and Israel have been able to develop a "mature political dialogue."   
 
"Israel and the EU have the same long-term interest," he added.
 
But he ruled out the idea of Israel joining the European Union even if the Israeli population appears to favour such a plan. "This is not in our cards. We have not asked to join the EU and we have not been asked to join," he said.
 
The EU and Israel are linked by an association agreement which came into force in 2000. The EU is Israel’s main trade partner and an EU-Israel Association Council meets annually at ministerial level.
 
This week's celebration of Israel’s anniversary in the framework of the European Parliament includes discussions hosted by MEPs on issues highlighting Israeli innovation in such fields as immigration absorption, development aid, environment and international cooperation.

Importance of EU-Israel relations to be stated by EU leaders? (http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/26029)


Title: Peres debates ME vision with EU envoys
Post by: Shammu on April 11, 2008, 04:06:25 PM
Peres debates ME vision with EU envoys

Greer Fay Cashman
THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 8, 2008

President Shimon Peres expressed optimism on Tuesday about economic solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - which he staunchly believes will ease the way for political solutions - during a meeting with ambassadors of European Union member countries.

"Many people think my dreams are fantastic, but I have discovered that it's easier to do fantastic things than to do realistic things," he said.

The meeting between Peres and the ambassadors was the first of its kind.

Slovenian Ambassador Boris Sovic, whose country joined the EU and NATO in 2004 and currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, emphasized the importance of Israel's relationship with the EU, noted that Israel was active in European neighborhood policy, and said there was a consensus among member states to upgrade the EU's relationship with Israel.

Sovic also expressed support for the continuing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and said it was hoped that these negotiations would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state "that will live in peace and harmony with Israel."

Peres replied that although the differences between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were minimal, "reaching peace with the Palestinians will take time - because of the situation in the Palestinian camp, not because of us."

Regarding the right of return for Palestinian refugees, Peres said, "Everyone knows in his heart what is possible and what is not possible. Everyone knows that it is impossible that Israel will commit suicide demographically. What makes Israel a Jewish state is not a declaration but a Jewish majority."

As to the ongoing assault from Gaza, Peres admitted that Israel had a dilemma in that the only way to stop the attacks was to reconquer Gaza, but Israel did not want to do so.

Moreover, Peres said, if Israel were to leave parts of the West Bank to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state, it could only do so if it were sure the Gaza situation would not be repeated there. Even the most committed leftist agrees with that, he added.

He also made it clear that Israel could not make decisions for the Palestinians.

"The Palestinians have to decide their own destiny," he said.

In reviewing Israel's relations with its neighbors, Peres remarked that people always talked about what Israel had not achieved rather than what it had achieved - namely peace with Egypt and Jordan.

"Better a reluctant peace than a definite war," he said.

From Israel's point of view, he continued, the war with Lebanon is over, and as far as Syria is concerned, "Syria has to make up its mind whether it belongs to the Iranian or non-Iranian camp. Will they support Hizbullah in Lebanon, prevent democratic elections and turn Lebanon into an Iranian satellite, or will they divorce themselves from the Iranian connection?"

Peres brought out maps and outlined the 520-kilometer border between Israel and Jordan (420 km.) and Israel and the Palestinian Authority (100 km.) from the Red Sea to the Syrian border.

He also spoke of the existing economic opportunities and the economic investments that have been made or pledged.
The Turks want to build a hospital and a school in the North on Israeli land to serve the Palestinian people, and Israel is in favor, he said.

Israel is also interested in the establishment of a hi-tech center in the West Bank so Palestinians will have better employment opportunities, a greater incentive to use their knowledge and skills and greater chances to improve their standard of living, Peres said. "We don't want to create the impression that Israel is hi-tech and the Arabs are low-tech."

The biggest problem, however, is water, he said.

Jordan and the Palestinians have suffered because there has been a drought for five years straight, he said. Israel built a 120-million-cubic-meter desalination plant, "and now we're building another five."

Peres saw common problems as a means of cooperation that might even help political negotiations.

"Nature, economy and ecology forces us to work together," he said.

In urging greater investments in his vision of industrial parks, he differentiated between donor nations giving for the sole benefit of the Palestinians, and projects that could be undertaken with private capital that would benefit the investors and the people in the region.

Peres debates ME vision with EU envoys (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1207649965993&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: Euro Demands More Say in World Economy
Post by: Shammu on April 13, 2008, 09:48:08 PM
Euro Demands More Say in World Economy
Friday April 11, 8:36 pm ET
By Aoife White, AP Business Writer

EU: Europe Needs More Say in World Economy Talks As Strong Euro Gains Ground

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The European Union's top economy official has said that Europe deserved a greater say in the global economy as the strong euro gains ground as the world's second major currency.

ADVERTISEMENT
EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Friday that the rest of the world now sees the euro currency zone as "a pole of stability" and the currency had the potential to become even more important.

The euro is now second to the weak U.S. dollar as a reserve currency held by foreign investors and has risen sharply against the dollar in recent months, hitting a new all-time high of $1.5912 on Thursday.

Almunia said the euro area is now "playing an increasingly important role in supporting the stability of the world economy and the global financial system."

"Non-EU countries increasingly perceive the euro area and the EU as a whole as a pole of stability, a source of new capital, and also a source of advice and expertise on regulatory approaches," he said in a speech to the Petersen Institute in Washington D.C.

His prepared remarks were distributed ahead of time by his Brussels office.

The EU official called for the 15 euro nations to share a single seat when world leaders meet to discuss the economy at the International Monetary Fund or the G-7 group of top seven industrialized nations.

In the G-7, this would come at the expense of euro users Germany, France and Italy which now represent themselves at these talks.

The euro's greater role carried some risks, he warned, because it increased the region's exposure to shocks from other parts of the world and "disruptive portfolio shifts" between major currencies.

"It is precisely such shocks that are likely to occur more frequently in a world characterized by financial and economic globalization," he said.

He again signaled worry about the U.S.' huge current account deficit, saying a sudden "unwinding" could hit Europe hard, since its currency is still appreciating against the dollar.

The euro now makes up 26 percent of foreign exchange reserves and is the second most actively traded currency after the U.S. dollar on global foreign exchange markets.

Euro-dollar trades are the most popular foreign exchange deals, accounting for more than a quarter of global turnover.

Euro Demands More Say in World Economy (http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080411/eu_euro_global_economy.html?.v=3)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 14, 2008, 09:45:52 PM
Hamas MP sees Islamic conquest 'very soon'
Lawmaker for group meeting Carter envisions takeover of Western civilization

A member of the Palestinian parliament representing Hamas declared in a televised message that Islam "very soon" will conquer Rome, spread throughout Europe then take over the Americas.

Yunis Al-Astal, a Muslim cleric, said in the April 11 broadcast on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, "Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesied by our prophet Muhammad."

A segment of the address was taped and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

MEMRI also reported Abbas Zaki, the Palestinian Authority's ambassador to Lebanon, declared on Lebanese television last week that Israel would be conquered.

"When Israel's ideology will collapse, and after we take Jerusalem, Israel's ideology will collapse altogether, and then we will proceed with our own ideology, inshallah [if Allah wills], and we will throw them out of all of Palestine," Zaki said.

The Hamas leader Al-Astal told Palestinians, "Allah has chosen you for himself and for his religion, so that you will serve as the engine pulling this nation to the phase of succession, security, and consolidation of power, and even to conquests thorough da'wa (propagation of Islam) and military conquests of the capitals of the entire world."

The Palestinian lawmaker called Rome the "capital of the Catholics," or "the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam … ."

Many Muslim clerics, citing language in popular English renditions of Islam's holy book, the Quran, teach that the Jews descended from apes and pigs.

As WND reported, Hamas leaders, ahead of a controversial visit with Jimmy Carter, called the former U.S. president a "noble person" whose planned meeting with the terrorist organization would help it "engage with the world community."

Hamas is listed by the State Department as a terrorist group. It's responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, and thousands of shooting attacks and rocket firings against civilian population centers.

Al-Astal said Rome will one day "be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe."

"I believe that our children or our grandchildren will inherit our jihad (holy war) and our sacrifices, and Allah willing, the commanders of the conquest will come from among them," he said. "Today, we instill these good tidings in their souls, and by means of the mosques and the Quran books, and the history of our prophets, his companions, and the great leaders, we prepare them for the mission of saving humanity from the hellfire on the brink of which they stand."


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on April 15, 2008, 12:02:48 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

We all might as well accept the facts that NOTHING will slow or hasten GOD'S Appointed Time for the things THAT WILL COME! They can gather all of the intellectuals of the world together, BUT there won't be any solution until JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF implements it.

There is a valley nearby that they should visit during President Carter's trip. They should try to visualize what 200 million dead soldiers will look like in that valley. BUT, this is just a tiny sample of THINGS THAT WILL COME! The details are in the Holy Bible for all to read, so why don't they read it? President Carter is a self-professing Christian, SO - has he read it? If not - why not? At this point, it really doesn't matter whether President Carter has read or understands that portion of the Bible or not. WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE HOLY BIBLE WAS ORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!

Would President Carter do anything differently if he understood Bible Prophecy? I don't know, but I assume that the rest of the world leaders are just as ignorant - including our present leadership. Maybe this part of the Holy Bible is as easy to dismiss as GOD'S Account of Creation in Genesis. Many self-professing Christians believe Darwin over GOD, so they've already called GOD a liar on HIS VERY CREATION! So, why not dismiss Bible Prophecy more easily?

Ooooooophs! There seems to be hundreds of Bible Prophecies fulfilled PERFECTLY at the rate of 100% ACCURACY! Oooooooophs! The theory of evolution is falling apart because of NO EVIDENCE! It appears that many fairly intelligent people are beginning to BELIEVE GOD! The Promises of GOD are SO SURE that they can be considered ALREADY DONE! The countries of the world might as well go ahead and erect memorials for the hundreds of millions that will DIE SOON, and GOD has already given one location President Carter and others should visit while they are close.




Title: EU offers surprise proposal to hold Palestine meeting in Turkey
Post by: Shammu on April 18, 2008, 01:02:47 AM
EU offers surprise proposal to hold Palestine meeting in Turkey
The European Union has made a surprise offer to host a broad meeting on Palestine in Turkey, State Minister Kürşad Tüzmen revealed yesterday.

Tüzmen, speaking at a press conference in Brussels after having separate talks with EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, said, however, that Turkey is approaching the offer with caution. "Such initiatives should not be romantic," Tüzmen said, emphasizing that such attempts should have the backing of the United States, Japan and the World Bank in order to succeed.

Tüzmen said Brussels sought Turkey's support to ensure that the project would be "realistic" and expressed appreciation of the EU's interest in developments taking place in the Middle East. "But a realistic approach is needed to be able to offer a meaningful economic or political initiative," he added.

Tüzmen did not elaborate on the content of the proposed meeting. Turkey has often said that it is willing to host an international conference to discuss efforts for peace in the Middle East and the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tüzmen also confirmed that he had pledged to shave his moustache when Turkey joins the EU in his meeting with Rehn. The EU commissioner asked him whether it was a firm pledge at their meeting yesterday and Tüzmen gave his word. "I told the EU officials I met that this engagement should end in marriage," he said, referring to Turkey's accession bid.

EU offers surprise proposal to hold Palestine meeting in Turkey (http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=139386)


Title: Re: EU offers surprise proposal to hold Palestine meeting in Turkey
Post by: Shammu on April 18, 2008, 01:05:12 AM
I wonder if this had anything to do with Palestine meeting in Turkey.
~~~~~~~~~

GI holds Israeli-Palestinian leadership seminar in Antalya, Turkey
Date: 10.04.08
Source:

On the weekend of April 10th to 13th, the Palestinian Peace Coalition-Geneva Initiative held a seminar for some 50 Israelis and Palestinians from various influential fields. Among the participants were government workers, ministerial and parliamentary assistants, journalists, local leadership, peace activists, and women's leadership.

Speaking at the seminar were GI signitories Menachem Klein and Saman Khoury, as well as GI Director Generals Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha.

The seminar began with an icebreaking session on Thursday evening, in which all participants introduced themselves, their backgrounds, and their hopes for the seminar. The following morning, participants heard welcoming statements by PPC Director General Nidal Foqaha, GI-Israel representative Rubi Alfi-Nissan, and European Commission representative Izzat Ayoub. Next, the Israelis and Palestinians exchanged their personal experiences from the conflict. The session, which began with an Israeli relating his experiences as an IDF commander at the Kalandia checkpoint, soon turned into a heated debate. The Palestinian participants presented their day-to-day hardships, and Israelis presenting their fears and security concerns.

The following session on Friday was a presentation by Mr. Khoury and Dr. Klein on the current political situation. The two reported on the present atmosphere and despair among both publics, detailed the current developments in the negotiations, and discussed the status of international involvement. In response to questions from the audience, Khoury and Klein spoke of the setbacks in previous negotiations that precluded an agreement. The day continued with a role-playing group activity, in which Israelis attempted to present the Palestinian position when entering negotiations and vice versa. Among the issues raised in each group were interior divisions, right of return, Arab-Israeli identity, security, and the future of settlements. The day ended with a presentation by participants from the media on both sides on the role of journalism in the conflict. The participants detailed the difficulties facing them in covering events on the opposite side of the Green Line and the inherent biases in covering the conflict. All agreed that each side receives different information.

On Saturday, the final day of the seminar, Mr. Khoury and Dr. Klein presented participants with information on the two most-sensitive issues of the conflict: refugees and Jerusalem. In their presentations, the two referenced the solutions detailed in the Geneva Accord for the two issues and the questions underlying the issues, such as the conflicting narratives between the two sides. The presentation was followed by a heated discussion that provided a clear example of the great gaps between the narratives of each party. Next, GI Director Generals Gadi Baltiansky and Nidal Foqaha led a discussion on simple ways in which the two parties and the international community can support negotiations and facilitate their success. One of the suggestions brought forth was to look beyond the divisions of the past to a possible solution in the future, on which both sides can agree. Additionally, participants agreed that the gap between developments around the negotiating table and events on the ground was a detriment to the peace process. One participant suggested both sides talk about the ideas presented in the Geneva Accord instead of talking about the past.

The seminar ended with a closing session in which each participant summed up his or her experience and presented conclusions and ideas for the future. Many participants said the experience helped them to better understand the other side, and several people voiced their desire for follow-up activities. One participant, from the right wing of Israeli politics, said that he used to think war was the only solution to the conflict, but now sees a peaceful solution as a possible alternative.

GI holds Israeli-Palestinian leadership seminar in Antalya, Turkey (http://www.geneva-accord.org/staff.aspx?docID=2783&FolderID=224&lang=en)


Title: German foreign minister favours EU army
Post by: Shammu on May 10, 2008, 11:57:45 AM
German foreign minister favours EU army

08.05.2008 - 17:43 CET
By Honor Mahony

Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has indicated he would like to see a European army established.

Speaking at a Social Democrat security policy conference in Berlin on Monday (5 May), Mr Steinmeier said he favoured the setting up of a "European armed force" and that he would like to see moves in this direction speeded up.

German daily Tagespiegel reported Mr Steinmeier as referring to the fact that the EU's new treaty, currently undergoing ratification across the European Union, allows for the possibility of a group of member states to "move ahead" in defence policy.

He noted that from Berlin's point of view, France is the key partner for this. Mr Steinmeier said he had already spoken with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, on concrete steps to improve common areas in the military field.

These include the areas of transport, helicopter capacity and procurement.

The end result of a consolidation of military capacities must be a European army, said Mr Steinmeier, according to German news agency DPA.

At the same conference, other leading politicians from the Social Democratic party - which currently forms part of the governing coalition with the Christian Democrats in Germany - also spoke out in favour of the idea.

Former defence minister and head of the SPD group Peter Struck said: "There will still be opposition to the idea of a European army as there once was against the single currency, the euro.

"But single states are no longer able to handle the threats of today," he continued.

The German politicians' comments appear to be in line with the views of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has in the past made several statements on the need for common European defence.

The French president has more recently not been so vocal on the issue. This is being seen as a deliberate ploy not to upset the EU treaty ratification process, particularly in neutral Ireland - the only country to have a referendum on the charter and where military issues are highly sensitive with the electorate.

An email from a Dublin-based UK official after a briefing by an official in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs that was leaked to the press last month suggested that one of the reasons for having the treaty referendum before summer rather than in autumn was due to a fear of "unhelpful developments during the French presidency – particularly related to EU defence."

In addition Britain, as the other serious military power in the EU along with France, has also reacted coolly to Mr Sarkozy's push for more integration in EU defence. London has also yet to ratify the EU treaty.

But Mr Sarkozy is expected to return to the issue in the second half of this year, during his stint at the EU helm.

The EU treaty, which has to be ratified by all 27 countries to come into force, allows for a group of member states who are politically willing to go forward to structured cooperation in defence.

German foreign minister favours EU army (http://euobserver.com/9/26107)


Title: U.S. agrees to EU's Iran nuclear plan
Post by: Shammu on May 10, 2008, 12:41:03 PM
U.S. agrees to EU's Iran nuclear plan
From Elise Labott
Thu May 8, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States has signed off on a European plan that would offer increased incentives for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program, senior State Department officials said Thursday.

Leaders from Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are expected to join European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana -- the EU's normal contact with Iran -- at a meeting with Iranian officials to present the offer.

That meeting has not been scheduled, the officials said.

The United States, along with the other nations, has been following a "dual track strategy" with Iran, which includes tightening sanctions on the regime while offering incentives if Iran suspends its enrichment activities.

Last week in London, England, the group of nations agreed to sweeten the unspecified offer to Iran if it agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said 6,000 new centrifuges will become operational at Iran's uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz over the coming year, a claim the United States cannot confirm.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. But after a meeting last month with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Bush said it is "naive" to think Iran would not be able to transfer nuclear enrichment into a weapons program.

U.S. agrees to EU's Iran nuclear plan (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/05/08/iran.nuclear/)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on May 10, 2008, 06:13:36 PM
President Bush said it is "naive" to think Iran would not be able to transfer nuclear enrichment into a weapons program.


It's "naive" to think that he is going to use it for anything but...
We are talking about an insanely mad and hateful man.


Title: Sarkozy seeks warships for European fleet
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2008, 12:15:41 AM
Sarkozy seeks warships for European fleet
14 Jun 2008 10:06:01 GMT

Berlin - French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked Britain to provide an aircraft carrier and Germany to lend frigates and supply ships to establish a European naval fleet, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. Sarkozy, who takes over the European Union presidency on July 1, had briefed German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting Monday at Straubing, Germany about the fleet plan, the magazine said in its issue to hit the streets Monday.

Previous efforts to establish European Union defence units have mainly involved land forces.

Carrier groups are the most potent forces on the seas, since they can bombard distant land targets whereas a protected flagship is difficult or impossible to destroy using planes or submarines.

The flagship would be a British aircraft carrier, because France's carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, must dock frequently for repairs. Budget limits mean that Sarkozy cannot decide till 2012 on building a second French aircraft carrier or more nuclear submarines.

Spiegel said he also briefed Merkel on cost-cutting plans to reduce the French armed forces by about 35,000 to 220,000 men and to take the gendarmerie paramilitary police off the defence budget and onto the interior budget.

Sarkozy seeks warships for European fleet (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/212374,report-sarkozy-seeks-warships-for-european-fleet.html)


Title: France, Syria agree to work for peace in Lebanon, Mideast
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2008, 12:18:21 AM
France, Syria agree to work for peace in Lebanon, Mideast

Sun Jun 15, 10:19 AM ET

PARIS (AFP) - France and Syria agree on the need to strengthen relations and work together for peace in Lebanon and the Middle East, the French presidency said Sunday following talks in Damascus.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's chief diplomatic advisor, Jean-David Levitte, and his chief of staff, Claude Gueant, also delivered a message from the French leader to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, an Elysee statement said.

"The discussions were useful and constructive," said the statement.

The sides discussed bilateral relations, the Middle East, in particular the situation in Lebanon and the Israeli-Syrian peace process, and the Mediterranean Union, it added.

"The two parties agreed on the need to strengthen the Franco-Syrian bilateral relationship, pursue coordination efforts toward a just and comprehensive peace in the region and continue to encourage the Lebanese to apply the Doha accord," said the statement.

The talks came ahead of a planned visit by Assad to Paris to attend July 14 national day celebrations and a summit to launch a new grouping of countries on the Mediterranean rim.

The envoys met Assad and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al Muallem in Damascus.

Sarkozy has moved to restore high-level ties with Syria that were strained over charges of Syrian involvement in the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, a friend of former president Jacques Chirac.

Damascus has denied the claims.

Sarkozy offered to renew relations if Damascus helped defuse the crisis in Lebanon over the election of a new president. Michel Sleiman was elected Lebanese president last month.

Syria was for almost three decades the powerbroker in Lebanon, a longtime focal point of French interest in the Middle East.

On Saturday, France and the United States jointly called on Syria and Lebanon to establish diplomatic ties following talks in Paris between Sarkozy and US President George W. Bush.

The United States initially voiced unease over the Franco-Syrian rapprochement, but US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was confident that France would "communicate the right messages" to Assad.

France, Syria agree to work for peace in Lebanon, Mideast (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080615/wl_mideast_afp/syriafrancediplomacylebanonmideast_080615141954;_ylt=AtPYOtyAmJuEWjlzrb5.zJoUvioA)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 06, 2008, 06:42:20 PM
"Club Med" to include 44 nations

http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/western_europe/27250 (http://www.ejpress.org/article/news/western_europe/27250)


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The European Commission has unveiled its proposals to give renewed vitality and visibility to the EU’s relations with its partners in the Mediterranean region.

The new plan is to complete the so-called "Barcelona process" launched in 1995 in order to strengthen the EU’s relations with its southern neighbours but which critics say has so far failed to deliver, mainly because of the lack of Israeli-Palestinian peace but also because of the Mediterranean governments' poor record in using the EU funds on offer.

The downsizing of the original plan came after EU countries with no borders on the Mediterranean, in particular Germany, expressed skepticism at the proposal, with member states from Eastern Europe particularly concerned that it would divert precious EU funds away from their region.

The news proposals focus on raising the profile of relations with 13 Mediterranean rim countries with a regular summit and ministerial meetings, and would see a new forum to be launched at an inaugural summit in Paris on July 13-14 with a raft of projects.

This new forum, called "Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean," will unite 44 countries.

They include the 27 EU states and 13 partners: Albania, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia, Syria and Turkey -- plus Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Monaco.

The forum would be managed by a co-presidency involving one European and one partner nation, but all 27 EU countries will be eligible under the commission's plans, not just those around the Mediterranean as France had hoped.

"This is an initiative to reinforce, to reinvigorate our relationship," External Relations European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said.

"The more we can develop the region in the South, the less illegal migration there will be…The more prosperity we can give, the less terrorism, the less criminality will be there," she said.
But the association described by the EU falls short of what France -- and in particular French President Nicolas Sarkozy who initiated the ambitious plan of a Mediterreanean Union nicknamed "Club Med"-- had envisioned.

Sarkozy had touted his vision as a potential avenue for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and had hinted it might be offered to Turkey as an alternative to EU membership.

The downsizing of the original plan came after EU countries with no borders on the Mediterranean, in particular Germany, expressed skepticism at the proposal, with member states from Eastern Europe particularly concerned that it would divert precious EU funds away from their region.

Turkey only agreed to participate to the new structure if offered assurances that the Union was not being put forward as an alternative to joining the EU, something the EU Commission explicitly stated. "This project is not directed against Turkey," Ferrero-Waldner said.

"It will take stronger political will, in both sides of the Mediterranean, to seize this opportunity to enhance understanding, peace and prosperity among all our nations, cultures and religions, for the benefit of our citizens," European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, said.


Title: A French plan for Mediterranean Unity
Post by: Shammu on July 11, 2008, 01:30:07 PM
A French plan for Mediterranean Unity
President Sarkozy's launches his project Sunday of building a 44-state union in the region.
By Robert Marquand | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

July 11, 2008

PARIS - A summit on Sunday to launch French President Nicolas Sarkozy's vision of North African-European harmony, called the "Union of the Mediterranean," promises to be a colorful show: Some 40 leaders from states around a sea that borders three continents will be in Paris to talk about integrating a vast and diverse region better known for clashing and squabbling.

But whether Mr. Sarkozy's grand notion – at first, doing projects in solar energy, disaster relief, water, and agriculture – can find a solid institutional identity and surmount funding hurdles, not to mention German and Spanish pique at initially being left out, is hardly clear.

Still, under the translucent dome of the Grand Palais, France will host elected heads of state, Maghreb autocrats, Arabs and Israelis, Christians and Muslims, Moroccan and Balkan diplomats – in pursuit of a north-south stability that is viewed with a fair share of skepticism by most participants, who feel they need to be there anyway.

It's quite a cast, with a long history of grievance and dispute: Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Syria's Bashar al-Assad will attend along with Israel's Ehud Olmert. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who doesn't want to participate in lieu of Turkish EU membership, finally agreed this week to come. Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, warning of colonial put-downs from Europe and of Israeli normalization of relations with the EU, is the lone holdout. Tellingly, perhaps, there are no plans for a final photograph.

Sarkozy wants the Union to energize the "Barcelona process" – a slightly moribund EU effort to coordinate Europe and North Africa relations ranging from culture and immigration to trade and politics. How the French-led Union will relate to Barcelona, which is controlled by the European Commission, a body that has steadily forced changes to the French plan, is central to its success, experts say.

"We need to see whether the Union can be effective and autonomous, or will simply become an agency attached to the Barcelona process," says Leila Vignal, at St. Anthony's College, Oxford. "There are a lot of hurdles for an idea that was already unrealistic."

Still, the Union offers a number of things that Barcelona doesn't. Rather than a vacuous effort to address disparate "issues," the Union is taking on a concrete set of small actionable projects designed to do a few things well.

Importantly, also, it will operate under a north-south co-presidency. This allows shared decisionmaking and counters fears that former colonial powers, or a purse-waving bureaucracy in Brussels, is trying to control North Africa. Egypt, and at first France, will hold those presidencies. A "secretariat" headquarters will be announced Sunday, with cities from Tunis to Barcelona, Marseilles, and Brussels lobbying for the prize.

"The new union activates the principle of joint ownership, which existed only in theory in the Barcelona process," Egyptian foreign minister Abuld Gheit told reporters in Cairo this week. He added that the co-presidency, "means a country from the north and a country from the south are jointly running the new union. I would like to place the emphasis on the world jointly," he said.

A grand regional grouping born in Paris that may one day offer a modest alternative to the rising economies of Russia and China is just the sort of idea Sarkozy prizes as a way to restore French and European leadership. It comes as France takes over the six-month EU presidency. But its formation has been marked by just the sort of cavalier, Francocentric behavior that irks other EU members, particularly Germany, whose leaders point out that its taxpayers will be financing this as well.

Indeed, Sarkozy's initial vision, articulated in Toulouse when he was still a presidential candidate, was positively interstellar in scale. France would gain good grace in its old sphere of influence and earnestly shape a new world of cooperation and commercial exchange ranging from banking and universities to the environment and trade, common energy, and antiterrorism. It would be a new paradise connecting Paris and the Maghreb.

But the initiative has been scaled way back to make it palatable to everyone involved. Thorny issues like immigration have given way to projects such as a student exchange program, developing solar energy, and cleaning up the Mediterranean, all of which are expected to be discussed on Sunday.

Also, the Sarkozy Mediterranean union initially seemed to have no role for European states not bordering the blue Mediterranean. There was no consultation with Germany, little with the EU or even with Spain, which has profound issues of immigration, hosted the 1995 Barcelona process start-up, and certainly has a coastline.

Yet the constantly evolving plan would use EU funds and require support from the other 26 EU countries. Sources say this caused difficulty for French diplomats as they encountered raised eyebrows and downward pointing thumbs from their counterparts across the continent, especially in Berlin.

In recent months, France and Germany have patched things up, at least in principle. Sarkozy Mediterranean architect and advisor, Henri Guaino, told reporters this week that the Sturm und Drang with Germany was ultimately helpful in focusing attention on the Mediterranean.

"There was a lively debate, a very intense, stormy discussion ... and so what?" Mr. Guaino told the Financial Times. "Was this debate really pointless? Not as pointless as all that, because it led to a Franco-German agreement."

The two main back stories to all this were, first, an appeal by Sarkozy the candidate to limit immigration to France from Africa. He called for more "selective immigration" to be "decided together, organized together, controlled together." Secondly, the union would serve as a halfway house for Turkey, a sop short of membership in the EU, which Sarkozy bluntly and brazenly opposed last year. "Europe cannot spread indefinitely," he said in Toulon.

Turkey, by dint of its size, geographic centrality, and its changing secular and political status, is a state crucial to the union idea. The French have spent a year backing off Sarkozy's blunt statements to block Turkish EU accession, with frequent trips to Ankara designed to delink the question. France now advocates a "special partnership" for Turkey inside the EU, but Erdogan wants a statement in Paris that Turkey is an EU member candidate.

Most Maghreb states have not sought a union-style "regional grouping" in relations to Europe, experts say, but want deep bilateral ties with the EU countries. This could create a problem of political will and may be a challenge in working together. "Israel and the Arabs and Turkey don't expect a lot out of this," says Vignal. "It's a divided place. They've not wanted regional cooperation, but bilateral ties with the EU."

But for many of the North Africa states, the elephant in the room is Israel. The concern of a grouping that deepens Israeli ties to the EU may not be stated publicly as bluntly as Qadaffi has. But it is a constant refrain in the Arab press. Sarkozy, who has Jewish antecedents, is a frequent traveler and open supporter of Israel – a fundamental break with the traditional French leaning toward the Arabs.

Mohamed Sayed Said, editor of Al Badeel newspaper in Cairo, states that the only difference between the Barcelona process and the Union of the Mediterranean is the presence of Israel, which he described as "premature" for most of the Arab states.

"Unless there is a major breakthrough in terms of Palestinian national rights, few of them are going to be very enthusiastic about joining this forum," Mr. Said said, adding that "I think the problem is with Morocco and Algeria. They have a bigger problem with Israeli membership in the Union."

The participants are invited by Sarkozy to stay on July 14 to attend France's annual Bastille Day celebrations, which recalls the French Revolution. One Paris scholar thought it "weird that we'll have a dozen dictators going to that."

A French plan for Mediterranean unity (http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0712/p01s01-woeu.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on July 11, 2008, 01:32:16 PM
Quote
"Union of the Mediterranean," promises to be a colorful show: Some 40 leaders from states around a sea that borders three continents will be in Paris to talk about integrating a vast and diverse region better known for clashing and squabbling.

It's quite a cast, with a long history of grievance and dispute: Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Syria's Bashar al-Assad will attend along with Israel's Ehud Olmert. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who doesn't want to participate in lieu of Turkish EU membership, finally agreed this week to come. Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, warning of colonial put-downs from Europe and of Israeli normalization of relations with the EU, is the lone holdout.

Just by reading this, it is about the size, and countries in the Roman Empire. Least from what I can tell.


Title: EU and Mediterranean leaders meet this weekend in Paris to launch new union
Post by: Shammu on July 11, 2008, 07:10:31 PM
EU and Mediterranean leaders meet this weekend in Paris to launch new union

11/Jul/2008 13:43

PARIS (EJP)---43 Heads of State and Government from the European Union and Mediterranean countries- rich and poor, foes and friends -- will meet on Sunday at the Grand Palais in Paris to launch the new Union for the Mediterranean. 
Initiated last year by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, currently chairman of the Council of the European Union, the new body is aimed at strengthening and deepening the cooperation between both sides of the Mediterranean.
 
The grouping will see the 27 countries from the European Union join states in north Africa and the Middle East, bringing leaders from Israel, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority to the same table.
 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will make a much-awaited appearance although he has quashed speculation of a historic meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on the sidelines of the summit.

Having acknowledged the widening disparities in the development between each side of the Mediterranean, thereby increasing the risk of instability in the whole region, President Sarkozy initiated the project to promote partnership in the Mediterranean.
 
"Building the Union for the Mediterranean," Sarkozy said in a speech in Tangiers in October 2007, "is not only crucial for the future of Mediterranean rim nations, but for all of humanity."
 
"For it is the Mediterranean region that will determine whether North will clash with South, whether terrorism and fundamentalism will succeed in imposing its brand of violence and intolerance on the rest of the world."
 
"It is where everything will be won or lost."
 
The new union will build on the achievements of the Barcelona Process, inaugurated in 1995 mainly on the initiative of Spain and France, but also intends to considerably develop its aspirations, functioning and its means for action.

The Union for the Mediterranean project is based on three principles: a political mobilization at the highest level through Summits of Heads of State and Government every two years; a governance on an equal footing, in the form of a North-South co-presidency and a permanent secretariat with equal representation; a prioritizing of concrete projects with a regional dimension that create de facto solidarity.
 
Key issues like immigration, the Middle East peace process or fair trade rules will not be tackled.
 
Sunday afternoon’s debates will conclude in the adoption of the first main concrete projects of the Union for the Mediterranean. Among the topics to be discussed are environmental and energy problems, proposals for the de-pollution of the Mediterranean, the development of solar energy and water management, economic and social development challenges.
 
 
Initially, membership to the new union was to be have been extended exclusively to countries of the Mediterranean rim, but under pressure from Germany which feared it could cause a rift within Europe, it was opened up to all EU states.
   
Among its leading critics, Libyan president Moammar Kadhafi, who is boycotting the summit, hile has assailed the club as as a neo-colonialist ploy to weaken Arab and African unity and warned it would be a flop.
 
"This project is doomed to fail. It will fuel terrorist acts from Islamist groups who consider it a new crusade project and will attack Muslim member states," Kadhafi said in Tripoli on Wednesday.
 
Another no-show is Jordan's King Abdullah who is sending a representative while Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to attend despite concerns that the grouping will undermine Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
 
Arab countries have warned the forum should not be a substitute for negotiations with Israel on the terms for normalizing relations.
   
The Mediterranean summit is providing an opportunity for some high-powered bilateral meetings including between Sarkozy and Assad on Saturday, confirming a French shift toward Damascus after Jacques Chirac broke off high-level contacts.
 
Assad is also to meet Lebanese President Michel Sleiman for the first time since his election, and Olmert is to sit down with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to try to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

EU and Mediterranean leaders meet this weekend in Paris to launch new union (http://www.ejpress.org/printversion.aspx?idd=28664)


Title: EU proposes strategic partnership with Mexico
Post by: Shammu on July 16, 2008, 12:12:07 AM
EU proposes strategic partnership with Mexico
16 July 2008

The European Union has proposed establishing a strategic partnership with Mexico to forge closer ties in areas including security, environment, energy and trade.

A plan set out by the European Commission includes the suggestion that the two sides hold summits every two years.

A statement from the European Council and the EU executive said it would represent "a major upgrading in EU-Mexico relations."

"Our relationship with Mexico has been growing and deepening in the last decades and Mexico has become one of our important partners not only in Central and Latin America but also on the global scale," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement.

The statement said the partnership would cover areas including human rights, the fight against terrorism and drugs, climate change, food prices, protection of fisheries, trade, development and investment.

The EU has strategic partnerships with China, India, Brazil and South Africa and has begun strategic partnership negotiations with Russia.

The Commission sees Mexico as a cultural and political bridge between North and South America and expects it to play an increasingly influential role in global affairs.

It said the proposal was part of a process of strengthening of bilateral ties started more than a decade ago and which have intensified since 2004.

The EU has been hit by strong criticism in South America recently for passing legislation to deal with illegal migrant workers in the bloc, who include many from South America.

EU proposes strategic partnership with Mexico (http://www.stuff.co.nz/print/4620231a12.html)


Title: EU should draft its own Middle East 'Road Map'
Post by: Shammu on July 16, 2008, 12:15:56 AM
EU should draft its own Middle East 'Road Map'
Jul. 16, 2008
JPost.com Staff
THE JERUSALEM POST

France has urged the European Union to draft a new Middle East 'Road Map' to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner stressed that the new plan would not be a replacement for the road map drafted by the Bush administration, but suggested that the EU present an additional plan of its own.

Regarding Syria, Kouchner said it was too early for an agreement between the country and the EU, and that more progress was needed in negotiations between Damascus and Jerusalem.

Earlier Tuesday, France announced that it would support the deployment of UN troops in the Shaba Farms region, in the North.

EU should draft its own Middle East 'Road Map' (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330983379&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: EU wants Solana as temporary peace mediator
Post by: Shammu on August 29, 2008, 11:38:50 PM
EU wants Solana as temporary peace mediator
  By Volker Perthes
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BERLIN:

Some diplomatic movement has returned to the Middle East. Under American supervision, Israelis and Palestinians have been negotiating again since the end of 2007. Syria and Israel have begun an indirect negotiation process with Turkey as a mediator. In Lebanon, a new government including all relevant political factions has finally been formed.

This would not have been possible without a green light from Syria. And this green light would not have come had Damascus not been convinced that its own negotiations with Israel could, in the medium term at least, lead to a bilateral agreement and also bring about an improvement of Syrian-American relations. Individual European Union states have already honored this constructive about-turn of Syrian policies.

For all those engaged in Middle East diplomacy - this goes for the Arab-Israeli fold as well as for the Iranian nuclear file - the U.S. political calendar is always present: No one expects the current U.S. administration to settle any of the conflicts in the region or to bring any of the ongoing diplomatic processes there to a conclusion during the rest of its term.

This is explicitly so for the Syrian-Israeli negotiations: Syria has already declared that it would not move from indirect to direct talks before the inauguration of a new American administration ready to actively engage with such a process.

Implicitly, however, the same applies to the Annapolis process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. President Bush has repeatedly said that he wants the two sides to reach an agreement while he is still in office.

Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who lead the talks, are both aware of the contours of a possible, mutually acceptable agreement, and they seem to have come closer with regard to some of the particularly difficult so-called final-status issues.

Nonetheless, even under the most positive scenario, the best one could expect is a further narrowing of the gaps. A comprehensive agreement that would sort out such complex issues as the future of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, future borders between Israel and Palestine, or infrastructural links between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, will not be reached within only a couple of months.

And neither Israel's prime minister nor the Palestinian president would today have the authority and the necessary majorities to ratify, let alone to implement a peace agreement.

All this does not speak against the process, only against exaggerated expectations. The process is extremely fragile, and it could easily break down - particularly in the absence of sustained external "care," of guidance and support from a third party both able and prepared to drive the process forward and encourage the negotiating parties to continue their efforts even in the face of domestic opposition.

The current U.S. administration will cease to play its role after the November elections; many of its representatives will by then be looking for new jobs. The new U.S. president will first have to get his senior officials confirmed by Congress, and a foreign policy review, before he begins any major policy initiative. As a result, we should expect a time-out for any active American involvement in the Middle East peace process between the end of this year and at least March or April 2009.

Herein lays Europe's challenge. As an active partner in the so-called Middle East Quartet with the United States, Russia and the United Nations, the EU has helped to bring about the current talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The EU and several of its member states are contributing to the process through the support of state- and institution-building in the Palestinian territories, particularly in the security and justice sectors.

But beyond that, the EU must now prepare itself to keep the process alive from the end of this year through to next spring. Considering such a task we also have to be aware of the particular structures of the Union.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, has already announced a more active support for the Middle East peace process. But the French presidency ends in December 2008, and the Czech government, which takes over in January 2009, is unlikely to summon the same energy and resources for the Middle East.

The EU's special representative for the Middle East, the Belgian diplomat Marc Otte, does not have enough political weight to assume a role that so far has been played by the U.S. secretary of state. Individual EU states like France, Germany or Spain would have the resources and diplomatic skills and could even be interested in temporarily guiding the process until a new American administration resumes this function.

In practice, however, jealousy among EU states would make it impossible for any one of them to act for Europe in this or any other important foreign-policy field, unless this country happens to hold the EU presidency. EU states that want to promote a consensual and common European approach would therefore not even try to assume this role; others that might want to take it on would not be able to fill it.

This does not make the EU incapable of acting. The Union, through its Council of Foreign Ministers, should as soon as possible give a mandate to Javier Solana, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, to make himself available, with the approval of Israel, the Palestinians, and the current U.S. administration, as a temporary mediator for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from the end of the year.

Solana would not take such an initiative on his own, but he can do so with a mandate from the Council. His staff is familiar with the subject matter and his diplomatic skills are beyond doubt.

Any coalition of willing EU states could support him by delegating some of their own experienced diplomats to his office for the task. Solana and the EU would not be expected to make peace or to bring the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to a conclusion and to dispel any opposition to an agreement. This cannot be done by the EU, simply because, compared to the United States, it has less influence over Israel and cannot give security guarantees to either Israel or the Palestinians.

The EU, however, can act as a temporary trustee for the process, thereby preventing it from breaking down and, given its knowledge of the regional situation, help the parties to find practical solutions for some of the most complicated final-status questions - for example, the political division of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states - only to hand back the process and the role of external guidance to Washington once the new administration there is ready for it.

As an active trustee in this sense, the EU could not only show that it lives up to its own claim of contributing to crisis management through preventive diplomacy, it would also demonstrate to the new U.S. administration how high a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ranges on the European list of priorities, and how useful it can be for the United States to cooperate on this with its trans-Atlantic partners.

EU wants Solana as temporary peace mediator (http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=15653091)


Title: Chechen president to inaugurate 'largest mosque in Europe'
Post by: Shammu on August 30, 2008, 12:30:58 AM
Chechen president to inaugurate 'largest mosque in Europe'
Aug. 28, 2008
the media line news agency , THE JERUSALEM POST

The Russian-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov will inaugurate the "largest mosque in Europe" on October 17 in Chechnya, the Russian official news agency Novosty reported.

Over 10,000 worshipers will be able to pray inside the mosque, which will be named after the president's father, Ahmad Kadyrov, who was killed in 2004.

"The largest mosque in Europe... will by inaugurated on the first day of the International Peacemakers' Conference, titled 'Islam - Religion of Peace and Progress,'" the grand mufti of Chechnya, Sultan Mirzayev, told the press.

Mirzayev underlined that approximately 50 countries have already approved their participation in the three-day conference.

The building of the mosque began more than three years ago. Surrounding the mosque will be Chechnya's Islamic administration, a religious school, an Islamic university, a hotel and a religious library.

Kadyrov, 31, is the son of Ahmad Kadyrov, an anti-Russian rebel leader who at one point was titled "Chechnya's rebel mufti" [mufti - an Islamic, cleric who issues religious decrees].

In 1999 the Kadyrovs defected to the Russian side. On March 2, 2007 then Russian president Vladimir Putin nominated Kadyrov as Chechen president.

Chechen president to inaugurate 'largest mosque in Europe' (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1219913188707&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter)


Title: EU considers sanctions on Russia
Post by: Shammu on August 30, 2008, 01:07:57 AM
 EU considers sanctions on Russia

EU leaders are considering sanctions "and many other means" against Russia over the Georgia crisis, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said.

But he said he hoped the matter would "be solved by negotiation".

Moscow's military action in Georgia and its recognition of independence for rebel regions has angered the West.

At a key summit, Moscow's Asian allies have not followed suit in recognising independence but Russia's president says he has their "understanding".

Speaking at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), President Dmitry Medvedev said the group had a united position that would have "international resonance".

 "I hope it will serve as a serious signal to those who try to turn black into white and justify this aggression," he said in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

However, the BBC's Humphrey Hawksley in Moscow says the summit's statement fell far short of unequivocal support for Russia.

The SCO, which includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, did express backing for Russia's "active role" in resolving the conflict in Georgia by "assisting in peace and co-operation in the region".

But its statement added: "The SCO member states express their deep concern over the recent tensions surrounding the South Ossetia question and call for the sides to peacefully resolve existing problems through dialogue."

Emergency summit

Earlier this month Georgia tried to retake the Russian-backed separatist region of South Ossetia by force after a series of clashes.

Russian forces subsequently launched a counter-attack and the conflict ended with the ejection of Georgian troops from both South Ossetia and Abkhazia and an EU-brokered ceasefire.



France has called an emergency EU summit on Monday to reassess relations with Russia after Moscow's refusal to pull back all its troops from Georgia in line with the truce agreement.

Mr Kouchner said: "Sanctions are being considered, and many other means."

He added: "We are trying to elaborate a strong text that will show our determination not to accept [what is happening in Georgia]."

In a later statement, Mr Kouchner stressed France had made no proposals for sanctions itself but, as current president of the EU, would aim to get consensus among all 27 countries of the bloc if sanctions were envisaged.

Russia's foreign minister described talk of sanctions, which correspondents say Mr Kouchner ruled out earlier this week, as an emotional response that demonstrated Western confusion over the situation.

Sergei Lavrov said such talk was the working of "a sick imagination".

Mr Kouchner later responded by saying: "I'm not sick in the head. The Russians are a bit nervous, that's all."

New Cold War?

Meanwhile, Georgia's foreign minister said the "ethnic cleansing" of Georgians from South Ossetia was nearly complete - but did not specify who was carrying it out.

Addressing the European security organisation, the OSCE, in Vienna, Eka Tkeshelashvili said Georgians had been removed from their homes across the disputed territory.

Earlier, seven of the world's leading industrialised nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and UK - said Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia violated Georgia's integrity and sovereignty.

The group also said it deplored Russia's "excessive use of military force in Georgia and its continued occupation of parts of Georgia".

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Western countries should re-examine their relations with Russia and warned Russia not to start a new Cold War.

Russia said it was the last country that wanted a new Cold War.

President Medvedev said he was obliged to recognise the independence of the two regions after the "genocide" started by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in South Ossetia in August.

However amid the rising tension, Russia has announced it has successfully tested its long-range Topol ballistic missile from a launch site in Kamchatka in the far east of the country.

Russia says the rocket is capable of penetrating the proposed US missile defence shield - another source of uneasiness between the two sides.

 EU considers sanctions on Russia  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7585580.stm)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Soldier4Christ on September 02, 2008, 11:52:46 PM
Farewell, NATO


When I was growing up in the 1960s, we had a majestic Santa Rosa plum orchard on my family's farm. The trees were 40 years old and had grown to more than 20 feet high. My grandfather would proudly recall how its once-bumper crops of big, sweet plums had helped him survive the Depression and a postwar fall in agricultural prices.

But by the 1960s, the towering, verdant trees were more a park than a profitable orchard. The aged limbs had grown almost too high to pick, the fruit there too few and too small to pack profitably. Yet my grandfather simply could not bring himself to bulldoze the money-losing, unproductive old orchard.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is like that noble Santa Rosa orchard. We all remember how NATO once saved Western Europe from the onslaught of global communism. Its success led to the present European Union. The Soviets were kept at bay. The Americans were engaged, while the postwar German colossus remained peaceful. A resurgent Europe followed, secure enough to prosper while complacent enough to slash defense expenditures and expand entitlements.

After the victory of the Cold War, NATO's raison d'etre became more problematic - even as its theoretical reach now went all the way to the old borders of the Soviet Union. Yet without the Soviet menace that had prompted the alliance, what justified the continued need for trans-Atlantic collective defense?

We saw NATO's paralysis in the European inaction over Serbia's ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. When NATO finally acted to remove Slobodan Milosevic in 1999, the much-criticized intervention proved little more than a de facto American air campaign.

Article 5 of NATO's charter requires its members to come to the aid of any fellow nation that is attacked. But when it was evoked after Sept. 11, 2001, for the first time, NATO - other than a few European gestures such as sending surveillance planes to fly above America - didn't risk much abroad to fight Islamic terrorists.

Australia, a non-NATO member, is doing far more to fight the Taliban than either Germany or Spain. Many Western European countries have national directives that prevent aggressive offensives against the Taliban and other Afghan insurgents, overriding NATO military doctrine.

Take away Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States from Afghanistan and the collective NATO force would collapse in hours.

The enemy in Afghanistan knows this. The savvy and sinister Taliban just targeted the French contingent. It figured the loss of 10 French soldiers might have a greater demoralizing effect on French public opinion than Verdun did in 1916, when France suffered nearly a half-million casualties in heroically stopping the German advance. But 90 years ago, France kept on fighting to win a war. Now, the French parliament may meet to discuss withdrawal altogether.

There is much talk that had Georgia been a NATO member, Russia might not have attacked it. The truth is far worse. Even if Georgia had belonged to NATO, no European forces would have been willing to die for Tbilisi. Remember the furor in 2003 when some NATO countries - angry at the United States - tried to block support to member Turkey if Saddam's Iraq retaliated against Ankara for the U.S. invasion to remove him.

The well-intended but ossified alliance keeps offering promises to new members that are weaker, poorer and in more dangerous and distant places, but its old smug founding states are ever more unlikely to honor them.

In the last two decades, the safety of a rich Western Europe also spawned a new Continental creed of secularism, socialism and anti-Americanism that embraced the untruth that the United Nations kept the peace while America endangered it. But if a disarmed Continent counted on continued expensive U.S. protection, it was suicidal to mock its protector.

If NATO dissolves, Europe will at least receive a much-needed reality check. It might even relearn to invest in its own defense. European relations with America would be more grounded in reality, and the United States could still forge individual ties with countries that wished to be true partners, not loud caricatures of allies.

That stately Santa Rosa orchard? When it finally was toppled, uprooted and cut up, we all nearly wept - but my grandfather had new varieties of plum trees planted in its place by the next spring.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on September 28, 2008, 02:22:33 PM
Juncker rules out Lisbon treaty before 2010 

Prophecy News Watch

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty will not enter into force before the European Parliament elections in June 2009, as was initially hoped, and is unlikely to do so before 1 January 2010 either, Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels on Wednesday.

"I don't think that the treaty will be in place in June 2009, when the next European elections will take place," Mr Juncker, who is also the president of the eurogroup - gathering the finance ministers of the eurozone - said at a conference organised by the Brussels-based European Policy Centre (EPC).

In order for the document to be in place by June 2009, it would have to be ratified by all 27 EU member states by February - something which according to Luxembourg's premier is "not realistic."

"It's not possible to have this treaty enter into force before the year 2010," he stressed.

Mr Juncker is the first high-level politician to publicly state the Lisbon treaty may be impossible to adopt next year.

Originally, the document - aimed to replace the failed European Constitution and to provide for a better and more efficient functioning of the EU - was planned to enter into force in January 2009.

But Irish citizens voted No in a referendum on the treaty in June, casting a doubt over the possibility to reach the goal.

EU leaders will be expecting to hear from Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on the issue at a summit meeting in October, with the EU insisting ratification of the document should continue in other member states, and a second referendum in Ireland seen by some as a possibility to bypass the June No vote.

Mr Juncker, however, said that a possible revote in Ireland should not take place in the immediate future.

"Given the economic crisis we're living in, given the confidence that's lacking, given that governments are increasingly unpopular all over Europe, organising a referendum around a European treaty is a dangerous road to take," he said.

"If I was the Irish Prime Minister, I wouldn't go for a referendum in the next few months."

If the Lisbon treaty does not come into force in 2009, that will affect the composition of both the European Parliament and the European Commission next year, which would have to be conducted under the EU's current set of rules, the Nice treaty.

It would mean that the number of seats in the European Parliament would shrink from the current 785 to 736 – instead of 751, as foreseen in the Lisbon treaty.

But the number of commissioners in the next commission - to be nominated by November 2009 - would also be reduced, as under Nice, their number should be "less than the number of member states."


Title: Turkey and the European Union
Post by: Shammu on October 06, 2008, 12:31:58 AM
Turkey and the European Union
by David Casa
October 04, 2008

Relations between Turkey and the European Union were suspended for most of the 1970s and 1980s for several reasons: the military coup of 1971, the Cyprus intervention of 1974 and the military coup of 1980, which closed down political parties and trade unions and imprisoned many people on political grounds. Eventually, the EU summit held in Helsinki in December 1999 made a historic decision. Turkey was officially designated “a candidate country destined to join the union on the basis of the same criteria applied to the other candidate countries”.

This decision served to postpone Turkey’s membership for an indefinite period of time. The coalition government led by Bülent Ecevit prepared a national programme to implement the short and long-term reforms demanded by the EU, and in summer 2002, Parliament passed several constitutional amendments and other laws to ensure further compliance with the Copenhagen criteria.

Ankara began negotiations to join the 27-nation bloc in 2005, but talks on most of the key issues are presently frozen because of Turkey’s long-standing dispute with EU member Cyprus.

So far, Turkey has completed compliance with EU legislation in only one area – science and research. Talks are now on a slow track after Turkey refused last year to implement a customs union pact with EU member Cyprus, which Ankara does not recognise.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative party previously advocated that Turkey be granted a “privileged partnership” that falls short of membership, a proposal Turkey rejects. The French president, hosting Turkey’s prime minister for the launch of a “Union for the Mediterranean,” reaffirmed in July that Turkey’s bid to become a member of the European Union will continue unhindered under his country’s presidency of the 27-nation bloc.

At the meeting Recep Tayyip Erdođan urged Nicolas Sarkozy, considered by the Turks as a staunch opponent of Turkey’s membership in the European Union, to remain loyal to the membership pledges given to Ankara. He said in response that France would continue to work to ensure the accession talks will continue at a normal pace, according to a French source close to the meeting. Erdođan also invited Sarkozy to visit Turkey to help improve dialogue between Ankara and the EU.

Recently, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Turkey would play an active role in France’s Mediterranean initiative. “We think it will promote peace, stability and development in the region, and Turkey supports this initiative,” he said.

Sarkozy has been outspoken about his objections to Turkish EU membership. However, special envoys of the French government had been sent to Ankara to give assurances that the project is no longer perceived as an alternative to the country’s EU membership. France said the Mediterranean Union is no longer a French idea but an EU project and as such it would have been detrimental for Turkey to stay away from it.

Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who met in Paris earlier this summer, insisted the idea of a union of Mediterranean countries modeled on, but not part of, the EU was not an attempt to appease Turkey. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has stated that he opposed Turkey’s EU membership, has floated the idea of a “Mediterranean Union” but said recently the proposal was not meant as a consolation prize for Turkey if the Muslim nation should lose its bid to join the EU.

Many Turks are suspicious that the principle reason their country has remained excluded from the EU has to do with European fears of and prejudices against Muslims

The Turkish press frequently lambastes those who it says wish to keep the EU as an exclusively Christian club. Some also acknowledge that they perceive the Bosphorus waterway as marking not only a geographical divide between Europe and Asia but also a fundamental cultural frontier as well.

EU members have also expressed reservations about Turkey’s human rights record. Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, two human rights monitoring organisations supported by the EU, have reported the persistence of practices such as arbitrary arrests, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture in prisons, and censorship. The Turkish Human Rights Association, itself subject to harassment and intimidation tactics, has prepared detailed chronologies and lists of human rights abuses, including the destruction of entire villages without due process, and has circulated these reports widely in Europe.

The documented reports of human rights abuses, like the coup rumours, sustained questions about Turkey’s qualifications to join a collective body of countries that have striven to achieve uniform standards for protecting citizen rights.

I form part of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, within the European Union. I have been involved and have followed this issue with great interest. I was in the thick of the action when negotiating and promoting European Union Membership and I can therefore understand how difficult it may be for a country like Turkey to meet all the criteria, and persuade all other members.

The European Union is a community that is ready to listen to one and all. It is a community where dialogue between different countries is a key. However, every country must reach the criteria, many a time with efforts, as we did, to be part of this prosperous family.

Turkey and the European Union (http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=76035)


Title: Re: Turkey and the European Union
Post by: Shammu on October 06, 2008, 12:38:08 AM
Hmmmmmmmm, The plot thickens every day.

Seems Turkey going to be part of the EU and the Mediterranean union. Remember the Med. U is the E.U., in a way, and also the Black Sea, aka Caucasian Union with Russia, let's not forget the AoC, Alliance of Civilization (UN). And they have Partnership with and are joining the GCC, for Economic reason of course.

Talk about climbing into bed with everyone.


Title: Re: Turkey and the European Union
Post by: nChrist on October 06, 2008, 02:17:04 AM
Hmmmmmmmm, The plot thickens every day.

Seems Turkey going to be part of the EU and the Mediterranean union. Remember the Med. U is the E.U., in a way, and also the Black Sea, aka Caucasian Union with Russia, let's not forget the AoC, Alliance of Civilization (UN). And they have Partnership with and are joining the GCC, for Economic reason of course.

Talk about climbing into bed with everyone.

YES Brother - things are getting more wild by the day. We need to look around us and know that the TRAIN FOR HELL IS LOADING, and many are jumping on. The entire world is insane, including our part of the world. Who would have ever believed that a RADICAL COMMUNIST COMMUNITY ORGANIZER would be trying to take over a FREE COUNTRY FROM WITHIN without firing a shot! SADLY, THE TRAIN TO HELL IS A POPULAR ONE, AND HOSTS ARE STILL BOARDING!


Title: EU wipes England off the map as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Do
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 12:56:55 AM
EU wipes England off the map - as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Downing Street

The Tories have issued a St George's Day rallying cry against plans by Brussels to "wipe England off the map" and create a United Europe.

As Gordon Brown hoisted the English national flag over 10 Downing Street to celebrate St George's Day, it was revealed that EU officials had revised a map wiping out the country and the Channel.

The change splits England into three and lumps those parts together with chunks of other countries to create "transnational regions".

Flying the flag: The cross of St George over No 10 Downing Street today

It is claimed these zones - which have been allocated their own budgets - are intended to boost trade between EU nations.

But the Tories yesterday accused the Government of trying "to create a European superstate via the back door".

Under the programme, known as INTER-REG, counties along England's south coast form the "Manche Region" along with northern France.

The "Atlantic Region" takes in western England, along with Ireland, Wales and parts of Portugal, Spain, France and Scotland.

Meanwhile eastern England is part of the "North Sea Region", which covers areas of Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands.

The UK Government is fully behind the project, even though the words "England" and "Britain" are left off official maps of each area and the Manche Region renames the English Channel "The Channel Sea".

Each region, which will be given taxpayers' money to promote trade links, cultural ties, transport policies and tourism, is to be run by a "managing authority" of unelected officials overseen by a director.

None will be based in the UK, with Manche ruled by the French, Atlantic by the Portuguese and North Sea by the Danes.

The regions have legal status and Manche has a budget of Ł261million between 2007 and 2013, Atlantic Ł127million and North Sea Ł219million.

Every project funded by a region must have a publicity campaign which ensures "there is provision for flying the EU flag at least one week every year".

Eric Pickles, the Conservatives' communities spokesman, said: "We already knew that Gordon Brown had hoisted the white flag of surrender to the European Constitution.

St George, played by historical interpreter Alan Larson, does his best at dispatching the Dragon at Scarborough Castle

"Now the Labour Government has been caught red-handed conspiring with European bureaucrats to create a European superstate via the back door.

"Gordon Brown literally wants to wipe England off the map."

But a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government insisted: "It has nothing to do with altering names on maps.

"It is about support for business, helping boost employment and turning around deprived areas... helping firms in Kent do business with people in Northern France or promoting joint tourism initiatives between different countries."

A St George's Day flag flies next to a statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London's Parliament Square today

The move came as Gordon Brown ordered that all UK Government buildings with two flag poles should fly the cross of St George alongside the union banner.

It follows a review of flag flying practices. Number 10 will in future fly the Scottish and Welsh flags on their patron saints' days.

Northern Ireland does not have an official national flag, and so the same practice will not apply on St Patrick's Day.

"The Prime Minister's view is that of course we should celebrate our Britishness, but celebrating our Britishness does not mean we cannot also celebrate our Englishness, Scottishness, Welshness or Northern Irishness," said the spokesman.

The English flag last flew over Downing Street during the 2006 World Cup.

EU wipes England off the map - as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Downing Street (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-561342/EU-wipes-England-map--Gordon-Brown-flies-flag-St-George-Downing-Street.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 12, 2008, 02:10:08 AM
I just bought and hung up a new world wall map by my computer last night and it's already outdated!
What a mess.  It's just a matter of time folks.  And I think a very short matter of time.


Title: Re: EU wipes England off the map as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George over Do
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 10:20:33 PM

EU has threatened to wipe England off the map and create a united Europe

As the EU moves ahead with a plan to setup regions in Europe made up of the member states of the EU, the student of Bible prophecy can see better the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

Over the years, the EU has come to its present membership of 27 different nations. Add to these 27 member states the 17 or 18 new states from the Mediterranean Union that has recently been formed and you have 44 to 45 member states that would make up a future EU, a powerful, political, economic, governmental force in our world. Libya's Colonel Gaddafi said recently this united Europe including the Middle Eastern states looks like the old Roman Empire which is the goal of the EU leaders. Gaddafi is pretty much on target. The ancient borders of the old Roman Empire match the borders of the expanded EU, a step closer to Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

Daniel, the ancient Jewish prophet, in chapters 2 and 7 of his prophecy, wrote 2,500 years ago of the revived Roman Empire as the major player in the Last Days and that would include the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7.

The potential fro regions in the EU, 10 regions as they are calling for, is indeed a scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.


Title: EU must play more vital role in Mideast peace process
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 10:29:47 PM
EU must play more vital role in Mideast peace process
2008-10-12

    AMMAN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Time has come to establish a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and the European Union must play a more vital role in this regard, said President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering on Saturday.

    "We as European parliamentarians are committed to the peace process and will exert our most to achieve peace in the region, and this what has brought us to Jordan to hold the meeting of the EMPA for the first time," said Poettering, who is also President of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA).

    He made the remarks in a press conference at the Dead Sea shores, where MPs from the EU and Jordan have gathered for three-day EMPA meetings.

    Poettering said the assembly will adopt a special recommendation on the peace process at the end of the meetings on Monday.

    The peace should be based on the two-state solution between the Palestinians and Israelis living side-by-side in peace and security, he added, reiterating the European Union's support for this solution.

    The official also noted that Jordan is part of the peace process and can not be excluded from any solution for the Palestinian issue.

    Poettering arrived in Amman earlier in the day to take part in the EMPA meetings.

    The EMPA Committee on Political Affairs, Security and Human Rights hold a meeting in Jordan on October 11, followed which is an extraordinary session of the EMPA plenary on October 12-13, according to a previous statement from the organization.

EU must play more vital role in Mideast peace process  (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-10/12/content_10181020.htm)


Title: Re: EU wipes England off the map as Gordon Brown flies the flag of St George ove
Post by: nChrist on October 12, 2008, 10:35:20 PM
EU has threatened to wipe England off the map and create a united Europe

As the EU moves ahead with a plan to setup regions in Europe made up of the member states of the EU, the student of Bible prophecy can see better the prophetic scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

Over the years, the EU has come to its present membership of 27 different nations. Add to these 27 member states the 17 or 18 new states from the Mediterranean Union that has recently been formed and you have 44 to 45 member states that would make up a future EU, a powerful, political, economic, governmental force in our world. Libya's Colonel Gaddafi said recently this united Europe including the Middle Eastern states looks like the old Roman Empire which is the goal of the EU leaders. Gaddafi is pretty much on target. The ancient borders of the old Roman Empire match the borders of the expanded EU, a step closer to Bible prophecy being fulfilled.

Daniel, the ancient Jewish prophet, in chapters 2 and 7 of his prophecy, wrote 2,500 years ago of the revived Roman Empire as the major player in the Last Days and that would include the 10 toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7.

The potential fro regions in the EU, 10 regions as they are calling for, is indeed a scenario found in Bible prophecy for the Last Days.

THANKS BROTHER!

Recent developments are fascinating, and they POINT to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH AND ACCURACY OF GOD'S WORD!


Love In Christ,
Tom



Christian Quotes 232 - "The Holy Scriptures are
our letters from home." -- Augustine


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 16, 2008, 11:49:08 AM
Relations Between Turkey and Arab Countries Enter New Era


The inaugural meeting of foreign ministers between Arab nations and Turkey convened in the largest Turkish city of Istanbul on Saturday, marking the launch of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum.

The establishment of such a new cooperation mechanism between Turkey and Arab countries ushered in a new era of constructive bilateral ties, politicians and analysts said.

"NEW ERA"

A joint statement issued after the meeting said the participants believed establishment of the forum "will further expand and deepen the relations in all fields between Turkey and the Arab countries by providing an institutional framework to promote cooperation and comprehensive consultations in all fields of mutual trust."

Mohamed Ahmed Hassan Ahmed, Charge d'Affaires of the Sudanese embassy in Turkey, told Xinhua that he believed the meeting signals a "new era" of relations between Arab countries and Turkey, noting that the establishment of such a cooperation mechanism will be "fruitful."

As a pivotal regional power, Turkey's active participation in the Middle East peace process, especially in mediating indirect talks between Syria and Israel, would help solve these chronic issues, he said.

Asked about reasons driving Ankara to reach out to the Arab world, Ahmed said after the cold war, Turkey, faced by globalization, inevitably wants to boost its political and economic clout in the Middle East.

"Turkey really wants a good and big relationship with Arab countries," he said.

Turkish-Arab relations started to improve in the 1980s. Over the past few years, Ankara has taken significant steps to develop and diversify its relations, on both bilateral and multilateral basis, with the Arab world. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has established consultation mechanism with a number of Arab countries.

INTERDEPENDENCY

Addressing the inaugural meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey and Arab states are confronted with similar threats and problems, while they share the same goals and benefit from common opportunities.

"Our countries should cooperate with each other in order to cope with these problems and they (we) should search for solutions together," he said.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa said that the Turks are also affected by the Middle East conflicts, which lead to Ankara's active involvement in helping solve the long-standing Arab-Israeli confrontation.

The Arabs need an "overall relationship" with Turkey, and vice versa, said Moussa on the sidelines of the Turkish-Arab meeting.

The Arab world needs Turkey's cooperation in solving the Arab-Israeli conflicts, the situation in Iraq and Somalia, he said, expecting Turkey's constructive role in these issues.

Unlike its NATO ally the United States, Turkey is now enjoying good relations with all the major players in the region, said Alon Ben-Meir, an analyst on the Middle East affairs.

To achieve this, it has improved relations with Iran, mended a conflict over water with Syria, refrained from being dragged into the war in Iraq, dramatically expanded trade and military cooperation with Israel, and has become directly involved in Palestinian economic development, according to Ben-Meir.

Ziyad Koprulu, a Qatari political expert on the Middle East, said shortly before the opening of Saturday's meeting that Turkey serves as a bridge between Arab and European nations.

The Arabs expect Turkey's EU membership so that the relationship with it would facilitate their communication and cooperation with the 27-member European bloc, said Koprulu.


Title: France's Sarkozy calls for European sovereign wealth funds
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 10:25:37 PM
France's Sarkozy calls for European sovereign wealth funds
Tue Oct 21, 10:04 am ET

STRASBOURG (AFP) – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday backed the creation of sovereign wealth funds in Europe that, when coordinated, could provide an "industrial response" to the financial crisis.

"I'm asking that we think about the possibility of creating, each one of us, sovereign funds and that perhaps they could be coordinated to provide an industrial response to the crisis," he told members of the European Parliament.

Sovereign wealth funds are investment vehicles typically controlled by hydrocarbon-rich countries like Russia or Gulf nations with trillions of dollars at their disposal ready to invest abroad.

The funds, which are generally defined as state-controlled investment vehicles, have been around since the early 1950s but their ranks have swollen in recent years.

However, their rise has been accompanied by fears in some European countries and Washington that the governments controlling sovereign wealth funds could use them to advance their own political and strategic aims.

"I am well aware of disagreements among certain countries" on this subject, Sarkozy said, "but I cannot imagine being told that a united European response was needed for the financial crisis, but not for the economic crisis."

Sarkozy, whose country holds the European Union's rotating presidency, said it was important for the 27-nation bloc to coordinate economic policy as it responds to the crisis.

"Our duty is to ensure that in Europe we can continue to build ships, aircraft, cars," he said.

At a press conference later, Sarkozy said that the idea would allow European governments to invest in industry that they consider to be of "strategic" interest.

"There are a number of big French or European groups whose market value today is a third of what it was six months ago. Yet there exists in the world sovereign funds with considerable means," he said.

He said the EU could take advantage of the funds to buy "strategic assets which have depreciated, until the crisis passes, and then when the market rises again, put the shares back on the market."

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso cautiously welcomed the idea.

"I am not, in principle, against sovereign wealth funds," he told reporters, but added that the EU "must find common rules if possible" to deal with them.

France's Sarkozy calls for European sovereign wealth funds (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081021/bs_afp/financeeconomyinvestmenteufranceswf/print;_ylt=AuCYTP_dSwBCbBfztfrvgHOoOrgF)


Title: UAE FM: Joint intensive, continued efforts needed to deal regional, int'l uphea
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 11:16:22 PM
 UAE FM: Joint intensive, continued efforts needed to deal regional, int'l upheavals
 2008-10-19 19:13:37

    ABU DHABI, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan told an international forum here on Sunday that joint intensive and continued efforts are needed to deal with upheavals in both regional and international arenas, Emirates News Agency reported.

    Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks in his keynote address at the ministerial meeting of the fifth Forum for the Future.

    "We meet today amid regional and international upheavals which require our joint intensive and continued efforts to surmount them wisely, rationally and with political foresight and will," he said.

    In his address, Sheikh Abdullah stressed "the prevailing regional frustration as a result of delay in the Middle East peace process" and other challenges in the region including lack of development, poverty, illiteracy, extremism and unemployment.

    All those factors are an obstacle to a prosperous and peaceful future in the Middle East, and therefore, "reform in the Middle East is a national demand," the UAE foreign minister said.

    Reform "is a necessity for the present and the future; the extent and means of reforms differ from one country to another, according to each country's past and current environment, capabilities and culture," he added.

    He also spoke of "the need to develop an international security architecture that includes economic, cultural and social elements in its military dimension."

    "Confronting the challenges threatening the human race must remain an imperative part of our core activities in the future. Among such issues are those concerning health, environment, competition for resources, migration and the brain drain," he said.

    Foreign ministers and senior officials from 38 countries attended the opening session of the forum, which is co-chaired by the UAE and Japan, the current president of the group of eight (G8) industrial nations.

    The UAE hopes that results of the forum will be positive toward building cultural cooperation, confidence, peaceful coexistence, stable and secure environment and sustainable development, Assistant Undersecretary of the UAE foreign ministry Tariq Ahmed Al Haydan said Saturday at the forum's preparatory meetings.

    The forum was launched in December 2004 in Rabat, capital of North African country Morocco. It was seen as one of the concrete steps toward implementing the declaration titled "Partnership for Progress and a Common Future with the Region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa" adopted at the G8 summit at the Sea Island, Georgia of the United States in June 2004.

 UAE FM: Joint intensive, continued efforts needed to deal regional, int'l upheavals  (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-10/19/content_10219292.htm)


Title: EU foreign policy chief in Middle East for closer ties with GCC
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 11:18:05 PM
EU foreign policy chief in Middle East for closer ties with GCC
10/20/2008 10:59 AM ET

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who is on a Middle East tour to discuss relations between the EU and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), arrived in Saudi Arabia Monday.

He is expected to meet with Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and foreign minister Saud al-Faisal later in the day.

The talks will also cover the latest developments in the Middle East peace process and Tehran's nuclear file, the EU said.

On the first leg of his five-day tour, Solana met UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al- Nahyan, foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, and Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

His tour is also meant to prepare the groundwork for the signing of the free trade agreement between the two entities.

In the UAE, Solana told reporters that in a world that is getting smaller each day, the Gulf has become closer to Europe than anytime in the last five decades.

From Saudi Arabia, he will proceed to Qatar Tuesday. His trip will conclude Wednesday after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

EU foreign policy chief in Middle East for closer ties with GCC  (http://www.rttnews.com/ArticleView.aspx?Id=746796&SMap=1)


Title: EU Drops Concerns for Security, Press Israel for 'Good Will'
Post by: Shammu on October 22, 2008, 12:11:50 AM
EU Drops Concerns for Security, Press Israel for 'Good Will'
10/20/08
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

(IsraelNN.com)

The United States and European Union (EU) have blamed Israel for the lack of progress in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and insist on more "goodwill" measures while omitting concerns about terrorist attacks.

Previous statements always have included the condition of security for Israel which has been directed to make more concessions to the PA, such as removing checkpoints intended to stop terrorists before they can attack.

However, the latest statement by European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering ignores the issue of security and lays the blame squarely on Israel for failure to conclude negotiations.

He said that the expansion of Jewish communities and the IDF's maintaining checkpoints in Judea and Samaria "are the two outstanding issues to be resolved in the Middle East conflict." In a recent speech to the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly in Jordan, Poettering said expanding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria "is undermining the Palestinians' confidence."

He also charged that the checkpoints' "extremely restricted freedom of movement of the Palestinians prevents investment in and recovery of the Palestinian economy." In the past week, soldiers manning the checkpoints have caught several terrorists brandishing weapons and trying to smuggle bombs.

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to show some kind of achievement after more than 20 trips to Israel and the PA. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters that the question of who is leading the Israeli government is holding up negotiations.

"Once you do get an Israeli government that is fully up and running and ready to actively push forward on that front, we'll see where those discussions lead," he told reporters.

EU Drops Concerns for Security, Press Israel for 'Good Will' (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/128017)


Title: Solana seeks 'vital role' for EU in Middle East peace process
Post by: Shammu on October 24, 2008, 12:29:37 AM
Solana seeks 'vital role' for EU in Middle East peace process
Written by Chris Perver   
Thursday, 23 October 2008

Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has arrived in Damascus on the second leg of his five day tour of the Middle East. His latest tour is expected to include visits to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where he is likely to discuss issues such as the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Middle East peace process, and broadening relations between the European Union and the Arab world. In regards to the Middle East peace process, Solana stated that the European Union has the persistent aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East, and that the Europeans are seeking to play an instrumental role in the process.

Quote: "'We have a long-standing position that aims at reaching a comprehensive peace process in the region, the Europeans would like to have vital role in this process,' said Solana, whose last visit to Damascus was in March 2007. 

His remarks follow similar statements made by French President Nicholas Sarkozy during a recent visit to Jordan, in which both Sarkozy and Jordanian Monarch Abdullah II agreed the centrality of the European Union in the Middle East peace process. It is also not the first time Solana has called for Europe to play a "significant role" in resolving the Middle East conflict. His comments come as Israeli President Shimon Peres embarks on a state visit to Egypt. Israeli politicians, including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, have been discussing the possibility of abandoning the unfruitful Palestinian track in favour of achieving a broader peace agreement with the Arab world. Peres is expected to discuss the possibility of Israel negotiating with the Arab League on the Saudi Initiative, an plan which promises recognition for Israel in return for all land captured during the Six Day War and a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. The Saudi Initiative was originally backed by the European Union when it was first presented, but the Israeli leadership feared the plan could result in the demographic destruction of the Jewish state through the influx of millions of Palestinian refugees. Some Arab ministers have stated that the Saudi Initiative could be modified, with Israel only having to provide compensation for Arab refugees.

Quote: "At the summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the two leaders will "discuss, inter alia, advancing the peace process between Israel and its neighbors, strengthening ties between Israel and Egypt" and "a variety of other state and security issues," said Peres' office in a statement. In a more explicit manner, local daily Ha'aretz reported Wednesday that Peres is expected to present Mubarak with his proposal for reforming the way Israel and its Arab neighbors negotiate peace agreements.

Could this Saudi Initiative, which is backed by the European Union and the Arab League, be the one which the Antichrist will strengthen for a period of seven years (Daniel 9:27)? Could the division of Jerusalem and the disengagement from Judea and Samaria be the outworking of this plan (Zechariah 12:2, 14:2, Revelation 11:2)? I don't know the answer to that. I feel that the covenant that will be agreed with many must pave the way for the Jewish people to rebuild their Temple and recommence the sacrificial system. Until we have all the pieces in place, its difficult to see how this could all come about. There needs to be a Red Heifer to sanctify the Temple area before the sacrifices can commence. The Temple Institute claim they have cracked the DNA code for genetically producing a Red Heifer. There needs to be agreement in the Arab world to permit Israel to rebuilt the Temple (2nd Thessalonians 2:4). If Israel tried to rebuild now, there would be a third world war. There needs to be a benevolent European dictator in place (Daniel 9:26), who will unite the world under his authority and bring about peace in the Middle East. I personally feel that we are still some way off from all of this happening. But we can see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. The question is, where do you fit in? When Christ returns for His Church, will you be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, or will you be caught out, without hope and without God in the world? God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9). Why don't you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today (Acts 16:31). He will not turn you away (John 6:37).


Title: Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown
Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2008, 02:44:44 PM
Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown
The crisis in Hungary recalls the heady days of the UK’s expulsion from the ERM.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 10:52AM GMT 26 Oct 2008

The financial crisis spreading like wildfire across the former Soviet bloc threatens to set off a second and more dangerous banking crisis in Western Europe, tipping the whole Continent into a fully-fledged economic slump.

Currency pegs are being tested to destruction on the fringes of Europe’s monetary union in a traumatic upheaval that recalls the collapse of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992.

“This is the biggest currency crisis the world has ever seen,” said Neil Mellor, a strategist at Bank of New York Mellon.

Experts fear the mayhem may soon trigger a chain reaction within the eurozone itself. The risk is a surge in capital flight from Austria – the country, as it happens, that set off the global banking collapse of May 1931 when Credit-Anstalt went down – and from a string of Club Med countries that rely on foreign funding to cover huge current account deficits.

The latest data from the Bank for International Settlements shows that Western European banks hold almost all the exposure to the emerging market bubble, now busting with spectacular effect.

They account for three-quarters of the total $4.7 trillion Ł2.96 trillion) in cross-border bank loans to Eastern Europe, Latin America and emerging Asia extended during the global credit boom – a sum that vastly exceeds the scale of both the US sub-prime and Alt-A debacles.

Europe has already had its first foretaste of what this may mean. Iceland’s demise has left them nursing likely losses of $74bn (Ł47bn). The Germans have lost $22bn.

Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley, says the emerging market crash is a vastly underestimated risk. It threatens to become “the second epicentre of the global financial crisis”, this time unfolding in Europe rather than America.

Austria’s bank exposure to emerging markets is equal to 85pc of GDP – with a heavy concentration in Hungary, Ukraine, and Serbia – all now queuing up (with Belarus) for rescue packages from the International Monetary Fund.

Exposure is 50pc of GDP for Switzerland, 25pc for Sweden, 24pc for the UK, and 23pc for Spain. The US figure is just 4pc. America is the staid old lady in this drama.

Amazingly, Spanish banks alone have lent $316bn to Latin America, almost twice the lending by all US banks combined ($172bn) to what was once the US backyard. Hence the growing doubts about the health of Spain’s financial system – already under stress from its own property crash – as Argentina spirals towards another default, and Brazil’s currency, bonds and stocks all go into freefall.

Broadly speaking, the US and Japan sat out the emerging market credit boom. The lending spree has been a European play – often using dollar balance sheets, adding another ugly twist as global “deleveraging” causes the dollar to rocket. Nowhere has this been more extreme than in the ex-Soviet bloc.

The region has borrowed $1.6 trillion in dollars, euros, and Swiss francs. A few dare-devil homeowners in Hungary and Latvia took out mortgages in Japanese yen. They have just suffered a 40pc rise in their debt since July. Nobody warned them what happens when the Japanese carry trade goes into brutal reverse, as it does when the cycle turns.

The IMF’s experts drafted a report two years ago – Asia 1996 and Eastern Europe 2006 – Déjŕ vu all over again? – warning that the region exhibited the most dangerous excesses in the world.

Inexplicably, the text was never published, though underground copies circulated. Little was done to cool credit growth, or to halt the fatal reliance on foreign capital. Last week, the silent authors had their moment of vindication as Eastern Europe went haywire.

Hungary stunned the markets by raising rates 3pc to 11.5pc in a last-ditch attempt to defend the forint’s currency peg in the ERM.

It is just blood in the water for hedge funds sharks, eyeing a long line of currency kills. “The economy is not strong enough to take it, so you know it is unsustainable,” said Simon Derrick, currency strategist at the Bank of New York Mellon.

Romania raised its overnight lending to 900pc to stem capital flight, recalling the near-crazed gestures by Scandinavia’s central banks in the final days of the 1992 ERM crisis – political moves that turned the Nordic banking crisis into a disaster.

Russia too is in the eye of the storm, despite its energy wealth – or because of it. The cost of insuring Russian sovereign debt through credit default swaps (CDS) surged to 1,200 basis points last week, higher than Iceland’s debt before Götterdammerung struck Reykjavik.

The markets no longer believe that the spending structure of the Russian state is viable as oil threatens to plunge below $60 a barrel. The foreign debt of the oligarchs ($530bn) has surpassed the country’s foreign reserves. Some $47bn has to be repaid over the next two months.

Traders are paying close attention as contagion moves from the periphery of the eurozone into the core. They are tracking the yield spreads between Italian and German 10-year bonds, the stress barometer of monetary union.

The spreads reached a post-EMU high of 93 last week. Nobody knows where the snapping point is, but anything above 100 would be viewed as a red alarm. The market took careful note on Friday that Portugal’s biggest banks, Millenium, BPI, and Banco Espirito Santo are preparing to take up the state’s emergency credit guarantees.

Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas, says there is an imminent danger that East Europe’s currency pegs will be smashed unless the EU authorities wake up to the full gravity of the threat, and that in turn will trigger a dangerous crisis for EMU itself.

“The system is paralysed, and it is starting to look like Black Wednesday in 1992. I’m afraid this is going to have a very deflationary effect on the economy of Western Europe. It is almost guaranteed that euroland money supply is about to implode,” he said.

A grain of comfort for British readers: UK banks have almost no exposure to the ex-Communist bloc, except in Poland – one of the less vulnerable states.

The threat to Britain lies in emerging Asia, where banks have lent $329bn, almost as much as the Americans and Japanese combined. Whether you realise it or not, your pension fund is sunk in Vietnamese bonds and loans to Indian steel magnates. Didn’t they tell you?

Europe on the brink of currency crisis meltdown  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/3260052/Europe-on-the-brink-of-currency-crisis-meltdown.html)


Title: Re: Solana seeks 'vital role' for EU in Middle East peace process
Post by: nChrist on November 04, 2008, 12:52:42 PM
Solana seeks 'vital role' for EU in Middle East peace process
Written by Chris Perver   
Thursday, 23 October 2008

Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, has arrived in Damascus on the second leg of his five day tour of the Middle East. His latest tour is expected to include visits to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where he is likely to discuss issues such as the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Middle East peace process, and broadening relations between the European Union and the Arab world. In regards to the Middle East peace process, Solana stated that the European Union has the persistent aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East, and that the Europeans are seeking to play an instrumental role in the process.

Quote: "'We have a long-standing position that aims at reaching a comprehensive peace process in the region, the Europeans would like to have vital role in this process,' said Solana, whose last visit to Damascus was in March 2007. 

His remarks follow similar statements made by French President Nicholas Sarkozy during a recent visit to Jordan, in which both Sarkozy and Jordanian Monarch Abdullah II agreed the centrality of the European Union in the Middle East peace process. It is also not the first time Solana has called for Europe to play a "significant role" in resolving the Middle East conflict. His comments come as Israeli President Shimon Peres embarks on a state visit to Egypt. Israeli politicians, including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, have been discussing the possibility of abandoning the unfruitful Palestinian track in favour of achieving a broader peace agreement with the Arab world. Peres is expected to discuss the possibility of Israel negotiating with the Arab League on the Saudi Initiative, an plan which promises recognition for Israel in return for all land captured during the Six Day War and a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. The Saudi Initiative was originally backed by the European Union when it was first presented, but the Israeli leadership feared the plan could result in the demographic destruction of the Jewish state through the influx of millions of Palestinian refugees. Some Arab ministers have stated that the Saudi Initiative could be modified, with Israel only having to provide compensation for Arab refugees.

Quote: "At the summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the two leaders will "discuss, inter alia, advancing the peace process between Israel and its neighbors, strengthening ties between Israel and Egypt" and "a variety of other state and security issues," said Peres' office in a statement. In a more explicit manner, local daily Ha'aretz reported Wednesday that Peres is expected to present Mubarak with his proposal for reforming the way Israel and its Arab neighbors negotiate peace agreements.

Could this Saudi Initiative, which is backed by the European Union and the Arab League, be the one which the Antichrist will strengthen for a period of seven years (Daniel 9:27)? Could the division of Jerusalem and the disengagement from Judea and Samaria be the outworking of this plan (Zechariah 12:2, 14:2, Revelation 11:2)? I don't know the answer to that. I feel that the covenant that will be agreed with many must pave the way for the Jewish people to rebuild their Temple and recommence the sacrificial system. Until we have all the pieces in place, its difficult to see how this could all come about. There needs to be a Red Heifer to sanctify the Temple area before the sacrifices can commence. The Temple Institute claim they have cracked the DNA code for genetically producing a Red Heifer. There needs to be agreement in the Arab world to permit Israel to rebuilt the Temple (2nd Thessalonians 2:4). If Israel tried to rebuild now, there would be a third world war. There needs to be a benevolent European dictator in place (Daniel 9:26), who will unite the world under his authority and bring about peace in the Middle East. I personally feel that we are still some way off from all of this happening. But we can see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. The question is, where do you fit in? When Christ returns for His Church, will you be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, or will you be caught out, without hope and without God in the world? God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2nd Peter 3:9). Why don't you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today (Acts 16:31). He will not turn you away (John 6:37).

Hello DreamWeaver,

Brother Bob, this is a fascinating article and represents some interesting possibilities that pertain to coming Bible Prophecy that will most definitely be fulfilled. It's fascinating to consider that we have numerous threads on the forum that already contain the name of Solana. The STARTING GUN could be fired soon. Regardless of the hard days ahead, Christians should keep their eyes open in joyous anticipation of seeing our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. We are already in his hands, and HIS Will be done!

Love In Christ,
Tom

(http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i160/tlr10/mine/mine054.jpg)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on November 04, 2008, 12:53:35 PM
Ezekiel 38:14-23 NASB  "Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?  15  "You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;  16  and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog."  17  'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?  18  "It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, "that My fury will mount up in My anger.  19  "In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.  20  "The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.  21  "I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains," declares the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother.  22  "With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.  23  "I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD."'

Ezekiel 39:1-7 NASB  "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal;  2  and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.  3  "I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand.  4  "You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.  5  "You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD.  6  "And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.  7  "My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

Ezekiel 39:17-22 NASB  "As for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, "Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.  18  "You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.  19  "So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.  20  "You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war," declares the Lord GOD.  21  "And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.  22  "And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.

Ezekiel 39:25-29 NASB  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name.  26  "They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid.  27  "When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.  28  "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.  29  "I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

Isaiah 2:1-5 NASB  The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  2  Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.  3  And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  4  And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.  5  Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Isaiah 9:2-7 NASB  The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.  3  You shall multiply the nation, You shall increase their gladness; They will be glad in Your presence As with the gladness of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.  4  For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.  5  For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult, And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.  6  For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  7  There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.

Isaiah 65:17-25 NASB  "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind.  18  "But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.  19  "I will also rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; And there will no longer be heard in her The voice of weeping and the sound of crying.  20  "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed.  21  "They will build houses and inhabit them; They will also plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  22  "They will not build and another inhabit, They will not plant and another eat; For as the lifetime of a tree, so will be the days of My people, And My chosen ones will wear out the work of their hands.  23  "They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the LORD, And their descendants with them.  24  "It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.  25  "The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox; and dust will be the serpent's food. They will do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.


Title: Barcelona chosen as headquarters for Mediterranean Union
Post by: Shammu on November 04, 2008, 03:43:32 PM
Barcelona chosen as headquarters for Mediterranean Union
Written by Chris Perver   
Tuesday, 04 November 2008


Foreign Ministers from the European Union and Mediterranean states have finally agreed on a location for the headquarters of the newly established Union for the Mediterranean. Members of the 43 nation body met in the French port city of Marseille last night to discuss on the issue. The Spanish city of Barcelona, in which the Barcelona Process commenced in 1995, has been chosen as the headquarters for the new union. The decision comes after weeks of wrangling by EU and Mediterranean states, seeking to be the host of French President Nicholas Sarkozy's Roman renaissance. France, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan had also offered to host the Union for the Mediterranean, but doubts arose over Tunisia's human rights record, and my guesses are European leaders were not keen on France having the pre-eminence in the new body. It seems that Spain was chosen for its neutral status and historic affiliation with the Barcelona Process.

Quote: "Foreign ministers from the 43 countries overcame one hurdle at a meeting in the French port of Marseille, deciding to base the "Club Med" in the Spanish city of Barcelona. "I'm very happy (with) that," said the EU foreign policy chief, Spain's Javier Solana. "It is a great joy for me."

There have also been disputes over the insistence of the Arab League at being represented in the Union for the Mediterranean. Only a few Arab states are members of the Barcelona Process, but the Arab League has been granted Observer Status in the body. Israel objects to the Arab League taking part in the Union for the Mediterranean, for they have always opposed the Jewish state in everything they have become involved in. According to reports, this issue has largely been resolved, although details of the agreement have yet to be made public. In other news, the European Union is planning to send a letter to the winner of the US Presidential election, calling for a 'partnership of equals' on global issues with the next American administration. The letter will call for increased co-operation between the EU and US on foreign policy matters, including the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, relations with Russia and other global issues.

Quote: ""Both candidates have their eyes turned towards Europe and have shown their interest in seeing both sides of the Atlantic working together," [French Foreign Minister] Kouchner said, predicting a new era of multilateralism. "The time is past when people asked what Europe was for. What we want is for our initiatives to be understood and shared." "The European Union has become more resolute," he argued, referring to the bloc's role in negotiating a solution to the Russia-Georgia conflict in August and its leadership on the global financial crisis. The French minister said it would have been "unthinkable" until recently for a united Europe to reach out to an incoming U.S. administration "as friends but especially as partners, to say here is what we could do together." "The world has changed, because we have realized that a great country, which will remain a great country, is not the only one concerned by the world's problems," he said.

Whoever gets into the White House, it seems that the European leaders are seeking to make sure the US avoids the mistakes of the past, in dictating the global agenda in the Middle East. In the past few months we have seen Europe demanding a greater say on global issues, including the Middle East peace process and global financial reforms. Prophecy scholars have long debated as to whether America is mentioned in end time prophecy. Apart from in Zechariah 14:2, I believe America is not mentioned in Bible prophecy. I believe America is destined to follow the fate of the British Empire. We were once called 'Great Britain'. Unfortunately this country no longer deserves that title. And as Kouchner says, America will remain a great country, but like the British Empire that went before it, they will no longer enjoy that place of prominence in global affairs. I believe this letter from the leaders of the European Union to the next US Administration is representative of this shift in world dominance.

As you can see, everything that the Bible has predicted concerning the last days is coming to pass. The Bible states that the "wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God", Psalm 9:17. Sad to say that our nation has largely forgotten God, and America is following in our footsteps. You may not be concerned about the downfall of your nation, but what about your own downfall? Are you not concerned about that? The verse also speaks of "the wicked". The word "wicked" means 'morally wrong', 'condemned', 'guilty', 'ungodly'. Does that sound like you? I know it sounds like me. The Bible declares that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God", Romans 3:23. But praise God that just as "all have sinned", so God's salvation is also offered to "whosoever will". If you are condemned, guilty and ungodly, then there is good news. Jesus Christ died for you! The Bible says that "when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly", Romans 5:6. Jesus Christ bore God's punishment for your sins upon the cross, and all who believe on Him for salvation can have everlasting life in heaven (John 3:16). Turn to Jesus Christ for salvation today. 

Barcelona chosen as headquarters for Mediterranean Union  (http://www.prophecynews.co.uk/content/view/1049/1/)


Title: European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader
Post by: Shammu on November 04, 2008, 03:46:58 PM
European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader
By Crispian Balmer Crispian Balmer Mon Nov 3, 3:39 pm ET

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – The European Union has prepared a letter for the next U.S. president, seeking more involvement for the 27-nation EU in resolving world problems, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Monday.

The six-page document will be dispatched after the winner of Tuesday's election emerges and Kouchner said the EU hoped for close ties with the new administration.

"There is a need to open a new chapter in global harmony, global balance, global change," Kouchner said following talks with his EU counterparts in the French port city of Marseille.

France's foreign minister said the letter focused on the need for multilateral solutions to world problems, including seeking peace in the Middle East and developing relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Times have changed. I think unilateral decisions that try to resolve the problems of the world will be more difficult to take," Kouchner said.

"I know that the two candidates have turned their gaze on Europe and have shown their interest in seeing our two sides of the Atlantic working together," he said, referring to Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

GLOBALISATION

Transatlantic relations suffered a severe crisis in 2003 over U.S. President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq, backed by Britain, Spain, Italy and central European countries but strongly opposed by old powers, led by France and Germany.

Kouchner said the rapidly evolving nature of globalization coupled with the financial crisis showed no one nation could impose its will on the world.

"The United States will remain a very important country. I don't say a dominant power, but a great power," he said.

European leaders are looking to assert themselves following the leading role played by the continent this year, including decisive action to ease the financial turmoil and directing negotiations to end the fighting between Russia and Georgia.

"We have said it is important to work where we have shown leadership and offer this leadership also to the United States," said the EU's external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

"We have to be an outward looking partnership. Not only with the United States, but also looking to China, to India, to Brazil, to the important big players," she added.

Public opinion polls show a clear preference among Europeans for Obama, seen not only as a clean break from Bush but also as more attuned to European concerns on human rights and dialogue with Iran.

McCain's tough rhetoric toward Iran and Russia and his military demeanor frighten some Europeans, while his choice of Sarah Palin, who has virtually no international experience, as his running mate has also raised eyebrows.

The EU ministers gathered in Marseille refused to be drawn on who they would prefer to deal with next in Washington.

"It is for the American people to elect their president. We will then work with whoever is there," said Ferrero-Waldner.

European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081103/pl_nm/us_eu_us_2/print)


Title: European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader
Post by: Shammu on November 05, 2008, 09:28:49 PM
European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader
By Crispian Balmer Crispian Balmer
Nov 3, 3:39 pm ET

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – The European Union has prepared a letter for the next U.S. president, seeking more involvement for the 27-nation EU in resolving world problems, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Monday.

The six-page document will be dispatched after the winner of Tuesday's election emerges and Kouchner said the EU hoped for close ties with the new administration.

"There is a need to open a new chapter in global harmony, global balance, global change," Kouchner said following talks with his EU counterparts in the French port city of Marseille.

France's foreign minister said the letter focused on the need for multilateral solutions to world problems, including seeking peace in the Middle East and developing relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Times have changed. I think unilateral decisions that try to resolve the problems of the world will be more difficult to take," Kouchner said.

"I know that the two candidates have turned their gaze on Europe and have shown their interest in seeing our two sides of the Atlantic working together," he said, referring to Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

GLOBALISATION

Transatlantic relations suffered a severe crisis in 2003 over U.S. President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq, backed by Britain, Spain, Italy and central European countries but strongly opposed by old powers, led by France and Germany.

Kouchner said the rapidly evolving nature of globalization coupled with the financial crisis showed no one nation could impose its will on the world.

"The United States will remain a very important country. I don't say a dominant power, but a great power," he said.

European leaders are looking to assert themselves following the leading role played by the continent this year, including decisive action to ease the financial turmoil and directing negotiations to end the fighting between Russia and Georgia.

"We have said it is important to work where we have shown leadership and offer this leadership also to the United States," said the EU's external relations commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

"We have to be an outward looking partnership. Not only with the United States, but also looking to China, to India, to Brazil, to the important big players," she added.

Public opinion polls show a clear preference among Europeans for Obama, seen not only as a clean break from Bush but also as more attuned to European concerns on human rights and dialogue with Iran.

McCain's tough rhetoric toward Iran and Russia and his military demeanor frighten some Europeans, while his choice of Sarah Palin, who has virtually no international experience, as his running mate has also raised eyebrows.

The EU ministers gathered in Marseille refused to be drawn on who they would prefer to deal with next in Washington.

"It is for the American people to elect their president. We will then work with whoever is there," said Ferrero-Waldner.

European Union draws up letter to new U.S. leader (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081103/pl_nm/us_eu_us_2/print)


Title: New "Euro-Med Union" takes a step to reality
Post by: Shammu on November 05, 2008, 09:38:11 PM
New "Euro-Med Union" takes a step to reality

Nov 4, 4:50 PM (ET)

By COLLEEN BARRY

MARSEILLE, France (AP) - Countries bordering the Mediterranean edged closer to establishing their "Euro-Med Union" on Tuesday by finessing an Israeli-Arab dispute over the role of the Arab League.

The union - a pet project of French President Nicolas Sarkozy that is more ambitious in symbolism than content - is envisaged primarily as a forum for cooperation and dialogue. Unlike the similarly named European Union, the 43 countries from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa probably will not have open borders, common regulations or truly interlocked economies.

Still, the group is important to the participants as a bridge between Europe and its poorer neighbors.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, the host, declared the two-day meeting a success even though thorny issues, like the naming of a secretary-general, remained unresolved.

"People said this wasn't going to be a success. It has been," Kouchner said.

Under the agreement, the 22-member Arab league will participate in the new union as an observer but will not have voting rights, a condition sought by Israel. Israel and the Palestinian Authority will each hold deputy secretary general posts, giving them a stake in the success of the venture.

For a Europe that fears unchecked immigration from Africa and hostility from the Muslim world, the new organization is an important outreach program. And for some Europeans, by including Israelis and Palestinians - which both border the Mediterranean - it also offers a forum for European diplomacy.

Sarkozy, the founding force behind the organization, and his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, will decide on the secretary-general and the allocation of five to six deputy posts before the end of the year, Kouchner said.

The expanded union is expected to focus on mostly development-oriented projects, such as cleaning up the Mediterranean, creating new maritime and land highways and solar energy.

Kouchner's comments reflected the sense of diplomatic breakthrough, however modest and unrelated to the grander territorial disputes still unresolved.

"The Israelis finally accepted the presence of the Arab League," Kouchner said. "Israel will be accepted as deputy secretary-general of an international organization for the first time in history." 9Barcelona was chosen as the headquarters of the fledgling union over Tunisia and the Mediterranean island nation of Malta.

France and Egypt will continue as co-chairs of the union for its first two years, with the Czech Republic joining during its six-month EU presidency beginning in January.

New "Euro-Med Union" takes a step to reality (http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081104/D948C9CO0.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on November 08, 2008, 11:58:56 AM
Mediterranean Union agrees on Barcelona as headquarters, Arab-Israeli role
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Foreign ministers from the new Mediterranean Union struck a deal Tuesday for Barcelona to host the forum's headquarters and for Israel and the Arab League to take part side-by-side.

The Union's 43 member states held two days of talks in the port of Marseille to end a four-month deadlock on the two contentious issues, which threatened to hamstring the fledgling organisation.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, whose countries currently co-chair the forum, announced the breakthrough at a joint news conference in the southern French city.

"It wasn't supposed to work, and yet it did," said Kouchner, adding: "The essential points were accepted completely and without reservation by all 43 states" in the Union for the Mediterranean.

Ministers from the Mediterranean's mainly-Arab southern rim agreed to back the Spanish city of Barcelona's candidacy to host the Union in exchange for the post of secretary-general going to a southern member.

They also clinched a deal on granting the Arab League a full-time seat at the forum -- a key demand of Arab members, strongly opposed by Israel which feared the pan-Arab group would try to block its involvement.

"The Arabic participation will take place in every meeting with the right to speak at all levels," said Abul Gheit, although it will have no right to vote.

Israel agreed to the Arab League's role in exchange for one of five deputy secretary-general posts for an initial three-year period, possibly renewable.

The deputy posts will rotate between three European members and two southern ones, and will initially be held by the Palestinian Authority, Greece, Malta and Italy, alongside Israel, according to the final declaration.

The text -- with likely technical amendments -- still has to be formally ratified however by the two co-presidents of the Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak.

Launched at a Paris summit in July, the new union brings together EU members with states from north Africa, the Balkans, the Arab world and Israel in a bid to foster cooperation in one of the world's most volatile regions.

An Israeli diplomat said it agreed to the Arab League "compromise" on the basis it would be able to play a front-seat role in setting up the fledgling Union, and hopefully build bridges around the Mediterranean.

But she warned "the Barcelona Process can never replace direct bilateral negotiations" to resolve Israel's conflicts with Arab nations.

A spokesman for the Arab League also warned that its participation would not lead to normalisation with Israel, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was "delighted" by the accord on Barcelona, while EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner called it a "logical choice."

The Mediterranean capital of Spain's Catalonia region, Barcelona lent its name to the 13-year-old Barcelona Process, a previous EU regional initiative that stalled in part over Arab-Israeli disputes.

In exchange for hosting its headquarters, Spain also agreed to drop the tag "Barcelona Process" from the name of the new forum.

France, which championed the Union, hoped that by basing it on modest regional projects, such as cleaning up pollution in the Mediterranean, it would be able to sidestep the trap of regional disputes.

Priorities set out in the declaration include fighting pollution in the Mediterranean, solar energy, building land and sea highways and cooperation on higher education and research.

The Marseille accord, clinched after months of tough negotiations, rescues the forum from the threat of looming deadlock, but it also amounts to formally recognising tensions over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And the highly-political compromise to create five deputies to the secretary-general is a far cry from the slimmed-down, nimble governing structure at first envisaged for the Union.


Title: EU developing 'militarised' space policy which could trigger 'arms race'
Post by: Shammu on November 21, 2008, 11:07:55 PM
EU developing 'militarised' space policy which could trigger 'arms race'
The European Union is developing a military space policy which has the "potential for an arms race", a report has claimed.
Urmee Khan
21 Nov 2008

The European Space Agency is accused of developing technology to dominate the "high ground" of space, including a multimillion pound EU Satellite Centre in Spain.

The Transnational Institute, a Dutch think-tank, said: "EU-financed communication and spy satellites are slowly becoming reality and in the long term the inclusion of space-based missile defence and other more offensive uses of space are real options for an increasingly ambitious EU military space policy."

The report said French ambitions for the "militarisation of space" have led to arguments with Britain - particularly over Galileo, the much-delayed European global positioning system.

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, who currently holds the Presidency, said in June that space agenda was one of his priorities.

Next week, ministers from all ESA member states will meet in The Hague to implement a new European space policy which identifies military "security" as a priority.

Galileo would be vital in any European deployment of the sort of GPS-guided artillery now being used by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2002, the EU approved the Ł2 billion satellite network to break strategic dependence on America and seize the lead in space technology.

Galileo was designed to end dependence on America's Global Positioning System, a network of 24 satellites controlled by the American defence department which can be cut off in war or even used as a tool of pressure.

At the time, it was said that Galileo would create 150,000 jobs, generating Ł7 billion in annual revenue for European companies from 2008.

British demanded a statement in 2002 to describe Galileo as a "civilian" project that would not threaten the cohesion of Nato.

However, author of the new report Frank Slijper, an economist and arms trade specialist, said: "While Galileo is generally presented as a genuinely civilian programme, it now appears highly militarised.

"The public denial of these important capabilities shows how much Brussels and many European capitals are afraid to tell the public that Galileo is to become an extremely important tool in future warfare by European military forces," he said.

EU developing 'militarised' space policy which could trigger 'arms race' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/3493260/EU-developing-militarised-space-policy-which-could-trigger-arms-race.html)


Title: Obama's victory matters to Europe
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:17:17 PM
Obama's victory matters to Europe

PETER SAIN LEY BERRY
07.11.2008 @ 10:42 CET

EUOBSERVER / COMMENT - After Barack Obama's sensational victory in the US presidential election, I replayed the recordings of the speech he made in Berlin, a little more than three months ago. At the time, some 200,000 people (or so it was reported) flocked to the Tiergarten to hear Mr Obama express sentiments that many Europeans had given up ever hearing again from an American leader.

Mr Obama's words, addressed to the people of Berlin, hit all the important European buttons. The world needed a strong European Union, he said. It was imperative that we took action on climate change and that we stood up to, and faced down, threats to democracy and freedom wherever they surfaced. He promoted messages of inclusivity to the world's races and religions, of human rights and of hope in ending the running sore of tragedies such as Darfur. He wanted to revive and enhance the transatlantic alliance.

"Partnership and co-operation between nations is no longer a choice," he said. "It is a necessity."

After the rough ride of the Bush years (to which Obama made not a single direct reference), this was music to European ears: rationality and concord repatriated to the European shore. "I come before you as a citizen of the world," declared the senator from Illinois, knowing that we Europeans, perhaps more so than any other people, also see ourselves through that very prism.

And the man, whose roots lie on two continents, one rich, one poor, and who was born on an island speck in the broad ocean, did indeed deliver in Berlin a world view and a global leadership perspective that was multilateral and unifying and above all re-assuring.

No wonder he has been embraced by Europeans. Had we had the chance to vote -Democrat or Republican - Obama would have won, so surveys tell us, by a massive four to one.

The reason appears in the result of another survey. Gallup found that two-thirds of Europeans believe that what an American president does will affect their country.

It is only when we listen to Obama speaking that we realise just how uncomfortable Europe has been under the Bush presidency. The confrontational, unilateralist stance, the murky underside of the ‘war on terror' - Guantanamo, waterboarding, extraordinary rendition - above all the illegal invasion of Iraq, have left us all discomfited and feeling unwashed.

Europe has split apart in the last eight years, with some countries uncomfortably following the Washington lead as loyal allies or seekers of influence, while others, equally uncomfortably, have stood aside.

Now Obama's election has brought with it hope that that this internal European rift may be healed. We can embrace the transatlantic alliance again with hope in our hearts rather than fear for the world.

So his election will change Europe too, as well as the United States. This was why it mattered to us who won last Tuesday. And herein lies our problem.

For in the 21st century, the American president is much more than just the president of the US alone. He, and to date the incumbents have always been male, is also the leader of the 'Free World.' This includes the transatlantic alliance and beyond it all those countries that espouse liberty and democracy. We are a global community that plays by similar rules and shares the same values. And yet the majority of our citizens are disenfranchised from any say over who leads us.

The Free World has to live with and pay for the consequences of America's actions around the world, but has no vote to influence those actions.

We are, indeed, in much the same position as the American colonists who rebelled against the British parliament in 1775, crying 'no taxation without representation.' They denied the right of the king to levy taxes when the colonies themselves were not represented in parliament.

The wider community of the Free World is equally devoid of representation in American councils, but we are taxed nonetheless. Not, of course, with a monetary levy, but in this global age we pay all the same. We have paid these last years for US belligerence. We have paid for US pollution and for US trade policies. And now we are also paying for the collapse of American finance.

Let me assure our American cousins that I readily acknowledge the debt that Europe owes to America in blood and money. We also ought to pay more towards our own defence. This does not however alter my point - which is that the election of an American president affects far more people than just those living in the 50 states.

How this democratic wrong might be redressed I do not know. Indeed, I don't believe it is even perceived in the USA. For all Mr Obama's rhetoric, America still sees itself as a land in splendid isolation, hardly aware of a world beyond its shores. Looking at the headline policy positions on the domestic websites of the two presidential contenders, Mr Obama mentions Europe only once; John McCain mentions Europe not at all.

This would not be the case here. Were we, in Europe, to have candidates for a European presidency, they would certainly be dwelling extensively on the USA and the transatlantic alliance.

Indeed, we remember the fawning letter composed just a few days ago by European foreign ministers and addressed to the US president-elect, before even the election had taken place, so eager are we to insist that Europe should not be forgotten in the presidential councils. Such is the imbalance of the transatlantic relationship.

So we have here a paradox: By and large, Americans are citizens of the US alone, little interested in events on the other side of their protective oceans. Nevertheless, their president speaks for the whole 'Free World.'

Europeans have far more of an informed global view. But of course we do not have a president. Nor could any European leader reasonably expect to attract 200,000 people to the Tiergarten for a speech on global issues. So there remains a transatlantic mismatch: they have the world president, we have the world citizens. Sooner or later we shall have to find a way of marrying the two.

President-elect Obama will have many problems to contend with when he takes office on 20 January. I don't want to add to them. One day we shall return to this wider democratic point. Meanwhile I send him my congratulations and best wishes.

Obama's victory matters to Europe (http://euobserver.com/24/27057?print=1)


Title: France 'overstepped mandate' on missile shield moratorium
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:18:38 PM
France 'overstepped mandate' on missile shield moratorium

RENATA GOLDIROVA
17.11.2008 @ 09:13 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Prague and Warsaw have poured cold water on French calls for a moratorium on a planned US missile shield in Europe, with both capitals saying that president Nicolas Sarkozy overstepped his mandate.

"I don't think that third countries, even such good friends as France, can have a particular right to express themselves on this issue," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday (15 November).

The Polish leader described Mr Sarkozy's comments as his "own point of view, [with] no impact of the future of the project," according to AFP, adding that "The question of the anti-missile shield is governed by an agreement between Poland and the United States."

A similar message came from the Czech republic, with the country's deputy prime minister Alexandr Vondra saying he was taken by surprise.

"France did not discuss its viewpoint with us ... As far as I know, the French presidency mandate for the EU-Russia summit did not contain a position on the US missile defence system," he said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy - currently chairing the 27-nation EU - had spoken alongside his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Friday (14 November), following the top level EU-Russia meeting in Nice.

He suggested that the EU, Russia and the US meet in mid-2009 in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in order to lay foundations of future pan-European security. "Until then, please, no more talk about deployment of missile and anti-missile systems," the French leader said.

His remarks no doubt pleased the Russian ear.

Moscow sees US plans to place components of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech republic as a direct threat to its security and the broader military balance. Earlier this month, the Kremlin threatened to deploy short-range missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland, if the shield gets up and running.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev defended the standpoint by saying at Friday's summit that "All [Russian] decisions were in response to the behaviour of nations in Europe, which without consulting anyone had agreed to deploy new systems on their own territory."

"It is better to have a global anti-missile system in which Russia also participates," he later suggested.

According to Mr Vondra - speaking to EUobserver - the Russians are currently testing the US president-elect the same way as Nikita Khrushchev once tested John F. Kennedy, while Prague continues to hope that neither the Europeans nor the Americans will fall into the trap.

The Czech deputy prime minister referred to the Cuban missile crisis of the early 1960s - a risky muscle-flexing exercise during the Cold War - when the Soviet Union stationed its weapons in Cuba in response to the deployment of US ballistic missiles in Turkey.

In addition, Mr Vondra pointed to the NATO summit in Bucharest in April this year, stressing that back then the entire 26-nation Alliance, including France, approved the US missile shield project.

The alliance was tasked to "develop options for a comprehensive missile defence architecture" - something that would allow a NATO-designed short and medium range missile defence system to be bolted onto the American one designed for protection from long range attacks.

The fresh comments by France "differ" from the NATO summit conclusions, Mr Vondra said.

Speaking in Washington on Saturday (15 November), French President Nicolas Sarkozy seemed to back down from his previous comments. "Every country is sovereign to decide whether it hosts an anti-missile shield or not," he was cited as saying by AFP.

But it still remains to be seen how the US project in Central Europe will progress under the new White House chief, Barack Obama, who enters office on 20 January. The Democrat is surrounded by people questioning the military efficiency of the system.

"We don't expect, even for political reasons, any revolution but of course, the new president will take a new look and we know what the position of the president-elect is. He told me that he wanted to make sure the thing worked," Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski said last Friday.

France 'overstepped mandate' on missile shield moratorium (http://euobserver.com/24/27115?print=1)


Title: Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:19:45 PM
Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord

VALENTINA POP
14.11.2008 @ 18:04 CET

With Russia's backing for the G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a new security and defence arrangement between the EU, Russia and the US to be agreed at a summit mid-2009, calling both on Moscow and Washington to refrain from deploying missiles until that date.

Mr Sarkozy was speaking at a press conference on Friday (14 November) following the EU-Russia summit held in Nice, alongside his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

"As acting EU council president I propose that mid-2009 we gather for instance within the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to lay the basis of what might be a future EU security arrangement ...which would of course involve the Russians and the Americans," Mr Sarkozy said, backing an idea originally proposed by his Russian counterpart.

He also expressed his "preoccupation" with Mr Medvedev's threat to deploy short-range missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, bordering Poland and Lithuania.

"There shouldn't be any deployment in any enclave until we have not discussed the new geopolitical conditions of a pan-European security arrangement," he told Russia, while also calling on the US to "stop talking" about the missile defence shield which "only complicates things."

Mr Sarkozy seemed to be offering his role "as a potential mediator in Russian-American relations," AFP commented.

Mr Medvedev had threatened on 5 November to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the Americans install their anti-ballistic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russian-EU entente for G20 summit

Mr Medvedev backed EU proposals for the G20 summit to be held in Washington on Saturday (15 November), calling them "almost identical" with his. The Russian president said he was backing a deep reform of the international financial system, as well as a second financial summit at end of February, after the new US president Barack Obama takes office.

Mr Sarkozy called the Russian financial and economic proposals "of very good quality" and "very close to the EU proposals."

"And I'm very satisfied to see that there is a will on the part of the Russian federation for strong decisions to come out of the Washington summit," he added.

Georgia hardly mentioned

The Russian-Georgian war was portrayed as a somewhat closed affair, with Mr Sarkozy congratulating himself and his team for having brokered the ceasefire agreement, calling for "diplomatic solutions" in the region through negotiations in Geneva and criticising "some prominent leaders" who were against him going to Moscow in August and were now against resuming EU-Russia partnership treaty talks.

He asked the Russians "to make progress" in their withdrawal from Georgia, especially the Akhalgori region within the South Ossetia region and the Perevi village, located just outside in Georgia proper. But he estimated that the Russians fulfilled "the essential part of their agreements."

For his part, Mr Medvedev rejected the idea of not having fully complied with the cease fire agreements, pointing that "the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is our final decision. It is irrevocable."

Mr Medvedev also rejected the EU's accusation that the Russian use of force in Georgia was disproportionate. He said Moscow's military intervention was "limited, necessary and in accordance with international law."

EU-Russia talks to resume on 2 December

The negotiations between Russia and the EU on a strategic partnership agreement, suspended after the Georgian crisis will be resumed on 2 December, a spokeswoman for the European commission told AFP.

The EU and Russian leaders gathered in Nice "agreed to retake negotiations on 2 December," said Christianne Hohman, spokeswoman for external relations.

She added that the December meeting would be at a technical level, between the heads of the negotiating teams.

Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord (http://euobserver.com/24/27113?print=1)


Title: EU preparing to upgrade Turkmenistan relations
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:21:56 PM
EU preparing to upgrade Turkmenistan relations

PHILIPPA RUNNER
11.11.2008 @ 17:37 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - EU institutions are preparing to normalise relations with Turkmenistan, laying aside human rights benchmarks in a bureaucratic process marked by apathy and mistrust.

The European Parliament's international trade committee has invited the European Commission to brief MEPs about the political situation in the gas-rich dictatorship at its next meeting on 2 December.

The briefing will pave the way for parliament to decide on approving an Interim Trade Agreement (ITA) with Ashgabat, under a consultation procedure that would make refusal politically awkward for the treaty's future.

The ITA would multiply the number of EU-Turkmenistan meetings and improve prospects for opening a future EU embassy. It would also send the political message that Europe wants to do business with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

MEPs in February said the ITA should stay frozen until Turkmenistan releases political prisoners, gives access to UN experts on torture, lets people travel out of the country and reforms its educational system.

None of the benchmarks have been met. "This is a time when Turkmenistan is looking to the EU for partnership, for respectability. The EU needs to be consistent," Human Rights Watch (HRW) analyst Maria Lisitsyna said.

But the European Commission in December is likely to tell MEPs that Ashgabat has done enough to show it is open to change, highlighting minor reforms such as relaxation of forced teaching of the Rukhnama, a theological tract.

"We need to encourage these efforts and engage more with the country," commission external relations spokeswoman Christiane Hohmann said. "Non-approval of the ITA would risk sending the wrong message."

Mistrust of NGOs

Brussels sees NGOs such as HRW as a nuisance in its attempt to steer Central Asian countries out of the Russian sphere of influence in a grand geopolitical strategy.

"It's almost as if now that Uzbekistan has gone, they are turning all their attention to Turkmenistan," one EU official said, after the EU in October dropped Uzbekistan sanctions despite an HRW campaign.

The commission will be preaching to the converted as far as the largest parliamentary political group, the conservative EPP-ED, is concerned.

"If we don't talk to the Turkmen, they won't learn about democracy and human rights from Russia or from the Chinese government," German conservative MEP and ITA rapporteur Daniel Caspary said.

The deputy cast doubts on the reliability of HRW analysis, saying that in the past, Russian proxy groups have fed mis-information to Western NGOs.

"HRW, which I very much like, gets information from different channels and some of those channels - they don't know who is behind them."

Apathy also a force

Few MEPs take a strong interest in Turkmenistan, risking a situation in which a handful of pro-ITA deputies lead parliament decision-making.

The head of the Central Asia delegation, Lithuanian Liberal MEP Ona Jukneviciene, in April cancelled a delegation visit to Ashgabat because she was too busy with other things. Just one MEP turned up to a commission briefing on Turkmenistan to the human rights sub-committee in October.

The commission's geopolitical rhetoric also masks smaller bureaucratic objectives and gives an exaggerated impression of Central Asia's importance on its own agenda.

With Turkmenistan as the only one of the five Central Asia states where EU treaties still date back to Soviet times, some EU officials are keen to conclude the ITA to tick a box in their programme.

Senior EU personnel have in the past allegedly said that EU-Russia relations top the EU's foreign policy priority list, with EU-Central Asia relations way down the line. But the European Commission denies this is the case.

EU preparing to upgrade Turkmenistan relations (http://euobserver.com/24/27086?print=1)


Title: Faltering EU deal strengthens Islam
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2008, 03:34:49 PM
Faltering EU deal strengthens Islam
November 26, 2008

WASHINGTON - Turkey's bid for eventual European Union membership is likely to fail and this will further boost Islamist and nationalist tendencies already strong in the society.

Faltering EU deal strengthens Islam "Over the next 15 years, Turkey’s most likely course involves a blending of Islamic and nationalist strains, which could serve as a model for other rapidly modernizing countries in the Middle East," said the "Global Trends - 2025" report published Thursday by the National Intelligence Council, or NIC, which brings together all 16 U.S. spy agencies.

Mathew Burrows, NIC counselor and principal organizer of the report, speaking at the Foreign Press Center here a day later, was asked how the U.S. intelligence community predicted that Turkey would be more Islamic and nationalist over the next 15 to 20 years.

"We base this on quite a few talks we have had with experts both here and abroad, and our observations of trends happening now in Turkey," Burrows said. "What we see in Turkey today is the development of an Islamist, modernizing tradition that is very strong and successful, combined with what has always been a very strong nationalist tradition," he said.

About Turkey's EU prospects, Burrows said, "we are cautious, I mean, and somewhat pessimistic, I would say, about whether Turkey will ever be in the EU."

"And we are worried about that relationship going sour," he said. "We would expect that to reinforce some of this nationalist thinking and Islamist traditions and tendencies."

Turkey's pro-secular state establishment, including the military and the ruling Justice and Development Party whose roots are in political Islam have been bickering over secularism-related matters in recent years.

The party's votes in legislative elections have climbed from 36 percent in 2002 to 47 percent in 2007.

Secularism to decline
The NIC said it expected secularism in the Middle East to decline, in line with the Turkish example.

"In the Middle East, secularism, which also has been considered an integral part of the Western model, increasingly may be seen as out of place as Islamic parties come into prominence and possibly begin to run governments," NIC said in the Global Trends report. "As in today’s Turkey, we could see both increased Islamization and greater emphasis on economic growth and modernization."

The NIC report also said it expected to see the political and economic power of Indonesia, Iran, and Turkey, all non-Arab Muslim countries, increase over the next couple of decades.

Faltering EU deal strengthens Islam (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/10427060.asp?gid=244)


Title: Israelis and Palestinians should become European
Post by: Shammu on November 26, 2008, 03:36:35 PM
Israelis and Palestinians should become European
By Richard N. Rosecrance and Ehud Eiran Richard N. Rosecrance And Ehud Eiran
Nov 26 2008

Cambridge, Mass. – Scratch just a bit under the hope generated by the coming electoral changes in Washington, Jerusalem, and maybe Ramallah, and you discover deep despair about the possibility of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The roads taken in the last 15 years in pursuit of a deal – the negotiations since Oslo, the unilateralism of the Gaza disengagement, and even the violence since the (second) Intifada – all failed.

The opponents of an agreement did not waste that time, however: The number of Israeli settlers grew almost threefold since the early days of the peace process, making a territorial compromise even more difficult.

Political leadership on both sides offers little hope for reconciliation. The Palestinian national movement is weak and deeply divided. The coming Israeli elections will most likely bring about a more hawkish Israeli Parliament, if not a more conservative prime minister.

A sense of hopelessness has reached even the most committed peace activists. The Palestinian activist Sari Nusseibeh, for example, wondered publicly if territorial compromise is still an option. And Israel's Yossi Beilin recently announced that he will retire from politics altogether.

Israelis and Palestinians need a new vision. They need a vision that will include a powerful incentive not only to get the train of negotiations back on track, but will also outline a final destination for its journey. With the lessons of the failed Oslo process before us, it is clear now that a future peace agreement needs to respond to the deepest grievances and darkest fears of both sides.

To find a path forward, we need to go back to the origins of it all. It was Europe's violent rejection of Jews in the past that begat modern Zionism and paradoxically contributed to its success. Once the problem, Europe may now be the solution. To both encourage and reward a territorial and security agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, it should offer a clear path for their membership in the European Union.

It could help the parties fashion a settlement. The prospect of joining the richest union of states on earth is an enormous incentive for reaching a deal. The union's organization and values offer the frame for a peace agreement.

In fact, the dual identity of a supranational entity comprised of peaceful national states holds the answer for both sides' most profound concerns. For Israelis, EU membership offers physical security and permanent legitimacy. For Palestinians, membership means a territorial settlement, including a return, of sorts, of their lands through the new joint European source of security and authority over them.

Such an arrangement also holds significant benefits for Europe. It would contribute to political stability on its eastern and southern flank. If successful, it might even open a path for EU members to certain North African states, thus limiting the frustrations of millions of would-be immigrants to leave their instable region and go to Europe.

If European capital moves to areas of abundant nearby labor, labor has less reason to migrate to areas of capital abundance. Perhaps more important, it will expand the geographical borders of Europe, as well as the confines of its current identity, in a manner that will make the conversation with Turkey far easier.

Of course, there will be challenges. Israelis are haunted by the potential flood of Palestinian refugees from the open borders that Europe espouses (though the Schengen agreement has been applied differentially). Palestinians are still angered by the result of European colonialism, and Europeans may not want to proceed beyond admitting the nearby Island of Cyprus. Europe might be hesitate to broker such a deal, but the possibility of their succeeding with a Palestinian settlement, which had eluded the US for 40 years, would be a strong incentive to proceed. All these are weighty issues, but solvable ones.

The possibility of a day in which the descendants of the ancient foes – Christendom, Islamic civilization and Judaism – come together to resolve the century-long conflict over the Holy Land, finally acknowledging their common ancestor, Abraham, is not far afield. By using entrance to the European Union as an incentive for peace, Europe would not only free the region from a seriously destabilizing quarrel, but may also finally put to rest a millennia-long rivalry.

Israelis and Palestinians should become European (http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081126/cm_csm/yrosecrance_1/print;_ylt=AuCYTP_dSwBCbBfztfrvgHO7e8UF)


Title: EU, Syria move closer to signing association agreement
Post by: Shammu on November 28, 2008, 09:20:29 PM
EU, Syria move closer to signing association agreement
Middle East News

Nov 25, 2008, 18:41 GMT

Brussels - The European Union and Syria on Tuesday moved closer to signing an Association Agreement, which will eventually grant the Middle Eastern country access to the bloc's neighbourhood funds.

At a meeting in Brussels, officials from the European Commission and Syria said they had agreed on a series of technical updates to the agreement, which was initialled in 2004 but subsequently frozen as a result of the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

The update takes into account the latest developments in Syria, as well as the fact that the EU has expanded to accommodate two new member states, Bulgaria and Romania, since the start of the talks.

EU external affairs commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner singled out Syria's decision to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon and to hold indirect peace talks with Israel as 'recent positive developments' in the country's regional policy.

'The two sides ... agreed to meet again in Damascus on 14 December to initial the updated text, with a view to submitting it to their respective authorities for consideration and subsequent signature,' the EU commission said in a statement.

The EU already has such Association Agreements in place with all of its Mediterranean partners, expect Syria and Libya.

The text must now be endorsed by the EU's 27 national governments before it can be signed some time 'in the near future', officials said.

Once it comes into force, it will allow Syria to access EU funds and sign cooperation and trade agreements.

EU, Syria move closer to signing association agreement  (http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1444946.php/EU_Syria_move_closer_to_signing_association_agreement_)


Title: Czechs taking over EU presidency
Post by: Shammu on January 01, 2009, 11:24:04 PM
Czechs taking over EU presidency
By Karel Janicek
Dec 31 2008

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – A weak government. A Euro-skeptic president. Parliament in stalemate over an EU reform treaty. The Czech Republic does not look ideally suited to assume leadership of the European Union.

On Thursday, the Czechs take over the bloc's six-month rotating presidency from EU heavyweight France, whose dynamic President Nicolas Sarkozy has taken vigorous action on tackling Europe's economic woes.

The Czech Republic, only the second post-communist EU newcomer to take the bloc's helm, will face the daunting task of implementing a $258 billion European economic stimulus package approved by EU leaders under the French presidency.

The nation of about 10 million people bordering Germany and Poland is also the last EU member to vote on the stalled Lisbon Treaty — a blueprint for reforming the EU that supporters say is essential for it to work effectively.

The project has been on hold since Irish voters rejected it in June. The Czech Parliament postponed its vote after the Irish rebuff — and has yet to schedule a new ballot even though Ireland has agreed to hold a new referendum.

The most prominent Czech critic of the treaty is the nation's president, Vaclav Klaus, who openly says "a well functioning, bureaucratic EU is not my goal."

Klaus has even said he won't allow the EU flag to fly over Prague Castle, his official seat, during the Czech presidency because the country "is not an EU province."

His views are shared by some lawmakers from the conservative Civic Democratic Party of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

Topolanek said he wants Parliament to ratify the treaty. But his party is threatening to block ratification unless lawmakers first approve a deal allowing the U.S. to base part of a missile defense system on Czech soil.

The governing coalition does not have a majority in Parliament's lower house and the opposition fiercely rejects the missile defense plan. Opposition leaders threaten a no-confidence vote if the coalition fails to approve the EU charter by February.

Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said political infighting will not affect the country's ability to effectively lead the bloc. "We are rational people. So don't expect any kind of a mess here."

A staunch U.S. ally, the Czech Republic has set ties with the new U.S. administration high on its foreign policy agenda; it hopes to invite Barack Obama to Prague for his first visit to Europe as president.

The Czechs are awaiting word from Obama's team on the missile defense deal brokered under President George W. Bush. The shield is backed by NATO but some European leaders, including Sarkozy, have recently questioned it.

The shield, which would also be based in Poland, has angered Russia and could overshadow planned EU-Russia talks during the Czech presidency.

Russia is already pressuring the incoming U.S. administration to scrap the plans and has threatened to deploy missiles near the Polish border.

Czechs taking over EU presidency (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081231/ap_on_re_eu/eu_czech_eu_presidency/print;_ylt=AjsaDRl_uq7AQlCX8nCVUD9bbBAF)


Title: EAC summit starts with focus on solving outstanding issues on proposed common ma
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:05:27 AM
EAC summit starts with focus on solving outstanding issues on proposed common market
Posted: 2009/05/04

The heads of state or government from the member states of the East African Community (EAC) began to meet here Wednesday with solving the outstanding issues related to the establishment of a proposed common market high on the agenda.


ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Cementing a common market within the bloc is the second phase of EAC's integration process. The bloc has already has a functional customs union which was created in January 2005. A common market by 2010 is as the third and a political federation of the East African States as the final.

The Treaty for Establishment of the EAC was signed on November 30, 1999 and entered into force on July 7, 2000 following its ratification by the original three partner states of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Rwanda and Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on June 18, 2007 and became full members of the community with effect from July 1, 2007.

The EAC has held rounds of formal negotiations on the establishment of the proposed common market since last year which was originally expected to be concluded by December 2008. But thorny issues have prolonged the negotiation process which has pit Tanzania against four other member states.

The negotiations have been bogged down in three areas, namely national identification document, access and use of land and permanent residence, a press release from EAC has said.

Also high on the agenda of the summit is the border dispute between Uganda and Kenya.

Rwandese President Paul Kagame, who is current chairperson of the EAC, told the press days ago that the dispute over the ownership of Migingo Island on Lake Victoria could be blown out of proportion, causing more chaos.

He said he would consult with his counterparts by the end of this month on resolving the border issue between the two neighbors.

EAC summit starts with focus on solving outstanding issues on proposed common market (http://mathaba.net/news/?x=620082)


Title: Russia concerned with EU's Eastern Partnership initiative
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:06:34 AM
Russia concerned with EU's Eastern Partnership initiative
2009-04-28 22:21:27

    LUXEMBOURG, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia would keep eyes open on an initiative of the European Union (EU) to further engage former Soviet republics.

    The EU is to hold a summit on May 7 with leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to launch a so-called Eastern Partnership.

    "We've heard statements from Brussels saying that this is not a question of expanding their sphere of influence and that this is a process which is definitely not directed at Russia. We would like very much to believe this," Lavrov told reporters after a meeting with EU officials.

    But he quickly added that some of the comments Russia has received about this initiative from the EU side are worrisome. "We'll have to wait and see what happens... We'll see that following the summit that sets up the Eastern Partnership, there will be an implementation of what our European Union colleagues have now told us," said Lavrov.

    Lavrov on Tuesday toned down his rhetoric against the EU initiative to enhance relations with the former Soviet republics.

    He suggested last month that the EU was seeking an eastern "sphere of influence" with this initiative. On Monday, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, labelled Lavrov's remarks as "nonsense."

    Schwarzenberg made the comment one day before his meeting with Lavrov in Luxemberg in the framework of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council.

    Schwarzenberg said the EU wants "to develop these countries because it is in our interests that these countries don't lag too far behind the European Union -- because that would create difficulties in the future."

    On Tuesday, Lavrov said Russia would like to continue to engage the EU in discussing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposals on a new European security architecture and Medvedev's new proposals on international energy cooperation.

    Schwarzenberg said the EU finds Medvedev's proposals on energy cooperation interesting, but needs more information to clarify certain points.

Russia concerned with EU's Eastern Partnership initiative  (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/28/content_11275942.htm)


Title: Canada, EU to seek "economic partnership"
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:08:35 AM
Canada, EU to seek "economic partnership"
Staff
5/7/2009 6:24:00 AM

Canadian farmers are seen being among the beneficiaries of a proposed "economic partnership agreement" between Canada and the European Union.

Meeting Wednesday in Prague in the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, EU President Mirek Topolanek and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced the launch of negotiations between Canada and the 27-nation EU.

"This partnership has the potential to bring a $12 billion boost to the Canadian economy and lead to significant gains for both Canada and the EU," the federal government said in a release.

"At a time when many countries are retreating into protectionism, Canada is showing the way," Harper said. "We are working to open new markets and positioning our country for the future."

"Canada and the EU agree that we should be seeking an ambitious agreement, and will negotiate a wide range of areas, including trade in goods, technical trade barriers, trade facilitation, customs procedures and rules of origin, trade in services, investment, central and sub-central government procurement, food safety and animal and plant health measures, regulatory co-operation, intellectual property, competition policy, dispute settlement and sustainable development," the government said.

Ottawa noted that a bilateral agreement with the EU "could deliver commercial benefits across many sectors of the Canadian economy, including aerospace, chemicals, wood products, automotive vehicles and parts, agricultural products, and transportation and other business services."

In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and the EU totalled $90.4 billion, up seven per cent from 2007, the government said. The EU is Canada's second largest export market, after the U.S., and Canadian merchandise exports to the EU alone were up 3.5 per cent in 2008, reaching $36.4 billion.

The investment relationship is even stronger, the government said, noting the EU is Canada's second most important investment partner and Canada the EU's fourth most important investment partner.

In October last year, the EU and Canada released a joint study indicating that the liberalization of trade in goods and services has the potential to give a $12 billion boost to the Canadian economy and increase bilateral trade by over 20 percent.

Ottawa is responsible for negotiations in international treaties, but the provinces and territories are responsible for implementing the treaty obligations that fall within their jurisdiction, including through enacting legislation, as required.

Thus the government said it will provide a process for the participation of the provinces and territories and "ensure that their views are fully taken into account in the development of Canadian negotiating positions, both before and during these negotiations."

To that end, Quebec Premier Jean Charest on Wednesday appointed former premier Pierre-Marc Johnson as the province's chief negotiator on this agreement.

Deal on beef?

Ottawa's move for closer economic ties with the EU comes as the U.S. government has announced an agreement in principle to ease out of its trade dispute with the EU over hormone-treated beef.

Both Canada and the U.S. have imposed trade sanctions against the EU over its ban on beef from cattle treated with growth-promoting hormones. Beef industry observers say a deal between Washington and the EU suggests a similar deal between Ottawa and the EU can't be far off.

Washington's agreement in principle would give the U.S. additional duty-free access to the EU market for U.S. beef from cattle not treated with hormones, to the tune of 20,000 tons in the first three years, increasing to 45,000 tons beginning in the fourth year.

The agreement also calls for the U.S. to maintain existing sanctions, but to not impose new sanctions on EU products during the initial three-year period. Washington would then eliminate all its related sanctions during the agreement's fourth year.

According to a release Wednesday from U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, the agreement also calls for both the U.S. and EU to "refrain from further litigation at the World Trade Organization regarding the EU's ban on beef treated with certain growth-promoting hormones for at least 18 months."

Before the end of the four-year period, Kirk's office said, the two sides will "seek to conclude a longer-term agreement."

FIPA with Czechs

Harper on Wednesday also announced the signing of an updated Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with the Czech Republic.

Canada has had such an agreement in place with the Czechs since 1992, but these updates bring it into compliance with EU law and provide for "a number of improvements requested by Canada, including a new clause for environmental, health and other safety standards and greater transparency during investor-state arbitration."

The updated FIPA is meant to "encourage two-way investment by providing investors with the clarity and certainty they need when investing in foreign markets." Canada currently has 23 such agreements in force, six of which are with EU member countries.

Canada, EU to seek "economic partnership" (http://www.grainews.ca/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1000093686&PC=FBC&issue=05072009)


Title: EU targets transit treaty with Middle East, Central Asia
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:10:24 AM
 EU targets transit treaty with Middle East, Central Asia
Posted : Wed, 06 May 2009 16:47:49 GMT

Prague - The European Union will ask Turkey and energy exporters such as Egypt and Iraq to sign up to a new treaty on oil and gas transit at a summit in Prague on Friday, according to a draft declaration seen by the German Press Agency dpa. The bloc will also ask energy producers to set aside specific volumes of oil and gas for its use, as the EU bids to guarantee energy supplies in an increasingly competitive world.

And it will press Turkey to agree within weeks the rules covering the "Nabucco" pipeline, the highest-profile energy project in the region so far, in a bid to kick-start construction of the project.

According to the draft declaration, which EU diplomats revised on Wednesday, the EU and key energy producers and transit countries want to see "the establishment of a Corridor Agreement" setting out the rules on how energy supplies should be transported, how much transit countries should charge and how the fees should be shared out.

Such an agreement would bind the EU and Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - the countries of the EU's so-called "Southern Corridor" - in a single contract on energy transport for the first time.

Future cooperation should also include "the identification of non- committed natural gas and oil volumes by producer countries that can be dedicated specifically to the EU."

Energy producers should provide "a precise timetable for their availability on the basis of their commercial profitability."

And Turkey, the single most important transit route to Europe, should sign a separate contract with EU members setting out the rules and fees for the Nabucco pipeline "by June 2009," the draft says.

In return, the EU should give "reliable commitments" on the amount of fuel it will buy, to ensure "transparency, competitiveness, long-term predictability and stable regulatory conditions."

And it should offer its partners the technology and investment they need to upgrade their own energy systems and use their resources more efficiently, the draft says.

The EU is keen to reduce its dependency on Russian gas, which currently accounts for a quarter of all the gas burned in the bloc.

To that end, the bloc is pushing for the construction of three new pipelines in the region which would ultimately bring natural gas from the Caspian basin, Iran and Iraq to Europe.

Nabucco, the highest-profile of the three, is planned to link the EU to existing pipelines crossing Georgia and Iran. It is tipped to come into operation in 2014.

The second, known as ITGI, is designed to link Greece and Italy to gas networks in Turkey and the Caspian. It is set to open in 2012.

White Stream, the newest project, is intended to carry gas under the Black Sea from Georgia to Ukraine or EU member Romania. It is planned to begin operations in 2016.

EU targets transit treaty with Middle East, Central Asia  (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/267607,eu-targets-transit-treaty-with-middle-east-central-asia--summary.html)


Title: Black Sea 2007-2013 operational cooperation programme to be launched
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:12:31 AM
Black Sea 2007-2013 operational cooperation programme to be launched
2009-05-05

BUCHAREST, May 5. (AGERPRES). The Romanian Ministry of Regional Development and Housing, in its capacity as the common management authority for the Black Sea 2007-2013 joint cooperation programme, organises, May 5-6, a conference for the launching of the programme. The Black Sea 2007-2013 Joint Operational Programme is sponsored by the European Union under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and co-funded by the participating countries.

Expected to attend the event are officials and potential beneficiaries from the 10 participating countries - Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia - as well as officials of the European Commission and other international organisations operating in the Black Sea zone.

The first day of the conference is devoted to the presentation and promotion of the programme as part of European and international initiatives in the Black Sea basin, while the second is devoted to potential beneficiaries, which will be introduced the priorities of the programme for the generation of project ideas and assessing eligibility of applications.

Black Sea 2007-2013 operational cooperation programme to be launched (http://bsanna-news.ukrinform.ua/newsitem.php?id=9060&lang=en)


Title: Cambodia to host ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting in late May
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:13:40 AM
Cambodia to host ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting in late May 
May 02, 2009 08:27 PM

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua) -- Delegations from 40 ASEAN and EU countries will gather here in late May to discuss ways to fight terrorism, human trafficking, drug smuggling and weapon proliferation, said a statement received on Saturday.

The 17th Ministerial Meeting between ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and EU (European Union) will review previous and future cooperation between the two regional bodies from May 27 to 28, said the statement issued by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

"In particular we will talk about how to control weapons of mass destruction," said ministry spokesman Koy Kuong.

Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong and Vaclav Klaus, Czech President and current EU President, will be named as co-presidents of the meeting.

The 16th Ministerial Meeting between ASEAN and EU was held in Germany from March 14 to 15, 2007.

The meetings rotate between ASEAN and EU countries.

Cambodia to host ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting in late May   (http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=463572&publicationSubCategoryId=200)


Title: France's Sarkozy proposes EU membership alternative for Turkey
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:15:29 AM
France's Sarkozy proposes EU membership alternative for Turkey

06/05/2009

PARIS, France -- President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday (May 5th) the EU should create a common economic and security space with Turkey as an alternative to Turkey's membership in the Union, media reported. "There are countries, such as Turkey, which are bound to be associated to Europe as tightly as possible, but which should not become full members," he said. Instead of full membership, he proposed a reinforced partnership in the economy and security sectors, which the Union could also extend to Russia. The EU "must cease to dilute itself in endless enlargement" and should not make promises to Turkey that it will never be able to keep, Sarkozy warned. Turkey began EU membership talks in October 2005 but has so far opened only ten of the 35 negotiation chapters.

France's Sarkozy proposes EU membership alternative for Turkey (http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/setimes/newsbriefs/2009/05/06/nb-09)


Title: Betting on infrastructure
Post by: Shammu on May 11, 2009, 02:16:38 AM
Betting on infrastructure
By Sherine Shoukry

INFRASTRUCTURE projects are bringing the Union for the Mediterranean closer together, Sherine Shoukry reports.

Optimism rang through the walls of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina last Thursday as delegates from over 40 member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) and CEOs from 30 different financial and regional institutions sat down to discuss their commitment to participating in and financing infrastructure projects in the Euro- Mediterranean region.

Heading the informal meeting, which is said to be "the first breakthrough towards the realisation of concrete projects in the context of the UFM," was Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid, and special adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy, Henri Guaino.

The Union for the Mediterranean is a 2008 re-launch of the Euro- Mediterranean Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process. The union includes all EU members with several non-EU countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the launch of the InfraMed Fund, an infrastructure investment fund. "The InfraMed Fund offers a new model of cooperation between North and South that underscores the importance of the private sector's contribution, together with the public sector, to achieve cooperation and integration among the two shores of the Mediterranean Sea," explained Rachid.

Leading the fund is Egypt's EFG-Hermes, Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) of France, Cassa depositi e prestiti (Cdp) of Italy, and Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG) of Morocco. It is hoped that the fund will expand to include Gulf investors, with some of the leading sponsors from the region being present at the meeting.

The InfraMed Fund will begin by looking at projects in four main areas: energy efficiency; transportation; de-pollution of the Mediterranean; and urban development. So far 400 million euros out of a total of one billion euros have been committed by the InfraMed Fund sponsors.

"The Union for the Mediterranean is nothing but the natural progression of the achievements of the Barcelona Process, for in the absence of the gains created by the Barcelona Process, this union would have never emerged," declared Rachid in the meeting's inaugural session.

Both Rachid and Guaino outlined some basic philosophies within the UFM. Guaino explained that there will be "more practicality in implementing the projects", elaborating on the importance of "trying to separate the political from the economic", and that there will be no veto to stop a project if it will be of benefit to other countries. Rachid went on to say that there is no preference of one project over the other, and that they are "all important".

Other concrete outcomes of the meeting include a $750 million commitment from the World Bank-managed Clean Technology Development Fund to finance the Mediterranean Solar Plan. The Global Environment Facility also announced its readiness to contribute $50 million to finance projects in the area of international waters management in the Mediterranean. And Agence Française de Développement, the German Kreditanstalt fčr Wiederaufbau, the European Investment Bank, UNIDO, and the EU Commission Directorate of Aid revealed their willingness to channel already existing funds to UFM's soon to be announced projects.

The conference made frequent reference to the current economic crisis, but maintained a positive tone relative to it. Determined to bring optimism to the conference, Guaino called the crisis "an opportunity". "The Mediterranean is a point of relay for growth, and we want to share the model of the growth of tomorrow with it," he explained. "We must seize the opportunity and, more importantly, convince everyone that this is an opportunity."

Betting on infrastructure (http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/946/ec2.htm)


Title: EU security proposals are 'dangerously authoritarian'
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2009, 11:15:37 AM
EU security proposals are 'dangerously authoritarian'
The European Union is stepping up efforts to build an enhanced pan-European system of security and surveillance which critics have described as “dangerously authoritarian”.

By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Published: 4:32PM BST 10 Jun 2009

Civil liberties groups say the proposals would create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.

Europe's justice ministers will hold talks on the "domestic security policy" and surveillance network proposals, known in Brussels circles as the "Stockholm programme", on July 15 with the aim of finishing work on the EU's first ever internal security policy by the end of 2009.

Jacques Barrot, the European justice and security commissioner, yesterday publicly declared that the aim was to "develop a domestic security strategy for the EU", once regarded as a strictly national "home affairs" area of policy.

"National frontiers should no longer restrict our activities," he said.

Mark Francois, Conservative spokesman on Europe, has demanded "immediate clarity on where the government stands on this".

"These are potentially dangerous proposals which could interfere in Britain's internal security," he said.

"The chaos and division in Gordon Brown's government is crippling Britain's ability to make its voice heard in Europe."

Critics of the plans have claimed that moves to create a new "information system architecture" of Europe-wide police and security databases will create a "surveillance state".

Tony Bunyan, of the European Civil Liberties Network (ECLN), has warned that EU security officials are seeking to harness a "digital tsunami" of new information technology without asking "political and moral questions first".

"An increasingly sophisticated internal and external security apparatus is developing under the auspices of the EU," he said.

Mr Bunyan has suggested that existing and new proposals will create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.

"In five or 10 years time when we have the surveillance and database state people will look back and ask, 'what were you doing in 2009 to stop this happening?'," he said.

Civil liberties groups are particularly concerned over "convergence" proposals to herald standardise European police surveillance techniques and to create "tool-pools" of common data gathering systems to be operated at the EU level.

Under the plans the scope of information available to law enforcement agencies and "public security organisations" would be extended from the sharing of existing DNA and fingerprint databases, kept and stored for new digital generation ID cards, to include CCTV video footage and material gathered from internet surveillance.

The Lisbon Treaty, currently stalled after Ireland's referendum rejection last year, creates a secretive new Standing Committee for Internal Security, known as COSI, to co-ordinate policy between national forces and EU organisations such as Europol, the Frontex borders agency, the European Gendarmerie Force and the Brussels intelligence sharing Joint Situation Centre or Sitcen.

EU officials have told The Daily Telegraph that the radical plans will be controversial and will need powers contained within the Lisbon Treaty, currently awaiting a second Irish vote this autumn.

"The British and some others will not like it as it moves policy to the EU," said an official. "Some of things we want to do will only be realistic with the Lisbon Treaty in place, so we need that too."

EU security proposals are 'dangerously authoritarian'  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/5496912/EU-security-proposals-are-dangerously-authoritarian.html)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: Shammu on June 16, 2009, 11:57:02 AM
 EU-Jordan informal summit to be held in Brussels next week
2009-06-13 13:00:52

    PRAGUE, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Czech republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency, will convoke an informal summit between the EU and Jordan in Brussels next Wednesday, a diplomatic source said on Friday.

    The EU-Jordan summit will focus on the Middle East peace process and the possibilities of solving persisting disputes between Israel and the Palestinians, the Czech news agency CTK said.

    The King Abdullah II will represent Jordan at the summit. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will also participate in the meeting. Czech

    President Vaclav Klaus will attend the summit as the representative of the Czech EU presidency.

 EU-Jordan informal summit to be held in Brussels next week  (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/13/content_11536118.htm)


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on June 20, 2009, 12:59:10 PM
Geert Wilders: EU is not Israel's friend    

jpost.com

Basking in the glow of his spectacular election showing in last week's European Union (EU) vote, Geert Wilders, the head of the Dutch Freedom Party, told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview on Friday that the EU is "one-sided and always against Israel," adding that "nothing will happen" if Israel "depends on the Europeans" to stop Iran's genocidal threats against the Jewish state.

The Freedom Party campaigned on a platform for shifting more decision-making power away from Brussels, the headquarters of the European Parliament, and back to members of the 27 EU countries. The vote was on European representation within the EU Parliament in Brussels and showed that "people are not so interested in Europe."

Wilders's Freedom Party garnered 17% of the vote, finishing second after the governing Christian Democratic Alliance of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, which tallied 19.9% of the vote.

"The Netherlands is not against Europe," he said, but "we don't want a European super state."

Terming the EU vote as a "referendum on the political state" in Holland, Wilders attributed the growing support for the Freedom Party as a call for prioritizing the domestic agenda. "Money should be spent in Holland" and not "subsidizing farmers in France and Poland," said Wilders.

Asked about the EU's posture toward Israel and forcing the Islamic Republic of Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program, Wilders said the European Parliament has "always been biased against Israel." He said he regrets "that they (EU) have a foreign minister" and argued that the "European Parliament should not be involved in foreign politics."

Wilders said Israel was the "only light of democracy in the Middle East" and that Islamic war was "against us all." The Jewish state was "more like the canary in the coal mine," he said, and stressed that an "ideological conflict" was unfolding in the region. "It is not a territorial conflict. Please forget about this crazy concept." The Islamists "see Israel as a big settlement" and if Israel "gives Territory A," said Wilders, then the other side will ask for Territory B, "such as Haifa."

Commenting on the Iranian election and Teheran's nuclear enrichment program, Wilders said it "does not matter who wins. The rhetoric at the end of the day is the same."

Wilders, who has visited Iran several times, says the country has a "friendly, young public" but the "regime is terrible." The mullah regime "really believes Israel has no right to exist" and Iran's diplomats are "fooling us" in their purported efforts to negotiate a solution to the nuclear crisis, said Wilders.

Referring to Europe's approach to clamping down on Iran's effort to attain nuclear capability, Wilders said, "Israel is more or less on its own." He termed US President Barack Obama's speech as a "talk of appeasement" and said that without a "strike back in some way" against the Iranian regime, then the international community "will pay a big price."

Citing Iran's rapidly developing missile program - including the Shihab-3 ballistic missile - Wilders warned that the rockets "cannot only reach Jerusalem but the whole world." Israel should be militarily supported if there is a showdown over Teheran's refusal to suspend its nuclear activities, he said.

When asked about commentaries in the German media labeling the Freedom Party as "extreme right" - a term typically reserved for neo-Nazi parties in Germany - Wilders said that is "totally ridiculous" and an "insult to the the Dutch people" because the party is now the "biggest party in Holland" according to polls.

The Freedom Party should be viewed within a liberal Dutch tradition, he said, noting that "we are not for cutting social welfare and are for more health care" and because of our "friendship for Israel, the extreme right demonstrates against us."

He has been attacked as a "crazy blond Zionist," and has long been the target of death threats because of his criticism of political Islam, which prompted constant police protection for him. He rejects the "strengthening of blasphemy laws" that shield Muslim minority groups from "not being insulted." A lively, open democracy should absorb robust free speech exchanges, he said.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on June 20, 2009, 01:02:59 PM

EU President to Be linked with Mediterranean Union's governance?   

en.greenplanet.net

The activities of the Union for the Mediterranean are to be resumed at the end of June in Paris, with a meeting of the Ministers for the Environment.

As announced by a spokesperson from the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs to AFP, "a meeting among Ministers and Ministries that are in charge for the environmental issues is being organized, although a defined date has not been fixed yet."

At the end of May the head of Egyptian diplomacy in France Ahmed Abul Gheit had told AFP that the meeting would take place on June 25 in order to "re-activate" the Union, whose work was stopped since the Israeli attack to Gaza Strip at the end of 2008.

Born as headlight project of the French presidency at the European Union during the second semester 2008, the Union for the Mediterranean - whose main purpose is to re-launch the Euromed cooperation started in 1995 in Barcelona through the development of concrete projects in sectors such as environment, transportation, energy, culture, education etc. - has been literally ignored so far.

The Union for the Mediterranean involves some 40 members, including EU countries, Israel and Mediterranean Arab countries.

The French Minister for Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday will go to Sweden - that is taking over the EU presidency from the 1st of July - to discuss with his counterpart Carl Bilt the proposal to link the EU presidency with the Union's governance, which so far is jointly held by France and Egypt.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on June 27, 2009, 12:38:56 PM
Solana backs Felipe González for EU president job     

euractiv.com

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana yesterday endorsed former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González as first permanent president of the European Council, should the Lisbon Treaty enter into force.

Speaking at a public event organised by the Belgian section of the Association of European Journalists in Brussels, Solana was positive about the possible nomination of González for the job.

Answering a question, he said: "[Felipe González] is a good friend, we have worked together for 15 years, and I know he has the energy and the capacity for the job."

Should the Lisbon Treaty enter into force by the end of 2009, the EU’s first permanent president will be introduced under the Spanish EU Presidency in the first half of 2010.

"A relationship between two Spaniards - and I know them well - will be very positive, very constructive, and would bring added value," Solana said, referring to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, alongside González.

Solana said the future EU president's chances of shaping the new institution depended on general political will on the one hand, and the personality and determination of the job holder on the other.

The Lisbon Treaty says little about the division of responsibility between the country holding the rotating EU presidency and the permanent EU president, and many believe the first six months will set an important precedent for the future.

Zapatero and González - like Solana - are from the Spanish Socialist Worker's Party (PSOE), a relationship which should enable good cooperation and ensure a smooth start for the new job.

González is currently chairing the EU 'reflection group' put in place last year with the aim of anticipating long-term challenges facing the Union.

Iberian overload?

But while personalities such as González and Zapatero prove the high quality of Spanish statesmen, the audience pressed Solana to comment on the risk of an "Iberian overload" should a Spaniard take the job of EU Council president and José Manuel Barroso, a Portuguese, be re-confirmed as Commission head for the next five years.

"It's a question for others to respond to," said Solana, amid laughter from the audience.

Solana was also positive about introducing the position of an "energy tsar" to co-ordinate Europe's dealings with Russia, although the job is not foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty. But he warned that EU countries had varying degrees of dependency on Russian gas, and coordination would not be "a simple thing".

Referring to the future EU external action service foreseen under the Lisbon Treaty, Solana said it would bring together diplomats who already work in the Commission and the Council, and those who come from member states. It is difficult to say what its exact size will be, and hard to predict the date by which it will be fully in place, Solana explained, adding that there would be no "big bang" as the service would be constituted gradually.

Solana cited Addis Ababa as an example, saying the capital of Ethiopia and the African Union had a European ambassador who represents the Commission, the Council and EU member states at the same time. He suggested that this could be a model for building similar representations elsewhere in the world, like Afghanistan and the Middle East, for example. He also called for work on the EU's new external service to begin as soon as possible.

"Better tomorrow than never," he said.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on June 27, 2009, 12:40:13 PM
Expectations high for Lisbon Treaty this year     

spiegel.de

Friday's deal in Brussels paving the way forward for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland is the most important decision taken in Europe this year. The treaty, which will bring widespread reforms to the European Union and give its institutions greater power, could be go into effect before the end of the year.

It is part of the ritual of European Union summits for the leaders of the 27 member states to pat themselves firmly on the back. Each one then explains how proud he or she is of what they were able to achieve for their country.

Friday proved to be no exception, with Chancellor Angela Merkel stating that the planned European financial regulations watch dog had been designed in a way that pleased Germany. She said that there had been "considerable movement" on the part of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has been perceived as a sort of defense attorney for London's bankers.

But Merkel's assessment of the agreement with Ireland over a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was noticeably reserved. In such events, Merkel is usually known for using terms like "historic," but on Friday she spoke of a "further hurdle" being cleared, "no more and no less."

Nevertheless, the compromise is the most important decision taken this year in European policy because it means that, after years of painstaking negotiations, a breakthrough for a new EU may be just around the corner. It is now likely that the Lisbon Treaty will go into effect by the end of the year. Then the EU would get a president, a foreign minister and the role of the European Parliament would be strengthened considerably.

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced the referendum would be held during the first week of October. Public opinion polls currently indicate that Irish voters would likely approve the Lisbon Treaty this time around, following their rejection in a first referendum one year ago. Cowen said the European Council had given Ireland "firm legal guarantees" and that he was "confident we now have a solid basis to go to the Irish people and to ask them again for their approval for Ireland to ratify the treaty so that Europe can move on."

The EU has provided guarantees to Ireland that it will remain independent in determining tax policies, military neutrality and abortion law (Ireland has one of Europe's most restrictive abortion policies). The sovereignty guarantees are expected to be anchored in EU law as a treaty protocol in the mid-term future.

Eschewing Displays of Triumph

EU leaders are no doubt relieved that the Ireland problem seems to have been solved. But on Friday, European leaders avoided celebration. Their dampened enthusiasm is the based on the experience of past few years: They well know just how fragile the Lisbon ratification process remains.

The history of the Lisbon Treaty is a long one. It has been five yeas since EU leaders approved the text of the European constitution in Rome. After the constitution was rejected in two referenda in France and the Netherlands, the draft landed in the waste bin. Under German leadership, however, the text was brought back to life in its current incarnation as the Treaty of Lisbon.

The streamlined treaty was supposed to have gone into effect at the end of 2008. However, another referendum got in the way. Irish voters said "no" and the EU was thrown into yet another crisis. This time the other leaders made it clear that they would not accept the "no" vote. They immediately began to consider how and when a second referendum could be held in Ireland.

One year on, it looks like that referendum will soon take place. The mood in Ireland seems to be favorable: The financial crisis has made people think much more positively about the EU. And now the guarantees of sovereignty have given Cowen further arguments in favor of the treaty.

There were tough negotiations at the summit over those guarantees. Cowen surprised the other EU leaders on Thursday when he said he would need the guarantees entrenched in the treaty. A declaration by the Council would not suffice. Cowen said he could not leave the summit without an undertaking that the Irish special rights would be anchored in a protocol.

It was pure blackmail -- but the EU leaders had little choice but to accept those terms. No one can even consider the Lisbon Treaty failing again. After long negotiations, Great Britain, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands agreed that the guarantees would be established in a protocol to be incorporated into a future EU treaty -- likely the one providing for Croatian accession. In particular, the British were appalled at the prospect of having to ratify another protocol to the Lisbon Treaty following the traumatic political debate the first time around.

Bickering over Barroso

Ireland is not alone in not having ratified the Lisbon Treaty. The Czech Republic, Poland and Germany still haven't done so. Germany, for example, must first wait for a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court on Lisbon's legality. However, these are regarded as much lower hurdles than Ireland.

The success over Ireland has been overshadowed by the dispute about Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's second term. While the 27 leaders would like to see his nomination confirmed at the first meeting of the new European Parliament in mid-July, the parliament is demanding more time and is threatening to vote against Barroso.

The divisions are reflected in the German government. While Chancellor Merkel is in favor of July, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says that July is "hardly doable." However, he has also called for a speedy clarification as to whether Barroso has the necessary majority in parliament. The candidacy should not be dragged out until September, he argues, because the EU has to be capable of acting.

Merkel has called for "calm and dignified" negotiations over the Barroso issue. However, it is already too late for that. The insistence on a deadline is likely to only increase the opposition within the European Parliament.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 04, 2009, 12:48:41 PM
Setback for Tony Blair's ambition to be president of Europe      

guardian.co.uk


Tony Blair's ambition to become Europe's first president have been set back by stiffening opposition from Sweden and Spain, the two countries chairing the EU for the next year.

Senior officials in Stockholm, which assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU today, said they feared a President Blair would be a divisive figure, triggering friction between small and large European countries, and added that José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, was even more strongly opposed to Blair securing the post and usurping Madrid's running of the union next year.

The decision to appoint a new sitting European president, for a maximum of five years, is to be taken before the end of the year if Ireland votes yes in October in a referendum on the Lisbon treaty streamlining the way the EU is run and also creating the new post.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister, made clear his aversion to Blair securing the plum post, without mentioning the former prime minister by name.

"The small countries don't want a strong leader because they fear he will be run by the big [EU] countries," said Reinfeldt.

European governments had to decide whether the post ought to be turned into "a strong leader for Europe" or whether the president's role should be limited to chairing EU summits and "not putting the [European] commission president in the shadow," said the Swedish prime minister.

It was clear he preferred the latter role, a lower profile and less influential function that would probably be less attractive to Blair.

The former prime minister is believed to be strongly considering bidding for the post. Former close aides have indicated they could be moving to Brussels. But no announcement of a candidacy is expected until after the Irish referendum.

When Blair's name first surfaced for the position last year, it quickly became clear that he had the support of France's president, Nicolas Sarkozy, but was opposed by Berlin, where the chancellor, Angela Merkel, is said to prefer a more limited role for the president and a weaker figure.

That situation may no longer obtain. Sarkozy is said to have gone cool on Blair and could support Felipe González, the former Spanish prime minister, while Merkel's opposition seems to have diminished despite the fact that Blair is widely mistrusted in Germany for his role in the Iraq war and because he failed to use his 10 years in Downing Street to put Britain "at the heart of Europe".

Privately, senior Swedish officials questioned the merits of a Blair presidency. Running the EU for the next year, the Swedish and Spanish governments enjoy agenda-setting powers that could complicate a Blair bid.

The Briton's main assets, however, are name and brand recognition, international contacts, and the absence, so far, of any serious rival for the post.

Last year, the Germans were said to be backing either Jean-Claude Juncker, the veteran prime minister of Luxembourg, or Wolfgang Schüssel, the former Austrian chancellor. Both are no longer mentioned as credible contenders.

Rather than names, the Swedes want to concentrate on settling the job description and defining the role and powers for the new post.

The job of European president, held for a maximum of two terms of 30 months, is established by the Lisbon treaty, along with the new post of European foreign policy chief, who is also to be a vice-president of the European commission.

The president is to be appointed by European heads of state or government, but the role and powers have yet to be agreed, except that the person should be a former president or prime minister.

British diplomats say that the first president will shape the role, while the Swedes say the job description should precede the appointment.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 04, 2009, 12:51:52 PM

Turkey losing interest in EU - Now following 'pro-Arab Islamist' foreign policy     

worldnetdaily.com/

After years of being refused entry into the European Union, Turkey is losing interest and is looking eastward where it has many friends. And it is seeking to reassert the influence it once held in traditionally Turkic countries, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Formally, Ankara remains committed to joining the EU, but the idea of joining has lost much of its appeal after years of rejection and additional European demands to repeatedly prove that it is worthy.

Indeed, Germany and France remain adamantly opposed to Turkey's entrance to the EU. At a recent joint television appearance in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made clear their opposition to Turkish EU membership.

Turkey, however, has made efforts to develop better relations with Arab states and such other countries as Russia, Syria and Iraq – and even Armenia, a traditional foe.

Arab countries which never were enamored with the post-Ottoman leadership now look with admiration to what is referred to as the "Turkish model."

In addition, Turkey is looking to re-establish its historical influence in the Turkic countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In this Central Asian region, Turkey sees itself in a peacekeeping role where it either ruled or dominated for centuries.

These developments recently have emerged despite a promise by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he assumed office in 2003 that he would lead Turkey into the EU.

The apparent change in course for Turkish foreign policy may be due partially to a new generation of advisers surrounding Erodogan. Turkey's new foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, is one such influential adviser who has outlined what he calls a "multidimensional policy" contrary to what has been practiced.

His predecessors have focused entirely on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Europe and the U.S.

Observers point out that Davutoglu's origins are from what is called Central Anatolia which encompasses most of modern Turkey, the Caucasus and Iran. He is said to be heavily influenced by Islamic thought and has no hesitation in embracing Turkey's past Ottoman empire which included countries over which Turkey seeks to regain influence. Given his eastern education, Davutoglu believes that Turkey should not be so committed only to a western orientation.

Davutoglu's readily approaches countries deemed to be bad guys in the eyes of the U.S. – Syria and Iran, and such groups as Hezbollah and Hamas which the U.S. has labeled as terrorist groups.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 12, 2009, 02:40:19 PM
Ireland to vote again on EU's Lisbon Treaty on Oct 2   

israelnationalnews.com/

Ireland will hold a second referendum on the European Union's key Lisbon reform treaty on October 2, Prime Minister Brian Cowen told parliament on Wednesday.

Cowen said he had received assurances from his European colleagues on issues that concerned Irish voters, who threw the EU into chaos when they rejected the treaty in a referendum in June last year.

"I believe these concerns have been addressed now in the shape of the legal guarantees which have been agreed by the 27 heads of state," he said.

"On that basis, I recommended to the government that we return to the people to seek their approval for Ireland to ratify the treaty.

"That referendum will take place on October 2nd."

The guarantees affirm that Ireland's military neutrality and taxation system, as well as its stance on social issues like abortion, will not be affected by the treaty.

Foreign Minister Micheal Martin told journalists that adopting the treaty was in the best interests of Ireland, as he published a guide explaining the document to voters.

"The government believes that this treaty is good for Ireland and good for Europe," he said. "Our task now is to bring our case before the people."

The Lisbon Treaty is designed to streamline decision-making in an EU which has expanded to encompass the former communist countries of eastern Europe.

Support for the treaty has been growing as Ireland's economic crisis has deepened, with the most recent polls showing 54 percent would now vote "yes".

Only Ireland was constitutionally bound to put the treaty to a public vote. Almost all the EU member states have endorsed the treaty through votes in their national parliaments.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 12, 2009, 02:41:18 PM
Top EU diplomat Javier Solana to step down this Fall - who will emerge as the voice of the EU?    

earthtimes.org/

Top EU diplomat Javier Solana on Sunday announced plans to retire this autumn, in an interview with Spanish newspaper ABC. "I think my time has come," said Solana, 66, who has held the position for ten years. He said a decade was "more than enough."

Solana's term in office as the European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy is set to expire in October. Asked if he could be talked into staying, he said "there would be no point in trying."

He said he can look back on his time in office with pride, noting that Europe had "established itself" during this phase.

His most troubling times came when he tried to negotiate in war-torn areas, particularly in the Middle East.

The Spaniard said he would remain engaged in European issues and did not rule out getting back into Spanish politics. Solana has served as both Spain's Culture and Foreign Minister in the past, along with a stint as secretary general of NATO.


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 18, 2009, 11:20:22 AM
Brown backs Blair as British choice for President of Europe    

timesonline.co.uk


Tony Blair was named for the first time as the Government's candidate for President of the European Council today.

Confirming that Britain is pushing Mr Blair's case for a dramatic return to frontline politics, Baroness Kinnock, the Europe Minister, said that Mr Blair's "strength of character" made him the ideal person for the job created under the Lisbon Treaty.

Mr Blair himself has avoided declaring his hand or openly campaigning ahead of the decision on the new high-profile post, which is expected to be made by heads of the EU governments at their summit in late October if the Lisbon Treaty passes a second referendum in Ireland on October 2.

The former Prime Minister is currently working as a special envoy to the Middle East for the Quartet of the UN, US, EU and Russia.

The new role, often shortened to President of Europe, is to organize and preside over regular meetings of the 27 EU leaders and has been referred to as the George Washington of Europe.

"The UK government is supporting Tony Blair's candidature for President of the Council," Mrs Kinnock told journalists in Strasbourg today.

Referring to the other job of EU foreign minister to be created by the treaty, as well as the all the jobs yet to be allocated in the next European Commission, she added: "There are a lot of roles to be decided. It is going to be an exciting time."

Pressed on whether Mr Blair was now a declared candidate for the job, Mrs Kinnock added: "I am not saying there has been any formal confirmation or statement from Tony but it is certainly is the Government's position. I am sure they would not do it without asking him."

Gordon Brown has been frequently asked if he was supporting Mr Blair's case and has said that, should the former Prime Minister put his name forward, then he would have the British Government's full support.

Baroness Kinnock's admission today suggests that conversations are already being held behind the scenes with the power brokers of Europe.

She added: "Tony Blair is seen by many as someone who has the strength of character, the stature, people know who he is and he would be someone who would have this role and step into with a lot of respect and I think would be generally welcomed."

Mr Blair's main backers around the EU leaders' table are understood to be senior figures on the centre right of politics, including Silvio Berlusconi of Italy and Jan Peter Balkenende of the Netherlands.

President Sarkozy has spoken of his support for Mr Blair in the past but recent reports in France have claimed that the President now favors Felipe Gonzalez, a former Prime Minister of Spain.

One potential handicap for Mr Blair's prospects is often said to be reluctance among Socialist MEPs to endorse him as a centre-left candidate.

Bur Mrs Kinnock appeared confident that they could be won round. Initially saying that she was sure that Europe's socialists would come on board, she added: "There would be a sympathetic response but it depends who else is in the frame."

A British government spokeswoman was quick to add that Mrs Kinnock was not pre-empting the result of the Lisbon Treaty vote in Ireland. "The reality is that the Lisbon Treaty has not entered into force and if and when it does there will be the role of Council President. Tony Blair has yet to say he will stand. There is not even a job for him to be candidate for at the moment."

That view was reiterated by a spokesman for Mr Blair, who said: "Nothing has changed. The job doesn't exist, so there is nothing to be a candidate for. Mr Blair remains focused on his role in the Middle East."


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on July 18, 2009, 11:21:09 AM

Iceland Prepares To Join EU       

news.bbc.co.uk/

Parliament in Iceland has voted by a narrow majority to set in motion an application to join the European Union, after five days of exhaustive debate.

Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir of the Social Democrats has also been pushing for the adoption of the euro as the Nordic country's currency.

The bid must now be approved by the EU, after which Iceland's people will be asked to vote on it in a referendum.

Opponents of the bid fear EU quotas could hurt Iceland's fishing industry.

Correspondents say Iceland, with a population of just 320,000, has traditionally been sceptical about joining the EU.

But many people there have warmed to the idea of membership following the devastating economic meltdown which saw the top Icelandic banks collapse in a matter of days last year.

The government will formally submit Iceland's bid to the EU in Brussels on 27 July, at a meeting of its foreign ministers.

Arni Thor Sigurdsson, chairman of the parliamentary committee handling EU issues, told Reuters news agency that Iceland would not be ready to join the EU any earlier than 2013.

Financial woes

Members of the 63-seat Althingi, Iceland's parliament, backed the proposal to start membership talks with the EU by 33 votes to 28, with two abstentions.

Source: Arni Thor Sigurdsson, chairman of parliamentary committee on EU issues, quoted by Reuters
Five members of the Left Green party, the Social Democrats' partner in the coalition government, rejected it, AFP news agency reports.

The Social Democrats and the Left Greens formed a government at the end of April following a general election.

Iceland's Business Minister, Gylfi Magnusson, believes that euro zone membership would help stabilise the country's currency.

"The main benefits of EU membership at the moment would be the possibility of joining the exchange rate mechanism, and eventually adopting the euro," he told the BBC before the parliamentary vote.

"One of the problems we have with rebuilding the financial sectors is that the currency is very much a troubled one.

"It has historically been unstable, both with respect to the exchange rate, and to the inflation rate. But since the collapse last year it has been giving us more trouble than ever."


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on July 18, 2009, 06:36:05 PM
I'll simply say FASCINATING!


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on September 26, 2009, 12:26:02 PM
EU funding 'Orwellian' artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for "abnormal behaviour"           

telegraph.co.uk

A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as "agents" to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.

Its main objectives include the "automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence".

Project Indect, which received nearly Ł10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.

Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a "sinister step" for any country, adding that it was "positively chilling" on a European scale.

The Indect research, which began this year, comes as the EU is pressing ahead with an expansion of its role in fighting crime, terrorism and managing migration, increasing its budget in these areas by 13.5% to nearly Ł900 million.

The European Commission is calling for a "common culture" of law enforcement to be developed across the EU and for a third of police officers – more than 50,000 in the UK alone – to be given training in European affairs within the next five years.

According to the Open Europe think tank, the increased emphasis on co-operation and sharing intelligence means that European police forces are likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.

Stephen Booth, an Open Europe analyst who has helped compile a dossier on the European justice agenda, said these developments and projects such as Indect sounded "Orwellian" and raised serious questions about individual liberty.

"This is all pretty scary stuff in my book. These projects would involve a huge invasion of privacy and citizens need to ask themselves whether the EU should be spending their taxes on them," he said.

"The EU lacks sufficient checks and balances and there is no evidence that anyone has ever asked 'is this actually in the best interests of our citizens?'"

Miss Chakrabarti said: "Profiling whole populations instead of monitoring individual suspects is a sinister step in any society.

"It's dangerous enough at national level, but on a Europe-wide scale the idea becomes positively chilling."

According to the official website for Project Indect, which began this year, its main objectives include "to develop a platform for the registration and exchange of operational data, acquisition of multimedia content, intelligent processing of all information and automatic detection of threats and recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence".

It talks of the "construction of agents assigned to continuous and automatic monitoring of public resources such as: web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p [peer-to-peer] networks as well as individual computer systems, building an internet-based intelligence gathering system, both active and passive".

York University's computer science department website details how its task is to develop "computational linguistic techniques for information gathering and learning from the web".

"Our focus is on novel techniques for word sense induction, entity resolution, relationship mining, social network analysis [and] sentiment analysis," it says.

A separate EU-funded research project, called Adabts – the Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats in crowded Spaces – has received nearly Ł3 million. Its is based in Sweden but partners include the UK Home Office and BAE Systems.

It is seeking to develop models of "suspicious behaviour" so these can be automatically detected using CCTV and other surveillance methods. The system would analyse the pitch of people's voices, the way their bodies move and track individuals within crowds.

Project coordinator Dr Jorgen Ahlberg, of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, said this would simply help CCTV operators notice when trouble was starting.

"People usually don't start to fight from one second to another," he said. "They start by arguing and pushing each other. It's not that 'oh you are pushing each other, you should be arrested', it's to alert an operator that something is going on.

"If it's a shopping mall, you could send a security guard into the vicinity and things [a fight] maybe wouldn't happen."

Open Europe believes intelligence gathered by Indect and other such systems could be used by a little-known body, the EU Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), which it claims is "effectively the beginning of an EU secret service". Critics have said it could develop into "Europe's CIA".

The dossier says: "The EU's Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) was originally established in order to monitor and assess worldwide events and situations on a 24-hour basis with a focus on potential crisis regions, terrorism and WMD-proliferation.

"However, since 2005, SitCen has been used to share counter-terrorism information.

"An increased role for SitCen should be of concern since the body is shrouded in so much secrecy.

"The expansion of what is effectively the beginning of an EU 'secret service' raises fundamental questions of political oversight in the member states."

Superintendent Gerry Murray, of the PSNI, said the force's main role would be to test whether the system, which he said could be operated on a countrywide or European level, was a worthwhile tool for the police.

"A lot of it is very academic and very science-driven [at the moment]. Our budgets are shrinking, our human resources are shrinking and we are looking for IT technology that will help us five years down the line in reducing crime and combating criminal gangs," he said.

"Within this Project Indect there is an ethical board which will be looked at: is it permissible within the legislation of the country who may use it, who oversees it and is it human rights compliant."


Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: HisDaughter on October 01, 2009, 10:28:53 PM
TONY Blair is set to be made the first President of Europe in weeks, The Sun can reveal.

He will be nominated by EU leaders in Brussels if, as expected, Ireland backs the hated Lisbon Treaty in tomorrow's referendum.

A senior Government source said: "If we get a 'Yes' vote it will all move very, very quickly. Tony could be named by the end of October."

The leaders of the EU's 27 nations, not the voters, will choose the president.

Former PM Mr Blair would not formally take up the powerful position until all EU countries ratified the Treaty.

Even if Ireland votes "Yes", Poland and the Czech Republic are still to decide. But Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, wants a president named by the end of this month - and Mr Blair is favourite.

Asked if Mr Blair was the only real candidate, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner replied: "For the moment, indeed."

A senior French diplomat added: "Who will dare say no to Tony Blair?" He played down concerns about Mr Blair's support for the Iraq War.

The revelations came as Tory leader David Cameron said his party would think again about a referendum on the Treaty if every EU country approves it.


If all don't, he vowed to hold a national vote on the issue.

He said: "If the Germans ratify, if the Poles ratify, if the Czechs ratify, if the Irish vote 'Yes' to the Treaty, then a new set of circumstances (apply), and I will address those at the time."



Title: Re: Revived Roman Empire News - the E.U.
Post by: nChrist on October 02, 2009, 03:09:43 AM
Quote
TONY Blair is set to be made the first President of Europe in weeks, The Sun can reveal. 

Fascinating! - Thanks for this news. This makes for some very interesting speculation about the future of the EU - the Revived Roman Empire.


Title: EU draws up plans for single 'economic government' to prevent crisis
Post by: Shammu on March 27, 2010, 12:02:01 AM
EU draws up plans for single 'economic government' to prevent crisis
By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Published: 8:21PM GMT 25 Mar 2010

Germany and France have tabled controversial plans to create an "economic government of the European Union" to police financial policy across the continent.

They have put Herman Van Rompuy, the EU President, in charge of a special task force to examine "all options possible" to prevent another crisis like the one caused by the Greek meltdown.

His mission will be to draw up a master-plan for the best way to oversee and enforce economic targets set in Brussels as a key part of a bail-out package for Greece.

The options he will consider include the creation of an "economic government" by the by the end of the year.

"We commit to promote a strong co-ordination of economic policies in Europe," said a draft text expected to be agreed by EU leaders last night.

"We consider that the European Council should become the economic government of the EU and we propose to increase its role in economic surveillance and the definition of the EU's growth strategy."

Gordon Brown was last night examining the wording of the statement to see whether it was restricted to eurozone members or has possible implications for British economic sovereignty.

Officials are concerned that the language calling for an "economic government" could be another attempt at a power-grab in the wake of the Lisbon Treaty.

It comes at a time when a Conservative government has promised Britons a vote on any new EU treaty if it wins the general election.

The contentious language was contained in a Franco-German document prepared for an emergency meeting of the 16 "eurozone" countries, in the wings of a summit in Brussels.

The talks, over a pre-dinner aperitif, decided on an EU-led "mechanism" for bailing out the crisis-hit Greek economy with the help of the IMF if necessary.

Combined with the aid is a German plan for tougher sanctions for countries, such as Greece, that run up massive public debts while failing to reform uncompetitive economies.

Mr Van Rompuy, the former Prime Minister of Belgium, is an enthusiastic supporter of "la gouvernement économique" and last month upset many national capitals by trying impose "top down" economic targets.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has called for the Lisbon Treaty to be amended in order to prevent any repetition of the current Greek crisis, which has threatened to tear apart the euro.

"I will push for necessary treaty changes so that we can act sooner and more effectively when things go wrong, including with targeted sanctions," she said.

If Chancellor Merkel's idea gains momentum, Croatia's likely EU membership next year would need an "amending Treaty" providing an easy opportunity to lever in proposals for economic government.

When the Lisbon Treaty was agreed, European leaders, including Mr Brown, said that it would be the last attempt to change the EU's basic rules until least 2020.

Britain is not a euro member, but it is a signatory to the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties that already require London to submit budgetary reports. Britain ia also required, under recent proposals from Mr Van Rompuy, to observe EU targets on employment, research spending, green technology, education and poverty reduction.

EU draws up plans for single 'economic government' to prevent crisis  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/7523315/EU-draws-up-plans-for-single-economic-government-to-prevent-crisis.html)