Rhein on Energy and Climate

Archives for EU Priorities and Opinion

Most European citizens have no clear idea how “rich” the country they live in is compared to the other 26 EU member states. And few will score 100% when asked to give the correct rating for each of the 27. Thanks to a comparative EUROSTAT analysis of per capita incomes (in purchasing power parities) in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

For the last 40 years Europe has been struggling for a single patent comparable to patents issued by the US Patent Office. The patents granted by the European Patent Office in Munich are only valid in the 37 signatory countries of the 1973 European Patent Convention, after due translation into the respective national languages. This… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The impossible America

Humanity owes a lot to the America. It has been the cradle of democracy and human rights. Its Constitution – adopted in 1787 and basically unchanged since –is one of the most precious and well-formulated political documents ever written. Europe owes America an enormous gratitude for having sacrificed its service men in 1944-45 to liberate… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

I report on the single most important event of the past few weeks: the meeting of the European Council October 28/29th, which was almost completely devoted to the hot issue of European economic governance. Ignoring the nasty haggling and mounting suspicions caused by the “Deauville” Franco-German “accord” the European Council has substantially advanced the debate… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

With one month to go before the opening of the 16th ministerial climate conference in Cancun, the EU Environment Council, meeting on October 24th, has defined its expectations and “negotiation directives”. The “Council Conclusions” adopted to that end contain a lot of exaggerated hopes, couched in an excessive technical jargon. Who would not agree that… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

On an ordinary October day 2010 the international media carried four reports concerning EU activities: EU moves to block a Polish deal with Russia; EU claims victory over aircraft C02 emissions; EU Parliament to extend motherhood vacation to 20 weeks; EU Presidency proposes compromise over environmental levies on trucks. Each of these apparently trivial and… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The EU has been in a process of permanent enlargements since its very beginning in 1958. In 2010 it is negotiating with two more candidate countries: Croatia and Turkey. It has given membership promises to six West Balkan countries (Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo). In the East, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia also cherish… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The Philippine President Aquino has angered the Catholic Church in his country by announcing his intention to make contraceptives freely available to couples who cannot afford them. This incident did not happen in the 20th century but at the end of September 2010! No other single institution in the world has been responsible for so… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

For those fighting to preserve the earth’s climate, the second decade of the 21st century has begun with two bad news: · UN member countries will not honour the deadline of February 1st, by which to submit their climate targets for 2020, as “agreed” in the “Copenhagen Accord”. That might be the beginning of the… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Since the introduction of the common currency, the 16 member countries, that have presently adopted the Euro, form an informal group within the EU institutional framework where they discuss their specific concerns on monetary and fiscal policies. This has often been very useful. The Lisbon Treaty has therefore formally confirmed the Euro group. Backed by… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein