MEPs claiming expenses for doing nothing.
You could say SISO is a name for the system by which MEPs claim back expenses. They are entitled to €300 per day for food and accommodation during their workdays at the European Parliament. It turns out that in practice, many MEPs turn up, claim their expenses and leave without doing any work, and so… Read more
Brussels losing grip.
Today the EU is facing multiple challenges: flatlining economies, severe youth unemployment, low growth and lack of competitiveness. One would assume the bloated bureaucracy of Brussels is occupied with combating this alarming state of affairs. In fact, a crusade against the appeal of tobacco appears to be a more pressing concern, as they revealed plans… Read more
A Question of Legitimacy.
President Obama warned Europe that they risk creating a lost generation if they don’t alter their economic policies and prioritise improving people’s welfare. He noted the particular danger of youth unemployment, which is at 24% in the Eurozone countries and far higher than the 16% rate of joblessness of youth in the US. Of course,… Read more
Down the drain.
The European Commission has suspended aid to Egypt after it has emerged that £500 million disappeared without a trace in the last five years. The sum was supposed to counter corruption, promote human rights and democracy, but the European Court of Auditors criticised it as an utter failure. The problems in Egypt had been sharply… Read more
Iceland refuses to join the EU.
Iceland abandoned its EU membership bid amid a recovering economy that grew by 2.4% this quarter and an unemployment rate which fell to less than half the EU average. The sudden and dramatic improvement from one of the worst hit by the recession makes Iceland stand in stark contrast to the ailing nations of the… Read more
Right, left, or common sense?
Months ago, Ed Miliband declared that he does not want an in/out referendum on the table, his view seem to be that the people of Britain are unfit to decide for themselves what they want, and they need him to choose what is best for us. Delaying the referendum for after the next election is… Read more
All talk and no walk.
Last month, European leaders gathered for a conference in the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, where President Hollande noted that there was a crisis which threatens ‘the future of the European project’. The looming danger turned out to be youth unemployment, and Hollande states it was reaching alarming levels. This represents a turning point: at… Read more
Swiss Role Models
Last weekend the Swiss exercised some of their superb direct democracy and legislated for a new cap on asylum claims after a spike of new asylum requests. Being completely free from the EU, the Swiss are allowed to legislate their own laws. The citizens initiative they use is a remarkable tool of democratic government. Of… Read more