Posts Tagged ‘US’

Bad news. U.S. partial withdrawal from the European theatre:

The Obama administration has decided to remove two of the four U.S. Army brigades remaining in Europe as part of a broader effort to cut $487 billion from the Pentagon’s budget over the next decade, said senior U.S. officials.

It is completely unclear to me how the U.S. would fill the military gap created by the dramatic withdrawal. A workable European defense infrastructure is not ready yet.


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Quick notes: Today the Spanish minister is grilled over SWIFT in LIBE.

MEP Albrecht for instance stressed an alleged incompatibility of the prolonged agreement with the national constitutional order without getting into details, obviously he has a scrutiny process in mind. Council statement a “nonsequi” another member said and highlighted a contradiction concerning SWIFT adoption, that on the one hand Parliament has to be heard but on the other hand member states argue  parliament intervention may not effect the agreement conclusion.

All of the members seem to be pretty upset about the Council take on SWIFT. My notes on the second minister response:

The Council decided on the substance of Swift.

On the decision substance..

Perview of parliament

Period of change

Extending something which already existst

SWift is under restructuring.

Information from North American can not be given, prior

No itention whatsoever of extracting information.

2 question

30 Nov deadline legal base to maintain of that system, just extentions
under international law impossible to postpone because unilateral decision

this parliament would decide

security and data protection in particular.

in line with charter

time to get information, listen to experts, solid alternative, only intention behind.

NO decision on the substance, No change to status quot, just extention, this parliament will decide.

Highlevel-WG set up between EU and US, soon reports.

Aware of concerns data protection

Has to be debated HERE in the chamber.

Experts telling SWIFT measures very effective in fight against terrorism.

Apparently still no one seems aware of the “business espionage” toxic mix concerning SWIFT data.

A few quick questions that come to my mind:

  • members of US-EU HLG?
  • legal base of US-EU HLG = really a “HLG” in the Com sense?
  • Presidency aware that SWIFT is non-governmental?
  • “extention” in what way?

A rapporteur is assigned for SWIFT (MEP Hennis-Plassaert), PNR (MEP in ‘t Veld, ALDE) etc. LIBE will write to the Legal Service in a fast-track procedure on the substance of SWIFT

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There is a new information from Sweden, Åsa Torstensson from the Swedish Government will meet the United States representatives on ACTA transparency. She is the Swedish minister for Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communication, and Sweden is still presidency of the European Council. We rebuild kindly translated the substance of her message for non-Swedish speaking parties:

There is a shadow on the world, a shadow of secrecy surrounding the ACTA treaty. We are concerned that this treaty will have severe consequences for the future of the Internet. But there is no need to fear, only to rebuild and patch the errors that appear in politics.

Towards the end of this month, Swedish Minister of Communications Åsa Torstensson will travel to Washington DC to convey one (out of several other) important message from the European Union and Sweden. …

Åsa Torstensson will also meet with the president’s advisor Peter Cowhey (Senior Counselor to the US Trade Representative) in order to discuss the new trade agreement known as the “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (ACTA), which is currently being negotiated. Åsa Torstensson will present the opinion that the negotiations process should be opened up, so that interested parties and groups are given the opportunity to submit more detailed opinions about the contents of the negotiations and draft documents.

Let me add that 1st of December Art 15 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU is set into force. In my German language “confirmatory application” for an ACTA document access to the European Council I argued recently that this takes effects for the ACTA document access regime as well.

I continue to advocate the following doctrine:

If the EU-Commission (DG Trade) is unable to comply with Art 15 (former Art 255) citizen rights then the Commission lacks authority to negotiate such legislative and regulative matters with these third nations. It is upon the US and other nations to agree on a transparency regime compliant with Art 15 citizen rights.

It seems unacceptable to me that documents are provided to few American professional lobbyists but not to European legislators (despite repeated requests) and European citizens which enjoy a right scrutinize such documents of legislative nature.

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