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Archive for the tag “Erasmus Program”

European Council (Art. 50) guidelines for Brexit negotiations (29.04.2017)

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Brexit implications on the UK legislation concerning sanctions!

Her Majesty Treasury and Her Majesty Government, the Tories and their White paper on legislation concerning sanctions are interesting read, as you can see how combined the laws and the execution of the framework have been with the European Union, as well as the legality connected with the United Nations Security Council. This proves how laws and combined efforts have been the norm in Europe of late. That the United Kingdom government have complied and worked directly with Brussels and New York, to establish the information and the legal assistance to sanction state, businesses and individuals crossing into the United Kingdom.

Therefore, this White Paper from the HM Treasury says certain aspects the government have to work upon and how the kingdom have to make new laws to fix the issues. These issues has to be handled as the Brexit will certainly impact the legislation on sanctions and how the UK going to handle it. The words of the report is telling and expel the facts in a deep way, secondly the report also colorfully extend the needed for different sort of laws; that is both open-government and also making sure data get kept secret. This shows how much work the UK government have with rewriting and reforging their own legislation with the leaving of the EU. That cannot be worked out with a few phrases, but has to be build on a which paradigm and what precedence the Tories government seem fit. Just take a look!

This consultation is about the legal powers we need to maintain sanctions as a viable instrument of foreign policy. It is not about the policy goals themselves or how we will align UK sanctions in future with those imposed by the EU or other international partners. However we recognise that sanctions require broad application to be effective and we will continue to work closely with allies and partners to this end” (HM Government, P: 5, 2017).

The legislation will need to be in place before we leave the EU to ensure that we can preserve current UK sanctions policy, although entry into force will be timed to coincide with the date of our actual withdrawal. While the UK is a member of the EU we will continue to exercise all the rights and obligations of membership including with respect to the Common Foreign and Security Policy” (HM Government, P: 8, 2017).

Those subject to UK sanctions will be able to challenge their listing by requesting an internal review, where this is consistent with our obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). The sanctions will remain in place while the challenge or request is being considered” (HM Government, P: 21, 2017).

The Government will always seek to sanction an individual or entity on the basis of open-source evidence which can be disclosed to the listed person in the event of a legal challenge. However, in certain cases the Government may wish to rely on sensitive material, the disclosure of which would be damaging to national security, international relations or another public interest. In order to protect the sensitive material from disclosure but make it available to the presiding judge, a closed material procedure should be available” (HM Government, P: 22, 2017).

Asset-freezing regimes will contain grounds for permitting otherwise prohibited activity to authorise the release or making available of certain frozen funds or economic resources to pay for:

a) the essential needs of natural or legal persons, entities or bodies b) reasonable and necessary professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services c) the fees or service charges for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds or economic resources and d) extraordinary situations or expenses. This will continue the licensing practice that the Government currently operates. Exemptions for country sanctions regimes will be further defined within either secondary legislation or by reference to statutory” (HM Government, P: 26, 2017).

Any new sanctions legislation would provide the Government power to obtain and share information relating to sanctions. The Government’s ability to share information will extend to Government bodies, agencies, regulators, businesses, operational partners, other public bodies and international partners. It will be similar to the ability to obtain, use, and share information under current EU legislation and will be consistent with, and subject to the safeguards in, the existing UK and international provisions regarding the sharing of information” (HM Government, P: 36, 2017).

These laws that they have to fix and make are substantial if the United Kingdom still wants to comply with the United Nations Security Council, as well as if they wish to have good functioning body with the rest of the European Union. Even though the legality and the dominion will be all United Kingdom and their sovereign powers as a state, they still need to be in coherent with the rest of the world.

This shows that the powers of the Tories and the questions left behind and the unknown hurdles of the current leadership. As this is just one sort of legislation that has to be fixed in due time and with the process of both houses. That the importance of the sovereign state make sure that their laws are complied, that their statutes can be used and that the sanctions can be put on actors that breaches the codes of the United Kingdom. Certainly, the Tories Government and Brexiteers didn’t think of the issues complied with the legality of sanctions. Peace.

Reference:

HM Government – ‘Public consultation on the United Kingdom’s future legal framework for imposing and implementing sanctions’ (20.04.2017) link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/609986/Public_consultation_on_the_UK_s_future_legal_framework_for_imposing_and_implementing_sanctions__Print_pdf_version_.pdf

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

European Council: Draft Guidelines following the United Kingdom’s notification under Article 50 TEU (31.03.2017)

PM Theresa May letter notifying that the United Kingdom are today triggering the Article 50 to the EU Council President Donald Tusk (29.03.2017)

European Parliament – Draft Motion for a Resolution for Brexit (29.03.2017)

Brexit: Time to reshape and quit the mourning

EU UK Flags

There are these days when the ripple effect of one single vote, of one single event and change that makes such a big difference, not only locally but also internationally. There are these days that have come and gone. One of those days we’re the majority of the United Kingdom citizens vote to ‘Leave’ the EU on the 23rd June 2016. It could been anticipated as the fear of immigrations, the years of fear-mongering and hatred for the control of legal and regulatory affairs happening in chambers of Commission and Bureaucracies in Brussels. While the Conservative Party and Liberal-Democratic Party, together with the Opposition party Labour was all for the ‘Remain’, the government went on all cylinders with arrogance expecting that the numbers and the humanity, solidarity and the European idea would be already installed in the British population.

The reactions on the remain side have been blasting as well, as the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party, have either been sacked by Corbyn or they have resigned. Right before that, the Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned as Executive and also as the Party Leader of the Conservative Party.  Also the Scottish have reacted as they in the late Independence Vote, voted to remain in the UK as they knew they would have a secure in the European Union. So that the Scottish National Party (SNP) Nicola Sturgeon. She have reassured the Scottish public that because of this they will see into a new Independence Vote for Scotland, as they want to be directly part of the EU and be a Member State.

While the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage have had his best days in his life, he has the smug face when he was saying the day after that the numbers of people voted to get control and the money back from the EU; while he now moments after regress those statements as he knows that the millions of quid’s will not be reversed directly back to access the austerity.

NHS EU Brexit

Nigel Farage of UKIP have forgotten this one…

He said it in this brutal way:

“No, I can’t and I would never have made that claim – it was one of the mistakes that the Leave campaign made” (…)”It wasn’t one of my adverts. I think they made a mistake. They made a mistake in doing that” (…) “We have a £10 billion a year, £34 million day featherbed – that is going to be free money we can spend on the NHS, or schools, or whatever it is.” (Dunne, John & Micklethwaithe, 24.06.2016). So the buses with ‘£350 million a week back to the NHS if they left the EU’… so quickly the words of right-wing politicians change their tune. It’s like their promises and words vanish into thin air.

EU British University Funding

While Boris Johnson the other leader who wants to coup d’état the Conservative Party and become the coming PM, he trying to change his rhetoric and sound more sane and act as a politician and not a megaphone for the fears of immigrations and job-losses for British citizens as he have proclaimed for months.

Therefore Boris Johnson all of sudden wrote this: “It is said that those who voted Leave were mainly driven by anxieties about immigration. I do not believe that is so. After meeting thousands of people in the course of the campaign, I can tell you that the number one issue was control – a sense that British democracy was being undermined by the EU system, and that we should restore to the people that vital power: to kick out their rulers at elections, and to choose new ones” (…) “We should be incredibly proud and positive about the UK, and what it can now achieve. And we will achieve those things together, with all four nations united. We had one Scotland referendum in 2014, and I do not detect any real appetite to have another one soon; and it goes without saying that we are much better together in forging a new and better relationship with the EU – based on free trade and partnership, rather than a federal system” (…) “There is every cause for optimism; a Britain rebooted, reset, renewed and able to engage with the whole world. This was a seismic campaign whose lessons must be learnt by politicians at home and abroad” (Johnson, Boris, 26.06.2016 – ‘I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe – and always will be’ – Daily Telegraph).

So while Boris Johnson thinks he can be giant brute of English man and toy around with the Scots as they have done for 300 years, the reality of the Scottish wish to remain comes to surface as the Scottish voted over 60 % to remain and their leader have also spoken her peace to the world, which does counter Johnson and her words.

SNP Sturgeon

This is the words from the First Minster Nicola Sturgeon: “Looking at it from a logical perspective, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be that requirement” (…) “I suspect that the UK government will take a very different view on that and we’ll have to see where that discussion ends up” (…) “If the Scottish Parliament was judging this on the basis of what’s right for Scotland then the option of saying look we’re not to vote for something that’s against Scotland’s interest, of course that’s got to be on the table” (…) “Ultimately it is parliament’s decision whether we repeal the 1972 European Communities Act or whether we don’t” (…) “Well I don’t know if that will be possible but what I am determined to do is to explore all possible options to give effect to how people in Scotland voted and to protect Scotland’s interests, to avoid us being taken out of the European Union against our will with all of the deeply damaging and painful consequences that that will entail” (…) “I am not starting from the premise of saying it has got to be independence, I am starting from the premise of what do we need to do to protect Scotland’s interests but if it does appear to be obvious that the only way we can protect Scotland’s interests is by looking again at independence then that’s an option that Scotland has to have” (Gardham, Magnus, 26.06.2016 – ‘Nicola Sturgeon: Holyrood could block Brexit’ – Herald Scotland).

So already now can see the stalemate between Holyrood and the Whitehall of London, as Boris Johnson is not in sync with the feeling across the border where the Scottish is unsure of their place little more isolated from the European Union. Though Nigel Farage haven’t commented directly because he just wanted the islands independent, but not knowing to what extent; while the ‘Leave’ campaign doesn’t seem to clearly know the terms and the negotiations, as they have not even cleared the message of the axing the Union.

Old Game Brexit Meme

So here is some brief words on the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty of 2007 and got ratified in 2009. Says this:

A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament” (…) “he Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period” (Lisbon-Treaty.org).

Without with that in mind, with the crisis in the Labour Party and the Opposition that haven’t been in while, also the Conservative Party where the ‘Brexit regime’ or Brexit Government would be put in place. As they will recharge for a new government who will work on the Brexit and clear the negotiations with the EU, while Jean-Claude Juncker wanted it happen swiftly and also other wanted to make sure it happens quickly, while certain pundits think that the EU Commission and EU Parliament would give them the Greece Treatment where the punishment and economic transgression could be harsh for the British Islands and United Kingdom, as the EU want to set an example, to make sure the other countries does not leave Union.

EU Economicst Greece

With that in mind the Londoners have also reacted to, as the financial center of United Kingdom and the capital, who overwhelmingly voted to remain, are strictly economically connected with EU and Brussels, as they have the same feeling as the Scottish and even Northern Island, that are trading and exporting to the EU. Just as the Stock Exchange also still reeling: “The FTSE 100 index UKX, -1.24%  dropped 0.6% to 6,105.76, building on 3.2% slide from Friday.” (Sjolin, Sara, 27.06.2016 ‘FTSE 100 slides as Brexit continues to spook traders’ – Market Watch).

Certainly the numbers are going up and down, over time they will be clearly when there is leadership certainty on the islands, when the Government, the Shadow Cabinet and the Scottish and Northern Ireland have made their mind up. This together with the possibility of two year long negotiations with the Union to clear the regulations, the status of affairs and the trade-agreement with the European Continent.

While the EU programs in Wales are in jeopardy after the Brexit vote, the nation in the UK who together with England voted majority for the ‘Leave. They have put themselves into a pickle, even if the MPs from Wales haven’t gone out as the Scottish or Northern Ireland to reassess the situation. The EU Programs in question is the Erasmus Program, Horizon 2020, CAP to Farmers and Structural Funds under 2014-2020, all of these programs are giving substantial funds to Welsh public and Welsh government institutions. This is only in Wales; we can be assured that there are programs supported through the EU in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well. That no coffers in the British Virgin Island (BVI) can save in a heartbeat.

xenophobia Brexit

That both campaigns seemed to be wrong in the attitude, xenophobia or the scaremongering of defaulting economic prospects as they would leave the Union. That is now proof that there are many questions and many things to clear, as the table are now turning, the cards are played and the people have to react to the result of the vote. Brexit have created a leadership questioning both in government and opposition, as the Labour Party are in shambles as the negative result is used to topple Jeremy Corbyn, while the Conservative Party trying to find their way as the result hit the face of Cameron with an iron fist. The reality is that the mourning of the ‘Remain’ side, just have to stop and the ‘Leave’ side have to be humble, as they have address the new reality and fix the stalemate between the EU and United Kingdom.

Because this will be a saga continuing for two years or longer depending on when they hit the button and start the transition, actually apply for the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Those who thinks this is just nationalism and xenophobia, this is so much more as the ones who have waited for the crippling EU to run, will see their status unsecured. While the ability to agree on the free-trade and the common-market opportunity and still being on the outside of the Union.

Boris Johnson Feb 2016

The UK, will be turmoil as the strength of the leadership and the fallouts will come forward, the plans to topple the leadership positions and also reaffirming old squabbles just with fresh blood as the Scottish, Northern-Ireland and London even questioning their place as an outsider to Brussels, while the England and Wales voted gladly for the Union. The Remain voters have to live side by side the ones who votes for Leave. The question is how the psychology of the economic market and the acts of European Union Commission. If they will make an example of them or be gentlemen from Central Europe, as Jean-Claude Juncker have not acted gentleman or talked in a fashion of aggression, as he was himself slapped in the face; the Brexit is a bullet to the European Union that he leads, the Luxembourgian who’s pride have to fall and give way to the will of the British people. If the European Union is a peace project and not just a powerful bureaucracy than they have to be gentle and act accordingly, but if they want to fragment Europe more and play hardball with UK Gov. than they certainly will give more way to the Right-Wing nationalistic forces in Europe, instead of finding ways to bring unity of the continent. European Union with this in mind with the current rising of the nationalistic movements and xenophobic fear for the immigrants and the current economic austerity that are hitting the continent and can be either a gift or curse.

So with all of this in mind, the European Union, the Government of United Kingdom and the British MPs and British bureaucracy have to take steps in negotiations and agreements with the EU, while becoming an outsider to the Brussels, the EU should show character if they are really an organization for European peace and unity, not just their own agenda to control the Continent or be a statutory organization that the people might respect. There are reasons others then border-control, immigrations and economy for why the English and Welsh in majority voted to ‘Leave’, for the simple reason of getting the decisions made from Whitehall instead of Brussels. That is something the EU have to think about because the same feeling might be in Madrid, Lisbon, Rome or anywhere else where the nationalistic and right-wing politicians will use the poor display of EU towards the Brexit, will fuel the fire for yet another separation. Peace.

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