Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.
The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.
The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.
This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.
This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?
That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.
As noted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“a lack of effective oversight has contributed to a lack of accountability for arbitrary or unlawful intrusions on the right to privacy in the digital environment. Internal safeguards without independent, external monitoring in particular have proven ineffective against unlawful or arbitrary surveillance methods. While these safeguards may take a variety of forms, the involvement of all branches of government in the oversight of surveillance programmes, as well as of an independent civilian oversight agency, is essential to ensure the effective protection of the law.” (United Nations, P: 2, 2016).
This here is evident that State and Government uses their force with their communication surveillance without transparent or use of the legal aide to gain data on their own citizens and also their communications. That means the data and meta-data we leave behind can be stored and checked by the security agencies, where they can surveillance and follow us to secure that we are not misusing or contacting wrong people. This can indirectly make people guilty before conducting crimes. The Police and Security Agencies than can follow and investigate without warrants or court-orders citizens without any jurisdiction. Therefore the real big-brother can follow all communication and use this as evidence of conspiracy and criminal intent if needed be. This information can again be delivered in reports to Central Government that will again take the whole groups of people as a den of thieves instead of activist and political opposition.
This sort of work can and will often cross the belief of a difference between a private and public sphere. Where the communications between citizens can be taken into account in investigations and that is done without knowledge of the citizens. So with that in mind, the United Nation Special Rapporteur on the rights of pricy briefing from November 2016 is telling stories on how this is done in dozens of nations. Their stories are not peaceful and the possible interference shows how their own citizens are shadowed by their own government. Just take a look!
“In Rwanda, interception warrants are issued by a prosecutor designed by the Minister of Justice. As such there is no requirement of prior judicial authorisation. Nor there seems to be independent judicial oversight on the application of the law: the only monitoring envisaged is by inspectors appointed by Presidential Order. The Human Rights Committee expressed concern that the law “permits the interception of communications without prior authorization of a judge” and recommended, inter alia, that the State party “ensure the effectiveness and independence of a monitoring system for such interception, in particular by providing for the judiciary to take part in the authorization and monitoring of the interception.” (United Nations, P: 3-4, 2016).
“In Zimbabwe, the Interception of Communications Act allows senior officials to individually make applications for warrants of interception. The applications are submitted to the Minister of Transport and Communications or “any other Minister to whom the President may from time to time assign the administration of [the] act”. Under the Act, the Minister is the sole arbiter of whether the grounds for a warrant are met and determines the warrant’s duration, up to a period of three months (after which renewal requires the authorisation of an administrative court.) In 2014, using powers granted to him under the constitution, President Mugabe assigned the Act’s administration to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC). There is no public information on how these functions are exercised in practice within the OPC, which is an executive body led by the President and the Head of the Civil Service” (United Nations, P: 4, 2016). “In Zimbabwe, the only oversight of the warrant regime comes from Prosecutor-General, but there is secrecy surrounding the process. The Prosecutor-General receives an annual summary from the Minister detailing “the particulars of every warrant which, during that calendar year, was issued by him or her but not renewed.” However, this information is not made public in any form. The Prosecutor-General can also request additional information from the Minister and make binding recommendations to the Minister; however, these recommendations are not public. There is no additional mechanism for independent parliamentary or judicial oversight of the regime as a whole” (United Nations, P: 12, 2016).
“In New Zealand, there is no judicial prior authorisation for interception of communications or access to communications infrastructures. Instead the relevant warrant is authorised by the Minister. The Commissioner of Security Warrants, a retired judge, is only required to jointly authorise interception warrants when the communications of New Zealanders may be intercepted. Reflecting on this, the Human Rights Committee expressed concern “about the limited judicial authorization process for the interception of communications of New Zealanders and the total absence of such authorization for the interception of communications of non-New Zealanders” (United Nations, P: 4, 2016).
“Similarly in the United Kindgom, under the current RIPA there is no requirement for, or process enabling, the prior independent authorisation of the interception of communications. Instead, a Government minister issues warrants without reference to any judicial or other independent authority. There is only qualified provision for judicial authorisation under RIPA for intrusive surveillance by police (but, notably, not the intelligence services), with regards to requests for encryption keys, and when local authorities seek access to communications data” (United Nations, P: 5, 2016). “In the United Kingdom, there are concerns about the Intelligence and Security Committee. The ISC lacks sufficient independence from the government: the Prime Minister has sole power to nominate MPs to the ISC. She also has power to veto publication of any material by the ISC. For these reasons, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights expressed “concern that the executive control of this Committee may be too strong” (United Nations, P: 10, 2016).
“In Venezuela, for example, although the decision to authorise communications surveillance is made by a judge, judges – particularly first instance judges who are often employed on temporary contracts – frequently lack independence and impartiality” (United Nations, P: 5, 2016).
“Considering the interception regime in Russia, the European Court of Human Rights noted that while interceptions may be authorized by a judge, there was no effective oversight, in particular in light of the lack “publicly available regulations or instructions describing the scope of their review, the conditions under which it may be carried out, the procedures for reviewing the surveillance measures or for remedying the breaches detected” (United Nations, P: 6, 2016).
“In Poland, there is no ex-ante review system for metadata collection, only a general ex-post requirement of submission once every six months of a generalized metadata report to a competent district court. Further, certain metadata information does not even require the ex-post review” (United Nations, P: 6, 2016)
“In Mexico. Articles 189 and 190 of the “Ley Telecom” impose a two year data retention requirements on telecommunications providers, requiring them to keep their users communications data. There is no judicial warrant requirement for accessing the metadata, and that includes in particular no judicial authorisation for mobile phone location tracking (which can be done in real time)” (United Nations, P: 8, 2016).
“In Morocco, there are at least eight government agencies that can potentially monitor communications. These services operate in near complete opacity. The Human Rights Committee expressed concerned at the lack of clarity regarding the law authorising and regulating the activity of such services and the lack of monitoring mechanisms” (United Nations, P: 9, 2016).
“In Uganda, despite increasing significantly the surveillance powers, there is no clear oversight mechanism under the 2010 Regulation of Interception of Communications Act or the 2015 Anti-Terrorism (Amended) Act in Uganda. None of the intelligence agencies with the power to conduct surveillance under these acts are subject to independent oversight however they all report to the President. Any reporting that may be conduced by the agencies to the President is not made public” (United Nations, P: 9, 2016).
“In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM), long-standing concerns on the lack of effective supervision and control of the activities of the Macedonian Security and Counter Intelligence Service (UBK) to limit unlawful interference with the privacy of personal communications were brought into sharp focus in 2015, following the revelation that over 20,000 persons, including political figures, members of non-governmental organisations and journalists, were subjected to communication surveillance. The only body authorised to supervise the work of the UBK is a Parliamentary Commission. According to media reports, the UBK’s written reports to the Commission contained no data on the agency’s use of what are called “specific investigative measures”, such as eavesdropping” (United Nations, P: 10, 2016).
These stories give insight into how far the breaches are and how they are done in each country. Certain intelligence that are collected unfairly from the citizens and without permission, not even with court orders and put into structures that can be recollected by the ones who have been followed; this has been in secrecy and with knowledge even from the person with the most power. Those Presidents can interfere and collect this intelligence without having court orders or a warrant says a lot of their breaches of power and how they value the private communication. When they of using technology and using the interception of communication between people to find intelligence and collect their meta-data for later see the pattern of behaviour.
This shows how the National Security is using the private communication into collecting evidence and pattern of behaviour where they can oversee society and use this to detain and arrest dissidents. What is also worrying is in the power of the Executive and the Central Government who can easily access and take the collected data without the need of the Courts or legislative branches. Therefore this can be done in the dark and they can do this without consent or have any accountability for their work as they use surveillance to follow their own citizens.
This is just a few of the nations of the world. There are certainly more intelligence gathered without knowledge and where the UN Special Rapporteur has gotten know-how of. This briefing is only skimming the surface of what’s apparently going on. We as citizens should at least ask our own government to comply with freedoms and liberty, only use these technologies to incept meta-data and communications between people when courts and real National Security is at risk. Not just when they can, but when it is fit. If not then innocent people are followed without any concern and without any justice delivered. Peace.
United Nation – ‘Briefing to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy – Monitoring and Oversight of Communications Surveillance’ (November 2016)
“Considering the strong democratic traditions in Europe, and the fact that taxation is considered an issue of great importance to national sovereignty, it seems rather odd that the EU has taken such a negative approach to the inclusion of developing countries in the setting of global tax standards” (Eurodad, P: 33, 2016)
There are in this world, lots of greedy people and states that want to earn on their own benefit and get the little extra without the second party. That is why the European States do what they can to keep as much benefit of businesses inside their own dominion, even as the businesses are earning their profits in developing countries, this is happening with sophisticated business transactions, sweetheart-deals, letter-box companies and stashing profits into tax-havens.
The ones that doesn’t this tactic, this way of earning higher profits and getting better rates on the production; the reality is that European States has worked coherent to avoid their thieving of funds as the taxation deals and openings of the multi-national companies in Europe. So with these possibilities, there comes also the reasoning that the companies do what they can to stifle the European states in their own scheme to keep them. Certainly the countries getting a point on the dollar instead of multiple points on it; they could get a fair trade out of, but when they are tricking the businesses there, the businesses will do what they can to trick out of them too. The Businesses are not in the country out of love, they are there to earn profits and doesn’t’ care how as long as they get. So long the States are having the set-up to be used, they will use them and the citizens will wonder why the sophisticated businesses pay so little why earning fortunes, while the citizens are paying fairly high tax on the dollar.
Just take a look!
Letter box companies:
“The setting up of letterbox companies is one of the practices used by multinational corporations to avoid paying taxes in countries where their economic activity takes place” (…) “Looking at global investment flows, it is clear that several European countries are major centres providing attractive tax regimes for letterbox companies and thus functioning as conduits for multinationals’ investments. By comparing the statistics of foreign direct investments (FDI), Dutch organisation SOMO shows that the Netherlands is by far the largest exporter of FDI in the world, ahead of much bigger economies such as the United States and China” (Eurodad, P:17, 2016).
“In November 2014, the LuxLeaks revelations exposed the secret world of Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) – also known as sweetheart deals – which benefited multinational corporations, in some cases with tax rates lower than 1 per cent.89” (…) “Public insight into these kinds of deals is very rare indeed, since they are kept highly confidential. In fact, the LuxLeaks revelations were followed by legal charges against the two whistleblowers, as well as one of the key journalists, who brought the story to the public. The case is still ongoing in Luxembourg (see ‘Lack of whistleblower protection’)” (…) “Other examples of problematic APAs have been highlighted by the European Commission’s state aid cases. For example, APAs played a central role in the tax arrangements between Luxembourg and Fiat, the Netherlands and Starbucks, and Apple and Ireland. In these cases, the European Commission found the tax advantages given to the multinational corporations, through APAs, to be a violation of the EU’s State Aid rules” (Eurodad, P: 19, 2016).
“Another key concern related to tax treaties is that they often include provisions to lower – or remove – withholding taxes on cross-boundary financial flows, and thus can lead to lower tax income in the countries signing on to such treaties, including developing countries. For example, research by ActionAid shows that a tax treaty between Uganda and the Netherlands, signed in 2004, completely takes away Uganda’s right to tax certain earnings paid to owners of Ugandan companies if the owners are resident in the Netherlands” (…) “The underlying problem in the international tax system today is that multinational companies are treated as a collection of ‘separate entities’ even though in reality they function as unified firms, with subsidiaries under the central control of the parent company. In today’s system, subsidiaries of the same company are expected to trade with each other ‘at arm’s length’, as if they did not have any connection to each other” (Eurodad, P: 21-24, 2016).
“In order to deal with the tax evasion and avoidance risks related to banking secrecy, some developed countries, such as the EU Member States, have agreed to start exchanging information on financial accounts automatically amongst each other” (…) “This means that, for example, the Belgian tax authorities will, automatically and on a periodic basis, receive information on any bank accounts or assets held by Belgians in other EU Member States. The aim of this automatic information exchange is to improve the efficiency of tax collection and prevent taxpayers from hiding capital or assets abroad” (Eurodad, P: 27, 2016).
Interesting findings from European Countries:
“The Austrian government is against full public country by country reporting, and even the European Commission’s proposal for partially public country by country reporting” (Eurodad, P: 41, 2016).
“Belgium generally has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, but the average reduction in developing country tax rates through these treaties is low. However, that the average does not show is that several of Belgium’s tax treaties with developing countries are ‘very restrictive’. There are also clear indications that Belgium’s tax treaties have significant negative impacts on the developing countries that sign them. A conservative estimate puts the fiscal cost to 28 developing countries at €35 million in 2012”(Eurodad, P: 41 , 2016). “The Belgian tax treaty system is also an issue of concern. A conservative estimate suggests that 28 developing countries lost €35 million in 2012 due to tax treaties with Belgium” (Eurodad, P: 57, 2016).
“The position of the Czech government on the issue of ownership transparency is ambiguous. On the one hand, the new Czech law is very restrictive in terms of access to information in the Czech beneficial ownership register (in fact, it seems that the definition of the “legitimate interest” is so narrow that in practice it will be inaccessible for the public, no matter if they have a legitimate interest or not)” (Eurodad, P: 42, 2016).
“The Danish government does not support full public country by country reporting. Instead, Denmark supports the proposal from the European Commission, which would only allow the public to get a partial picture of the activities and tax payments of multinational corporations” (Eurodad, P: 42 , 2016).
“Although the French tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, France has eight ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. In total, France also has the highest number of treaties with developing countries among all countries covered by this report” (Eurodad, P: 43, 2016).
“The German government has previously worked very actively against the adoption of full public country by country reporting at EU level. Germany remains very sceptical, even towards the proposal from the European Commission, which would only introduce partially public country by country reporting” (…) “Germany’s tax treaties with developing countries are a cause of concern due to the high number of very restrictive treaties. Also of concern is the fact that Germany’s total number of treaties with developing countries is significantly above average” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).
“Of all the countries covered by this report, the Irish tax treaties with developing countries introduce the highest average reductions on the tax rates of their developing country treaty partners. Among the Irish tax treaties with developing countries are three ’very restrictive’ treaties” (Eurodad, P: 44, 2016).
“Although the Italian tax treaties with developing countries on average reduce the tax rates less than most other countries covered in this report, Italy and the UK are the countries that have the highest number of ’very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 45, 2016). “An Italian investigation is also ongoing into Credit Suisse Ag. The Switzerland-based group’s parent company is charged with systematically having helped 13,000 Italian clients to hide their assets of more than €14 billion abroad” (Eurodad, P: 73, 2016).
“According to the Financial Secrecy Index, Luxembourg has the highest level of financial secrecy of all the countries covered by this report (and ranks at number 6 at the global level). The government’s position on the issue of public registers of beneficial owners is unclear” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “In spite of the LuxLeaks scandal, Luxembourg has continued to issue a very high number of advance pricing agreements (or ‘sweetheart deals’) to multinational corporations – with a 50 per cent increase during the year following the scandal. This, as well as the fact that Luxembourg generally has a significant amount of indicators of aggressive tax planning, is highly concerning. Also, on the issue of financial secrecy, Luxembourg remains a high concern – currently placed as number 6 at the list of the world’s most secretive countries” (Eurodad, P: 79, 2016).
“Netherlands currently has some extremely restrictive tax treaties with developing countries, which make it difficult for those developing countries to collect taxes. Netherlands generally also has more tax treaties with developing countries, and is more aggressive in negotiating the lowering of tax rates in developing countries, than the average among the countries covered in this report. In addition, the government does not levy withholding taxes on outgoing payments to tax havens, which would be an effective anti-abuse measure that would not require lengthy treaty renegotiations” (Eurodad, P: 46, 2016). “Leaked EU documents show that the Netherlands is attempting to undermine EU plans to tackle harmful tax practices by introducing a minimum tax rate of 10 per cent for royalties and interest payments. They reveal that the Netherlands has proposed exceptions in the plans for its patent box provision, which can reduce taxation on revenues resulting from research and development to 5 per cent. This provision, which is a key component of the Dutch tax system, would be threatened by a 10 per cent minimum rate” (Eurodad, P: 82, 2016).
“Norway has a high number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016). “Norway’s tax treaty with Benin completely prevents Benin from taxing royalty payments to Norway. This is problematic since multinational corporations can use royalty payments between subsidiaries to minimize their profits and thereby avoid taxes in the countries where they have business activities” (…) “Norway does not have a patent box. It does however have a very favourable tax regime for shipping companies, albeit in line with EU countries’ legislation. Shipping income is tax-exempt and qualifying companies instead pay a small tax based on the tonnage of its vessels” (Eurodad, P: 84, 2016).
“Poland has a significant number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 47, 2016).
“Spain has on average been the second most aggressive negotiator when it comes to lowering developing country tax rates through tax treaties. Spain also has a relatively high number of tax treaties with developing countries, which gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 48, 2016). “Wealthy Spanish people have doubled their money stashed in Luxembourg (more than €13 billion) – afraid of uncertainty and looking for lower tax rates” (…) “Inside Spain, the Canary Islands (located close to the African Atlantic coast) have a special economic and tax regime that make them “one of the most profitable tax regimes in Europe”, according to PwC. A tax rate of 4 per cent for companies located there is one of the several tax benefits. Special incentives also are applied in Ceuta and Melill” (Eurodad, P: 90-91, 2016).
“Sweden has four ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).
“Together with Italy, the UK has the highest number of ‘very restrictive’ tax treaties with developing countries. On average, the UK’s tax treaties with developing countries contain relatively high reductions in developing country tax rates. The fact that the UK at the same time has the second highest number of treaties with developing countries gives even more reason for concern” (Eurodad, P: 49, 2016).
If this isn’t eye-opening, than I don’t know, but it shows the systematic state of easy taxation to benefit big-business, the multi-national companies, so they can set-up show and get grander profits, while the states works the perks between them to settle score. The negotiations and the tax-havens gives more space for the companies to fuel money out of Europe and of the Developing Countries, which hurts all sort of government operations as the end-game is that the government doesn’t get the supposed tax-base as that flee to offshore or overseas where the taxations is lax or non-compliance with the place the business actually operates. We all should get our MPs, Senators, MEPs, Governors and all other Elected Representatives, to take action against this sophisticated thieving from the Multi-National Companies and the Representatives who opens the gates for this activity. Peace.
EURODAD – ‘Survival of the Richest – Europe’s role in supporting an unjust global tax system 2016’ (15.11.2016).
This here is the outtakes of a report that we’re released now recently showing the wished aspects of the EEA Grants who are most donations from the Norwegian state. The Norwegian State has had through the EEA and EFTA had a company called COWI too look through the donor-funding and the interviewing of the ones getting the allocated funds.
With this in mind are surely other who have been commenting on the matter as the Report dropped in June 2016, I just got it today. So is it right? This is my take on it and here are the quotes that are significant to me and the process and overlook of the use of funds.
How much money at stake:
“The allocation of funds is channelled through 150 programmes within 32 programme areas in 16 beneficiary countries. For the period 2009-14, approximately 1.8 billion EUR were set aside under the grants. During the same period, the Norway Grants supported 61 programmes in the 13 EU Member States that joined in 2004, 2007 and 20133 respectively, and the EEA Grants supported 86 programmes in those countries as well as in Greece, Spain and Portugal. The allocation of funds to the countries is based on population size and GDP per capita” (EFTA, P:17, 2016).
“The aim of the mid-term evaluation is to assess to what extent and in which way the EEA/Norway Grants contribute to strengthening bilateral relations between donor and beneficiary states” (EFTA, P:18, 2016).
The Norwegian OAG report in 2013:
“The OAG found that bilateral efforts were not sufficiently planned and communicated at the starting phase of the 2009-14 funding period and that e.g. the key guidance documents were finalised too late” (…) “The audit expects that bilateral relations in the 2009-14 funding period will be better safeguarded than during the previous period given the fact that the current 23 Norwegian DPPs have entered into donor programme partnerships with programme operators in the beneficiary states” (EFTA, P:34-35, 2016).
Joint Research Projects:
“Possibly due to the fact that in the research field, international funding is available for joint research projects from for example the large EU programmes Horizon, etc. This kind of funding is not available to other sectors. The benefits in terms of developing international and EU networks and learning about international initiatives in research are very clear. The EEA and Norway Grants support these processes by being an important contributor and often facilitating a first international cooperation for both parties. However, the evaluation also shows that such networks and cooperation cannot always continue after the expiration of the external funding” (EFTA, P:49, 2016).
Implementation of Norway Grants:
“A number of countries have decided to use the same system for implementation of the EEA and Norway Grants as they use for the EU structural funds. Programme and project stakeholders find that the structural funds system is too bureaucratic and that the financial rules are too cumbersome. The national system for implementation of structural funds and related procedures may not be very relevant to a partner/bilateral relation focused programme, especially when this programme includes a donor project partner, who has a hard time complying with the checks and balances of EU Member State structural fund programmes. Programmes in the Research and Scholarship sector regret the decision not to use ERASMUS+ procedures” (EFTA, P:56, 2016).
Allocation to the projects:
“99.3% of the total funds have been allocated to the five focus countries, and 42.9% of total programme funds have been incurred to date. The share of incurred funds varies across the five countries from 35.6% in Romania to 56.4% in Estonia” (EFTA, P: 63, 2016).
One Slovakian project – Project title: Pro Monumenta:
” The project entitled Pro Monumenta is a cooperation between Pamiatkový úrad SR (The Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic), who is the project controller and Riksantikvaren (The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Environment). The two institutions first established contact back in 2010 based on a Slovak initiative financed by the Ministry of Culture” (…) “The project was implemented from 1 January 2014 and was scheduled to terminate on 30 March 2016. The main goal of Pro Monumenta in Slovakia is to establish and equip three mobile teams with the capacity to identify and repair easy-to-mend defects at historic monuments, which have led or may lead to deterioration (including basic roof repairs, repairs to chimneys, rainwater drains, fixing of lightning conductors). Major damage identified in the project is documented in a monument technical report, which is stored electronically in a common database” (…) “In this case, the Norwegian partner mainly learns from Slovak experiences and approaches to the implementation of such activities. However, the Norwegian partner also supports the project through its human and technical expertise, such as through an expert from Nasjonele Fervardung, who is expected to arrive to Slovakia to conduct workshops for team members on monument conservation and repairs within a given area” (…) “The project is a clear example of the great contextual and bilateral potential of the programme, if properly implemented. According to the assessment by the project coordinators the project impacts are visible both in Slovakia and Norway (establishment of the formal programmes in the project area) and as Mr. Reznik summarized: “The project significantly improved bilateral co-operation between Norwegian and Slovak experts in the area – especially because it focused on an area of the common interest” (EFTA, P: 67, 2016).
How it is in Latvia and Estonia:
“One explanation for this may be found in Latvia, where some stakeholders indicated that since the bilateral objective is included in the MoU, cooperation is therefore embedded at programme level in most programmes. Since most programmes, particularly in Latvia and Estonia, also have a DPP, the programmes automatically focus on the bilateral relations. This may indicate a tendency for the bilateral aspect to become somewhat formalistic, along the lines of ‘we have a DPP therefore our programme adheres to the bilateral objective’, rather than it being a matter of content and mutual results” (…) “In Estonia, for instance, one indicator has been used in half of the programmes, namely the mandatory indicator “Number of project partnership agreements in the beneficiary public sector”. In more than 30% of the Estonian programmes, no indicator has been used, including the two other mandatory indicators “Number of project partnership agreements in beneficiary civil society” and “…in the beneficiary private sector”. These two indicators have both been used in only 10% of the programmes in 2016. Most programmes are required to make use of at least one of the three obligatory indicators, yet if adding together the top three lines of Table 5-6 for each country, it can be seen that some shares do not sum to 100%. This may be explained by the fact that there are programmes that do not require partnerships, and in some programmes it has not been possible to find relevant partners” (EFTA, P: 69-70, 2016).
“The overall conclusion on the efficiency of EEA and Norway Grants is that a number of dedicated tools to develop bilateral relations at programme and project level have been introduced. Most of these tools directly support the work of the programmes and projects towards developing bilateral partnership relations, shared results, knowledge and understanding and wider effects. DPPs, bilateral funds and donor project partners all support this goal. The main issue for DPPs and donor project partners is securing the availability of a sufficient number of partners to meet the demand. The main hindering factor identified across the programmes and projects is the administrative procedures (complicated, slow and time consuming) in the beneficiary countries and the fact that the systems used by the beneficiary states are very different systems. Another significant factor identified is the time frame of projects, which due to a late start-up of programmes, can have a very short implementation period” (EFTA, P: 117, 2016).
Clarify the reporting of the projects:
“It is recommended that more instruction be given on the expected contents of reporting on the bilateral objective to avoid the current wide variations in reporting practice and style and the non-informative focus on bilateral activities. It is also recommended that the programme reports include the bilateral indicators selected for the programme. It is suggested that the example of one of the focus countries (Estonia) is adopted. In Estonia, the bilateral indicators are annexed to the report, complete with a justification/explanation of why they were chosen” (EFTA, P: 121, 2016).
Recommendation for bilateral projects:
“It is recommended that focus be directed towards the predefined projects under the bilateral national funds. As mentioned above, the predefined projects provide an interesting opportunity for strategic level cooperation. It is unclear whether the calls” at national level for smaller cooperation projects provide added value. Therefore, it is recommended that such calls be differentiated, either in terms of topic or timing, from the bilateral funds at programme level in order to for them to serve a real function (demand/meet a need)” (EFTA P: 121-122, 2016).
Recommendation for bilateral projects II:
“It is also recommended to standardise implementation systems and rules so that every programme does not have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ (and spend a lot of time doing this). Especially DPPs working on the same programme type in several beneficiary countries could benefit from similar/aligned rules of implementation” (EFTA, P: 122, 2016).
Recommendation for bilateral projects III:
“Particularly, data relevant to monitoring and assessment of the bilateral objective (results) are difficult to extract from some of the reports. Hence, the evaluator recommends that reporting requirements be standardised and clearly communicated to all relevant stakeholders (i.e. what content is required under which headings)” (EFTA, P: 122, 2016).
This here proves that actually the monies that going to the Projects are well-used, but those estimates are issued and checked in the same ways, not specifically different between the Educational or other more industrial collaboration between the Donor-Nations and the representatives.
The COWI report are clear on the levels of ability to use the funds, but have questions of finding clear partners for the projects as the allocation of funds is not an issue. That is mostly put on the spot and paid to the partner program either by the direct from Norwegian grants or by the EEA grants that are fuelled by most of the Norwegian donations. Therefore the monies to the nations and projects are arriving.
The indication of the efficiencies and the learning of the projects are different from what type of Norwegian organization is behind the collaborate effort, as much as the donor nation and the projects are proof of the development and goals of the projects that are funded this way. So they are properly examined and not like with this report they are settled with the same systems and with no consideration of the extent or the actual field they we’re prospecting. So the numbers and the proof of results are questionable. Even if the funds are used and the certain results are visible in certain cultural and historical aspects; we can still question the validity of the results be one-fits all like socks when we talking learning-projects, refurbishing old artefacts and even bilateral corporation one set subject.
The indication of that each separate project under the funding have been using lot of time to find ways of implementing the collaborative effort and finding Norwegian partners for the projects funding through the grants; also how they are supposed to work to fulfil the degrees of plans that have to be there to be able to get funding through the EEA and Norwegian Grants. Also the question under how the outsider COWI struggled with understanding and getting the capacity to see the value of some of the results in some reports from the projects as they we’re all written in different ways and different lengths. Show’s the capacity of streamlining the production of reports and the evaluation of the funding through the bilateral projects as the methods of explaining is and can be hard get the data that is needed to tell the story of the projects. Therefore the methods of reporting need to change and maybe even be in one standard, so the EEA, the bilateral partners and the donors can show their success and value for money. Something that the citizens for both the organizations getting the funds and also the donors who needs to prove that the money is not wasted abroad… something that is key reason for the report to show the progress of the grants in the first place. Peace.
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Financial Mechanism Office (FMO) – ‘Mid-term evaluation of the support to strengthened bilateral relations under the EEA and Norway Grants FINAL REPORT’ (June 2016) link: https://www.regjeringen.no/contentassets/17c16170595b473ab59c7edc5c0208a7/2016-evaluering-bilaterale-relasjoner.pdf
We can here see an mash-up between the NRM-Twitter page today and show the difference between their deception and the truth. The picture they used is the official picture and opening of A2 near Poznan which is by my recogning a bit far away from Kamuli or Jinja! What a #Steady Progress NRM! You are so smart when dropping knowledge like this! Be proud of your work and remember one thing, the internet doesn’t forget. Peace.
In a day where we saw the monster of money winning its second title at Ethiad Stadium. It’s more stories of money and power brewing in the world. We have Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine’s company of Beat Elecontrics apparently sold to Apple Inc for a blistering 3,2 billion dollars and making the mighty doctor the first Hip Hop billionaire! Somewhere is Jay Z and Diddy (Puff Daddy aka P.Diddy aka Sean Combs) crying or wondering why they didn’t start selling lavish headphones.
I could have discussed the matters of Fiancial Fair Play of UEFA and their so called fine on Manchester City. In that same matter I could been discussing the issues of Sepp Blatter asking or nodding his head towards the headboard and complying for a new term as leader of the governing football establishment FIFA. No, I am not talking about either. The fall of United and Moyes ousting is not worth mention, though the proposed new signings and use of money will make the Glazers a bit unhappy in New York. At the same time not discussing the power of Roman in Chelsea where Diego Costa supposed to be at next season.
No I will talk about something which isn’t about money madness of the Premier League or Champions League, even if one of that competitions is over, the other one has yet a final to be held the 24th of May at Lisbon. But, still I can tell that is not where my mind is. Not even the flabbergasting last night show called Eurovision. Where the Hungary should have won since that was the best song in my opinion… However, the theme of the song wasn’t really Eurovision like, which was more the San Marino, UK or Swedes. Secondly after reading both national and international press – seems like the Poles and their breast got votes from drunk European men on the continent. Even though the national Eurovision councils and voting agents gave points to the half-man half-woman, That made the half and half a winner, though the rise of the phoenix (by some reports in the international press: the penis) would get the nod of and actually win in the shin ding in Copenhagen. Russia and Ukraine showed their true hearts to each other, then the usual 8, 10 or 12 points to each other.
It’s here the money and madness will be discussed. Referendum votes in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk regions happen today, and those who voted, is reported to vote for separation from Kiev and the Ukraine state. Something that isn’t surprising for anybody. Vladimir Putin has just recently been in the new region of Crimea. Which for a few months ago was a piece of the federation of Ukraine and had a military and navy base rented to Russia so they had a well, and Ice free navy base, because the ones on the Kola Peninsula isn’t open for a few months of the year. So they need that to have a secure one all year around. Putin just secured the needed base and now own the area. No matter what Europe does or thinks. It’s doesn’t hit him, because well, the sanctions they have showed to the Russian leaders is scrap metal and dozen loads of waste of time and orders.
When Europe is still in the verge of economic recovery and need the big spenders of oligarch money. London and the City would be hurting like a baby who lost their lollipop and then the baby would cry. The Russian gas and money is so needed. Like Manchester City would be lost in the wildness without the Dubai Oil money.
The way it looks like for me. EU and USA is having their hands tied. They have the powers in their hands, but their washing their hands and at the same time trying to make their hands dirty. That is wretched tale that the beard of the recent winner of Eurovision wouldn’t even cut off.
We are here in situation where Russia and Putin has the upper hand and is carving up new territory for the federation. In Ukraine is there it has been mighty and important battles for Russia. It’s a saying: When Kiev sneezes Moscow get a cough. So after the fall of Yanukovych the friend and former president of Ukraine who himself ran to Putin’s Russia. It’s the actions of the former government and the fall of the weak institutions of Ukraine that is unleashing the opportunities of the separatist in Luhansk and Donetsk. These elections are not legally correct after the 92 constitution of Ukraine. So even if the turnout is massive and by expected reports are all for the mighty mother Russia. My bad it’s for independence from the Nazis of Kiev and the democratic European loving rebels of Ukraine. Which is the bad seed if you listening to the rhetoric of the Russian media and master Putin.
We all know there are other actors and other carrots at stake. The dancing Slavic poles from yesterday even know that. Ukraine and the main in the hamster-wheel know that. The interim government in Kiev knows that Moscow knows this. Even if them all is saying something else. And nobody is telling anybody what the else is. We all know that this is for the long term and securing ruling and master of their own backyard. Putin is having the upper hand. Ukraine has the weak but halting support from the rest of the world. Sadly like Goodluck Johnatan has from the rest of the world in finding the 200 missing schoolgirls who is nowhere to be found so USA and UK are sending hostage specialist to help the Nigerians and their effort to find them. Also the rumors of sending them over to the border to Cameroon and sell them. Sounds just like what a group of men who bombs public areas all over Nigeria could do.
The same helplessness must the interim government of Ukraine feel. They haven’t a single shot to go with full force against Russia. It will be run so hard over that the roadrunner would smack their ass before the first bullet gets to say “hello”.
While Putin and Russia can play cool and see the pawns move. Piece by piece getting all bicycles and town of certain parts of Ukraine, if not the whole thing – why not? He has already had one slice, why not the whole pizza and that to go? Please!
So what is next? The money and the madness is already action. The kings has set up shop and playing their pawns. The next move will be interesting but if he is not swallowing the areas of Luhansk and Donetsk. They can either become annexed like Crimea or they will have the stories of the Abkazia(Georgia), Transnistrina(Moldavia) and the Nagoro-Karabhk(Azerbaijan) republics.
What do you think, will the EU and USA really react like grown men or crybabies to the actions of Russia? Will Russia take more territories in their backyard, since they haven’t really paid much for Crimea? What is the next move from either party now that Manchester City, the Poles have washed cloths on stage and Putin has taken a ride in the new Russian territory? Will Obama have another fascinating anecdote in a speech about the rich Russian culture or will he send a transformers -car to Moscow?
While we all should enjoy the time we living in, it’s hard to sometimes see the fix. Fixing the issues and making the world a better place. Crimean peninsula is now official from the Russian side, a separate entity – which is not a part of Ukraine anymore. Wesley Snipes didn’t show up. The western reaction to it all is meager economic sanctions on the top leaders of the Russian regime. Ukraine is on their side in the trenches and hoping for an outcome to their sovereignty as a single nation. They has been trespassed over the border with arms and taken control over their territory.
Here we are in point where the aggression from Moscow is at final position and carving the map of Europe again. Russia and Vladimir Putin the President is showing his hand. Not caring about what world thinks of his actions. Barrack Obama and David Cameroon have acted but softly… The same has the Norwegian and other Scandinavian countries. The Polish fears with such a close tie to the Russian Federation that they might act, the same does the Baltic nations. Surprisingly, the NATO is proving some moves with sending planes to Poland. All the military co-operation which was scheduled between Russia and the western countries has shut that down. The other complications are simply closing the deals and agreements between them. So all the barriers that has been driven down since the cold-war is now crumbling. Western hemisphere is closing the gates building up shadow walls, as long it’s not hurting their economies, since that is unstable still after the economic crash of 2008. That has made a difference and also connected the world. The outsourcing and the modern day industry is now in another stage.
Gazproom is one of the big companies who supply Europe with Gas. Not only giving money to Schalke04 and also Champions League. We’ll all going to see that tonight before the match between Manchester United – Olympiacos on Old Trafford. We all know that the Oligarcs of Russia is spending the leftover in London and especially in “the City”.
We can eat our chips and I wonder about the next move of both the western hemisphere and the Russia. So here we are. What that will bust first and the reactions. What is the next move of Russians? That is the difference then that the Presidential aid of Russia Vladislav Surkov will only main thing is about Tupac and few other celebrities that he don’t need to access to the country to listen to. So there we have it. The meager response and economic sanctions isn’t working if that’s the ones actions we can expect. Then I can say: “that it won’t matter”. Even though we wish differently, the end scenario is that Crimea will end up in Russia. Russia can VETO in the United Nation’s Security Council so the issues is server. UN can’t make a fuss or stress anything because of how the organization is built up!
The NATO and the western hemisphere are stuck. They have already showed the force of the small sanctions given to them. Putin knew this was coming. He’s a sly man who thinks and now that an actions has a chain reaction. Obama and Cameroon isn’t doing much. Angela Merkel isn’t really acting. EU and Ashton aren’t moving in a big way either!
This is the way it is. Ukraine is weak after the turmoil. Ukraine has been through the madness of revolution and kicking the president out of his office for the second time in his career. Russia is playing the big man yet again. It did so in Georgia in 2008. This time they have actually soon annexed it (Crimea). Which entails a lot, where do we go from here? How does this change the world as we know it?
We need some strong remedy over here. So before we go back ancient ways and medieval on ourselves because well, Russia isn’t playing ball. Neither of us know how this is going or where it’s ending up. Ukraine… isn’t up to parts with Russia, not military and economic power. Secondly the bills and tab that Russia has on gas bill was the playing card for this game. We can just see where it goes and how this story ends. Because the end usually has to break even.
There is big stakes on table, how the pot will be squeezed and usually in this game – nobody really wins and those who take the fall usually are the innocent loses their ground. And the winner usually really doesn’t has much to show for it, because of the sense of victory is a weak puzzle. The other loosing part of the tale never gets told and the innocent dies silently like it always does. Because heck! Nobody really cares, and if they do, their microphone are to little, their tv-station has to small of a base or that the newspaper isn’t powerful enough if it doesn’t have naked chicks on page 3-4 and an interview of a porn-star in the middle of the business section!
I know that the last remark wasn’t friendly, but what gives?
Everybody who hasn’t lived under stone since 2013 has gotten with the news of demonstrations going on in Kiev in Ukraine. Ukraine who been split by two parts, the one who want a close connection to Russia and the one who want to get closer to EU. So there we have it! Viktor Yanukovich who has been ousted before is now in the wind in Russia. Last time was the Orange revolution in 2004. So ten years later it happened again!
This time Vladimir Putin the president Russia who was using the bargain chip of the vast issues of economic downturn in Ukraine. So there is an issue where Ukraine has a downturn and is borrowing in an up scaling rate. Russia would offer this money if they passed on the deal for a step towards getting a EU membership. That wasn’t acceptable for Putin or Russia. This is in the close hinterland of Moscow. Where famous battles of ancient Russia have fought and had made history there.
Ukraine has a sovereign right to the area. The only issue that Russia has rights there is that they have had agreement with the Ukraine government to have a navy-base fleet in the Black sea. This is the best place considering most other harbors in Russia would be frozen for a long time of the year.
We can all learn by history of action rash. The way of the future madness it can lead into. The way military units move into the region. The Ukraine is unstable because of fresh leadership and ousted of the government of Yanukovich. Putin is fairing the safety of the navy-base and warships.
That USA is calling this 18th century ways of acting. It’s kind of unreasonable of the country that has attacked countries without caring about the UN resolutions or the safety council accommodation. John Kerry attacking Russia is a bit of throwing a stone in glasshouse. USA went into Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya. Only a few times US has been right in aggressive military action is as recent “white” war of Balkans during the 90s. Now were in present time after a period of Bush wars and giving other countries the clean-up missions that they couldn’t do: in the likes of AMISOM mission in Somalia and the MONUC mission in Democratic Republic of Congo.
So here we have it! Putin who has been just finished a polished and beautiful Olympics in Sochi. Then he tried to make a positive impression on the world. Now, we are here where Russia is going into the Ukraine with a force to just secure … the navy-base in Crimea for its warship fleet and also excusing itself for the Russian inhabitants. We have heard sorry excuse before by other power in the 20th century it’s was a certain Nazi Germany who attacked parts of Poland and Czechoslovakia for its German citizens there and the League of Nations had no power to stop it or Neville Chamberlain.
It has some similarities we all now, but doesn’t have the same ending or the same pretext. We’re just in a situation where Putin has to save face and Ukraine has to do the same. Where USA and western hemisphere isn’t happy for the actions of Russia, at some point this will give other issues as well. Canada has already called back its ambassador from Moscow. The United Kingdom has already pulled itself out of the G8 meeting which was supposed to be in Sochi, Russia.
You can wash your hands clean and then call yourself guilty… Still your actions tell more than the lies you told yesterday. The same must Vladimir Putin feel today or yesterday since he order troops into the Crimean-peninsula. Mother Russia doesn’t have the rights to this. US is correct though they isn’t the right actor to talk. They have broken the same rules whenever it have pleased themselves in recent years. So if Canada or UK is attacking Russia for their actions they have more credibility then USA for the moment. Barrack Obama can talk peace, but he should instead spend time selling government cheese inside his own border then resume and judge Vladimir Putin. The French who has jumped to the Francafrique – the French Africa in this instances we talk about Cote d’Ivoire and Central African Republic. Cleaning out their own “commonwealth” or should I say: “Francafrique”.
So here we are in position where mighty people play with high stakes. So high haven’t we been in ages. The outcome can be either little or big. We can know for the moment. The people of the Crimean-peninsula are the pawns in this and it’s sad. So as outsiders we can only act with condemnation and pray for the right way out of this. This is still a crime and is a foul. If it had been a football match they would have given Russia as a player least a yellow card and maybe even warning that next action could lead to a red card! Peace.