The Week in Bloggingportal: In all different flavours

European Parliament

 

BY CC Francisco Antune

 

It’s been a sleepy week here at Bloggingportal – perhaps people are still recovering from a mass indulgence in chocolate. But there were a few themes on the Euroblogosphere this week: democracy, (near) death, and taxes.

 

Taxes are an enduring preoccupation, particularly in the current economic climate, and the news that Amazon pays hardly any tax at all in the UK has started a debate over whether there should be some from of tax harmonisation in the EU. Speaking of the UK, it seems that Norwegian and UK Euroscepticism are two very different beasts. While the UK flavour sees the EU as a heavy regulator interfering in the market and reducing economic freedom, the Norwegian version sees it as a club of materialistic, neoliberal marketeers who want to roll back the state. Personally, I’m impressed that the EU can multi-task on this scale: it takes a lot to be the ultimate incarnation of two opposing ideologies.

 

Democracy was the major theme of the week. The next European elections will be HUGE (you heard it here first – now’s the time to invest in some Parliamentary knitwear before they drive the prices up)! However, while the EU is actually quite democratic, there is a danger that some European and international agreements will circumvent even the EU democratic process, such as the Bologna Process… Other international agreements, such as ACTA, have proven to be a very controversial issue for Europe and for the Parliament, who can decide whether to accept or reject it (though if you’re in the UK you might not have noticed the controversy). There may also be other positions in the EU that aren’t quite as democratic and perhaps too powerful…

 

Finally, some good news: a new tsunami did not materialise in the Indian Ocean despite the earthquakes. Hopefully it will be a long time before one does, and that we’ll be better prepared by then.

 

That’s all from Bloggingportal this week – enjoy your Orthodox Easter! (Or just continue to indulge in all of that chocolate. Mmm…).



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