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Uniting democracies has been the key international political trend of the last hundred years. Understanding this trend and enabling it to continue is the key to world political development.

What's New

New Book by Streit Council Advisory Board Member Kenneth Weisbrode
In Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers, historian Kenneth Weisbrode asserts that Old Diplomacyis not really that old—many of its concepts and methods date to the mid-nineteenth century—while the practices of New Diplomacy emerged only a couple of generations later. Moreover, "Diplomacy 2.0" and other variants of the post-Cold War era do not depart significantly from their twentieth-century predecessor: their forms, particularly in technology, have changed, but their substance has not. In this succinct overview, Weisbrode reminds us that to understand diplomatic transformations and their relevance to international affairs is to see diplomacy as an entrepreneurial art—and that, like most arts, it is adapted and re-adapted with reference to earlier forms. Diplomatic practice is always changing, and always continuous. To read more about this book, click here.

Kenneth Weisbrode, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is an Assistant Professor of History at Bilkent University, Turkey and has written and edited several books, including Old Diplomacy Revisited: A Study in the Modern History of Diplomatic Transformers; Churchill and the King: The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI; and The Atlantic Century: Four Generations of Extraordinary Diplomats who Forged America's Vital Alliance with Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Toynbee Prize Foundation's Network for the New Diplomatic History, and holds a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University.

New Book by Streit Council Board Member Richard Rosecrance
In The Resurgence of the West: How a Transatlantic Union Can Prevent War and Restore the United States and Europe, Richard Rosecrance calls for the United States to join forces with the European Union and create a transatlantic economic union. A U.S.-Europe community would unblock arteries of trade and investment, rejuvenate the West, and enable Western countries to deal with East Asian challenges from a position of unity and economic strength. Through this great merger the author offers a positive vision of the future in which members of a tightly knit Western alliance regain economic health and attract Eastern nations to join a new and worldwide international order. To read more about this book, click here.

At the Washington D.C. Summit on Cross Continental Cooperation, held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy from November 4-7, Streit Council President Richard Conn Henry reviewed the history of the Streit Council, starting with Clarence K. Streit's self-publication of Union Now just prior to World War II, and continuing with the passing of the Atlantic Union Resolution in 1964. Henry also expounded his idea on a possible Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that, if adopted, would lead to a federal union with the European Union. His proposal can be found here.

Brendan Simms, Ph.D., joins the Streit Council's Advisory Board. He is a Professor of the History of European International Relations at the University of Cambridge, and is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the think tank Project on Democratic Union, which supports a full political union of the Eurozone. He also founded and is the President of the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank dedicated to fostering a strong British and European commitment to liberty; constitutional democracy; human rights; governmental and institutional reform; a robust foreign, security, and defense policy; and the transatlantic alliance. His publications include Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire 1714-1783 (2008) and Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (2001).

Transatlantic Relations and Global Governance News

EU “single market for research” now depends on national reforms, study finds
16 September 2014 – Europa
According to a report by the European Commission, the conditions for achieving a European Research Area (ERA), where researchers and scientific knowledge can circulate freely, are in place at the European level. Integrative reforms must now be implemented at the Member State level to make ERA work. The goal of the ERA system is to enable researchers, research institutions and businesses to better move, compete and cooperate across borders. This will strengthen EU Member States' research systems, increase their competitiveness and allow them to work together more effectively to tackle major societal challenges.
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The TTIP Prescription: Expanding Trade Can Speed the Flow of New Medicines
16 September 2014 – Forbes
In addition to cutting tariffs, there are three areas where TTIP can be a prescription for reducing friction in the drug development pipeline: regulatory harmonization, intellectual property protection and enforcement, and market access. As rules currently stand, there are duplicate regulatory requirements between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency - the elimination of which would save companies millions of dollars. Likewise, given that Europe and the U.S. are leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, the harmonization of intellectual property standards can not only facilitate innovation, but also set a standard for other agreements with partners throughout the world. The gains from such reforms hold promise not only for the pharmaceutical industry, but also patients in the EU and U.S. and even throughout the world.
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Team Juncker - connecting the EU's digital dots
16 September 2014 – The Parliament Magazine
According to European Commission President Juncker, the creation of a digital single market can generate up to €250bn of additional growth in Europe by 2019. Creating such a market will involve the creation of a business environment that enables firms to take their activities online and across borders, safely and at reasonable cost as well as high-speed mobile connectivity reaching into the most remote rural areas and learning opportunities for those not born into the digital age.
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Turkey Mulling Buffer Zone with Iraq, Syria
16 September 2014 – Defense News
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that the Turkish military, threatened by the emergence of a radical self-declared Islamist state at its doorstep, is considering creating a buffer zone along the country’s nearly 900-mile border with Syria and Iran. A diplomat dealing with Syria and Iran said that the plan, if endorsed, would mean a defensive posture toward the Islamic State, not necessarily an offensive one. Islamic State militants captured large swaths of land in northern Syria and Iraq this summer and has become a “de facto neighbor” of Turkey. In June, the IS attacked Turkey’s consulate in Mosul, northern Iraq, and took 49 Turks, including the consul general, hostage. They remain in captivity. Last week, after meetings with U.S. state and defense secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel in Ankara, Turkey ruled out any active participation in a fight against the Islamic State. Nor would the country allow the U.S. to use its air base in southern Turkey for attacks against militants, but would allow for humanitarian operations from its soil.
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Topic: EU Membership in Five Years and without Opt-Outs, Says Spanish Minister
16 September 2014 – The Telegraph
Spanish European Affairs Minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo said Scotland will have to reapply for EU membership post-independence. President-Elect Jean-Claude Juncker implied that this could take up to five years. As a new applicant, Scotland would enjoy none of the UK’s opt-outs, including the budget rebate, Schengen, or the euro. No candidate country has obtained an opt-out during the accession process. The Spanish minister said Scotland would have to agree to the single currency. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland would be able to iron out the terms of its membership of the EU before independence becomes effective in 2016. With secessionist movements in their own countries, Belgium and Spain will not look fondly on an independent Scotland. “There is no way that the EU won’t want to keep oil-rich, fishing-rich, renewable energy-rich Scotland. And we will keep the pound, because joining the euro is entirely voluntary—as the example of Sweden shows. We have no intention of joining the euro, and don’t even qualify for membership even if we did,” a spokesman for the nationalist campaign said.
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Seven Lessons from the Eurozone on the Dangers for an Independent Scotland
16 September 2014 – Forbes
If Scotland votes for independence on Thursday, the country could possibly negotiate a currency union with the remainder of the UK, informally use the pound sterling, adopt the euro, or create their own currency. On Scotland’s future currency, the country could learn from the fiscal and monetary experiences of Eurozone countries, writes Raoul Ruparel of Forbes. Scotland may not have the Bank of England as its lender of last resort, and Scottish banks may not be able to borrow from the central bank. As a result, banks could leave Scotland. If Scotland does secure a currency union, it would be handing over its fiscal independence to the UK Government. The Bank of England’s interest rates and pound’s exchange rates could be to strong or weak for the Scottish economy. ECB interest rates were too low for Ireland, which suffered from a property bubble as a result, and too high for Portugal, resulting in a stagnant economy. Eurozone reform is unfinished and the economic outlook is weak, so the euro is not an appealing option for the time being. 
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Unleashing Capital
15 September 2014 – Breaking Views
Jean-Claude Juncker, incoming president of the European Commission, has declared a goal of bringing about “a well-regulated and integrated capital markets union, encompassing all member states, by 2019…” The Union, however, is currently suffering from “clogged up and fragmented markets, which are a fraction of the size of their U.S. equivalents.” To combat this congestion, the aim of the capital markets union should be to develop strong sources of non-bank finance that can fund jobs and economic growth. In creating the union, new regulations will have to be established, while tearing others down, in order to unify and unleash these alternative sources of capital funding.
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Scottish “Yes” Vote Could Have Major Impact On UK Defense
15 September 2014 – Aviation Week 
On Septepmber 18, the results of the Scottish independence referendum are set to change the defense plans of the British Isles. There are few, if any, drafted defense plans to deal with the possible transition to an independent Scotland. While the 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) significantly downsized the armed forces’ presence in Scotland—in particular for the Royal Air Force—it remains home to Britain’s Trident armed ballistic missile submarines, the country’s collective nuclear deterrent. While fighter aircraft and soldiers can be moved easily, relocating the nuclear deterrent would be a major headache for defense planners. In the event Scotland forces Britain to remove the submarines quickly, without the necessary infrastructure in place to support them immediately available elsewhere, this may result in the potential unilateral disarmament of the country’s nuclear capability, a move that would not go down well with NATO partners and probably the EU – two organizations that Scotland aspires to join. The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) own rhetoric on the Tridents is clear, calling them an “affront to basic decency with its indiscriminate and inhuman destructive power.” The nationalists also claim that while Scotland currently pays in 10% of the current UK defense budget of £34 billion, only around half comes back. 
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The Streets Are Empty As The Shells Keep Falling In Eastern Ukraine
16 September 2014 – NPR
Since Sunday, over six people have died from shelling in Donetsk. The rebels who still hold control over the vast Donetsk region are mandating that the Kiev government recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic and vacate Ukrainian military positions. As an extra 500 OSCE monitors recently dispatched to Ukraine survey the streets of Donetsk, the rhetoric of a ceasefire rings hollow as shells keep raining down on the eastern Ukrainian city. A new surplus of Ukrainian police line the embattled streets while the government lead by Poroshenko stresses there is a ceasefire. 
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An independent Scotland would also mean an exit from EU, NATO
16 September 2014 – Associated Press
Residents in Scotland have a unique opportunity this week to vote for independence from the United Kingdom. Doing so would have significant ramifications, including the loss of the Pound Sterling and membership in the EU, Schengen Area, and NATO. A major decision point in the debate over independence is Scottish opposition to nuclear weapons being based in Scotland. Currently, the UK nuclear deterrent includes the Royal Navy's four Trident missile-carrying submarines based on the Clyde River. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, declined to comment on the independence campaign. However if Scotland does depart from the UK and NATO,  new ways will have to be found to patrol vital shipping routes in the North Atlantic and North Sea, and Scotland will lose a 65-year old security assurance.
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Topic: OECD Calls for Greater Stimulus Action from European Central Bank
15 September 2014 – Multiple sources
The European Central Bank must initiate quantitative easing, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said, to boost inflation and consumer demand. The OECD revised its 2014 predicted growth for the Eurozone to 0.8% from 1.2% in May. The OECD also cut its forecast for the U.S. from 2.6% to 2.1% but increased its 2015 estimate to 3.1%. “Given the low-growth outlook and the risk that demand could be further sapped if inflation remains near zero, or even turns negative, the OECD recommends more monetary support for the euro area,” the report stated. “Recent actions by the European Central Bank are welcome, but further measures, including quantitative easing, are warranted.” Quantitative easing would be an unprecedented step for the ECB, which is currently studying the feasibility of this measure. On the other hand, the Bank of England, Bank of Japan, and Federal Reserve have all implemented it in the past. In July, the International Monetary Fund also pressed the ECB to enact quantitative easing, particularly if inflation deteriorates further.
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European Central Bank (ECB) Publishes Final List of “Significant Supervised Entities” in Preparation for Banking Union
15 September 2014 – JDSupra Business Advisor
A list of credit institutions, financial holding companies and mixed financial holding companies was established for the purposes of the Eurozone’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), which will come into effect on 4 November 2014. The SSM will implement a substantial shift in banking supervisory powers from EU national regulators (NCAs) to the ECB, even allowing for the fact that the UK, Sweden and the Czech Republic have decided to remain outside. Some of the ECB’s new regulatory responsibilities will include supervising significant credit institutions’ compliance with prudential requirements as well as associated regulatory reporting and public disclosure obligations as well as assessing significant credit institutions’ recovery plans, and trigger early intervention where a credit institution appears unlikely to be able to comply with relevant prudential requirements.
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Ukraine Faces Backlash over EU Trade Deal
15 September 2014 - Multiple Sources
Last November, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an EU trade deal, leading to his ouster and the institution of a pro-Western government in Kiev. President Poroshenko, faced by threats of Russian retaliation, has temporarily delayed implementing a part of the same trade deal. Russia currently wields massive influence over Kiev's decision-making, including the demonstrated willingness to militarily intervene in Ukraine's east, the unmonitored delivery of "aid convoys" to rebel-controlled territory, and trade restrictions that could cripple 10% of Ukraine's economy. Poroshenko's decision was met by an overwhelmingly negative response from European leaders, resignations from cabinet members such as Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivskiy, and rallies from political opponents preparing for the October 26 elections.
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Indo-Russian Jet Program Moving Forward
15 September 2014 – DefenseNews
A Russian diplomat in India confirmed that India and Russia have managed to sort out an agreement on the Fifth Generational Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) program, which is expected to build 200 jets at a cost of $30 billion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin discussed the matter during a summit in Brazil in July and agreed that the FGFA deal should move forward. Both countries have invested $295 million so far. India has wanted to boost its workshare from 18 percent to more than 25 percent. The Russian diplomat said India’s share will steadily increase to 40 percent as the Indian industry matures, especially with respect to incorporating sophisticated technology into the aircraft. In 2010, officials signed a preliminary agreement between India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau to jointly produce the FGFA for use by both countries, but a final accord to begin production has been pending over designs and labor divisions. A Ministry of External Affairs source said that India and Russia will sign a final agreement on the program by year’s end.
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OECD sees global economy held back by slow Eurozone
15 September 2014 – BBC News
A slowdown in the Eurozone’s recovery has slowed global economic growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revised its Eurozone and U.S. forecasts from 1.2% in May to 0.9% and 2.6% to 2.1% respectively. British and Japanese GDP were also not anticipated to grow at as fast a rate as was previously thought for the year. The OECD’s prediction for China remained unchanged, while the only economy to have its GDP growth revised upward was India. Following a change in leadership, the Indian economy is anticipated to grow at 5.7%.
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EU brainstorm ways of bringing billions of euro into its ailing economy
14 September 2014 – Malta Today
EU authorities are struggling to find ways to stimulate the economy without sending debt levels to even higher levels. Two proposed options include the creation of a pan-European capital market as well as a joint EU fund worth €700 billion. The EU’s economy is still struggling to recover from the financial crisis and grew only 0.1% last year while around 25 million EU citizens remain unemployed, almost twice the number in the United States. EU finance ministers have asked the European Commission, the EU executive, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to come up with a range of projects that would create growth. One major aim is to allow European companies access to credit lines to facilitate expansion, however these have been harder to attain since the crisis.
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As Fed, ECB Act, Other Central Banks Drift
14 September 2014 – The Wall Street Journal
The European Central Bank cut its main interest rate and announced private sector asset purchases last week. The Federal Reserve is anticipated to raise interest rates in the near future. The ECB’s stimulus ensures liquidity will remain in the unlikely case the Federal Reserve raises rates on Wednesday. Other central banks are concerned the ECB’s actions could increase their currencies’ values and make their countries’ less competitive. The Swiss National Bank has sought to keep its currency at 0.83 Swiss franc or less to the euro to maintain competitive exports, while the Danish central bank reduced rates to keep the krone pegged to the euro. Interest rates have remained the same in Canada and Japan since the fall of 2010. Eastern European and Scandinavian countries will likely postpone expected interest rate hikes in light of ECB’s actions.
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Trade talks “must include healthcare”
13 September 2014 – BBC News
One major protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement coming out of Britain is the fear that it will undermine the National Health Service (NHS) system. Due to this fear, many have advocated the removal of healthcare related topics from the treaty. A UK Health Minister, however, disagrees, saying that exempting health would not be in the interest of British pharmaceutical and medical technology firms, which currently face trade barriers in the U.S. Targeting specifically claims that the agreement would undermine NHS contracts, EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht noted that "[p]ublic services are always exempted - there is no problem about exemption…”
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Single market means “more jobs for British workers”
12 September 2014 – The Parliament Magazine
European Commissioner László Andor explains how the EU has adopted a program called the “youth guarantee,” which will ensure that, within four months of leaving school or losing a job, young people can either find a job suited to their education, skills and experience or acquire the education, skills and experience required to find a job in the future. The commissioner also noted how the EU laws have created greater equality in the workplace throughout the Union and implemented worker protections that have benefitted European workers and protected countries with stronger worker rights from competition with countries with less stringent protections. Countries such as Britain have also benefitted from the free movement of labor, which has, due to differential tax policies, resulted in a lower tax bill for British citizens.
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Vulture funds could hold crisis-hit EU nations to ransom
12 September 2014 – EurActiv
Some EU nations voted against a recent UN resolution that creates a legal framework for restructuring the sovereign debt of countries in a financial crisis. This new framework intends to prevent “vulture funds” from upending the traditional debt restructuring process in which creditors collaborate with the debtor nation to write off a share of their claims in order to get a debtor back on its feet. “Vultures” separately sue the debtor nation in court for full repayment on their claims, and typically receive a judgment approaching (if not matching) the total value of their investment.
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Finland's Economic Fate Hinges on Russia as Relations Worsen
12 September 2014 – Bloomberg
As Western sanctions on Russia intensify, European leaders are increasingly forced to decide how much they are willing to hurt their own economies in order to achieve political goals. For Finland, which has the EU's longest border with Russia, this worry has become reality. About 14% of Finland's trade is with Russia. Due to Western sanctions on Russian banks and dual-use machinery or electronics, and Russian retaliatory sanctions on EU farm goods, Finland's total imports and exports are about 20% below normal levels. For an economy that has contracted in two of the last three quarters and significantly relies on Russian trade, this sanctions spiral could be disastrous. In spite of this threat, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has declared this critical moment to be a "matter of war and peace" and has decided that these sanctions, however self-harming in the short term, are politically crucial in the long term.
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Shop bosses plan new “Yes” vote warning
12 September 2014 – BBC News
British retail businesses are to warn Scottish consumers of higher retail prices in the event of Scottish independence. Marks and Spencer, John Lewis, and Asda are among the businesses anticipated to endorse a letter written by the Kingfisher group, a British home improvement retail company, warning the Scottish public of higher prices. However, Business for Scotland CEO Gordon Macintyre Kemp sees no justification for higher retail prices. Timpson Chairman John Timpson, who has signed the letter, said: “The biggest problem is uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen for instance on tax and business rates. My concern is the likelihood that these would go up. If our costs do increase, we certainly wouldn’t put prices up. But we would make less money and we’d have to think very hard over whether we would open any more stores north of the border.” However, other businesses have said higher costs would be passed on to the consumer. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will be absent from the upcoming G20 meeting in anticipation of the referendum results. Asset management company Aegon UK and a number of other financial institutions said they would re-register their businesses south of the border in the event of independence.
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Prague pledges to do “everything” to join euro in four years
11 September 2014 – EurActiv
Bohuslav Sobotka’s government hopes the Czech Republic can join the single currency in the near future despite declining enthusiasm from voters. “This country will do everything it can to be ready in four years,” Czech First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Petr Drulák said. The Czech government has called for single European energy market. Only 18.2% of Czech voters bothered to vote in the European elections in May, demonstrating widespread disillusionment with the European Union. However, the government has said its attitude and relations with the European Union have changed.
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Draghi Urges Eurozone Governments to Increase Investment Efforts
11 September 2014 – The Wall Street Journal
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi wants governments provide greater lending and investment. “If we don’t manage to get investment going again, we will weaken the economy in the short run and undermine its prospects in the long run,” the ECB President said. Eurozone inflation fell to an annual rate of 0.03% in August, forcing the ECB to cut its main interest rate to 0.05% and announce the beginning of asset purchases in October. However, this monetary stimulus will not be enough on its own, and Draghi said: “Only if structural, fiscal and monetary policies go hand in hand will the euro area see investment return.” Given its balanced budget and low borrowing rates, Germany could increase its investment without breaking the EU’s strict fiscal rules. With private sector asset purchases soon to be implemented and interest rates as low as feasible, the ECB’s next move if the economy does not improve will likely be government bond purchases or quantitative easing, some observers think. However, there is still a lot of opposition, particularly from Germany, to quantitative easing.
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World shares gain as Scotland poll eases nerves
11 September 2014 – Reuters
European shares edged up and sterling rose from multi-month lows on Thursday after a poll showing most Scots intend to vote against independence next week alleviated concerns over the United Kingdom's future. A new poll out yesterday conducted on behalf of the Daily Record newspaper showed 47 percent intending to vote "Yes" to independence and 53 percent against. Other recent surveys had put the rival campaigns neck-and-neck.
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Congressional inaction blamed for weakening U.S. hand in TTIP
11 September 2014 – Chemical Watch
Chemical industry leaders blame Congress for not providing the President with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which they believe is undermining U.S. interests in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement (TTIP). TPA, also known as “fast-track authority,” would transfer negotiation authority to the executive branch, bypassing potential Congressional stagnation. This move has been resisted by some however, as there are fears that this would result in a lack of transparency, sheltering key provisions from public scrutiny.
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EU seeks compromise with Russia over Ukraine free-trade pact
11 September 2014 – Reuters
The EU is offering Russia more time to adjust before the full implementation of the trade agreement between the EU and Ukraine, which was the spark of the current crisis in that country. The goals of a meeting Friday with representatives from the EU, Ukraine and Russia include ensuring Russian companies that exports to Ukraine will not be penalized by the higher trade standards that Kiev must adopt once the pact comes into force in November. As part of the deal, Ukrainian companies will receive European technical assistance and funds to help adapt to EU regulations. But without some kind of agreement with the European Union, Russia would have to put up its own funds to help its companies modernize and comply with EU standards.
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Poland calls for €700bn EU spending round
11 September 2014 – Financial Times
Poland’s Finance Minister, Mateusz Szczurek, has called on the EU to boost spending by €700 billion over the next five years to boost growth. The minister’s comments are in line with calls from Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, suggesting that countries with strong fiscal positions could spend more to stave off the threat of deflation and restore growth. The proposal is likely to encounter resistance from Germany, however, which has been a strong advocate for austerity and structural reform as means to restoring financial stability.
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OSCE drones to monitor Ukraine ceasefire
11 September 2014 - Multiple sources
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has become a de facto mediator in the Ukraine crisis, has announced the deployment of surveillance drones designed to monitor the shaky ceasefire declared last week. Current OSCE Chairman and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter hopes that the drones will enable a reassessment of the situation and potentially end the spiral of escalation. Meanwhile, Western leaders are preparing yet another round of sanctions designed to punish Russia for directly intervening in the crisis and giving munitions, supplies, and training to rebels. Russian President Putin, on the other hand, accused Western leaders of fomenting the Ukrainian crisis to revitalize the NATO alliance.
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Ukraine crisis: EU to slap new sanctions on Russia "on Friday"
11 September 2014 – BBC News
New EU sanctions on the Russian economy will come into effect on Friday. Russia will implement countersanctions “commensurate with the economic losses” and has threatened to bar foreign airlines from its airspace. One thousand Russian troops are still inside Ukraine, and 20,000 are close to the border, NATO said. Travel bans and asset freezes will be placed on more Russian officials and pro-Russian separatist leaders, and western lending to state-owned petroleum companies will be restricted. Although some EU countries wanted to wait and monitor a recent ceasefire between the separatists and the Ukrainian government, Germany persuaded them to go ahead with the sanctions. The content of the new EU sanctions were agreed to last Friday, but their implementation was postponed because of the ceasefire concluded on the same day.
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Russia reduces gas exports to Poland
11 September 2014 – BBC News
Poland’s publicly owned gas company, PGNiG, said Russian natural gas exports have fallen by 45%. Russia is likely reprimanding Poland for selling gas back to Ukraine. Russia ended its sales of natural gas to the Ukraine in June due to a pricing dispute. Poland had stopped pumping natural gas back to Ukraine a few hours before Russian imports were decreased. On Wednesday, Gazprom repudiated Poland’s claim that it had cut gas exports to the country. The Russian state-owned natural gas company said: “…the same volume of gas is being delivered to Poland as on previous days—23m cubic metres daily.” Slovakia and Hungary have not witnessed a reduction in their Russian gas imports despite pumping more back to Ukraine than Poland.
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Scottish independence: RBS confirms London HQ move if Scotland votes “Yes”
11 September 2014 – BBC News
The Royal Bank of Scotland said it would move its registered headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scots vote for independence on September 18. A “…decision to move our registered headquarters would have no impact on our everyday banking services used by our customers in Scotland,” RBS CEO Ross McEwan wrote. He added that “[i]t is not an intention to move operations or jobs.” A number of banks plan to register themselves in the remainder of the UK to remain under the Bank of England’s banking regulations. Registering in the rest of the UK will not affect their employment or operations in Scotland. Independence will not be effective immediately, and there would be a transition period in which the UK and Scottish Governments discuss the terms of independence. 
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UPS CFO: Transatlantic Trade Deal Would Benefit Skeptical Small Firms
10 September 2014 – Global Atlanta
Suspicion of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) remains high among small- to medium-sized companies despite the fact that these firms could be among the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the EU. The agreement that seeks to harmonize a wide range of export and tariff regulations is often perceived as being of advantage primarily to large multinational corporations with huge budgets to absorb the risks inherent in international trade. Mr. Kuehn, Chief Financial Officer of United Parcel Service, noted however that smaller firms also have problems with industry-specific barriers, which are to be resolved through the ongoing TTIP negotiations.
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EU's Juncker offers Britain banking olive branch
10 September 2014 – Reuters
On Wednesday, European Commission President-Elect Jean-Claude Juncker appointed former Leader of the House of Lords Jonathan Hill to the new financial services commission post, which will supervise the Eurozone’s new banking union. Analysts had thought the UK would be allotted the less significant energy and climate change post. “Financial services is a very significant sector here in the UK…so we welcome that and look forward to working with Lord Hill and the entire Commission-designate,” the British prime minister’s spokesman said. The City of London is the European Union’s largest financial services hub. British euroskepticism has increased, as the European Union assumes a greater supervisory and regulatory role over the banking sector. “In the context of British membership of the EU, it demonstrates that other member states are keen to listen to the reform perspective Britain has put forward,” TheCityUK CEO Chris Cummings said. Green MEP Philippe Lamberts said: “I don't know if it’s a joke or a provocation. This is unacceptable.”
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Trans-Atlantic Trends Survey: Europeans Want NATO Focus on Territorial Defense
10 September 2014 – Defense News
According to the results of a survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., a significant majority of Europeans (73 percent) say NATO should be engaged in the territorial defense of Europe, compared to 59 percent of Americans and 57 percent of Turks. While a majority of Americans (53 percent) said that NATO should provide arms or training to other countries to help defend themselves, a majority of Europeans (52 percent) disagreed. Both Europeans (61 percent) and Americans (58 percent) agreed that NATO is still essential to their security. While the American desire for EU leadership had fallen from 72 percent in the 2010 survey to 57 percent in the 2013 survey, the number was back up to 70 percent in the 2014 survey. Ian Lesser, senior director, foreign and security policy at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., interpreted the U.S. figure as “a desire for additional burden sharing” to address global security issues.
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A new trans-American partnership
10 September 2014 - AzerNews
In an era of expanding free trade agreements, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, Ernesto Talvi, argues that the United States should look not only to Europe and Asia for trade partnerships, but also to Latin America. Talvi proposes the creation of a new Trans-American Partnership (TAP). The TAP would include the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Pacific Alliance countries, and other Latin American states that already have FTAs with the U.S. It would comprise 620 million consumers, and have a combined GDP of more than $22 trillion (larger than the EU's, and more than double that of China).
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France's Pierre Moscovici Named EU Economic Affairs Chief
10 September 2014 – The Wall Street Journal
The president-elect of the European Union's executive arm nominated his supporting team of commissioners in a strategic act of interest balancing that has not passed without some controversy. The team has some daunting challenges ahead, including the creation of an “energy union,” putting Europe’s finances in order, and continuing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.  Perhaps the greatest challenge will be reinvigorating the European economy given the competing pro-austerity and pro-stimulus voices in the cabinet of commissioners.
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Nomination of Cecilia Malmstrom as EU Trade Envoy Signals Interest in U.S. Talks
10 September 2014 – The New York Times
The selection of Cecilia Malmstrom on Wednesday to be Europe’s new trade chief suggests that Jean-Claude Juncker, the president-elect of the European Commission, is eager to restart stalled talks with the United States on the creation of a trade partnership. Mr. Juncker called on Ms. Malmstrom to focus on working toward a balanced partnership with the U.S. that preserves Europe’s safety, health, social and data protection standards as well as its cultural diversity. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership moves beyond the traditional approach of free-trade deals that were concerned mainly with reducing tariffs. It aims for no less than eliminating barriers like the two regions’ differing standards on chemical products, drugs, auto safety and food to create a vast zone in which goods and services flow unimpeded.
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India willing to go ahead with free trade pact with EU
10 September 2014 – The Economic Times
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared that India is willing to sign a free trade agreement with the EU if it is willing to address some of India’s concerns. Launched in 2007, progress on the Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) between the EU and India has been stalled over concerns such as the need for the EU to grant India “data secure nation status” as well as India’s desire for liberalized visa norms for its professionals and greater market access in services and the pharmaceuticals sector. Likewise, the EU is demanding tax reductions in wines, spirits and dairy products and a strong intellectual property regime as well as duty cuts for automobiles.
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