The Copenhagen Voice

Michael de Laine's Blog – March 2009 Archive (90)

Small EU countries lose influence under majority voting

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, 31 March 2009



Small EU countries lose influence when decisions are made by a qualified majority voting system. They fare best in EU negotiations when decision-making is unanimous and when they must make their voices heard because of various interests.



Small European Union (EU) member states lose influence when decisions are made by a qualified majority voting system, new research shows. The small countries fare best in EU… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 31, 2009 at 14:13 — No Comments

Muslim immigrants like living in Denmark, but want more freedom for their religion – are they a threat to society? UPDATE

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, Copenhagen, 31 March 2009



Most people in Denmark from Muslim countries are satisfied with society in Denmark, and say that their life here is better than in their country of origin. But they find the rights of religious minorities dissatisfying. Few want Danish legislation to reflect Sharia laws, half want a ban on books and films attacking religion, and one in four wants a ban on homosexuality. Three out of four ethnic Danes want… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 31, 2009 at 12:53 — No Comments

Denmark still exceeding UN development aid target, but amount given little changed

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, 30 March 2009



Denmark is still one of only five countries to exceed the UN target for development aid contributions, but its aid spending in 2008 was little changed from 2007, OECD statistics show. The current outlook suggests that 8.3-12.5% must still be added to current forward spending plans if donors are to meet their current 2010 commitments.



Denmark is again one of only five countries to exceed the United Nations (UN)… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 30, 2009 at 16:30 — No Comments

Family circumstances mean women still work fewer hours then men - SFI

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, 30 March 2009



Women work fewer hours than men. Women with small children or two or more children work fewer hours than other women. And people employed by local authorities work fewer hours than their privately employed colleagues. The option of adapting working hours to the needs of a family enables many women to combine job and children, says social research institute SFI.



Women work fewer hours than men and women with… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 30, 2009 at 15:19 — No Comments

EP call to strengthen food aid programme for Europe's poorest people

From the European Parliament’s press section, 26 March 2009



The EU food distribution programme for the most deprived people in Europe must continue under the CAP, says the European Parliament. Since the programme came into being in 1987, millions of needy Europeans have received food from CAP intervention stocks, distributed via charities and social services.



The EU food distribution programme for the most deprived people in Europe must continue within the Common… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 30, 2009 at 13:31 — No Comments

EU-India free trade agreement to be signed by the end of 2010, say MEPs

From the European Parliament’s press section, 26 March 2009



Disappointed with the slow pace of negotiations, MEPs would like to see a free trade agreement signed with India by the end of 2010. The EU and India launched negotiations for an FTA in 2007.



Disappointed with the slow pace of negotiations, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) would like to see a free trade agreement (FTA) signed with India by the end of 2010, in a report adopted in Strasbourg by the… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 30, 2009 at 13:30 — No Comments

MEPs see need for closer and deeper strategic partnership with the USA

From the European Parliament’s press section, 26 March 2009



A new transatlantic partnership is needed to strengthen ties between the EU and America now that Barack Obama has taken office, says the European Parliament (EP). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling for a new institutional architecture including a political council and a joint transatlantic assembly.



The "new transatlantic agenda" dating from 1995 should be replaced by a new transatlantic… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 30, 2009 at 13:00 — No Comments

Russians see armed conflict, economic crisis ahead

By Michael de Laine, the Copenhagen Voice, 27 March 2009



More than a quarter of Russians believe their country will have an armed conflict with a neighbouring country in 2009, according to a survey conducted by Centre for the Study of Public Policy, University of Aberdeen, and the Levada Center, Moscow.



Russians also expect an economic crisis, mass unemployment, strikes and corruption scandals this year.



Click… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 27, 2009 at 23:55 — No Comments

EU must be anchored in legacy of integration and peace - Swedish foreign minister

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, 27 March 2009



Against the backcloth of the global economic crisis, Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt says the mistakes of the past must not be repeated.



Speaking yesterday at Bologna University in Italy, Bildt said, “Instead, we must make sure that the recovery of Europe is firmly anchored in the legacy of integration and peace. What we need, in order to turn the turmoil of today into a hopeful future, is more… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 27, 2009 at 23:30 — No Comments

UNHRC adopts Danish resolution against torture

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, 27 March 2009



The United Nation’s Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has adopted a resolution against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.



Submitted by Denmark, the resolution has 52 cosponsors.



Based to a large extent on ethical principles adopted by health personnel themselves, the resolution has a 'hands on' approach, addressing both health personnel and states.



Among… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 27, 2009 at 21:34 — No Comments

Pakistan, NGOs must be involved in solving Afghan situation

By Michael de Laine, The Copenhagen Voice, Copenhagen, 26 March 2009



Pakistan must be involved in solving the problems of Afghanistan and Asia, while NGOs must be deployed in far greater numbers for reconstruction and other assistance in Afghanistan.



“No single organisation can manage the security challenges facing us today,” said Søren Gade, Denmark's Minister of Defence, at a meeting held at the University of Copenhagen at the end of a two-day meeting with his… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 27, 2009 at 0:04 — No Comments

Therapists still offering treatments for homosexuality despite lack of evidence

From BioMed Central Limited, 26 March 2009



A significant minority of psychiatrists and therapists are still attempting to help lesbian, gay and bisexual clients become heterosexual despite lack of evidence that such treatment is beneficial, safe, or even warranted, according to research published in the open access journal BMC Psychiatry.



The research, funded by the Wellcome Trust, coincides with the launch of the website www.treatmentshomosexuality.org.uk, which gathers… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 26, 2009 at 1:30 — No Comments

EU must improve its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals on poverty, say MEPs

From the European Parliament's press section, 24 March 2009



In the year 2000, the international community, including the European Union (EU), made commitments to halve extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. Currently, most developing countries do not have the resources to meet the eight Millennium Development Goals, so the European Parliament (EP) is calling on the European Commission and the member states to increase and standardise their financial contributions in a report adopted… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 12:48 — No Comments

Supreme Court convicts six for terrorism in Fighters+Lovers case

By Michael de Laine, Copenhagen, 25 March 2009



The Danish Supreme Court has convicted six people of supporting terrorism in the Fighters+Lovers tee-shirt case.



The court gave them suspended sentences, which means they will only end up behind bars if they are convicted of other crimes.



Today's ruling affirms a judgment in the Eastern Division of the High Court, which, however, sent two of the leaders to jail for six months. This followed an appeal against… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 12:39 — No Comments

One year after Lisbon: the Africa-EU partnership at work

From the European Parliament's press section, 24 March 2009



The European Parliament (EP) adopted an own-initiative report drafted by Maria MARTENS (EPP-ED, NL) in response to the Commission Communication "One year after Lisbon: The Africa-EU partnership at work". The report, drafted welcomes the fact that, one year after the adoption of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, the main components of the institutional architecture for its implementation are finally in place. The resolution was… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 12:30 — No Comments

Stop female genital mutilation, says European Parliament

From the European Parliament's press section, 24 March 2009



A clear strategy for banning female genital mutilation on European Union (EU) territory and the need to acknowledge the problem in EU immigration law and cooperation agreements are among the key points of a report adopted by the European Parliament aimed at stamping out this practice.



An alternative resolution was broadly backed by Parliament with 647 votes in favour, 10 against and 24… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 12:11 — No Comments

Multilingualism: an asset for Europe

From the European Parliament's press section, 24 March 2009



EU citizens must be helped and encouraged to learn languages other than their own if they are to derive full economic, social and cultural benefit from freedom of movement, says a report adopted by the European Parliament.



An alternative resolution was adopted with 335 votes in favour, 279 against and 69 abstentions replacing the original report from the Culture Committee.



The report is a… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 12:05 — No Comments

Gordon Brown: EU must take the lead in reforming global financial institutions

From the European Parliament's press section, 24 March 2009



Europe must take the lead in finding solutions to the global crisis at next week's G20 summit, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in a speech in Strasbourg on Tuesday that was warmly welcomed by leaders of the main political groups. The group leaders of the smaller political groups questioned whether the UK's economy was well placed to recover.



"Today we enjoy… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 11:59 — No Comments

Malaysian opposition newspapers suspended in ongoing government crackdown

From Amnesty International, 25 March 2009



Two newspapers run by Malaysia's opposition parties have been suspended by the Home Ministry for three months, effective from Monday.



The suspensions appear to be part of an ongoing government led crackdown on an array of perceived opponents, ranging from bloggers and people attending political rallies to opposition parliamentarians.



The newspapers Harakah, which is linked to the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS),… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 11:49 — No Comments

EU expanding its 'sphere of influence,' Russia says

From EUObserver.com, 21 March 2009



The Eastern Partnership is an attempt by the European Union (EU) to expand its "sphere of influence" in the quest for hydrocarbons, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said, in Moscow's first major broadside against the new policy.



"We are accused of having spheres of influence. But what is the Eastern Partnership, if not an attempt to extend the EU's sphere of influence, including to Belarus," the minister said on Saturday (21… Continue

Added by Michael de Laine on March 25, 2009 at 10:21 — No Comments

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