Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Monday for the European Union to follow Trump's example by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The prime minister said on a visit to Brussels that Trump's decision made peace in the Middle East possible "because recognition of reality is the substance of peace, the foundation of peace." European Union ministers, however, condemned the US president's decision. Netanyahu has been angered by the EU's search for closer trade ties with Iran, saying that Trump's decision, rather than condemned by Palestinians and Europeans, should be repeated by them. EU foreign ministers reiterated the bloc's position that the land Israel has occupied since a war in 1967 - including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights - are not part of the country's internationally recognized borders.

France insisted that the status of Jerusalem can only be defined in a final agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. Even the closest allies in Israel, such as the Czech Republic, have warned that Trump's decision undermines peace efforts. Lubomir Zaoralek, Czech Foreign Minister, said: "I'm afraid he can not help us" when asked by reporters about Trump's decision to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem. However, this same minister said last week that he would begin to consider the transfer of the Czech embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which many in Israel saw as a support for the US president. But then Prague said that it accepted Israel's sovereignty only over Western Jerusalem.

 

 

Source: EXTRA Newspaper

In Europe, an ultranationalist group that classifies itself as "identitary" aims to prevent more refugees and migrants from reaching the continent. The group consists predominantly of young people and has members in different countries. Lorenzo Fiato, one of the leaders of the movement in Italy, says that "born Europeans are being replaced" and that "The Islamic religion offers a risk of disturbing public order and social and cultural values."

In May 2017, the group secured an inflatable boat to delay aid to Médecins Sans Frontières in the Mediterranean on a rescue mission. With this, the group itself states that the donations exceeded $ 100,000 dollars. Part of that money will be used to get a larger boat that will depart from the Italian coast to the Mediterranean with the aim of hampering the work of NGOs that rescue refugees and immigrants. The mission was called Defend Europe.

 

Source: NEXO Newspaper

On November 15, in Austria, the FPO (Freedom Party, ultra-nationalist right-wing) was able to form part of the coalition that will govern the country, increasing almost six percentage points when compared to the results of the party in 2013 (from 20.5 % to 26%). It is a similar situation to Germany, where AfD (Alternative to Germany) became the country's third largest force in Parliament despite Merkel's victory.

Although not achieving first place, both in Germany and Austria, it is possible to perceive ultranationalist growth in Europe, increasing the electoral competitiveness of this political sector. Similar situation to those two countries occurred in France during the Macron elections, with candidate Marie Le Pen (National Front) being defeated only in the second round of presidential elections, with 34.5% of the votes. In France, however, this increase in votes did not mean a greater power for ultranationalists, whether in Parliament, prefectures or presidency, as was the case in Germany and Austria.

 

Source: NEXO Newspaper

The UK government has announced that the Brexit will take place on 29 March 2019 at 11 pm local time. Such precision will be included in the form of amendment to the bill of exit of the European Union, still to be debated in Parliament.

Brexit's minister, David Davis, said the amendment was intended to "avoid any confusion" as some MEPs worried that the enforcement was not in law.

This bill came after the referendum in June 2016 and after Prime Minister Theresa May formalized, also on a March 29, the intention of her country to leave the European Union.

 

Source: G1

On Friday, 27 October, the Catalan Parliament adopted a resolution to begin the process of independence of the Autonomous Community. By seventy-two votes in favor, ten against and two abstentions, Carles Puigdemont achieved a significant victory. During the process, parties opposed to voting (Citizens, Popular Party and Socialist Party) decided to leave the House in an attempt to boycott.

Soon after the approval of the declaration of independence, the Spanish Senate approved an intervention of Madrid in the Catalan government, giving Mariano Rajoy the right to dissolve the Parliament of the Autonomous Community and to call elections. Such measures are covered by Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution, and the decision by its application had two hundred and fourteen votes in favor, forty-seven opposing votes and one abstention in the Upper House.

It is necessary to emphasize the importance of Catalonia to Spain, since sixteen percent of the population lives there, nineteen percent of the national GDP and much of the income from tourism come from the area. The independence of the Community would be a loss for Spain and also for the European Union in political, economic and social terms; and also for Catalonia itself.

Sources: O Globo and BBC Brasil

European Union insists on free trade negotiations with Mercosur despite opposition from France

Two months into the estimated time of Mercosur and the European Union to conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement, the process, started almost twenty years ago, again is at risk of being paralyzed. The problem this time is the desire of French President Emmanuel Macron to update the mandate given by the European governments to the European Commission (executive arm of the bloc) to negotiate with the South American bloc, an idea that he will defend on Thursday, at a summit in Brussels.

If European leaders agree to the idea, negotiations should be suspended until the new mandate is issued, a process that could take more than two years.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was not in a hurry to reach an agreement with Mercosur beef exporting countries - Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - and managed to include trade on the agenda of the EU leaders' summit. "We had a brief moment just after midnight to discuss international trade," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference after a meeting of leaders on Friday.

Juncker said Europe has a great opportunity to conclude trade agreements with countries around the world, respecting European values and standards and "reciprocity sought by the French president." "We will continue to do everything we can to complete the negotiations with Mercosur before the end of the year. Is important. We underestimate the importance of Mercosur to the European Union, "he said. The European entrepreneurs' representative does not rule out Macron's maneuver at this week's summit as a time-wasting strategy against pressure from French farmers dissatisfied with the EU's offer to open beef and ethanol in the last round of negotiations with Mercosur earlier this month in Brasilia. "Farmers have feared the impact of increased competition, Macron has been elected recently, is trying to calm the situation," said Pieter Cleppe, director of the Center for Reflection Center for Open Europe in Brussels.

The European Union will insist on concluding free trade talks with Mercosur by the end of the year, leaders said, despite France's reservations about the series of agricultural imports that the agreement would bring. In the case of Mercosur, Europeans have for years dealt with an internally divided bloc, recalls Eleonora Catella, commercial adviser to the European business association Business Europe. "In the past, Mercosur had political problems and there were differences between the level of openness that each country wanted. Today we see that these countries, for the first time, are on the same page with a high level of ambition." According to the European executive who participates in the negotiations, the South American bloc "is not more difficult than other" countries with which the European Union has recently concluded agreements.

 

Sources: Reuters and BBC Brazil

 

Elections in the Czech Republic

Legislative elections in the Czech Republic ended last Saturday with a sweeping victory by the populist and conservative party, which will bring a millionaire to the post of Prime Minister Andrej Babis. The subject, the second richest in the country, is agribusiness and telecommunications entrepreneur. His party was elected with a speech to bar the deepening of the European Union, to prevent the country from entering the euro zone, and, of course - as can be said, a strong anti-corruption Andrej himself to be investigated for misappropriation of European subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy, the CAP).

 

 

Note: the summary was made by Pedro Corgozinho, oriented by the Professor Jamile Bergamaschine Mata Diz and monitor of the optional lecture given by the same professor.

Seduced by the easy debate about the tyranny of the Rajoy government, few have realized the importance of yesterday's events in Catalonia for the European Union and for a greater debate on national states and their constitutions. Although the second debate interests me too much, it is about the first one I came to speak: what would an independence of Catalonia mean for the European Union in Brexit's time?

 

Brussels has already expressed itself. The European Commission's text is too careful and fails to emphasize the violence against the Catalans. But, the goal is to give this message:

 

"If a referendum were organized in accordance with the Spanish Constitution it would mean that the resulting territory would be outside the European Union."

 

Two points have to be highlighted:

 

1. The independence of Catalonia does not mean a 29th European Member State. On the contrary, it means an important territory less in the European space. The rules of the Treaties would be followed, meaning that the new national State would be placed outside the Union and, if it wished, it would have to claim entry into the Union and go through the same procedure of years to which all states must submit in this litigation.

 

2. The note from the European Commission emphasizes that the Spanish constitution must be observed in order for the Union to recognize the legitimacy of the independence process. It is a very rich source of reflection for us that study the Union and its relation with the sovereignties of the member States. In practice, the Union is saying: secession processes are not our responsibility, but of the member State; to us, the Union, it is only necessary to ascertain that the process took place within the constitutional legality to recognize it as legitimate or not.

 

On the question that I said at the beginning, which was not the subject of this publication, I leave a provocation: have you thought about what could be behind this weakening of constitutions around the world? The current time is of blows and weakening of popular recognition of the legitimacy of constitutions. There are consequences for the people and I would say that we are already feeling them in Brazil, and that the picture tends to get worse. Personal opinion: if I were Catalan, I would be fighting for unity and respect for the constitution. Recalling that any constitution can be modified, reformed, provided that the process is legitimate; already the pure and simple disrespect to the constitutions, well, history has already shown that it is a dark path.

 

Note from the European Commission, published on 20 October:

 

 

 

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20171002/431745498921/comunicado-comision-europea-catalunya-1o.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=politica&utm_campaign=lv

 

 

 

Note: the summary was made by Pedro Corgozinho, oriented by the Professor Jamile Bergamaschine Mata Diz and monitor of the optional lecture given by the same professor.

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