Tag Archives: EU


EU JAPAN – Economic partnership agreement

EU JAPAN economic partnership agreement

Author : Lorenzo Giusepponi

Translated by : Matteo Aristei

January 2018

Japan and Europe will be closer and there will be greater opportunities for the companies of both countries about their respective export markets . On the 7th December, the president of EU Commission Jean -Claude Juncker and the Japanese premier Shinzo Abe have announced the negotiation ‘ s finalisation for a free trade agreement that has begun in 2013, and it will cover the 30 % of the world GDP and a block of 600 million people, underlining the common willingness to send to the entire world a strong message in favour of free trade and against protectionism . Now a complex procedure for the official signature will be opened, it is expected for the next summer and it concerns the debate of the remaining technical questions until the achieving of a final text . Then, the agreement has to be approved by both European Parliament and parliaments of each Member States . Both parts foresee that the agreement will enter into force at the beginning of 2019 .

General framework

The EU companies export already to japan goods for over 58 billions euros and services for 28 billions . Furthermore, Japan is the fourth biggest market for the agricultural exportation of EU, and they are worth 20 times higher than the Japanese exportation in the Union . However, European companies are facing obstacles in trade when they export in Japan .
With the EU JAPAN Economic Partnership Agreement, farming communities and producers of food and drink will access easier to the Japanese market, with higher possibilities to sell their products to 127 millions Japanese consumer .

Food sector

Japanese consumer appreciate high quality european products such as wine, cheese, chocolate, pigmeat and pasta, but Japan requires high customs duties on these products and other european food and drink : 30 – 40 % on cheese, 38,5 % on pigmeat, 15 % on wine, until the 24 % on pasta and 30 % on chocolate . Thanks to this agreement, Japan will remove customs duties more than the 90 % of agricultural exportation of EU from the first day and will acknowledge 205 geographical indications that are chosen by Member States for their real and potential exportation value in the Japanese market . As a result, only products with such status can be sold in Japan . This will make illegal to sell imitation products and will ensure to japanese consumers that they are buying a real european product .

Food security

Japanese rules on food security, as well as the european ones, are between the most demanding in the world . For example, Japan doesn’t allow the use of growth hormone in the production of bovine meat, and the legislation that regulates GMO is very important for japan consumers . Like for other Union ’ s economic agreements, the EU JAPAN agreement won’t certainly prejudice the european level of protection in matter such as food security . All the imports of products of animal origin in the EU from Japan will continue , in addition to they must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate, as is the case today .


Japan is the fourth leading economy in the world and is the second biggest trade partner of EU in Asian after China . However for Europe, Japan is only the seventh exportation market. Experts foresee that the facilities of exportation in Japan will lead to benefits for EU companies which produce and trade agri – food products as well as electrical machinery, pharmaceutical products, medical devices, means of transport, textile products and clothing . In fact, european exportation of transformed food in Japan could increase of 180 %, that is equal to an increasing of sales until 10 billions of euro . In addition, since Japan has accepted to adapt rules related to car to the international rules used by EU, for car manufacturers in EU will be easier sell their vehicles in Japan . Furthermore, since that every billion euro of exportation from Eu to japan corresponds to 14.000 job in Europe, the more Europe exports, the more it will be possible create and protect employments .


It is estimated that a developed economy like the EU one or the Japan one, the purchase of goods and services from the State represent over the 15 % of the total economy . It is a big market, full of trade opportunities . Thanks to the EU JAPAN agreement, EU will obtain a better access to japanese calls of tender in terms of central,regional and local administration . One of the EU’s priority in negotiations was to ensure a higher access to the japanese market of rail infrastructure . Japan has partly accepted and has decided to open contracts to EU tenderers for hospitals, academic institutions and energy distribution as well as grant to EU suppliers a not discriminatory access to the contracts market of 48 cities of about 300.000 people which represent the 15% of the country’s population . For its part, EU has partially accepted to open its market of rail plants for public transport in the city and has granted to Japan a better access to contracts which are organised by municipality .

Environmental protection

EU undertakes to ensure that its trade policy favours sustainable development .
The EU JAPAN economic partnership agreement is no exception . Moreover, EU and Japan undertake to : protect and handle natural resources in a sustainable way, address biodiversity problems ( also fighting illegal logging ) and practice a sustainable fishing .

Article sources for EU JAPAN :

- ec.europa.eu
- www.ilsole24ore.com
- video


Antidumping EU

Antidumping European Union EU

Antidumping : how the European Union faces this situation

Author : Matteo Aristei
May 2019

What is dumping ?

Dumping is a practice used by big companies . They put in the European market very low – priced products compared to the market ’s price. Dumping is an unfair competition because products are sold with a price that doesn’t reflect correctly the production costs . For European companies is very tough to remain competitive with these conditions and it would be worst if they have to fire their workers or even close their business .

For this reason Europe has developed different trade defence instruments and the community legislation has :

Antidumping measures in terms of imports made in the community market from companies of third countries which sell with low prices compared to the original price ( dumping imports ); anti – subsidy measures in terms of imports which use state helps and subsidy given by governments to its companies ; Safeguards, will be activated in case of serious damage to community companies from market ’s distortions, such as those caused by abnormal surges in imports .

The EU believes in free trade which brings jobs and wealth . The unfair behaviour of some countries can affect free trade ’s systems through overproduction or the introduction of subsidy products sold at low prices compared to the market ’s ones . The EU has to adopt measures to fight subsidies or antidumping . The EU could impose sanctions to non – EU countries if they are responsible of unfair trade practice in the European market and the sanction works as duties or tariffs for dumping products .

The European Union has to work according to the rules of the World Trade Organization . The WTO is an international organization made by 164 members which regulates trade at global level and defines the reference framework for the negotiation of trade agreements and it has its own rules for the solving of controversy . Members of WTO have decided to follow their procedures in order to simplify problems . These rules include also a procedure which indicates how to do when other countries introduce in their own market , dumping products with very low prices .

China is the main objective of antidumping duties in Europe . In October 2016 duties were imposed in more than 50 Chinese products, products like aluminium, bicycles, cement , chemical substances, glass, solar panels, pottery, paper, steel . In the European Union this practice is not very famous, but Europe has protection and precaution measures .

In November 2017 of European Union deputies have opted for stricter rules in order to fight the unfair competition, including social and environment dumping and monitor ths situation in other countries . This last task will be made by the European Commission which will create relationships for European companies in case they want to appeal .

In May 2018 members of European Parliament have approved additional rules in order to allow EU to impose higher tariffs on dumping or subsidy imports .

These rules will allow to reduce times of antidumping investigations, to institute a desk for little or mid companies in order to handle investigations and procedures involving syndicates . These new rules include the fact that all the products which arrive in the EU market must be strictly controlled and recorded when an investigation starts . These rules will be expanded to exclusive economic areas, i.e. maritime areas on which a state exerts its right to use, mainly used for the energy production .

Both proposals will enter into force after the approval of the Council and the publication in EU official Journal .

Antidumping EU





Paris agreement

Paris agreement

Accordo di Parigi sui cambiamenti climatici

“ Paris agreement : the fate of climate change ”

Author : Giulia Turchetti
Translated by : Matteo Aristei
December 2017

In the twenty-first Paris climate conference ( COP21 ) on December 2015, as many as 195 countries have ratified the first worldwide agreement and it is binding in legal terms of “ Paris agreement ” climate .

“ Paris agreement ” means a global agreement on climate changes, with the aim of creating an action plan in order to limit global warming below 2 ° C . The conclusion of this agreement comes from the need to find a remedy for climate change : an important global issue with possible repercussions for everyone . Due to the small participation on the Kyoto Protocol and due to the lack of an agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, European Union contributed with the realization of a large coalition of developed and developing Countries in order to achieve prestigious purposes . This determined clearly the positive outcome of the Paris conference .

The governments of the signatory countries have therefore decided to meet every five years in order to determine more ambitious purposes on the basis of scientific knowledge, to inform the other Member States and the public opinion about what they are doing in order to achieve their fixed purposes, and to report the progress made through a system based on transparency and responsibility .

In Germany, Bonn as well, was held on last November the United Nations World Conference on Climate, or simpler known as Cop 23 : this is the summit of commitments given at the Cop21 in Paris and they have to keep them as civic commitment in the future . This is a commitment that is urgently needed : scientist, in fact, talk about how World is in its warmest period in the history of human civilization and that the main cause of this phenomenon is the man itself .

Unfortunately, the time remaining is little and it is essential to take the steps of a fast and ambitious climatic revolution, realizing the vision of Paris, making it real .

The main purpose of the Paris Agreement is to hold global warming effects, limiting harmful consequences that come from climatic change created by the man, as from 2020 . In this respect, industrialized countries will contribute to the allocation of an annual fund “ Green Climate Fund ” of 100 billion for the transfer of clean technologies in the Countries that need a support in order to start their own green economy .

Despite United States are the main promoter of this important aim, because they are classifiable between the major polluters and they are responsible of the climatic change, today they could fleeing the scene . With a new administration, led by Donald Trump, United States withdraw in their isolationism because the president itself has repeatedly said that the Paris agreement would be an unbalanced agreement, which undermines American’s interest and it constitutes an obstacle to the realization of making “ America great again ”. Together with this withdrawal, there is also the disappearance of an entire section on the climate change from the site of the White House, and it was replaced by an another section on an energetic plan for America . The intention of Trump is to eliminate policies like the “ Climate Action Plan ”, because in Trump’s opinion they are harmful and useless . The “ Climate Action Plan ” is the plan for the emission reduction and it was signed by his predecessor Obama .

However, it’s not possible to exit in a unilateral and linear way from the Paris agreement . In fact, it contains room of three years, four in all. When this period will be spent, the end of the Trump’s mandate will come . The position of United States about climatic change could therefore be negotiated another time and it won’t be definitive, also because the hypothetical destruction of the Paris agreement means the destruction of the world itself .


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Economia Circolare e Rifiuti

Translation by Matteo Aristei
June 2019

In the European Union tons of waste are ever more produced and for thus Europe is updating the legislation on waste management . Recently climate change and global warming have increased and Europe needs to plan strategies to protect the future of the earth . The European Union has developed plans and has fixed objectives in order to fight pollution which is damaging our planet, Therefore, Europe aims at the development of a circular economy .

The circular economy is an economical system planned to reuse materials in several productive stages, reducing waste at most . This circular economy is an economy designed to auto-regenerate , in which biological materials must be reintegrated in the biosphere, and the technical ones must be designed to be revalorized without damaging the biosphere . All this implies sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible . In this way, the life cycle of products is extended . With the circular economy consumers can have more durable and innovative products which are able to improve the quality of life .

There are 5 fundamental criteria for the transition towards a circular economy :

1. Eco-planning, planning products thinking about their use since the beginning and end, therefore with features which will allow the assembly and the renovation ;
2. Versatility, modularity, versatility and adaptability of the product are very important in order to permit its use to external condition changes ;
3. Renewable energies, we have to rely on energy produced by renewable sources, guaranteeing the fast abandon of the energetic model based on fossil sources ;
4. Approach to the ecosystem, be careful of the system, bearing in mind the cause-effect relation between different components ;
5. Materials recover, guaranteeing the replacement of virgin raw materials with second raw materials from recover sectors which maintain their qualities .

All of this could deliver benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving the security of the supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, stimulating innovation, boosting economic growth, creating jobs ( 580,000 jobs in the EU alone ).

Furthermore, The EU wants to reduce plastic waste . Discover its strategy from increasing recycling to introducing bans on certain micro-plastics and single-use plastics . Waste has a negative impact on the environment, climate, human health and the economy, and although waste management in the EU has improved considerably in recent decades, over a quarter of municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted . In a bid to tackle plastic pollution, the European Commission proposed a plastics strategy with the aims of ensuring that by 2030 every piece of plastic packaging can be reused or recycled, as well as of reducing the consumption of single-use plastics and the use of micro-plastics . In addition MEPs are also currently discussing a proposal to ban certain single-use plastics such as cutlery, plates and balloon sticks, as well require goods packaging companies to contribute towards the cost of cleaning up discarded plastics . The plenary vote on it is expected to take place in October .

Another problem are micro-plastics : tiny pieces of plastic material typically smaller than five millimetres . Micro-plastics found in the sea can be ingested by marine animals . The plastic then accumulates and can end up in humans through the food chain . They have been found in food and drinks, including beer, honey and tap water . Not surprisingly, plastic particles have also recently been discovered in human stool .

The effect on human health is as yet unknown, but plastics often contain additives, such as stabilisers or flame-retardants, and other possibly toxic chemical substances that may be harmful to the animal or human ingesting them .

In September 2018, MEPs approved a plastics strategy that aims to increase the recycling rate of plastic waste in the EU . In addition, they called on the European Commission to introduce an EU-wide ban on intentionally added microplasticsin products such as cosmetics and detergents by 2020, and to take measures to minimise the release of micro-plastics from textiles, tyres, paint and cigarette butts .









Translation by Matteo Aristei

June 2019

Erasmus + is the EU ‘s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe . This project provides opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, and gain experience abroad . The aim of Erasmus + is to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth, jobs, social equity and inclusion, as well as the aims of ET2020, the EU ‘s strategic framework for education and training . Erasmus + also aims to promote the sustainable development of its partners in the field of higher education, and contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy .

The programme currently covers 33 countries ( all 28 EU countries as well as Turkey, North Macedonia, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein ) and is open to partner countries across the world . As far as Brexit, on 19 March 2019, the Council and Parliament adopted a Regulation to avoid the disruption of Erasmus + learning mobility activities involving the United Kingdom in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal (“ no – deal scenario ”).

Recently the European Commission and the Parliament are calling for new priorities for the next Erasmus + programme . MEPs propose to triple the budget and ensure there is more co – funding and cooperation with other European programmes . They also call for the introduction of centres of vocational excellence, international centres providing quality vocational training so that people can develop useful skills in key sectors .

Members are also keen to have more people who are disadvantaged participate . Special support should include language training, administrative support or e – learning opportunities .

Furthermore, on 28 March, Parliament also approved the new priorities for Creative Europe, another major EU culture programme . It will focus on more support for artists ’ mobility, better use of digital technologies and improved distribution of works .

More than three million students have already benefited from the Erasmus programme, since it was launched in 1987 . Last year a record number of 250,000 students took part in the programme to either do part of their studies or an internship abroad .

With the new Erasmus + programme, sport initiatives such as those against doping, violence, discrimination and intolerance are also funded . In addition students who want to embark on a Masters degree in another EU country can apply for a loan with favourable terms .

Following an agreement with the Council in June, Parliament ‘s culture and education committee backed the proposal on 5 November . MEPs voted in favour of the new Erasmus + programme on 19 November .

Erasmus + includes Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus, Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius, Grundtvig and Youth in Action programmes and also for the first time sport . Different budgets for different programmes will be clearly separated .

It is European added value to regional, national and sometimes local policies in the field of education and youth . In the Erasmus + there is also the European voluntary service, which gives people the possibility to try learn and experience work in other countries, all while being paid and socially secure .

Erasmus + will also support new partnerships between teaching institutions and firms . « Knowledge alliances » and « sector skills alliances » should permit training in a real working environment, new teaching approaches and new courses tailored to the world of work .





Climate Change


Cambiamento Climatico EU


Author : Matteo Aristei
2019, June 20th

By the years, the EU has developed environmental rules which are very important worldwide . The environmental policy helps to protect the natural heritage of Europe ,encouraging companies to develop a green economy and it protects the health and the welfare of European citizens .

The fight against climate change is fundamental for Europe . The European Commission wants to reduce the European dependence from imported fossil fuel and help families to produce their own energy . Europe has three proposals about renewable energy, energy efficiency and a control mechanism .

The prospective of an increase in energy prices and in the ever more higher dependence from imports weakens the reliability of energy supplies and damages the whole economy . Europe needs to take drastic decisions in order to reduce emissions and to mitigate climate change . In the next years enormous investments will be needed in order to set up a European energy infrastructure for future needs .

The EU energy policy aims to a safe energy supply which is guaranteed and sustainable at affordable prices . The strategy is based on ‘ 20 – 20 – 20 ’ objectives which Europe wants to reach within 2020 :

- The first objective is to reduce by 20 % the green – house gasses compared to 1990 levels
- 20 % of energy shall come from renewable sources
- The third objective is to improve of 20 % of energy performances

European leaders have also proposed to reduce 30 % of green-house gasses of EU if other big producers of emissions give their contribution .

The long – term objective is to reduce green – house emissions by 80 – 95 % compared to 1990 levels within 2050, guaranteeing the supply and the competitiveness . For this reason Eu leaders are currently putting in place a solid strategic framework for the energy and environment policy, to extend over 2020 . Such programme will supply safety to investors, will foster low carbon emissions technologies and will create jobs in the energy sector of Europe .

This framework will promote progresses towards a safe and competitive energy system . This programme wants to guarantee energy at affordable prices to everyone and to improve the safety of EU energy supply . Furthermore, it wants to reduce the dependence from energy imports and it wants to create new opportunities such as jobs and economic growth .

The energy efficiency is a central objective for 2020 and represents a key instrument to reach long – term European energy and environment objectives . A better efficiency is the more economically effective way to reduce emissions, make safer and more competitive the energy supply and to limit energy cost .

In order to improve this efficiency, the EU focuses on sectors which offer the best possibilities in terms of saving, such as public transportation and construction . Furthermore, smart meters and other eco – friendly measures help to consume less energy .

Plus, electricity and gas are transported thanks to nets which often go through national frontiers . Free trade of energy in Europe will promote competitive prices and more choice for consumers . Furthermore a better supply safety will be developed and there will be a solid framework for investments in new renewable technologies and infrastructures .

An internal market which works correctly, with enough transportation infrastructures and storage, is the best guarantee for supply safety : pushed by market mechanisms, the energy will flow where is needed . The EU aims to the complete integration of national energy markets .

Furthermore, without a technological conversion, the EU will not be able to reach its long – term ambitions and to reduce to the minimum the CO2 emissions made by electricity and transportation sectors . The strategic plan for energetic technologies establishes a mid – term strategy for all the sectors .
The development projects for the main technologies such as biofuels and smart nets have to go faster . Researchers and companies of Europe should intensify commitments in order to remain sate – of – the – art in the international market of energetic technologies, which is ever more increasing, and improve the cooperation with non – EU countries on specific technologies .

With more than 500 millions consumers, the EU energy market is the biggest regional market in the world and the main energy importer . Most of the objectives of Europe are common to other countries and they require an international cooperation .

Europe needs to reduce climate change, guaranteeing everybody the access of oil and gas and foster the technological development and increase energy efficiency .

The international energy policy must reach the common objectives of safety in the supply, in the competitiveness and sustainability . If relationships with production countries are fundamental, the relationships with big energy consumer countries are becoming more important , especially with developing country .

The European Emission Trading Scheme ( EU ETS ) is the backbone of the EU strategy in terms of climate change . It contributes to reduce emission through the minimum cost possible .
This system ( established in 2005 ) wants to decrease every year the amount of emissions produced by factories which consume a lot of energy ( such as power plants ). These companies have to give back allowances for every ton of CO2 they produce, and therefore they have an incentive to produce less emissions . Some sectors have their allowances for free, but now often companies buy them in auctions or from CO2 markets .

If today green – house emission weren ’t produced any more, the ones that are already present in the atmosphere would continue to affect the planet for decades , we don ’t have any choice : we have to adapt to climate change . The necessary actions range from new building regulations must be taken into account for future climatic conditions, the construction of flood defense systems or the development of drought – resistant crops . The Commission has defined a strategy to promote and facilitate adaptation throughout the EU .






Europe Strategy Environment


EU ambiente e strategie

Author: Matteo Aristei
2019, July 4th

In numerous bars, new environmental initiatives and projects about plastic straw are becoming more popular . Yes, sometime parents come and ask for a straw for their children ’s juice but unfortunately they can ’t have it . This because in numerous bars straws are banned . They are not accepted any more because they are one of the plastic objects most used in the world which, for their small size, cannot be recycled .

Actually this campaign against the use of straws was not invented in these bars, but the first campaign was launched by the United Kingdom and it’s called ‘ the last straw ’. Similar initiatives have spread ever more and everywhere in Europe and several pubs have took part in this British initiative and they commit not to use straws any longer . Of course not immediately, because throwing away all the straws in their storage will cause an environmental impact .

So, as first step, they have decided to not automatically put the straw into drinks for costumers any more because a good cocktail doesn ’t depend on the straw, but on the ingredients ’ quality . Then, after that all the straws in the storage are finished , plastic straws will be replaced by other type straws such as bioplastic, made by corn starch, or steel straws which can be re – used . Of course these straws are more expensive but less straws will be used .

After these straws, disposable plastic dishes and cups are used one time and then are thrown away . They take hundred years to biodegrade and often they end up in the see where they kill even cetacean and turtles and they arrive in our food chain because they are absorbed by the fishes we eat . In fact, fro 2021 in the European Union some disposable plastic products such as cups or straws will be banned . This is a plastic – free policy was given by a very large majority vote in the European Parliament to the new directive which also imposes other objectives for the future .

Among these, the achievement by 2029 of 90 % of separate waste collection for bottles and new indications on their composition : by 2025 they must be made with at least 25 % of recycled content, to reach 30 % five years later . From 2024 on the other hand, the obligation to have the cap attached to the bottle will be introduced to prevent it from dispersing easily . How will we do it? We will find alternatives, which already exist . Others will be added : new biodegradable materials are already being studied and one day will enter our daily use just as it happened with plastic .

Plastic capsules are certainly the most polluting and difficult product to dispose of . If you have this type at home, you know that the part that contains the coffee is made of plastic, but the tongue is made of aluminum, so it would be normal to throw them without thoughts into undifferentiated waste, but if you keep the environment you should do more : remove the tab and throw it into the appropriate aluminum collection container, rinse the plastic cup well so that the coffee residues inside it are eliminated and throw it in the plastic bin .

Furthermore, recently there has been an increase in the use of mobile phones . Nowadays people change cell phones very often, but then what happens to old cell phones ? What impact do they have on the environment ? In one study, 19 models of mobile phones were examined from the point of view of the possibility of being recycled . From the results of the study it is evident that many companies in the sector do not consider the ease of recycling as an important feature of their products at all . And this is serious if we consider that only in Italy 17 million mobile phones are sold each year .

And this is because there is a frantic race to the most popular model of the moment . And so many devices, after an average life of 18 months, become difficult to recycle . To be able to recycle the various parts of the mobile phone, these should first be easily disassembled, i.e. held together by interlocking and not by glue or screws . But unfortunately this occurs only in 50 % of cases. Other times it is the intrinsic nature of the materials that prevents them from being recycled .

Sometimes we are guilty because we throw away our mobile phone instead of bring it in ecological areas made by Sanitation or, when it is possible, give It back to the shop where whe buy a new mobile phone .

In addition to the problem of mobile phone disposal, there is also the packaging disposal which often has an environmental impact . It would be great if in a future, packaging will be made by recyclable materials .

Still in the interests of the environment, companies should sell accessories separately . In this way only those that are really needed are bought . And then they should make accessories usable on all models . It is also a good idea to use two SIM cards at the same time to avoid buying a second mobile phone . Many people in fact have two or three mobile phones for various reasons ; to be able, for example, to have different numbers, perhaps a private one for work, to take advantage of the best offers from the various managers or even to avoid the risk of not being able to be traced in case of low battery . In short, there is really a lot to do to reduce the environmental impact of mobile phones that have now become consumer goods .

Raising public awareness and encouraging them spontaneously to refuse the straw is another very important task because these small changes can actually already do a lot to reduce the amount of plastic we produce every day and it is important that everyone does their part .









Author : Matteo Aristei
2019, July 11 th


What is the European Union and what does it do ? Here is a very general overview to understand what the European Union is, how it was created, what are its objectives and functions

The European Union is an economic and political union, unique in its kind, which includes 28 countries that cover a large part of the continent .
The European Union is a political entity with well – defined borders ; unlike geographic Europe, which for many is not exactly defined . In fact, on the one hand, many people claim that geographical Europe also includes Russia and even extends beyond the Urals . On the other hand, for many other people, Russia is not even Europe .

The European Union is made up of 28 countries which are : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Hungary . However, there are other countries that have applied for access to the European Union and are : Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey . The accession of these various countries is at various stages, in the sense that the European Union is negotiating accession, precisely to the European Union, with these states individually .

The predecessor of the EU, the European Economic Community ( EEC ), was created in the aftermath of the Second World War with the aim of promoting economic cooperation starting from the principle that trade produces interdependence between countries that reduces the risks of conflicts .
In 1958 the EEC was therefore created, which intensified economic cooperation between six countries : Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands .
Since then, 22 other members have joined in forming a big single market .

What was born as a purely economic union has over time has become an organization active in a whole series of sectors, such as climate and health, external relations and security, justice and immigration . To reflect this change, in 1993 the name of European Economic Community ( EEC ) was replaced by European Union ( EU ).

A factor of peace, stability and prosperity for over half a century, the EU has contributed to raising the standard of living and introduced a single European currency : the euro . More than 340 million EU citizens in 19 countries currently use it as a currency and benefit from it .
Thanks to the abolition of border controls between member countries, people can now move freely around almost the entire continent . It has also become much easier to live, work and travel in another EU country . This ensures all citizens the certainty of their rights and the freedom to choose in which Member State to work, study or spend their retirement years . Each member country, as far as work, social security and taxes are concerned, has a duty to treat EU citizens in the same way as their citizens .

The EU ‘s main economic engine is the single market, which allows most goods, services, capital and people to move freely . The EU intends to develop this immense resource also in other fields, such as energy, knowledge and capital markets, to allow European citizens to fully benefit from it .

The EU remains committed to making its institutions more transparent and democratic . Decisions are taken as openly and as closely as possible to citizens .
The European Parliament, elected by direct universal suffrage, now has more powers, while national parliaments play a more important role, supporting the European institutions in their work .
The EU is governed by the principle of representative democracy, in which citizens are directly represented at EU level in the European Parliament and Member States are represented in the European Council and in the EU Council .

European citizens are invited to contribute to the democratic life of the Union by expressing their views on EU policies during their development or by suggesting improvements in existing legislation and policies . The European citizens ‘ initiative allows citizens to have more say in EU policies affecting their lives . Citizens can also file complaints and requests for information on the application of EU law .

The European Union is the largest trading bloc in the world . It is the world ‘s leading exporter of manufactured goods and services and the largest import market for over 100 countries .
Free trade between Member States was one of the founding principles of the European Union . This is possible thanks to the single market . Beyond its borders, the EU is also working to liberalize world trade .

The EU is committed to helping victims of natural or man – made disasters around the world and supports over 120 million people every year . Together the EU and its Member States represent the first humanitarian aid donor in the world .

The EU plays an important role in diplomacy and works for stability, security and prosperity, democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law at the international level .

The single currency is another characteristic of the European union . As you know, the euro is the single currency adopted by the member countries of the European Union . But not everyone, as the countries that have adopted the euro, the single currency, are part of the eurozone and to become part of this eurozone, fundamental requirements must be met from an economic point of view, with parameters that have for example with the level of inflation, debts and government deficits .

A big issue in today’s Europe is multilingualism

Multilingualism is a strategy of the European Commission to promote the dissemination of linguistic knowledge in order to promote the integration of European citizens. Furthermore, multilingualism is also a condition of society .
When we talk about multilingualism in Europe, we talk for example about the possibility of using a single language . It is an old dream of the community, but in reality it never existed . And it cannot exist because language is a natural phenomenon that is constantly changing .
One of the possibilities for a common language is the artificial language . And in reality, in the past, artificial languages were widespread, particularly at the beginning of the 1900 s, before the First World War and even later .

Esperanto also belongs to this period . Esperanto proclaims itself to be neutral, artificial and easy to learn . And surely it is true that it is an easy language : it contains only 16 rules and has a system of productivity of words, that is, from the existing words new ones can be produced . So yes, it is actually an easy language to learn . But it is certainly not a neutral language, as no language in the world is . Esperanto belongs to a very specific culture : it was invented by a Polish – Jew who lived in Lithuania and his grammar was published for the first time in Russia . It is therefore a mixture of Germanic, Latin and Slavic languages and therefore, I repeat, it cannot be considered a neutral language . Above all, not being able to count on a true culture, a tradition and texts has never been adopted by European peoples . It is indeed difficult to guide a society, a people in one direction, in a precise linguistic behavior without this becoming an imposition .

Our Europe needs to speak and to share languages and therefore to promote a great spread of linguistic knowledge . This is multilingualism for us .
There are clearly ” international languages “, of great diffusion, such as English . And it is right to use it, because it is useful and serves the goal of European integration . But English alone is not enough . It is necessary to develop different linguistic knowledge based on the specific needs of each people, of every citizen of the Union . Here, this is the multilingualism that we can achieve . This is an achievable and sensible goal that we should all aim for .

The objectives of the European Union are :

• promote peace, its values and the well – being of its citizens
• offer freedom, security and justice, without internal borders
• promote sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, on a highly competitive market economy, with full employment and social progress, and environmental protection
• fight against social exclusion and discrimination
• promote scientific and technological progress
• strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity between Member States
• respect the richness of its cultural and linguistic diversity
• establishing an economic and monetary union with the euro as the single currency .

EU values are shared by Member States in a society where inclusion, tolerance, justice, solidarity and non – discrimination prevail . These values are an integral part of our European way of life :

• Human dignity : human dignity is inviolable . It must be respected and protected and constitutes the very basis of fundamental rights .
• Freedom : freedom of movement gives citizens the right to move and reside freely in the European Union . Individual freedoms, such as respect for private life, freedom of thought, religion, assembly, expression and information, are protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU .
• Democracy : the functioning of the EU is based on representative democracy . Being a European citizen also means enjoying political rights . Every adult citizen of the EU has the right to stand as a candidate in the European Parliament elections . EU citizens have the right to apply and vote in their country of residence or home country .
• Equality : equality means recognizing all citizens the same rights before the law . The principle of equality between men and women is the basis of all European policies, and is the element on which European integration is based . It applies in all sectors . The principle of equal pay for the same work was inscribed in the 1957 treaty . Even if the inequalities persist, the EU has made considerable progress .
• Rule of law : the European Union is founded on the principle of the rule of law . In other words, all his powers rest on treaties freely and democratically signed by the member countries . Law and justice are protected by an independent judiciary . The member countries have given the Court of Justice of the European Union the competence to give a definitive ruling and all must respect the sentences issued .
• Human rights : the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union protects human rights, including the right not to be discriminated against based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, the right to protection of personal data and the right of access to justice .
These goals and values, which are the foundations of the EU, are enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union .

In 2012, the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for having contributed to peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe .


Surely what we all know is the flag with a blue background and a flag with a circle made up of 12 stars but which do not represent the members of the Union who are instead 28 . The flag represents the union, the identity in a broader sense and wants however, it also represents the solidarity and harmony that exists between the various member states of the union . This flag was first adopted in 1955 by the Council of Europe which then encouraged the other EU institutions to take it as its flag .
In fact, in 1983 the European Parliament also took it as its symbol and then in 1985 it was chosen by all the leaders of the European Union . Despite this, each institution currently has its own emblem .

Another symbol of the European Union is the anthem . The hymn in question is Beethoven ‘s ninth symphony composed in 1823 that aims to represent the brotherhood that exists between the whole human race . The hymn to joy, this is the name of the symphony, was first taken as its symbol in 1972 always by the Council of Europe and then in 1985 by all the leaders of the European Union . This composition symbolizes freedom, peace and solidarity which are then celebrated as values shared by the Member States of the European Union .

A further emblem is the motto that mentions ” United in diversity ” which represents how all the states that are part of this institution have come together to work to guarantee peace and prosperity .

A final symbol I would like to talk about is instead the Europe holiday which also coincides with the European Union ‘s open day . In fact, 9 May represents a day of peace and unity . This day was followed by the Schuman declaration which was named after a speech by French Prime Minister Robert Schuman in 1950 in Paris where he argued that there was a need for a new way to cooperate on a political level in Europe . So this politician saw the need to create a European body that would unite all the states and in fact, following his speech, it was precisely the year in which the European Union started … it took its first steps .
To celebrate this event every year the European Union opens the doors of the Parliament and of some local offices that organize activities to make more and more known to the citizens of the European Union, of the member states of the European Union this institution and to celebrate together the creation of such a Union .







Alleanza Africa Europa

Author: Matteo Aristei
2019, July 19th

The European Commission develops a new Africa Europe partnership for sustainable investments and employment that aims to substantially stimulate investment in Africa, create jobs, strengthen trade and invest in skills and education . Today ‘s projects are based on the commitments made at the African Union – European Union summit held in Abidjan in November last year, on which the two continents decided to strengthen their partnership . It shows the main lines of action for a more robust economic program for the EU and its African partners .

The European Union, more than China and the US today, trades and exports to Africa : for example, ” foreign investment in Africa is 40 % for Europe, 5 % for China “.

Furthermore, the task force was created by the European Commission in May 2018 and it was set up to give opinions and advice on strengthening the Africa Europe partnership for food and agriculture . The European Commission will ensure the follow – up and implementation of various actions recommended by this group of experts to support the development of the agri – food sector and the rural economy of Africa .

In these four years of work of the Juncker Commission, a partnership of equals with the continent closest to Europe, whose development and security also guarantee those of Europe, has developed according to the high representative Federica Mogherini at the Brussels press conference, presenting the new ” Africa – Europe Alliance ” for sustainable investments and work, to which President Jean Claude Junker referred a short time ago in the State of the Union . After the private investment plan launched two years ago, work is about to be consolidated, developed and improved .

The Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, states : ” The entry into force of the continental free trade area demonstrates the determination of our African partners to promote business opportunities on the continent . The EU and Africa are key partners for trade and investments . This historic stage brings us closer to greater EU – Africa economic integration, a key objective of the Africa – Europe alliance . ”

The Commissioner responsible for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, says : ” This is a major step towards the economic integration of Africa, which I congratulate our African partners . The EU supports the continental area of free trade since its establishment, both politically and technically, and with financial resources exceeding 60 million euro . This is a pillar of the Africa – Europe partnership, as trade and integrated markets in Africa will foster sustainable investments and job creation . ”

The priorities of this new cooperation will be renewable energy and transport, young people, improvement of climate to encourage local resources, improvement of intra – African trade relations together with Europe .

Today ‘s proposal demonstrates the commitment to strengthen the Africa – EU partnership and outlines a series of key actions including :

• investing in people through investments in skills and education, at international and national level, to improve employment and adapt skills to the job offer, also through scholarships and exchange programs, such as in the framework of Erasmus +;

• promote strategic investments and strengthen the role of the private sector, specifically by significantly reducing the risks associated with investment projects through the combination of loans and the provision of guarantees and subsidies ;

• strengthen the business background and promote a more favourable climate for investments, especially by intensifying dialogue with African partners and supporting reforms in the sector ;

• use the full potential of economic integration and trade : based on the implementation of the continental free trade area for Africa, the long – term perspective is to conclude an extensive intercontinental free trade agreement between the EU and Africa . To this end, it is necessary to make the most of economic partnership agreements, free trade agreements, including global free trade areas and in – depth proposals to the countries of North Africa, and other trade regimes with the EU, as constituent elements of the area continental free trade for Africa ;

• mobilize a huge financial resource package, as shown in particular by the proposal for the next EU multiannual financial framework on external financing, in which Africa is considered a priority region .

Consultation and dialogue with African partners will be organized in the coming months to define priorities and take further measures jointly . The alliance will take into account the diversity of the African continent and the specificities of each country, including the contractual relations of the countries of North Africa within the respective association agreements and their experience in cooperation with the EU in the framework of the policy European Neighbourhood Policy .