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Eurosceptics blame Brussels deaths on EU policies not terrorists

March 23, 2016 10:10 AM
By Peter Morris, European Movement
The second major terror attack on Europe in just four months will upend the politics of everything from refugee policy to security to Brexit, says Matthew Karnitschnig in an op-ed in Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/brussels-terrorist-attacks-why-do-they-hate-us-so-much/
Among other negative consequences for the EU, political parties and groups that want the United Kingdom to leave the Union could use the recent terrorist attacks to justify greater isolation from the continent, writes Stratfor, the global intelligence company, as reported by EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/opinion/brussels-attacks-tear-at-the-fabric-of-the-european-union/
Belgian, British, Dutch, French, and Italian eurosceptics have blamed Tuesday's (22 March) attacks in Brussels on EU policy. Republican candidates in the US and a Russian spokeswoman also made inflammatory comments, reports EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/foreign/132783
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called Tuesday (22 March) for a "European pact for freedom and security" following the attacks in Brussels claimed by the Islamic State group that killed around 35 people, reports EurActiv. "This is not the time for jackals, but nor is it the time for doves. We need a European pact, a pact for freedom and security," he said, referring to those who used the explosions as an opportunity to attack the EU or simply urge peace: http://www.euractiv.com/section/security/news/italy-calls-for-common-european-defence-after-brussels-attacks/
EU interior ministers are expected to hold an emergency meeting, probably on Thursday (24 March) in the wake of Tuesday's attacks in Brussels, as European authorities try - again - to find ways to address the terrorism threat, reports EUobserver…[C]ontrol of EU's external borders, the use of existing data bases and the launch of a new EU-wide air passenger name record (PNR) system will be on the table again: https://euobserver.com/justice/132782
Almost as soon as the bombs went off in Brussels on Tuesday morning, the new act of terrorism in the heart of Europe was employed in the bitter debate about the influx of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, according to the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/world/europe/belgium-attacks-migrants.html?emc=edit_ee_20160323&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272&_r=0
The problems in Belgium [highlighted by the terrorist attacks] are threatening not only lives across Europe, but also the Continent's experiment at integration, says Adam Nossiter in an op-ed in the New York Times. Whether the European Union, with its commitment to open borders, is strong enough to withstand the strains on top of years of economic crisis already is an ever more open question: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/world/europe/belgium-security.html?emc=edit_ee_20160323&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272
National experts will consider lessons learnt from terrorist attacks in Moscow and in Madrid in a meeting on 11 April to improve security at the airports, and mass public transportation systems, in the aftermath of the Brussels attacks, EU officials told Euractiv.com: http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-authorities-to-discuss-moscow-model-to-protect-airports/
The United Nations refugee agency has refused to get involved in the refugee returns organised by the EU under its recent deal with Turkey, claiming that the so-called "hotspots" on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants are received, assisted, and registered, have become prisons, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/unhcr-refuses-to-play-ball-with-eu-as-hotspots-become-prisons/
Turkey has no intention of changing any domestic laws to make it safer for rejected migrants returned from the EU, Ankara's top diplomatic envoy to Brussels has said in an interview with EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/migration/132779
François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France, on Tuesday reiterated his argument for a eurozone finance minister in a speech at the Brussels-based think-tank Bruegel, reports Politico Morning Exchange: https://dub111.mail.live.com/?tid=cmhtmEdrvw5RGO3tidZ1yJCg2&fid=flinbox
Plans for a eurozone budget have progressed quickly in recent months. The European Parliament is finalising its proposals, and two European Council summits will focus on the subject by the end of the year, says EurActiv, which carries an interview with Pervenche Berès,leader of the French Socialist Party delegation to the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, who is writing a report on the eurozone budget: http://www.euractiv.com/section/euro-finance/interview/pervenche-beres-eurozone-budget-carries-a-strong-political-message/
Euro zone business activity ended the first quarter on a higher note, surveys showed on Tuesday, suggesting extra stimulus from the European Central Bank may already be having a positive effect, reports Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-economy-pmi-idUKKCN0WO0U8
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today said the European Commission recognizes that the United States doesn't want to cover financial regulations in bilateral trade negotiations, which he said could lead to a renewed effort to coordinate on regulations in other forums, reports Politico Morning Exchange: https://dub111.mail.live.com/?tid=cmhtmEdrvw5RGO3tidZ1yJCg2&fid=flinbox
Politico Morning Exchange reported yesterday (as picked up here) on a set of fairly terse letters sent by the European Securities and Market Authority to the European Commission grumbling about Brussels' delays in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). The Commission did not comment then, but insiders on Tuesday said they weren't too worried about ESMA's tone and thought the remaining issues can be resolved quickly: https://dub111.mail.live.com/?tid=cmhtmEdrvw5RGO3tidZ1yJCg2&fid=flinbox
The last thing that Europe needs as it grapples with challenges on its eastern and southern flanks is for the United Kingdom to walk out of the European Union, said José Manuel Barroso, a former President of the European Commission, in an interview with New Atlanticist: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/not-the-time-for-divisions-in-europe
Twenty EU member states have said they are ready to help Greece examine asylum claims and return irregular migrants to Turkey as part of the EU-Turkey plan agreed last Friday, reports EUobserver. They will send "asylum experts, return and readmission experts and police officers", a European Commission spokesman said: https://euobserver.com/tickers/132760
The head of the UN refugee agency said 21 March that he will be scrutinizing the rollout of a controversial EU-Turkey deal to stem migrant flows for possible breaches of international law, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/un-refugee-chief-concerned-about-eu-turkey-deal/
Politico Morning Exchange reports that the European Commission is preparing to publish no fewer than 34 detailed measures over the coming months, probably before the summer, forming the bulk of the nitty-gritty rules - Level II measures in Euro-speak - that make up the core of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), the landmark legislation on financial markets: http://www.politico.eu/newsletter/morning-exchange/politico-morning-exchange-mifid-rules-candid-central-bankers/
The mayors of 20 European cities including Madrid, Paris and Copenhagen, but excluding London, have called for more stringent regulations to be put in place across the continent to tackle the deadly levels of air pollution caused by diesel vehicles. EurActiv's partner edie.net reports: http://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-environment/news/european-mayors-urge-clampdown-on-diesel-emissions/
A British decision to leave the European Union represents a major threat to the success of the Paris Agreement in Europe, according to the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) Lord Deben, reports businessGreen: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2451658/lord-deben-brexit-poses-a-huge-threat-to-paris-agreement
The Circular Economy Package [adopted by the European Commission in December 2015] will begin with a new regulation on the use of waste products in fertilisers, which could cut the EU's phosphate imports by a third. EurActiv's partner Journal de l'Environnement reports: http://www.euractiv.com/section/sustainable-dev/news/circular-economy-to-promote-organic-fertilisers/
More than 50 NGOs have sent an open letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker demanding a 'fitness check' of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), EurActiv reports: http://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/ngos-urge-commission-to-review-eus-common-agricultural-policy/
The Swedish (non-NATO) and Lithuanian (NATO) defense ministers have jointly published an article for the Atlantic Council [picked up by Politico] outlining that Russia in Ukraine cannot be overlooked as the biggest threat to Europe right now. http://bit.ly/1Uh0gcl
Forty-five lobbying organizations, headed by Corporate Observatory Europe, have written to Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to complain about "institutionalization of lobbying," reports Politico. The cause of the concerns is a new EU position paper on "regulatory cooperation and good regulatory practices." While the lobbyists admit that "it is unclear precisely what form such 'cooperation' would take," they are certain the Commission is up to something. http://bit.ly/25fpZ8l
The French-German couple has always been assumed to be the engine of the European Union, the crucial team at the heart of a sprawling, unruly family of 28 nations. But in recent months, if not years, the tandem has become visibly lopsided, according to an op-ed in the New York Times. As Germany takes the lead on crisis after crisis - from the euro to migration - the question keeps popping up: Where is France?
With thanks to Peter Morris, European Movement in North East