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EU Spring Summit: Ukraine tensions should prompt coherent EU energy and industrial ambitions

EUROCHAMBRES has argued that the delicate situation in the Ukraine serves to underline the importance of delivering a coherent approach to the EU’s energy and industrial policy objectives at the 2014 European Union Spring Summit of 20 and 21 March.

“The tense relations with Russia – the largest importer to the EU of primary energy – should act as a catalyst for progress towards a more consistent and effective approach to Europe’s industrial renaissance and energy ambitions”, claimed Richard Weber, President of EUROCHAMBRES.

Earlier this month, EUROCHAMBRES wrote to EU leaders arguing that climate and energy aims must be pursued in close conjunction with the Commission’s 20% industrial sector GDP target. In this context, Chambers firmly advise heads of state and government against taking a definitive stance on the proposed Energy 2030 quantitative targets before next year’s Paris COP15 international climate change negotiations.

At the Tripartite Social Summit on 20 March, President Weber will reinforce EUROCHAMBRES’ position from his personal perspective as the owner of a regional brewery in Germany: “My brewery is a microcosm of Europe’s industrial needs. I don’t just need water and hops to make beer. I need favourable conditions, I need access to markets and I need quality and affordable resources. Policy makers must ensure that these key ingredients for success are available to the whole European business community”.

Reflecting these comments, Mr Weber will present at the Tripartite Social Summit five recommendations to stimulate Europe’s industrial renaissance, addressing vocational education and training, the enforcement of internal market rules, energy efficiency and management measures for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), competitiveness proofing of legislation and the revival of the SME initiative to facilitate access to finance.

For more information, read:

The letter from EUROCHAMBRES to the European Council


And EUROCHAMBRES’ submission to the Tripartite Social Summit


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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