In terms of the quest for independence, 2014 has been a bad year for separatist movements in a number of regions in Western European countries (Scotland, Catalonia, Northern Italy, Flanders, Greenland, Corsica, Northern Ireland and the Basque Country). In some countries, the separatists lost referendums and polls, while in others the mass actions of their supporters were unsuccessful. There were signs of differences among the European Union’s regional elites. This was due to a combination of economic, social, internal and external factors, considering the tense situation in the regions adjacent to Western Europe.
France’s public deficit will be “well below” European Union limits in 2017, Finance Minister Michel Sapin declared on Wednesday. Next year’s deficit should also be lower than expected, he told a press conference.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the new President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, at the headquarters of the Council in Brussels on Wednesday (3 December 2014). The meeting took place only a few days into Mr. Tusk’s new mandate.
French President François Hollande arrived in Kazakhstan on Friday for a two-day visit to a country with vast uranium and gas reserves and infrastructure contracts on offer. NGOs urged him to raise human rights issues with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Iron Curtain in Europe, modern-day Poland is by many measures the most successful case of post-communist political and economic transition to market-democracy in Europe. Hence, U.S. President Barack Obama in his speech at Warsaw’s Castle Square in June 2014, rightfully coined the country’s progress as an economic “Miracle on the Vistula”.
Serbia is disappointed by Russia’s decision to halt the South Stream gas pipeline, and believes it is a victim of the dispute between the EU and Russia. But it is hoping the project will not be abandoned completely.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan supports the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and will participate in its implementation.
Europe’s dependency on Russian gas, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, has become a major strategic liability for the West. This is especially true as the war in Eastern Ukraine has brought relations between Moscow and Brussels as well as many of the European capitals to new lows. Russia enjoys a de facto monopoly on gas supplies to the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Moldova, Serbia, and Slovakia, as well as dominating the energy scene in Hungary and other European countries. This raises serious questions with regards to the Kremlin’s political influence in capitals from the heart of Europe to the Mediterranean. Allegations of corruption permeate political debates about the Russian gas supply and are putting increasing pressure on the EU and the nation-states to find economic alternatives.
Sweden's prime minister says he will call new elections for March next year. Stefan Lofven made the announcement after his government's first budget proposal was rejected.
The future of the international energy market and global energy management systems, as well as a review of Kazakhstan’s energy saving and energy efficiency policies, were on the agenda at the 25th Energy Charter Conference, held in Astana’s Rixos hotel on Nov. 26 and 27. Kazakhstan is chairing the conference now.
Europe needs to capitalise on the Internet of Things to pave the way to the zero-marginal cost industrial economy of the future.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended a meeting of the Presidents of the three Baltic States. This year, President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland is also invited to take part in the traditional meeting the main purpose of which is to discuss regional security measures.
Moldova's pro-Europe parties appeared certain on Monday of being able to form a new coalition to press on with a drive toward the European mainstream after elections even though the pro-Moscow Socialist Party took first place.
Russia scrapped the South Stream pipeline project to supply gas to southern Europe, without crossing Ukraine, on Monday (December 1), citing EU objections, and instead named Turkey as its preferred partner for an alternative pipeline, with a promise of hefty discounts.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said that the country will resolve its nuclear dispute through constructive interaction with the world. His statements were aired by the Iranian state-run TV channel IRINN on Dec.2.