EU foreign policy chief to visit Tehran on March 8
The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton will visit Tehran on March 8 to talk with Iranian officials, Iran's Fars news agency reported on March 7. Ahton`s visit to Iran comes at the invitation of Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and will be her first visit of Iran. Zarif invited the EU foreign policy chief to visit Iran during his first meeting with Ashton while attending the UN General Assembly in New York in Sep. 2013....Read more
EU foreign policy chief to arrive in Tehran on March 8
Tehran, March 7, IRNA – The European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton is to arrive in Tehran at the head of a delegation on March 8 on her first visit to Tehran since 2008. Details of her visit are yet to be announced but she is to arrive in Tehran and then leave the Iranian capital for the ancient city of Isfahan. Ashton is also scheduled to confer with President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who is also the head of Irans nuclear negotiating team. Zarif had invited Ashton to pay a visit to the country during his visit to New York in October 2013....Read more
The ‘Ashton tape” - the dysfunctional sound of EU’s diplomacy
The recent leaking of the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s expletive directed in absentia at the EU (rather a gently dismissive interjection, after all) was a performance attributed to the Russian FSB, a feat that drew reluctant praise from some Western secret services.Much more damaging for the EU’s diplomacy and for what remains of its prestige is the embarrassing audio tape that has now surfaced, containing a phone conversation between the EU’s chief diplomat Catherine Ashton and the Estonian minister of foreign affairs Urmas Paet.The phone conversation between Paet and Ashton took place on February 26, after Paet’s visit to Ukraine. The tape’s authenticity was confirmed by the Estonians. The tape is damaging because it reveals, with painful, excruciatingly embarrassing slowness of detail, from the first second to the last, Ashton’s total lack of grasp on the situation. It shows her ignorance, incompetence and even lack of concern for the most serious crisis in Europe since the Balkan war, or, possibly, since World War II. It has never been a secret that the quality of the people in charge of the EU’s diplomacy was extremely low and that this was not an accident, but a deliberate policy of the major capitals of the member states....Read more
Ukraine PM, EU leaders taking soft line on Crimea
BRUSSELS - Ukraine’s interim leader has urged the UK and US to protect its territorial integrity, but indicated the Ukrainian army will not act unless Russian forces move beyond Crimea.Speaking to press in Brussels at an emergency EU summit on Thursday (6 March), Arseniy Yatsenyuk noted the two Western powers in 1994 signed a pact, the so-called Budapest memorandum, to protect Ukraine in return for its nuclear disarmament. We believe those guaranteed our independence will do their utmost to exercise their obligations. For today this is not just a domestic conflict or a local one. This conflict would have negative implications on the nuclear non-proliferation programme ....Read more
European Union gives €30 million to combat malnutrition
The government and the European Union have signed a financing agreement worth €30 million (Frw 28 billion) that will support the country’s goal of eliminating malnutrition.The money is part of the €460 million funding for Rwanda for the period of 2014-2020 as the EU plans its development projects in the great lakes region.Speaking at the signing of the agreement, the European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, noted the increased funding is due to Rwanda’s role as a leader in most of its undertakings.Rwanda is a leader in overcoming hardships, and malnutrition destroys human chances for development. It’s not only a moral problem but also an economic problem, therefore addressing it will improve the country’s gross domestic product per capita and steer the country towards economic sustainability,” Piebalgs noted. The increased funding is a boost to the country as it shows the confidence International stakeholders have in the government of Rwanda,” Minister Claver Gatete noted. Previously the country received €379 million between 2008 and 2013, with a focus on rural development, regional interconnectivity, and budget support from the EU. The funds will support Rwanda’s multi-sector strategy to eliminate malnutrition, emphasizing in particular chronic malnutrition in children under the age of five years and the period from pregnancy to the child’s age of two years, which is the 1,000-day window of critical growth. Nutrition interventions during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are likely to have a high impact in reducing death, disease, and avoiding irreversible harm to health and cognitive development. The current prevalence of malnutrition in Rwandan children is 44%, and a decrease by at least six percentage points is hoped to be attained by 2015. The intervention will be implemented from 2013/2014 to 2015/2016, with a Sector Budget Support Component (€28 million) and complementary measures (€2 million) to leverage the contributions of both the Ministries of Health and Agriculture to fight malnutrition. e action seeks to trigger improved multi-sector responses to chronic malnutrition at central and community levels.Read more
Estonian Prosecutor's Office starts criminal proceedings regarding Paet-Ashton phone call recording
The Estonian Prosecutor's Office started a criminal investigation on Thursday over the leaking of a phone call recording of a conversation between Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton on the Internet, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports. law provision on violating the confidentiality of messages. of private surveillance activities here, she said. valid regarding crimes committed against Estonian citizens....Read more
Government commited to Valletta's regeneration
Valletta 2018 Foundation chairman Jason Micallef has expressed his satisfaction that the government is taking Valletta’s regeneration seriously. The government is truly committed towards the regeneration of the capital in terms of cultural, as well as social and economic aspects....
Brussels renews criticism of German trade surplus
introduced in 2011 under the EU's six-pack legislation, a surveillance and enforcement mechanism which intends to root out macroeconomic imbalances among the EU member states before they get out of hand. In the first round of the Commission's yearly MIP, EU member states are screened to determine which ones warrant an in-depth review. Then, analyses like the one released yesterday provide a closer look at macroeconomic issues in each of these countries.Read more
Highlights - Work-life Balance and Gender Equality - Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality
As chair of the FEMM Committee I wish to extend a warm welcome to all visitors to this official website. Women’s rights and gender equality are the core issues of our Committee and we hope that our improved web presence can give the EU citizens and everyone who is interested in our mission, a better picture of our work and bring us closer to each other.
We will use this channel to further promote the Committee’s mandate and achievements through information and transparency to our audience. Despite many successes in empowering women, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life (social, cultural, political and economical) where women are not equally treated. Our general concerns are voiced over the pay gap, female poverty, women's underrepresentation in decision making, trafficking and violence against women and children.