MyParl.eu – No take-off, No crash-and-burn

Gawain Towler has announced the death of MyParl.eu with the followup of Jon Worth .

The project was simply a waste of money. A project which didn’t take off so it doesn’t crash land! Because the project would simply crash-and-burn.

Sometimes I wonder who comes up with these great ideas…

Instead of finding new projects to fund with a few million euros, why not fund existing projects that are successful. Blogactiv (which I am not crazy about but at least have some respect for) is an example of such a project. (note that I have absolutely no affiliation with Euractiv or Blogactiv…

So,etimes it’s like they have competitions for who the most useless projects…

Wanted: The Lisbon Treaty

I wanted to see what everybody thinks… Though I don’t expect a huge voter turnout… 🙂

  

Just looking back on some emails, I recieved mixed messages:

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, welcomed as a strong political signal the call by European Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels for the Lisbon Treaty ratification process to go ahead in those countries that have not ratified.

 (June)

From the Press:

No Lisbon Treaty by June 2009- Juncker

Juncker rules out Lisbon treaty before 2010

 

 

President Kaczynski Cartoon…

With Poland’s President Kaczynski having stirred the waters with nearly every one of his visits to Brussels, his government is now literally begging him not to come to Brussels next week for the EU Summit.
Little gold star for Foreign Minister Sikorsi who realises that Kaczynski does more bad than good; for Poland, and for Europe.

What the press said:

The Times:

Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign Minister, pleaded with President Kaczynski “on bended knee” not to attend this week’s European Union summit, saying that his presence could harm Warsaw’s negotiating position.

Sikorski added each of the EU’s 27 member states will have two seats at the negotiating table, and the government wants them to be occupied by Tusk and Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, who both have a history of economic proficiency.

The summit is expected to focus on the global financial crisis and the EU’s efforts to buttress its beleaguered banking system. Leaders will also discuss the EU’s plan to tackle global warming, which Poland believes to be too costly. (Reuters)

Forbes:

‘On bended knee, I beg you Mr President, don’t go… Don’t weaken our negotiating position at this important summit,’ Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in a radio interview.

Golden Expat Allowance – Welcome to the European Commission

Not to anger all those very good people working in the European Commission- but I think giving expat allowance is simply ridiculous. From what I understand, and perhaps i’m wrong, people are paid expat allowance of a minimum of 400 or so euros. From what I also understand, is that the employees are entitled to this allowance for the duration of their employment so long as they haven’t lived in Belgium the last 2 years before being hired.

My problem is the following:

1) Belgians don’t get it, and they are the ONLY EU citizens not to……

2) How long is someone considered an expat for? After a year you’re supposed to be part of the community… Not technically an expat anymore…

3) If someone decides to leave their country to go take a job- it’s their problem. Why should they be rewarded extra for it, it’s supply and demand. There’s no shortage of employees in Europe… Only jobs.

4) With all the other benefits which are included, private companies don’t have much opportunity to avoid this internal “Brain drain”. Private company employees not working for google, or microsoft, or another huge corporation are all semi-temporary, awaiting their exam results from the Commission… and then their call to start.

5) All of this money comes from the EU taxpayers’ pockets… Mind you, the employees of the Commission don’t really pay much taxes do they…

Now I understand that it’s very easy for anyone working in the Commission to not like this post, and I’m sorry… But the greater good of 450 million is more important than the good of a few thousands… or tens of thousands…

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Is Microsoft paying in barter? Or… Time to go Open Source

A few years ago Microsoft got hit by a monster fine of about 500 million Euros which was then jacked up to 900 million earlier this year. Microsoft failed to comply with Antitrust legislation which is quite strict on a theoretical level. See Wikipedia page for more info.
My question is, how is Microsoft paying the Commission this money? (Apparently they issued a check for the first fine, perhaps they already have paid in full). From what I know the whole of the European Commission operates with Microsoft programs. What’s more, these products are highly customized, with the customization possibly even varying depending on the DGs. The European Parliament also uses Microsoft products (Word, Outlook, etc) exclusively.

So is Microsoft paying the rest of money back in barter? Obviously not…

The question is, how much money have the European Institutions paid out to Microsoft for licensing fees over the years? Furthermore how much is paid annually for support, and any other services?

Instead of fining a company for going against competition rules, why don’t the institutions attempt to break the monopoly behaviour by going open source? There are alternatives to Microsoft Office. Indeed several governments are going down the open source road. These include Croatia, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Norway, India, Philippines, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Cuba and others. This list (3 minutes with Google) is meant to serve as an indication that any response saying that it’s not possible is… not acceptable!

The European Commission is enabling this monopoly behaviour. Now I’m a big fan of Microsoft products- they work. But so do other software alternatives. A total move to Open Source is not in the character of the Commission, as a 12-step approach is usually preferred. But with the Commission’s attitude towards the principle of Open Source questionable even this scenario is unlikely.
Time to reconsider perhaps? Or forever live in hypocrisy!
(Just like me… Using Word to spell-check this post…)

 

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Mandelson back in “action”

Sooner or later... therell be no more yachts for Mandy to cruise on...

Sooner or later... there'll be no more yachts for Mandy to cruise on...

Peter Mandelson gave trade concessions worth up to £50m a year to Russia’s richest man who has entertained him on his superyacht.  Following my post Bye Bye Mandelson… Back to Business… I found this on a fellow bloggers site. Apparently, Mandelson is back in action:

Only days back in UK politics and Mandy is the centre of controversy. This time according to The Times it is over potential conflict of interest in respect of a rich Russian acquaintance. Apparently trade concessions worth some 50 million pounds a year could be involved.

Mr. Mandelson knows very well how to handle issues of trade… Brussels taught him well. Interesting to note that this is the same paper that did the Sting operation on Fritz-Harald Wenig not too long ago. Go figure…

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More money into markets = stocks going to hell

Countries are putting up billions like they have bottomless pockets. The stocks are still however, falling.. lower and lower… and lower… (see below from Yahoo finance).

Maybe, just maybe, the approach might be wrong?!?!?!?!

 

FTSE 100 4,087.88 -225.92 -5.24%
Chart for FTSE 100
DAX 4,541.20 -345.80 -7.08%
Chart for DAX
CAC 40 3,202.05 -240.65 -6.99%
Chart for CAC 40

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