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International oil prices have declined to $ 50/barrel, levels not seen for years; but governments fail to neutralise these ultra-low prices by raising excise taxes. They seem to be much more interested in pleasing consumers than in seizing the opportunity for reducing their budget deficits and fighting climate change. This is irresponsible! Have governments completely […]

In the 21st century the international community will increasingly have to cope with issues going beyond the scope of individual or groups of states. These issues should be dealt with by UN; but the UN is handicapped by the absence of a proper political authority and the consensus required for all decisions. In 2015, the […]

The EU and its 28 member states maintain the most extensive network of diplomatic representations on earth. This situation will become financially unsustainable and no longer necessary after the creation of the European External Action Service which is running 140 missions today. Diplomatic representations have become very expensive; their cost has kept rising through increased […]

The recent revelations about complex financial transactions of some 300 major companies profiting from differentials between corporate income tax bases and rates among member states and specific tax deals reducing their tax bill raise questions about the compatibility of national company taxation regimes with an economic and monetary union. After several fruitless efforts during the […]

Within a few months oil prices have seen a precipitous decline from $ 100/barrel to $ 70/barrel. While consumers across the globe may rejoice, this development is bound to be judged with serious misgivings by the 2000 diplomats meeting as of today in Lima/Peru for another conference with the objective of containing the emission of […]

On Friday (21 November) Mario Draghi, the ECB President, has provoked fireworks at EU stock exchanges after promising he would do all in his power to push inflation in the Euro – zone up to 2%, the ceiling considered as the “target” for EU and US central banks. Expectations of rising prices may give a […]

For many years Ukraine has wasted huge amounts of energy through exorbitant subsidies on gas consumption, coupled with in-transparent multiple gas prices and large-scale corruption. Due to these factors, Ukraine has become one of the most wasteful energy consuming countries in the world. With household gas prices substantially lower than in any other European country […]

About two thirds of the EU member states are using toll systems for financing the construction and maintenance of highways. National governments monitor the rates being charged; and this functions quite satisfactorily. There is no reason for the EU to intervene, except insisting on strict non-discrimination between road users from different member states. This seems […]

From November 3 to 11 Beijing is hosting an APEC Summit, which 20 Heads of Government from the Pacific region will attend. To that end, the local authorities have undertaken utmost efforts to clean up their city, which is one the most polluted on earth. The streets are “empty” because schools, local government, public and […]

With oil prices having declined to less than $90 per barrel, a low level not seen for more than a decade, oil/gas subsidies are becoming a costly affair to countries with high production costs like Russia, Egypt, Yemen, Venezuela, Indonesia. At the same time, due to the lower prices consumers enjoying them will hardly feel […]

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