region:western europe

  • Europe Has Several Possible Replacements For Russian Gas But All Are Risky, Expensive And Will Take Years To Develop

    Vladimir Putin’s rapid annexation of Crimea has sparked a new urgency in the European Union to find energy supplies outside Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, but weaning the EU from Russian gas will be slow and difficult.

    The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) concluded as much six months ago, when it published an extensive report on Western Europe’s energy security. That report discussed a handful of alternatives to Russia’s Gazprom, including North African gas, Central Asian gas and U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, concluding that although the options are many, completely replacing Russian gas will be difficult if not impossible, and each option faces significant challenges.

    Little did the report’s authors know how prophetic their words were when they wrote last August, “The 28 member-state European Union (EU) has been a growing natural gas consumer and importer for decades. As Europe’s natural gas production has declined in recent years, its dependence on imported natural gas has increased. This has left it more dependent as a whole on its primary supplier, Russia, which has shown some inclination to use its resources for political ends.”

    In 2012, Gazprom accounted for 34 percent of the European Union’s natural gas imports, CRS found. Norway accounts for another 35 percent of natural gas imports, making it the lead supplier to the EU, and Algeria is the third-largest supplier to the 28 member countries, which import 64 percent of their natural gas supply.

    Little has changed since the CRS report, a senior analyst for the U.S. government said Thursday. He believes Europe’s best option to decrease dependency on Russia is within its own borders — to increase interconnectivity of existing pipelines, increase gas storage and increase transparency that would allow companies to calculate costs of transport between countries.

    In North Africa, new political leadership and vast reserves mean some countries like Algeria, Libya and Egypt have the potential to become some of the largest European suppliers. The three countries together could provide about 44 percent of what Russia does today, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    But problems with infrastructure and political instability are getting in the way.

    Algeria is the second-largest exporter on the continent and could possibly have more gas in shale resources than in its current reserves.

    “Algeria could become a more significant gas producer and exporter. However, a difficult business environment may continue to limit its potential,” the CRS report reads.

    In 2011, a consortium led by the Algerian state-owned Sonatrach opened the Medgaz natural gas pipeline that runs to Spain. But Spain’s pipelines have little connectivity to the rest of Europe, “like an island,” the senior U.S. official said. The state-owned Sonatrach continues to hold a majority stake in all energy projects and Algerian investment and export laws seem to change every year.

    Algeria’s regional neighbor Egypt has seen domestic for natural gas increase more than 57 percent since 2005, but production is limited, in part because of hard-to-reach reserves. While potentially a rich new source of supply for Europe, attacks from Bedouin and terrorist groups in the Sinai Peninsula have halted Egyptian exports much closer to home in Israel and Jordan. According to CRS, Egypt will need to make the tough political decisions to cut fuel subsidies and encourage western investment before it can tackle an ambitious export plan.

    In Libya, natural gas production dropped 90 percent during the 2011 civil war. The industry has recovered to a degree but civil unrest, protests and strikes still hamper production. Still, Libya holds the fourth-largest amount of natural gas reserves in Africa, and new leadership could help facilitate further exports.

    “Libya may have the greatest potential to increase natural gas exports to Europe once a new regime is established and possibly a new state oil and natural gas company in a post-Qadhafi Libya,” the Congressional Research Service concluded.

    Central Asia sits on top of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), but transporting that gas to Europe would require expensive and lengthy pipelines through multiple countries. Nonetheless, the EU has proposed what’s known as the Southern Strategy or Southern Corridor to transport natural gas from the Caspian region through Turkey.

    The initially planned Nabucco pipeline, which is no longer considered commercially viable, would have transported gas from Turkey to Austria.

    Now a smaller pipeline project has taken its place, known as the Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline (TANAP). This pipeline would carry gas through Turkey from Azerbaijan and connect to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which flows from the Turkish border through Greece and Albania, ending in Italy. But delays in construction have forced the Central Asian countries to hunt for customers in the east. Construction on TANAP is expected to begin at the end of the year and be completed by 2018. Even so, European pipelines would then need to connect to Italy’s infrastructure, which would present its own problems.

    Perhaps the most touted option so far is to import LNG from the U.S, but the U.S. Energy Department has so far only approved seven applications out of more than 20, and only one has final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The soonest any company will export LNG from the U.S. is 2015.

    LNG already represents about 25 percent of European natural gas imports, up from 15 percent in 2010, according to CRS. Algeria, Egypt and Qatar are the largest suppliers, and the U.K., Spain and France are the largest consumers. There are 22 LNG import terminals around Europe, with Poland, Lithuania and Estonia building new terminals that could distribute imported LNG around Northern and Eastern Europe.

    With U.S. LNG in the global gas market, prices would decline and eat into Russia’s profit. Some energy analysts, like David Goldwyn, a senior fellow for the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution, argue merely expediting the LNG permitting process would immediately erode Russia’s market power.

    President Obama was in Brussels Wednesday to discuss trade relations and the Ukraine crisis and he said a new trans-Atlantic trade agreement under negotiation would make it easier for his administration to approve LNG exports. He emphasized that it can’t happen overnight.

    #CRS U.S. ( Congressional Research Service )
    #EU ( European Union )

  • EUROPP – Nordic countries are not as similar or as ‘exceptional’ as conventional wisdom would suggest

    Signalé par Antoine Jacob, journaliste à Riga

    Nordic countries are often treated as a separate, ‘exceptional’ group among European countries. Åsa Bengtsson writes that while this conception is extremely common, a closer look at voting behaviour and political engagement within Nordic countries reveals a different picture. There are in fact notable differences within the Nordic region which are at least as large as the variations between Nordic states and other countries in Western Europe.

    We all know the story. The Nordic countries, those five small states in the Northern parts of Europe are somehow peculiar, maybe because of the strength of the welfare state, maybe because of the number of medals in the Winter Olympics. Rich, stable, equal and perhaps a bit complacent is the usual verdict. When it comes to the political arena, scholars have even presented the Nordic countries as ‘exceptional’ or ‘happy’ democracies.

    #scandinavie #monde_nordique #norvège #perception

  • Value-Form and Avant-Garde

    What we call the ‘neo-avant-garde’ is the last cycle of artistic production that can still plausibly be said to have made claims in the terms sketched above. It is evidently not a concept that admits of strict periodisation. For simplicity’s sake let us postulate that the neo-avant-garde’s terminal phase, in Western Europe at least, begins in 1957, when Guy Debord and others founded the Situationist International. Most likely it ends in the 1970s – perhaps, for instance, in 1979, the year when the Italian state arrested leading figures associated with the nebulous phenomenon called Autonomia. Between these signposts lies the death of what some theorists (I am thinking particularly of the French group Théorie Communiste) have defined as ‘programmatism’: briefly, the cycle of class struggle – conspicuously coterminous with artistic modernism – that finds its programme in the affirmation of the proletariat as an autonomous pole within the capitalist class relation. Programmatism refers to struggles that affirm the identity of the proletarian subject and hence that frame politics in terms of the growth of class power, as opposed to the immediate abolition of the proletariat as a class of capital. It begins with the workers’ movement in the mid-19th century and ends, if we follow the concept’s originators, in exactly the moment in question, the 1960s and 70s, when new forms of revolt and capitalist restructuring eliminated the basis for a programmatic class politics. Workers themselves then tended to reject mediation by traditional parties and trade unions, while capital decomposed the class through a new global division of labour and intensified real subsumption of the labour process (by which I here designate the imposition of specifically capitalist rationalities through technique and organisation). What does it mean to say that modernism ‘belongs’ in some deep but still-to-be-determined sense to the epoch of programmatism?

    It means that we should grasp modernist art’s self-preservative and self-destructive moments in terms of its constitutive relation to the value-form. This is a large claim. All the same, the premises of my argument are simple observations.

    #art #modernisme #communisation

  • L’Art comme Diplomatie Culturelle (Appel &agrav...

    "L’Art comme Diplomatie Culturelle - (Re) Construction des Notions de l’Europe de l’Est et de l’Ouest

    “Art as Cultural Diplomacy - (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe

    The panel « Art as cultural diplomacy » seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of the European Union and its candidate countries, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. (...)”

    #art #politique #Europe #diplomatie #culture #Union-Européenne #Mur-de-Berlin #échange #communication #circulation #peuples #Artpol #vangauguin #coopération #Paix

  • 15 Major Corporations You Never Knew Profited from Slavery - Atlanta Black Star

    The enslavement of African people in the Americas by the nations and peoples of Western Europe, created the economic engine that funded modern capitalism. Therefore it comes as no surprise that most of the major corporations that were founded by Western European and American merchants prior to roughly 100 years ago, benefited directly from slavery.

    #états-unis #esclavage #corporations #multinationales

  • Big Earthquakes Create Global-Scale GPS Errors

    The Global Positioning System is a network of satellites and ground stations that provide location information anywhere on Earth. Except for spots in Australia, western Europe and the eastern tip of Canada, every GPS site on the ground underwent small but important shifts since 2000 because of big earthquakes, according to a study published May 6 in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth.


  • UK Peace Index Video « Vision of Humanity »

    UK Peace Index Video

    The UKPI video showcases the main findings of the UK Peace Index and includes a detailed description of the economic benefits that would flow from increase levels of peace.

    Rates of murder and violent crime have fallen more rapidly in the UK in the past decade than anywhere else in Western Europe, researchers say.

    The UK Peace Index, from the Institute for Economics and Peace, found UK homicides per 100,000 people had fallen from 1.99 in 2003, to one in 2012.

    It found Broadland, Norfolk, to be the most peaceful local council area but Lewisham, London, to be the least.

    #visualisation #mondialistation #royaume-uni #video

  • Al-Qaeda in Maghreb Recruits Locals for Jihad

    Signs of a war between al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria have started lurking in the horizon.

    Events took this drastic turn after AQIM issued a statement accusing groups that are trying to send jihadists from Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Western Europe to fight in Syria of coordinating with France and Arab regimes in the Maghreb. These groups are also accused of hindering cooperation with cells working on sending jihadists to Syria by way of Turkey. This is the first time that such tensions have arisen between two branches affiliated with al-Qaeda.

    (Note : je ne sais pas ce que vaut el-Khabar, source de cet article.)

  • US life expectancy lowest among industrialized countries - World Socialist Web Site

    L’espérance de vie aux Etats-Unis : la plus basse de tous les pays industrialisés

    US life expectancy lowest among industrialized countries
    By Kate Randall
    11 January 2013

    Life expectancy in the United States continues to lag behind that in Western Europe, Canada, Australia and Japan, according to a new report commissioned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The study’s findings are a stinging indictment of social inequality in the US and its impact on the conditions of life for wide layers of the American population, young and old.

    The panel of experts from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine identified the inaccessibility of health care, high levels of poverty and income inequality, as well as the prevalence of gun violence as major contributing factors to the poor life expectancy rate in the US.

  • Country migration profile by Migreurop : Serbia

    Since the 1960s, Serbia has been primarily the country of emigration : like hundreds of thousands citizens of ex-Yugoslavia, Serbians migrated to the countries of Western Europe, as temporary or “guest” workers (gastarbeiter). During the conflicts following the break-down of Yugoslavia, there were both many people who sought safety in Serbia and many Serbians who left to go to the countries of Western Europe. The term “refugee” (izbeglica) is now used to refer to people, most often of Serbian ethnicity, who fled Bosnia and Croatia and sought refuge in Serbia. It is estimated that there are around 86 000 Bosnian and Croatian refugees, as well as 206 000 internally-displaced persons who fled the armed conflicts in Kosovo, living in Serbia, many of whom still live in so called collective centres they were accommodated in when they first arrived, and face obstacles in their integration with the rest of the society. They remain most the visible and represented group of “migrants” in Serbia.

    Serbia is a good example of a country, which has been turned into a “buffer” zone of the Fortress Europe, through the externalisation of the EU migration policy onto Serbia. While Serbia has been a country of transit for migrants from Asia and Africa, the number of non-ex-Yugoslav migrants stuck in Serbia has been increasing in the recent years, due to the increasing pressures from the European Union (EU) for Serbia to harmonise its policies with the EU migration policies. Since the 1st of March 2012, Serbia is officially a candidate to join the EU [1].

    #migration #migreurop #Serbia #country_profile

  • Why French women have so little equality, a story in charts

    Other than Italy, which has long been accused of treating women relatively poorly, France is by far the worst country for women in Western Europe. (...)
    Today, much of the inequality appears to affect women’s political empowerment, for which France ranks 63rd, just beneath Ethiopia. Economic opportunity for French women is similarly low, particularly on wage equality, on which France ranks a stunning 129th in the world. According to the World Economic Forum’s global survey, France is the absolute worst in the world for gender wage equality.

    #femmes #inégalités #data

  • It’s Official: Western Europeans Have More Cars Per Person Than Americans - Max Fisher - The Atlantic

    Amazingly, Americans still manage to suck up far, far more energy per person than do the people in those Western European nations with so many more cars per capita. Our oil usage per capita is about twice what it is in Western Europe, and here’s our overall energy usage:

  • The Origins of Sex: How the First Sexual Revolution Shaped Modern Society | Brain Pickings

    After last month’s Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire, here comes The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution (public library) by Oxford University historian Faramerz Dabhoiwala — a formidably research, absorbing, eloquent account of how, contrary to the modern mythology of the 1960s, today’s permissive sexual behavior first developed, seemingly suddenly, some three hundred years earlier, in 17th-century Western Europe.

  • The Price of Sex

    The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.

    #documentaire #prostitution #commerce_du_sexe

  • Speeding up Internet in Lebanon –

    Lebanon has long had the physical capacity to supply cheap, high-speed Internet to the country and in December 2010 a 13,000km IMEWE (India- Middle East- Western Europe) submarine fiber optic cable, which linked Lebanon as far east to India and west to France, became operational.

    But Lebanon delayed access to the cable until July after internal bickering between the Ministry of Telecommunications and Ogero, the government’s land-line provider, over rights to tenures.

    The deadlocks are considered politically motivated, as the Ministry and Ogero are each controlled by opposing sides of Lebanon’s deep political divide based on sect and ideology.

  • Liberation by software | Eben Moglen

    For the last half-thousand years, ever since there has been a press, the press has had a tendency to marry itself to power, willingly or otherwise. The existence of the printing press in western Europe destroyed the unity of Christendom, in the intellectual, political and moral revolution we call the Reformation. But the European states learned as the primary lesson of the Reformation the necessity of censorship: power controlled the press almost everywhere for hundreds of years.

    #Eben_Moglen #logiciel_libre #médias