IMPACT OF THE CRISIS ON THE LOBBYING PRACTICES IN BRUSSELS

The major consequence of the crisis is that it has put financial questions at the heart of European politics. Lobbyists are being forced to adjust their positions as circumstances change. The crisis has led the Brussels offices of many companies to take more an of an interest in financial matters than they did in the past. Businesses are seeking to defend their interests as borrowers.

IMPACT OF THE CRISIS ON LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES

The current economic and financial crisis is having severe effects on the local and regional authorities:

ADVANTAGE DEUTSCHLAND IN 2012

AALEP reproduces here after the geopolitical analysis of STRATFOR Global Intelligence for Europe in 2012. STRATFOR uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources. Analysts then evaluate events looking through the objective lens of geopolitics. Their  goal is simple: to make the complexity of the world understandable without ideology, agenda or national bias. 

ROMANIA'S FAILURE OF DEMOCRATIC PRACTICES

The economic crisis has led Romanian authorities to take some of the toughest austerity measures in Central and Eastern Europe. The measures adopted last year included a 25 percent cut in public salaries, 15 percent cuts in social assistance, including disability benefits and children’s allowances, and cuts in subsidies for medical treatments – hitting especially people with chronic diseases, such as AIDS, and mental conditions. A third of Romanians say they cannot afford even the basic necessities.

LOBBYING WITHOUT LOBBYING LAW IN RUSSIA

There is no official lobbying law in Russia. Lobbying does not specify, does not define anything in the context of Russian existing legislation. There is no legal framework to regulate the activities of individuals who push for desirable political decisions and lobby for favourable political changes. A bill outlining the process and rules has been hung up in the State Duma for several years.

THE NEED TO SPEAK 'OIL AND GAS' IN BRUSSELS

The realities of today's European market are such that businesses, especially in the field of energy are forced to present and uphold their interests in the different subdivisions and associated structures of the European Union. More than 75% of all legislation and regulations affecting the energy complex are created by EU institutions and must be followed in all member states, and in all countries aspiring for membership.

EXPLAINING THE DOWNGRADE OF CREDIT RATING

While Standard & Poors (S&P) is largely being blamed for the downgrade of credit rating, it may be useful to understand the basis of its assessment. After all Standard & Poors is only a messenger.

AALEP INVITED TO THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

AALEP has been invited to attend a special hearing of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs on interest group's activities of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to be held on 24 January 2012.

HUNGARY: IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID

The forint has slid to record lows; two rating agencies have downgraded Hungary's public debt to junk; bond yields have topped 10%. Unemployment is nudging 11% and the labour force participation rate is among the lowest in Europe. Hungary has about € 4.6 billion of foreign debt maturing this year and probably sufficient resources to get through to the third quarter. But it's financing costs have risen to unsustainable levels and the forint suffered a sell-off as conditions in the eurozone, its main export market, deteriorated and growth prospects dimmed.

WHERE MIGHT THE FRENCH FINANCIERS RELOCATE?

 In Europe the top Global Financial Centres include: London (1), Zurich (8), Geneva (9), Frankfurt (14), Paris (20), Luxembourg (21), Jersey (23), Munich (25), Guernsey (27), Edinburgh (29), Amsterdam (32), Dublin (33), Stockholm (33), Isle of Man (35), Madrid (37), Brussels (41), Milan (41), Vienna (43), Copenhagen (46), Glasgow (46), Rome (48), Monaco (51), Oslo (53), Prague (55), Gibraltar (56), Helsinki (56), Warsaw (59), Malta (59), Lisbon (64), Moscow (68), St. Petersburg (69), Istanbul (71), Budapest (72), Athens (73), Tallinn (74) and Reykjavik (75).

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