Heti hírlevelünk - INFO AMICALE 19
West Balkan expansion for the EU: On February the 6th, the EU launched its plan concerning the six former Yugoslavian republics, plus Albania. The global strategy seeks to integrate Serbia and Montenegro into the EU by 2025 and have Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo be at an advanced state of negotiations. The EU is also ready to counter the traditional Russian influence in the region.
Elections in Cyprus – hope for reunification? On Sunday the 4th of February 2018, Nicos Anastasiades was elected president in Cyprus with nearly 56% of the votes. During these elections, two questions have been central in the country: the country's economy and the question of the island's reunification. In fact, since 1974, the northern part of the island has been occupied by the Turkish army, making Nicosia the last divided European capital. M. Anastasiades has worked for the unification for several years and even though his election might blow a wind of hope, the processes of negotiation seem to provoke more skepticism than anything else among the Cypriotes since they last failed in 2017.
Three Catalan leaders question the legality of their detention: Oriol Junqueras (ex-Vice-President of the Catalan Government), Jordi Sanchez (ex-President of the Catalan National Assembly) and Jordi Cuixart (President of the independentist organization Omnium Cultural) are accused of sedition for their role in Catalunya’s secession-attempt last autumn. As their lawyers argue that “Their detention in Spain is an insult to Human Rights”, they have appealed to the UN group working on arbitrary detentions, the same group that in February 2016 concluded that Julian Assange – founder of Wikileaks – was detained arbitrarily.
*AMICAL DEBATE OF THE WEEK
Topic: Should Britain leave the customs union before Brexit?
For Britain to keep its role in the European trade, whether from within or outside the EU, the customs union is vital. Leaving the customs union before Brexit would make no sense. At the moment Britain, while negotiating Brexit, still has some of EUs benefits. Through Brexit negotiations, Britain has a [small] chance of getting a new customs agreement that could be positive for the country even after leaving the Union. However, if they leave the customs union before officially leaving the EU, who is to say that the remaining members of the EU will be willing to negotiate a custom agreement with Britain, different than the present one, that would be beneficial for the UK?
On the other hand, leaving it would guarantee the ability to establish new free-trade agreements with other nations. Last week, Theresa May had declared that Britain « will be leaving the EU and the customs union and it is not the Government’s policy to be members of ‘the’ customs union or ‘a’ customs union », and she added « That means we can get on with the job of enhancing trade round the world - important for prosperity and jobs. »
*THE FACE OF THE WEEK
For this edition, Duel Amical’s team deliberated and chose Adreian Payne as the face of the week.
Adreian Payne is an American professional basketball player for Panathinaikos, of the Greek basketball league. The team announced the move Monday. Payne later posted on Instagram, saying he was excited to join a historic club and help it try to win a Euroleague title and the Greek Championship.