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Western Europe

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Key Facts

Western Europe is the region comprising the westerly countries of Europe. While the term has a geographic context, another main definition developed during the Cold War (approx. 1945-1991) to describe the countries associated with the Western European Union (1954–2011; now part of the European Union (EU)), a defensive alliance drafted in 1948 among non-communist European nations during the Cold War, as opposed to the countries of the Eastern Bloc (or Warsaw Pact). Countries culturally and geographically associated with other European regions that steered clear of Soviet influence during the Cold War are usually included, while western members of the former Eastern Bloc (with the exception of Eastern Germany) are excluded.

  • Germany’s federal election

    2017/09/16

    With just over a week to go until Germany’s federal election, this is the height of the country’s “silly season”. And to prove that Germans can be silly too, one of the parties in the running, appropriately called Die PARTEI, offers this policy proposition in its platform: To transcend the “fruitless” debate about a “gender pay gap”, manager salaries will from presently on be tied to the size of managers’ brassiere cups.

  • Climate change laws around the world

    2017/05/14

    There has been a 20-fold increase in the number of global climate change laws since 1997, according to the most comprehensive database of relevant policy and legislation.

    The database, produced by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Sabin Center on Climate Change Law, includes more than 1,200 relevant policies across 164 countries, which account for 95% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Brexit negotiations should treat energy as ‘special case’

    2017/05/14

    There are strong practical reasons why the UK and EU should treat energy as a appropriate case during Brexit negotiations, argues a new statement.

    The statement, jointly authored by Chatham Home, the University of Exeter and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), says finding common ground on energy during the Brexit negotiations would benefit both the UK and remaining EU27, while compromise may be relatively easier to achieve than for other areas.

  • Belgium Reforms benefit companies, but consumers pay the bill

    2017/05/07

    Belgium

    Reforms benefit companies, but consumers pay the bill

  • Austria Growth is gradually gathering momentum

    2017/05/07

    Austria

    Growth is gradually gathering momentum

  • Brexit delay risks triggering a shotgun divorce

    2016/08/25

    It’s been two months since Britain voted to quit the European Union (EU). Since again, the silence on how the divorce proceedings will be conducted has been deafening. It’s an impasse that helps neither side and, once Europe’s August holiday season is over and the region’s politicians are back at their desks, there’s a risk that things could turn nasty.

  • Minimal Conditions For The Survival Of The Euro

    2016/03/20

    The Eurozone crisis has shown that monetary union entails additional than just sharing monetary policies. This column, initial published on 12 February 2016, identifies four minimal conditions for solidifying the monetary union. In the case of fiscal policy, this means a decentralised solution. In the case of financial supervision and monetary policy, centralisation is unambiguously the appropriate response. In the case of a fourth condition, deficit restructuring, either approach is possible, but the authors prefer a solution that involves centrally restructuring debts while allocating costs at national level.

  • The eurozone (debt) crisis – causes and crisis response

    2016/01/03

    The eurozone crisis could develop due to lack of mechanisms to prevent the build-up of macro-economic imbalances. Given limited access to other sources of finance and limited fiscal transfers, the ECB played a crucial role in the crisis response.
    External assistance only came next extreme market stress. The implicit promise of the ECB to act as a lender of last resort nations and government was necessary to re-establish market access. Program nations in particular had to push through reforms and severe austerity measures.
    By definition, crisis nations were not able to use monetary and exchange rate policy, but, given the chaos that it would likely have resulted in, euro-exit remained an unappealing alternative.

  • Leader_Syriza’s electoral win is a chance to strike a deal

    2015/01/27
    The victory of far-left Syriza in last weekend’s Greek general election opens a dangerous new phase in the eurozone crisis. Its leader Alexis Tspiras has demanded an end to the “fiscal waterboarding” that in his view has left Greece trapped in a debtor’s prison. But the rest of Europe, and Germany in particular, have so far stood their ground. If no compromise can be found Greece risks being bundled out of the euro by the end of the year.
  • Shell drops $6.5bn Al Karaana

    2015/01/16
    Royal Dutch Shell has scrapped plans for a $6.5bn petrochemicals project with Qatar Petroleum, citing “the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry”, the oil major said on Wednesday.
    The Al Karaana project, an 80:20 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell, would have produced 2m tonnes a year of petrochemicals products, largely intended for Asian markets.
  • The UK’s attempt to exercise autonomy over its right to regulate short selling was extinguished

    2014/02/25

    The Court of Justice of the EU's rejection of British attempts to appeal against a European short-selling ban could signal a new degree of harmonisation on financial regulation.

    On January 22, 2014, the UK’s attempt to exercise autonomy over its right to regulate short selling was extinguished, as the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) dismissed the UK’s case for the annulment of the European Short Selling Regulations.

  • Sri Mulyani Indrawati

    2017/07/08

    In an interview with us, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati emphasized that compared to Europe, Indonesia's economy is benefitting from a combination of a young population and effective fiscal policies.

  • Germany considers Nigeria as a priority partner country in Africa

    2016/07/25

    German Consul General in Lagos, Ingo Herbert is a distinguished diplomat with vast experience in different roles. He has a pragmatic world view which seeks win-win situations in trade and diplomacy. Herbert was confirmed as Consul General in September 2015. Before his nomination, he had served Deputy Chief of Mission at the German Embassy in Pretoria and Tanzania. Previous assignments include Deputy Chief of Division at German Foreign Service, Ministry for Cultural Affairs in Berlin and Press Officer at German Embassy in Tel Aviv. MEET THE BOSS recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Consul General for an interview.

  • BNP Paribas turning balance sheet into fees

    2014/03/02

    Next almost two decades’ experience in a pure advisory bank, Sophie Javary is presently looking to strengthen the corporate finance business of BNP Paribas, one of Europe’s major lenders.

  • Frank Baker UK Ambassador to Kuwait

    2013/04/28

    We amount know about Kuwait’s vast oil reserves, which are over 7% of the world’s oil deposits, and Kuwait as a key player in the world energy market. In recent years, Kuwait has been using some of the gain from those oil reserves to revive other sectors, such as the financial services sector, infrastructure and logistics.

  • Josse Barroso and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

    2013/04/27

    Today, 26th April in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we have the 6th edition of the College to College conference between the African Union Commission and the European Commission. We will take stock of evolution on the Africa-EU Partnership and reflect on our shared vision for the next.

  • Antonio Tajani, a vice-president of the European Commission

    2013/01/14

    Serge Rombi: “Hello and welcome. We’re with Antonio Tajani, a vice-president of the European Commission and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship. Hello.”

    Antonio Tajani: “Hello everyone.”

    Serge Rombi: “Factories are closing, unemployment is increasing, SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), aren’t surviving the economic crisis. Is it amount completely unavoidable or can we get out of it?”

  • Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development

    2013/01/14

    “We must strengthen nations’ resilience towards food price shocks and changing climate patterns”

    At the same time as we meet Andris Piebalgs to discuss agricultural development, the streets were blocked by striking Belgian farmers. The country’s agriculturalists may be facing their own constraints, but the thoughts of the European Union’s commissioner for development are further afield.