Remarks by Commissioner Moscovici at the press conference at the launch of the new transparency rules to tackle terrorism financing, tax avoidance and money laundering

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Remarks by Commissioner Moscovici at the press conference at the launch of the new transparency rules to tackle terrorism financing, tax avoidance and money laundering

[Introduction]
Today marks an important further step towards achieving the greater tax transparency that Europeans have been demanding in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal. We are going further and faster than ever before in the fight against tax evasion and money laundering, with the aim of ensuring both social justice and fighting organised crime and terrorism. We are responding to the expectations of our citizens, who are understandably outraged by the revelations of recent months.
From our first day in office, this Commission has made fair taxation as a key priority. We have secured more openness and cooperation between Member States on issues such as tax rulings and multinationals’ tax information. We have developed new anti-abuse measures to tackle the most common aggressive tax planning schemes. And we are working on new tools to promote tax good governance well beyond the borders of the European Union.
[Follow-up to Panama Papers]
Today, we take the next steps in this reform process – targeting, in particular, the shady activities that have been exposed in recent media leaks. The “Panama Papers” revealed that, despite recent progress on tax transparency, tax evaders can still hide behind opaque offshore companies and trusts to escape taxation. They also highlighted the central role that tax advisors – including law firms and financial institutions – play in facilitating tax evasion and avoidance. And they confirmed that there are still countries around the world that encourage tax evasion and avoidance – either deliberately or through weaknesses in their good governance structures.
So how do we plan to stop this type of tax abuse in the future?
First, we want to give tax authorities crucial information on the individuals behind any company or trust. This is essential for them to be able to identify and clamp down on tax evaders. To do this, we have proposed that tax authorities should have access to anti-money laundering information, which is already regulated under EU law.
We have also tightened up the rules on this information and extended its scope. For example, passive companies – like those at the centre of the Panama Papers – trusts, and existing accounts, will all be subject to more scrutiny by national authorities.
Of course, the real benefit to tax administrations would be automatic access to other countries’ information on who owns what. Because tax evaders and avoiders don’t respect borders, they exploit them. So tax transparency needs to stretch beyond national boundaries too. We will therefore start work on a new initiative for the automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information between tax authorities across Europe.
Second, we must create more transparency around the activities of tax advisors, and more scrutiny of those that promote aggressive tax planning schemes. Internationally, the OECD has recommended through its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project that countries should make it mandatory for tax advisors to disclose aggressive tax planning schemes. However, this is rather unspecific and very few countries have followed up.
We would therefore like to see robust EU rules to hold tax advisors to greater account. Common and effective EU legislation in this area could also be an inspiration to our international partners. Of course, this is a highly complex area, so we will need to consult, discuss and research to find the best approach. However, the Commission is determined to push for new EU rules in this area during this mandate and we will launch a public consultation on this very soon. 
Third, we will take a tougher stance against countries that allow offshore funds to be used for illicit purposes. As Commissioner Jourova will outline for you in a moment, the Commission is about to adopt the first EU list of countries that fail to meet international anti-money laundering standards.
In addition, there will also be an EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions – let’s call it as it is, tax havens, as I announced at the beginning of the year. This common EU tax list will be an extremely effective way of putting pressure on countries that do not play fair in the global tax arena and of dealing with third countries that refuse to respect good governance standards.
Our Member States are fully behind the idea of this common EU list, and work is underway to identify the countries we wish to screen. Over the course of the coming year, we will screen third countries that we consider to be of particular relevance, from a tax perspective, and will present the first common EU list in 2017.
[Conclusion]
As I have said before, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance cannot be a static one. It must evolve and react to new challenges and circumstances. That is exactly what we have done today, with these initiatives, which I believe are a robust response to the wide-scale abuse that was recently exposed.
And we have more to come this year in the area of tax reform – not least our proposal to re-launch the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base or CCCTB.
Brick by brick, we are building a solid defence structure against tax evasion and tax avoidance in Europe. And we are also gaining leadership as the EU in the international cooperation in these matters. We are establishing a robust response system against external threats to Member States’ tax bases – and a clear path towards fairer taxation for all EU citizens and businesses.
I will also say a very few words on another item on which there will be no question and therefore no answer, but I will have to make a brief statement, I imagine that some of you are waiting for that.
It is about Spain and Portugal. The College, a few minutes ago, has dealt with this question. We had a first discussion in this context this afternoon. Why? Because the college made the commitment to come back early July, and now it is early July, to the fiscal situation in Spain and Portugal for 2013 and 2015. As I said we have just had a first discussion in this context at the College meeting.
We will adopt the necessary decisions very soon and we will communicate and explain to you, alongside Vice-President Dombrovskis, all the details of those decisions at that stage, meaning when the decisions are taken, not before. And this is not today.
What I can tell you now is that we have acted, since the beginning of this Commission, we are acting now and we will act within the rules of the Pact, which have to be respected, and that’s the job of the Commission and it is a matter of credibility. But these rules are also intelligent and they demand to be applied in an intelligent way. And that is the very spirit, with which we will take our decisions, again, very soon.
And I will have to leave you, without other answers on the matter which is of course the most important for you, the fight against tax evasion and tax fraud.
Thank you very much.

Press release – Slovak Presidency priorities: debate with PM Fico on Wednesday at 9.00

MIL OSI – Source: European Union – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Press release – Slovak Presidency priorities: debate with PM Fico on Wednesday at 9.00

MEPs will debate the priorities of the incoming Slovak Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers with Prime Minister Róbert Fico on Wednesday morning, from 9.00. Parliament’s President Martin Schulz will hold a press conference with Mr Fico at around 11.30.
The ambition of the first-ever Slovak Council Presidency, in the aftermath of the UK’s EU membership referendum, is “to increase the EU’s unity and coherence and its resilience to external and internal challenges and to restore citizens’ confidence in the European project.”
The presidency intends to focus its six-month mandate on following priorities:

Economically strong Europe,

Modern single market,

Sustainable migration and asylum policies, and

Globally engaged Europe.

You can watch the plenary debate via EP Live, and EbS+.

Press release ECB unveils new €50 banknote

MIL OSI – Source: European Central Bank – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Press release ECB unveils new €50 banknote

PRESS RELEASE

5 July 2016
EMBARGOTransmission embargo until 14:15 CET on Tuesday, 5 July 2016
New €50 banknote will start circulating on 4 April 2017

€50 is the most widely used euro banknote

New secure banknotes underline Eurosystem’s commitment to cashThe European Central Bank (ECB) today unveiled the new €50 banknote, which will enter into circulation on 4 April 2017. The introduction of the new note marks the latest step in making euro banknotes even more secure. After the €5, €10 and €20, the €50 is the fourth denomination in the second series of euro banknotes, known as the Europa series.
“The introduction of the new €50 will make our currency even safer”, Yves Mersch, ECB Executive Board member, said. “Its state-of-the-art security features help protect our money. It is part of our continued efforts to preserve the euro as a stable currency, a currency that 338 million people across the euro area rely on day by day. The gradual launch of the new euro banknotes with new and enhanced features also underlines the Eurosystem’s commitment to cash as a trusted and efficient means of payment.”
The €50 is the most widely used euro banknote, accounting for 45% of all banknotes in circulation. There are more €50 banknotes in circulation than the €5, €10 and €20 together. The number of €50 banknotes in circulation is also nearly the same as the total number of all denominations in circulation at the end of 2002, the year when euro banknotes and coins started to circulate.
The new €50 banknote includes a portrait window – a new and innovative feature first used on the Europa series €20. When the banknote is held up to the light, a transparent window near the top of the hologram reveals a portrait of Europa, a figure from Greek mythology, which is visible on both sides of the note. The same portrait also appears in the watermark. The front of the banknote features an “emerald number”, a shiny number that, when tilted, changes colour from emerald green to deep blue and displays an effect of the light that moves up and down. These security features make it easy to check the new €50 for authenticity, using the “feel, look and tilt” method.
To help ensure that banknote handling machines and authentication devices throughout the euro area are ready in time for the new €50 banknote, the Eurosystem has launched a partnership programme. It involves more than 500 industrial partners across Europe and provides a wide range of educational tools and other resources related to the new banknote. More than 50 industrial partners also signed a memorandum of understanding on the adaptation of banknote equipment to the new €50 banknote on 15 June 2016 to underline their commitment to ensuring a smooth introduction of the new banknote.
For media queries, please contact Eva Taylor, tel.: +49 69 1344 7162.

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Lichtenberg-Professur: Esther Florin kombiniert Physik und Medizin

MIL OSI – Source: Volkswagen Stiftung – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Lichtenberg-Professur: Esther Florin kombiniert Physik und Medizin

Ihre Arbeit im Rahmen der Lichtenberg-Professur steht unter dem Titel “Systemische Neurowissenschaften mit Schwerpunkt elektrophysiologische Ruhe-Netzwerke des Gehirns”, verankert ist sie am Institut für Klinische Neurowissenschaften und Medizinische Psychologie des Universitätsklinikums Düsseldorf. 2010 promovierte Jun.-Prof. Dr. Esther Florin, am Forschungszentrum Jülich und der Bergischen Universität Wuppertal im Fach Physik.
Das Spezialgebiet der Wissenschaftlerin sind sogenannte Zeitreihenanalysen von neurophysiologischen Daten, also von für Daten, die auf die Funktionsweise des Nervensystems von Menschen und Tieren schließen lassen. Zudem untersucht sie die Entstehung und Entwicklung von Bewegungsstörungen – insbesondere bei Morbus Parkinson – sowie den Wirkmechanismus von Tiefer Hirnstimulation. Auch das auf der Aufzeichnung von Gehirnströmen basierende Neurofeedback-Training, das zur Behandlung von Krankheiten entwickelt wurde, nimmt sie in den Blick. In ihrer Forschungsarbeit kombiniert Esther Florin methodische Entwicklungen aus der Physik mit Anwendungen und Forschungsfragen aus den Neurowissenschaften. So will sie eine Lücke zwischen Physik und Medizin schließen.
Hintergrund Lichtenberg-Professuren
Neue, unkonventionelle Forschungsschwerpunkte setzen sich oft nur schwer in der traditionellen Wissenschaftslandschaft durch. Ebenso fehlt es Nachwuchswissenschaftler(inne)n häufig an längerfristigen Perspektiven, um an deutschen Hochschulen Fuß zu fassen. Damit herausragende Wissenschaftler(innen) aus innovativen Lehr- und Forschungsfeldern für die Arbeit an deutschen Hochschulen gewonnen werden können, wurden die “Lichtenberg-Professuren” ins Leben gerufen. Die Initiative ermöglicht ihnen eine größere Planungssicherheit und die Chance, neue Forschungsfelder eigenständig voranzubringen.
Fünf bis acht Jahre lang unterstützt die Stiftung herausragende Wissenschaftler(innen) dabei, frühzeitig ein eigenständiges neues und interdisziplinäres Forschungsfeld an einer Universität ihrer Wahl fest zu verankern. Der nächste Stichtag für Einreichungen ist der 1. Juni 2017.
Link zu weiteren Informationen über die Förderinitiative “Lichtenberg-Professuren”.

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hosts morning plenary meeting

MIL OSI – Source: Parliament of Ukraine –

Headline: Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine hosts morning plenary meeting

A total of 335 people’s deputies of Ukraine
registered to take part in the meeting.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andrii
Parubii opened the morning plenary meeting.[embedded content]

Andrii Parubii reminded that today we mark
the anniversary of the liberation of Sloviyansk from Moscow invaders.

“Today is the anniversary of when the
soldiers of the Battalion of the National Guard named after Kulchytskyi entered
Sloviyansk and raised the yellow-blue flag there” – he said.

Members of the parliament greeted with
applause Ukrainian soldiers-liberators of the battalion named after Kulchytskyi
who were present in the session hall.

“It was a great victory of Ukrainian
spirit and Ukrainian weapons”, – emphasized the Head of the Parliament.

Besides, Andrii Parubii congratulated the
law enforcement bodies on their success in the operation on neutralization of
the “amber mafia” in Volyn, Rivne, and Zhytomyr regions.

According to Parubii, the forces of the
Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine, Security Service of Ukraine and the
Prosecutor General’s Office managed to simultaneously conduct over 100 searches
in different corners of Ukraine.

“The searches and detentions are
underway. A Security Service colonel and a deputy prosecutor [of Rivne region]
have already received their notifications of suspicion,” he said.

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada
congratulated Ukrainian citizens-Muslims on Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Representatives of deputy factions and
deputy groups took floor, presented statements and proposals.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has approved
criminal prosecution, detention and arrest of people’s deputy of Ukraine
Oleksandr Onyschenko.

 

The members of the Ukrainian Parliament
adopted the Resolution “On dismissal of P.Stetsiuk as a judge of the
Constitutional Court of Ukraine.”

In compliance with Item 26, Section 1 of
Article 85; Item 9, Section 5 of Article 126; and Article 149 of the
Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine dismissed Petro Stetsiuk
as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in satisfaction of his
resignation statement.

Respective draft resolution was registered
under No. 4308.

 

The members of the Ukrainian Parliament
adopted the Resolution “On dismissal of O.Paseniuk as a judge of the
Constitutional Court of Ukraine.”

In compliance with Item 26, Section 1 of
Article 85; Item 2, Section 5 of Article 126; and Article 149 of the
Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine dismissed Oleksandr
Paseniuk as a judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in the course of the
mandatory retirement.

Respective draft resolution was registered
under No. 4882.

 

The people’s deputies adopted Resolutions
“On dismissal of judges.”

In compliance with items 2, 3, 9, Section 5
of Article 126 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine
dismissed a number of judges in the course of the mandatory retirement and in
satisfaction of the resignation statements submitted by some of them.

Respective draft resolutions were
registered under Nos. 4697 and 4697-1.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andrii
Parubii closed the morning plenary meeting.

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Discours du Premier ministre à l'Assemblée nationale – Engagement du 49.3

MIL OSI – Source: Government of France – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Discours du Premier ministre à l'Assemblée nationale – Engagement du 49.3

Monsieur le président,Mesdames et messieurs les ministres,Madame la présidente de la Commission,Monsieur le rapporteur,Mesdames, messieurs les députés, Nous avons un devoir : conduire les réformes dont notre pays a besoin. Pour qu’il soit plus fort face à une concurrence internationale qui ne fait aucun cadeau. Pour que nos entreprises – nos grandes entreprises, nos PME, nos TPE – aient plus de souplesse pour investir et créer ces nouveaux emplois dont nous avons tant besoin. Pour mieux protéger les salariés, adapter leurs droits aux réalités d’une économie en pleine mutation. Le projet de loi Travail, porté avec talent par Myriam EL KHOMRI, répond à tout cela. Nous avons fait des choix, et des choix clairs. Le choix, d’abord, de la décentralisation du dialogue social, c’est-à-dire faire participer les salariés aux décisions de l’entreprise et donner plus de moyens d’agir aux syndicats. Oui, nous faisons confiance à la négociation, au niveau de l’entreprise, aux acteurs du terrain, et nous l’assumons. L’entreprise, c’est l’échelon pertinent. Pertinent, notamment, pour décider de l’organisation du temps de travail ou de la rémunération des heures supplémentaires – toujours, bien sûr, dans le cadre fixé par la loi. C’est après tout aux salariés et aux entrepreneurs de dire ce qu’ils veulent, d’aboutir à un accord, par une négociation qui prend en compte beaucoup d’autres paramètres. Faisons confiance au dialogue social. Nous avons fait le choix, aussi, de donner de la visibilité, de casser les rigidités, de faire que les entreprises embauchent en CDI plutôt qu’en CDD. Nous devions agir pour faire entrer sur le marché du travail ceux qui en sont exclus – les jeunes, les peu diplômés, les moins qualifiés – en s’inspirant de réformes qui ont aussi marché dans d’autres pays. Ce qui ne veut pas dire : moins de droits pour les salariés. Au contraire ! Grâce au Compte personnel d’activité, nous permettons aux salariés de ne pas perdre leurs droits quand ils quittent leur emploi ou se font licencier. Nous donnons des heures de formation à ceux qui quittent le système scolaire sans rien. Nous accompagnons les jeunes en difficulté en les suivant au plus près, jusqu’à ce qu’ils trouvent un emploi, grâce à la Garantie jeunes. Ce texte est un texte de progrès, c’est un texte de progrès social. Il a fait l’objet d’une large concertation. Oui… oui, il y a ceux qui prétendent artificiellement vouloir le compromis, et il y a ceux qui, patiemment, le construisent. Depuis le premier jour, le gouvernement dialogue avec les partenaires sociaux. Il a écouté les attentes, les revendications, les propositions. Il y a eu des débats de qualité – avec bien sûr des oppositions, c’est normal dans une démocratie, et c’est vrai aussi de la démocratie sociale – sur le fonctionnement des entreprises, le rôle des branches. Pas à pas, nous avons bâti un compromis. Les organisations syndicales réformistes et des mouvements de jeunesse ont apporté leur soutien à ce texte dès le 14 mars. Cette loi a été considérablement enrichie, grâce notamment au travail de votre rapporteur Christophe SIRUGUE, et je veux l’en remercier – comme je remercie la présidente de la Commission des Affaires sociales, Catherine LEMORTON. Plus de 800 amendements ont été intégrés au projet en première lecture. La semaine dernière, une nouvelle fois, le gouvernement a entendu les interrogations exprimées par certaines organisations syndicales, et y a répondu, pour préciser, éclairer tel ou tel aspect du texte de loi. Nous avons reçu, avec la ministre, l’ensemble des partenaires sociaux. La ministre du Travail, Myriam EL KHOMRI, qui n’a cessé d’écouter, d’expliquer, de dialoguer, a présenté de nouveaux amendements pour réaffirmer le rôle des branches professionnelles, et ces amendements ont été adoptés en commission. Mesdames et messieurs les députés, Malgré ces avancées, nous constatons une alliance des contraires, une alliance des conservatismes et des immobilismes. Il y a ceux qui veulent la remise en cause de notre modèle social, le recul des droits pour les salariés : c’est le projet de la droite, la majorité sénatoriale l’a bien montré. Et il y a ceux qui considèrent – drôle de logique – que plus de dialogue social dans l’entreprise, plus de responsabilités pour les représentants des salariés, c’est moins de droits. Cette alliance, c’est celle de ceux qui ne veulent rien changer et qui, au fond, se satisfont du marché du travail tel qu’il est. Ce pays s’est trop habitué à un chômage de masse, depuis 30 ans. Aujourd’hui, nous agissons : le chômage baisse, et, avec cette loi, nous permettrons de donner davantage de souplesse, et davantage de chances aux salariés de ce pays. Face à cela, mon gouvernement est déterminé à avancer. Avancer parce que les stratégies des uns et des autres, à moins d’un an de l’échéance présidentielle, ne doivent pas bloquer le pays. Avancer parce que c’est l’intérêt général. Ce n’est pas une “posture”, ce n’est pas une “intransigeance”. Mais dans ce moment difficile, dans le contexte international et européen que nous connaissons, je ne veux pas laisser certains mettre en scène les divisions, alimenter les fractures, jouer, oui, jouer avec les institutions par simple tactique, à des fins politiciennes, qui ne prennent pas en compte l’intérêt général et celui des Français. C’est pourquoi, monsieur le président, mesdames et messieurs les députés, en application de l’article 49 alinéa 3 de la Constitution – notre Constitution, qui est la règle que le peuple français s’est donnée à lui-même – j’ai décidé, après la délibération du Conseil des ministres du 10 mai, d’engager la responsabilité du gouvernement sur le vote, en nouvelle lecture, du projet de loi relatif au travail, à la modernisation du dialogue social et à la sécurisation des parcours professionnels. Il s’agit du texte issu des travaux de la Commission des Affaires sociales, modifié par les amendements transmis au président de l’Assemblée. Mesdames et messieurs, La Constitution de la Vème République permet à ceux qui ne sont pas d’accord avec le texte que nous avons présenté de déposer une motion de censure. C’est ainsi que l’on est au clair devant les Français. Le gouvernement l’est, avec fierté, avec courage, parce que nous agissons pour l’intérêt des Français.

Hybrid War, Belarusians Want Change, Crisis Provokes Crime – Digest Of Belarusian Analytics

MIL OSI – Source: Belarus Digest – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Hybrid War, Belarusians Want Change, Crisis Provokes Crime – Digest Of Belarusian Analytics

New banknotes after denomination. Photo: onliner.by

Paul Goble: Minsk fears that Moscow may organise hybrid war and color revolution in Belarus. 65.5% of Belarusians want changes, according to fresh IISEPS poll. BISS`s Meĺjancoŭ: Belarus-EU relations have good potential for slow sustainable development.
Disappointment: economists Siarhiej Čaly Aliaksandr Čubryk​ analyse the results of the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress. REFORUM study: economic crises have a negative impact on the criminal situation in Belarus. IMF mission in Minsk: Belarusian economy needs large-scale reforms. This and more in the new Digest of Belarusian Analytics.

Belarusians Debate Their Development Path – Grigory Ioffe considers debatable a need in All-Belarusian People’s Assemblies as an extra-constitutional body to glorify the government’s achievements, legitimise its shortcomings and set plans for the future. The analyst compares the Assemblies with the medieval Slavic Veche – a ritual of direct democracy and a gathering at which communal leaders were expected to give their approval to the actions of the monarch.
IISEPS National Poll in June – Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) released fresh results of its national poll. Namely, 65.5% of Belarusians want changes, while 25.5% prefer to keep the status quo; protest moods have grown from 8% two years ago to 14.7%; 81% believe Belarusian economy is in crisis; 57% think things in Belarus are going in a wrong direction. Geopolitically, there is a slight movement towards the West.

Minsk Fears Moscow May Organise Hybrid War and Color Revolution in Belarus – Paul Goble analyses different reflections on Belarus’ new military doctrine, which was approved by the parliament on 16 June. The author makes a conclusion from all arguments that Moscow is likely to try to promote its own version of a colour revolution in Belarus rather than to invade, if it decides that it has to change Minsk’s direction in a radical way.
Belarus-EU relations have good potential – BISS’s Dzianis Meĺjancoŭ analyses the progress in normalisation of relations between Belarus and European countries. The analyst concludes that Belarus-EU relations have good potential for sustainable development, but such development will not be fast.

Economy 101. Complete Disappointment – According to economist Siarhiej Čaly and Director of the IPM Research Centre Aliaksandr Čubryk, the 5th Belarusian People’s Congress has brought nothing new. And it’s a bad sign for the economy. The Congress took place on June 22-23 in Minsk and approved the country’s development program for 2016-2020. The experts analyse the report by Aliaksandr Lukashenka in the studio TUT.BY-TV.
REFORUM. Economic Crisis and Crime: What Belarus should be afraid of – Aliaksandr Aŭtuška-Sikorski, the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS), discovers that an economic crisis has a negative impact on the criminal situation in Belarus – thus, in times of economic crises of 1991-1994 and 1997-2000, the rates of all types of crimes (except robbery) grew up.
Innovation Brings Great Opportunities To The Belarusian Economy – Rumen Dobrinsky, country expert for Bulgaria and Belarus, considers that the Belarusian economy has still to be discovered by many potential investors, but it is worth the effort. Investors will find both innovative firms with their roots in the past and new technology firms born out of the innovative drive of talented young entrepreneurs.

The Citizen of Minsk, Who Started the Fashion on Embroidery – Citydog.by magazine in its section Admetnyja/Special talks to Paviel Belavus, a founder of the online store of Belarusian goods Symbal, which introduced the fashion for things decorated with Belarusian ornaments. For two years Pavel and the team successfully promote their business, which not only increases the interest for the national culture but also brings a real profit.
Civil Participation in Decision Making in the Eastern Partnership Countries– The study examines the existing laws, agencies and procedures governing civil participation in political decision-making at national and local level in six Eastern Partnership countries. The study contains a chapter on Belarus to analyse the related components – from access to information to opportunities for citizens to participate in direct democracy.

IMF expects reforms in Belarus. International Monetary Fund experts predict a recession of the Belarusian economy in 2016 and 2017, with a slight resumption of growth only in 2018. This is stated on June 30 in the final statement of the IMF mission that worked in Minsk. Belarus plans to borrow $1 billion from IMF in 2017, according to a draft macroeconomic forecast drawn up by the government.
Belarus holds the ruble denomination. From July 1, Belarus moves to new money without four zeros in a third currency redenomination since August 1994. Now the exchange rate is the following: $1 costs 2 Belarusian rubles, 1 euro – 2 rubles 22 kopecks, 1 Russian ruble – 3 kopecks.
Lukashenka seeks compromise between supporters of market reforms and conservatives. Belarus in Focus believes that Lukashenka is attempting to find a compromise solution to economic problems between reforms and conservation. Apparently, the government is increasingly split over future economic development policy – either liberal, or conservative. Meanwhile, assistant to the president Kirill Rudy, known as an advocate of economic reform, is leaving the country to serve Ambassador of Belarus to China.
Belarus to establish regional centres for economic growth. Centres for economic growth will be set up in the regions of Belarus. The decision is envisaged in Belarus’ draft social and development program for 2016-2020. Centres for economic growth will be established through the concentration of resources on the key areas, able to ensure efficient use of the local resource potential and competitive advantages.
Belarus Digest prepared this overview on the basis of materials provided by Pact. This digest attempts to give a richer picture of the recent political and civil society events in Belarus. It often goes beyond the hot stories already available in English-language media.

В Северной Осетии по результатам прокурорской проверки возбуждено уголовное дело в отношении директора теплоснабжающей организации

MIL OSI – Source: Russia – Prosecutor Generals Office –

Headline: В Северной Осетии по результатам прокурорской проверки возбуждено уголовное дело в отношении директора теплоснабжающей организации

В Северной Осетии по результатам прокурорской проверки возбуждено уголовное дело в отношении директора теплоснабжающей организации

Прокуратура Северной Осетии провела проверку исполнения законодательства в жилищно-коммунальном и топливно-энергетическом комплексах республики. По ее результатам возбуждено уголовное дело в отношении директора теплоснабжающей организации ООО «Теплоснабтрест» Александра Дзоциева.

Установлено, что в октябре 2015 года между ООО «Газпром Межрегионгаз Пятигорск» и ООО «Факел», исполняющим обязанности директора которого также является Дзоциев, был заключен договор на поставку газа в 32 котельные, расположенные на территории г. Алагир. Используя этот газ в котельных ООО «Факел» должно было поставлять тепло в дома местных жителей.

Однако в действительности ООО «Факел» не имело в своем распоряжении ни одной котельной. На момент заключения договора они эксплуатировались ООО «Теплоснабтрест». Таким образом, предприятие фактически бесплатно получало газ, а затем выставляло местным жителям счета за оказание услуг по теплоснабжению.

В то же время поставщик газа направлял счета на его оплату в ООО «Факел». Средств на оплату ресурсов предприятие не имело, поскольку на самом деле не вело хозяйственной деятельности по теплоснабжению населения. В связи с этим у организации накапливалась задолженность за поставленный газ, которая по состоянию на март 2016 года составила свыше 12 млн рублей. Взыскать эти средства с ООО «Факел» ввиду созданной Дзоциевым ситуации, фактически отсутствовала.

По данному факту в отношении Дзоциева возбуждено уголовное дело по признакам преступления, предусмотренного ч. 4 ст. 159 УК РФ (мошенничество, совершенное в особо крупном размере).

За расследованием уголовного дела прокуратурой республики установлен контроль.

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Déplacement à la 23e édition des rencontres financières Paris-Europlace

MIL OSI – Source: Government of France – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Déplacement à la 23e édition des rencontres financières Paris-Europlace

Manuel Valls, Premier ministre, se rendra à la 23e édition des rencontres financières Paris-Europlace mercredi 6 juillet 2016, en présence de Michel Sapin, ministre des finances et des comptes publics. A l’invitation de Gérard Mestrallet, président de l’association Paris-Europlace, le Premier ministre se rendra aux rencontres annuelles de Paris-Europlace. Il exprimera ses attentes sur l’avenir de la place de Paris, au service du financement des entreprises, de la protection des épargnants, de l’innovation et de la croissance européenne. Il rappellera que cette vision de la place de Paris s’inscrit dans le cadre plus large de la stratégie d’attractivité de l’économie française.  12h00 : Accueil presse et remise des accréditations au Pavillon d’Armenonville, allée de Longchamps – Paris 75016  13h00 : Arrivée de Manuel Valls, Premier ministre au Pavillon d’ArmenonvillePresse accréditéeAllocution de Gérard Mestrallet, président de l’association Paris-EuroplaceAllocution de Manuel Vall, Premier ministrePool TV + rédacteurs  Si vous souhaitez participer à ce déplacement, merci de vous accréditer avant mardi 5 juillet 2016, 20h00, à l’adresse communication@pm.gouv.fr   Contacts : 01 42 75 50 78/79 – 01 42 75 80 15communication@pm.gouv.fr

Е. Бушмин: Заморозка расходов бюджета не сократит дотации регионам

MIL OSI – Source: Russia – Council of the Federation – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Е. Бушмин: Заморозка расходов бюджета не сократит дотации регионам

Траты
на выравнивание бюджетов субъектов РФ остались в неприкосновенных расходах
федерального бюджета, сообщил сенатор.

Заместитель Председателя Совета
Федерации Евгений Бушмин

БушминЕвгений Викторовичпредставитель от исполнительного органа государственной власти Ростовской области

в ходе
интервью «Парламентской газете» прокомментировал информацию СМИ о том, что
Правительство РФ готовит заморозку расходов госбюджета на 2017—2019 годы на уровне 15,78 триллиона рублей в год. Сенатор пояснил, что речь идет лишь об обсуждении этого вопроса на комиссии Правительства. «Данное сообщение появилось
после заседания бюджетной комиссии Правительства, которая не имеет права
принимать какие-­либо решения. Комиссия готовит материалы, формирует вопрос для
рассмотрения на заседании Правительства России. Это необходимо чётко понимать:
заседание назначено на 7 июля». Сенатор рассказал, что на Комиссии рассматривался
вариант заморозки расходов бюджета в сумме 15,787 триллиона рублей. «Но чтобы
остановиться на этой сумме, надо провести обязательное сокращение расходов в 389 миллиардов рублей в 2017 году. Замечу, что это не вся сумма. Сейчас
понятно, что к ней ещё добавятся расходы под сокращение». По словам сенатора, сейчас готовятся
материалы со всеми изменениями, и они будут представлены на заседании
Правительства РФ 7 июля, где будет принято окончательное решение. Сенатор пояснил, что в перечне расходов
бюджета, не подлежащих сокращению, находятся дотации на выравнивание бюджетной
обеспеченности регионов — это 515 миллиардов рублей, которые не будут трогать. «Кроме
этого, не подлежат сокращению субвенции субъектам РФ». «Для регионов есть, пожалуй,
единственный момент — немного сокращаются расходы на Федеральный дорожный фонд.
И мы боимся, что это сокращение может произойти из тех субсидий, которые в 2015—2016 годах шли в регионы при выполнении нормативов по содержанию дорог.
Такое опасение у членов Совета Федерации есть, но решение, подчеркну, не принято. Кстати, Председатель Правительства РФ сказал, что по каждой строчке
расходов нужна дополнительная расшифровка», — указал Евгений Бушмин.