Resource productivity in the EU up by 35% in 2015 compared with 2000

MIL OSI – Source: EuroStat – European Statistics – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Resource productivity in the EU up by 35% in 2015 compared with 2000

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Elections in Belarus: The Continuation of a New Model?

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

Headline: Elections in Belarus: The Continuation of a New Model?

Belarusian oppositional coalition ahead of elections. Photo: belarusinfocus.info

The parliamentary election campaign has begun in Belarus.
There was little protest during the 2015 presidential elections. Elections are not elections as such, but became more a self-appointment of Lukashenka through an electoral façade. Yet the elections were peaceful and the opposition called for concord during the elections.
Peaceful elections and a democratic façade allowed the EU to build the fiction of Belarusian democratisation and so forge a relationship with the regime. Will the 2016 parliamentary elections, on 11 September, continue this trend?

The collapse of the oil price has caused significant repercussions in the Belarusian economy, creating a situation where the regime cannot maintain its social contract with the populace. Belstat showed that the economy is decreasing as exports fell by 20 percent in January 2016 compared with January 2015.
This belt tightening brought on by the limping economy saw a seven percent reduction in government spending. An Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS) poll emphasised public displeasure with the regime with 60 percent seeing Belarus as going in the wrong direction, 15 percent doubting that the situation will change and 47 percent blaming Lukashenka for the failure.

The economic situation remains a reason why the Parliamentary elections could maintain the same changes as the 2015 Presidential elections. Another aspect concerns the opposition. In early January 2016 the four main centre-right parties, the United Civil Party, Belarusian Christian Democracy and the For Freedom movement forming a coalition. This signifies a new phenomenon, namely that a part of the opposition has united on an ideological basis. Former presidential hopeful Mikola Statkievič has begun to organise an opposition congress too.
On 21 June the situation got worse for the regime. Opposition groups, such as the Belarusian Social Democratic Party – Hramada and the United Civil Party, across the political spectrum united as one faction. Under the agreement, the parties will collect signatures together; nominate candidates and work together at the electoral commissions to prevent fraud. 300 candidates will be put forward for elections.
Yet, Tacciana Karatkievič and her ‘Tell the Truth’ organisation are still ostracised by the opposition due to their alleged cosy relationship with the regime. The Belarusian Conservative Christian Party and its exiled leader Zianon Pazniak has not joined the alliance. It rejects engaging with the regime.

Belarusian authorities have been on the hunt for new alliesWith the Ukraine crisis and the decline of the Russian economy, the Belarusian authorities have been on the hunt for new allies. The regime has promoted Belarusian national identity to distance itself from Russia. The Belarusian authorities have looked to the European Union (EU) due to Ukraine and a weakening Russian economy. The EU has also welcomed a chance to isolate Russia.
This has led to a strange game of cat and mouse. The EU having ended sanctions on the Belarusian regime cannot enforce them again without losing face. At the same time the Belarusian regime cannot be seen to be making baby steps towards democratisation for fear of having sanctions reapplied and so has to provide a façade of democratisation. Both sides cannot afford to blink first.
Both sides decided that the nascent relationship is worth maintaining. While the Belarusian regime will not engage in a significant evolution towards EU values, both sides know that any affiliation is better than the nonentity that existed after 2010. Therefore, the Belarusian regime pretends to democratise and the EU pretends not to notice the lie.

The authorities have been preparing for the elections, using them to maintain the democratic disguise, while preserving total control over the outcome. Two months is a long time and the opposition often fall out with one another. Mutual suspicion and competition for access to limited resources could end any unity.
An entire cottage-industry states that the Belarusian economy will collapse and Lukashenka will fall. Lukashenka knows this, and as the juggler par excellence, has survived such scenarios before. Although harder now, having ‘won’ the Presidential election, it is unlikely that the regime is weak enough to lose control of the Parliamentary elections.

The authorities have given themselves time to enhance tactics for maintaining the electoral miasma. The authorities have given themselves time to enhance tactics for maintaining the electoral miasma. Currently, parliamentary candidates are registering. This will last until July 7. However, the central electoral commission has until August 1 to approve candidates. Enough time to weed out candidates too independent for the regime.
Belaya Rus’ has been mobilised for its main task of collecting signatures for pro-government candidates. With the help of administrative resources it will likely return 10 times the number of signatures required, so as to emphasise public support for regime applicants. Other GONGOS like the Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRYU), the Federation of Labour-Unions of Belarus (FPB) and the unions of women and veterans have been mobilised to increase regime control.

It is too early to say what will happen. But to maintain its mini-rapprochement with the EU, the regime will show a democratic frontage. Indeed a vaguely democratic election will likely be sufficient to maintain the façade for the EU.
However, this is a bit simplistic. In the 2015 presidential elections, the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies calculated that Lukashenka’s actual winning vote margin was 50.8 percent, somewhat different than the official 83.5 percent.
With a collapsing economy, the authorities will find it harder to maintain support. However, even such obvious fraud could cause is unlikely to lead to possible protests and violence because people in Belarus are scared of the repeat of the Ukraine post-revolution scenario.
If the regime breaks-out from Russia’s restrictive grip, it is possible that a Crimean scenario could occur in Belarus. As the EU cannot subsidise Belarus, the economy will decrease if the regime reneges on its relationship with Russia. But if it stays with the shrinking Russian economy, the regime will find it hard to maintain power.
Early voting and the forcing of state workers and students to vote the ‘right’ way will be invoked. However these elections are interesting to see how the regime squares the circle of moving from Russia to the EU, or remaining with Russia on the road to nowhere. The juggler has yet another act to perform.
Stephen Hall
Stephen is a PhD candidate at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies​ in London. 

Herbert Behrens: Echte Aufklärung beginnt erst jetzt mit dem Untersuchungsausschuss

MIL OSI – Source: Die Linke – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Herbert Behrens: Echte Aufklärung beginnt erst jetzt mit dem Untersuchungsausschuss

„Die Öffentlichkeit hat einen Anspruch darauf zu erfahren, ob es eine Kumpanei zwischen Wirtschaft und Politik zulasten der Gesundheit der Bürgerinnen und Bürger gab. Millionen Verbraucher und die Beschäftigten in der Automobilindustrie wollen nicht, dass ein Umgehen von Grenzwerten beim Schadstoffausstoß zum Geschäftsmodell gemacht wird.
Ich bedanke mich bei allen Fraktionen für die konstruktive Zusammenarbeit, ohne die die Einsetzung des Ausschusses noch vor der Sommerpause nicht möglich gewesen wäre.“

Presentation of Razumkov Centre’s sociological research in London and Brussels

MIL OSI – Source: Razumkov Centre –

Headline: Presentation of Razumkov Centre’s sociological research in London and Brussels

During a business trip to London and Brussels Director of the sociological service of the Razumkov Centre Andriy Bychenko together with Professor of the King’s College London Mark Berenson made a presentation of the results of Razumkov Centre’s sociological research at the King’s College London on June 27, 2016 and at the Vesalius College in Brussels on June 29, 2016. Presentational materials are available on the link.
Marc P. Berenson “Trust, Governance and Citizenship in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine”, 27 June 2016
Andrii Bychenko, “Transforming Ukrainian Society: Public Opinion on Current Events, International Affairs and the War in Donbas”

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Environmental accounts – Resource productivity in the EU up by 35% in 2015 compared with 2000 – Maintaining economic growth while decreasing material consumption

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

Headline: Environmental accounts – Resource productivity in the EU up by 35% in 2015 compared with 2000 – Maintaining economic growth while decreasing material consumption

In the European Union (EU), resource productivity increased to 2.00 €/kg in 2015 from 1.48 €/kg in 2000, an increase of 35.4% in real terms. Resource productivity measures how efficiently natural resources are used by the economy and indicates whether economic growth is compatible with a more efficient use of the natural resources from the environment.
Full text available on EUROSTAT website

В Кургане в суд направлено уголовное дело в отношении жительниц Тюменской области, от действий которых городским агентствам недвижимости был причинен ущерб в размере 2,7 млн рублей

MIL OSI – Source: Russia – Prosecutor Generals Office –

Headline: В Кургане в суд направлено уголовное дело в отношении жительниц Тюменской области, от действий которых городским агентствам недвижимости был причинен ущерб в размере 2,7 млн рублей

Прокуратура г. Кургана утвердила обвинительное заключение по уголовному делу в отношении шести жительниц Тюменской области. Они обвиняются в совершении преступления, предусмотренного ч. 3 ст. 159 УК РФ (мошенничество, т.е. хищение чужого имущества путем обмана, группой лиц по предварительному сговору, в крупном размере).

По версии следствия, женщины в январе-феврале 2016 года заключили с агентствами недвижимости г. Кургана договоры займа на приобретение жилых домов, расположенных на территории области. В соответствии с их условиями оплата должна была производиться средствами материнского (семейного) капитала по выданным на их имя государственным сертификатам.

После предоставления в агентства договоров купли-продажи жилых помещений, стоимость жилья, в которых в несколько раз превышала рыночную стоимость, им перечислялось более 450 тыс. рублей каждой.

Однако обвиняемые не намеревались обращаться в территориальный орган Пенсионного фонда РФ с заявлением о распоряжении средствами материнского капитала на погашение долга по заключенным договорам займа.

Полученными деньгами женщины распорядились по своему усмотрению.

В результате указанных действий городским агентствам недвижимости был причинен материальный ущерб на сумму более 2,7 млн рублей.

В настоящее время материалы уголовного дела направлены в Курганский городской суд для рассмотрения по существу.

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Manuel Valls : "Ce pacte État-métropoles présente la cartographie de nos innovations urbaines"

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

Headline: Manuel Valls : "Ce pacte État-métropoles présente la cartographie de nos innovations urbaines"

Avec les récentes lois NOTRe et Maptam, l’État a d’ores et déjà donné aux métropoles un cadre institutionnel renouvelé. “À l’heure où la concurrence entre les territoires, à l’échelle de l’Europe, et du monde, est de plus en plus forte, la nouvelle organisation territoriale française consacre aussi le rôle des métropoles”, a rappelé Manuel Valls devant les présidents des 15 métropoles françaises, réunies au sein de l’association France urbaine[1]. “C’est le sens de ce pacte, conforter ce nouveau cadre et déployer des moyens pour renforcer leur capacité d’action au service des habitants et soutenir leurs stratégies d’innovation.””Il ne s’agit plus – comme cela a longtemps été le cas – de décliner des orientations venues d’en haut, de Paris, dans vos territoires, mais de construire à partir de vos demandes et de vos projets”, leur a dit le Premier ministre, qui souhaite “donner de la souplesse” aux métropoles souhaitant se saisir des possibilités ouvertes par la loi NOTRe. “Je pense en particulier au transfert de compétences en matière de stationnement, de pouvoir de police, à l’exercice opérationnel des compétences en matière d’énergie.” Toutes les expérimentations doivent être encouragées, pour le Premier ministre. “Si l’État jacobin s’est longtemps méfié des grandes villes françaises, c’est désormais tout l’inverse : État et grandes villes travaillent main dans la main.” Le pacte “État-métropoles” définit une stratégie nationale de développement des métropoles, fondée sur l’innovation. Il vise à construire les métropoles de demain et à relever trois défis majeurs :

permettre aux métropoles d’affronter la concurrence entre métropoles mondiales. C’est en s’appuyant sur leurs projets marqués par l’exigence de l’excellence qu’elles pourront être pleinement reconnues dans le concert urbain européen et mondial ;
favoriser leur rôle de locomotive de l’économie nationale. Les métropoles doivent devenir des catalyseurs du développement régional et soutenir le développement des territoires ruraux et périurbains ;
donner aux métropoles les moyens de répondre aux besoins de leur population. Économiquement fortes, les métropoles sont socialement fragiles. Elles doivent répondre à des enjeux essentiels pour leur équilibre comme la crise du logement, les congestions urbaines, les quartiers sensibles, la paupérisation du milieu étudiant, l’accueil régulier de nouvelles populations…
“Le rôle de l’État, ce n’est pas avantager Lyon contre Lille ou Bordeaux contre Toulouse. C’est permettre à toutes ces villes de jouer dans la cour de Francfort, Genève, Milan ou Barcelone – et nous avons pris une initiative forte, avec toutes les collectivités intéressées, pour accueillir dans les meilleures conditions les entreprises qui vont se relocaliser après le Brexit”, a aussi expliqué le Premier ministre. Attirer les grands groupes qui veulent implanter leurs activités de R&D, leurs quartiers généraux ou leurs sites de production, attirer les grands événements (expositions internationales, congrès, manifestations sportives…), mais aussi les scientifiques et les chercheurs, voilà l’enjeu pour les métropoles françaises. “Les investissements internationaux sont à la recherche de sites métropolitains répondant aux besoins en personnels qualifiés, en infrastructures, en connexions internationales. Nous faisons le choix ici de présenter ensemble une quinzaine de destinations à haut potentiel.” 

15 métropoles

qui représentent la moitié du PIB français

Le pacte ouvre ainsi la voie à 15 pactes métropolitains d’innovation. Ces partenariats particuliers, dont les thèmes ont été définis conjointement (métropole respirable, ville résiliente, projet alimentaire métropolitain…), visent à intensifier le contenu innovant des politiques conduites par les métropoles. Ensemble, ils positionnent les métropoles françaises comme des acteurs de l’innovation urbaine en identifiant une quinzaine de destinations à “haut potentiel” pour les investissements internationaux.Chaque partenariat sera finalisé d’ici à novembre. L’État apportera 150 millions d’euros de financements dès 2017, principalement par l’intermédiaire du Fonds de soutien à l’investissement public local. La mise en réseau des métropoles contribuera à la diffusion de ces dispositifs innovants.Ce pacte doit vivre dans le temps, a conclu Manuel Valls. “J’ai donc proposé que notre Conférence des métropoles – ce C15 qui se réunit aujourd’hui pour la première fois – soit réunie régulièrement, pour faire vivre ce dialogue direct entre nous, entre l’Etat et les exécutifs métropolitains.” L’occasion pour le Gouvernement, comme pour les élus locaux, de se saisir progressivement de tous les enjeux majeurs de développement et d’attractivité : rayonnement universitaire, grands événements, investissements productifs, transformation numérique… “Nous en saisir, en sachant toujours dépasser les intérêts partisans, pour viser l’intérêt général.”[1] Les 15 métropoles : Nice, Lyon, Bordeaux, Brest, Grenoble, Lille, Montpellier, Nantes, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Grand-Paris, Aix-Marseille-Provence, Nancy.

Situation Update, east of Ukraine as of July 07, 2016

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

Headline: Situation Update, east of Ukraine as of July 07, 2016

According to the press centre of the anti-terror
operation (ATO) HQ, over the past 24 hours the enemy has violated the
ceasefire for 57 times.

The enemy shelled the ATO positions near Troitske,
Novoselivka Druha, and Avdiivka with 120 mm mortars, near Verkhniotoretske,
Avdiivka, and Novhorodske with 82 mm mortars.

The illegal armed formations used 152 mm artillery
systems against Ukrainian positions near Lebedynske, 120 and 82 mm mortars
against Shyrokyne. The occupants fired APC armament and anti-tank missile
complex on Novohryhorivka. Enemys snipers targeted the Ukrainian
positions near Marinka.

The enemy executed sporadic fire on the Ukrainian
positions near Popasna, Novooleksandrivka, Bohuslavske, and Novozvanivka with
82 mm mortars, grenade launchers.

No choice in media coverage of elections, BAJ leader says

MIL OSI – Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English – Press Release/Statement

Headline: No choice in media coverage of elections, BAJ leader says

Andrei Bastunets, BAJ chairperson

On July 4, the chairperson of BAJ Andrei Bastunets took part in the conference on “Media Freedom as a Cornerstone for Democratic Elections”, organized by PACE jointly with the Venice Commission in Berlin, BAJ press-service said.

Andrei Bastunets told the press service of BAJ that Belarus has been almost the center of attention, mainly due to participation of Lidziya Yarmoshyna, the chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission of Belarus, who had been banned entry to Europe since 2004.

When answering questions of British journalist William Hoarsley, AEJ Media Freedom Representative, Lidziya Yarmoshyna assured that state-run media made up only 27% of all mass media in Belarus. The chair of CEC underlined that political leaders had the possibility to place advertising to mass media on commercial basis, using their electoral funds. She assured that CEC generally did not influence media freedom, only ensured their engagement with the media process. In particular, it observed publication of candidates’ speeches in certain state mass media.

Andrei Bastunets argued with the chairperson of CEC that although there was statistical prevalence of non-state mass media, one should have in mind that the majority of them were leisure-oriented, disregarding socio-political, economic or cultural issues.  

“Socio-political topics are covered independently by around 30 mass media, and around a dozen of them have been eliminated from the state-run networks of distribution, like subscription or kiosk sales,” said Andrei Bastunets. “As for TV, which is still the most influential, the situation is even worse. Here state-run mass media are twice as much as those non-state, and anyway the latter stay under control of the authority.” He set as an example the case of Autoradio FM-station which was closed in 2011 because of having broadcast a pre-election speech of the presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau.

As for the general approach to election coverage in the media, Andrei Bastunets thanked Lidziya Yarmoshyna for openness in work with journalists, but disagreed with the statement that elections events were reflected in the media comprehensively and neutrally.

“BAJ monitors coverage of every electoral campaign in mass media, and will do it this time, too,” said Bastunets and quoted some conclusions from the previous monitoring report related to parliamentary elections.

For example, state media covered the electoral process in their traditional minimalist manner… giving the topic less attention than to sport or weather; the marginal character of the coverage revealed itself in giving more attention to CEC rather than to candidates or political parties; extremely typical manner of coverage was emphasis on organizational and technical aspects of the electoral campaign.

Bastunets said that in election coverage in Belarus there is much talk about everything but choice itself. “Ritual talks about technical support of the electoral process overshadow the question of choice itself between ideas, ways and personalities,” he said.

The conference was also attended by Tatsiana Karatkevich, one of leaders and in 2015 a candidate for the president of the Tell the Truth campaign, and Henadz Hrytskevich, the chairperson of the parliamentary commission on state-building and local governance.

А. Клишас принял участие в Юридическом форуме «Белые ночи», прошедшем в Архангельской области

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

Headline: А. Клишас принял участие в Юридическом форуме «Белые ночи», прошедшем в Архангельской области

Особое
внимание в своем выступлении сенатор уделил понятию правового государства, а также светскому характеру государства в РФ.

Председатель Комитета Совета Федерации
по конституционному законодательству и государственному строительству,
представитель в СФ от исполнительного органа государственной власти
Архангельской области Андрей Клишас

КлишасАндрей Александровичпредставитель от исполнительного органа государственной власти Красноярского края

принял участие в Юридическом форуме «Белые ночи», который прошел на территории
Кенозерского национального парка. Тема форума – «Право и религия: от несвободы
к свободе».  Организаторами форума выступили Совет Федерации,
правительство Архангельской области, а также Федеральная палата адвокатов
Российской Федерации. Андрей
Клишас
уделил особое внимание в своем выступлении понятию правового государства, а также светскому характеру государства в РФ. В мероприятии также приняли участие член
Комитета Совета Федерации по социальной политике, представитель в СФ от законодательного (представительного) органа государственной власти
Архангельской области Людмила Кононова

КононоваЛюдмила Павловнапредставитель от законодательного (представительного) органа государственной власти Архангельской области

,
епископ Владикавказский и Аланский Леонид,
президент Федеральной палаты адвокатов РФ Юрий
Пилипенко, статс-секретарь – заместитель президента ФПА РФ Константин Добрынин и другие. «Широкий состав участников, являющихся
представителями публичной власти, институтов гражданского общества и профессиональной юридической сферы позволил обеспечить конструктивный диалог и,
как следствие, согласование позиций, которые будут непременно учтены
законодателями при реализации своих полномочий», — отметил Андрей Клишас по итогам форума.