Magazine: 1.pdf

Magazine: 1.pdf



Louis Michel on improving the

effectiveness of development aid

Black power



Eurocoal and Greenpeace

go head-to-head

Women’s day

MEPs Anna Záborská

and Emine Bozkurt

Cécile Gréboval

Issue 240

26 February 2007

Spring summit

Going nuclear

MEP profile: Dimitar Stoyanov

News, gossip and plenary round-up

WINS Conference in

Belfast Waterfront Hall,

7 th March 2007

Supported by the European Social Fund

under the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme

Come and find out more about who

is involved in the WINS Project,

the research we’ve undertaken and

the training model designed to encourage

more women into non traditional work.

What is WINS?

Belfast City Council developed the Women

into Non-traditional Sectors (WINS)

project to encourage more women into

jobs where they have traditionally been

under-represented. The Project has been

supported by the European Social Fund

and the Department for Employment

& Learning under the Northern Ireland

EQUAL Community Initiative. The project

is delivered by a partnership involving a

broad range of organisations from the

public and private sectors, academia and

the community and voluntary sector. The

partners are:

Belfast City Council

Housing Executive


Construction Industry Training Board

Women’s TEC


Training for Women Network

Irish Congress of Trades Unions

Queen’s University Belfast

The WINS Project is also partnered with

the Equal at Work Project in Republic

of Ireland; the Glass Wall Project in the

Netherlands and the Futura Project in


Principal Achievements

From October 05 to December 06

we have delivered accredited training

and work experience in non traditional

employment for 43 economically inactive

or long term unemployed women.

14 of these trainees have gone into

employment. Our target was to train 40

women before the end of June 2007.

The training focused on getting the

beneficiaries to be job ready and giving

them the confidence to apply for work

in areas where females are underrepresented.

It included customer

service; health and safety; joinery and

electrics; team working and other job

specific training.

The project has promoted positive

female role models; the benefits of the

training and work experience programme

and highlighted existing family friendly

polices. This has been achieved through

an extensive programme of community

roadshows and presentations at leisure

and community centres; resident’s

groups; women’s groups and job fairs.

We have also run a schools conference

in April 2006 and other special events.

We have run a series of seminars for

HR professionals and other stakeholders

on promoting inclusive work practices

which encourage the recruitment and

retention of those suffering discrimination

and inequality in the labour market. We

have conducted a comparative study

of approaches to increasing female

participation in non-traditional jobs in

Northern Ireland and the Republic of

Ireland which was launched at a seminar

in November 2006.

In addition we have implemented a

mainstreaming strategy to enable

the dissemination of results and

learning from the project and to inform

employers; policy makers and other key


What our trainees say:

Suzanne Rahman, a project beneficiary

said: ‘WINS prepared me to come into

the workplace. I learned new skills and all

about customer awareness.”

Karen Courtney, now a trainee Metro

driver said, “WINS gave me a lot of

confidence and practice at the job. It

made me more aware of different jobs

in the non-traditional sector and what to


Lorraine Sloan, now developing her

own boiler maintenance business said

“I really enjoyed the course it was run

in a practical and informative way, the

instructor had great patience, made

us all feel at ease and for me gave

me confidence to use my new skills to

undertake this work.”

Make a date and find out more

The WINS Project was designed to

increase female participation in the

workplace by encouraging them to

consider non traditional work. Come

along to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast at

9.30am on 7 th March 2007 to find out


To register your interest in attending or

just to find out more about WINS contact:

Heather Louden

Telephone: +44 (0) 28 9037 3004

Fax: +44 (0) 28 9037 3019

“Humanitarian aid is

an important expression

of the EU’s solidarity

with the world’s most

vulnerable communities”

ECHO’s António Cavaco

“Coal’s economics are

predictable, being a

commodity less prone to

market fluctuations than

natural gas or oil, and

reserves are abundant”

Euracoal’s Thorsten Diercks


“Let me put this straight: I

am not proposing to change

the EU’s institutional balance

or to enlarge the commission’s

competency in development

policy. I want Europe to be

more efficient and effective,

capable of improving the

living conditions of the

world’s poorest people”

Louis Michel

“For months now

the international

community has

postured, posed

and made diplomatic

calls for intervention

that would stop

the brutality and

slaughter in Darfur”

Simon Coveney


“Developing countries don’t just want more aid; they

need better and quicker aid,” writes Louis Michel

in this issue. The Belgian commissioner outlines his

upcoming proposals to create a code of conduct setting

out a ten-point plan to better coordinate development

and aid policies across the member states. Michel

hopes his plans, to be officially unveiled this week, will

make Europe a more effective and efficient aid donor



Issue 240

26 February 2007

32 Smart aid

Louis Michel wants Europe’s governments to do more to pool their resources

when coordinating development aid

36 Fighting the flood

The commission’s emergency work in flood-hit Mozambique shows the EU’s

solidarity with the world’s poorest, says António Cavaco

38 Time to act in Darfur

Simon Coveney urges the UN to fulfil its responsibility to protect the people

of Darfur

41 Developing right

Danute Budreikaite looks at the various challenges of sustainable development

44 A fair deal

The European commission must scrap plans to impose economic partnership

agreements on the world’s poorest nations, says Mariano Iossa


Clean coal

24 Black power

Could Europe’s reliance on coal undercut the EU’s environmental ambitions

on energy? Filipe Rufino looks at Europe’s forgotten industry

27 Coming clean?

Clean coal technology can help the EU’s fight against climate change,

says Europe’s coal lobby Euracoal

28 Fuel from the past?

Using coal as a way to lessen Europe’s energy dependency would be a step

back for the environment, warns Greenpeace


7 A journey towards reconciliation

Let’s mark the bicentenary of the abolition

of the slave trade by re-committing ourselves

to eliminating modern day slavery, writes

Catherine Stihler

8 News

Energy, special advisers and dealing with stress

10 MEPs talk rubbish

Plenary round-up

13 Compelling evidence

Henry Rodgers applauds the efforts of

parliament’s petitions committee to end

Italy’s discrimination of foreign lecturers and

provides a personal view of the 20-year-long

battle for justice

17 What’s the score?

Energy and the Lisbon agenda are expected

to dominate next month’s EU summit. But, as

Martin Banks reports, Europe’s social NGOs

believe the real focus should lie elsewhere

20 Going nuclear

As Europe’s leaders prepare to meet for the

March summit, Romana Jordan-Cizelj asks

the EU’s heads of state to be honest about

nuclear energy

“How can the

European economy

become an efficient

low-carbon economy

while EU countries

have such conflicting

attitudes towards

the only abundantly

available source of

carbon-free energy?”

Romana Jordan-Cizelj


Managing editor

Brian Johnson

Deputy editor

Chris Jones

Anne-France White

Martin Banks

Filipe Rufino

International Press Centre

Boulevard Charlemagne 1

Box 2 Brussels 1041

Tel +32 (0) 2 285 0828



Catherine Stihler MEP

“The improvement


women’s rights

is a very good

example of how


and effective


between the

EU and Turkey

can work very


Emile Bozkurt

Editorial board

Johannes Blokland MEP, Astrid Lulling MEP

Struan Stevenson MEP, Manuel Medina Ortega MEP


Jearelle Wolhuter

Leslie McCutcheon

Advertising production

John Levers

Tel +44 (0) 20 7091 7529

“Too many

people see a

future full of

threats and

have lost faith

in the ability

of politicians

to make things

change for the


Social Platform’s



“When they use

their talents to

the full, women

can make a world

of difference to

the way in which

citizens learn

from each other

and organise


Anna Záborská



Andrew Oliver

Anna Idoyatova, Obe Seddiq, Nicola Joubert

Tel +44 (0) 20 7091 7660


Alexsandra Stanisavljevic

Tel +44 (0) 20 7091 7664


Martin Beck

Dods Parliamentary Communications


Women’s Day

49 Still fighting

Even after 50 years of the EU, women

have yet to gain full equality with men

– and the situation is even worse in other

cultures, warns Anna Záborská

53 Enlarging equality

Emine Bozkurt applauds progress on

women’s rights in Turkey, but emphasises

that there is still work to do in several key


55 The right steps

Equality between women and men has a

long way to go, argues Cécile Gréboval


56 Profile

Most of the 18 Bulgarian MEPs are

still finding their feet in Brussels. But, as

Martin Banks reports, Dimitar Stoyanov

has already found himself at the centre

of a media storm

58 PSST!

Parliament confidential

“My father

criticised me

in the Bulgarian

press for my


and policies”

Dimitar Stoyanov


Philip Beausire


Corelio Printing Vorst, Brussels

Tel +32 (0) 2 210 0100

Dods Parliamentary Communications is widely respected for producing

authoritative and independent political publications. Its policy is to accept

advertisements representing many sides of a debate from a variety of organisations.

Dod’s Parliamentary Communications takes no political stance on the

messages contained within advertisements but requires that all content is in

strict accordance with the law. Dod’s Parliamentary Communications reserves

the right to refuse advertisements for good reason (for example if it is libellous,

defamatory, pornographic, socially unacceptable, insensitive or otherwise contrary

to editorial policy).


CRER – Creation of Enterprises in

Rural Area is a project promoted

by ADRIMAG, a rural development

association, in partnership with key

players namely: Desafios - Training

and Out Door Activities Enterprise,

CNO Sever do Vouga – Centre

for Recognition and Validation of

Competences, AECA – Entreprise

Association, Aveiro University, SEMA

–Enterprise Association, FORESP

– Technological School, ANJE

– National Young Entrepreneurial


The CRER project has created a

structure to give the necessary

conditions for entrepreneurs to

create and develop a business in a

sustainable way and has developed

a support methodology with all

the instruments needed for both

the elaboration of a business plan

and/or the test and experimentation

of businesses before the creation

of an enterprise, which is a blend

This Project aims to develop innovative

ways to address issues affecting periurban

areas of Portugal undergoing

the challenges of urban pressures and

the changing socio-economic role of

agricultural activities. These areas are

undergoing a profound transformation



Identify and develop new employment

opportunities in these areas, with a particular

focus on the agriculture sector.

Promote a positive image of agriculture,

farmers and their associated activities.

Provide opportunities for improved

qualifications of men and women engaged

in agricultural activities.

Promote innovation in traditional agriculture


Contribute to the economic, social and

environmental sustainability of ‘rural-urban

transition’ areas.

Establish for a rural and urban communities

to communicate and share experiences.


of several methodologies used both

in France (Couveuses and Boutiques

de Gestion) and in Portugal. The

project has also incorporated some

contributions of an integrated system

to support entrepreneurs, developed

by the GLOCAL Portuguese EQUAL

project, which incorporates a micro

credit system (SIM) in order to support

entrepreneurs in financing the creation

of their enterprises.

The CRER methodology was developed

to support entrepreneurs in an

integrative way throughout the following

three different phases:

• Information and Nurturing

entrepreneurship and business


• Maturation and Finalisation of a

business plan

• Test and Experimentation of

business ideas


To promote


• re-converting,

• qualifying and modernising

the products:

• diversifying the production,

• improving quality,

• revitalising the use of traditional varieties,

• improving the image of products by

associating it with the areas and their


• exploring the potential for proximate

urban markets,

the commitments and linkages:

• establishing spaces for meeting between

rural and urban stake holders to forge

solidarity and commitments,

• promoting spaces for experimentation

and the dissemination of new practices,

products and production methods,

• promoting associations and linkages

between producers,

• supporting the establishment of marketing

chains for local products,


Praça Brandão Vasconcelos, 10

4540-110 Arouca, Portugal

Tel.: +351 256 940 350

Fax: +351 256 940 359

Project co-funded by European Social Found,

EQUAL Community Initiative and Ministry of

Labour and Social Security in Portugal

���������������� ���������������������

Developed using a local participatory

diagnostic, the IDEIAS Project is currently

implementing several activities: 1) Local

Research Centre, 2) Local Development

Initiatives 3)Qualification and awareness

raising initiatives 4) Mediation and Tutoring

5) Community Participation 6) Establishment

of a bio-farm.


The Project is focussed on the community as

a whole with particular emphasis on farmers,

youth, education professionals and parents.


Palmela: a council situated between two

important urban centres – Lisboa and

Setúbal – composed of rural areas such as

Poceirão and Marateca.

A journey towards


Let’s mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade by re-committing

ourselves to eliminating modern day slavery, writes Catherine Stihler

March 25 marks not only 50 years since the

signing of the treaty of Rome but also the 200

year anniversary of the coming into law of the

act which abolished the slave trade in the UK.

To mark the bicentenary, a number of organisations

including Anti-Slavery International

and the Lifeline Expedition have combined forces and are organising

a walk entitled “The March of the Abolitionists”.

The concept of a walk started when the Lifeline Expedition

began a reconciliation journey linking European and African

nations along the Greenwich meridian in 2000. This was set

up to raise funds for Africa. During that journey, it became

evident that the legacy of the transatlantic slave trade was of

huge importance. Since 2000, Lifeline has organised reconciliation

journeys in Europe, the US, the Caribbean and West

Africa to bring together people in a unique apology for the

evils of the Atlantic slave trade. The walk is the final stage of

the reconciliation journey.

The length of the first walk will be 200 miles, a mile for

every year since slavery was supposedly abolished. The length

of the second walk will be 470 miles over 40 days. It will

link together the three major slave ports of London, Bristol

and Liverpool and will follow

the route taken by Thomas

Clarkson in 1797 when he tried

to collect as many facts as possible

about the slave trade in

order to fight for its abolition.

This walk will be called the

Sankofa Reconciliation Walk.

“Sankofa” in the West African

Akan language means “we must

learn from the past to build

for the future”. Participants can

get sponsorship or people can

donate directly to the organisations involved. Alongside the

walk there will be a mobile exhibition which will tell the story

not just of the founders of the anti-slavery society such as

Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce but also of the

unknown African men and women who helped.

People on the walk will be asked to reflect on the Africans

who were held captive and forced to walk hundreds of miles

to the coastal ports where they were eventually imprisoned like

animals on boats and transported across the Atlantic to be used

as slave labour in America. However, according to Anti-Slavery

International there are at least 12 million people trapped in different

forms of slavery today. This includes child labour. Over

eight million children between five and 17 are exploited for their

labour world wide. They do not have the opportunity of going to

school or playing with friends. Instead they are denied a childhood

due to domestic servitude, bonded labour or prostitution.

I wonder what Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce

would think about our record today at tackling slavery in the

EU? We must keep up the pressure on companies not to deal

in products where slave labour has been used. The International

Labour Organisation (ILO) has guidelines. Many companies

have made a particular pledge not to draw on products involving

child labour. A recent picture

of young women working in a

clothes factory in China with

clothes pegs clipped to their eye

lids to force them to work longer

hours is an example of exploitation

which no one in the EU

should tolerate. Let’s mark this

bicentenary by re-committing

ourselves to eliminating modern

day slavery. In this way the EU

could make a genuine difference

to global well-being.


in the West




means we

must learn

from the

past to

build for

the future”





Energy goals

In the run-up to the crucial spring

summit on 8-9 March, divisions have

started to show among the member

states over how to fight global warming.

The EU’s energy ministers failed to

agree on binding targets for renewables

following tense talks in Brussels, at the

end of which EU energy chief Andris

Piebalgs conceded that “it will take some

time to achieve a consensus”.

There was also no agreement on a

mechanism to separate – or ‘unbundle’

in euro-speak – energy-producing companies

and distributors. The idea is

being strongly resisted by countries

like France, which want to protect

their energy companies. There are also

fears that foreign energy giants such

as Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom

would buy up unbundled companies in

a liberalised market.

On a brighter note, however, the

EU’s environment ministers at their

own council meeting agreed to cut CO2

emisssions by 20 per cent by 2020 – and

said they will go up to 30 per cent if

other industralised nations like the US

do the same.

The EU’s leaders are now left with the

tricky task of overcoming divisions and

agreeing on EU-wide energy measures

against global warming at the March


Conflict of interest?

The European commission is seeking legal advice on whether it should

disclose the identity of special advisors amid concerns about conflicts of

interest. The existence of the 55 part-time counsellors was confirmed

only last month after an industry lobbyist advising energy commissioner

Andris Piebalgs was sacked for a perceived conflict of interest. Rolf

Linkohr, a German former MEP who runs a Brussels-based consultancy

and is on the board of two companies, had been working for Piebalgs

for two years.

In the wake of the Linkohr case, administration commissioner Siim

Kallas sent letters to all 55 special advisers last month asking them to

confirm that there was no conflict of interest between their roles. “The

commission publishes the names of other staff members and it favours

naming the special advisers as it believes this will further increase transparency

which is something Mr Kallas is committed to doing,” a spokesman

for Kallas said. Herbert Bosch, an Austrian Socialist MEP, also wrote to

the executive requesting that the names of the advisers be published.

The 55 advisers work between three and 60 days a year. Seven are

retired senior commission staff; they and 19 others are unpaid, and the

rest get up to €612 a day.

Closing the pay gap

Campaigners have launched a new drive

to highlight the ‘unacceptable’ pay gap

between men and women. The “Gender

Pay Gap, Shut It!” initiative, which is

calling for equal pay for the sexes, is

spearheaded by the Party of European

Socialists. The PES and other organisations

lobbied employment commissioner

Vladimir Špidla and EU ministers as

they arrived in Brussels for an employment

and social affairs council.

Among a list of demands handed to

the commissioner and ministers is a

request for them to do more to enable

women to combine work and family

commitments. The party chose 22

February to launch the campaign because

it says women have to work until then to

earn what men earned last year.

Campaigners say that banning sex

discrimination in pay has not banished

the gender pay gap. On average across

the EU, the gender pay gap is 15 per

cent, meaning that to earn what the

average man earns in a year the average

woman has to work for 12 months, plus

another 15 per cent of the year.

The campaign calls for a review of

employment practices and government

policies and an increase in pre-school

childcare provision. PES also wants governments

to promote the introduction

of gender equality rules in companies

and set up a European network of

national gender equality bodies.

PES president Poul Nyrup

Rasmussen described the

situation as “unacceptable,”

adding that “equality between

women and men is an important

principle”. “It is about

enabling today’s family to

find their own way to earn

enough money and take care

of all their family members.

Many families find themselves

in the absurd position

where the man is spending too

much time in the workplace and

the woman not enough.”

Stress factor

Michelin are



– but will EU


Six out of ten EU workers are stressed, according

to a major new study. Over 30,000 workers in

31 countries took part in the survey conducted by

the Dublin-based European Foundation for the

Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

The poll covered a wide range of issues, including

work organisation, working time, training and

job satisfaction. The study found that six out of ten

workers are happy with their working conditions

but that stress levels are “worryingly” high. Other

main findings of the report are that the pace of work

has intensified and that weekly working hours are

decreasing. Workers in Sweden are the most stressed

(85 per cent) – defined as working at high speed

and to tight deadlines – while the least stressed are

the Bulgarians (27 per cent). The EU average is 59

per cent.



PARLIAMENT | Plenary Round-Up

10 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

MEPs talk rubbish

MEPs are set for a battle with EU

member states following their Strasbourg

call for much stricter targets on cutting

waste and increasing recycling. MEPs

overwhelmingly endorsed the report by

Caroline Jackson, with 651 votes in

favour and just 19 against – in a vote

applauded by Jackson as “a victory for

the environment”. The report calls for

member states to stop the growth of

the EU’s waste mountain by 2012, and

to cut down waste production after

2020. Among the more contentious

points, MEPs eventually rejected the

commission’s proposal that waste

incineration should be regarded as a

legitimate recycling ‘recovery’ process,

rather than a mere disposal process. This

is a controversial issue in a number of

member states, as parliament’s rejection

would make it harder for waste processors

to opt for the simple, cheap, and more

polluting solution of incineration.

Defender of the treaty

A call to revive the European constitution was

the only potentially contentious theme in Hans-

Gert Pöttering’s maiden speech as president of the

European parliament, which otherwise focused on

broad themes including intercultural dialogue and a

strong Europe on the world stage. Pöttering argued

that EU critics should endorse the treaty, as it is “the

very instrument we need to help eradicate and rectify

the [EU’s] perceived deficiencies”. His words echoed

those of German chancellor Angela Merkel, who

has made reviving the treaty a key goal of her EU


In addition to Merkel and commission president

José Manuel Barroso, Pöttering’s speech in Strasbourg

was attended by an impressive line-up of ten former

parliament presidents including Josep Borrell, Simone

Veil, Lord Plumb, Enrique Baron Crespo, Egon

Klepsch, Klaus Hänsch and Pat Cox – who got the

biggest round of applause from MEPs.

MEPs also said there must be a fivestep

‘hierarchy of waste’ laying out the

preferred ways to dispose of rubbish,

instead of the less discriminating

three-step approach favoured by the

commission. The report risks being

rubbished by the member states, some

of which have very poor records when

it comes to waste. While some EU

countries recycle up to 65 per cent of

their waste, others recycle just 10 per

cent sending the rest to landfill sites.

Thumbs down

for CIA flights

A controversial report criticising the

CIA’s activities in Europe was adopted

in Strasbourg, but many of its most

contentious sections were watered down

following political pressure from the

national capitals. The report, written by

Italian socialist MEP Claudio Fava, says

the CIA operated over 1,200 flights in EU

airspace after 9/11 to move alleged terror

suspects to countries where they could

face torture. It accuses 14 EU countries of

being stopovers for suspicious CIA flights

and of turning a “blind eye” to the practice

– with the UK, Germany and Italy coming

in for the strongest criticism.

But the report passed with a relatively

tight majority – with 382 votes in favour

and 256 against – due to the opposition

of the centre-right EPP group, which

said it did not present hard evidence to

back its allegations. And a whopping

300 amendments, mostly tabled by the

EPP and PES, ensured that many of

the most controversial articles were

dropped altogether, including many

sections incriminating individual

governments and politicians.

While he endorsed the report

during the lively debate, EU justice

commissioner Franco Frattini said

he “contemptuously rejected the

baseless accusations” made against

commission president José Manuel

Barroso – one of the clauses which

was eventually dropped. The report

Polish ‘parliament’ pamphlet

Controversy erupted in the EU’s corridors of power over

a pamphlet published by Polish non-aligned MEP Maciej

Giertych, voicing anti-Semitic ideas more reminiscent of

1930s Europe than the EU of 2007. Among other assertions,

the 32-page booklet, which Giertych unveiled in Strasbourg,

declares that “the fact that [the Jews] stick to their own

community, their own civilisation, their own separateness,

results in biological differences developing”.

The book caused much hoopla for several days as the use

of parliament’s logo on the cover caused many to believe it

may have received EU funding, leading parliament’s president

Hans-Gert Pöttering to request an “immediate investigation…

calls for an “independent inquiry” in

order to unearth the truth on socalled

“extraordinary rendition”, where

terror suspects are illegally detained

and tortured. Given the response the

member states gave the draft report,

however, it remains doubtful whether

this will materialise.

to clarify the matter of how it was financed and

what consequences should follow”. Parliament

services later confirmed that the pamphlet

received neither material nor financial support

– a parliament source said the inclusion

of the parliament logo on the cover was

purely an act of provocation on Giertych’s

part. But the incident has raised questions

about some of the ideologies embraced by

the more radical MEPs. In Giertych’s case, this is all the more

unsettling given that his son Roman is Poland’s deputy prime

minister and education minister.

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 11


Financial Management of INTERREG Projects (FIMIP)

International Seminar

“Development and Financial Management of projects

in the new Objective 3 (INTERREG) programmes”

16 March 2007 Athens

The Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, one of the four partners of the FIMIP

Project co-financed by the INTERACT Programme, is pleased to invite you to its International

Seminar “Development and Financial Management of projects in the new Objective 3

(INTERREG) programmes”, that will be held in Athens, on the 16th of March 2007.

The Seminar will present the overall results of two INTERACT co-financed projects FIMIP and

EX-INT. These will include the e-toolkit developed during the FIMIP project to facilitate the

financial management of INTERREG projects and recommendations to be taken into account

during the launch of the new OBJECTIVE 3 cross-border, transnational and interregional

programmes during the 2007-2013 programming period.

What is more, as one of the outcomes of the INTERACT FIMIP project is the confirmation of

the need for training of project promoters in the field of territorial cooperation, the Region of

Macedonia and Thrace and its partners are very pleased to offer two training sessions during

the seminar.

Training session 1 will be focussed on how to develop a good quality Territorial

Cooperation Project.

Training session 2 will be focussed on the planning, monitoring and control of a

Territorial Cooperation Project budget and how to deal with common costs in these


The event will be supported by the participation of the most representative stakeholders of

the INTERREG Community, in particular INTERACT officials and the representatives of

the European Commission. This event will provide a superb opportunity to learn, exchange

experience and network with other organisations willing to submit projects to the Objective

3 programmes.

Lastly, we will be glad to greet any volunteers who will be willing to share their own project

management experiences and best practice with the participants of the Seminar.

The Seminar will be held in Divani Caravel Hotel 2 Vassileos Alexandrou Avenue, Kesariani,

Athens 16121, Greece.

You will find the agenda of the event following the link:


The deadline for registration to the Seminar is the 10th of March 2007. Please, follow the

link for the registration form:

We are at your disposal for any advice regarding the journey, accommodation, or any enquiry

about the attendance to the Seminar.

Thank you for your collaboration and we encourage you to participate in the event.

Mr. Michalis A. Angelopoulos

Secretary General: Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

Websites: • •




Henry Rodgers applauds the efforts of

parliament’s petitions committee to end

Italy’s discrimination of foreign lecturers

and provides a personal view of the

20-year-long battle for justice

In this the year of the EU’s 50th anniversary, it

is discouraging that Italy, a founding member

state, can carry on discriminating against non-

national university teachers with apparent impunity

under existing arrangements (‘Righting wrongs’ by Rory

Watson – Parliament Magazine issue 238).

At the same time it is heartening that the spirit of the EU’s

founders endures and fires Irish MEP Proinsias De Rossa and

his colleagues in the petitions committee in their initiatives

to use the parliament’s powers to end this ongoing breach of

a fundamental provision of the treaty. In parallel with these

political measures, there has been litigation before the local

Italian courts and the European court of justice (ECJ) for

withheld parity of treatment. However, it is incorrect that the

ECJ ruling of July 2006 ends the foreign lecturers’ legal case

for redress in Europe.

In Case C-119/04 commission v Italy – a last resort enforcement

case taken for non-compliance with a series of foreign

lecturer rulings which date back to 1989 – the court found

that on the expiry date prescribed in the commission’s reasoned

opinion, Italy was once again guilty of discrimination.

However, because the depositions did not include information

from the foreign lecturers on whether – or how – settlements

for withheld rights had been made under a subsequent and

ambiguous law introduced by Italy, the judges ruled that they

could not determine whether the breach persisted and thus

declined to fine Italy as requested by the commission and supported

by the advocate-general.

Inevitably, after years of

litigation we foreign lecturers have

learned something about European law and procedure.

That is why informed opinion would disagree with the

chair of the association of foreign language lecturers in Italy,

David Petrie, who complained to the European ombudsman

against the president of the ECJ for failure to reply to him and

explain the ratio in C-119/04. The court, whose past rulings

have been favourable to the foreign lecturers, is not obliged

to enter into correspondence about its reasoning. Much more

productive and promising is the line being pursued by my

constituency MEP, De Rossa. Under ECJ rules of procedure,

the commission can apply for revision when new facts which

could have been material to a judgement emerge. In question

time in the European parliament, watched from Italy over

the internet by hundreds of my colleagues, De Rossa pressed

employment and social affairs commissioner Vladimír Špidla

to apply for revision and allow the court to consider the information

from the foreign lecturers the judges explicitly state

they lacked at the time.

It is a pity that missing from the depositions in commission

v Italy was documentation from my employer, the university

of Rome La Sapienza, assessing the administration’s liability

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 13


RIGHT TO REPLY | Italian Lecturers

When not


against Italian

foreign lecturer


Henry Rodgers

teaches English

at the University

of Rome, La


14 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

to the foreign lecturers under the new Italian law. La Sapienza

calculated that reconstructions of career under its reading

of this law would cost less than the reconstructions already

deemed discriminatory by the court. Faced with this catch

22 dilemma, the administration benevolently opted to maintain

the existing discriminatory conditions. That European bureaucracy

is so slow to act on such simple and compelling evidence

is exasperating. Indeed, to complement the work of the petitions

committee, it would be opportune if the legal affairs

committee examined commission v Italy as a case study in how

infringement proceedings can perversely

be made to work to the advantage

of the member state in breach.

Case C-119/04, as currently

read by Italy, has ended up

undoing the very 2001

ECJ verdict it was meant

to enforce, creating a

state of affairs where

foreign lecturers can

be paid 40 per cent

of the hourly rate of

part-time researchersthe

lowest academic

grade in Italian universities.

By now, over half

our working lives have

been spent fighting for

rights which should be

automatic under the treaty.

Important decisions like

starting a family or buying

a house have often been put

on hold as we waited for the

resolution of our case and the

attendant financial stability. But

most damning of the slow pace

of European justice has to be the

fate of our colleague, Pilar Allué,

who first took the case to the ECJ

back in 1987. Pilar recently retired

and will now never work under the

non-discriminatory conditions to

which her case law entitled her. Action

at this stage rests with the commission.

It can apply to the ECJ for a revision of

its last ruling. It can take another enforcement

case against Italy. In the worst case

scenario it can drop its proceedings and

leave us to litigate before the notori-

ously slow-moving Italian courts, adding another 10-15years

to our marathon quest for justice.

However, the high profile the case has achieved renders the

last possibility most unlikely. On the 50th anniversary of the

EU, the commission, as guardian of the treaties, will be particularly

aware that it should set an example. It would create an

unfortunate precedent if such a long-running case against

an intransigent member state ultimately fails just

for want of information.

“It is heartening that the spirit of

the EU’s founders endures and fires

Irish MEP Proinsias De Rossa and his

colleagues in the petitions committee in

their initiatives to use the parliament’s

powers to end this ongoing breach of a

fundamental provision of the treaty”

Aggressive Intermediate Ducts Aerodynamics for

Competitive & Environmentally Friendly Jet Engines

All the European aero-engine

manufacturers together with

three research institutes and five

universities have joined their expertise

in the FP6 Specific Targeted Research

Project AIDA to reach beyond the stateof-the-art

in aero-engine intermediate

duct design.

In multi-spool jet engines (see illustration)

the low-pressure system has a larger

radius than the high-pressure system and

therefore, intermediate S-shaped transition

ducts are needed to connect them.

These annular ducts often carry loads

and have thick structural struts passing

through them, making them large, heavy

and expensive structures of considerable


In modern aircraft engine design there is

a constant pressure to decrease weight

and noise, increase performance and

speed up time-to-market. More aggressive

transition-ducts have therefore

become a key to meet these demands.

The project targets are thus ambitious

and represent in figures 20% shorter

ducts together with 50% reduction in

duct design lead time.

In light of these ambitious goals, AIDA

is therefore endowed with seven test

facilities delivering fifteen measurement

database and an estimated personnel

effort equivalent to eighteen experts

working full time during four years. The

project is now in its third year and has

already made substantial progress in

achieving an improved understanding

of the flow in aggressive intermediate

ducts and its interaction with neighbouring

components, performing highquality

testing of aggressive compres-

sor and turbine ducts, validating design

tools and identifying optimal strategies

to control separated flows in very

aggressive ducts.

AIDA in figures:

• 16 partners incl. all European jet

engine manufacturers

• 8 M€ budget, 7 test facilities and

800 Person Months effort

Expected impact on engine:

• 1-2% lower weight

• 1% increase in compression & turbine


• Enabler for efficient and low-noise

Ultra High Bypass Ratio engines

• 5% reduction of development costs

• 2% reduction in aircraft system

fuel burn and operating margin


Dr. Stéphane Baralon,

Project Coordinator

Dpt of Aerothermodynamics

Volvo Aero Corporation

SE-46181 Trollhättan


Tel: +46 52093771


What’s the


Energy and the Lisbon agenda are expected

to dominate next month’s EU summit. But, as

Martin Banks reports, Europe’s social NGOs

believe the real focus should lie elsewhere

Among the mountain of mail EU political leaders

will have received recently is a certain open letter

from European social NGOs. The letter contains

a demand for EU leaders, who will gather in

Brussels on 8 March, to put social concerns at the

heart of their agenda. Several civil society groups

have joined forces to draw up a ‘wish list’ of policies they

want pursued and included in the Berlin declaration, which

will mark the 50th anniversary of the EU on 25 March. The

various groups say this landmark event for the EU presents a

good opportunity for civil society to press its claim for a more

‘social’ Europe.

One of the biggest groups, Social Platform, an umbrella

body representing 40 European social NGOs, is proposing a

three-point action plan, including the establishment of a social

policy ‘scoreboard’ to assess how member states are implement-

ing EU social legislation. In the letter sent to all EU leaders,

the Brussels-based organisation also says it believes precedence

should be given to social goals when they are in conflict with

competition objectives. “Too many people see a future full

of threats and have lost faith in the ability of politicians to

make things change for the better,” says Anne-Sophie Parent,

president of Social Platform. “What is urgently needed is an

ambitious social programme for the EU.” She says a scoreboard

would ensure that politicians ‘take seriously’ the political

commitments they make at an EU level and help groups such

as hers to monitor this. “The EU treaties clearly put social and

economic objectives on an equal footing but the practice so far

has been to subordinate social policies to the internal market.

We need to redress this balance.”

Her comments are echoed by the European older people’s

platform (Age), a European network of organisations representing

the interests of 150 million people aged 50 and over in

the EU. Ahead of the upcoming spring summit, Age has also

put forward several proposals to heads of state and government,

including a call for efforts to achieve more “solidarity”

between the generations. “Most of us remember when this

ambitious EU project was launched in 1957 and have engaged

with its development over the years,” a spokesman said. “In

our view, the Berlin declaration should not only look at what

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 17


SPRING SUMMIT| Social Agenda

18 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

has been achieved so. It should also include a forward-looking

vision for the next 50 years.”

Elsewhere, Fintan Farrell, director of the European anti

poverty network (EAPN), wants the summit to intensify

efforts to eradicate poverty and make this a “central objective”

of Lisbon. “Poverty seems to have slipped off the EU

agenda and we will be urging EU decision-makers to launch

a comprehensive debate involving all stakeholders to assess

the impact of the Lisbon strategy on poverty and social

exclusion,” he says.

Throwing their considerable weight behind such calls are

Jacques Delors, former president of the European commission,

and Danish MEP Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of

the Party of European Socialists. This week, they will launch

a major new report, “The new social Europe,” which calls for

a whole range of social policies to be implemented at EU

level. Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister, says the

social model they envisage is one based on a vision of “smart

growth” for full employment, inclusive and sustainable societies.

“We can combine social justice and security with full

employment, growth and competitiveness in this new age of

“The EU treaties clearly put social

and economic objectives on an

equal footing but the practice so

far has been to subordinate social

policies to the internal market.

We need to redress this balance”

Anne-Sophie Parent, Social Platform

globalisation,” he says. “A number of European success stories

prove that we can. We will succeed in preserving our most

cherished values if we act and make the right choices.”

The Social Platform three point plan

1. Use EU social competences to reach tangible results

• Stick to political commitments and translate them into concrete actions

• Establish a social policy scoreboard to increase transparency in the implementation

of existing EU social policy legislation and instruments

• Develop further social policy and fundamental rights legislation to respond to new

social challenges

2. Ensure that economic and internal market objectives are not pursued at the cost

of social objectives

• An effective mainstreaming of social policy concerns in all relevant policy areas

• Give precedence to social objectives in case of conflict with competition or internal

market policy measures

3. Build a people’s Europe that promotes rights and solidarity

• Adopt new EU strategic goals that respond to the concerns of people of all age

• Negotiate a new treaty that reinforces the social dimension and participatory


• Build an EU based on structured civil dialogue

• Build more solidarity within and outside Europe backed by adequate financial means

© Het Bureau bvba

Balancing consumer health

and animal testing

Worldwide, more and more people

are suffering from allergies and these

have become an important health


Massive resources are invested

worldwide to investigate why otherwise

harmless compounds elicit an adverse immune

response in humans. Among important investors

are the European Commission, dedicating

a considerable budget in its Framework

Programmes, and European Industry.

At present animal testing still is

required to carry out research and regulatory

testing. In vitro tests or computer predictions

(in silico tests) to test a compound’s allergenic

potential are not yet available.

The need for non-animal alternatives

for sensitization testing is all the more

important because of existing and pending

EU regulations. The 7th Amendment to the

Cosmetics Directive (Directive 76/768/EEC 2 )

will completely ban animal testing for cosmetic

ingredients for all the human health effects by

2009 at the latest. Considering the present

lack of alternatives, this is an unfortunate situation

for the European Industry.

Conversely, the new EU-legislation on

chemicals (REACH) will require a great deal

of additional chemical testing in animals, including

sensitization testing on approximately

12,000 chemicals.

So, how can we balance the requirement

for effective safety assessment for

sensitization with an eventual elimination of

the need for animal testing?

On October 1, 2005, a large EUfunded

research project was launched to

develop and optimize in vitro test strategies

that could reduce or replace animal testing for

sensitization studies.

The project is called Sens-it-iv, which

is the acronym for “Novel Testing Strategies

for in vitro Assessment of Allergens”. It has a

budget of 14,592,700 €, with 10,999,700 €

funded by the European Commission within

Framework Programme 6. The project will be

completed by 2010.

The Sens-it-iv project is intersectorial

as it combines private (nine companies) and

public (fi fteen universities and research institutes)

research capacities, and three industrial

and societal interest organizations. One of

the partners is the European Centre for the

Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)

at the Joint Research Centre. This ensures a

clear focus on tests and testing strategies that

can be validated; a prerequisite for eventual

regulatory acceptance.

The project addresses skin and lung

sensitization in a multidisciplinary approach.

Innovative aspects include the creation of

new knowledge by focussing on the impact

of compounds on cellular-molecular interactions

playing a central role in the development

and elicitation of these types of allergies. Also

innovative is the development of a technology

platform tailored for queries facilitating the

identifi cation and characterisation of sensitizers.

Already, the Sens-it-iv project has

produced important results during its fi rst 18

months. A number of these results have attracted

the attention of industry.

A successful project outcome will

contribute to a reduction in the number of

animals required for safety testing and the

establishment of more accurate tools for

product development. Thus, the project

will be of substantial benefi t to all European

citizens and will enhance the competitiveness

of European industry.


For more information:

Dr. Erwin Roggen, co-ordinator, (;

Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Weltzien, vice co-ordinator.

Text: Dr. Helma Hermans, Dissemination and Technology

Transfer Offi cer

210x270 Sens-it-iv_05.indd 1 16-02-2007 21:52:06


20 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

Going nuclear

As Europe’s leaders prepare to meet for the March summit, Romana Jordan Cizelj

asks the EU’s heads of state to be honest about nuclear energy

Following last year’s full and open debate on the

energy green paper, the European commission

has put forward a set of proposals for a common

EU energy policy. The targets include reducing

the EU’s energy import dependence (especially on

Russian gas), meeting the Kyoto targets and encouraging

international support for post-Kyoto commitments, and

achieving the Lisbon agenda for a competitive EU.

But how can we combine the so-called Moscow, Kyoto and

Lisbon agendas? The commission has suggested measures to

promote energy efficiency and carbon-low energy sources.

Today, 30 per cent of the EU’s low carbon energy comes

from renewable sources,

and 70 per cent from

nuclear plants. However,

statements at the EU’s

political level on the positive

benefits of nuclear

energy have been rare, in

spite of the fact that the

CO2 emissions saved by

nuclear plants are about

equal to the emissions from all of Europe’s passenger cars.

It is interesting to consider some member states’ position on

nuclear energy. New member states from eastern Europe are

characterised by the acceptance of nuclear, whilst Austria and

Italy have renounced this clean energy. One might say that

it is hypocritical for these two countries to import electricity

from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, whose energy surplus

is due to production from nuclear plants. Meanwhile Enel, the

enormous partly state-owned Italian company, has purchased

Slovakian nuclear plants and plans to co-invest in new nuclear

construction in France. Twenty years ago, following a referendum

in Sweden, the government decided to close the country’s

nuclear plants. Today, Sweden produces more nuclear electricity

than at the time of that decision and public opinion has

changed, implying that there will be no further early closures

of nuclear plants.

What about the big three: Germany, France, and the United

Kingdom? In Germany, although Chancellor Angela Merkel

has confirmed that her government will not discuss the outgoing

government’s commitment to gradually abolish nuclear

energy, she has underlined that she would like to see changes

in this field. In the UK, mainly thanks to an abundant supply

of gas from the North Sea, the nuclear share of the energy

mix has remained static at about 25 per cent. But as Russian

gas replaces those depleting North Sea gas fields and as the

UK fails to reach its own Kyoto commitments, top politicians

have been expressing strong support for the renaissance

of nuclear energy. France remains a global superpower in the

field of research, develop-

ment, and technology for

the entire nuclear cycle

and nuclear energy production.

Nuclear energy

supplies around 80 per

cent of its own needs and

it exports to every neighbouring


So how can the

European economy become an efficient low-carbon economy

while EU countries have such conflicting attitudes towards the

only abundantly available source of carbon-free energy?

In the past, the EU has played a two-faced role during

negotiations for EU membership. One example is Bulgaria’s

Kozloduy power plant. Four reactors have been required to

close in the last three years under the pretext of safety, despite

the fact that the plant has been modernised and that its compliance

with adequate safety standards was recognised by an

international group of experts from the European council.

Several MEPs and experts have exposed the discrepancy

between these forced closures, the real facts and the newly

set European energy goals. Ironically, the European council

responded negatively to our initiatives. Lithuania and Slovakia

have also had to close reactors under the agreements forced

through by the commission – these reactors would more

“Statements at the EU’s political level on the

positive benefits of nuclear energy have been rare,

in spite of the fact that the CO2 emissions avoided

by the EU’s nuclear plants is about equal to the

emissions from all of Europe’s passenger cars”

than satisfy the energy needs of my own country, Slovenia.

The closure demands on so-called safety grounds were made

despite the fact that the EU did not establish any common

standards in the field of nuclear safety. Again ironically, the

council rejected the commission’s draft directives which set out

common European nuclear safety standards.

And yet nuclear plants remain our reality. Their advantages

cannot be denied: they produce electricity without any harmful

emissions, and the price of uranium only makes up a tiny share

of the electricity production costs so the resultant price of electricity

from these plants is insensitive to market fluctuations.

In addition, uranium is imported from many economically and

politically stable countries, thus avoiding import dependence.

However, concerns about nuclear energy have to be

addressed. Because nuclear energy’s impacts – both positive

and potentially negative – reach across country borders, I

support the commission’s past attempts to create common and

binding nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, and

decommissioning standards at EU level.

To conclude, we in the EU will have to decide whether

we want to develop into and become an energy-efficient,

low-carbon economy. This will be a far-reaching, brave

and revolutionary decision. Measures for its implementation

will affect numerous fields, including agriculture, industry,

entrepreneurship, education, research, development, energy,

transport - the list goes on. These measures could have a

global impact since we will try to internationalise some of the

targets. Therefore this decision could be good for Europe and

the welfare of humanity, and could encourage harmonious life

on the entire planet.

I hope we in the EU can find the courage and the discipline

to build a friendly world for the next generation.

Romana Jordan

Cizelj is vice-chair

of parliament’s


committee and

a member of the

committee on

industry, research

and energy

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 21


GenderBasic: promoting integration of

sex and gender aspects in biomedical

and health related research

Bringing gender expertise

to life sciences research practices

The biological (sex) and socio-cultural

(gender) differences between women

and men may result in different

epidemiological patterns and effect

modification of diagnostic, preventive and

therapeutic interventions. The possibility of

sex and gender differences must therefore

be considered in all areas of health research

where appropriate.

GenderBasic Project

The implementation of the EU gender

equality policy for research has resulted

in new guidelines - based on the

recommendations of the Gender Impact

Assessment Studies of FP5 - on the

consideration of sex and gender in FP6

(See footnote Klinge & Bosch 2001).

Application of the FP6 guidelines to

biomedical and health related research

appeared to be not without difficulty and

posed challenges (practical, methodological,

conceptual, ethical and financial) to basic,

translational, clinical and public health

research. Further support from experts in

the field was needed.

The GenderBasic project (see website for

activities and products) aims to provide

scientists involved in biomedical and health

related research (with a focus on basic

and clinical research) with practical tools,

relevant examples and best practices as

regards paying attention to sex and gender

differences in the content of their research.

Incorporation in research proposals will

contribute to scientific excellence in FP7.

GenderBasic Expert Meeting

A major activity was the organization of

an Expert Meeting in Maastricht 26-27

Jan 2007 for which ten reviews have been

commissioned. International high profile

experts from a variety of disciplines have

been invited to review the following


• methodological aspects of paying

attention to sex and gender in research

(basic, translational, clinical and public

health research).

• six health areas where attention to sex

and gender issues is urgently called for:

anxiety disorders, asthma, metabolic

syndrome, nutrigenomics, osteoporosis

and work-related health.

Written comments on the reviews were

invited from similar knowledgeable experts

and presented at the meeting. Experts

and invited stakeholders engaged in a

lively dialogue and exchange of insights

and the overall feeling was that it was

a unique event to have brought these

experts together. EC representatives

emphasized that this network should keep

its momentum and where possible should

work together in FP7.

GenderBasic was nominated as a STAR

project 2006 (success stories in DG RTD)

Currently joint publication of these review

articles is explored. The recommendations

for research as proposed in the reviews,

constitute a European agenda for sex and

gender sensitive biomedical and health

research that will serve the different

health needs of men and women in an

equitable way.

The EU gender equality policy for research

constitutes a good practice and can act as a

leverage for research institutes and research

councils in member states.

Gender expertise: knowledge on the

relevance of sex and gender aspects as

determinants of health and disease.

Relevance for FP7 Themes Health and

Food, agriculture and biotechnology

Sex and gender aspects in research have

a particular relevance to these themes

as risk factors, biological mechanisms,

causes, clinical manifestation,

consequences and treatment of disease

and disorders often differ between

men and women. Also behaviour,

management and communication of diet

related disease and disorders may differ

in men and women.



Klinge, I. & M. Bosch (2001) Gender in research. Gender impact assessment

of the specific programmes of the Fifth Framework Programme -

Quality of life and management of living resources. EUR 20017

GenderBasic is a Women & Science SSA

(October 1, 2005 – October 1, 2007)

Coordinator: Ineke Klinge PhD;


Project management team:

Ineke Klinge PhD, Mineke Bosch, PhD,

prof dr Rein Vos, MD PhD

Project officer: Madelief Bertens, MSc, MA

EC Scientific officer: Ekatherina Charvalos

Contractor: Centre for Gender & Diversity,

Maastricht University



Coal has played an integral role in the formation of the EU, and could still have

a future, despite the increasing emphasis on cleaner, more sustainable energy

24 Could Europe’s reliance on coal undercut the EU’s environmental ambitions

on energy? Filipe Rufino looks at Europe’s forgotten industry

27 Clean coal technology can help the EU’s fight against climate change, Europe’s

coal lobby Euracoal tells the Parliament Magazine

28 Using coal as a way to lessen Europe’s energy dependency would be a step

back for the environment, warns Greenpeace


24 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007



Could Europe’s reliance on coal

undercut the EU’s environmental

ambitions on energy? Filipe Rufino

looks at Europe’s forgotten industry

Coal, one of the two industries at the birth of the

EU in 1957, still plays a central role in generating

Europe’s electricity 50 years later. Coal-powered

plants produce 29 per cent of the EU’s electricity,

employ 200,000 people, and, even today, benefit

from major EU funding. With energy at the top

of the EU’s agenda and set to be the prime focus for heads of

state and government at next month’s spring summit, interest

in Europe’s coal industry is growing.

Some EU governments – such as Poland – were openly

against an EU mandatory target to produce 20 per cent of

Europe’s energy from renewable sources when ministers

met in Brussels earlier this month. Why? Because of their

dependency on coal, a commission source told the Parliament

Magazine. Poland generates more than 90 per cent of its

electricity from coal, while across the border in the Czech

Republic the figure is 70 per cent. These two countries are

the EU’s top ‘hard’ coal producers.

Ten EU member states depend on coal to generate one

third or more of their electricity. So it’s no surprise that other

countries might be interested in softening the commission’s

renewables drive when EU leaders meet in March, a German

diplomat admitted. For some countries, an increase in renewable

energy sources would mean a cut in burning coal for

electricity production, a Greek diplomat added.

And even the UK is not immune to the lure of coal fired

power despite the best efforts of Margaret Thatcher to kill

off the industry in the 1980s. Britain is the EU’s third largest

hard coal producer and generates a third of its electricity

from coal. Drax, a Yorkshire-based coal plant, is the largest

single electricity generator in the country, producing around

seven per cent of total electricity demand, and is the second

largest coal fired generator in Europe. Greece and Denmark

also depend on coal to generate around half of their electricity.

New EU member states Bulgaria and Romania are in a

similar situation with around 40 per cent.

Even Germany, the EU’s current presidency chair, will be

hard-pressed to keep to the commission’s renewables target,

being the EU’s biggest ‘soft’ coal producer, and generating

half of its electricity from coal fired plants. EU watchers are

predicting that Berlin push for an overall EU renewables

target at the summit, but leave the burden-sharing discussions

for another day.

Coal face

“For some countries, an increase

in renewable energy sources

would mean a cut in burning

coal for electricity production”

The EU produces 29 per cent of its electricity from burning coal, and is the third

biggest coal consumer in the world, after China and the US.

Ten EU member states depend on coal to generate one third or more of their


Poland is the largest coal producer in the EU, with 92 per cent of the country’s

electricity generated from burning coal.

France depends least on coal for power generation, using only five per cent in its

energy mix.

Sixty per cent of the coal used by the EU is locally mined, and the EU has coal

reserves of 16bn tonnes of oil equivalent.

The coal Industry employs over 200,000 people in the EU.

Coal consumption in China has shot up by 11 per cent in 2006, compared with

2005 figures.

The European commission is funding the building of up to a dozen CO2-neutral

plants by 2015 under its technology platforms within its seventh research

framework programme. Some of the plants will be built aboard, and a deal

with China has already been struck.

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 25





the INTAILRISK project

The risk resulting from

the use of radioactive coal

Coal that is used in coal burning power

plants may contain appreciable amounts

of radionuclides. During the burning

process, this radioactive material is

preferentially enriched in the solid

combustion products (ash and slag).

The tailings from coal burning power

plants, composed of coal ash and slag,

thus may contain increased amounts in

radionuclides, naturally present in the raw

material. This waste is either disposed in

tailing ponds or re-used as additives in

building materials.

The possible effects on man and

environment of the radioactive material

contained in the tailings or in the

secondary products are studied in the

FP6 project INTAILRISK, based on

the investigation of case studies in the

Western Balkan countries.

The study considers the direct hazard

for the immediate surroundings of the

tailings, and the radionuclide dispersion

in the environment through wind, surface

and groundwater.

Selected test sites have been

investigated by different methods

assessing the presence and type of

radionuclides in the primary and waste

products, analyzing and identifying the

pathways for dispersion of radionuclides,

and defining the impact of the wastes

on the ecosystem. The transport of

radionuclides in groundwater has been

studied by groundwater flow transport

modelling. Other case studies highlight

the transfer of the radionuclides to plants

and animal consumption products.

Impact on the ecosystem

The radionuclide concentrations

in the waste depositories and in

the surroundings range over three

orders of magnitude. Measurements

of radionuclides in the depositories

themselves generally show the expected

increased values. Their concentrations in

groundwater surrounding the waste are

low and have a lower variability than in

the depositories. Radon concentrations

resulting from increased concentrations of

radium on the tailings are increased with

respect to the surroundings.

It can be generally stated that the

surface contamination by radionuclides

in the vicinity of the studied coal burning

power plants remains limited to the

close periphery of waste depositories

themselves. Groundwater downstream

the waste facilities is not or weakly

affected by the radionuclides.

On the base of recorded radioactivity

concentrations and calculated transfer

factors, it appears that bioavailability of

the observed radionuclides, indicating

the ease by which the radionuclides are

taken up in crop and life-stock is relatively

low, and hence the radiation risk coming

from ingestion of agricultural products

cultivated in the surroundings of the coal

burning power plants is limited.

Public exposure to radioactivity,

expressed by dose assessment, shows

that the highest contribution to dose is

external exposure and radon exposure.

However, indoor radon levels are lower or

comparable to natural radon risk areas.

Contaminant transport modelling

indicates a limited radionuclide

contamination and dispersion in

groundwater. Radionuclide transport

in groundwater is slow and limited to

a restricted area around the disposal

sites. However, higher hazards obviously

come from sulphides, heavy metals and

organic pollutants leaching from the

waste depositories into the environment.

Proper protection of the depositories and

controlled monitoring therefore remains


The project involves partners from the 5

Western Balkan Countries, from Russia

and Kyrgyzstan and from the EU. It is

coordinated by the International Bureau

for Environmental Studies (IBES),

Brussels, Belgium.

For more information,

see the project web-site:

Contact: Jean Klerkx (project


IBES, Leuvensesteenweg, 4,

B-3080 Tervuren.


Coming clean?

Clean coal technology can help the EU’s fight against climate

change, Europe’s coal lobby Euracoal tells Filipe Rufino

The EU is likely to remain dependent on coal for

generating one third of its electricity over the next

thirty years, Europe’s coal lobby group Euracoal

argues. “We think that coal, even in about 30 years,

will stand for 30 per cent of electricity production of

the EU”, says Euracoal’s secretary general Thorsten

Diercks. Stability of supply is the industry’s main argument.

Coal is the only fossil fuel that the EU produces in excess of

what it imports. Its economics are predictable, being a commodity

less prone to market fluctuations than natural gas or

oil, and reserves are abundant, he argues.

Major consumer

The EU is the third largest coal consumer in the world, after

China and the USA. The coal industry employs 200,000

people across the EU, Diercks says, and this figure reaches

500,000 if counting related industries. Coal power plants are

a source of energy across the member states, ranging from

five per cent in the French energy mix to over 30 per cent in

other EU countries. Poland is the EU’s largest coal producer,

followed by the UK. Its neighbour Germany leads in the production

of brown coal.

Clean Coal

Clean coal technology (CCT) is the industry’s response to

climate change. CCT is a combination of different techniques

used to increase the efficiency of coal plants and limit emissions

of harmful gases. The techniques are aimed at slashing

non-CO2 toxic gas emissions, such as sulphur by 90 per cent

and raising the efficiency of new coal-fired power plants. The

latest EU coal plants operate at 46 per cent efficiency.

The aim is to raise efficiency of the new plants to 50 per cent

“in ten years”, according to Diercks. As the lifetime of a typical

coal plant is 40 years, the average European plant still has some

way to go to better their current efficiency score of 36 per cent,

he argues. A special set of technologies being developed is

carbon capture and storage (CCS). These are designed to compress,

inject and trap deep underground the CO2 emitted from

coal plants. Smaller scale experiences and computer models

suggest that 90 per cent of the CO2 released from burning

coal can be captured and stored safely underground. Phasingin

CCS on a large scale will require at least

two decades of research and large amounts

of investment, however. “We have to begin

dealing with it now so that deployment will

start being phased in by 2020. That is what

we are talking about”, Diercks argues.

Carbon trading hurdle

Coal plants come under the EU’s flagship

emissions trading scheme, since it came

into force on 1 January 2005. The scheme

is designed to reward the least polluting

industries, by allowing them to sell unused

CO2 allowances in a carbon market. But

the coal lobby believes the emission caps

are driving investors away, delaying badlyneeded

financing in research and technology. “You have now

these five-year licenses, but a power plant is built to last 40

years”, said Dierks. “If you and I would start now planning

a coal-fired power plant, it would probably be operational by

2012. But by 2013 we would need a new emissions trading

scheme license”.

Key to Post-Kyoto world

With the international energy agency predicting a rise in

worldwide coal consumption over the next 20 years, particularly

in China and India, it makes both business and environmental

sense to invest in CCT, Diercks argues. “Climate change is not

an EU problem. It is a global problem. Europe must be optimistic

because we want to have China and India on board once

the technology is fully developed and deployable”.

“Coal is the only fossil

fuel that the EU produces

in excess of what it

imports. Its economics

are predictable, being a

commodity less prone to

market fluctuations than

natural gas or oil, and

reserves are abundant”

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 27



28 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

Fuel from

the past?

Using coal as a way to lessen Europe’s energy

dependency would be a step back for the

environment, warns Greenpeace

Burning coal is the most polluting

method of generating

electricity, and the EU should

back renewable alternatives

instead, argues Greenpeace.

The EU should not turn to

coal because they are in a “panic about

external energy dependence and security of

supply”, says Greenpeace’s Mark Johnston.

Coal and climate change are a dreadful

match in the eyes of environmentalists.

Renewable energies are more promising, as

upgrading coal technology is expensive, will

take too long and may bring unpredictable

risks to the environment, he argues.

Not-so-clean coal

Coal still produces the most CO2 of any

fossil fuel in the world, despite improvements

obtained from clean coal technologies

(CCT). Coal plants using the latest technology

still produce double the amount of

CO2 than burning the equivalent amount

of natural gas. A new coal plant releases approximately 800

grammes of CO2 per unit of electricity produced, while a gas

plant emits 390 grammes and an oil plant 650, according to the

International Energy Agency. CCT therefore brings “a marginal

efficiency gain” to a technology that wastes more than half of the

energy released from coal combustion, Johnston says.

Sweeping under the carpet

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a longterm

investment with a degree of risk to

the environment, Greenpeace argues. Because

CCS will only be up to speed by 2020, it will

not contribute to meet the EU’s Kyoto commitments.

The physics behind CCS has yet to

be tested on a large scale. “What is envisaged

by industry is a much bigger operation. That

has not been done. That has not been proven

yet”, says Johnston. Capturing, transporting

and storing carbon consumes energy.

The most modern plants are still losing the

gains from increased efficiency in CCS. Old

plants would risk losing economical viability.

Storing CO2 also raises the risk of leakage

and imposes additional monitoring costs on companies.

While earthquakes are rare in Europe, it is unknown what

would happen should one occur near an underground site

where millions of tonnes of CO2 are stored. CCS does not

solve the issue of producing less CO2, “sweeping it under the

carpet instead”, says Johnson. Future generations will have to

deal with it.

Massive subsidies

The coal industry receives tens of millions

of euros of taxpayer’s money each

year. The industry is eligible for up to

€60m a year from a specific, handsoff

fund from the assets of the now

extinct European coal and steel community,

the energy cartel set up by the

EU’s founding fathers in the aftermath

of WWII. In addition, the industry

has been funded from the European

commission’s research budget. Between

2002 and 2006, Brussels channelled

€73m for research in CCT - three times

more than the amount allocated on this

budget line for R&D in wind and solar

power combined. Coal mining has also

been subsidised in some EU member

states as well, particularly in Germany

and Spain.

Carbon trading incentive

The price of carbon traded under the EU’s Emissions trading

scheme is too low to push companies to reduce emissions, argues

Johnson. “Once the price of CO2 becomes realistic and reflects

the real threat of climate change then renewables will inevitably

become the most attractive option for investors”, he says.

An integrated

perspective on gender

and human rights

The Co-ordination Action on Human Rights

Violations (CAHRV) addresses interpersonal

violence within a human rights framework.

CAHRV is a broad-based collaborative effort

of 22 research institutions in 14 European

countries, in cooperation with policy

networks and individual researchers, funded

within the European Commission’s 6 th

Framework Programme. The coordination is

located at the University of Osnabrueck, the

most successful German university within the

7.Priority of this program.

In multi-country comparative studies CAHRV

examines the prevalence and impact of

violence, the roots of violence in men’s

gendered practices, the effectiveness of

legal and social intervention strategies, and

protective factors to secure human rights.

CAHRV is building sustainable structures for

cooperation and dialogue across different

fields and intellectual traditions.

Violence against women and abuse of

children are recognized as serious human

rights violations. This framework needs to be

extended to include elderly and male victims

and to encompass awareness that unchecked

interpersonal violence represents a threat to

democracy and social cohesion. The field of

interpersonal violence typifies fragmentation

in addressing human rights violations. Each

type of violation has been seen as a distinct

concern; theoretical and practical links have

been neglected.

CAHRV aims to understand and overcome

fragmentation in research, policy and practice.

It integrates parallel research discourses on

violence to:

• unify a theoretical and empirical basis for


• survey a wide territory with a case study


• structure co-operation through subnetworks

• identify further sites of excellence.

In a practical perspective, CAHRV aims to:

• build a research foundation for

recognizing good practice,

• make standards for services and

interventions available on a European


• contribute to policy-related data


• improve dissemination and co-operation

with NGO’s, agencies and governments.

Focal thematic areas are being studied in four


Sub-network 1: Identifying and profiling

victimisation (Co-ordinator: Manuela

Martinez, University of Valencia, Spain)

Sub-network 2: The roots of interpersonal

violence: gendered practices, social exclusion

and violation (Co-ordinator: Irina Novikova,

University of Latvia, Latvia)

Sub-network 3: Addressing gender-based

human rights violations (Co-ordinator: Jalna

Hanmer, University of Sunderland, UK)

Sub-network 4: Protective environmental

factors securing human rights (Co-ordinator:

Ralf Puchert, Dissens e.V., Germany)

CAHRV also examines when policies and

interventions are effective and what context

variables need to be considered for transfer.

High-profile conferences, cross-cutting

workshops and expert groups articulate a

distinctively European voice in the global

discussion of human rights in everyday life.

Published results include

• An overview of European research on

prevalence, health and human rights

impact, and comparative re-analysis of

data from prevalence surveys

• A data base of research on masculinities

and violence

• Research synopses on the role of the

justice system in protecting of human

rights, and on evaluation of interventions

and measures and their potential for


• An interdisciplinary research map on

the web of protective factors in work,

families and social networks.

Project director:

Carol Hagemann-White,

Department of Education,

University of Osnabrück


Sabine Bohne

University Osnabrueck, CAHRV

Kolpingstr. 7, D - 49069 Osnabrueck

Fone: ++49 (0) 541 969 4927











wageindicator2.pdf 15-2-2007 17:10:41

AOIFE, the Association of Institutions for Feminist Education and

Research in Europe, links universities and other organisations dedicated

to Women’s Studies and Gender Research. By cooperation and

networking, the 84 members collectively act on issues concerning

feminist education and research.

We have received funding from the EC for several joint research and

training projects, including:

- ResearchIntegration: Changing Knowledge and disciplinary

boundaries through integrative research methods in the Social

Sciences and Humanities (2004-2007).


- GenderGraduates: Marie Curie fellowships for Early Stage

Training in Gender and Women’s Studies in Europe (2005-2009).

- GEMMA: The first Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree in Women’s

and Gender Studies in Europe (2007-2009).

AOIFE has organised the successful European Feminist Research

Conferences. The 7 th conference will be organised in 2009, hosted by

Utrecht University, Netherlands.

In the field of education, ATHENA is AOIFE’s main project.

ATHENA3, the Advanced Thematic Network in European Women’s

Studies, brings together 80 institutes in the interdisciplinary field of

WageIndicators especially for women

On Womens' Day WageIndicator websites for women were

launched in India, Mexico and Spain. There are now 8

countries. Womens' WageIndicator websites were brought

online earlier in the Netherlands, Belgium , Brazil

Womens'WageIndicators target occupations where the pa

between men and women comes to the fore. Gender pay

inequality can be seen in many countries, yet in som

wider than in others. Proper data help address this

TheWageIndicator policy is to launch specific website

effective. The data thus gathered is more accurate d

micro-level, where people are actually confronted wi

problems, like women, migrant workers and the young.

Netherlands there are now 8 related websites, target

groups in the labor WageIndicator market. started there in 2001

with a womens' website, followed in March 2006 by, ,, and in March 2007 ,,

European extension WageIndicators of

is partly funded

by FP 6 and Equal

Women’s and Gender research. Our aim is to unite scholars, teachers,

and stakeholders from civil society and public institutions in the field of

gender and diversity.

ATHENA3 thematically focuses on “Gender, Culture and European

Diversity” and “Women, Access and European Citizenship”, consolidating

expertise in three areas:

I. Curriculum development: innovative teaching material,

new modules, co-taught classes, joint BA, MA and doctoral


II. Research on education: evaluation tools, descriptors of

competencies for women’s studies, collections of best practices for

ICT in gender education, databases for teaching material.

III. Forging links between universities and civil society: databases

and collections of material available in women’s libraries that serve

communities with information and LLL-projects.

To advance Women’s Studies and Gender Research in Europe,

AOIFE and ATHENA are working towards a permanent professional

organisation for Gender Studies in Europe.

We welcome new members and partners in our projects.

More information can be found on and


Europe is already doing a lot to help the world’s least developed nations – but

could be doing far more and far better

32 Louis Michel wants Europe’s governments to do more to pool their resources

when coordinating development aid

36 The commission’s emergency work in flood-hit Mozambique shows the EU’s

solidarity with the world’s poorest, says António Cavaco

38 Simon Coveney urges the UN to fulfil its responsibility to protect the people

of Darfur

41 Danute Budreikaite looks at the various challenges of sustainable development

44 The European commission must scrap plans to impose economic partnership

agreements on the world’s poorest nations, says Mariano Iossa

DEVELOPMENT | European Commissioner

32 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

Smart aid

Louis Michel wants Europe’s governments to do more to

pool their resources when coordinating development aid

Throughout the many missions I’ve undertaken since

I took up the post as EU commissioner for development

and humanitarian aid, I’ve been told the same

message. Developing countries do not just want

more aid; they need better and quicker aid. They

want donors to better coordinate and articulate their

policies, priorities and activities. In Tanzania, for example, I

learned that there are around 600 different projects of less than

€1m each working in health care, most of them in combating

HIV/Aids. In Kenya, I was told that medicines are purchased

simultaneously by 20 donors using 13 different procurement

bodies. In yet another developing country, the minister of

finance told me that he receives, on average, 200 different

donor missions each year.

This is not acceptable. If we really want to reduce poverty,

we have to drastically cut red tape, especially the burdens in

aid delivery, caused by the need for developing countries to

respond to an excessive number of different donor requirements,

rules and conditions. The developing world is looking

to Europe to make this happen, and rightly so. The EU is

responsible for more than half of worldwide development aid

and for 80 per cent of the increase in aid pledged for 2010.

But more money also forces us to re-think our aid modalities:

“This week I will unveil a proposal to move

from rhetoric to action. I will propose that

member states subscribe to a voluntary

code of conduct setting out ten operational

principles for a better division of labour

among EU donors in developing countries”

if a doubling of European aid by 2010 were to translate into a

doubling of the number of projects, we would be letting down

the developing world. We therefore need to work out a better

division of labour between European donors.

This week I will unveil a proposal to move from rhetoric

to action. I will propose that member states subscribe

to a voluntary code of conduct setting out ten operational

principles for a better division of labour among EU donors

in developing countries. I will recommend for example that

EU donors limit their involvement in a partner country to a

maximum of two sectors, to be determined on the basis of

the donor’s comparative advantage. I will also ask that donors

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 33


DEVELOPMENT | European Commissioner

Louis Michel

is European

commissioner for

development and

humanitarian aid

34 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

“Let me put this straight: I am not proposing

to change the EU’s institutional balance or

to enlarge the commission’s competency in

development policy. I want Europe to be more

efficient and effective, capable of improving

the living conditions of the world’s poorest

people. And this will not happen by limiting

the role of member states”

become much quicker at delegating responsibility for their

programmes to a lead donor. In South Africa, for example,

the UK has delegated the implementation of its support to

land reform to Belgium. I believe this is the kind of example

we should be following.

In the code of conduct, I will also set out some guiding

principles to ensure a global and more evenly spread EU presence

in the developing world. Today, too many donors focus on

successful countries, such as Vietnam, while too often leaving

aside other, often more fragile, countries, such as the Central

African Republic. I therefore propose that EU donors dedicate

part of their aid budget to ‘under funded’ or neglected countries.

It was for the same reasons that the commission decided

in 2002 to channel at least ten per cent of its humanitarian aid

to so-called world’s forgotten crises. Today this target has been

largely achieved, with around 42 per cent of the total funds

– €239m – being allocated to such crises.

I know that putting this code of conduct into practice will

not be easy. I know how politically sensitive it is for donors to

adapt their priority countries and subjects. And this is not only

true for ex-colonial powers. But let me put this straight: I am

not proposing to change the EU’s institutional balance or to

enlarge the commission’s competency in development policy.

I want Europe to be more efficient and effective, capable of

improving the living conditions of the world’s poorest people.

And this will not happen by limiting the role of member states.

On the contrary, we hope to capitalise on their longstanding

experience and know-how.

I believe this code of conduct provides us with a framework

to do just this. By identifying operational principles based on

best practice from the field. By setting realistic targets that

donors can meet progressively and by showing that the EU,

collectively, can take the global lead. Polls show that European

citizens not only want a stronger Europe but also a Europe that

is more effective and efficient in what it does with its taxpayers’

money. This is true for policies at home, but also for policies

abroad. Many of today’s challenges are by their very nature not

ones that can be solved by one country alone. Global poverty

is such a challenge. It must be addressed together, it must be

addressed better and we must act now.

for communities

A mine development near you brings big changes, good and bad. So wherever Rio Tinto operates, we

aim to work closely with our hosts, striving to respect laws and customs, minimising adverse impacts

and ensuring transfer of benefits and enhancement of opportunities.

We set out to build relationships with our neighbours that show mutual respect, active partnership and

long term commitment.

Mutual respect depends on us understanding the community’s issues and our neighbours

appreciating what is important to us.

We promote active partnerships at international, national, regional and local levels based on mutual

commitment, trust and openness.

Our commitment is long term, in support of community based projects that make a sustainable


To learn more about Rio Tinto, visit

Rio Tinto plc

6 St. James’s Square

London SW1Y 4LD

United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)20 7930 2399

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Rio Tinto Limited

120 Collins Street


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T: +61 (0)3 9283 3333

F: +61 (0)3 9283 3707


36 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007


the flood

The commission’s emergency work in flood-hit Mozambique shows

the EU’s solidarity with the world’s poorest, says António Cavaco

Torrential rains in recent weeks have affected four

southern African countries, with Mozambique the

worst hit. Around 150,000 people there have been

displaced by flooding. Some were able to escape

on foot, many were evacuated by boat and others

had to be rescued by helicopters. Most people had

to leave everything behind them. Two-thirds of the flood

victims are now staying in camps, the remainder having

found shelter with relatives.

When the scale of the emerging crisis became known, we

acted swiftly in ECHO. An emergency expert was immediately

dispatched to Mozambique to visit the inundated

regions, assess the basic needs of flood victims and liaise with

relief agencies on rescue operations. He reported back speedily

and, on the basis of his needs assessment, the commission

announced the allocation of €2 million in emergency humanitarian

aid on 14 February. ECHO staff in Brussels, working

in collaboration with commission colleagues at the delegation

in Maputo, are in close contact with our partner agencies who

will deliver this EU-funded emergency aid. The aim is to reach

the most vulnerable with effective relief as quickly as possible.

Rescue operations have been managed well so far by relief

organisations and the Mozambique government’s disaster

management team. At this stage, the commission’s humanitarian

assistance covers basic essentials so as to protect and

save lives: shelter, food, clean drinking water and healthcare.

It is vital to prevent outbreaks of water-borne diseases like

diarrhoea or cholera that can easily take hold in the aftermath

of major floods. Another aim is to help flood victims

resettle in safer areas.

In the Zambezi Valley, which is the worst-affected area, in

central Mozambique, dozens of people have been killed and

“Humanitarian aid is an important expression

of the EU’s solidarity with the world’s most

vulnerable communities and the commission,

as always, stands ready to fund prompt and

effective relief to the victims of catastrophes,

whether they are natural or man-made”

crops and livestock destroyed. In the triangle between the

Zambezi and the Chire River some communities have been

completely cut off. The risk has been accentuated by the fact

that the waters in this region are infested with crocodiles.

Parts of Mozambique are naturally vulnerable to serious

flooding, provoked by heavy rains far upstream, sometimes

in neighbouring countries. Mozambique has a number of

river dams that enable the authorities to control water flows

– assuming the rains are not too torrential. Immediately

after the floods, while it was still raining in parts of Malawi,

Zimbabwe and Zambia, the situation on the controlled rivers

appeared to be easing.

The Chire, which flows from Lake Malawi, is still a source

of worry, however. With no dams, it is impossible to control

the water flows on this river. Government and humanitarian

agencies are therefore monitoring the water volumes very

closely. The rainy season in Mozambique usually continues

until April, so people are aware that a lot more precipitation

could be on the way.

An important issue is how to boost the use of boats for

rescue and aid delivery rather than the much more expensive

helicopter airlifts. ECHO is involved in exploring options

for rescue and the delivery of aid as efficiently as possible,

bearing in mind that changing water levels in flood situations

create particular challenges for boat operations.

It is expected that after the situation stabilises, people will

be able to return to their villages within two or three months.

However, many will have lost everything: homes, possessions,

livestock and crops. They will need help to recover: materials

to rebuild their homes, for example, or seeds to plant for the

next harvest. At the time of writing there was, quite literally,

a large dark cloud below Mozambique’s eastern horizon,

threatening to make the humanitarian situation a lot worse.

Cyclone Favio was bearing down on the country with winds

over the ocean reaching more than 180 kilometres an hour.

Although windspeeds generally diminish as storms approach

major landmasses, there are fears that the cyclone could still

wreak terrible destruction.

In such situations you hope for the best while preparing for

the worst – which is what commission staff in Maputo, Harare

and Brussels are all now doing. Humanitarian aid is an important

expression of the EU’s solidarity with the world’s most

vulnerable communities and the commission, as always, stands

ready to fund prompt and effective relief to the victims of catastrophes,

whether they are natural or man-made.

António Cavaco

is the directorgeneral

of ECHO,

the European



aid department

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 37



38 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

Time to act

in Darfur

Simon Coveney urges the UN to fulfil its

responsibility to protect the people of Darfur

For months now the international community

has postured, posed and made diplomatic calls

for intervention that would stop the brutality

and slaughter in Darfur, Western Sudan. Before

Christmas it looked as if it might be possible to

get agreement with the Sudanese government on

sending UN peacekeeping troops to protect refugees and civilians

from attack by militia and armed groups.

However, as before, it seems the Sudanese government was

not sincere about negotiating an acceptable resolution with the

UN or European leaders. And so the stalemate continues on

an international peace-keeping force, while the violence continues.

It is now even too dangerous for experienced NGOs to

work and provide basic food and shelter in refugee camps, and

they had to pull out staff months ago.

The UN should hang its head in shame that the crisis has

been allowed to develop to this point. However, now is not the

time to be focusing on what could have been done; instead we

should be concentrating on how to take a more proactive and

interventionist stance.

During the February plenary session, the European parliament

voted in favour of a resolution on Darfur which I put

forward with the support of other colleagues. The resolution

calls on the international community to intervene in this

human tragedy, starting with action at UN level. The purpose

of the resolution was to try to raise the political temperature

on this issue, and to increase the pressure on those who can, if

the will exists, make things happen on the ground to protect

people in the region.

The main thrust of the resolution calls on the UN to set a

clear date for the deployment of a UN supported peacekeeping

force in Darfur, even in the absence of consent from the

Sudanese government, in order to

secure humanitarian aid corridors

to the increasingly isolated population

in the region. We are calling

for this in the context of the UN’s

“responsibility to protect”, based

on the failure of the Sudanese

government to shield its own

population from war crimes and

crimes against humanity, as well as

its failure to provide humanitarian assistance.

Some have described what is happening as genocide (Arab

Muslims killing African Muslims); others call it mass murder.

Regardless of how it is described, it is now surely time to

bypass the political games that the Sudanese government

continues to play and try to get a decisive mandate for direct

intervention from the UN. This is the only way the Sudanese

will take international efforts seriously.

We are not talking about “regime change” or “invasion” in

Sudan; this is simply about protecting vulnerable defenceless

people. All the evidence suggests that not only is the Sudanese

government not willing to protect its own people, but that it

is actually assisting in the attacks on refugees, in return for the

support of armed groups.

It will be difficult to achieve a resolution authorising such

intervention at UN security council level. Unfortunately, there

are a number of countries that have an economic or political

interest in frustrating definitive action in Darfur. Sudan’s rich

oil reserves and large arms imports influence the thinking of

certain powerful security council members.

So many times in the past the UN has shown itself to be

unable to agree on taking strong but necessary decisions.

“It is now surely time to bypass the political

games that the Sudanese government

continues to play and try to get a decisive

mandate for direct intervention from the UN.

This is the only way the Sudanese will take

international efforts seriously”

However, we do have a new secretary general in the UN, and

we should be putting pressure on him to try to get a strong

resolution agreed on Darfur.

Due to the awful and continuing consequences of military

intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is reluctance

among some to even discuss military intervention in any

other part of the world. However, this is not an appropriate

argument in the case of Darfur – it is a totally different set

of circumstances, requiring a peace-keeping force to prevent

violence, not a military invasion.

The UN has had some recent success in Africa with peacekeeping

forces, most notably in Liberia and Congo. In the

case of Congo, the mission is now coming to an end, following

the supervision of relatively peaceful elections. Darfur can

be the next successful mission.

The UN approach for Darfur that has already been agreed

upon is provided for under security council resolution 1706.

However, putting in place the 20,000 troops mentioned in

this resolution is dependent on the consent of the receiving

state. President Al-Bashir has made it very clear that he is

not willing to accept phase three of this present UN plan

allowing for the bolstering of the Africa Union mission, so

the UN needs to go in regardless.

Diplomacy is failing while people continue to die in huge

numbers. The setting of a clear date for the deployment

of troops will focus the attention on a tight timescale to

find a diplomatic resolution to getting peace-keepers on

the ground, but will also send a strong signal that there

comes a time when the responsibility to protect overrides

the importance of a diplomatic solution with the Sudanese


Simon Coveney

is a member

of parliament’s

committee on

foreign affairs and

subcommittee on

human rights

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 39



Ma Action Against Poverty.

In 2005, European citizens made their voices heard in their millions.

They are part of a global movement against poverty that has seen

60 million people around the world take action since January 2005.

Political leaders made countless promises to tackle poverty worldwide,

but these remain empty words if binding plans and implementation do

not follow.

In 2007, European citizens will make their voices heard again, telling

political leaders that the world can’t wait: they must act decisively and

with urgency on poverty.


Poverty is a fundamental violation of human rights

Every day poverty continues to claim 50,000 lives

70% of people in extreme poverty are women

Five people die from HIV/AIDS every minute

More than 100 million children around the world are still denied the

chance to go to school

Over a billion people never get a clean glass of water to drink

Out of 34 Least Developed Countries, 22 are currently mired in


150,000 people already die every year from climate change


• The EU to actually deliver the additional 20 billion euros in aid

that have been promised by 2010, half way to finally reaching the

long-standing UN target of 0.7% of GNI by 2015. Every European

Member State needs to set a binding timetable now and implement

it consistently.

• The EU to ensure that trade deals help to fight poverty and do not

force poor countries to open their markets to unfair competition,

or restrict access to affordable medicines. Europe must offer

developing countries viable alternatives to Economic Partnership

Agreements (EPAS) and allow sufficient time for meaningful


• The EU to adopt tough principles on the transfer of international

arms and to ensure that the Arms Trade Treaty becomes a binding

obligation for every country.

• The EU to take responsibility and show global leadership on climate

change, setting clear and binding emission targets and putting

pressure on other international partners to reach an agreement

that will keep global warming at less than +2 degrees, while

safeguarding sustainable development in developing countries.

European citizens expect action on global poverty from their leaders at

these key meetings:

8/9 March European Council, Brussels

24/25 March European Summit, Berlin

26/27 March G8 Development Ministers, Berlin

23/24 April GAERC with trade ministers, Luxemburg

14/15 May GAERC with development ministers, Brussels

18/19 May G8 Finance Ministers, Schwielowsee (Potsdam)

6/8 June G8 Summit, Heiligendamm

23/27June European Summit, Brussels

Get in touch with BOND EU Team to discuss how you can help: / +44 20 7520 0255.

BOND is the UK network of NGOs working in international development. BOND’s vision is a world in which the EU

works consistently for the eradication and prevention of global poverty. BOND is a member of CONCORD and part

of the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP).

Developing right

Danute Budreikaite looks at the various

challenges of sustainable development

The key EU documents - the EU treaty and its sustainable

development strategy - define sustainable

development as development that meets the needs

of the present without compromising the ability of

future generations to meet their own needs. This is

an all-encompassing EU legislation principle that

should make an impact on all the fields of EU policy, including

development cooperation policy.

One of the fundamental objectives of our society is to fight

poverty, to enable developing countries to repay their debt,

and to help them achieve the transition from least developed

countries to developing countries – and, further, to the level of

developed countries.

Developed countries already know the price of progress

and modern life – namely, the impact of human activity,

especially industry, on the environment. There is a high price

being paid worldwide, even though not all states possess

and use technologies causing the greenhouse effect, emitting

CO2 and pollutants.

All of us want to cut pollution. We are focusing our attention

not only on our own economies, adopting the appropriate

measures to reduce pollution, but also on trying to encourage

developing countries to use environmentally friendly

and renewable types of energy, and environmentally friendly

technologies. But this, bearing in mind the economies of most

developing countries, is not an easy task.

In the report on mainstreaming sustainability in development

cooperation policies, the problems of sustainable

development are described, and some possible solutions for

developing countries are proposed. And they apply not only

to developing countries, but also to the EU itself, which is

making investments and carrying out economic activity in the

developing countries.

Sustainable development encompasses three key aspects:

sustainable economic growth, environmental protection and

social justice and cohesion. This means that economic issues,

environmental and social issues are interlinked and support

each other, and that this interlinking should be taken into

account at the policy formation stage.

Economic issues are related to governance, human rights,

democracy, regional integration and other aspects of economy

and life. Of importance to their solution are financial assistance

from the EU and other countries, the institutional

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 41


DEVELOPMENT | Sustainability

Danute Budreikaite

is vice-chair of




42 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

capacity building in developing countries, the fight against

corruption, finding new methods of helping markets and

businesses to implement sustainable development, attracting

foreign direct investment, etc.

The environment is impacted by illegal forest felling, corruption

and armed conflict, inaccessible drinking water and

the lack of sanitary conditions, pollution, especially the greenhouse

effect, and the degradation and depletion of natural

resources, this being a precondition for conflict situations.

In the social area, environmental issues are key, like access

to drinking water and sanitary conditions, accessibility of

education and health systems. The fight against poverty is

also important.

In implementing sustainable development, it is clear that

promoting economic growth and eradicating poverty while

ensuring environmental protection is the greatest challenge

for the EU’s development cooperation policy. This, however,

is not only the EU’s concern. The EU shall encourage the

major economic stakeholders, like the US, China and India,

operating in the global economic space, to contribute to the

implementation of sustainable development worldwide.

In the promotion of economic growth it is necessary to

implement sustainable development in all sectors, to invest

in environment-friendly technologies, to implement alternative

energy technologies and, crucially, to ensure that the

codes of conduct of enterprises are enforced by all market


In the field of environment it is important to emphasise that

international corporations operating in developing countries

must respect the environment: corporate social responsibility

and the code of conduct for European companies must be

“In implementing sustainable development, it is clear that

promoting economic growth and eradicating poverty while

ensuring environmental protection is the greatest challenge

for the EU’s development cooperation policy”

implemented. Seeking to fight environmental deterioration in

the developing countries, the EU should be more active in cooperating

with small and medium enterprises, to educate them

and foster their respect for the environment. The preservation

of biodiversity, monitoring of the ecological condition of the

environment and necessary measures for its conservation is the

responsibility of all of us.

In the social sphere, we should strive to attain the millennium

development goals, to promote sustainable consumption,

to combat infectious diseases, HIV/Aids and malaria. It is

important to allocate more substantial aid to health, education

and environmental issues.

A major role in the successful implementation of sustainable

development belongs to the civil society, NGO, and women.

Therefore in addressing sustainable development issues, it is

important to activate social dialogue.

Alongside the three areas of sustainable development,

strengthening institutional capacity is also a priority for all

economic and social sectors. In giving aid (for institutional,

administrative and legal reform, development of infrastructural

networks, and financial management of the state) the

evaluation of an environmental, economic and social impact

should be compulsory. These are long-term actions seeking

sustainability in development cooperation policy.

However, the EU can already take action in implementing

sustainability by addressing the issue of agricultural

export subsidies, promoting imports of products manufactured

without violating international treaties, halting the brain drain

from developing countries, promoting investment to developing

countries and making effective use of the new development

cooperation instrument, in force since the start of 2007.

A world fit for children is a world fit for all!

LEFT : You are not a human being in the eyes of the trafficker”. Poster produced by a consortium of Terre des Hommes organisations in partnership with 9 local partners in South Asia.

RIGHT: “Children trafficked will be disempowered, illiterate and unskilled”.

Terre des Hommes believes that implementing

all Human Rights today, in particular

the Rights of the Child, is an indispensable

milestone for sustainable human, economic and

social development. Tommorrow’s world will be

what our children are today.

“Children trafficked will be disempowered,

illiterate and unskilled”. No

doubt, this is a reality. Deep violations of

children’s rights, as it occurs when a child is

trafficked, leave a deep mark behind the path towards

development. As part of Terre des Hommes

effort to combat trafficking, the European

Union is supporting two projects implemented

by Terre des Hommes consortia. One of them

is a regional project in South Asia coordinated

by Terre des Hommes Italy, acting as lead applicant

in consortium with Terre des Hommes

Germany, Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Terre

des Hommes Foundation in Lausanne, Terre

des Hommes Switzerland in partnership with

9 local partners in Bangladesh, India, Nepal. The

project is aimed at promoting a model of good

governance on trafficking in women and children

though a Human Rights-based approach in legal

and social measures to prevent, protect and

rehabilitate victims.

Such regional approaches are supported by all

Terre des Hommes organisations in five others

regions, Southern Africa, West Africa, Southeast

Asia, Latin America and Europe in the framework

of an International Campaign against Child Traf-

ficking launched in 2001. Today, this campaign integrates

about 75 field programmes in 40 countries

worldwide to prevent, protect and rehabilitate

victims of trafficking, to raise awareness, to mobilise

public and civil society, to develop research

and advocacy work for law and policy changes.

As an integrated part of its work in development

cooperation and humanitarian aid, Terre des

Hommes develops focused expertise, remains

very close to field realities, often in the most

remote areas and with the most marginalized

populations, denounces, combats, raises awareness,

mobilises social and political will to fight

and advocate against the less visible, sometimes

quantitatively limited, but often the most indelible

violation of children’s rights.

Development cooperation makes a difference

when it integrates in an indissociable manner

Civil, Political, Social, Economic and Cultural

Rights. Working for Human Rights is a subtle

but permanent fight. It is also about politics. This

is why Terre des Hommes promotes Human

Rights-based approaches to Development Cooperation

and Humanitarian aid, with a particular

focus on child rights.

Terre des Hommes is convinced that the EU must

play an enhanced and major role in promoting a

Human Rights-based approach to Development

Cooperation. Terre des Hommes is closely following

the evolution of the (today rather piecemeal)

EU Development Cooperation, Human Rights and

Child Rights policies in an integrated perspective

trying to influence them according to “what is”

the social reality worldwide and keeping Universal

Human Rights as polar star.

Terre des Hommes is a family-network of

11 national organisations with headquarters

in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy,

Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland

(comprising two organisations: Terre des Hommes

Switzerland and the Terre des Hommes

Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland), Syria.

It supports and run about 1200 development

and humanitarian aid projects in 64 countries.

Projects are run in close partnership with the

beneficiaries who are the primary actors of their

own development, including children. Terre des

Hommes works with 1028 local and national

civil society organisations.


Salvatore Parata


International Federation

Terre des Hommes European Office

10 Square Ambiorix, 1000 Brussels

TEL: +32.(0)2.743.87.96 /

DEVELOPMENT | Partnership Agreements

44 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

A fair


The European commission must scrap plans to impose economic partnership

agreements on the world’s poorest nations, says Mariano Iossa

When the African, Caribbean and Pacific

(ACP) countries began negotiations on economic

partnership agreements (EPAs) with

the EU back in 2002, they believed that the

agreements would be aimed at helping them

develop and prosper. This was based on the

spirit of the 2000 Cotonou agreement creating a broad cooperation

framework between the EU and ACPs, encompassing

aid, trade and policy dialogue. Each of these three parts was

designed to be coherent and work in synergy towards the

same goals.

Now, seven years later, the negotiations have moved a long

way from the spirit of Cotonou and its development-driven

agenda to blindly embrace a trade-driven one. If the EPAs are

signed at the end of this year, they will unfairly pit some of the

world’s most advanced industrial economies against some of

the poorest nations on earth. Poor countries stood up to the

EU in 2003 and refused to start talks on new areas of trade

such as investment, competition and government procurement

at the WTO. Now the EU is pushing these same plans through

EPAs, where poor countries have less bargaining power.

At this moment of scepticism and general uncertainty about

the future of global trade talks, the European commission is

pushing for a free trade agreement in the name of WTO compatibility

and on the basis of an argument that 30 years of trade

preferences have not resulted in the significant progress in the

world’s poorest states. The commission’s recipe for change

has been hooked to trade liberalisation and the opening of

ACP markets. Yet it is widely recognised that neither trade

liberalisation nor preferential market access bring growth let

alone development. These trade models can certainly create

opportunities, but you need to have economic operators in

such countries that are in a realistic position to seize such

opportunities. When this area is in a weak state, trade preferences

need to be complemented with significant support to

ensure that local products are developed and that they can

reach the global markets.

This would then provide a viable space for ACP countries to

seize the opportunities provided and successfully integrate into

the global economy. Currently in Africa major supply side and

infrastructural constraints make this impossible. The reality is

that the commission is disengaging from ACPs and particu-

larly from Africa. On the one hand, the commission wants a

cost-free trade deal using a one-size-fits-all trade liberalisation

model, but on the other hand it is set to reduce financial aid

to ACPs – proving that the commission is in reality moving

further and further away from ACP development interests.

While the commission still tries to claim that no country will

be compelled to sign, it is using the looming deadline of 1

January 2008 to force countries into agreements that could be

economically devastating. The implication is that there are no

other alternatives, but this is not the case.

What is lacking is political will from the EU. Instead

of actively seeking ways to extend the deadline and ensure

development-friendly deals, they are turning the screws on

“On the one hand, the commission wants

a cost-free trade deal using a one-size-fitsall

trade liberalisation model, but on the

other hand it is set to reduce financial aid

to ACPs – proving that the commission is in

reality moving further and further away from

ACP development interests”

the African countries, and pushing them into agreements

that will hurt poor farmers and undermine future industrial

development. If the commission was really thinking about

a development deal the approach would be very different

– it would sit down with the ACP countries to analyse their

potential market opportunities along with their constraints

to make such markets a reality. On this basis, the commission

could develop an adjustment programme to address such

constraints and ensure that funding is available to implement

it in realistic timelines. Once the commission has gone

through this step-by-step process, it is then and only then

that it can begin to talk about liberalisation of markets and

partnership agreements.

This is what a partnership is really all about. What is

needed is not more time to negotiate more of the same, but

instead a new development deal must be hatched - one that

not only opens the door for ACP markets through preferential

access but also comes hand-in-hand with targeted

support on how to get around the global trade house. This

means a clear political push from EU member states to

ensure that the commission starts negotiating from a different

perspective that is less worried about WTO compatibility

and more about ensuring that ACPs have a real opportunity

to enter into the global market with a tangible sense of ownership

for their development prospects.

Will economic partnership agreements

bring prosperity or more poverty?

Mariano Iossa

is international

food and trade

policy advisor

at ActionAid

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 45



Spatial Development

for Women and Men

By administrations for

administrations– Gender

goes public!

The project “GenderAlp! Spatial

Development for Women and Men”

is a cooperation association of 12

partner cities and regions from the

Alpine Space over the three years

2005-2007 at questions concerning

spatial development and public

budgets from the viewpoint of

equal opportunity between women

and men.

Because more equal opportunity

means a better quality of life,

improved quality of location for

businesses and people, increased

competitiveness of the regions

and increased employment!

We want to pass on the experience

we are gathering through 32

regional projects in the GenderAlp!

network and our best-practice database

to everyone who can apply

this knowledge effectively in their

daily work.

Network of Administrations in

Alpine Countries

Gender-fairness criteria have

a legal anchoring from the EU

legislation down to the national

and regional levels. Nevertheless,

its implementation lags behind. On

the one hand GenderAlp! aims to

create gender awareness in the

public and on the other hand it

aims to create tools and build-up

know-how in administration and


Similar Conditions in Alpine

Space Regions

Alpine countries have similar

structures and problems:

concentrated areas for planning

of residential structures, limited

transport infrastructure in some

areas, a relatively low female labour

rate, and men still dominating local

as well as regional decision-making

processes. It is essential for a

competitive regional development to

integrate and mobilise both women

and men. By creating a network

of international partners within

the project, an intensive exchange

of experiences can be established.

A benefit for every participating


Facts & Figures

EU-Program: Interreg IIIB

Alpine Space

Duration: 2005 -2007

Financing: € 2.3 m - 50% ERDF

funds, 50% partners


12 partner cities and regions from

Austria, Italy, Germany, France,


• Landeshauptstadt München

• Stadt Freiburg im Breisgau

• Conseil Régional Rhône-Alpes

• Centre de Formation

Professionelle et de Formation

Agricole de Carmejane

• Provincia di Genova

• LaMoRo, Piemont

• Urban Planning Institute of the

Republic of Slovenia

• Universität für Bodenkultur Wien


• Land Niederösterreich

• Land Oberösterreich

• Verwaltungsakademie des

Landes Salzburg

• Land Salzburg


• Raise awareness in the area of

gender-equal spatial planning

(gender planning) and

gender budgeting for the

implementation of gender


• create specific tools for policymakers

in administration and

politics - TOOLBOX

• establish networks of

administrations for the

exchange of experiences

in implementing gender


• Exchange of experience and

good-practice-examples on

gender mainstreaming, gender

planning and gender budgeting

between the partners

• Communication of results of

the regional projects within the


Target groups:

Decision-makers and experts in

administration and politics on a

local, regional, national and

trans-national (EU and Alpine

Space) level


Land Salzburg

Leadpartner-Consortium: Office for

Women’s Affairs and Equal Opportunity

– Spatial Planning – Economy,

Tourism, Energy


Land Salzburg

Office for Women’s Affairs and Equal


Michael-Pacher-Strasse 28

A-5020 Salzburg

Tel.: +43/662/8042-4051


For detailed information, please,

visit our homepages: (English) (German) (Slovenian) (Italian)


Many women still struggle to make their voice heard and face discrimination

in the workplace or violence and abuse at home

49 Even after 50 years of the EU, women have yet to gain full equality

with men – and the situation is even worse in other cultures, warns

Anna Záborská

53 Emine Bozkurt applauds progress on women’s rights in Turkey, but emphasises

that there is still work to do in several key areas

55 Equality between women and men still has a long way to go, argues Cécile


Marie Stopes International

Global Conference on Safe Abortion

Abortion - Whose Right, Whose Choice, Who Cares?

Marie Stopes International, a global sexual and

reproductive health agency, will host a major

international conference in London, UK, focusing

on abortion.

The two day conference will confront both international

and national issues associated with unsafe abortion,

focusing on rights, access, advocacy and funding.

The conference will build consensus and momentum

around international efforts to reduce the unacceptable

toll on women’s health and lives caused by unsafe

abortion, through increasing access to safe services,

recognising women’s right to self determination and

encouraging legal reform.

The conference will also mark the 40 th anniversary

(27 October, 2007) of the United Kingdom’s 1967

Abortion Act , review current barriers to access and

issues of concern in UK provision and practice, and

seek ways to remove any barriers.

Marie Stopes International has over 30 years

experience of working in sexual and reproductive

health in the UK, Europe, Australia and in the

23-24 October 2007

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

For more information, contact Tony Kerridge at

To register for updates on the conference, please


developing world. We are one of the largest providers

of safe abortion services in the world.

During those 30 years, laws have changed and

access to safe abortion has ebbed and flowed. Some

gains have been made, but in certain countries those

who oppose abortion rights are becoming more

vocal, undermining both rights and access.

One constant during this time of change, however, has

been that at least 70,000 women die every year due

to unsafe abortion. Despite all the rhetoric, promises

and international commitments to reduce maternal

mortality and provide women everywhere with access

to quality sexual and reproductive health services,

women keep dying needlessly due to unsafe abortion

– currently, one woman every eight minutes.

Marie Stopes International and its conference

associates, Ipas and Abortion Rights, along with

the active participation of stakeholders from across

the sexual and reproductive health community, hope

that the Global Conference on Safe Abortion will be

a seminal event and a call to action, moving the safe

abortion agenda forward.

Still fighting

Even after 50 years of the EU, women have yet to gain full equality with men

– and the situation is even worse in other cultures, warns Anna Záborská

In the 50 years since the creation of the EU, we have

not yet managed to achieve gender equality and it

remains one of the major challenges for Europe. What

do I hold most dear to my heart today? I believe in the

importance of bringing together women of all political

persuasions and philosophies, irrespective of their social

situation, to ensure that all women can fully enjoy all human

rights and basic freedoms and are able to continually improve

their own specific characteristics. Women should be proud to

be women!

I would like all women, and those men who are willing,

to unite in denouncing the sometimes degrading image of

women, the situation at work where women are frightened of

becoming pregnant for fear of losing their jobs, domestic violence,

crimes of honour and body mutilation. We should pool

all of our strengths to make people understand that the future

of new Europe is linked to the situation of women, particularly

women who are destitute and those who risk being excluded

from society. In many European regions, women are present

and active in every area of life – social, economic, cultural,

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 49


WOMEN’S DAY | Committee Chair

Anna Záborská

is chair of


women’s rights

and gender

equality committee

50 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

religious, and political – and make an indispensable contribution

to the establishment of economic and political structures.

Through feminine insight, women enrich intercultural understanding

and help to make human relations between and

among people more honest and authentic.

Women do all this at great sacrifice. This sacrifice demands

that women benefit from equality in every area: equal pay

for equal work, protection for working mothers, real choice

between the working as a mother at home or taking your child

to a crèche, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses

with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything

that is part of the rights and duties of all in a democratic

“When they use their talents to the full, women can make a

world of difference to the way in which citizens learn from

each other and organise themselves. Women are experts in

promoting fundamental values inherent in human beings, such

as truth, justice, love and freedom. They must be encouraged

to share and promote these irreplaceable values in family life,

their professional lives and in all aspects of their social lives.

Sadly, this is not the case in all societies”

society. This is a matter of justice and of necessity. In all these

areas, a greater presence of women in society will prove most

valuable and will help to manifest the contradictions present

in society when it is organised solely according to the criteria

of efficiency and productivity or of brute force.

Men and women are both distinct and complement each

other. I have my doubts about an ideology where sexual

identity can be adapted indefinitely for new, different purposes.

Of course, I dissociate myself from the idea of using

a kind of biological determinism to sort out for good the

roles of both sexes and their interrelations. I am proud that

women – at least in Europe – can enjoy their full professional

responsibilities and thus activate networks of intergenerational

solidarity. Long may it continue. When they use their

talents to the full, women can make a world of difference to

the way in which citizens learn from each other and organise

themselves. Women are experts in promoting fundamental

values inherent in human beings, such as truth, justice, love

and freedom. They must be encouraged to share and promote

these irreplaceable values in family life, their professional

lives and in all aspects of their social lives. Sadly, this is not

the case in all societies.

Like Kelly Bourdara, the former Greek minister and

deputy mayor of Athens, I wonder to what extent the pro-

motion of free women and their intrinsic qualities is inspired

by the Christian civilisation. However, this long journey to

freeing women must still be supported and “re-conquered”,

even here in Europe. I deplore seeing images of women

who are disadvantaged not just because of their personal

economic situation – in particular, single mothers – but also

women who, despite living far from their original homes and

in desperate conditions, overcome their suffering and fatigue

to promote the well-being of their nearest and dearest. The

future of new Europe is now taking shape with the “stability

pact” which we all know from the economic field. I am

trying to make the case for another stability pact: one that

would improve women’s confidence

and honour – in essence, a pact of

civil and internal stability that would

help men and women to play a more

active role in society.

I often wonder whether poverty

can be avoided simply by ensuring

women have jobs. Do employment

and welfare benefits offer adequate

protection to women from loneliness

and fragility, which can lead to ignorance?

I believe that the feminisation

of poverty should not simply be looked

at in economic terms. The term “precariousness”

covers the absence of a

number of basic securities: a lack of family, a lack of education

and a lack of jobs. When they have all these, human beings

flourish and can assume professional, family and social responsibilities

and enjoy their fundamental human rights. Without

them, insecurity grows and can have serious, definite consequences.

But precariousness only leads to abject poverty when it

affects several areas of existence, when it is persistent, and when

it limits people’s opportunities to take on their responsibilities

and reassert their own rights within a reasonable timeframe.

Work enables human beings to be part of a collective.

But that is not enough to make them citizens, as experience

has shown. The question is, how can we best use this social

link to eradicate poverty? I have seen with my own eyes that

teaching generosity by working on joint projects has enabled

women – and, in particular, young women – to act freely

and autonomously. We should acknowledge the expertise of

women in creating intergenerational and professional networks,

also in terms of social solidarity, thereby experiencing

at first hand honour and respect. Let us not forget that, for

many women, being able to show generosity and honour

towards others is an opportunity they have not yet had. But it

is possible to have this experience, not only in the prosperous

regions of the 27 member states, but also in the less developed

areas of the EU.

The Centre for Advancement of Women

in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast

(CAWP) is a leading academic centre

dedicated to women in politics and public

decision making. According to founding director,

Dr. Yvonne Galligan, ‘CAWP is now the premier

site of research on women and politics in the

European Union. It places an important emphasis

on developing women’s leadership capacities. And

it provides essential facts and figures on women

in decision-making to the interested public. ’


Since its establishment in 2000, CAWP has

developed an unrivalled research profile on

women in political and public decision making.

Currently, we participate in the EU-funded project

Reconstituting Democracy in Europe (RECON). This

five-year study explores the potential for democracy

in Europe. In the context of this project,

CAWP is leading a study examining how gender

justice and democracy can be best fostered within

the EU and beyond (

Previously, with EU funding, we coordinated

a 12-country project on gender and political

representation in Central and Eastern Europe

entitled Enlargement, Gender and Governance. This

study produced useful briefing papers on political

representation, gender mainstreaming and trafficking

in women that can be downloaded from




LEFT: Iraqi politicians at Parliament Buildings, Stormont. RIGHT: CAWP Director, Dr. Yvonne Galligan, addressing RECON kick-off conference. Photo copyright ARENA


CAWP Visiting Research Fellowships attract

scholars from across the world. Each researcher

contributes to the CAWP Working Paper Series

on women and politics. All working papers are

available to download from our website.

Teaching and Development

In CAWP we are committed to supporting women’s

leadership. Since 2004, we have organised

Next Generation - an intensive one-week programme

aimed at developing women’s leadership

potential. This programme attracts middle-management

women in the public sector, civil service

and local authorities wishing to move to the next

stage in their careers.

CAWP’s outstanding experience in developing

women’s leadership is globally recognised. We

are involved in an exciting new European-Latin

American political development program Women

and the City. The aim of this unique transcontinental

program, co-ordinated by the Barcelona

provincial administration, is to enhance the representation

and influence of Spanish-speaking

women world-wide in politics and society.

Complementing our range of leadership courses

is a new Masters Degree programme, Gender

and Society, available from September 2007. This

programme is unique in two respects: it leads

with a core focus on women and politics, and it is

designed as an inter-disciplinary course of study.

Further information is available on http://www.



The CAWP Observatory tracks elections and

gives updated information on women in parties,

government, parliament and local government

in the UK and Ireland. In the future we intend

to extend this Observatory to other important

decision making sites.

In addition, we provide guidance and information

on women and politics to journalists, women’s

groups, government agencies, political parties

and students.

For more information, please visit,

email:, or

contact Dr. Yvonne Galligan

Founding Director, CAWP

School of Politics

International Studies and Philosophy

Queen’s University Belfast

Belfast BT7 1NN

Northern Ireland, UK

Phone +44 (0) 28 9097 3629/3654

European Platform of Women Scientists

Concerned about

- Europe’s competitiveness?

- scientific excellence and innovation?

- the future of your daughters?

Europe needs leading-edge science and scientists in order to become the world’s most

competitive knowledge-based society. All potential contributors are needed. Women

scientists call for our specific support:

Women in the EU make up 50% of the student population

but on average only hold 15% of senior academic positions.

The European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS calls for special attention to equal

opportunities in science and science policy. EPWS encourages the maintaining and

development of instruments to ensure the consideration of gender balance and gender

mainstreaming in European research policy.

Who we are

� the voice of women scientists in EU research policy

� a growing membership organisation bringing together networks of women scientists

and networks promoting women scientists

� an association supporting the work of networks of women scientists from all

disciplines, ranging from the humanities to natural, social and medical sciences,

engineering and technology

� a discussion forum for women scientists and policy makers at national, regional

and EU levels

� an information provider focused on EU research policy issues

What we do

� represent the interests and aspirations of women scientists in EU research policy

� promote the understanding and inclusion of the gender dimension in science

� strengthen contacts and collaboration among women scientists, particularly in

Central and Eastern Europe and in the private sector

� provide contacts to high profile women scientists of all disciplines as keynote

speakers, panel members and evaluators

� identify funding and support opportunities for women in science

Join our endeavour and contribute to building a strong association

� benefit from our close contact to the research community and our database of

some 160 networks, covering all disciplines and more than 30 countries throughout

Europe and beyond

� make use of our position papers on the key topics of EU research policy, such as

equal opportunities, scientific excellence and innovation

� promote women scientists in your country by putting them in touch with EPWS

� visit our web site and sign-up for the EPWS monthly newsletter and regular news


� ensure the sustainability of EPWS via financial and/or logistic support

EPWS is at your service to

help raise awareness to

the situation of women in

science and provide expertise

for the implementation of

EU policies with regard to

gender balance and gender

mainstreaming in European


Make Europe more

innovative, more equal

and more competitive

by supporting EPWS and

increasing the participation

of women in science!

Contact us in Brussels:

European Platform of

Women Scientists EPWS

Rue d’Arlon 38

B-1000 Brussels

Tel.: 0032.2.2343750

Fax: 0032.2.2343759

Supported by the 6 th EU Framework

Programme for Research and

Technological Development

Enlarging equality

Emine Bozkurt applauds progress on women’s rights in Turkey,

but emphasises that there is still work to do in several key areas

The prospect of EU membership is an important tool

which pushes candidate countries to go through a

considerable transformation process – and women’s

rights are one of the main membership criteria. As

a result, being an EU candidate has put women’s

rights in the spotlight of Turkey’s accession process.

The issue came to the forefront two years ago, on 6 March

2005, when the police violently disrupted a demonstration

in Istanbul linked to International Women’s Day. However

since then, many important steps were taken thanks to

the cooperation between the EU and Turkey. The government

showed commitment to investigating the event and

to punishing the perpetrators, and the charges against the

demonstrators were dropped.

On the EU level, as parliament’s rapporteur, I prepared two

consecutive reports on women’s role in social, economic and

political life in Turkey. The second report was recently adopted

by 522 votes in favour to 15 against; it aims to further contribute

to Turkish women’s efforts to have rights equal to men’s in

social, economic and political spheres.

The report gives a balanced and objective description of the

situation concerning women’s rights in Turkey. It outlines the

developments and the areas where further efforts are needed.

There has been very important progress in the development of

women’s rights in Turkey especially with the improving legal

framework. However problems in the implementation of the

legislation prevent Turkish women in the street from fully

benefiting from their legislative rights on paper.

The report welcomes the improved coordination between

the Turkish government and women’s rights NGOs, the

fact that more girls go to school and that the government is

showing increased commitment to women’s rights. However,

it also emphasises that work is still to be done on ensuring

women are safe from violence and honour crimes. The report

therefore calls for more shelters for women and a sufficient

budget for this issue. The establishment of a standing committee

on women’s rights in the Turkish parliament and the need

for objective and accurate data on the situation of women are

the other priorities.

The low political

participation rate

of Turkish women

is also an important


Besides being the

European year of

equal opportunities

for all, 2007 is

significant because

of the upcoming

elections in Turkey

which represent an

important opportunity

to include more female candidates on the election lists.

Turkey is on the right track as far as women’s rights are concerned,

but this is still an ongoing process and further efforts

are needed. The prospect of EU membership strengthens

and accelerates the efforts to improve women’s rights on the

Turkish side. Many solutions for women in Turkey lie within

the process of becoming a member of EU. The improvement

of women’s rights is a very good example of how commitment

and effective cooperation between the EU and Turkey can

work very positively.

I believe that women’s intellectual and economic emancipation

represents an important opportunity for women, for

Turkey and for the EU. As a result, participation of women

in the labour market was the main theme of the report. The

chronic decrease in the participation of women in the official

labour market is an area of concern both for the EU and

Turkey. A seminar on this issue will be organized on 7 March

at the European parliament to discuss how the prospect of

EU membership became a catalyst for women’s rights in

Turkey and what should be done for further improvement.

Two years after the 6 March event this seminar, which is

linked to International Women’s Day, will be a strong sign of

our common goal and cooperation.

Emine Bozkurt

is a member

of parliament’s

women’s rights

committee and

the rapporteur

on women’s

rights in Turkey

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 53


, 2518 BC The Hague, the Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)70 302 9911 F

Gender Justice for Women in Conflicts

This March 8 th women in north

and north eastern Uganda are

hoping they can mark International

Women’s Day amidst the renewal of

the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement

between the rebel group the Lord’s

Resistance Army (LRA) and the

Government of Uganda, due to expire on

February 28 th .

In the eastern provinces of the

Democratic Republic of the Congo

(DRC), March 8 th will most likely go by

with little ceremony as women survive the

violence of the militia-based conflict and

hope that next year they will be able to

return to their homes.

In Darfur, as attacks against the civilian

population continue, March 8 th will come

and go like any other day with many

hoping that today it will not be their

village or that there will be sufficient food

and clean water for themselves and their

families to survive.

In each of these 3 conflicts currently before

the International Criminal Court (ICC),

gender based crimes, most often rape and

other forms of sexual violence, have been

committed on a widespread scale.

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice

The recognition of rape and sexual

violence as amongst the gravest crimes

committed in war and armed conflict is one

of the milestones of the Rome Statute,

the international treaty forming the ICC.

For the first time, rape, sexual slavery,

enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy,

enforced sterilization, gender based

persecutions, trafficking and other forms of

sexual violence have been codified as war

crimes, crimes against humanity, and in

some instances as genocide.

This gives the ICC not only the

jurisdictional basis to include these

crimes but establishes a positive

obligation on the Court to prosecute

gender based crimes in the course of

each of the situations where it is currently

conducting investigations.

In reviewing the historic prosecutions for

gender based crimes, these have only

been seriously addressed in the last

decade with convictions for rape and

sexual slavery through the International

Criminal Tribunal for the former

Yugoslavia and the International Criminal

Tribunal for Rwanda.

Despite the millions of women historically

who have been victims of gender based

crimes during conflicts, there have only

ever been 32 convictions for such crimes.

The expectation on the ICC to end this

historical impunity is therefore high and

justified as women seek accountability

through an international judicial process

mandated to prosecute these crimes.

Unfortunately at this stage the ICC is

not yet meeting either the community

expectations or the codified obligations

mandated by the Statute.

In its first case, the ICC did not adequately

investigate gender based crimes

committed by the Union des Patriotes

Congolais (UPC) militia despite extensive

documentation of the widespread

commission of rape and other forms

of sexual violence committed by this

militia group of which the first accused

before the ICC, Thomas Lubanga Dyilo,

is the founder and leader. Although the

ICC charges against Lubanga relate

to the enlistment and conscription of

child soldiers, no girl soldiers have been

recognised as victims in the case against

the accused, and no women victims/

survivors of gender based crimes have

been recognized to participate in the

proceedings at this stage.

Currently only 4 victims have been

formally recognized as ‘victims’ of the first

case due to the limited charges brought

by the Prosecutor against the accused

in conjunction with the narrow definition

of ‘victim’ determined by the Pre-Trial


Despite this, organizations like the

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice

and other international and local

organizations continue to advocate for

justice for women in conflict situations

and have formed strong alliances to

encourage, monitor and require the ICC

to be a mechanism capable of providing

gender-inclusive justice.

Next year we hope women in

Uganda, DRC and Darfur will have

something to celebrate.

Brigid Inder, Executive Director,

Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice

Phone: +31(0)70 3029911

Fax: +31(0)70 3925270




Equality between women and men still has

a long way to go, argues Cécile Gréboval

Equality between women

and men is not yet a

reality in Europe, despite

existing EU and national

legislation, numerous

political commitments at

all levels and the existence of equality

before the law in most member

states. There is still a gap regarding access to resources, rights

and power. Moreover, prejudices, stereotypes and patriarchal

attitudes are still widespread across Europe’s culture.

In 1957, the treaty of Rome introduced the principle

of equal pay for women and men. Through the years, new

dispositions reinforced the first treaty and 13 European

directives on gender equality have been adopted since the

1970s. This legal framework has helped to promote women’s

participation in Europe’s economic and social life and has

been crucial in improving their status and role in society.

The European women’s lobby is the largest coalition of

women’s non-governmental organisations in the EU, with

4,000 member organisations represented in 26 EU member

states, and aims to represent and give a voice to women’s

needs at the European institutional level.

Despite the existence of good European legislation there

are still gaps between women and men regarding employment.

For example, the employment rate of women continues

to lag behind that of men. This weaker participation exposes

women to a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion.

The gender pay gap is another illustration of existing discrimination.

Take the example of gross hourly pay: women

earn only 76 per cent of what a man is paid for doing the

same job.

The gender-based division of tasks, both in the paid

employment sector and at home, is still extremely widespread

in Europe. In principle, all women and men have equal access

to different occupations but many sectors remain firmly identified

as either ‘male’ or ‘female’. In the same way, women are

particularly under-represented in decision-making positions.

This is true for politics and public or private sector management.

For example, men hold an average of 76 per cent of

parliamentary seats in the EU.

Violence against women is a fundamental barrier to the

achievement of gender equality and a violation of women’s

human rights. It is estimated that one woman in five in Europe

has been subjected to some form of violence. Violence against

women is a continuum – a continuous series of physical, verbal

and sexual assaults

and acts committed

in different ways by

men against women

with the explicit aim

of hurting, degrading,

intimidating and

silencing them.

To reduce the gaps

between women and men in all areas, member states and the

European institutions need to implement their commitments

and to take action. In particular, they must take steps to fully

implement existing European gender equality legislation in

order to ensure equality between women and on the labour


The EU needs to fill the existing gap at European level

by adopting binding measures for the equal distribution of

women and men in decision-making and by developing

European strategies, policies and resources based on the

current EU treaties to eradicate all forms of violence against


“To reduce the gaps between women and

men in all areas, member states and the

European institutions need to implement

their commitments and to take action”

Cécile Gréboval

is acting


general of

the European

women’s lobby

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 55


PROFILE | Dimitar Stoyanov

56 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007



Most of the 18 Bulgarian MEPs are still finding their feet

in Brussels. But, as Martin Banks reports, Dimitar Stoyanov

has already found himself at the centre of a media storm

At just 23 years of age, Dimitar Stoyanov is the

youngest MEP in the 785-strong European parliament.

But, in the short time he has been here,

Stoyanov has become known less for his youthfulness

and more for the highly derogatory comments

about Jews and gypsies he is alleged to have made.

When, last year, Hungarian MEP Livia Jaroka was nominated

for a Parliament Magazine MEP award for her conscientious

work, he is said to have objected.

“In my country, there are tens of thousands of gypsy girls way

more beautiful,” he wrote in an email. “In fact, if you are in the

right place at the right time you even can buy one to be your

loving wife.” While strenuously defending what he allegedly

said in the email, Stoyanov claims to have been “grossly” misrepresented.

“I generally stand by the

remarks I made and as far as I am concerned

I have done absolutely nothing

wrong. I want to stress that I am not an

extremist or anti-Semitic,” he says. “As

far as I am concerned I have been the

victim of a smear campaign.”

Though still a political novice,

Stoyanov has also found himself having

to defend the newly-formed far-right

parliamentary group, Identity, Tradition

and Sovereignty, which he has joined.

Stoyanov says that both he and the

group have been the victim of a “dirty

tricks” campaign, orchestrated by the

“My father criticised me in

the Bulgarian press for my

comments and policies. He

said I had been mentally and

philosophically ‘abducted’ and

that I had been brain-washed.

That was blatantly untrue

because I knew exactly what

I was doing”

media and parliament’s other established political groups, which

he says have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

When he isn’t making headlines in the international press,

Stoyanov has plenty of other things on his plate – he is due

to take his law degree finals at Sofia University in the autumn

and also, somehow, manages to find time to be an MP in

Bulgaria. “It is very difficult – and hard work - juggling all

the different jobs. But my view is that this is what you have

to do if you are trying to pursue your goals in life.” Like his

Bulgarian MEP colleagues, he also faces European elections

in May. When in Brussels, he is still staying in a hotel and

will not seek more permanent residence until his electoral

fate is known. If his European mandate is confirmed, he will

quit as a national parliamentarian.

Stoyanov’s parents are both jour-

nalists but, politically, it was his

grandfather, a writer and poet, who

inspired him most. He was a wellknown

dissident in Bulgaria during

the communist era and, according to

Stoyanov, faced persecution for adopting

this position. Indeed, Stoyanov’s

parents received threats that he would

be kidnapped unless his grandfather

desisted from his criticism of the

regime. “It was obviously very unpleasant

for my family to live under the

constant threat that something nasty

would happen to me,” he recalls.

Stoyanov has clearly inherited his grandfather’s abrasiveness,

even if it harms his own personal happiness. Two years ago when

he was elected an MP, Stoyanov’s outspokenness led to a family

feud which continues to this day. “My father criticised me in the

Bulgarian press for my comments and policies. He said I had

been mentally and philosophically ‘abducted’ and that I had been

brain-washed. That was blatantly untrue because I knew exactly

what I was doing.” Son and father have not spoken since. “It is

sad but I suppose these things happen,” he says.

Stoyanov, who is refreshingly honest,

confesses to being “too frank

for my own good at times”,

perhaps another family

trait. “As a few people

have discovered, I am

not afraid of speaking

my mind and

people do not always

like that.” Despite his

recent bitter parental

fall-out, Stoyanov

enjoyed a “pleasant”

upbringing. Perhaps

unsurprisingly given

the threats to his

welfare, his parents

were “very” protective

towards him. Schooled

at the Italian college in

Sofia – which he left with

“modest” qualifications

– he has studied law at the

city’s university since 2001.

Elected an MP in 2005, he is

currently one of 12 MPs from

the Attack Coalition party, which

was the second most popular

political force in last November’s

Bulgaria’s elections.

Stoyanov, who is a member of two parliamentary committees

– regional development and agriculture – sees his

transition to Brussels as a “logical” step in his political

development. As an MEP he has supported efforts to free

the jailed Bulgarian medics in Libya although, at the same

time, he has also accused Germany, France and Italy of

double standards for their trade links with Tripoli. Though

he is looking forward to having his mandate renewed in

May, he is already critical of what he calls the “second

class” treatment for the Bulgarian and Romanian

MEP newcomers. “For instance, our offices

are nothing like those enjoyed by ‘old’

member state members. Mine is basically

furnished, has no bathroom

and, to reach it, I have to walk

through the hemicycle,” he says.

He also believes there should be

more debate before parliament

endorses EU legislation.

Stoyanov, who is single, nurtures

ambitions, one day, to

become a government minister

in Bulgaria. But, for now he

is happy to learn his trade as

an MEP. “It is a very good

opportunity to see how the EU

works from the inside,” he says.

“But my first goal is to educate

myself in how parliament and

the other EU institutions operate.”

When he isn’t working and studying

– or provoking controversy – Stoyanov

enjoys mountain hiking and fencing in

his spare time. He is also pretty handy on

the shooting range, and given his experience

so far in Brussels, this might

come in particularly useful in the

coming months.

Dimitar Stoyanov MEP

Born: 17 May 1983 in Sofia, Bulgaria

Education: Law, university of Sofia


In Parliament: MEP since January


Member of the regional development

committee, agriculture and rural

development committee

26 February 2007 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 57


PSST! | Parliament Confidential

Heard any




58 PARLIAMENTMAGAZINE 26 February 2007

Drop us a line…


Just in case we needed any more proof that some MEPs

are living on Planet LaLa, this has just fallen into our

laps, courtesy of Portuguese Socialist Jamila Madeira.

The sharp-sighted MEP has spotted a drastic oversight

in the EU’s continuing policy to win the hearts and

minds of Europeans and “connect” with its citizens

– a “standard envelope, with a single union-wide postage

rate” to write to the EU institutions.

How could we have survived so long without it? And,

as Madeira points out quite rightly, how could Europeans

have lived for so long with the injustice that Belgians can

write to the parliament more cheaply? MEPs have until

May to sign up to Madeira’s written declaration and

champion the rights of their hard-done-by constituents.

Maybe that explains the empty mailboxes.

Ban? What ban?

MEPs have given the public another

reason to declare them a laughing stock

– by having the shortest smoking ban in

living memory. MEPs took just 43 days to

valiantly break their New Year’s smoking

ban and reinstate smoking areas on its

Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Brussels

premises. The decision to reverse the

total ban on smoking, in force since 1

January this year, was taken last week

in a closed ballot by parliament’s ruling

bureau. Critics and anti-smoking lobbyists

have already condemned the move

as an “absolute disgrace” and hypocritical

at a time when the EU is promoting

smoking bans across the continent.

Getting to the

bottom of things

Perma-tanned UK MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk, who appears to

churn out more written questions to the commission than MEPs

receive hot dinners from lobbyists, has shown he is a man of the

people by probing an immortal question often on the minds of

British women: does my bum look too small in this Marks and

Spencers mirror? In a recent question to the commission, Kilroy-

Silk asked if it was “conceivable that within the millions of EU

regulations covering virtually every aspect of life in the EU” there

was not one that made it illegal for M&S to have mirrors that

“deliberately distort women’s shapes”.

EU consumer commissioner Meglena Kuneva, getting her first

taste of the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate, replied that the

alleged practice “may fall under the scope of the unfair commercial

practices directive, adopted on 11 May 2005”, but advised the MEP

to take it up with the national authorities. Marks and Spencers,

meanwhile, has declared itself mystified by the accusation.

Senior officials said the U-turn was

necessary because the ban was impossible

to enforce after MEPs and staff

started defiantly lighting up everywhere.

MEP rebels were spotted blatantly lighting

up under no-smoking signs in the

member’s bar during the last Strasbourg

session. Others were smoking in their

offices unhindered. “There are a couple

of Maltese MEPs on my corridor and

there was such a constant haze coming

from underneath the office door that

they were either having a bonfire or they

were smoking,” said one UK MEP.

The leader of the six parliament

quaestors, Jim Nicholson, has been

tasked with the formidable challenge of

redrafting the rules. He said he was being

treated like a “pariah” and harangued by

MEPs on the corridors. Nicholson said

a likely solution would be the reinstatement

of specially ventilated smoking

areas in the buildings. Whether the

smoking ban will be enforced in offices

is still unclear.



The project PROMISE, funded by

DG Research under the FP6 has a

clear focus on the human right to

education aiming at a fair access to

higher education. Equal opportunities

in education for migrants build an

inherent characteristic of PROMISE:

Talented girl migrants are promoted

intensively in Club Lise at university.

Science teaching is improved in the

PROMISE-teams to equalise inequalities

based on socio-economic or

cultural diversity. A strong co-operation

between countries of origin and

countries of residents supports this




Work on the project is structured around the distinctive

contributions which each of the partners

can bring. Germany and Austria are producing

detailed evidence of classroom practice, student

attitudes and educational outcomes in their

schools and universities. Bosnia-Herzegovina and

Turkey offer an understanding of the cultural and

social backgrounds from which the migrants come

and insights into the problems they may encounter

in Germany and Austria. PROMISE-teams of teachers

and experts in science pedagogy have been set

up in each of the partner universities, working in

consultation with experts on linguistics, migrant

issues and intercultural education. PROMISE-teams

have the opportunity of observing classroom practice

in each other’s countries as well as discussing

wider issues at two annual conferences.


It was clear from the start of the project that

migrants tend to be underprivileged because of

their often low socio-economic status, which has

an impact on academic aspirations and attain-

Promotion of Migrants

in Science Education

ment. Girl migrants also suffer from cultural

stereotypes about science studies and careers

being a male-dominated domain. Tackling these

wider social and cultural issues poses a challenge

for the project. Several other issues have emerged

from project research. Competence in the foreign

language is an obstacle for many migrants, particularly

as the language of science tends to be

formal, abstract and dense – very different to the

spoken language which migrants may well have


So work has begun in Berlin on developing second-language

teaching for scientific purposes

and modifying materials for existing science

courses. Work in Vienna focuses on identifying

good practice in science teaching through observing

lessons, talking to teachers and experts and

gathering feedback from students. This, combined

with observation of classroom practice in schools

in Turkey and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the development

of “Club-Lise lectures” and role-plays

developed by girls, will provide a compendium of

pedagogic models.


Partners are agreed on the importance of good

role models to encourage more girls into science.

Each partner has set up a Club-Lise

for girl migrants interested in science.

As well as receiving special

support for their career aspirations

from university staff, the students

take part in events at schools aiming

to inspire migrant school girls

thinking of studying science at



Sensitising science teachers and

education authorities to the limited

access to higher science education

of female migrant students is one

of the main functions of PROMISE.

In the next international conference

taking place in Sarajevo in May this year, the

preliminary results of the project will be presented,

with new teaching materials and examples of good

practice. For autumn a publication of the results is


The aim is to encourage teacher training for science

education in a multilingual, multicultural

environment and, in the longer term, cooperation

between partner countries for the harmonisation of

science education.


1. European Training and

Research Centre for Human

Rights and Democracy, ETC Graz ;

Schubertstrasse 29; 8010 Graz;

Austria; contact Klaus Starl: klaus.

2. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin; Newtonstr. 15; 12489

Berlin; Germany; contact Tanja Tajmel: tajmel@physik.

Project partners: University of Vienna (A), Yildiz

Technical University Istanbul (T), University of Sarajevo

(BiH), Intitiative “Think Ing.” der Deutschen Gesamtmetall

Arbeitgebervereinigung (GER)

promise is funded by the European Commission,

Initiative “Think Ing.” der Deutschen Gesamtmetall

Arbeitgebervereinigung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin








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