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Category: Featured

Understanding the European Union: how does it work?

By Keith Nuthall

The European Union (EU) is a complex political organisation, but businesses and industries wanting to trade or work within Europe need to understand its workings. To stay within the law, and also to influence the development of EU regulations and directives, it is essential that some managers really know how legislation is agreed in Europe and where to get the information about these laws.

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Confronting problems multilaterally can be less than effective

By Eric Lyman in Rome

There are problems in the world that cannot be confronted with any success by a single state, no matter how powerful. Big environmental issues and world hunger and poverty immediately come to mind, along with many regional peacekeeping needs and most economic and trade-related problems.

Enter multilateralism, the consensus-driven process that democratically pulls countries together for collective problem solving, usually under the auspices of an umbrella organisation such as the United Nations or the World Trade Organisation.

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Brussels mourns EU pioneer

David Haworth, in Brussels
With the return to power in Rome of Silvio Berlusconi, Noisy Politics will also make a reappearance in the corridors of European Union power. The age of celebrity is such that it’s easy to overlook the possibility of a modest, exemplary life of achievement in what is often reviled as a “grubby trade”.
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Lebanon's turbulent friendship with the international community

By Paul Cochrane, Beirut
How the Lebanese view international institutions and the world at large depends on sectarian and political allegiances. With Lebanon a microcosm of the macro political-economic issues facing the Middle East today - due to the country’s geographical position bordering Israel and Syria, and the country’s political-sectarian divisions between Sunnis, Shias, Druze and Christians - Lebanon is where the powers that be flex their muscles.
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The European parliament still making mistakes at 50-years-old

By Alan Osborn, Strasbourg

THE EUROPEAN Parliament turned 50 years old this March. There will be no celebration of the event in Britain and probably not much in other European Union (EU) member countries. Most people know of the parliament only as the source of scandals like fiddling expenses or the provision of lavish wining and dining for its members. An American TV company once introduced a profile of the parliament by saying "So you think Europe doesn't have boondoggles? Boy, have we got news for you!"

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