Mali Conflict — France and Europe Integration
With the violent conflict taking place in Mali, France has increased its support troops to 1,400 to help fight Islamist militants in the north part of the country. European Union foreign ministers in Brussels have agreed to press ahead with sending a team in to train the Malian army, while France has further launched military action in the conflict-ridden nation last Friday to prevent it from becoming labelled a “terrorist state.” France’s hands-on support for Mali has led to numerous other countries in Africa, including Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin, and Togo, to aid in the battle. This has further led to other EU countries, including the UK and Belgium, to send in either supplies or troops, and has stimulated further discussion within the governments of Romania and other European nations to aid in the resolution of the Malian conflict. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/15/opinion/france-mali-opinion-blanquer/index.html?hpt=ieu_mid
UK Exiting the EU?
Extracts from British Prime Minister Cameron’s speech to the EU reveal that he planned to address the existing “gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years and which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is… felt particularly acutely in Britain.” If these problems are not addressed, Mr. Cameron made clear that the awaiting danger is failure in Europe, which will push the British towards exiting the long-established EU. A spokesman for the Dutch prime minister, however, stated that fellow EU nations were highly unlikely to allow any country to simply exit the regional “club,” opting out from the various arrangements and treaties integrating the European nations together. From the looks of things, the UK seems to have one foot in and the other out. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21076219
Supervision of Eurozone Banks
Approximately 200 of the biggest banks in Europe will come under the direct supervision of the European Central Bank, acting as chief supervisor of eurozone banks. Aimed at preventing banking failures (as took place in Greece and Spain), and bolstering the euro through new rules on smart banking, the agreement will ensure that the “single market is protected for countries that are not signing up to the banking union.” Under the deal, which is expected to take effect in March 2014, the ECB will be able to intervene with lenders and borrowers at the first signs of trouble, and banks with more than 30 billion euros in assets will be placed under the oversight of the ECB. There will be a transference of authority from national governments to the ECB, representing the first stage of a banking union, known as a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). The ECB will be responsible for the overall smooth-running of the SSM, but it will simultaneously be in close cooperation with member states and the European Banking Authority — the creator of banking rules for all 27 member states. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20695129