Famous for standing up to the FBI, Ögmundur Jónasson spoke to Katoikos about whistleblower protection, countering the rise of populism and Iceland’s unique approach to the financial crisis.
By Manuel Ruiz Rico
On 13 January, by a large majority, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted a regulation that had little impact but which is bound to change the whole picture of GM crops in Europe. The House gave the green light to Member States, empowering them individually to approve or ban the cultivation of GM crops in their national territories, rather than this being decided by the EU. Across the breadth of Europe, due to the broad social rejection of these crops, GM is virtually banned. But everything could change from now on.
How many of us bother to look at what European leaders decide when they meet in Brussels or elsewhere? Did you know that their main decisions are published as “Conclusions” of the European Council? They have a major impact on our lives, directly or indirectly. But they are only selectively reported on and seldom studied in detail, as they should be. We decided to take our magnifying glass and go through the most recent European Council Conclusions, those adopted by the EU leaders at their meeting in Brussels on 19-20 March 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a one-day visit to Brussels on 4 March, and met with the European Commission President and the entire College of Commissioners. One wonders whether that would have happened if any of the other 27 EU member state leaders had been visiting. Of course, nobody doubts the prominence that Ms. Merkel has, because of the special weight that Germany carries in the European economy and politics, but also because of her own personality and leadership skills.