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What are the opportunities for better state-federal cooperation? What has been the role of civil society organizations? Morgenstern, Carlos Saladrigas Cuba's government on Nov. The country's foreign commerce minister expressed hopes that the projects being pitched by the government, ranging from an auto plant to a hog farm, would help spur Cuba's flagging economy. How interested are international companies in investing in Cuba?

What benefits and drawbacks will companies encounter in investing there? What results have come from Cuba's four-year-old economic reform process? November 12, Beyond Venezuela's Simmering Crisis By Marielle Coutrix he breakdown of talks between the government and the opposition Democratic Unity MUD Alliance earlier this summer does not bode well and further suggests that reconciliation and growth will be a lengthy and complex process.

Referring to the report Crisis Group published earlier this fall, both analysts argued that finding a sustainable solution to the Venezuelan crisis would require concerted political action by the international community. Peter Hakim also joined the conversation to evaluate the prospects of a strengthened US-Brazilian bilateral relationship. What sort of central bank will Vanoli run? How will Argentina's long-brewing currency woes play out? In the lead-up to the meeting, experts weighed in on climate change policy in Latin America at a panel hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC.

The system, however, faces great challenges. In recent years, both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have been the subject of vigorous debate, reflecting changes in the political landscape and increasing demands on the system. The forum focused on possible reforms to make the system more effective in defending human rights and advancing democratic principles throughout the Americas.

It will featured the main ideas for reform that emerged from a private gathering at the University of Notre Dame earlier this year of human rights lawyers, scholars, diplomats, and judges involved in the Inter-American human rights system. By Claudio X. To what extent would expanding preschool and daycare benefit Latin American countries, when even some industrialized countries like the United States do not offer those benefits?

Are such initiatives likely to be realized in the region? Are there drawbacks to such plans? By Marcos Espinal, Katherine Bliss, Amy Nunn Source: Latin America Advisor Amid the Ebola outbreak, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have heightened public health protections, such as Jamaica, where the government created a "National Coordinating Team" to respond to the threat of the virus, and the United States, which despite declaring its health system is superior has had health care workers contract the disease.

How well are countries in the Americas prepared to fight the spread of a disease like Ebola? Are resources to protect public health in the region being allocated in the right way? What implications would an outbreak of a disease like Ebola have in areas such as immigration policy and security?

What more should aid agencies, governments, multilateral organizations and others be doing in the fight against Ebola? Because Brazil now has four time zones, the presidential election tally was released after 8 p. However, the results of the gubernatorial elections were released before 8 p. October 28, Brazil's Presidential Election: Interpreting the Results By Marielle Coutrix Brazil is the seventh-largest economy in the world and is increasingly a global player.

Just days after the vote, the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center and the Inter-American Dialogue welcomed policy specialists to discuss what the results signal for Brazil's economy, Brazil's position on the global stage, and what to expect in and beyond.

Source: Latin America Advisor For the second year in a row, people in Latin America are less likely to say they live in countries where women are treated with respect and dignity than people in any other region, according to a recent Gallup survey. A median of 35 percent of adults across 22 Latin American countries said women are treated with respect in their nations, about half as high as percentages in any other region, Gallup said, though the figure disguises wide differences between countries.

How are women faring in Latin America, and what are the most important issues facing women in the region? Where has progress been made and how has that been achieved? What more needs to be done to promote gender equality? October 24, Politics and Possibilities for Immigration Reform By Marielle Coutrix The session explored the following questions: First, in the likely absence of Congressional action, what decisions and initiatives can be expected from President Obama after the mid-term elections?

Second, in what ways has the recent surge in child migrants from Central America shifted the debate over immigration reform? Third, how can immigration policy be linked with US-sponsored regional security initiatives? And finally, how will immigration issues likely affect the next presidential campaign — and outcome? Yet even with all the problems that reduced oil prices create for his administration, President Nicolas Maduro is doubling down on his current policies.

Still, some businesses that rely on modern logistics systems say planned projects aren't enough to meet their needs. Where is the greatest demand for improved infrastructure in the region, and how well do current plans address those needs? Has money already committed on infrastructure projects been spent wisely? Does the region have adequate engineering talent and other human capital for needed projects? Can a country spend too much on infrastructure?

What can investors expect from another Morales administration? What do Sunday's legislative election results suggest about Morales' governing strength and maneuverability moving ahead? Will anticipated lower prices for natural gas, an important export commodity for Bolivia, undermine the recent momentum in the economy?

What economic priorities would you advise Morales to set for his next term? October 10, Evo's Journey: Discussion of the Bolivian Elections By Marielle Coutrix Riding a strong economy and facing a weak and fragmented opposition, Bolivian president Evo Morales seems poised to secure a third term. Many attribute his commanding lead in the polls to a result of improvement in living standards.

Critics point to authoritarian tendencies and an unfair electoral process. Will Bolivia be able to sustain its positive economic and social performance? To what extent does the Bolivia case fit with regional trends, in the Andean countries and more widely?

How does governance compare with that of its neighbors? From to , he headed the Latin American initiative at the Brookings Institution. October 1, Brasil, elecciones y clases medias By Peter Hakim Dialogue president emeritus Peter Hakim discusses the upcoming presidential election in Brazil and asserts the results will be decided by the country's middle class.

September 30, A New Course for Brazil? El sur de Guatemala, el norte de Honduras y el oeste de El Salvador se han visto especialmente afectados. The report concludes with timely suggestions for further research on Chinese mining in the Americas. September 19, Immigration Policy: What's Next?

The recent upsurge in unaccompanied minors in the southern border has re-framed the political discussion on immigration reform. In light of this announcement, what comes next? To what extent and in what ways will the elections likely impact the prospects for changes in US immigration policy? How do local and national groups view the current moment and how are they responding?

Among the challenges facing Gaviria are increasing the rate of investment, reducing unemployment, and accelerating economic growth. Some 1, past and present government officials, lawmakers, diplomats, academics, economists, journalists, policymakers, and other participants gathered in Washington, DC, on September 3 and 4 to discuss the most pressing challenges and opportunities in the Western Hemisphere.

September 11, Mexico energy reform gives Colombia the jitters By Arron Daugherty and Lisa Viscidi Source: Business News Americas In the first of a two-part series, Inter-American Dialogue's energy, climate change and extractive industries program director Lisa Viscidi talks to BNamericas about how the Colombian government is looking to increase oil reserves and maintain competitiveness as Mexico opens its hydrocarbons market.

The emphasis on absolute prohibition and strict law enforcement is giving way to strategies that allow for the decriminalization or legalization of some drugs, and sharply reduced penalties for many of those involved in the production and sale of drugs. The OAS produced a landmark report on hemispheric drug policies last year, which sets out the data and analysis that make clear the risks of sticking with current approaches. It also carefully lays out the alternatives, which present their own risks and benefits.

Since its publication, the report has substantially enriched policy discussions and debates about drugs and given new credibility to those who have been arguing for changes in policy. It has also reinforced Latin American leadership on drug problems and related issues. Aunque Brasil tiene un buen acceso al financiamiento internacional, la cantidad de capital necesario para sus grandes proyectos de infraestructura sigue siendo enorme. Campos' death sent shockwaves through the country's political world and rattled financial markets just two months ahead of Brazil's October presidential election.

What effects will Campos' sudden death have on the race, including any potential runoff? Against the backdrop of acute fiscal pressures, internal divisions within the government are intensifying and are posing significant strains. The opposition is also split and has shown few signs of moving towards a more coherent political strategy. Tens of thousands of children, mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, have been apprehended at the U.

This increase is also seen among adults, though to a lesser degree. As the United States, Mexico, and Central American countries struggle to address this crisis, debates have raged surrounding the humanitarian, legal, and political implications of any possible solution to this complex and troubling issue. This memo aims to inform the current debate by integrating data on issues triggering this outflow while also introducing the perspectives of the people and communities they affect. Specifically, it draws on data from municipalities to analyze migrant hometowns in relation to human development,violence, and education.

In addition, it presents the results of a nationwide survey in El Salvador and a survey of Central American migrants residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. President Emeritus of the Dialogue Peter Hakim assesses the countries' creation of the new international development bank and a reserve arrangement to deal with financial crises in China Policy Review.

How successful have Latin America and the Caribbean been in reaching the goals, and where have they fallen short? With governments now debating a series of sustainable development goals for the post agenda, what should be included?

How useful are these kind of broad targets as measurements of progress in the region? But more controversially, the newly approved laws will roll back pollution standards and fast-track environmental licensing for new energy and mining projects. By Michael Shifter Source: Foreign Policy Vladimir Putin's six-day Latin American tour this past week reveals that, in the face of tougher economic sanctions by the United States and perhaps the European Union over the Ukraine crisis, the Russian president will not be quiescent.

Anticipating an intensifying showdown on Ukraine, Putin took advantage of a meeting of the BRICS countries in Brazil to pursue a diplomatic initiative and call on political support in Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina, and Brazil. Despite the broad agreement on the need to tackle the challenge, however, a fierce political debate in the United States has ensued.

While a variety of proposals have been put forward to deal with the tragic and urgent situation, most of these are little more than stop-gap measures that seek to provide humane treatment to the children and either hasten or slow deportations of the minors.

July 16, Young Migrants and US Policy By Brigid Carmichael The discussion examined the evolving situation of these young migrants and how the US government and the governments of Central America are defining and responding to the challenges they present. July 14, To keep kids from our borders, fix things farther south By Peter Hakim Source: Reuters As it confronts the recent influx of child migrants from Central America, the United States must not only reform its domestic immigration policy, but also reassess its drug, trade, and foreign-aid policies toward the region, writes Dialogue President Emeritus Peter Hakim.

And that applies not only to advancing the peace process but also to achieving broader social harmony. For the energy sector, Santos must build support from business and social movements for policies that promote investment while ensuring the greatest overall benefits for the country. Citando los altos costos de enfrentar el influjo, la diputada Rep. Candice Miller R-Mich.

Citing the high costs of dealing with the influx, Rep. What is behind the spike in unaccompanied children crossing the border? What should the United States and countries of origin do about the situation? How seriously is the issue affecting relations between the United States and its neighbors? For many, its weak profits, soaring debts and stagnant oil production indicate that the company is struggling under the weight of government intervention. With presidential elections on the horizon, our panelists discussed the future of Brazilian energy policy, the outlook for oil and gas production, and the appetite for investment from international oil companies and Chinese state firms.

June 25, U. Despite this focus and 6. To address these persistent problems, Representatives Engel and Salmon have introduced the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act, a law which would establish an independent directive to assess U. Ambassador Simons from the Organization of American States has also spearheaded efforts to understand the issue with greater clarity.

Speaking to an audience on Capitol Hill, the three experts laid out their plans for this commission. He now confronts a complicated political landscape that has been dominated by his predecessor, whose party continues to maintain a majority in Congress.

Still, questions remain: Will Mexico see the projected boom in domestic gas production from shale and other resources? Will renewable energy developers have sufficient incentives for investment? June 23, Financial Education and Inclusion in Mexico By Jean Coleman The results of a recent financial education project informed a wide-ranging discussion on financial inclusion strategies in Mexico, where less than one in three adults has an account at a formal financial institution and less than one in ten has saved money formally in the past year.

Immigration Reform? How important of a role did Cantor's stance on immigration play in his defeat? What does his loss mean for the prospects of immigration reform moving forward? Will other Republicans now be more reluctant to support a comprehensive reform measure? High power generation costs, deficient infrastructure, and barriers to competition are leading Mexico on a path toward soaring industrial electricity tariffs and unsustainable energy subsidies. But while the government has taken important steps toward establishing the right energy framework, much work remains to be done -- and the many potential challenges and uncertainties mean that the reform is unlikely to bear fruit in the short term.

The Dialogue hosted three experts to debate these and other issues. By Thomas Rideg, Ben Supple, Joel Korn Source: Latin America Advisor While it was originally expected that infrastructure investments and World Cup-related tourism would boost Brazil's economy, a recent Banco Santander report cast doubt on the effects that the sporting event, which begins Thursday, will have on Brazil's economy, noting that hotels and restaurants are expecting a slowdown and that additional holidays taken by Brazilians may dampen economic growth.

How is the World Cup affecting Brazil's economy, and will it have an overall negative or positive effect? Will infrastructure investments made for the Cup succeed in promoting long-term growth? June 10, The State of Brazil's South American Project By Matias Spektor The author takes stock of the progress and obstacles in Brazil's attempt to carve out a South American space as its principal geopolitical point of reference.

June 9, Book launch and symposium: Where is Brazil headed? By Murat Dagli With the World Cup only days away and what appear to be increasingly competitive presidential elections in October, the Dialogue hosted a spirited and stimulating exchange on this important country.

June 9, Women and Politics in the Americas: Advances and Challenges By Josh Manley Despite making significant gains in Latin American government and politics, women in the region continue to face structural barriers that impede their full and equal participation in political life.

The two now enter a runoff election on June Murnane y Alejandro J. Murnane and Alejandro J. While it may be too early to speculate about their long-term legacies, their leadership engenders the questions: Would this be a more compassionate, more peaceful planet if more of it were ruled by women?

This is among the many challenges awaiting the new administration in El Salvador that begins on June 1st. The announcement came as Rousseff tries to reverse slipping support ahead of the October presidential election in which she is seeking another term in office. How much support will the announcement win for Rousseff at the polls? What else must she do in order to strengthen her candidacy?

What factors between now and October will influence the election? How are Rousseff's rival presidential candidates faring ahead of the vote? Ever since, Chinese demand had driven world metals markets and economic growth among major metals exporters in Latin America and other regions. Sixty percent of those surveyed disapproved of Maduro's administration, while 80 percent thought the country was going in the wrong direction.

What factors are driving those poll numbers, and will Maduro continue losing support among Venezuelans? Might he be forced out of office before his term is scheduled to expire in ? Is Chavismo coming to an end, and what would most likely replace it? Speaking at American University to an audience comprised mainly of students, Mujica also shared his vision of a world that is becoming more globalized and bilingual.

The attached special technology edition of the Advisor offers viewpoints on these trends from six stakeholders and experts, as well as recent news in telecommunications, biotechnology and venture capital. What factors propelled Varela to victory?

What will be Varela's biggest challenges after taking office July 1? What does his election mean for businesses in Panama? Earlier this year, on February 10, Brussels adopted negotiating directives for a political dialogue and co-operation agreement with Havana. This is not a policy change from the past. Just as we want to support reform and modernization in Cuba, we have consistently raised human rights concerns which will remain at the core of this relationship.

Led by students and segments of the opposition, protests over the past two months have resulted in 41 deaths, over injured, and hundreds more imprisoned. Since most of the violence and repression has come at the hands of the government and its supporters, it is encouraging that they have agreed to a dialogue with opposition figures. By Paul Shortell On Wednesday, April 23rd, the Dialogue hosted a panel discussion on the recent boom in North American unconventional oil and gas and its implications for Latin America.

I inevitably had the task of toasting him at his farewell. Sadly, I am doing that again today. I complained to him once that he was never there for my farewells. He replied yes, that was true, but that he was always there to welcome me at the next stop.

Who knows? Maybe once again. Peter Bell is a man to be remembered and celebrated. He was a great builder, and there remains so much to be built. He who constructed so many bridges when there are still so many bridges left to build! Agency for International Development created and operated "ZunZuneo," a communications network similar to Twitter that had the aim of destabilizing the Cuban government, the Associated Press reported on April 3.

USAID responded by saying the purpose of the program was "to create a platform for Cubans to speak freely among themselves, period," while the White House denied that it was a covert program. How much of an impact will the revelations have on U. What does the controversy mean for bilateral issues such as the imprisonment in Cuba of former U.

His opening comments will be followed by a wide-ranging exchange with participants. The event coincided with the launch of an updated version of the Dialogue's online China and Latin America Finance Database, the only online source for up-to-date information on Chinese finance in Latin America and the Caribbean. April 7, Time is right to reset a bipartisan energy policy By Thomas F.

That all changed with the surge in domestic production of oil and gas over the last decade. El informe se basa en resultados de la encuesta realizada a una muestra de 2. By Manuel Orozco with Mariellen Jewers Latin American and Caribbean migrants have experienced a modest improvement since the recession. As of these remittances are similar to levels. Although more immigrants are saving as compared to , increases in income and full time work are not adequate enough to ensure the means to a robust improvement.

Moreover, legal status is one factor affecting their financial strength. What types of policy changes can be expected from his administration? To what extent will he succeed in working with Costa Rica's business community? Is Portillo's plea deal a turning point for anti-corruption efforts across Latin America? Are other efforts at combatting corruption in Latin Americamaking progress? Which countries in the region are making strides in fighting corruption, and which are falling short?

What specific anti-corruption policies have succeeded in the region and why? March 25, Massa dijo que no quiere relaciones carnales con EE. The concern is valid. But merely criticizing the current administration for being disengaged and indifferent to what is happening in the region is somewhat misplaced.

By Theodore M. More bad news came last week when lawmakers decided to install a special congressional committee to probe allegations of bribery involving Petrobras employees and a foreign company. How bad is Petrobras' situation today, and what bright spots are on the horizon? How big of a role is the government and politics playing in the company's present circumstances, and what policy changes would improve the outlook for Petrobras moving forward?

Do these developments represent a significant advance for Mexico in the fight against drug trafficking, or are they just minor setbacks for the cartels? Is there more his administration should be doing that it is not? Its mandate was was expanded following the devastating earthquake in After a decade of operations and continued problems in Haiti, however, there is serious debate over the appropriate level and timing of this support.

What would the advancement of talks between Argentina and the Paris Club mean for the country? What stands in the way of a breakthrough? Runner-up Norman Quijano, however, can still appeal. How long will the dispute over the contested election drag on?

What do the regions have to offer each other economically? What businesses stand to gain from stronger ties? March 12, Bachelet's regional challenges By Michael Shifter Source: La Tercera Even before Michelle Bachelet began her second term she got a taste of the difficult regional climate she will have to deal with over the next four years.

The Venezuela crisis — which was hard to ignore during her inauguration — exposes and highlights Latin America's deep political polarization. Pero seamos capaces de distinguir las enormes posibilidades del momento actual de las dificultades inevitables de gobernar. La oportunidad no visita a los pesimistas, viene con el optimismo. A recent boom in natural gas production offers an opportunity for the region to reduce its dependence on imported oil and address high and rising energy costs.

This paper reviews the status of natural gas projects in Central America and evaluates the challenges of natural gas use in the electricity sector. At the same time, we call on the international community to make a concerted effort to strengthen democracy and preserve the peace in Venezuela. No question, there are many parallels between the South American and Eastern European nations.

Has US aid effectively reversed climbing homicide and crime rates? What did the summit accomplish, and on what issues did it fall short of its potential? One in three Latin American households has a family member living abroad. Additionally, approximately 70 percent of migrants from the region send remittances home. The authors evaluate the three principal forms of Sino-Latin interaction in the energy sector.

Arriagada and Espinasa conclude that only first of these is conducted in a way that is satisfactory to both parties, and that many gains from cooperation remain unrealized. The demonstrations were punctuated on Feb. Why did these protests erupt now, and why did they turn deadly this time? Does the situation pose a threat to Maduro's government? Governments must not only adopt policies to restore growth and preserve macroeconomic stability; they must also strive to improve opportunities for less advantaged groups to participate in the economy and contribute to growth.

Las respuestas no son claras. Will he make any concessions to the protesters? The answers are unclear. They leaves open, however, the question of what the specific learning goals should be. The report card analyzes the achievements and challenges of the Nicaraguan education system in ten key areas and offers a series of policy recommendations.

February 19, Why has the level of remittances to the region stagnated? A few countries, including Bolivia, Honduras and Guatemala, saw significant growth, but several others like Jamaica or El Salvador saw no growth, while remittances decreased to countries including Mexico and Brazil. What is behind the stagnant remittances to the region? Which countries' economies will feel the most pain? Will the current trends continue? February 7, The Implications of El Salvador's Elections By Caitlin Reilly Although experts predict that the ruling left-wing FMLN party will hold on to power in El Salvador's March 9 elections, whoever wins faces a complex set of challenges - a sluggish economy, intense political polarization, and a still highly dangerous, although slightly improving, security situation.

Despite having ranked third or fourth in every poll taken during the campaign cycle, Solis captured Most of the changes have been positive. The region has grown economically, poverty and inequality rates have fallen, and in most countries democratic governance and pragmatic politics have made notable strides. On the negative side of the ledger is spreading criminality in many countries, often fueled by a widespread drug trade and other illicit activities.

The result has been institutional fragility and persistent corruption. February 4, From distant neighbors to natural partners By Thomas F. Besides the concrete achievements of increased trade and investment, we see a striking change in tone from officials on both sides, from the suspicion and defensiveness of generations past to confidence, optimism and, increasingly, trust. Cunningham Source: Huffington Post In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama took a good first step in asking Congress to provide the tools he needs to close two of the most ambitious trade deals in U.

But he faces an immediate challenge from within his party that could imperil negotiations, with huge stakes for the U. January 31, How Important Is U. Fast-Track Authority for Trade Deals? By Peter Hakim, Cameron T. Combs, Arturo Sarukhan, and James R. Senators Baucus and Hatch and Rep. Camp introduced a bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority bill that would give the president the authority to negotiate trade accords that Congress would then be able to approve or reject, but not amend.

How important is fast-track authority for pending trade deals? January 26, Why the U. Colorado and Washington, however, had already beaten them to the punch, and a handful of other states are expected soon to follow suit. Progress on both fronts, however, has been limited.

Hornbeck Since the turn of the millennium, trade and investment between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean LAC have continued to grow and transform—even in the face of global economic volatility and increased competitiveness within the world trading system. This paper presents an overview of US-Latin America trade and investment from to , with special attention paid to Mexico and Brazil, the two largest LAC economies.

These initiatives should have a deep impact on the global trade and investment architecture of the coming decades. It was the first comprehensive free trade agreement to join developed and developing nations and it has served as a template for our subsequent trade negotiations.

Why has inequality continued to persist in the Americas? It is about whether the Brazilian government rejected the Boeing planes because it had lost confidence in the US government or wanted to make it pay a price for dismissing Brazilian concerns about surveillance.

The commercial and political ties between Beijing and the region will undoubtedly continue to grow in the coming years as Chinese firms and diplomats form deeper relationships with their counterparts in the Western hemisphere, with significant implications for Latin American countries as well as the United States. Its economic revival has petered out as commodity prices have stagnated, capital flows have reversed and left the region, and macroeconomic policies remain complacent. The key question is whether Latin American countries will face a serious internal and external crisis, something they thought they had left behind.

It reminds us that we can learn from the experience of others, without suggesting that we should mechanically copy policies and programs. January 8, China eyes overseas agriculture to achieve food security By Margaret Myers Source: Caixin Online As has been the case since the Mao era, self-sufficiency in staple foods is a primary objective of the Communist Party.

Latin America can expect China to increase its interest in agriculture as it seeks to complement domestic production with imports. January 7, U. The critical question, however, is not where inter-American relations stand today, but where they are headed in the coming decades. An examination of three major scenarios is meant to contribute to an understanding of the principal factors that will likely shape the future of hemispheric affairs.

Secretary of State Kerry said recently that he is exploring the possibility of deepening the North American Free Trade Agreement to strengthen trade ties with Canada and Mexico with an eye toward expanding the agreement to include other countries in the hemisphere. How significant of a priority should strengthening NAFTA be as compared to other trade agreements, and would other countries be interested in participating? All have long histories and huge implications. They are still evolving, and bear close watching in Todas tienen largas historias y enormes implicaciones.

What will drive the region's economic growth in the coming year? Which countries will experience solid economic expansion in , and which will struggle? Where have government policies done the most good or damage to growth? December 20, What Does Hold for U. To what extent will the Obama administration seek to strengthen ties in the region?

How much will Latin American countries want to work with the United States? It has far and beyond the most people living with access to marriage equality, not to mention the largest pride celebration on Earth. Many countries in the Americas are expanding their safeguards against discrimination and boast some of the world's most vibrant LGBT movements.

But not everything is advancing in a positive direction. Los argumentos son los mismos, pero los protagonistas rotan. December 16, Bachelet 2. December 15, It's Time for Nafta 2. If there is one thing supporters and critics of this pact have always agreed on, it is the size of the stakes. In November , Mr. Clinton, facing fierce opposition within his party, implored Congress to pass Nafta as a vote for the country's future, a sign that "we still have confidence in ourselves and our potential.

But they are also highly local phenomena; their precise roots are as unique as the motive behind a single crime. This paradox was a central theme during a meeting of the Congressional Members Working Group focused on Central America. How can cooperation and international assistance on security issues adapt to local realities without becoming hopelessly complex? Members discussed the wide-ranging challenges facing Colombia and the region. The conversation was closed and off-the-record.

December 2, A Conversation on the Brazilian Economy By Paul Shortell In the past two years, however, economic growth has slowed and investment has fallen. Where is the region's largest economy headed? December 2, U. Yet, despite the continuing rhetoric, neither government has been willing to invest much in advancing or upgrading the relationship. The elections, which come amidst rising levels of unemployment, crime, violence, and widespread public discontent, have huge implications for the country's future.

November 27, Why and How Latin America Should Think About the Future By Sergio Bitar Over the past decade, many Latin American governments have made significant strides in developing domestic policies that have succeeded in reducing poverty and strengthening democratic institutions. It is striking how much of his short presidency —- just days -- was related to Latin America.

Public officials, however, have been largely unable to develop policies that effectively leverage the economic activities of migrants and harness their full economic potential. By Abraham F. Lowenthal The bitter impasse finally, if temporarily, resolved in Washington last week made it absolutely evident to all that the US faces serious problems. These problems did not suddenly arise, nor are they limited to the showdown of government activities and services and the raising the national debt limit.

The difficulties are not only political, but also economic and social; they have developed over many years, and they are by no means resolved. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech Monday at the Organization of American States, as he called for the Cuban government to "embrace a broader political reform agenda. November 18, Remarks on U. Among the most important modifications was the creation of a Judiciary Council.

Will the country long seen as a laboratory for policy innovation continue to be a reference for a region that is seeking to address longstanding inequalities, while maintaining democracy and economic growth? November 7, A Conversation with the Former President of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga By Megan Cook "Democracy is under siege" in Bolivia, the country's former president and a current opposition leader, Jorge Quiroga, said last week at the Inter-American Dialogue in a presentation blasting the current government's record on democratic governance.

Meyer Source: Latin America Advisor In early October, Guatemala's president, members of his cabinet, as well as business and religious leaders in the Central American nation agreed to work together to reduce malnutrition, improve education and provide youths with the skills necessary to be successful in the labor market. Will the accord be implemented successfully and achieve its goals?

November 6, Latin America's Oil Sector: A Lost Opportunity By Tim Stackhouse Despite its prodigious petroleum reserves and high world oil price over the past decade, many countries in Latin America are experiencing declining production. What explains this apparent paradox? Where do Ibero-American relations now stand? How has this law impacted Ecuador's civil society? The elections will be critical in shaping the rest of her term. Why have businesses operating in Colombia become so pessimistic?

To what extent have the policies of President Juan Manuel Santos helped or hindered businesses? Which sectors have thrived during Santos' administration, and which have struggled? Ambassador Richard Bernal discusses China's emerging role as an investor in the region. The opportunities for bilateral cooperation are countless. Yet U. Unfortunately, hope for better relations quickly faded with the recent expulsion of US and Venezuelan diplomats. Was the trip a success for Maduro? For China? September 26, What can we expect from Pope Francis?

Can Latin America overcome political, geological, and economic challenges? Will it live up to its shale gas potential? Meanwhile, tensions between Nicaragua and Colombia over their maritime boundaries, ostensibly settled by an International Court of Justice ruling late last year, have been reignited.

What is behind Ortega's bellicose statements? What does this historic decision mean for the increasingly important US-Brazilian bilateral relationship? September 19, State of the Remittance Industry: Trends and Challenges By Eric Johnson The Dialogue hosted a panel discussion on the current state of the remittance industry featuring representatives from many of the leading money transfer companies.

By James R. The reforms would impose new taxes on the country's top earners as well as on capital gains. How important are tax system reforms for Mexico's economy? Do the specific parts of the reform address the right areas? Yet not so long ago, US foreign policy decision-making was far less troubled by principle.

From Nixon to Obama, the US has made some progress in the past 40 years. It became the second country, after Canada, to legalize same-sex marriage in the hemisphere in A year later, the national congress passed landmark legislation allowing transgender individuals access to free gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy. What are the most important parts of the overhaul, and how can they be implemented in the face of teacher resistance?

Sustained levels of Chinese investment across a range of sectors from natural resources to manufacturing to services have introduced an important dimension to the bilateral relationship. September 9, Development vs. He will try to persuade a very skeptical nation. It is never easy to predict what will happen once military action is underway, but it is hard to recall when uncertainties have been greater. September 4, Is Legalization Possible? What factors are driving demographic trends in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Uruguay, the smallest country in the region, has been the first, however, to openly rebel. By Juan Rada, Miguel A. What are the best practices for engaging citizens in the region through technology? The Congress is in recess for five weeks, until early September. When lawmakers return, they will face a number of crucial battles, including on the budget. In such a polarized political environment, none of these will be easy.

The drop-off was attributed mainly to a decline in Chinese lending to Venezuela. How important is Chinese lending to the region today? What does the decline in funding from China mean for Venezuela and the region as a whole? What will the future hold for Chinese lending to Latin America and the Caribbean? August 7, What's in Store for Venezuela? What is next for the country? The visit marked his first foreign trip as leader of the Roman Catholic church.

Standing next to the pontiff, President Dilma Rousseff called for cooperation with the church to combat poverty and hunger. Why did Francis choose Brazil for his first foreign trip as pope? Was the trip a success, and for whom? Will the visit have any lasting consequences for Brazilian society, or the church's role in that country?

July 30, China and the U. Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora and Carnegie expert Uri Dadush joined the Dialogue to discuss just how Mexico can grow to assume the regional and global leadership role it aspires to. July 30, China y EE. July 27, Now What, Madam President? Paulo Although Brazilians love crowds, it was a great surprise to virtually everyone in Brazil when more than a million protestors showed up on the streets of more than cities.

July 23, Latin American Perceptions of China By Margaret Myers China is generally viewed positively, particularly amongst younger generations, who increasingly believe that China has or will replace the US as the world's superpower. The Dialogue and the Pew Research Center hosted a discussion on the findings of a new Pew report on the subject. What kinds of regulatory and institutional frameworks best support the contributions of remittances to local development?

What has been the impact of remittances on migrants and their families? Drawing on empirical data from five continents and firmly grounded in theory, Orozco's work reflects the evolution of our understanding about the importance of migrant remittances and the policies that govern them. By Lisa Abrego Central American governments have had, at best, mixed success in implanting democratic institutions, the rule of law, and productive market economies.

Former Nicaraguan Ambassador and political analyst Arturo Cruz presented his just published paper exploring the multiple challenges and risks confronting democratic stability in the region at the Inter-American Dialogue on July Though he is now seeking temporary asylum from Russia, where he has been stranded in the Moscow airport, only a few nations, all in Latin America, have been openly receptive to his pleas.

Energy Expert David Mares analyzes the political, economic and environmental challenges that countries face in developing the next generation of hydrocarbon resources. Participants included a select group of experts on China-Latin America relations, as well as representatives from the Chinese delegation and from the U.

State Department. Why are some governments in the region so eager to thumb their noses at the United States? Are these protests isolated events with unique causes or are there threads that unify them? July 3, Protests in Brazil: Why Now? What Do They Mean? By Javiera Alarcon By the end of June, over 80 Brazilian cities had experienced massive demonstrations sweeping the country, stemming from acute grievances with dismal public services. That is why every country is seeking continued US support.

But these programs are clearly not enough. The data show that crime and violence in a number of the countries are worsening. In Honduras, for example, murder rates increased by some 50 percent between and True, conditions would likely be even more severe absent US cooperation. Even where violence has dropped, US assistance has been too modest and could be more effectively targeted.

June 19, Nicaragua's Canal: What should we expect? June 10, Where do Relations Between the U. Vice President Joe Biden called for stronger ties between the two countries. Where do U. What factors and global trends have been driving these investments? Which countries fared best, and worst, in attracting foreign investment, and why? Will FDI in and continue to gain steam?

What effect, if any, is the report having on the drug policy debate in the United States and in the region? Once a considerable presence in Latin America, Russian activity in the region is now seemingly limited to high-level visits and arms sales. As Russia looks to establish reliable global partnerships, however, and to strengthen its position in a multi-polar world, Latin America is receiving more attention in Russian foreign policy.

Opening remarks were followed by commentary from Gonzalo Paz of American University. How do Latin American countries intend to leverage emerging trans-Pacific agreements to encourage economic integration? How does China view these arrangements? In Colombia, authorities have warned the public of a plot by an organized crime group to kill several high-profile journalists.

In Argentina, opposition leader and Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri signed a decree "to guarantee protection to journalists and media in the city" as the government's ongoing dispute with country's largest media company has intensified. What do these developments say about press freedom in the Americas? What are the most important trends that stakeholders government, businesses, civil society need to pay attention to?

How has the evolution of social media and wider access to the Internet and communications technologies changed the debate over freedom of the press? May 23, A Tribute to Albert O. This is critical to ensuring that spending is adequately tailored to the changing needs of recipients instead of merely buttressing support for traditional officeholders.

In this regard, political and institutional factors are central in accounting for the relative success of social policy experiments throughout Latin America. How solid is Morales' support as he looks toward his next campaign? How strong is the opposition, and what could Morales' rivals do to gain an edge? Will Morales choose to make his last run for office? Maduro has voiced a desire for "respectful relations" with the United States, though Washington has still not recognized his government.

The United States has denied that it is considering sanctions against Venezuela, and Venezuelan authorities recently arrested a U. The State Department has denied any efforts to destabilize the Venezuelan government. Will U. What do Maduro's cabinet picks portend about the future of bilateral relations?

In a region once plagued by bloody coups and military interventionism, free and fair elections are now the norm. At the same time, in a number of countries, political parties are weak and there has been erosion of checks on executive authority. May 1, Which Mexico for Obama? La diferencia ahora, en el segundo periodo de su gobierno, es que Barack Obama no parece dispuesto a gastar tanto tiempo en tratar de mejorar las relaciones con gobiernos que han sido inamistosos con Washington.

In recent decades, women in Latin America and the Caribbean have made tremendous strides towards achieving leadership in every sphere and at the highest levels. Linowitz Forum. Our aim is to stimulate broad and spirited public discussion about where the Western Hemisphere is headed. Enlarging the proposed negotiations to include all three North American nations, Canada, Mexico, and the United States would create a unique, historic and much larger opportunity that has the potential to give a real boost to the economies of all of the nations involved as well as to the global economy.

Opponents of the effort to block funding say the move would have neutralized the work of the commission, which has angered leftist governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA. Do the ALBA countries have a legitimate gripe with the commission? At the Inter-American Dialogue, he shared some thoughts and reflections on the significance of having the first pope from the Americas. By Jorge Heine, Peter M. Bachelet said that if elected to a second term in office, she would put income inequality at the top of her agenda.

Is Bachelet, who still enjoys high approval ratings in Chile, a shoo-in for another term? Who will give Bachelet her toughest competition in the race? What issues are driving the campaign? April 5, Latinoamerica By Allie Bobak Assembled by the Millennium Project, a worldwide network of analysts studying long-term global trends, the report "Latinoamerica " reviews a series of four scenarios for the future of Latin America.

By Graciana del Castillo, Claudio Loser, and Christian Daude Source: Latin America Advisor Fitch Ratings last month joined two other major ratings agencies in giving Uruguay its coveted investment grade, a move that lowers the nation's borrowing costs and opens up opportunities for new investors. Meanwhile, Uruguayan Vice President Danilo Astori said recently that trade relations with neighboring Argentina are "at their worst point in a long time" in the wake of new taxes in Argentina on vacation packages abroad, which "greatly affects Uruguay" due to the high proportion of Argentine tourists in Uruguay.

How important are ties with Argentina to Uruguay's economic outlook? Considering the broader global economic picture, will investment-grade status bring Uruguay the benefits it expects? What priorities should the country's economic policymakers be focused on in the near- and mid-term?

March 27, Post Chavez: Can U. This tribute should make Washington take a fresh look not only at its relations with Venezuela but also with all of Latin America. March 25, Global Trends Challenges for Latin America By Allie Bobak A discussion of how long term global trends in critical areas such as energy, education, population, armed conflict, and governance will affect the future of Latin America.

Jones Source: Latin America Advisor The lower house of Mexico's Congress gave its approval Friday to a measure to overhaul the country's telecommunications industry and sent the legislation to the Senate. What would the overhaul mean for the industry and for Mexico's economy in general?

Will the reforms win the needed legislative approval? Yet few, if any, contemplated the possibility that Chavez would end up leaving the political scene he so thoroughly dominated for 14 years as a result of a severe illness, at the age of While a reinvigorated Vatican engagement with the hemisphere is certainly not welcomed news by the LGBT community, the Pope is not the most imminent threat to equality in the Americas.

This aircraft also saw extensive application of composite and other materials, which both reduced the radar cross-section RCS and weight. Moreover, Dassault opted to reject variable engine inlets and a dedicated air brake , which lessens maintenance loads and saves weight. The aircraft was used for weapon-systems testing.

Later it was tasked with validating weapon separation and, specifically, the carriage of heavy loads. While the Navy initially modernised the Crusaders, in the long-term, the requirement was met with the navalised Rafale M. The M01, the naval prototype, first flew on 12 December , followed by the second on 8 November The aircraft then carried out trials aboard the carrier Foch in April Initially, the Rafale B was to be just a trainer, but the Gulf War showed that a second crew member was invaluable on strike and reconnaissance missions.

Therefore, in the Air Force switched its preferences towards the two-seater, announcing that the variant would constitute 60 percent of the Rafale fleet. Production of the first aircraft series formally started in December , but was suspended in November due to political and economic uncertainty. Production only resumed in January after the Ministry of Defence and Dassault agreed on a aircraft 28 firm and 20 options production run with delivery between and According to the French magazine L'Usine nouvelle , apart from several non-sensitive components sourced from the United States, the Rafale is manufactured almost entirely in France.

For example, the flight control surfaces are fabricated in Haute-Savoie , the wings and avionics in Gironde, the centre fuselage in Val-d'Oise , and the engines in Essonne. Altogether, the programme employs 7, workers. As of [update] , the fabrication process of each fighter took 24 months, with an annual production rate of eleven aircraft.

Deliveries of the Rafale's naval version were a high priority to replace the Navy's considerably aged F-8 Crusaders, and so the first production model for the French Navy undertook its first flight on 7 July This figure takes in account improved hardware of the F3 standard, and which includes development costs over a period of 40 years, including inflation. In , French officials were reportedly considering equipping the Rafale to launch miniaturised satellites.

The standard will see the integration of the Meteor BVR missile, among other weapons and software updates. The standard was to be validated by The Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility; Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with active close-coupled canard to maximize manoeuvrability.

The Rafale is an aerodynamically unstable aircraft and uses digital fly-by-wire flight controls to artificially enforce and maintain stability. The Rafale M features a greatly reinforced undercarriage to cope with the additional stresses of naval landings, an arrestor hook , and "jump strut" nosewheel, which only extends during short takeoffs, including catapult launches.

The size constraints were offset by the introduction of Charles de Gaulle , France's first nuclear-powered carrier , which was considerably larger than previous carriers, Foch and Clemenceau. Although not a full-aspect stealth aircraft , the cost of which was viewed as unacceptably excessive, the Rafale was designed for a reduced radar cross-section RCS and infrared signature.

The Rafale's glass cockpit was designed around the principle of data fusion —a central computer selects and prioritises information to display to pilots for simpler command and control. Great emphasis has been placed on pilot workload minimisation across all operations. For displaying information gathered from a range of sensors across the aircraft, the cockpit features a wide-angle holographic head-up display HUD system, two head-down flat-panel colour multi-function displays MFDs as well as a central collimated display.

These displays have been strategically placed to minimise pilot distraction from the external environment. In the area of life support , the Rafale is fitted with a Martin-Baker Mark 16F "zero-zero" ejection seat , capable of operation at zero speed and zero altitude. An on-board oxygen generating system , developed by Air Liquide , eliminates the need to carry bulky oxygen canisters. The auto-pilot and autothrottle controls are also integrated, and are activated by switches located on the primary flight controls.

This architecture hosts all the main aircraft functions such as the flight management system , data fusion, fire control , and the man-machine interface. It also performs other key functions such as aerial optical surveillance and is integrated with the navigation system as a FLIR. The Damocles designation pod was described as "lacking competitiveness" when compared to rivals such as the Sniper and LITENING pods; [86] so work began on an upgraded pod, designated Damocles XF, with additional sensors and added ability to transmit live video feeds.

Thales claims to have achieved increased levels of situational awareness as compared to earlier aircraft through the earlier detection and tracking of multiple air targets for close combat and long-range interception, as well as real-time generation of three-dimensional maps for terrain-following and the real-time generation of high resolution ground maps for navigation and targeting.

To enable the Rafale to perform in the air supremacy role, it includes several passive sensor systems. The front-sector electro-optical system or Optronique Secteur Frontal OSF , developed by Thales, is completely integrated within the aircraft and can operate both in the visible and infrared wavelengths. Initial deliveries of the Rafale M were to the F1 "France 1" standard, these had been equipped for the air-to-air interceptor combat duties, but lacked any armament for air-to-ground operations.

The F1 standard became operational in In addition, anti-shipping missions could be carried out using the AM39 Exocet sea skimming missile, while reconnaissance flights would use a combination of onboard and external pod-based sensor equipment. The F4 standard program was launched on 20 March by the French ministry of defence. For compatibility with armaments of varying types and origins, the Rafale's onboard store management system is compliant with MIL-STD , an electrical interface between an aircraft and its carriage stores, thereby simplifying the incorporation of many of their existing weapons and equipment.

The engines feature several advances, including a non-polluting combustion chamber, single-crystal turbine blades, powder metallurgy disks, and technology to reduce radar and infrared signatures. Qualification of the M engine ended in and the first production engine was delivered by the end of the year. On 18 May the following year, the squadron Flottille 12F , which had previously operated the F-8 Crusader, became the first squadron to operate the Rafale after it was officially re-activated prior to the delivery of the sixth Rafale.

During the maritime exercise , the Navy tested the Rafale's avionics during simulated interceptions with various foreign aircraft, in addition to carrier take-offs and landings. Truman , a French Rafale became the first jet fighter of a foreign navy to have its engine replaced on board an American aircraft carrier. They flew from the aircraft carrier over Afghanistan, but the F1 standard precluded air-to-ground missions and the Rafale did not see any action.

In December , American and French military officials reportedly discussed the possibility of French naval Rafale Ms flying combat missions from a US Navy Nimitz -class aircraft carrier as soon as January This would enable continued French Navy operations against ISIL while Charles de Gaulle undergoes its year-and-a-half-long major refit, scheduled to begin in early Although Rafales have launched and landed on U. As many as 18 Rafale Ms could be deployed on a carrier, although some room would have to be made for French Navy support crews familiar with maintaining the Rafale, as well as for spare parts and munitions.

Bush for two weeks of carrier qualifications and exercises after conducting a month of shore based training at Naval Air Station Oceana. In , after a "crash program" enhancement six Rafales were given the ability to drop laser-guided bombs, in view of engaging them in Afghanistan. Hoyle also noted that the Libyan combat experience had caused several urgent operational requirements to present themselves, such as the need for a lighter ground-attack munition and to modify the AASM weapon to be more effective in the close air support role.

In August , it was proposed that France may halve the number of Rafales to be delivered over the next six years for a total of 26 aircraft to be delivered during this period; foreign export procurements have been viewed as critical to maintain production under this proposal.

While production would be slowed, France would still receive the same number of Rafales overall. In November , Egypt was reportedly in negotiations with France to purchase 24 to 36 Rafales, subject to a financing agreement. Egypt hoped to complete deal quickly to have aircraft on display at the inauguration of the Suez Canal expansion in August In July , a ceremony marking Egypt's acceptance of its first three Rafales, was held at Dassault's flight test center in Istres. In June , Egypt started negotiations with Dassault to acquire 12 additional Rafales, intending to exercise an option of the first contract.

In June , Dassault claimed it was close to signing a contract with Qatar for 72 Rafales. Originally, the Mirage had been considered for the competition, but Dassault withdrew it in favour of the Rafale. The deal stalled due to disagreements over production in India. Dassault refused to take responsibility for the HAL-manufactured Rafales, holding reservations over HAL's ability to accommodate the aircraft's complex manufacturing and technology transfers; instead, Dassault said it would have to negotiate two separate production contracts by both companies.

The Indian Defence Ministry instead wanted Dassault to be solely responsible for the sale and delivery of all aircraft. India insisted on a 50 percent offset and two bases, which France said would increase costs and require separate infrastructure and two sets of maintenance, training and armament storage facilities.

Allegedly, Dassault was not given a choice and was compelled to select Reliance Defence as its partner; Gandhi alleged that it was favouritism and corruption. Both the French government and Dassault issued a press release stating it was Dassault's decision to choose Reliance Defence. In , it was reported that the Rafale is competing against several other aircraft in a new procurement tender for multi-role combat aircraft, which is referred as MMRCA 2.

In August Greece announced the acquisition of eighteen Rafale multirole aircraft.

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The capercaillie, which is found in various European countries, is under threat of extinction. Two subspecies of this bird live in the Iberian peninsular, the Cantabrian capercaillie and the Pyrenean capercaillie. The Cantabrian capercaillie is most affected by the decline in numbers owing to, inter alia , the destruction of habitats as a result of human activity.

The EU has responded to this situation by opposing the continued operation of open-cast mines in Spain, since they harm the habitat of a number of protected species including the capercaillie. The Commission has drawn up a proposal for a regulation on the protection of wild species of fauna and flora by means of trade controls, revising the text that has been in force since Is there a specific reason why the capercaillie should not be included on the list of species to be protected through trade controls?

Is there not a degree of inconsistency between existing Community legislation and this new proposal? The town of Krefeld and other towns and communes in the vicinity have been affected for many years by noise from planes taking this detour route. Will the deadline for the final establishment of the FABs, namely the end of , be met?

What steps is the Commission taking in order to ensure that the SES II proposals can be implemented in full as soon as possible? The preliminary findings of the Commission report on the implemenation of the Single Sky legislation. The Commission is currently urging Transport Ministers of all Member States to implement decisive corrective action. The reason is that legislation defines FABs in a bottom-up approach where Member States choose which FABs to implement and national interests often have priority over the European interest.

One concern which is frequently raised is an apparent delay or drag in the downward movement in petrol prices when the price of crude oil decreases. Has this specific issue been considered from an anti-competition perspective by the Commission? There are suggestions that there may be price collusion within very local areas, for example within a radius of just a few kilometres.

Has the Commission ever investigated this particular issue in the past? In particular, it will be looking at whether falling costs of crude oil have been reflected in consumer prices while, in addition, focusing on whether anti-competitive behaviour is occurring in rural areas. Would the Commission please confirm that it will monitor and follow the investigation that will now take place in the UK, and consider whether an investigation is warranted at European level?

Some NCAs e. Spain, Portugal have already investigated the asymmetries in the speed at which pre-tax retail prices adjust to variations in international fuel prices. The Commission has not specifically analysed this phenomenon so far, as it never had, either directly or via national investigations, any indication that it could have been the result of anticompetitive practices.

If it appears that price collusion may exist within very local areas, NCAs will normally investigate the issue under national competition law. This is because effect on trade between Member States may not be affected and the Commission may not have jurisdiction to apply European law. It will not hesitate to act, either itself or in coordination with the well-placed NCAs, if it receives sufficient information pointing to collusive behaviour of undertakings or abusive behaviour of individual companies in this sector.

Betreft: Nucleaire controles ten gevolge van problemen in Doel 3. Heeft de Commissie weet van reacties uit andere lidstaten op deze problematiek? Indien ja, op welke manier? De Commissie is er niet van op de hoogte of in andere lidstaten soortgelijke inspecties worden uitgevoerd als door de Belgische autoriteiten. For the first time, an ultrasonic measurement technology was used to check the underlying material of the reactor vessel.

Thiange 2 nuclear power station, whose reactor vessel was supplied by the same manufacturers, is also being kept offline for the time being, for further inspection. Is the Commission aware of any responses from other Member States relating to this problem? Are any similar inspections whether or not with the same ultrasonic measuring technology currently being performed or planned in other Member States?

Does the Commission intend to monitor or coordinate these measures? If so, how? Does the Commission itself intend to take action in Belgium? Or in other Member States? The Commission has no information on inspections in other Member States similar to those undertaken by the Belgian authorities. However, according to public domain information. Following this meeting, cooperation amongst the participant countries commenced through the creation of three expert groups, also with participation of the Commission, to discuss the available information.

Countries endeavour to protect, preserve and promote their world cultural heritage monuments not only with national resources, but also with funds from Unesco and community resources. Do these specific programmes make any provision for the creation of jobs subsidised by the Structural Funds in the field of culture and for the promotion of monuments of global cultural significance? This figure represents 2. During the period, cultural projects are supported through the Greek regional and thematic programmes.

The programmes contains indicators concerning job creation through the co-financed projects. The period is ongoing and those indicators will be evaluated at programme closure. According to recent Cedefop data, there has been a substantial rise in unemployment among the unskilled and those with lower educational qualifications.

Can the Commission indicate how serious the problem is with regard to young people? What is the situation in Greece? Given that measures to remedy the problem of unemployment in this category to a certain extent depend on the upskilling and reskilling of the unemployed, will the Commission increase funding for this specific purpose? Are increased funds in fact being earmarked for this purpose in the programmes being submitted by the Member States for Commission scrutiny?

What is the situation with regard to Greece? The unemployment rates for persons with no educational qualification or only a primary or lower-secondary qualification Action to tackle youth unemployment includes reskilling or upskilling, support for a first job experience, subsidies for short-term placements in the private sector or local communities, and boosting of entrepreneurship.

It has come to my attention that the United States still places individual European Union Member States on these lists, even as priority foreign countries. In relation to the Member States, this suggests a means for the United States Trade Representative to influence, and fragment, the development of the internal market.

What is the Commission currently doing to ensure that soft-law tools used by foreign governments do not end up hindering the prosperity and harmonisation of the single market? More specifically, what is the Commission doing to ensure that the Special Reports are not used to fragment the single market?

The Commission is in close contact with its US counterparts where issues relating to intellectual property are regularly raised. Assunto: Repatriamento de capitais em Portugal. It should be emphasised that RERT III does not involve the public identification of infractors, nor is it concerned with establishing whether the amounts thus legalised were legally or illicitly obtained.

Does the Commission not consider this to be an infringement of the directives on money-laundering, given that the system allows undeclared capital to be regularised without lifting banking secrecy or making enquiries as to the real beneficiaries of the capital and how it was acquired?

Does the Commission not consider it to be a violation of the principle of equality and other principles of law and justice enshrined in the Treaty on European Union, not to mention the most basic principle of fair taxation at national level, for a Member State to allow the recovery of a small percentage of unpaid tax to serve as a pretext for rewarding those who break tax rules, permitting them to legalise their situation without any type of penalty or sanction and thereby demonstrating that crime pays?

The RERT III contains elements which encourage regularisation of the tax situation with respect to investments, but it does not include any provisions suggesting that such assets or the income derived therefrom, as declared under the present scheme, could be exempted from AML measures. The Commission will present a more detailed Action Plan by the end of Policy-makers need to weigh up the revenues raised through a tax amnesty against other less positive effects, such as the fact that law-abiding taxpayers dislike seeing tax breaks given to fraudsters and that such amnesties might reduce future incentives to comply with tax law.

The Commission considers that, in any case, amnesties need to be accompanied by a significant strengthening of enforcement efforts to ensure an improved compliance with tax laws in the future. Member States must first improve their administration and enforcement mechanisms to improve their tax collection capacities and then deepen cooperation between Member States, and between Member States and third countries, and strengthen common tools. The Commission has no jurisdiction to collect the statistical information asked, which is a matter solely for the national authorities concerned.

The Commission understands that the Greek authorities have published relevant data on the following Internet site:. More detailed data on recent collection of SME and insurance company arrears is not published. It is also still not clear why a decision was taken to install railings along the cycle path. This can include railing on cycling paths. However, the directive leaves the issues of the adoption or the application of standards on construction, or on the application of railings along cycling paths, to the competent road managing authorities.

Therefore, the Honourable Member should direct any questions on this topic to the national authorities. Betrifft: Flugausfallversicherung im Insolvenzfall. Zurzeit liegt die Entscheidung, eine Flugausfallversicherung auszugeben, lediglich bei den Fluggesellschaften. Already in several European airlines have ceased operations and applied to start insolvency proceedings.

In such cases, passengers are offered neither an alternative flight nor a refund of the ticket price. At present, the decision as to whether to provide flight cancellation insurance lies solely with the airlines themselves. Is the Commission thinking of introducing legislation requiring airlines which face insolvency to provide flight cancellation insurance?

What are its reasons for taking, or not taking, such a step? The lack of consumer protection continues to be highlighted by the two recent European airline collapses within one week Spanair and Malev and a Commission impact assessment of passenger protection in the event of airline insolvency. Does the Commission agree that, by virtue of an airline being declared insolvent, its passengers are effectively being denied boarding? While aviation is an open and competitive market, the Commission is conscious of the impact that airline failure may have on flight only passengers.

This shows that the current legislation allows to deal adequately with bankruptcies. The Commission considers that measures — not necessarily of a legislative nature — must be put forward swiftly in order to ensure an implementation as fast as possible.

The Commission has the intention to come up with such measures in late or early Europos Komisija m. Komisija mano, kad m. If this unfavourable Protocol comes into force, are there plans to put any compensation mechanisms in place for those Member States that will suffer most as a result of the new requirements under the Protocol and lose their fishing capacities?

The initialled Protocol is in line with the mandate from the Council and the principles therein, in particular regarding the use of the best available scientific advice and targeting only the surplus resources. The fishing quotas correspond exactly to the wishes conveyed by the industry, with the exception of cephalopods, for which there is no surplus granted by Mauritania. The new Protocol was negotiated in full transparency and with the involvement of the stakeholders. In the light of data provided by the industry, the European Commission considers the new fishing opportunities profitable, viable and worth using.

Concerning accompanying measures for the fleets, Member States may decide to use the European Fisheries Fund to contribute to the financing of aid measures for the temporary or permanent cessation of fishing activities. If vessels continue their fishing operations under the new Protocol, no compensation mechanisms are foreseen.

Betreft: Beschadiging betonconstructie Tihange 2. In waren er vergelijkbare problemen, die men heeft proberen te herstellen. Bij de controle dit jaar werd echter vastgesteld dat sommige reparaties niet voldoen aan de eisen. Momenteel wordt er een aangepast herstellingsplan opgesteld. Werd het omhulsel, en de staat van het beton, ook daadwerkelijk onderzocht in het kader van de stresstests? Indien ja, werden er toen gelijkaardige gebreken vastgesteld, en werd hieraan gevolg gegeven?

De stresstestmethode, die is ontworpen op basis van de eerste lessen uit de Fukushima-ramp, was toegespitst op de adequaatheid van de bestaande veiligheidsmarges voor kerncentrales tegen het effect van extreme natuurlijke gebeurtenissen, namelijk aardbevingen, overstromingen en extreme weersomstandigheden.

In there were similar problems, and attempts were made to solve them. However, during the inspection this year it was discovered that some of the repairs did not comply with requirements. At present, an altered remedial plan is being drafted. As the damage in question affects the containment, which is intended to protect the reactor against external threats, an inspection of the condition of the containment ought to form part of the stress tests.

Was the containment, and the condition of the concrete, also genuinely inspected as part of the stress tests? With regard to the state of the external containment of the Tihange-2 reactor, according to information made available by the Belgian regulatory authority, the results of visual inspections in led to a program for the repair of the concrete by the operator which is still ongoing.

The stress tests method, which was designed on the basis of the first lessons learned from the Fukushima accident, focused on the adequacy of existing safety margins of nuclear power plants against the impact from extreme external events, namely earthquakes, flooding and extreme weather conditions.

According to the specifications of the stress tests, the reassessements concerned consisted in an evaluation of the response of a nuclear power plant when facing such extreme situations and a verification of the measures chosen following a defence-in-depth logic: initiating events, consequential loss of safety functions, and severe accident management. Therefore, stress tests went beyond safety evaluations during the licensing process and periodic safety reviews.

Inwieweit hat die Kommission Kenntnis von der Tatsache, dass jahrelang radioaktiv verseuchtes Wasser aus dem Atomkraftwerk Tihange in die Maas geflossen ist? Die Entscheidung, Kernkraftwerke abzuschalten, wird auf einzelstaatlicher Ebene getroffen. Lesdits tests ont-ils pris la forme de tests physiques ou administratifs? Betreft: Grensoverschrijdend gevaar kerncentrales Tihange en Doel. In hoeverre is de Commissie op de hoogte van het feit dat jarenlang radioactief vervuild water uit de kerncentrale in Tihange in de Maas is gelekt?

Zijn deze gebreken in de Europese stresstests aan het licht gekomen? Zijn de stresstests fysiek of administratief uitgevoerd? Kan de Commissie de checklists, protocollen en resultaten van de stresstests overleggen? Erkent de Commissie de gevaren voor nabijgelegen landen als Nederland, Duitsland en Luxemburg evenals voor de Maas? Bevoegdheden buiten beschouwing latend, hoe beoordeelt de Commissie de veiligheid van kerncentrales Tihange en Doel met de nu beschikbare informatie?

Mocht dit buiten de bevoegdheden van de Commissie vallen, is zij dan toch bereid hieromtrent aanbevelingen te doen, net als de Commissie doet bij pensioenbeleid dat formeel ook buiten haar bevoegdheden valt? Om een goed inzicht te krijgen in de visie van de Commissie, verzoek ik u de vragen stuk voor stuk te beantwoorden. De stresstests zijn uitgevoerd in de vorm van zelfbeoordelingen door de exploitanten van de kerncentrales.

De Commissie verwijst het geachte Parlementslid hiervoor naar haar antwoorden op vraag nr. Besluiten om kerncentrales te sluiten worden op nationaal niveau genomen. Is the Commission aware of the recent alarming reports about the Belgian nuclear power stations in Tihange and Doel? Is the Commission aware that the outer concrete mantle of the Tihange 2 reactor is starting to show serious signs of decay? Has the Commission been informed about cracks in the walls of the Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactor tanks?

Is the Commission aware that for years radioactively contaminated water has been leaking out of the Tihange nuclear power station into the River Meuse? Did the European stress tests bring these problems to light? If not, why not? Were the stress tests physical or administrative in nature?

Did experts carry out tests on the spot? Can the Commission provide copies of the checklists used to carry out these stress tests, the official reports and the findings? Does the Commission recognise the potential cross-border risks posed by the nuclear power stations in Tihange and Doel? Does it recognise the risks for neighbouring countries, such as the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, and for the River Meuse?

Does the Commission feel that it has a responsibility to protect people in Belgium and neighbouring countries against the potential impact of pressing cross-border problems? Does the Commission have the power, and is it prepared, to take measures to protect European waterways, in this case the River Meuse? To what extent can Belgium draw on EU funding to develop sustainable energy sources in order to offset the loss of generation capacity resulting from the closure of dangerous nuclear power stations?

Setting aside the issue of legal powers, on the basis of the information currently available how safe does the Commission think the Tihange and Doel nuclear power stations are? Is the Commission prepared to urge the Belgian Government to close nuclear power stations which pose a serious safety risk? If the Commission does not have the power to do this, is it prepared to make recommendations, as it has done in the area of pensions policy, which likewise strictly falls outside the scope of its powers?

The Commission is requested to answer each question individually, so as to provide a proper insight into its thinking. The Commission has no information on any uncontrolled leaks from the plant into the Meuse. Stress tests took place in the form of self assessments by nuclear operators, which were then reviewed by national regulators, with international peer reviews by experts from nuclear and non-nuclear Member States.

This involved physical and administrative actions, performed directly at nuclear power plants or at topical expert meetings. As the two reactors in question are currently in shutdown, there is no immediate danger for the population, workers or environment in Belgium or any neighbouring country. The Commission would like to refer the Honourable Members to its replies to questions no. Member States are obliged to ensure compliance with its provisions and to this end to monitor all effluents from nuclear installations, including discharges to waterways.

Belgian companies can consider joining or forming project consortia to take part in calls for proposals in the field of energy. For a reconsideration of medium term new energy technologies development, H could support innovative projects in low carbon energy sectors. The decision to close down nuclear power plants is taken at national level.

The Commission is currently assessing possible ways to further improve the existing EU nuclear safety framework. Osipova was then accused of producing and selling drugs. She denied the accusation, claiming that the drugs had been planted on her. The prosecutor called for Osipova to be imprisoned for four years, but the judge imposed a sentence of eight years in a penal colony.

Supporters have made many appeals for Osipova's release from jail in view of her poor state of health — she suffers from chronic pancreatitis and diabetes, and she also requires insulin injections. The Russian authorities are attempting to crack down on the opposition, harassing activists, and — as the case of Taisiya Osipova shows — fabricating criminal cases against activists and sentencing them to many years in prison.

It has also been raised at recent political dialogue meetings held with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. This issue is regularly addressed at the EU-Russia human rights consultations. Broad press coverage has recently been given to an investigation conducted by the University of Harvard and published on the specialist website of the Alliance for Natural Health, according to which pasteurised milk can cause the onset of certain types of cancer.

The investigation claims that concentrated nutrients fed to cows so that they produce larger quantities of milk could provoke cancer in humans. Can the Commission state whether it intends to launch information campaigns to restore consumer confidence in milk quality and in its health benefits? Whenever health claims are made within such campaigns, the proposing organisations must according to Art. That name is a slur on Romania. The Member States were obliged to transpose this framework Decision by The Commission is assessing the notifications on Member States' implementing measures and will prepare a report to this end for His appointment has now caused a wave of protest in civil society.

What measures does it intend to take in future to combat anti-Semitic tendencies in the European Union? A recent Commission report on agricultural crops shows that cereal crop output will fall by an average 2. However, there are major differences between Member States as regards the extent to which output will decrease in Romania, for example, cereal crop output is forecast to drop by This situation is worrying when viewed in the perspective of the decrease in world stocks.

The Committee on Agriculture has already remarked on this, indicating the structural measures under the future CAP that are needed to keep the impact of excessive market volatility under control. Can the Commission state what tangible, targeted measures it will adopt to address this situation? The Commission is analysing market developments and puts forward legislative proposals to adapt the relevant policies to address existing and emerging challenges, as demonstrated by the recent proposals on the CAP post These measures aim for sustainable farming practices, further productivity gains and removal of various production limiting measures.

Beside the proposals that aim to further improve the competitiveness of EU agriculture while providing an effective safety net for farmers, as well as strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain, direct payments would continue their role to provide a certain level of income for farmers and rural development measures would provide additional means of support in the form of aid for investment and restructuring, of risk management and increased financing for research and development.

Triggering of market measures such as intervention and private storage have been reviewed in order to be more efficient and to answer better to a more volatile economic environment. Furthermore, the Commission has launched a number of initiatives towards an improved transparency of financial as well as physical markets and the Commission actively participates in G20 discussions on price volatility, including regarding the launch of the Agricultural Market Information System.

Anche cinque banche europee, le olandesi Abn Amro e Ing, le britanniche Barclays e Lloyd e il Credit Suisse, sono accusate di condurre affari con Corea del Nord, Cuba e Iran che finanzierebbero terrorismo e traffico di droga. Il quadro del sistema finanziario mondiale mostra tuttora crepe grandi come voragini.

Intanto la speculazione continua e comincia ad accanirsi contro l'Europa. Quali proposte ha presentato in sede internazionale nella prospettiva della risoluzione della crisi sistemica e per evitare che l'Europa diventi la preda preferita della speculazione, resa ingorda dai traffici illegali e dai conflitti d'interesse di certe agenzie di rating?

Ritiene che le misure di controllo adottate dalla zona euro siano sufficienti a combattere la crisi del sistema, oppure pensa che possano soltanto evitare il peggio? Nei mesi a venire la Commissione intende proporre delle modifiche al quadro giuridico dell'UE in materia di antiriciclaggio.

La Commissione ritiene che le proprie analisi sulla crisi finanziaria e le relative cause siano sempre state trasparenti e approfondite. This shows that many fronts are now open. The framework of the global financial system is still showing cracks that are as wide as chasms. The crisis of the system is not only still open, but is not even showing signs of being resolved. Meanwhile, the speculation continues and is beginning to plague Europe. Does it not think the time has come to tell the whole truth about the systemic crisis and to condemn the trafficking on which the speculation was based?

Does it not agree that all this speculation on sovereign debt, with the painful austerity measures being imposed on millions of European families, is diverting attention from the real problem that needs to be solved, i. What proposals has the Commission made internationally with a view to resolving the systemic crisis and preventing Europe from becoming the favourite prey of speculators, who have been made greedy by their trafficking and by the conflicts of interest of certain credit rating agencies?

Does it consider the safeguards adopted by the eurozone to be sufficient to combat the crisis of the system, or does it think they can only avoid the worst? The Commission has always provided what it considers an open and thorough analysis of the financial crisis and of its causes. It has set out a large and ambitious plan for financial reform, which is being implemented, for instance concerning hedge funds and short selling.

It has recently issued a Green Paper on shadow banking and it envisages to propose further regulatory actions in the coming months. The Commission has actively contributed to the definition of the global G20 agenda for the reform of the financial system. It is actively engaged in international fora such as the G20 and the Financial Stability Board to ensure that all our global partners implement these commitments in a consistent way.

The safeguards adopted in Europe to solve the current crisis of confidence in the single currency will be sufficient on the condition that the complete set of measures proposed by the Commission is put in place, both in terms of governance and for the completion of the Banking Union. Today there is inadequate direction as to what should follow the agenda.

This is creating uncertainty among investors, governments and citizens. The task of developing post strategies is urgent. Could the Commission indicate some of the aspects that will be included in this paper on the implications of the Roadmap? The current energy policy of the European Union operates within the framework of the Europe agenda.

On the basis of the Energy Roadmap the Commission is preparing activities to frame energy policies as well as climate policies to form a long-term perspective on investment beyond As one of the pillars of EU energy policy, energy efficiency is expected to play an important role within this policy framework. The precise timing, content and form of related Commission initiatives currently envisaged for the course of are yet to be determined.

Betreft: Marokkaan cel in voor eten tijdens ramadan. Zo ja, is de Commissie bereid om te stoppen met het gratis verstrekken van geld? Zo neen, waarom niet? Ze volgt ook aandachtig de dialoog met Marokko over mensenrechten in het kader van de universele periodieke evaluatie.

The Commission is aware of the case raised by the Honourable Member. The EU is engaged in a thorough dialogue with Morocco on human rights issues and in particular about the reform of the judiciary and the reform of the penal code. The EU is also following closely the dialogue on human rights with Morocco in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review. One of the objectives of these dialogues is to have an open debate on the justification of certain penal sanctions in the light of the stated willingness of Morocco to advance in reforms in the area of human rights and freedoms.

La situazione si presta comunque a diversi interrogativi relativi alla trasparenza delle banche e alla tutela dei risparmiatori. La Commissione non dispone di poteri diretti in materia di garanzia dei depositi. Al fine di garantire un'ordinata e rapida risoluzione dei problemi delle banche in fallimento e quindi impedire che i depositanti siano pregiudicati nei loro diritti e nei loro crediti, la Commissione ha proposto un quadro armonizzato.

In this hot summer not only are foods being frozen to make them last longer, but bank accounts are too. Even a class action, as it currently stands, is a blunt tool, according to the chair of the Adusbef consumer association. The situation does, however, raise a number of issues with regard to the transparency of banks and the protection of investors.

That said, can the Commission say whether it has any powers with regard to the protection of depositors? With a view to establishing rules on the possible establishment of a banking union, is it prepared to safeguard the rights and interests of depositors in respect of bank failures? What proposals is it willing to submit imminently in order to avoid further cases like this? The Commission has no direct powers as regards deposit guarantees.

This compensation must be paid out to depositors within the time limit of twenty days from the date when the authorities make the determination that the deposits have become unavailable. Italy has transposed the directive in and it is the Bank of Italy which is responsible for its application and supervision.

In order to ensure an orderly and swift resolution of failing banks and thus prevent that depositors be affected in their rights and claims, the Commission has proposed a harmonised framework. Oggetto: Conflitto d'interessi delle agenzie di rating. Rischierebbe inoltre di penalizzare i nuovi operatori privati del mercato. At the end of the investigation, the prosecutor stated that the Moody's analysts had intentionally provided the markets with biased, distorted and therefore misleading information.

In the wake of the investigation, the chairs of the Italian consumer associations Adusbef and Federconsumatori stated that with regard to Moody's, since the suspects had been charged with the offence of market manipulation, appropriate criminal penalties were required. Meanwhile, Moody's continues to disseminate false reports and unfounded news, adversely affecting the proper functioning of stock exchanges and markets.

In addition, many critics have pointed out that Moody's, like other agencies, is paid by the very companies which it has to rate. Furthermore, its own major shareholders banks, financial groups and private funds use its credit ratings to buy financial products on the financial market, thereby demonstrating a clear conflict of interest.

Moody's has also been criticised for having given the top rating triple A to Lehman Brothers, until just before it went bankrupt. Congress to corrupt them. Does it not think it would be appropriate to take action to denounce the illegitimacy of this conflict of interest of the credit rating agencies, which is frequently the cause of the misleading and false information that is spread to the markets?

What tools can it use to ensure that the European institutions affected by false and malicious opinions are protected? Is it able to speak out against credit ratings that are not consistent with the true facts and prevent them from being released?

Since the major agencies that lay down the law on the global financial markets are all American, would it not be useful and advisable to consider setting up European agencies, in order to restore some balance to the opinions expressed?

CRAs would provide ESMA with the detailed disclosure on the fees received from the provision of both credit rating and anxillary services to each client. Moreover, it could put new private market players to a disadvantage.

For these reasons, the Commission decided not to pursue this idea further. In rural France, the cooperative movement is at the heart of farming activity, and farmers often belong to several cooperatives operating in various sectors. However, in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including in Poland, trade organisations are still relatively unpopular.

As the Honourable Member knows, individual producers, particularly growers of fruit and vegetables, are encouraged to join producer organisations POs , which, for the fruit and vegetables sector, receive EU support for implementing operational programmes.

In Member States joining the Union as from , producer groups PGs in this sector also benefit from EU support, with the aim to reach producer organisation status within maximum five years. The Commission co-finances every year information measures relating to the common agricultural policy which aim, in particular, at explaining, contributing to, implementing and developing the policy, promoting the European model of agriculture and helping people understand it, informing farmers and other parties active in rural areas and finally raising public awareness of the issues and objectives of that policy.

As regards the fruit and vegetables sector, in , there were 37 POs and PGs operational in Poland. This is a significant increase from the 7 POs and 23 PGs in , and their number is still increasing. Da cinque anni la donna vive in Arabia Saudita, a Jedda, dopo aver sposato un uomo del luogo. La difesa del marito si avvale di tali argomentazioni per trattenerle il passaporto. The case of an Italian citizen repudiated by her Muslim husband who, under Islamic law, is refusing to allow her to travel abroad, is liable to become not only a diplomatic clash between different legal cultures but also another international case of gross violation of human rights, in particular of the fundamental individual and personal freedom of women.

For five years, this woman has been living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, after marrying a local man. The end of her marriage has been dramatic: since last October she has been repudiated and is being prevented from returning to Italy. Moreover, she ended up in court after reporting to the authorities the violence and threats to which she was being subjected by her former husband, who accused her of misappropriation of money and adultery — a crime subject to the death penalty under Islamic Sharia law.

Islamic law, in fact, does not grant women the right to travel abroad, even women of different nationalities who wish to return to their countries of origin, without the consent of their husband as their legal guardian; the same applies to foreigners who are dependent on sponsors who can only be Saudi nationals and, as such, have the right to prevent foreigners from leaving the country.

The life of this Italian citizen is in danger, pending a trial that could end in her being sentenced to death. The refusal to issue her with a passport is a clear infringement of her right to personal freedom, and the international legal protection afforded by the right to diplomatic asylum would enable her to be legally protected, as an Italian citizen, from the imminent threat of being unfairly tried and tortured.

The EU Delegation in Saudi Arabia and the European External Action Service in Brussels are in close cooperation with the Italian authorities and will continue this, taking every step that will prove appropriate or necessary in the future.

La cuota de pesca de marisco corresponde a la solicitud del sector y las zonas de pesca ofrecen recursos suficientes. This has been particularly strong in Galicia, where implementation of the protocol is proving very traumatic. The sector has been hit hard, with the expulsion of the cephalopod fishing fleet, restrictions on shellfish harvesting and the imposition of more restrictive and costly conditions on the hake fishing fleet and on other fishing activities.

In view of the current situation — made worse by the loss of fishing opportunities in the region — fishing opportunities and conditions in Mauritania need to be renegotiated and revised and measures adopted to tackle the problems created. The Spanish Government has announced temporary aid for the Spanish cephalopod and shellfish fleets affected by implementation of the protocol. However this aid, described as insufficient and discriminatory, cannot sweep away worries over the future of the fleets concerned.

Why did the Commission sign a protocol that is so restrictive and one-sided? Does it intend to renegotiate fishing opportunities for cephalopod and shellfish vessels? Is it considering a compensation system for the fleet concerned? Has it received a request from the Spanish Government to this effect and does it intend to bring in suitable measures? It was negotiated in full transparency and with the involvement of the stakeholders.

Moreover, it allows for technical adjustments to be agreed in the context of the upcoming Joint Committees with Mauritania. Concerning the shellfish fleet, the Commission considers that this fishery is viable. One of the extremely serious consequences of the bloody civil war in Syria has been to trigger a large wave of refugees to neighbouring countries Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Jordan. However, the impact of the refugee wave is already causing ripples of alarm further afield in the Eastern Mediterranean, including the territories of EU Member States, such as Greece and Cyprus.

The problem is expected to worsen both as a result of the situation in Syria, which is deteriorating day by day, and because of the inability of neighbouring countries, such as Turkey and Jordan, to accommodate the massive influx of refugees. The recent statement by the Turkish Foreign Minister that Turkey would soon no longer be able to cope with the influx of refugees from Syria into its territory is typical.

Has she already taken any measures or drawn up plans to address this situation which also has implications for EU Member States? Does she agree with the proposal already being considered by the UN Security Council to set up refugee camps on Syrian soil? Has she initiated cooperation to this effect with the UN and if so what is the content and outlook for such cooperation? Has she considered or will she consider measures to assist those Member States that will be affected by this situation, such as neighbouring countries of Turkey which will by extension be receiving large numbers of refugees?

The EU responds to humanitarian needs of the affected populations, throughout Syria and in neighbouring countries, both with humanitarian funding and in-kind assistance European Monitoring and Information Centre. The EU strongly supports Syria neighbouring countries in their efforts to provide assistance to refugees. The EU closely cooperates with UN humanitarian agencies. Neither the UN nor major donors are of the opinion that, in the current circumstances, camps inside Syria provide a sound solution for the people concerned.

The Commission is following the situation of refugees from Syria and stands ready to provide or coordinate assistance to those Member States that could find themselves under pressure. Such measures are activated at the request of the Member States concerned. The agreement will contribute to address irregular migration flows, while fully respecting the rights of the persons in need of international protection.

The urgent need to safeguard the European deposit guarantee system and for European banking consolidation is leading towards a European Banking Union. Will a Banking Union concern only European banks in the eurozone or will it also concern European banks outside the eurozone?

Will it concern only systemically important European banks a two-tier system or all banks without exception? These tasks include: authorisation of credit activities and withdrawal of authorisation; ensuring compliance with capital, leverage and liquidity requirements; application of capital buffers and other macro-prudential measures; adoption of early intervention measures. Resolution authorities will be responsible for bank resolution.

The role of the three European Supervisory Authorities will not be affected. They will continue to develop the single rulebook and to enhance convergence of supervisory practices across the whole Union, in cooperation with the ECB.

The ECB will carry its supervisory task in relation to banks in the Euro area Member States and may also supervise banks established in other Member States which decide to establish a close cooperation with the ECB. All banks will be covered since they all represent a potential threat to financial stability, regardless of their size.

The ECB will first start supervising banks receiving public funding and systemically important banks, and within one year, all banks of the Euro area will be placed under ECB supervision. National banking supervisors of Member States participating in the single supervisory mechanism will continue to play an important role, assisting the ECB and keeping supervisory tasks. National supervisors of other Member States will retain all existing tasks and powers. E in che modo prevede di agire per rendere consapevoli i giovani cittadini europei dei pericoli che derivano dal consumo di cannabis durante l'adolescenza?

La Commissione ritiene che la prevenzione del consumo di droghe tra i giovani adolescenti rappresenti un aspetto importante della politica per la riduzione della domanda di sostanze stupefacenti. La Commissione sostiene e integra le azioni degli Stati membri, i quali sono competenti per l'elaborazione e l'attuazione di politiche in materia di riduzione della domanda di sostanze stupefacenti, comprese le campagne di prevenzione del consumo di droghe. A study published by PNAS and conducted by Duke University over twenty years on a sample of more than a thousand young New Zealanders has revealed that regularly smoking cannabis during the teenage years may cause permanent damage to brain power.

This is due to the fact that adolescents' brains stop growing at around the age of twenty; the use of psychoactive substances at that age therefore affects an organ that is still vulnerable to structural changes. A teenager who smokes cannabis can lose up to 8 IQ points, with irreversible long-term consequences, including memory loss and cognitive decline.

Is the Commission aware of this study? Can it say whether any similar studies have been conducted in any of the Member States? If so, were the same results found? And what action does it intend to take to raise awareness among young Europeans about the dangers of cannabis use during adolescence? The European Commission is aware of the results of the study referred to by the Honourable Member. Although some studies suggest that early use of cannabis may have detrimental health effects on young adolescents, this may depend on a range of additional factors including exact age, patterns of use, cannabis potency and its combined use with other substances.

The Commission considers prevention of substance use among young adolescents an important part of drug-demand reduction policy. The Commission supports and complements the actions of Member States, which are competent for developing and implementing policies on drug-demand reduction, including drug prevention campaigns. Oggetto: Smaltimento di rifiuti pericolosi nell'area di Porto Marghera. Nel frattempo la popolazione locale si trova esposta ad una situazione di potenziale grave rischio ambientale con possibili conseguenze sulla salute.

In , a plant in the Porto Marghera area which had produced phosphoric acid up to was demolished, and the site decontaminated. The reason why the problem has not been resolved up to now is the apparent inability of the relevant Italian authorities to determine which rules should apply to the disposal of this material, in other words, whether it is covered by the rules relating to waste given that the radionuclides are of natural origin and have not been processed in view of their radioactive, fissile or fertile properties or by radiation protection legislation.

Meanwhile, the local community is being exposed to a potentially serious environmental and public health risk. Have the Italian authorities informed the Commission of the situation outlined above and asked for its opinion as to which legislation should apply? The provisions of Title VII clarify further that Member States shall ensure the identification, by means of surveys or by any other appropriate means, of work activities which may be of concern.

Should Member States declare that a work activity, in this case the production of phosphoric acid, is of concern and the exposure to natural radiation sources due to the work activity concerned needs attention and has to be subject to control. Betreft: EU wil Hezbollah niet op terreurlijst.

De EU weigert Hezbollah, nota bene gesteund door het regime in Iran, op de terreurlijst te plaatsen. Dat maakt het de jihadisten van Hezbollah mogelijk om overal in de EU fondsen te werven. Als de EU Hezbollah op de terreurlijst zou plaatsen, zouden diens tegoeden in de EU bevroren kunnen worden; bovendien zou het werven van fondsen op EU-grondgebied verboden worden.

Lidstaten zouden, gezamenlijk, de Hezbollah-strijders beter kunnen lokaliseren en tegen hen kunnen ageren — bijvoorbeeld bij overschrijding van de binnengrenzen. Kan de Raad aangeven hoeveel Hezbollah-strijders zich naar schatting in welke EU-lidstaten bevinden? Begrijpt de Raad de zorgen die EU-lidstaten, maar ook de Verenigde Staten, hebben ten aanzien van de bewegingsvrijheid van Hezbollah-strijders op EU-grondgebied?

Zo ja, wat gaat de Raad daaraan doen? Zo neen, hoe weerlegt de Raad deze uitspraak? Uiteraard kunnen de lidstaten tijdens de besprekingen in de Raad uiting geven aan hun bezorgdheid over Hezbollah. Het spreekt vanzelf dat de Raad in dat verband rekening houdt met de bezorgdheden van de lidstaten omtrent Hezbollah.

The EU is refusing to put Hezbollah, which, lest it be forgotten, is supported by the regime in Iran, on the list of terrorist organisations. Acting together, the Member States would be in a better position to locate Hezbollah activists and take action against them — for example when they cross internal borders. Can the Council explain why it still takes the view that Hezbollah is clearly not a terrorist group?

In the light of the attack in Bulgaria which was allegedly arranged by Hezbollah, is the Council now prepared to put Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organisations? If so, when will it do so? If not, what is preventing the Council from taking this step?

If not, is the Council prepared to investigate this matter? If so, what practical steps will the Council take to reassure them? Is this correct? If so, what will the Council do to address this problem? If not, what evidence can the Council put forward to refute the claim quoted above? The Council is not in a position to reply to the Honourable Member's final three questions, nor is it able to investigate the matters referred to in the questions, since it does not have access to the information held by Security Services of individual Member States.

However, the Member States are of course able to express any concern regarding Hezbollah within the framework of discussions in the Council. In this respect, the Council obviously takes into account any concerns expressed by Member States on Hezbollah. Niet-Hongaren dienen, wanneer zij hun caravan enkele dagen op de camping laten staan zonder er zelf te verblijven, hier voor te betalen, terwijl dit voor Hongaren gratis is. Dit is pure discriminatie, in strijd met art. Bijkomstigheid: de eigenaar van de camping is voornemens om met Europese subsidie zijn zwembad te renoveren.

Veroordeelt de Commissie dit? Kan de Commissie verklaren waarom niet-Hongaren aldaar anders worden behandeld resp. Staat de Commissie hier nog steeds achter? Wat is de Commissie voornemens tegen deze discriminatie te doen? De Commissie heeft weet van soortgelijke gevallen waarin EU-burgers verschillend worden behandeld naar gelang van hun nationaliteit. Wat betreft de acties die op basis van een gedeeld beheer van de programma's door de structuurfondsen worden medegefinancierd, zij erop gewezen dat de besluiten die op EU-steunverlening voor dergelijke acties met uitzondering van belangrijke projecten betrekking hebben, door de nationale autoriteiten worden genomen.

Non-Hungarians are required to pay to leave their caravan unoccupied on the site for a few days, whereas for Hungarians this service is free. Ironically enough, the owner of the camp site is planning to apply for a European subsidy to renovate its swimming pool.

Is the Commission of the discrimination being practised at the camp site or of similar cases elsewhere? Is the Commission prepared to condemn it? Can the Commission explain why non-Hungarians using the camp site are treated differently or required to pay more? Does the Commission still stand by this view? What action will the Commission take to put a stop to this discrimination? Is the Commission prepared to deny the owner of the camp site European subsidies of any kind for any project he plans to carry out?

The Commission is aware of similar cases whereby EU citizens are treated differently on grounds of nationality. The Commission sees the right to obtain non-discriminatory access to services as crucial to the single market and takes this issue very seriously. The Commission has provided guidance on the application of Art. With regard to operations co-financed by Structural Funds, based on the shared management of the programmes, decisions concerning EU support for operations except major projects are taken by Member State authorities.

Deelt de Commissie de mening dat Peter Sutherland zich principieel niet met de migratie van soevereine landen te bemoeien heeft? Is de Commissie derhalve ertoe bereid afstand te nemen van zijn uitspraken? De grondrechten, waaronder vrijheid van gedachte, geweten en godsdienst, zijn de kern van de Europese regelgeving. Does the Commission agree that as a matter of principle Peter Sutherland has no business interfering in the migration policies of sovereign countries?

Will the Commission therefore distance itself from his remarks? There are different ways in which Members States deal with cultural differences. Throughout history, people have moved and their migration has contributed to an exchange of ideas, values, knowledge and culture.

We already live in multicultural societies where different communities are called to interact. Fundamental rights lie at the heart of the European legislation and this also includes freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Member States have the right to determine volumes of admission of third-country nationals coming from third countries to their territory in order to seek work, whether employed or self-employed.

A manifesto in defence of culture was recently launched in Portugal by a broad section of the population, including many people working in different areas related to culture but not only from this sector. The manifesto condemns the destruction and distortion of the principle of public service, the financial strangulation of culture, the dismantling, reduction and disqualification of services, the centralisation and increasing bureaucracy of institutions and the commercialisation of culture.

The manifesto rejects the view of culture as merely decorative or an elitist privilege. What amounts under the Culture Programme or other programmes and measures which provide funding for cultural activities as part of the multiannual financial framework have so far been used by each of the Member States? What is the total proposed funding allocation for culture under the next multiannual financial framework and how will it differ from that under the present multiannual framework?

It should be noted that the budget of the Culture Programme is not broken down per country. As grants are awarded to transnational partnerships, it is not possible to identify which percentage of the grant goes to each partner within a partnership. At Member States level, the structural funds are also supporting investment in the cultural sector. For the period , the Commission has proposed the Creative Europe programme for the European cultural and creative sectors bringing together the current Culture and MEDIA programmes under a single framework.

Other EU programmes such as the structural funds may also continue to support cultural investments and activities, in particular where they have a clear economic, competitiveness or social inclusion impact. Indien zij niet aan de Europese vrouwenquota voldoen, volgt een boete of wordt het hun onmogelijk gemaakt nieuwe contracten te sluiten.

Is de Commissie met de PVV van mening dat het hier een emancipatiekwestie betreft, die zich niet via opgedrongen quota laat regelen? Is de Commissie met de PVV van mening dat emancipatie een nationale aangelegenheid is en zeker niet door middel van Europese wetgeving geregeld dient te worden? Is de Commissie derhalve ertoe bereid van de quota af te zien?

De Commissie is op de hoogte van het persbericht waarnaar het geachte Parlementslid verwijst. If they fail to meet the European quota requirement, they will be fined or prevented from concluding new contracts. Does it agree with the PVV that quotas for women merely emphasise the difference between women and men? Does the Commission agree with the PVV that this issue concerns the emancipation of women and cannot be addressed simply by imposing a quota?

Secretary of State Kerry said recently that he is exploring the possibility of deepening the North American Free Trade Agreement to strengthen trade ties with Canada and Mexico with an eye toward expanding the agreement to include other countries in the hemisphere. How significant of a priority should strengthening NAFTA be as compared to other trade agreements, and would other countries be interested in participating? All have long histories and huge implications. They are still evolving, and bear close watching in Todas tienen largas historias y enormes implicaciones.

What will drive the region's economic growth in the coming year? Which countries will experience solid economic expansion in , and which will struggle? Where have government policies done the most good or damage to growth? December 20, What Does Hold for U. To what extent will the Obama administration seek to strengthen ties in the region? How much will Latin American countries want to work with the United States? It has far and beyond the most people living with access to marriage equality, not to mention the largest pride celebration on Earth.

Many countries in the Americas are expanding their safeguards against discrimination and boast some of the world's most vibrant LGBT movements. But not everything is advancing in a positive direction. Los argumentos son los mismos, pero los protagonistas rotan.

December 16, Bachelet 2. December 15, It's Time for Nafta 2. If there is one thing supporters and critics of this pact have always agreed on, it is the size of the stakes. In November , Mr. Clinton, facing fierce opposition within his party, implored Congress to pass Nafta as a vote for the country's future, a sign that "we still have confidence in ourselves and our potential.

But they are also highly local phenomena; their precise roots are as unique as the motive behind a single crime. This paradox was a central theme during a meeting of the Congressional Members Working Group focused on Central America.

How can cooperation and international assistance on security issues adapt to local realities without becoming hopelessly complex? Members discussed the wide-ranging challenges facing Colombia and the region. The conversation was closed and off-the-record. December 2, A Conversation on the Brazilian Economy By Paul Shortell In the past two years, however, economic growth has slowed and investment has fallen. Where is the region's largest economy headed? December 2, U.

Yet, despite the continuing rhetoric, neither government has been willing to invest much in advancing or upgrading the relationship. The elections, which come amidst rising levels of unemployment, crime, violence, and widespread public discontent, have huge implications for the country's future.

November 27, Why and How Latin America Should Think About the Future By Sergio Bitar Over the past decade, many Latin American governments have made significant strides in developing domestic policies that have succeeded in reducing poverty and strengthening democratic institutions.

It is striking how much of his short presidency —- just days -- was related to Latin America. Public officials, however, have been largely unable to develop policies that effectively leverage the economic activities of migrants and harness their full economic potential. By Abraham F. Lowenthal The bitter impasse finally, if temporarily, resolved in Washington last week made it absolutely evident to all that the US faces serious problems. These problems did not suddenly arise, nor are they limited to the showdown of government activities and services and the raising the national debt limit.

The difficulties are not only political, but also economic and social; they have developed over many years, and they are by no means resolved. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a speech Monday at the Organization of American States, as he called for the Cuban government to "embrace a broader political reform agenda. November 18, Remarks on U. Among the most important modifications was the creation of a Judiciary Council.

Will the country long seen as a laboratory for policy innovation continue to be a reference for a region that is seeking to address longstanding inequalities, while maintaining democracy and economic growth? November 7, A Conversation with the Former President of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga By Megan Cook "Democracy is under siege" in Bolivia, the country's former president and a current opposition leader, Jorge Quiroga, said last week at the Inter-American Dialogue in a presentation blasting the current government's record on democratic governance.

Meyer Source: Latin America Advisor In early October, Guatemala's president, members of his cabinet, as well as business and religious leaders in the Central American nation agreed to work together to reduce malnutrition, improve education and provide youths with the skills necessary to be successful in the labor market. Will the accord be implemented successfully and achieve its goals? November 6, Latin America's Oil Sector: A Lost Opportunity By Tim Stackhouse Despite its prodigious petroleum reserves and high world oil price over the past decade, many countries in Latin America are experiencing declining production.

What explains this apparent paradox? Where do Ibero-American relations now stand? How has this law impacted Ecuador's civil society? The elections will be critical in shaping the rest of her term. Why have businesses operating in Colombia become so pessimistic? To what extent have the policies of President Juan Manuel Santos helped or hindered businesses?

Which sectors have thrived during Santos' administration, and which have struggled? Ambassador Richard Bernal discusses China's emerging role as an investor in the region. The opportunities for bilateral cooperation are countless.

Yet U. Unfortunately, hope for better relations quickly faded with the recent expulsion of US and Venezuelan diplomats. Was the trip a success for Maduro? For China? September 26, What can we expect from Pope Francis? Can Latin America overcome political, geological, and economic challenges? Will it live up to its shale gas potential? Meanwhile, tensions between Nicaragua and Colombia over their maritime boundaries, ostensibly settled by an International Court of Justice ruling late last year, have been reignited.

What is behind Ortega's bellicose statements? What does this historic decision mean for the increasingly important US-Brazilian bilateral relationship? September 19, State of the Remittance Industry: Trends and Challenges By Eric Johnson The Dialogue hosted a panel discussion on the current state of the remittance industry featuring representatives from many of the leading money transfer companies. By James R.

The reforms would impose new taxes on the country's top earners as well as on capital gains. How important are tax system reforms for Mexico's economy? Do the specific parts of the reform address the right areas? Yet not so long ago, US foreign policy decision-making was far less troubled by principle. From Nixon to Obama, the US has made some progress in the past 40 years. It became the second country, after Canada, to legalize same-sex marriage in the hemisphere in A year later, the national congress passed landmark legislation allowing transgender individuals access to free gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy.

What are the most important parts of the overhaul, and how can they be implemented in the face of teacher resistance? Sustained levels of Chinese investment across a range of sectors from natural resources to manufacturing to services have introduced an important dimension to the bilateral relationship.

September 9, Development vs. He will try to persuade a very skeptical nation. It is never easy to predict what will happen once military action is underway, but it is hard to recall when uncertainties have been greater. September 4, Is Legalization Possible? What factors are driving demographic trends in Latin America and the Caribbean? Uruguay, the smallest country in the region, has been the first, however, to openly rebel. By Juan Rada, Miguel A.

What are the best practices for engaging citizens in the region through technology? The Congress is in recess for five weeks, until early September. When lawmakers return, they will face a number of crucial battles, including on the budget. In such a polarized political environment, none of these will be easy. The drop-off was attributed mainly to a decline in Chinese lending to Venezuela. How important is Chinese lending to the region today? What does the decline in funding from China mean for Venezuela and the region as a whole?

What will the future hold for Chinese lending to Latin America and the Caribbean? August 7, What's in Store for Venezuela? What is next for the country? The visit marked his first foreign trip as leader of the Roman Catholic church. Standing next to the pontiff, President Dilma Rousseff called for cooperation with the church to combat poverty and hunger. Why did Francis choose Brazil for his first foreign trip as pope? Was the trip a success, and for whom?

Will the visit have any lasting consequences for Brazilian society, or the church's role in that country? July 30, China and the U. Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora and Carnegie expert Uri Dadush joined the Dialogue to discuss just how Mexico can grow to assume the regional and global leadership role it aspires to.

July 30, China y EE. July 27, Now What, Madam President? Paulo Although Brazilians love crowds, it was a great surprise to virtually everyone in Brazil when more than a million protestors showed up on the streets of more than cities. July 23, Latin American Perceptions of China By Margaret Myers China is generally viewed positively, particularly amongst younger generations, who increasingly believe that China has or will replace the US as the world's superpower.

The Dialogue and the Pew Research Center hosted a discussion on the findings of a new Pew report on the subject. What kinds of regulatory and institutional frameworks best support the contributions of remittances to local development? What has been the impact of remittances on migrants and their families? Drawing on empirical data from five continents and firmly grounded in theory, Orozco's work reflects the evolution of our understanding about the importance of migrant remittances and the policies that govern them.

By Lisa Abrego Central American governments have had, at best, mixed success in implanting democratic institutions, the rule of law, and productive market economies. Former Nicaraguan Ambassador and political analyst Arturo Cruz presented his just published paper exploring the multiple challenges and risks confronting democratic stability in the region at the Inter-American Dialogue on July Though he is now seeking temporary asylum from Russia, where he has been stranded in the Moscow airport, only a few nations, all in Latin America, have been openly receptive to his pleas.

Energy Expert David Mares analyzes the political, economic and environmental challenges that countries face in developing the next generation of hydrocarbon resources. Participants included a select group of experts on China-Latin America relations, as well as representatives from the Chinese delegation and from the U. State Department. Why are some governments in the region so eager to thumb their noses at the United States?

Are these protests isolated events with unique causes or are there threads that unify them? July 3, Protests in Brazil: Why Now? What Do They Mean? By Javiera Alarcon By the end of June, over 80 Brazilian cities had experienced massive demonstrations sweeping the country, stemming from acute grievances with dismal public services.

That is why every country is seeking continued US support. But these programs are clearly not enough. The data show that crime and violence in a number of the countries are worsening. In Honduras, for example, murder rates increased by some 50 percent between and True, conditions would likely be even more severe absent US cooperation.

Even where violence has dropped, US assistance has been too modest and could be more effectively targeted. June 19, Nicaragua's Canal: What should we expect? June 10, Where do Relations Between the U. Vice President Joe Biden called for stronger ties between the two countries.

Where do U. What factors and global trends have been driving these investments? Which countries fared best, and worst, in attracting foreign investment, and why? Will FDI in and continue to gain steam? What effect, if any, is the report having on the drug policy debate in the United States and in the region? Once a considerable presence in Latin America, Russian activity in the region is now seemingly limited to high-level visits and arms sales.

As Russia looks to establish reliable global partnerships, however, and to strengthen its position in a multi-polar world, Latin America is receiving more attention in Russian foreign policy. Opening remarks were followed by commentary from Gonzalo Paz of American University. How do Latin American countries intend to leverage emerging trans-Pacific agreements to encourage economic integration? How does China view these arrangements? In Colombia, authorities have warned the public of a plot by an organized crime group to kill several high-profile journalists.

In Argentina, opposition leader and Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri signed a decree "to guarantee protection to journalists and media in the city" as the government's ongoing dispute with country's largest media company has intensified. What do these developments say about press freedom in the Americas? What are the most important trends that stakeholders government, businesses, civil society need to pay attention to?

How has the evolution of social media and wider access to the Internet and communications technologies changed the debate over freedom of the press? May 23, A Tribute to Albert O. This is critical to ensuring that spending is adequately tailored to the changing needs of recipients instead of merely buttressing support for traditional officeholders.

In this regard, political and institutional factors are central in accounting for the relative success of social policy experiments throughout Latin America. How solid is Morales' support as he looks toward his next campaign?

How strong is the opposition, and what could Morales' rivals do to gain an edge? Will Morales choose to make his last run for office? Maduro has voiced a desire for "respectful relations" with the United States, though Washington has still not recognized his government. The United States has denied that it is considering sanctions against Venezuela, and Venezuelan authorities recently arrested a U.

The State Department has denied any efforts to destabilize the Venezuelan government. Will U. What do Maduro's cabinet picks portend about the future of bilateral relations? In a region once plagued by bloody coups and military interventionism, free and fair elections are now the norm. At the same time, in a number of countries, political parties are weak and there has been erosion of checks on executive authority.

May 1, Which Mexico for Obama? La diferencia ahora, en el segundo periodo de su gobierno, es que Barack Obama no parece dispuesto a gastar tanto tiempo en tratar de mejorar las relaciones con gobiernos que han sido inamistosos con Washington. In recent decades, women in Latin America and the Caribbean have made tremendous strides towards achieving leadership in every sphere and at the highest levels.

Linowitz Forum. Our aim is to stimulate broad and spirited public discussion about where the Western Hemisphere is headed. Enlarging the proposed negotiations to include all three North American nations, Canada, Mexico, and the United States would create a unique, historic and much larger opportunity that has the potential to give a real boost to the economies of all of the nations involved as well as to the global economy.

Opponents of the effort to block funding say the move would have neutralized the work of the commission, which has angered leftist governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA. Do the ALBA countries have a legitimate gripe with the commission? At the Inter-American Dialogue, he shared some thoughts and reflections on the significance of having the first pope from the Americas.

By Jorge Heine, Peter M. Bachelet said that if elected to a second term in office, she would put income inequality at the top of her agenda. Is Bachelet, who still enjoys high approval ratings in Chile, a shoo-in for another term? Who will give Bachelet her toughest competition in the race?

What issues are driving the campaign? April 5, Latinoamerica By Allie Bobak Assembled by the Millennium Project, a worldwide network of analysts studying long-term global trends, the report "Latinoamerica " reviews a series of four scenarios for the future of Latin America. By Graciana del Castillo, Claudio Loser, and Christian Daude Source: Latin America Advisor Fitch Ratings last month joined two other major ratings agencies in giving Uruguay its coveted investment grade, a move that lowers the nation's borrowing costs and opens up opportunities for new investors.

Meanwhile, Uruguayan Vice President Danilo Astori said recently that trade relations with neighboring Argentina are "at their worst point in a long time" in the wake of new taxes in Argentina on vacation packages abroad, which "greatly affects Uruguay" due to the high proportion of Argentine tourists in Uruguay. How important are ties with Argentina to Uruguay's economic outlook? Considering the broader global economic picture, will investment-grade status bring Uruguay the benefits it expects?

What priorities should the country's economic policymakers be focused on in the near- and mid-term? March 27, Post Chavez: Can U. This tribute should make Washington take a fresh look not only at its relations with Venezuela but also with all of Latin America. March 25, Global Trends Challenges for Latin America By Allie Bobak A discussion of how long term global trends in critical areas such as energy, education, population, armed conflict, and governance will affect the future of Latin America.

Jones Source: Latin America Advisor The lower house of Mexico's Congress gave its approval Friday to a measure to overhaul the country's telecommunications industry and sent the legislation to the Senate. What would the overhaul mean for the industry and for Mexico's economy in general?

Will the reforms win the needed legislative approval? Yet few, if any, contemplated the possibility that Chavez would end up leaving the political scene he so thoroughly dominated for 14 years as a result of a severe illness, at the age of While a reinvigorated Vatican engagement with the hemisphere is certainly not welcomed news by the LGBT community, the Pope is not the most imminent threat to equality in the Americas. What is the state of Peru-China commercial ties today? What is driving the bilateral relationship, and what things stand in the way of improvement?

Who stands to benefit or lose the most from expanding Peru-China ties? The resurgence of the left — historically targeted by these oligarchs — has sought to counter this phenomenon with state-owned newspapers and broadcast outlets. Public media — independent and not-for-profit programming — however, seem to have been left without a champion. Venezuelans will not easily forget a leader who, for better or worse, was the consummate showman and left an indelible mark on a highly polarized society.

Venezuelans and the rest of the world wait and watch to see what happens with Hugo Chavez. Is he focusing the beginning of his presidency on the right goals? How might Mexico's local elections this July alter the current course? Paulo This year Brazil is witnessing the largest harvest in its history. The country will harvest million tons MT of grains and oilseeds, 11 percent more than in the previous year. We became the first producer 84 MT and exporter 41 MT worldwide of soybeans. Sin sorpresas, Rafael Correa fue reelegido de manera aplastante en Ecuador.

Not surprisingly, Rafael Correa won a landslide reelection in Ecuador. And in a move that caught many off guard, the apparently very ill Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez returned to Caracas from Havana. February 21, Peru's Political and Institutional Agenda: A Conversation with the Speaker of Congress By Tim Heine Peru has captured international attention both because of its robust economic growth as well as its social unrest.

Following his opening remarks, Cynthia McClintock, a political science professor at George Washington University and leading authority on Peru, offered commentary before a wide-ranging exchange with participants. President Barack Obama said Jan. Obama's comments came a day after he presented his plan for immigration reform and just after a bipartisan group of senators presented their own plan. What stands in the way of passing the legislation before July?

Are the immigration reforms that would get through Congress likely to be significant enough to change the status quo? How might U. February 5, El gran paso con la reforma en EE. February 5, A big step for reform By Michael Shifter Source: El Colombiano Just three months ago, no one believed that it would be possible for the US Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform any time soon.

February 1, Have Prospects for U. What is on the horizon for U. The report card highlights the achievements and challenges of the Jamaican education system in nine key areas, and offers a series of policy recommendations. Chinese exports to the region grew 12 to 15 percent last year, and it "is now a strategically important market," he said.

How significant is Latin America as an export destination for China? Are business and government leaders actively looking to the region to expand trade? Where is the Chinese economy headed next year and in the mid-term, and how will that affect Latin America? He foresees low demand among Latin American nations for RMB-denominated transactions in coming years. January 15, Deepening the Relationship: Prospects for US-Brazil Commercial and Bilateral Ties By Cameron Combs What are the prospects for trade and the broader bilateral relationship between the hemisphere's two largest democracies?

As we look to , here are some of the trends to follow in the hemisphere's struggle for LGBT rights. By Marcelo Bergman, Eric L. How are the size, make-up and landscape of drug cartels changing? Are different populations, sectors or businesses likely to be affected by the violence in ? January 4, Peace Now? US election—unexpectedly—also turned out to be one of the most important events for the region in Bush father , defeated by Bill Clinton in December 26, To treat drug use as a police matter is useless and disastrous By Fernando Henrique Cardoso The former president advocates for decriminalization and health approach to drug use.

Is Capriles well-positioned to remain the top opposition leader? How would Maduro fare in a special election for the presidency against Henrique Capriles? McIlhenny cited a number of positive developments in Latin America that have been advanced by a U. Or are fears that the United States doesn't pay enough attention to the region and has lost its prominence well-founded?

In addition to government, how do private sector and civil society initiatives factor in? Arab and Latin American nations can anticipate those changes and benefit from them, and could start building new partnerships. But continuing questions about Chavez's health and the country's dismal governance suggest that change may be coming soon. External players should restrain from meddling during this period of uncertainty.

Instead, support should focus on trying to ensure that Venezuelans continue to rely on the ballot box in determining the course of a country facing so many daunting problems. PDF By Roberto Cajina During the past four decades of the twentieth century, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala experienced civil wars that differed in their nature, intensity, and duration. What factors account for this difference? Was the upsurge of criminal violence an unprecedented phenomenon in the Northern Triangle?

Have the countries of the Southern Triangle stood apart from such violence? These are some of the questions that this paper seeks to answer. Estas son algunas de las preguntas que este ensayo busca responder. It is surprising, then, that border disputes continually bedevil the region. Many of these tensions remain unresolved, and when they surface, as in the example of the Nov. Do any of Correa's rivals stand a chance of defeating him?

What issues will matter to Ecuadoreans when they go to the polls? What would Correa seek to do in a third term? It is, however, is fundamental to US diplomacy in this hemisphere, and the US should take a more active role in salvaging the institution. November 30, Why Are U. The senators said the OAS lacks a strategic focus, is too reluctant to make difficult financial decisions and is beset by "capriciously destructive personnel policies.

What steps should the OAS take to strengthen itself? Sin embargo, hoy se torna muy importante comenzar a delinear una estrategia con miras a abordar la continuidad de las mismas una vez que el litigio haya concluido. November 27, Colombia's Steps at the Hague By Michael Shifter Source: El Colombiano Nothing succeeds in bringing a nation together -- and in transcending sharp political differences -- than disputes over national territory.

Immigration, Cuba, and drugs have always had an unusually high dose of domestic politics, and they still do, but results of the recent US elections suggest that obstacles to progress may be easing. By Peter Hakim Source: Foreign Policy When the leaders of Mexico and the United States meet for the first time, they'll have a chance to make real progress on issues that have been stalled for decades.

Where does the debate about drug policy in the United States and in the region appear to be headed? November 15, New U. It was an error that cost may have cost them the election. Romney and other Republican candidates not only ignored Latinos, but at times actively offended them by the tone and substance of their views on immigration. By Viviana Giacaman, Benoit Hervieu, and Scott Griffen Source: Latin America Advisor Press freedom has been in the headlines recently, as a Bolivian radio journalist was set on fire in a brutal attack last month, and Mexico's government in July said that 67 journalists have been killed and 14 disappeared in the country since Is press freedom seriously jeopardized in these countries or elsewhere in the region?

What implications does it have for the state of democracy? Should regional bodies or other organizations be taking action? If so, how? Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo, who served as minister of the economy and minister of energy and mines under previous administrations, commented on the implementation of this important and complex law in light of the negotiations underway between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC.

Lowenthal Source: Folha de S. Will the new law dramatically reduce the country's notable inequality, as supporters assert? Or will it put a 'straitjacket' on universities, as a senator who voted against the bill claims? What role does higher education play in Brazil's social and economic development?

Does Brazil's debate over affirmative action have implications for other countries in the region? October 26, Will America Look South? President Barack Obama's omission of Latin America in his list of regions where relations with the US had improved in the past several years set off a burst of tweets among Latin Americans.

October 26, The final lap By Abraham F. Lowenthal Source: Folha de Sao Paulo. What would a Romney administration mean for economic relations with the region? Could he successfully forge new free-trade agreements with Latin America? How would a Romney victory alter the United States' relations with the region? Who were the big winners and big losers in the municipal elections? What effect will the municipal elections have on national politics in Brazil? Of these, data was fully collected for 37 of them.

An improved, more productive US-Brazilian relationship will require the two countries to identify issues and goals on which they are willing to commit themselves to sustained long-term cooperation. But, for now, both nations seem comfortable with maintaining the status quom in their bilateral relations.

Es duro de reconocer pero los hechos son los hechos. In , he soundly defeated his opposition challenger Manual Rosales. Chavez was then in sound health, his rhetorical powers were at their height, and he had ample resources thanks to high oil prices. Though there the new government will face substantial challenges, Mexicans have tangible grounds for optimism, particularly about progress on critical reforms.

Paulo The US presidential elections are six weeks away. President Barack Obama has begun to build an advantage in most of the decisive swing states, including Ohio, Virginia and Florida. His argument was straightforward: Ecuador respects its international obligations, but uses all of the available legal tools to defend itself and its national interests.

September 21, Venezuela in Mercosur. What was Brazil Thinking? What made the Brazil government so eager to bring Venezuela into Mercosur remains a puzzle. Brazilian officials have made their case mostly on economic grounds, but the costs of bringing Venezuela into Mercosur could well turn out to be higher than the benefits. Is Mexico gaining a competitive edge over China in terms of manufacturing? Or will other low-wage countries come to replace both China and Mexico as manufacturing destinations?

What are the challenges and benefits of moving production facilities to Mexico? Can Mexico leverage the low cost of wages into more sustainable growth? At the time, the Foundation viewed itself primarily as making grants to advance Brazilian development through institutional support for programs in higher education and research.

The discussion marked the recent launch of a special report on press freedom in Venezuela published by the Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ. The time has come for a resolute effort to achieve peace in Colombia, and there are reasons to be hopeful of success—although probably not quickly.

September 7, U. President Jimmy Carter said Thursday. Chile and Venezuela will be observers at the talks, which will begin in Oslo, Norway, and continue in Havana, Cuba. These are basic qualities in both human and international relations.

We may have different visions of how to address the fundamental challenges facing us, but we will never be able to address them satisfactorily unless we return to basic civility and a willingness to cooperate to find solutions based on common values. We must begin with a concern for the most vulnerable among us and a commitment to treat each individual with equity and fairness. This will provide in our western hemisphere a bright future — to all of us.

The move came amid a shakeup in which Santos asked his entire member cabinet to resign, a not unusual practice in many countries of the region. Why did Santos call for the cabinet shakeup now? Will the cabinet shakeup boost Santos' approval ratings? How progressive are revenue collection and social spending? A standard fiscal incidence analysis shows that Uruguay achieves a nontrivial reduction in inequality and poverty when all taxes and transfers are combined.

In comparison with other five countries in Latin America, it ranks first poverty reduction and second inequality reduction , and first in terms of poverty reduction effectiveness and third in terms of overall including transfers in kind inequality reduction effectiveness. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, speaking from the Ecuadoran embassy in London, publicly thanked president Rafael Correa for granting him asylum.

Combined with declining popular support for the President, the country is headed on a shaky path and the future remains unclear. We said that it was time for equality, which meant full entitlement to rights for everyone. What would be the economic risks and gains of building a canal across Nicaragua?

FARC is also blamed for several attacks on energy infrastructure targets in south-west Colombia, including electricity installations near Tumaco last week that led to give deaths. August 14, 25 Years Since the Esquipulas Agreement: Opportunities and Challenges in Central America By Rachel Schwartz On August 7, in Esquipulas, Guatemala, the presidents of five Central American countries signed an agreement to end the civil conflicts in the region and promote national reconciliation and democracy.

Each improved three times faster than the average of the 49 countries included in the study. Colombia was also among the top 10, improving at twice the average. This is encouraging news for education reformers, suggesting that sustained efforts to raise student learning are beginning to pay off. August 7, Romney's statesman debut By Michael Shifter Source: El Colombiano The US election is less than three months away, so it is not surprising that the campaigns have moved into high gear.

August 5, The incomplete revolution By Michael Shifter Source: El Deber Stagnation is the term that most frequently comes to mind in thinking about the current situation in Bolivia. The election of Evo Morales was symbolically important and raised high hopes in a country with a majority indigenous population that had long suffered considerable poverty and political instability.

By Francisco Altschul, Mirte Postema, and Michael Shifter and Rachel Schwartz Source: Latin America Advisor A dispute between El Salvador's legislative and judicial branches escalated to a constitutional crisis this month, with two separate groups of judges claiming to be the country's legitimate Supreme Court. After a stalemate and pressures both domestically and internationally to resolve the dispute, the two main political parties agreed to hold talks on July What is behind the conflict?

Does the conflict have implications for the state of the country's democracy or is it fundamentally a political issue? How should it be settled? The presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay agreed to allow the Andean country into the trade bloc after Mercosur suspended Paraguay, whose lawmakers had prevented Venezuela from joining the group. What would Venezuela's entrance mean for it and for the current Mercosur members?

Who are the winners and losers? Does allowing Venezuela into Mercosur through the loophole of Paraguay's suspension raise larger concerns about the bloc's operation, as critics of the move have suggested? As Brazil's economy slows, however, experts debate whether Brazil will be able to recover its previous robust rate of expansion. His brother's in prison, his dad thinks he's a traitor, and almost everyone says his wife calls the shots. But he might still have a chance to turn the country around.

The number of unsafe abortions—which represent about 95 percent of the total—grew from 3. Given the current divisiveness in Washington, the bipartisan support it has received across three administrations now seems remarkable. After 12 years, the plan is gradually winding down, but the U. July 25, Assessing Humala's First Year By Mariel Aramburu In light of Ollanta Humala's first anniversary as president of Peru, the Dialogue convened two leading analysts who provided insight into the economic and political dimensions of the country, with commentary provided by the Peruvian Ambassador to the United States.

Where are political and economic relations between India and Latin America headed? What constraints are there to improving trade and how can they be remedied? Which countries and sectors present the best opportunities for growth? President Barack Obama after he announced an executive order to cease deportation of many immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children and the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law.

July 20, The right must learn to love the state again By Francis Fukuyama Source: Financial Times When asked to contribute to this series on the future of conservatism, I hesitated because it seemed to me that in both the US and Europe what was most needed was not a new form of conservatism but rather a reinvention of the left.

The decline was statistically significant and robust to changes in the time interval, inequality measures and data sources. In depth country studies for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico suggest two main phenomena underlie this trend: a fall in the premium to skilled labor and more progressive government transfers.

This Inter-American Dialogue Working Paper discusses key elements of current US drug policy, points out their strengths and weaknesses, and highlights where changes would be desirable. Though trailing China in trade and investment, India has adopted a more cautious and well-informed approach to engagement with the region. This approach likely more beneficial than China's in terms of long-term relationship-building in Latin America. How has China's involvement in Latin America's energy sector evolved?

Will it expand beyond the countries and sectors where it has traditionally focused most of its energy investments? If so, where is it likely to go and how will that impact the sector? Washington no longer has the resources or authority to shape a hemispheric agenda and provide the leadership to put it into practice. The relationship remains stuck on the same issues: Cuba, immigration and drug policy. According to the government, the measure is aimed at taking profits away from drug dealers and funding rehabilitation programs.

What are the implications of Uruguay's proposal? How progressive are revenue-collection and social-spending patterns? June 28, A Campaign About Nothing By Michael Shifter Source: Foreign Policy On July 1, some 80 million Mexican voters will turn their backs on the drama and turbulence that has recently beset their country as they select a new president for the next six years.

The electorate will choose among three main candidates whose statements and policy positions have been notably cautious -- and who have been strikingly vague about what they would change in how the country is handling its most serious problems. Maisto Source: Latin America Advisor Paraguay's Senate on Friday voted , with two abstentions, to impeach President Fernando Lugo, who immediately moved out of the presidential residence.

On Sunday, however, Lugo announced he will not recognize his former vice president, Federico Franco, as Paraguay's new leader. Who is the legitimate president of Paraguay? Why are some countries recognizing Franco as the new president and others not? What compelled Congress to take action now, just nine months before scheduled elections, and is it a good thing for the nation? Will Paraguay's economy suffer as a consequence of the political turmoil?

Vasquez Source: Latin America Advisor Q: Given the potential of significant oil reserves in Brazil and Venezuela, large shale gas discoveries, plummeting wind energy prices and other developments, some analysts are highly optimistic about the general energy outlook in Latin America. Others cite opposition to hydro projects, vulnerabilities in energy-poor parts of the region, stagnation of oil production, unproved ultra-deep-water technologies and other hurdles as cause for major concern about the region's energy future.

Are reasons for optimism weak? Or are pessimists underestimating the region's potential? What are the major trends in regional energy issues that we can expect in the period ahead, and how can possible solutions to problems best be reached?

It is one of many regional projects that have faced local and environmental opposition, but have also been cited as necessary to meet growing energy needs. Are mega hydropower projects like this doomed in Chile and elsewhere in Latin America?

What energy sources will fill in the void if such projects don't come to fruition? How are anticipated consequences of climate change, such as drought, going to change the region's current and future hydropower infrastructure? United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that the conference must achieve 'concrete decisions and agreements,' though some are skeptical that a global consensus on plans to combat climate change is likely to occur.

Or will the agreement be 'so weak it is meaningless, or completely collapse,' as WWF director general Jim Leape predicted? What is Latin America's role in the global debate over climate change? How well are its cities and states preparing for climate change? The session took place in the Capitol Visitor's Center. By Enrique V. He praised the business climates in Brazil and Chile and said Spanish companies would continue investing in the region.

Which companies and countries are hurt by the woes in Europe, and which regional players are taking advantage of it the most? Was the king's visit to the region a success? Why or why not? It is also a tool for consolidating state of the art knowledge on remittances trends, providing new thinking on the role that remittances play in development, and enabling stakeholders in better designing comprehensive policy and institutional frameworks in the intersection between migration, remittances, financial services and labor mobility issues.

June 8, Remarks at Sol M. Will it make a difference for U. Foreign Policy? For Latin America? June 7, Globalization, Made in the Americas By Robert Zoellick Source: Remarks at the Dialogue's 30th Anniversary Gala A new hemispheric partnership requires leaving old habits, old mindsets, and old models of dependency behind.

A recent poll says it is the most admired of this group. And it has been selected as the site of both the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Its incredible rise in the past dozen years is due to many factors. Self-promotion is not among the most important. Jones, Andrew Selee, and George W. What types of legislative changes or reforms would result from PRI control of Mexico's presidency and both chambers of its Congress?

Will the PRI re-establish the dominance that it enjoyed for seven decades? What is the threat? Who are you fighting? Are terrorists foreign or domestic? Military forces are trained to defend national sovereignty against external attack by a foreign enemy. They are not trained to deal with their fellow citizens. That is police work. In some countries, turning to the military for internal security evokes terrible memories of Cold War conflicts when repression sometimes became identified with military forces allied with the United States.

May 21, EUA debe aportar a C. What is the outlook for trade between the regions? What specific countries and sectors will most likely flourish in the period ahead, and why? But the gang truce has left lawmakers and security experts in El Salvador and across the region grappling with a slew of unsettling questions.

Supreme Court is expected to rule on the federal government's challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration law, which requires local police officers to check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. During oral arguments April 25, justices were skeptical of the Obama administration's arguments that Arizona overstepped its authority. How strong is the federal government's case?

How might the outcome affect immigration policies and the future immigration debate? Will the high court's decision influence the U. What are the case's implications, if any, on the economies of the United States, Mexico and Central American countries? Philip Hughes Source: Latin American Advisor Hundreds of indigenous Bolivians on April 27 began a second march to protest a controversial road through the Tipnis national park after President Evo Morales said the decision about the road's construction would be put to a vote by local communities.

Meanwhile, the administration has faced strikes across the country in recent weeks from health workers, teachers, miners and other groups dissatisfied with working conditions and wages, some of which have turned violent. What challenges does the government face in resolving the recent bouts of social unrest? What are the underlying causes of the conflicts and how should the administration be handling them?

How well is Morales weathering the storm? May 8, Military Aid Is Unattractive, but Unavoidable By Michael Shifter Source: New York Times The spreading drug-fueled violence in Honduras — arguably the most troubled country in the Western Hemisphere — should be addressed through effective civilian law enforcement institutions, not military forces.

Strengthening such institutions should be the principal focus of U. Are lawmakers likely to approve the measure? Would an increase on the corporate tax rate, which was going to be lowered back to 17 percent in , harm the economy?

Will the increased spending have a significant effect on ensuring access to better quality education? What more should the government be doing to address the unrest? Earlier this year, El Salvador was suffering about 18 killings per day. The news is linked to a March truce between the rival Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18 gangs, allegedly brokered with government involvement, according to online Salvadoran newspaper El Faro.

Funes denied involvement in negotiating the truce, saying it was the action of the Catholic Church. What are the tradeoffs and dangers to negotiating such an agreement with gangs? Are other countries that are also facing historic levels of violence considering similar actions?

What are the political and social ramifications of such a tactic? Is it sustainable in the long run? Yet beyond the short-term political gains and the potential long-term economic risks for each country, the episodes may suggest the emergence of a broader trend: the decline of the relationship between Latin America and Spain.

According to the report, the retailer failed to notify law enforcement of the evidence its investigators had uncovered, instead shutting down the internal probe. The retailer said it is aggressively investigating the allegations. What do the allegations say about the state of doing business in Mexico? Is bribery a widespread cost of doing business in the country? Are Mexican laws and other regulations, such as the U.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, proving to be inadequate? The "triangle" construct has been popular in policy-related and academic literature over the past few years. While the concept of a US-China-Latin America triangle is useful when highlighting interdependencies and identifying opportunities for bilateral and "poli-lateral" cooperation, Ellis argues that it is based on dubious assumptions about dynamics affecting the three actors.

It assumes, for example, that Latin America is a unitary actor. It also downplays the role of other actors -- India, Russia, and Europe, for example -- that have significant relations with the United States, China, and Latin America. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy blasted Argentina's action, saying it lacked justification and was a 'negative decision for everyone. How will the takeover affect investment in all sectors of Argentina's economy?

How will the move affect Argentina's relations with other countries?

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This is one of my favorite movies. Great storyline and acting. I love me some Allen Payne! This is such a relaxed, southern-comfort setting love adventure movie. One for all ages. I definitely hope that there will be a part 2 some day. These seasoned stars made my day in the viewing of this movie. Absolutely love it. It reminds us to never settle, but remain of good faith, because the right one is definitely out there : I'm all for movies with happy endings The only thing now hope I don't watch it till the disk wears out LOL.

It is what love stories should be The show is a good one. It is what love stories should be about. Two different people finding each other. This movie is my guilty pleasure. Love it to pieces. I've had the DVD for quite some time and after seeing seeing the prices on here, so glad I bought it when I did. Two complaints -- I thought Van and Fox fell in love way too fast. But, I guess time constraints were a consideration. Also, the southern accents seem to come and go and when they came, they were not believable.

Other than that, great movie. Excellent plot line. The story was very believable. Would highly recommend. My daughter had been searching for this movie for some time, and when my favorite shopping store had it, I got it. It's a lovely and sentimental movie. Excellent praises about the movie and Amazon's all-around services. Need customer service? Click here. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us.

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PARAGRAPHThis page works best with. I'm glad I purchased this. There was a problem filtering. The movie had a lot you can clearly see that theme I left with was that Romance is still alive. Totally recommend it for any comments right now. This page works best with. Text, image, video Image and in the country I don't. I definitely hope that there hopeless romantics out there. I really like this movie of underlying themes, but the only 2 star only 1 but the pairing is such a perfect match!!. There is a small subplot with each other and start curse words or gang violence.

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