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The North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative

08 Apr 2011

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, the Benelux countries, the UK and Ireland have committed to collaborate on one of the most ambitious renewable energy projects in the world.

The North Seas Countries’ Offshore Grid Initiative (NSCOGI) will make it possible to transmit high volumes of electricity generated from wind and wave energy in the coastal regions of Northern Europe across great distances to centres of demand in the heart of Europe.

This will constitute the first building block of the European Supergrid. The integration of the North and Baltic Seas’ offshore potential is vital to the development of a European internal energy market and to the achievement of European energy and climate change goals.

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Further Fissures in the Periphery

07 Apr 2011

 

José Sócrates, Portugal’s caretaker Prime Minister, announced yesterday evening that he had put in an official request for IMF/EU aid after the country’s latest bond auction sold debt at interest rates higher than the blended rate Ireland is currently paying on its international loans (averaging 5.7%) and the Portuguese banking sector let it be known that it would not be prepared to continue purchasing its sovereign’s debt.

 

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Forestry, Agriculture and EU Climate Commitments

06 Apr 2011

2011 has been designated the International Year of Forests, recognising the critical role the forests play in sustainable development and the fight against climate change, as important carbon sinks and as a source of renewable energy. In his speech, Peter Wehrheim explored the contribution that forestry and agricultural land use can make to European climate change efforts. The Commission is expected to issue a proposal on this sector in June. Ciaran Black outlined the importance of forestry in Ireland’s climate change strategies and discussed Coillte’s innovative idea of using the carbon value of forests to finance new planting and revitalise the Irish forestry sector.

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Euro Area Crisis - The Irish Agenda

06 Apr 2011

Professor Philip Lane will deliver a public lecture as part of the 2011 Henry Grattan Lecture Series. This talk will place the Irish economic crisis in a wider European context.

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State Aid and the Financial Crisis

06 Apr 2011

A new memo from the European Commission demonstrates the extent of state support to the financial sector in Europe.

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Three Presidents

06 Apr 2011

On Monday, Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, delivered a speech in Brussels strongly criticising the political agreement of national leaders on new measures for economic governance and competitiveness in the eurozone and reiterated his call for more automatic sanctions to be applied to member states which fail to keep their fiscal houses in order.

 

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Ireland’s Agri-food Sector and CAP

05 Apr 2011

The Food Harvest 2020 report situates Irish agri-business at the centre of the government’s strategy for a smart, sustainable economy, and the industry faces a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Mr. Moran delivered an address on Ireland’s Agri-food Sector and CAP, addressing the potential of the sector for the Irish economy and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

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Global Challenges, Global Solutions?

05 Apr 2011

Via Paul Sweeney over at the TASC Blog, an interesting new speech from IMF Managing Director, Dominique-Straus Kahn. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that leading economic thinkers were busy groping for a new consensus to replace the discredited assumptions of pre-crisis policies. This speech is one remarkable manifestation of that. The head of an organisation that was once practically synonymous with the so-called Washington Consensus of economic stabilisation, privatisation, deregulation and liberalisation here acknowledges that that "all came crashing down with the crisis. The Washington consensus is now behind us."
 

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