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Cannes Movies, the “Cold Peace”, Women and Men; Global Warming, Better Farm Prices

  • May 17th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced-larger5.pngThe EU has kept busy subsidising film production; watching the fortunes of men and women in the economy; dealing with Russia; trying to fight climate change; and counting the profits from some good farm prices.

FILMS FOR CANNES

Eleven films supported financially under the EU’s MEDIA program will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival later in May. The European Commission says the scheme recognises the importance of the audiovisual industry to Europe at a time when technology is creating profound changes. Three films listed for the Official Competition, with funding support noted: Auf der Anderen Seite by Faith Akin (EU 70 139; A$ 114 958; dcerates.com, 16.5.07); Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi; EU 52 560; A$86146); Import Export (Ulrich Seidl, EU 46, 305; A$75 894). Reference, further details on films: EC, “11 EU-supported films …”, Brussels, 16.5.07, IP/07/676

WOMEN AND MEN

Not quite back to that film, A Man and a Woman; the EU Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla, says recent economic successes can be attributed to more women joining the workforce, but without necessarily weakening family life. “We are seeing that, in countries where women participate actively in all aspects of economic, social and political life, well-established work-home reconciliation policies are the norm – these are also the countries where women have, on average, more children.” Ministers for gender equality and family affairs from the EU countries have been meeting at Bad Pyrmont, Germany. Topics there include: changes in perceptions of women and men as role models; reconciliation between work, private and family life; the career progress of women, and “men who are active fathers”; and ways to provide more support for migrant women and children.

UNEASE OVER RUSSIA

Uneasy relations with Russia, being called a new “Cold Peace”, may surface at the EU – Russia “summit” set for this Friday (18.5.07). Heads of the European institutions will be meeting President Valdimir Putin, in Samara. European leaders want guarantees from Russia of a reliable flow of gas and oil that they buy, and have been pressing Mr Putin’s government to ease up on its restriction of certain imports from the EU especially beef from Poland. The Russian Federation has opened up a wider trade surplus with the EU thanks mostly to increased energy prices, adding to its recent negotiating strength. Its exports more than doubled in value from 2000-2006 to EU 140.6-billion p.a. (A$230.63-billion); EU exports in return, boosted by sales of machinery and vehicles, grew three-times, to EU 72.4-billion (A$118.76-billion). That meant however an opening of the actual gap by over 50% to EU68.2-billion (A$111.87-billion).

CARBON SALES

Figures on emissions trading have been made publicly available. Called the Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL), it charts the surrender of allowances of carbon dioxide by industrial installations. The European Commission says it is has not yet verified this “highly-market sensitive information” but is working to do that as soon as possible. Reduction of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere has been declared a high priority of the European Union, with trade in carbon emissions one of the ways to cut pollution linked to global warming.

AGRICULTURAL MARKETS BOOM

International agricultural markets are entering a boom era for commodity prices, according to the latest Monitoring Agri-trade Policy newsletter, published by the EC Directorate General for Agriculture. It says this was partly caused by drought last year and global economic growth driving up demand for higher valued food products. The outlook is for prices to stay high, but subject to many uncertainties. Those include the weather, the outcome of the World Trade Organisation’s Doha round negotiations, and the “food versus fuel” debate associated with biofuels. Reference: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/map/index_en.htm

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