This shift was a major success for the Commission, which worked hard to secure the new wording, feeding input from dozens of experts into the Government’s review process. We have long called for national priorities to be radically refocused on achieving only such economic growth as supports high employment, social progress and living within environmental limits. How would such an economy work in practice? As the Government acknowledges in Securing the Future, achieving sustainable consumption and production will require us to achieve a lot more with a lot less. Business innovations and technologies which reduce environmental impacts and enable use of renewable resources must be developed and commercialised on a fast track basis. Government will need to play its part, using incentives and penalties to encourage the speedy mainstreaming of clean technologies and products. Consumers will need prodding to ensure dominant markets for sustainable products (for example, as the SDC has proposed, by paying between £1800 and £0 for a tax disc, depending on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency).
work. Decentralisation of this kind can only be successful and productive when it is framed by overall national qualification standards or frameworks that can secure the adherence to agreed quality standards across the country, or groups of countries. Otherwise, decentralised initiatives may put the very existence of transparent national systems with open pathways at risk. For all these reasons the move towards new learning contents and approaches is a hotly debated issue in many countries. One example of a country that has made a huge leap forward by developing and reforming its governance, infrastructure, and education is Ireland. How Ireland went from the poor cousin of Europe to the rich man in less than a generation 104 is a highly interesting story in which education and training plays an important role. Ireland completely changed its education policies in the late 1960s, when the government removed the fees for secondary education, making it possible for many more working class children to get a high school or technical degree. Therefore, in the years after Ireland joined the EU in 1973, the country was able to organise its industry and services based on a much higher educated and trained workforce than it had ever had before. In 1996, Ireland also removed fees from public college
In terms of legislation, Protocols 12 and 14 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms were ratified in July 2006. Legislation to allow for the ratification of the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes, signed in April 2005, has not yet been adopted. A step towards setting up of public service broadcasting was taken when, in January, the Parliament adopted the Law on television and radio broadcast, although not much measurable progress has been made, while a National commission for strengthening freedom of speech and development of the information sphere began work in June 2006. Important steps towards effective respect of the freedom of the media were the abolition of the practice of issuing “temniki” i.e. instructions given by the authorities to the media on what to report and how and, in particular, the free debate which took place in the media on the electoral campaign for the March 2006 parliamentary elections and formation of the new Government. There was also progress as regards respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, with the entry into force in January 2006 of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The issue of ill-treatment and torture was addressed through legislative changes, notably ratification of the optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the amendment of the Criminal Code so as to make torture by law enforcement officers a criminal offence. The Parliamentary ombudsperson in Ukraine nevertheless notes that ill-treatment by the police is still widespread. The expulsion from Ukraine of 10 Uzbek refugees in February 2006 raised serious questions about the authorities’ compliance with its international obligation of “non-refoulement” under the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees. In other areas, progress includes parliamentary approval, in September 2005, for the law on equal rights of women and men. Although Ukraine signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on 20 January 2000, it has not yet been ratified as constitutional amendments are required.
Seung-Jin Ryu, Min-Jeong Lee et al. , proposed a detection method of copy-move forgery that localizes duplicated regions using Zernike moments. This method also works on intentional distortions such as additive white Gaussian noise, JPEG compression, and blurring. Also, it can detect forgery even on the rotated region since Zernike moments are algebraically invariant to rotation. However, the disadvantage of this method is that it is still weak against scaling or the other tampering based on Affine transform.
More comprehensive information on the environment in Europe can be found in the European Environment Agency’s “The European Environment, State and Outlook 2005” report (SOER). 3 The EEA’s report covers a wide range of areas and includes an EU level analysis of main issues, including 4 priorities of the 6 th EAP, information for the full Core Set of Indicators, countries’ assessment and forecasts. Further information can be retrieved from Eurostat’s report “Measuring progress towards a more sustainable Europe - Sustainable development indicators for the European Union - Data 1990-2005” 4 . Environmental issues are there presented alongside social and economic indicators, and focus is given to their inter- linkages.
According to Arnsperger and Varoufakis (2006) neo-classical economics is characterized by methodological individualism and methodological instrumentalism: In terms of individualism, Arnsperger and Varoufakis (2006) argue that neo-classical economics maintains “the idea that socio-economic explanation must be sought at the level of the individual agent”. As Tinker et al. (1982, p.182) note, neo- classical economics expresses “a shift away from macroscopic problems… towards a microscopic emphasis on the behavior of individuals”. In terms of instrumentalism, Arnsperger and Varoufakis (2006) state that neo-classical economics assumes “all behavior is preference-driven or, more precisely, it is to be understood as a means for maximising preference-satisfaction”. Further, “agents’ current preferences are separate from the structure of the interaction in which they are involved” (Arnsperger and Varoufakis; 2006: see also, Cooper, 1980). According to Berle (2007, p.39) neo-classical economics assumes that corporations have “the same motivations and [act] in the same way as the classical entrepreneur- businessman” or individual agent – i.e. they are preference, or more specifically, profit driven. It is, in part, these axioms which, according to Tinker et al. (1982, p.183), maintain the neo-classical assumption “that maximizing behavior by economic agents… [leads] to the maximization of social welfare”. The implausibility of this assumption, in relation to agents and markets, is succinctly and robustly addressed by Gray et al. (1996, p.17). According to Hogler and Hunt (1993, p.178), one of the most influential manifestations of a neo-classical perspective in accounting is agency theory, extensively “shaping organizational thought and research over the past decade”. In this respect, “agency theory, with its emphasis on the separation of ownership and control… assumes that agents (managers) act in their own self-interest” (Hogler and Hunt, 1993, p.178). Due to the “inevitable divergence” between the interests of the principal (shareholder) and those of the agent (manager), “the principal is motivated to monitor the conduct of the agent and to provide incentives which align the agent’s interests with the principal’s” (Hogler and Hunt, 1993, p.178. see also Hogler and Hunt, 1990). According to Ghoshal (2005, p.80), agency theory “underlies the entire intellectual edifice in support of shareholder value maximization”.
The floor of the preserved eastern room of A1900N (Fig. 4) was made of phyllite clay that had been layered in efforts to level off the bedrock, which now slopes sharply from northeast to southwest. The presence of the schist-slab post support and a deep layer of ceiling clay indicates that the space was originally roofed. On the east side of the room is the long benchlike installation noted above, whose form and associated finds indicate that it functioned as a ground altar (Fig. 5). It is a single oblong structure, 2.30 m in length, consisting of three one-course high platforms built of sideropetra and dolomite fieldstones. In spite of the irregular sloping terrain and erosion within the room, it is clear that the irregular blocks were originally fitted to shape three level and neatly rectangular platforms, each separated from the other by a divider or header stone that projected about 10 cm above the top surface of the adjacent platforms (Fig. 5). The northern and middle platforms each measure ca. 0.80 x 0.60 m (Figs. 4, 5). The southern platform is shorter, but only because of poor preservation; the end was badly damaged during the collapse of the megalithic east wall of the building, and the stones have shifted out of position because of erosion. The bench is built on a rise in the bedrock and a bedding of clay that elevate it slightly above the surrounding floor (Fig. 5). Excavation down to floor level on either side of the installation in 2006 produced concentrations of burned animal and plant remains.
characterization of the industrial union movement as a ‘fragile juggernaut’ he quotes on the first page of The Great Exception’s introduction. In line with this tradition, he rejects the materialist forms of explanation that prevail further left in the field. Cowie writes, ‘The presence of a set of countervailing powers to that of business was crucial to the postwar paradigm. And if the politics matters then political culture must be foundational to that story’ (p. 16). Repeatedly returning to the point, Cowie makes an explicit embrace of an idealist form of historical explanation. This move threatens to put him in league with the old ‘Consensus’ school of historiography, which argued that liberal individualism dominated American history and
More emphasis is given to reducing the (high) tax burden on low-wage earners by focusing on income taxation or employers' social contributions in order to achieve an overall reduction in the tax wedge (BE, CZ, EE, FI, IT, LT, LV, PL and SK). Measures to reduce non-wage labour costs would support the recent trend of wage moderation. A declining trend is noticeable in some Member States with a high tax wedge (AT, BE, DE, DK, FR), but not in some other Member States where an increase is observed in 2004 (IT, PL, LV, SE). The idea of targeting reductions of non-wage labour- costs at specific labour market groups (e.g. subsidies for the employment of older workers in FI) is gaining prominence, but evaluation of the impact of past measures is often lacking. A coherent approach to reducing labour costs should take account of the need to consolidate public finances and include the wider considerations of minimum wage provisions and a review of the impact of the tax system on employment. For a number of countries, reforms to reduce the tax burden on labour imply substantial modification to the tax base, including the creation of alternative sources of public revenues.
As regards Hungary, the Council issued in March 2005 a new recommendation requesting the country to introduce additional budgetary measures by July 2005 and to correct its excessive deficit by 2008. In July 2005, the Commission issued a communication to the Council stating that the Hungarian authorities have taken effective action for the 2005 budget deficit, but further action may be required and important and decisive adjustments are needed to reach the 2006 deficit target. In October 2005, the Commission re-assessed the budgetary situation of Hungary and recommended to the Council to decide for the second time in 2005 that Hungary has failed to take effective action to correct its deficit. The re-assessment concluded that budgetary targets for 2005 and 2006 would be missed by a large margin, calling into question the previously established 2008 deadline for the correction of the excessive deficit. On the basis of this situation, in November 2005 the Council issued a second Article 104(8) decision for Hungary. The 2005 update of the Hungarian convergence programme was submitted in December 2005, with a plan to bring down the excessive deficit by 2008. This was considered to be subject to substantial risk by the Council in its opinion, as the tightening of the expenditure was not based on clearly defined and quantified measures. Hence, the Council invited Hungary to present, by 1 September 2006, a revised update of its convergence programme.
The main lobbying priority of organised maritime interests is the European Commission (Table 3). 21% of these groups has a daily contact with Commission officials, 5% meets them twice a week and 21% once per week. Maritime policy initiatives are frequently very technical issues, and the Commission is a small but relatively open bureaucracy, not least because it depends on outside govern- mental and non-governmental experts for the development of com- prehensive policy proposals. It has systematically opened channels of access (via the MIF) and has succeeded in bringing together un- der a common policy agenda a wide spectrum of sea-related indus- trial, regional and social interests, which were never thought possi- ble to be worked out together (Heretier 1999). The Directorate Gen- erals responsible for transport (ex ‘DG VII’ renamed DG-TREN’) and industry (ex ‘DG III) have developed a record as a maritime policy innovator, notably based on the building of coalitions with private actors (Alexopoulos 2000; Pallis 2006).
Since July 2006, the necessary administrative structure has been established - the customs department is now responsible for the issuing of preferential certificates of origin for exports to the EU. Further efforts are, however, needed in terms of effective implementation of the new legislation and procedures on verification and control of rules of origin. Customs legislation, including the customs code, was modified in 2005 with, inter alia, the introduction of the concept of post-clearance controls based on risk analysis, the setting up of mobile teams, the regulation of customs brokers and the revision of customs infringements. Some customs clearance fees were also abolished in 2005. New legislation on the structure of the customs service was adopted, setting up a risk analysis division. Moldova applies the 2002 Harmonised System and is working on the adoption of the Combined Nomenclature. A code of ethics for the customs department, based on international standards, was adopted in 2005. The ASYCUDA World system now in use includes a risk analysis module and the customs service has begun work on the implementation of a risk-based enforcement system. New legislation on drug precursors was also adopted, to align to the EU standards. The EUBAM at the border to Moldova/Transnistria is providing useful training and support to Moldova’s customs officials, which has led to considerable improvements of customs procedures at this sensitive border.
action taken by Poland in response to its recommendations of July 2004 was proving to be inadequate. The general government balance was negative during the period 2000-2005, recording a deficit of 3.2 percent of GDP on average. The deficit deteriorated in 2001 and again in 2003, when the expenditure-to-GDP ratio peaked. The deficit narrowed during 2004-2005, notably on account of income tax reforms, a freezing of the indexation of social transfers, lower-than-expected public investment and some changes in the accrual methodology. The general government deficit was 2.5 percent of GDP in 2005. If the mandatory funded pension scheme were excluded from the government sector, the general government deficit would total 4.4 percent of GDP 18,19 . The general government debt ratio increased by around 6 percentage points between 2000 and 2005. Government debt was 42.0 percent of GDP; the figure excluding the mandatory funded pension scheme would be 47.3 percent of GDP. Poland does not fulfil the criterion on the government budgetary position. The Polish zloty is not participating in ERM II. Since the abandonment of the crawling peg regime in 2000, Poland has been operating an inflation targeting regime combined with a floating exchange rate. The zloty exchange rate has fluctuated widely over the past few years. The currency strongly appreciated during 2000-2001, but then experienced a significant correction until early 2004. During the two years before this assessment, i.e. between November 2004 and October 2006, the zloty
The 2005 survey on the structure of agricultural holdings in Sweden was carried out with the reference day of 2 June 2005. It was a combination of an exhaustive and a sample survey according to EU requirements. A prior full-scale agricultural census was conducted in 2000. The reference period for characteristics related to farm labour force, machinery and irrigation was June 2004 to May 2005. The target population was all the holdings operating in agriculture, horticulture or in animal husbandry, and reaching at least one of the thresholds applied (at least 2 ha arable land; 200 m 2 under glass or
The survey on the structure of agricultural holdings in Denmark was carried out in June 2005 using sample survey. A full-scale agricultural census was conducted in 1999. The reference date of the FSS 2005 was 24 June 2005, however for the labour force characteristics the reference period was the preceding 12 months. The target population was all the farms included in the farm register, which is updated on an annual basis mainly from administrative data sources. The sample is stratified by economic size of the farms (using SGM at 1995 prices; 8 groups), by regions (12 units) and by type of farming (11 categories significant in Denmark). In practice 900 strata are used (from the 1056 possible). In drawing the sample frame optimal allocation is applied: the higher the standard deviation of SGM is in a given stratum the higher is the share of the selected holdings; except for horticulture (2.1, 3.2 and 6.1 types) where all holdings are selected due to their speciality and number. In the stratum `new farms` the selection ratio is also 100%. In each stratum farms are selected randomly. About 24.300 units were sampled. For each activity (`enterprise`) on a farm (for instance wheat, dairy cow or vineyard), a standard gross margin (SGM) is estimated, based on the area (or the number of heads) and a regional coefficient. The sum of such margins in a farm is its economic size, expressed in European Size Units (ESU). 1 ESU is equal to 1200 euros.
In 2005, the Commission increased its efforts to help Member States implement Community environmental law more easily and effectively through exchange of best practice. Rationalising its handling of infringements, the Commission launched “horizontal cases” (grouping several infringements together) against certain countries to address structural implementation deficits. Better implementation will also allow greater environmental results at less cost.
Over the coming decades, ageing populations in Europe will put increasing pressure on public finances. The old-age dependency ratio, that is, the number of people aged 65 years and above relative to those in the 15 to 64 age group, is projected to double, reaching 51% in 2050. This sharp increase is expected to result in a substantial burden of public spending on age-related items, in particular on pensions, health care and long-term care. The 2005 Council Opinions on the Stability and Convergence Programmes identified serious risks to the long-term sustainability of public finances in ten countries (BE, CZ, DE, EL, FR, IT, CY, HU, MT and SI). Seven countries (DK, IE, LU, AT, FI, SE and ES) appear to face relatively limited risks associated with population ageing, while the remaining EU Member States are somewhere in between.
The 2005 report stated that general budget support (GBS) and support to sector policies (SPSPs) peaked that year. Global commitments amounted to €1 120 million. In 2006, most 9th EDF budget support programmes were already underway. So new commitments were used mainly to address residual programmes or continue funding for ongoing programmes, and they fell as a result year-on-year. The Commission approved GBS in 8 countries, amounting to €198 million, and SPSPs in 16 countries, totalling €421 million.
When the lack of proper exercise of the anti corruption laws possess a question mark on its functioning, it becomes necessary to pay attention to the sources of information and means of communication i.e. media and its role in building a civil society. A paper published by Centre for good governance (2006) on ―The Right to Information Act, 2005 - A Guide for Media‖ states that strongly emphasizes on the role of media and what all areas it can have access to when it comes to exercising the RTI act. Mass media enables the flow of information, knowledge and communication in a democratic polity and hence the role of media holds key emphasis in good governance. On one hand it acts as a watch dog of the government and corporate sector and on the other hand helps in building public consensus through empowerment and by creating social awareness. It gives voice to people‘s opinion thus encouraging the much needed public participation in governance thereby establishing a responsive state.