The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland • Discussing why, exactly, an entire continent, with millions of people, is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize — he says it’s because the continent has converted “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace.” Does this mean we have to preface any time someone does something terrible on the continent with a phrase like “Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator”? The union will now split the $1.2 million prize between roughly 500 million people — though we’re assuming a few hundred million will be left out.
I don’t think I have the qualities to be a good European Commission or European Council President.French President Nicolas Sarkozy • Responding to a reporter’s question about his political future at an EU summit in Brussels, Belgium. The French president’s future came into question because, with elections next month and polls showing him in second, it’s possible this could be his last appearance at an EU summit. Sarkozy also voiced his support for recently re-elected European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, saying “I am sure I would do it less well than him.” source (via • follow)
» Coming today — the request: Portugal’s current caretaker government plans to solicit the European Union for bailout money today. However, the fact that it is a caretaker government complicates things, because some argue that they may not have the proper authority to take on such a task. To put this in perspective, Ireland’s outgoing government made a similar bailout request, only to have to the new government ask for changes after they got into office — something that the people handing out the money didn’t like. Gift horse, mouth, all that stuff.
Is Google acting anti-competitively? Does it use its search-engine prowess to favor its own services over those of competitors? Does the company’s market share (66 percent in the U.S., 80 percent in Europe) constitute a monopoly? Do sites like Foundem, eJustice.fr and Ciao (the latter owned by Microsoft) have bad luck with Google because of crappy information-thin design that completely wastes your time and has little relevance (which we’d argue with the first two) or because there are competitive issues afoot (which seems realistic with the last one)? The European Union is asking these questions themselves as part of an antitrust trial. Seems Google’s getting too big for its britches. source