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Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

News of the Day

Barcelona attack: 13 confirmed dead after van hits Las Ramblas crowds – latest updates

credit: The Guardian

Alarm: “By 2030, there will be 800 million children – half the children in the world – who will not finish school with any qualifications whatsoever. That is indeed a crisis that has got to be dealt with.” – Gordon Brown, former UK PM

Alert: In Turkey, Syrian child “has to work to survive.” Thousands of youths toil in factories, not in school, to provide for families – International New York Times. Positive: On 19.01.17, big headline comes from TurkeyMore than half of Syrian refugee children now in schools in Turkey 


Charter 4 Mobile

Charter 4 mobile

Anyone interested in fundamental rights in the European Union (EU) can now have easy access to the text of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all official languages on their mobile device: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charter4mobile



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For globalisation to work for all, you have to level the playing field first*

Today the debate rages about whether the decline in living standards is due to the effects of globalisation or to poor domestic policies. Both have surely played a role. But the problems often associated with globalisation (inequality, the hollowing out of the middle class, employment of less-skilled workers in advanced countries, etc.) do not originate from “openness” as such. The problem is that not all countries are open to the same degree and the playing field in the cross-border activities of businesses is not level. Continue reading

A home truth: We need better quality and more affordable housing*

Alice Pittini, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

A home is meant to be a safe and secure shelter for individuals and families, fulfilling the basic need to have a roof over your head. Yet a home is also a tradable asset, an investment from which there’s potentially big money to be made, or to be lost as the global financial crisis has shown us. Although the crisis led to a general drop in house prices in the short term, house prices have since picked up again in most countries and today they are growing faster than incomes in Austria, Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Continue reading

Last year, students from a university club of a country that stretches over Asia and Europe initiated a project. In pursuit of integrating their international colleagues from Syria and other countries, the students asked them to paint bird houses and showcase their talents and aspirations.

Imagine we ask today the 11 million child refugees and asylum-seekers to paint 11 million bird houses and hang them out, probably starting from the border of the U.S. with Mexico. The way we build today fences and walls in Europe and elsewhere, this bulwark may claim to be the longest barrier in the world. It may symbolize our astonishing compassion failure and trumping nationalism.

Mariela Baeva

 

 

OECD countries need to address the migration backlash*

The public is losing faith in the capacity of governments to manage migration. Opinion polls in a wide range of countries suggest that the share of the public holding extreme anti-immigration views has grown in recent years and that these extreme views are more frequently heard in public debates. In part, this is due to the perception that no end is in sight for large migration inflows and that countries have lost control over them. People are concerned about the short-term impact of large inflows of migrants, and refugees in particular, and many feel that migration is threatening their economic, social as well as personal security. Common concerns are that migration is unmanaged and borders are not secured; immigrants stretch local services, such as social housing, health and education, to the detriment of local populations; immigration benefits the rich, with the poor finding themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, and wages for low-skilled work depressed; and many migrants do not want to integrate and may even oppose the values of host societies. Continue reading

OECD warns weak trade and financial distortions damage global growth prospects

21/09/2016 – Weak trade growth and financial distortions are exacerbating slow global economic growth, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Outlook. The global economy is projected to grow at a slower pace this year than in 2015, with only a modest uptick expected in 2017. The Outlook warns that a low-growth trap has taken root, as poor growth expectations further depress trade, investment, productivity and wages.

Top earners: Why did the 1% get so rich?*

Across much of the OECD, the share of national income taken by the top 1% of earners has risen, sometimes sharply, in recent decades.

The rise has been particularly striking in the United States: in 1980, the top 1% of income recipients in the US earned 8% of all pre-tax income; by 2012, their share had risen to over 19%. Other OECD countries also saw big rises, including the UK and Australia.

The rising income share of the 1% has become a hot issue, but some observers believe this focus actually misses much of the story of rising income inequality. As well as looking at the top 1% of earners, they argue, we should also look at an even smaller segment–the top 0.1% of earners (1 in 1,000), and even the top 0.01% of earners (1 in 10,000). As the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has noted, data from the US Congressional Budget Office shows that between 1979 and 2005, the after-tax income of Americans in the middle of the income distribution rose by 21%; among the 0.1% it was up 400%.

Understanding these figures is important if we want to develop a better picture of who’s benefiting from economic growth. For example, in the decade to 2007, real household income increased by an average of 1.2% a year in the US. But when the top 1% of earners is excluded, that figure falls to 0.6%. In effect, the 1% took 58% of the gain in real incomes. So, what looked to be an overall improvement in the population’s economic well-being actually benefited a much smaller group than the broad figures seem to suggest.

And the winners are… Continue reading

Global Competency for an Inclusive World *

Globalisation brings innovation, new experiences and higher living standards; but it equally contributes to economic inequality and social division.

Follow the link: https://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/Global-competency-for-an-inclusive-world.pdf?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Global%20Competency%20for%20an%20Inclusive%20World&utm_campaign=OECD%20Civil%20Society%20Newsletter&utm_term=demo

*OECD Civil Society Newsletter – September 2016

 

Brexit Shock*

If a British referendum on European Union membership scheduled for 23 June led the UK to leave the EU, there would be a severe negative shock to the economy, causing growth to weaken for many years,  an OECD study argues.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría put it bluntly in a speech to the London School of Economics on Wednesday 27 April:  quitting the EU would be a pure dead-weight loss, with no economic benefit, but rather imposing a Brexit tax on generations to come. You can hear the podcast here. Indeed, while EU membership has contributed to British prosperity, current uncertainty about the outcome of the referendum has already started to undermine UK growth, writes Rafal Kierzenkowski, on the OECD Economics Department’s blog.

*OECD Observer

Three things you need to know about climate change*

Three things you need to know about climate change
Simon Upton
Director, OECD Environment Directorate

Three key points help world leaders and representatives of business, labour and civil society to strike an effective new deal on climate change at the crucial UN summit on climate change in Paris and accelerate climate action in 2015 and beyond.

Are we moving fast enough in fighting climate change?

In a word, no. Everyone acknowledges the problem, but around the world, hundreds of billions of dollars are still being spent subsidising the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels remain the dominant energy source. Now, there is incremental progress being made, but the trouble is it’s just not fast enough. We are already seeing the physical signs of climate damage, and our work suggests we will start to see that impacting on economic growth before too long.

Remember, 2°C of warming is already locked in. It is going to be costly enough coping with that. Any warming beyond that is going to be harder and harder to cope with. So we need to move faster, because time is the one thing we haven’t got. Delay is going to limit our choices and make things much more costly.

Is the solution to agree on concrete emission targets?

Well, it is not just a matter of setting targets; it is also a matter of meeting them. And that requires from governments a plan of action which will go right down into the engine room of the economy. This is a massive challenge, and no corner of the economy will be left untouched, because we will need to get to somewhere very different from where we are now. That is, a world in which there are net zero carbon emissions by the end of the century.

So, we need a price on carbon. That could be via a carbon tax or an emissions trading system, for instance. It is no use hoping people will stop polluting if it is free to do so. Already in 2015 carbon emissions into the atmosphere have reached new heights. We need to ensure that the regulations, which exist today to help a fossil economy prosper, are replaced with regulations which allow the penetration of clean technologies in all sectors. And then we need to be able to mobilise capital behind those clean technologies. And finally, but by no means least, we need to ensure that the costs of the transition, because there are costs, aren’t disproportionally borne by people who are not in a position to bear them.

Do we have the funds to effectively fight climate change?

Well that is always going to be a question of priorities, but in the case of developed and rapidly emerging economies, there is a big question around mobilising private investment. Governments have to make sure that their policies do not stand in the way. Now, if you take institutional investors like pensions funds or insurance companies, these interests control over US$90 trillion dollars’ worth of assets. Yet, less than 1% finds its way to investment in clean infrastructure. There are regulatory reasons for that, and those barriers need to be removed.

When it comes to developing countries, there is a case for more assistance from developed countries. The good news there is that that flow of funding is rising. Analysis by OECD and Climate Policy Initiative estimates that developed countries mobilised $62 billion to support climate action in developing countries in 2014, up from $52 billion in 2013. This is encouraging, but there is still some way to go to reach the target of $100 billion by 2020.

Adapted from video interview with Simon Upton, September 2014, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNJLxPNJ3Qc

*OECD INSIGHTS Blog

Now more than ever, migration policy needs to be comprehensive and co-ordinated*

OECD countries are facing an unprecedented refugee crisis. In 2014, more than 800 000 asylum applications were recorded, an historical high, but the figure for 2015 is expected to be even higher.

Even if humanitarian migration is an issue of increasing concern in several parts of the world, notably in Asia, most asylum applications were made in Europe (more than 600 000 in 2014). This is clearly an emergency situation that requires a co-ordinated response at both European and global levels.

In Europe, this humanitarian crisis is taking place in the broader context of increasing challenges associated with irregular migration. The absence of controls at Libyan borders has created a unique situation and the number of irregular entries, as recorded by the European agency Frontex, is on a constant rise. In the first six months of 2015, about 137 000 people landed in Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, corresponding to a staggering 83% increase on the 75 000 recorded for the same period of 2014. The fact that these landings include not only potential refugees but also migrants who are not always in clear need of protection adds to the pressure. Continue reading

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