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GUTERRES Antonio, UN Secretary General
Really concerned, world heading to a Cold War era
Edited: 201803311255
"I am really very concerned. I think we are coming to a situation that is similar, to a large extent, to what we lived during the Cold War but with two very important differences," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in response to questions by reporters on the US announcement to expel Russian UN diplomats and could a new Cold War be developing.
Guterres said in the Cold War, there were clearly two superpowers with a complete control of the situation of two areas in the world.
"Now, we have many other actors that are relatively independent and with an important role in many of the conflicts that we are witnessing, with risks of escalation that are well known," he said.
Nieuws
Alstom en Siemens fuseren rail-activiteiten (MOU) - Grote brok voor grote appetijt?
Edited: 201709301214


Volgens de 1M van Frankrijk, Edouard Philippe, moet de fusie leiden tot een grotere Europese rail-groep die moet kunnen opboksen tegen de concurrentie van China.
Commentaar: Ik zie niet in hoe een schaalvergroting een voordeel zou kunnen zijn, gegeven de significant lagere productiekosten in China. Het conglomeraat Siemens/Alstom wordt eerder een aantrekkelijker prooi voor de grote appetijt van de Chinese investeerders (of Big Players die zich voor Chinezen laten doorgaan). En dus is het best mogelijk dat Siemans/Alstom binnen enkele jaren opgeslokt wordt door het netwerk van de Big Players.

Hieronder het perspericht van Alstom, vrijgegeven op 26/9/2017.

Siemens and Alstom join forces to create a European Champion in Mobility
26/09/2017
Signed Memorandum of Understanding grants exclusivity to combine mobility businesses in a merger of equals
Listing in France and group headquarters in Paris area; led by Alstom CEO with 50 percent shares of the new entity owned by Siemens
Business headquarter for Mobility Solutions in Germany and for Rolling Stock in France
Comprehensive offering and global presence will offer best value to customers all over the world
Combined company’s revenue €15.3 billion, adjusted EBIT of €1.2 billion
Annual synergies of €470 million expected latest four years after closing
Today, Siemens and Alstom have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to combine Siemens’ mobility business including its rail traction drives business with Alstom. The transaction brings together two innovative players of the railway market with unique customer value and operational potential. The two businesses are largely complementary in terms of activities and geographies. Siemens will receive newly issued shares in the combined company representing 50 percent of Alstom’s share capital on a fully diluted basis.

“This Franco-German merger of equals sends a strong signal in many ways. We put the European idea to work and together with our friends at Alstom, we are creating a new European champion in the rail industry for the long term. This will give our customers around the world a more innovative and more competitive portfolio”, said Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG. “The global market-place has changed significantly over the last few years. A dominant player in Asia has changed global market dynamics and digitalization will impact the future of mobility. Together, we can offer more choices and will be driving this transformation for our customers, employees and shareholders in a responsible and sustainable way”, Kaeser added.

“Today is a key moment in Alstom’s history, confirming its position as the platform for the rail sector consolidation. Mobility is at the heart of today’s world challenges. Future modes of transportation are bound to be clean and competitive. Thanks to its global reach across all continents, its scale, its technological know-how and its unique positioning on digital transportation, the combination of Alstom and Siemens Mobility will bring to its customers and ultimately to all citizens smarter and more efficient systems to meet mobility challenges of cities and countries. By combining Siemens Mobility’s experienced teams, complementary geographies and innovative expertise with ours, the new entity will create value for customers, employees and shareholders,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom SA. “I am particularly proud to lead the creation of such a group which will undoubtedly shape the future of mobility.”

The new entity will benefit from an order backlog of €61.2 billion, revenue of €15.3 billion, an adjusted EBIT of €1.2 billion and an adjusted EBIT-margin of 8.0 percent, based on information extracted from the last annual financial statements of Alstom and Siemens. In a combined setup, Siemens and Alstom expect to generate annual synergies of €470 million latest in year four post-closing and targets net-cash at closing between €0.5 billion to €1.0 billion. Global headquarters as well as the management team for rolling stock will be located in Paris area and the combined entity will remain listed in France. Headquarters for the Mobility Solutions business will be located in Berlin, Germany. In total, the new entity will have 62,300 employees in over 60 countries.

As part of the combination, Alstom existing shareholders at the close of the day preceding the closing date, will receive two special dividends: a control premium of €4.00 per share (in total = €0.9 billion) to be paid shortly after closing of the transaction and an extraordinary dividend of up to €4.00 per share (in total = €0.9 billion) to be paid out of the proceeds of Alstom’s put options for the General Electric joint ventures of approximately €2.5 billion subject to the cash position of Alstom. Siemens will receive warrants allowing it to acquire Alstom shares representing two percentage points of its share capital that can be exercised earliest four years after closing.

The businesses of the two companies are largely complementary. The combined entity will offer a significantly increased range of diversified product and solution offerings to meet multi-facetted, customer-specific needs, from cost-efficient mass-market platforms to high-end technologies. The global footprint enables the merged company to access growth markets in Middle East and Africa, India, and Middle and South America where Alstom is present, and China, United States and Russia where Siemens is present. Customers will significantly benefit from a well-balanced larger geographic footprint, a comprehensive portfolio offering and significant investment into digital services. The combination of know-how and innovation power of both companies will drive crucial innovations, cost efficiency and faster response, which will allow the combined entity to better address customer needs.

The Board of Directors of the combined group will consist of 11 members and will be comprised of 6 directors designated by Siemens, one of which being the Chairman, 4 independent directors and the CEO. In order to ensure management continuity, Henri Poupart-Lafarge, will continue to lead the company as CEO and will be a board member. Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Mobility, shall assume an important responsibility in the merged entity. The corporate name of the combined group will be Siemens Alstom.

The envisaged transaction is unanimously supported by Alstom’s board (further to a review process of the preparation of the transaction by the Audit Committee acting as an ad hoc committee) and Siemens’s supervisory board. Bouygues fully supports the transaction and will vote in favor of the transaction at the Alstom’s board of directors and at the extraordinary general meeting deciding on the transaction to be held before July 31, 2018, in line with Alstom board of director decision. The French State also supports the transaction based on undertakings by Siemens, including a standstill at 50.5 percent of Alstom’s share capital for four years after closing and certain governance and organizational and employment protections. The French State confirms that the loan of Alstom shares from Bouygues SA will be terminated in accordance with its terms no later than October 17, 2017 and that it will not exercise the options granted by Bouygues. Bouygues has committed to keep its shares until the earlier of the extraordinary general meeting deciding on the transaction and July 31, 2018.

In France, Alstom and Siemens will initiate Works Councils’ information and consultation procedure according to French law prior to the signing of the transaction documents. If Alstom were not to pursue the transaction, it would have to pay a €140 million break-fee. The transaction will take the form of a contribution in kind of the Siemens Mobility business including its rail traction drives business to Alstom for newly issued shares of Alstom and will be subject to Alstom’s shareholders’ approval, including for purposes of cancelling the double voting rights, anticipated to be held in the second quarter of 2018. The transaction is also subject to clearance from relevant regulatory authorities, including foreign investment clearance in France and anti-trust authorities as well as the confirmation by the French capital market authority (AMF) that no mandatory takeover offer has to be launched by Siemens following completion of the contribution. Closing is expected at the end of calendar year 2018.

de geschiedenis van Siemens

histoire d'Alstom France
Council of Europe
MSI-MED (2016)09rev2 - Recommendation CM/Rec(2017x)xx of the Committee of Ministers to member states on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership - Second revised draft
Edited: 201609201696
MSI-MED (2016)09rev2
Recommendation CM/Rec(2017x)xx of the Committee of Ministers to member states on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership
Second revised draft
Preamble

1. Media freedom and pluralism are crucial components of the right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS No. 5, hereinafter “the Convention”). They are central to the functioning of a democratic society as they help to ensure the availability and accessibility of diverse information and views, on the basis of which individuals can form and express their opinions and exchange information and ideas.
2. The media play essential roles in democratic society, by widely disseminating information, ideas, analysis and opinions; acting as public watchdogs, and providing forums for public debate. In the present multi-media ecosystem, these roles continue to be fulfilled by traditional media, but are also increasingly performed by other media and non-media actors, from multinational corporations to non-governmental organisations and individuals.
3. Pluralist democratic societies are made up of a wide range of identities, ideas and interests. It is imperative that this diversity can be communicated through a range of independent and autonomous channels and outlets, thus creating an informed society, contributing to mutual understanding and fostering social cohesion.
4. Different types of media, along with different genres or forms of editorial content or programming contribute to diversity of content. Although content focusing on news and current affairs is of most direct relevance for fostering an informed society, other genres are also very important. Examples include cultural and educational content and entertainment, as well as content aimed at specific sections of society, such as local content.
5. In the present multi-media environment, online media and other internet platforms enable access to a growing range of information from diverse sources. This transformation in how media content is made available and used creates new opportunities for more and more people to interact and communicate with each other and to participate in public debate.
6. This technological evolution also raises concerns for media pluralism. While variety in media sources and types can be instrumental in enhancing diversity of media content and exposure to such diversity, it does not of itself guarantee it. Individuals still have to select what media to use and what content to watch, listen to or read among vast quantities of diverse content distributed across various media. This may result in them selecting or being exposed to information confirming their existing views and opinions, which can, in turn, generate fragmentation and result in a polarised society. While limited news resources and self-imposed restrictions on the choice of content are not new phenomena, the media and internet intermediaries may amplify their inherent risks, through their ability to control the flow, availability, findability and accessibility of information and other content online. This is particularly troubling if the individual users are not aware of these processes or do not understand them.
7. As new actors enter the evolving online market, the ensuing competitive pressures and a shift in advertising revenues towards the internet have contributed to an increase in media consolidation and convergence. Single or a few media owners or groups acquire positions of considerable power where they can separately or jointly set the agenda of public debate and significantly influence or shape public opinion, reproducing the same content across all platforms on which they are present. Convergence trends also lead to cost-cutting, job losses in journalism and media sectors, and the risk of financial dependencies for journalists and the media. These developments may cause a reduction in diversity of news and content generally and ultimately impoverish public debate.
8. Fresh appraisals of existing approaches to media pluralism are called for in order to address the challenges for pluralism resulting from how users and businesses have adapted their behaviour to technological developments. New policy responses and strategic solutions are needed to sustain independent, quality journalism and diverse content across all media types and formats.
9. There is a need for an enhanced role for independent public service media to counteract on-going processes of concentration and convergence in the media. By virtue of their remit, public service media are particularly suited to address the informational needs and interests of all sections of society, as is true of community media in respect of their constituent users. It is of utmost importance for public service media to have within their mandates the responsibility to foster political pluralism and awareness of diverse opinions, notably by providing different groups in society – including cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious or other minorities – with an opportunity to receive and impart information, to express themselves and to exchange ideas.
10. In light of the increased range of media and content, it is very important for individuals to possess the cognitive, technical and social skills and capacities that enable them to critically analyse media content, and to understand the ethical implications of media and technology. Media literacy contributes to media pluralism and diversity by empowering individuals to effectively access, evaluate and create diverse types of content; by reducing the digital divide; facilitating informed decision-making, especially in respect of political and public affairs and commercial content, and by enabling the identification and countering of false or misleading information and harmful and illegal online content.
11. The adoption and effective implementation of media-ownership regulation plays an important role in respect of media pluralism. Such regulation should ensure transparency in media ownership; it should address issues such as cross-media ownership, direct and indirect media ownership and effective control and influence over the media. It should also ensure that there is effective and manifest separation between the exercise of political authority or influence and control of the media or decision making as regards media content.
12. Transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing help to increase media accountability. Transparency and media literacy are therefore indispensable tools for individuals to make informed decisions about which media they use and how they use them, to search for, access and impart information and ideas of all kinds. This makes them practical instruments of effective pluralism.
13. Against this background, the present Recommendation reaffirms the importance of existing Council of Europe standards dealing with different aspects of media pluralism and transparency of media ownership and the need to fully implement them in democratic societies. The Recommendation builds further on those standards, adjusting, supplementing and reinforcing them, as necessary, to ensure their continued relevance in the current multi-media ecosystem.
Under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of the Council of Europe (ETS No. 1), the Committee of Ministers recommends that governments of member States:
i. fully implement the guidelines set out in the appendix to this recommendation;
ii. remain vigilant to, and address, threats to media pluralism and transparency of media ownership by regularly monitoring the state of media pluralism in their national media markets, assessing risks to media freedom and pluralism and adopting appropriate regulatory responses, including by paying systematic attention to such focuses in the on-going reviews of their national laws and practices;
iii. fully implement, if they have not already done so, previous Committee of Ministers’ Recommendations and Declarations dealing with different aspects of media pluralism and transparency of media ownership, in particular those specified in the guidelines appended to the present Recommendation;
iv. promote the goals of this recommendation at the national and international levels and engage and co-operate with all interested parties to achieve those goals.

Appendix to Recommendation

Guidelines

In the context of this Recommendation, unless otherwise specified, the media are generally understood as including print, broadcast and online media.
I. A favourable environment for freedom of expression and media freedom

1. The principles of freedom of expression and media freedom, as grounded in the Convention, must continue to be developed in a way that takes full account of the features of the present multi-media ecosystem, in which a range of new media actors have come to the fore.
2. States have a positive obligation to foster a favourable environment for freedom of expression, in which everyone can exercise their right to freedom of expression and participate in public debate effectively, irrespective of whether or not their views are received favourably by the State or others. States should guarantee free and pluralistic media for their valuable contribution to robust public debate in which societal diversity can be articulated and explored.
3. National legislative and policy frameworks should safeguard the editorial independence and operational autonomy of all media so that they can carry out their key tasks in democratic society. The frameworks should be designed and implemented in such ways as to prevent the State, or any powerful political, economic, religious or other groups from acquiring dominance and exerting pressure on the media.
4. Relevant legislation should ensure that the media have the freedom at all times to provide accurate and reliable reporting on matters of public interest, in particular concerning vital democratic processes and activities, such as elections, referenda and public consultations on matters of general interest. Adequate safeguards should also be put in place to prevent interference with editorial independence of the media in relation to coverage of conflicts, crises and other sensitive situations where quality journalism and reporting are key tools in countering propaganda and disinformation.
5. In a favourable environment for freedom of expression, media regulatory authorities and other authorities or entities entrusted with responsibility for regulating or monitoring other (media) service providers or media pluralism must be able to carry out their remit in an effective, transparent and accountable manner. A prerequisite for them to be able to do so is that they themselves enjoy independence that is guaranteed in law and borne out in practice.
6. The independence of the authorities and entities referred to in the previous paragraph should be guaranteed by ensuring that they: have open and transparent appointment and dismissal procedures; have adequate human and financial resources and autonomous budget allocation; work to transparent procedures and decision-making; have the power to take autonomous decisions and enforce them, and that their decisions are subject to appeal.

7. States should ensure transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing, as well as promote media literacy, in order to provide individuals with the information and critical awareness that they need in order to access diverse information and participate fully in the present multi-media ecosystem.
II. Media pluralism and diversity of media content

General requirements of pluralism
1. As ultimate guarantors of pluralism, States have a positive obligation to put in place an appropriate legislative and policy framework to that end. This implies adopting appropriate measures to ensure sufficient variety in the overall range of media types, bearing in mind differences in terms of their purposes, functions and geographical reach. The complementary nature of different media types strengthens external pluralism and can contribute to creating and maintaining diversity of media content.
2. States are called upon to ensure that there is periodic independent monitoring and evaluation of the state of media pluralism in their jurisdictions based on a set of objective and transparent criteria for identifying risks to the variety in ownership of media sources and outlets, the diversity of media types, the diversity of viewpoints represented by political, ideological, cultural and social groups, and the diversity of interests and viewpoints relevant to local and regional communities. States are further urged to develop and enforce appropriate regulatory and policy responses effectively addressing any risks found.

Specific requirements of pluralism
Diversity of content
3. States should adopt regulatory and policy measures to promote the availability and accessibility of the broadest possible diversity of media content as well as the representation of the whole diversity of society in the media, including by supporting initiatives by media to those ends.

States should encourage the development of open, independent, transparent and participatory initiatives by social media, media stakeholders, civil society and academia, that seek to improve effective exposure of users to the broadest possible diversity of media content online.

Wherever the visibility, findability and accessibility of media content online is influenced by automated processes, whether they are purely automated processes or used in combination with human decisions, States should encourage social media, media stakeholders, civil society and academia to engage in open, independent, transparent and participatory initiatives that:

- increase the transparency of the processes of online distribution of media content, including automated processes;

- assess the impact of such processes on users’ effective exposure to a broad diversity of media content, and

- seek to improve these distribution processes in order to improve users’ exposure to the broadest possible diversity of media content.

4. States should make particular efforts, taking advantage of technological developments, to ensure that the broadest possible diversity of media content, including in different languages, is accessible to all groups in society, particularly those which may have specific needs or face disadvantage or obstacles when accessing media content, such as minority groups, children, the elderly and persons with cognitive or physical disabilities.
5. Diversity of media content can only be properly gauged when there are high levels of transparency about editorial and commercial content: media and other actors should adhere to the highest standards of transparency regarding the provenance of their content and always signal clearly when content is provided by political sources or involves advertising or other forms of commercial communications, such as sponsoring and product placement. This also applies to user-generated content and to hybrid forms of content, including branded content, native advertising and advertorials and infotainment.
Institutional arrangement of media pluralism
6. States should recognise the crucial role of public service media in fostering public debate, political pluralism and awareness of diverse opinions. States should accordingly guarantee adequate conditions for public service media to continue to play this role in the multi-media landscape, including by providing them with appropriate support for innovation and the development of digital strategies and new services.
7. States should adopt appropriate specific measures to protect the editorial independence and operational autonomy of public service media by keeping the influence of the State at arm’s length. The supervisory and management boards of public service media must be able to operate in a fully independent manner and the rules governing their composition and appointment procedures must contain adequate checks and balances to ensure that independence.
8. States should also ensure stable, sustainable, transparent and adequate funding for public service media in order to guarantee their independence from governmental, political and commercial pressures and enable them to provide a broad range of pluralistic information and diverse content. This can also help to counterbalance any risks caused by a situation of media concentration.
9. States should encourage and support the establishment and functioning of community, minority, regional and local media, including by providing financial mechanisms to foster their development. Such independent media give a voice to communities and individuals on topics relevant to their needs and interests, and are thus instrumental in creating public exposure for issues that may not be represented in the mainstream media and in facilitating inclusive and participatory processes of dialogue within and across communities and at regional and local levels.
10. States should facilitate access to cross-border media, which serve communities outside the country where they are established, supplement national media and can help certain groups in society, including immigrants, refugees and diaspora communities, to maintain ties with their countries of origin, native cultures and languages.

Support measures for the media and media pluralism
11. For the purpose of enhancing media pluralism, States should develop strategies and mechanisms to support professional news media and quality journalism, including news production capable of addressing diverse needs and interests of groups that may not be sufficiently represented in the media. They should explore a wide range of measures, including various forms of non-financial and financial support such as advertising and subsidies, which would be available to different media types and platforms, including those of online media. States are also encouraged to support projects relating to journalism education, media research and innovative approaches to strengthen media pluralism and freedom of expression.
12. Support measures should have clearly defined purposes; be based on pre-determined clear, precise, equitable, objective and transparent criteria, and be implemented in full respect of the editorial and operational autonomy of the media. Such measures could include positive measures to enhance the quantity and quality of media coverage of issues that are of interest and relevance to groups which are underrepresented in the media.
13. Support measures should be administered in a non-discriminatory and transparent manner by a body enjoying functional and operational autonomy such as an independent media regulatory authority. An effective monitoring system should also be introduced to supervise such measures, to ensure that they serve the purpose for which they are intended.
III. Regulation of media ownership: ownership, control and concentration

1. In order to guarantee effective pluralism in their jurisdictions, States should adopt and implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for media ownership and control that is adapted to the current state of the media industry. Such a framework should take full account of media convergence and the impact of online media.
Ownership and control
2. Regulation of competition in the media market including merger control should prevent individual actors from acquiring significant market power in the overall national media sector or in a specific media market/sector at the national level or sub-national levels, to the extent that such concentration of ownership limits meaningful choice in the available media content.
3. Media ownership regulation should apply to all media and could include restrictions on horizontal, vertical and cross-media ownership, including by determining thresholds of ownership in line with Recommendation CM/Rec 2007(2) of the Committee of Ministers to member states on media pluralism and diversity of media content. Those thresholds may be based on a number of criteria such as capital shares, voting rights, circulation, revenues, audience share or audience reach.
4. States should set criteria for determining ownership and control of media companies by explicitly addressing direct and beneficial ownership and control. Relevant criteria can include proprietary, financial or voting strength within a media company or companies and the determination of the different levels of strength that lead to exercising control or direct or indirect influence over the strategic decision-making of the company or companies including their editorial policy.
5. As the key democratic tasks of the media include holding authorities to account, legislation should stipulate that the exercise of political authority or influence is incompatible with involvement in the ownership, management or editorial decision-making of the media. The incompatibility of these functions should be recognised as a matter of principle and should not be made conditional on the existence of particular conditions. The criteria of incompatibility and a range of appropriate measures for addressing conflicts of interest should be set out clearly in law.
6. Any restrictions on the extent of foreign ownership of media should apply in a non-discriminatory manner to all such companies and should take full account of the States’ positive obligation to guarantee pluralism and of the relevant guidelines set out in this Recommendation.
Concentration
7. States are also encouraged to develop and apply suitable methodologies for the assessment of media concentration. In addition to measuring the availability of media sources, this assessment should reflect the real influence of individual media by adopting an audience-based approach and using appropriate sets of criteria to measure the use and impact of individual media on opinion-forming.
8. Media ownership regulation should include procedures to prevent media mergers or acquisitions that could adversely affect pluralism of media ownership or diversity of media content. Such procedures could involve a requirement for media owners to notify the relevant independent regulatory authority of any proposed media merger or acquisition whenever the ownership and control thresholds, as set out in legislation, are met.
9. The relevant independent regulatory authority should be vested with powers to assess the expected impact of any proposed concentration on media pluralism and to make recommendations or decisions, as appropriate, about whether the proposed merger or acquisition should be cleared, subject or not to any restrictions or conditions, including divestiture. Decisions of the independent authority should be subject to judicial review.
IV. Transparency of media ownership, organisation and financing

1. States should guarantee a regime of transparency regarding media ownership that ensures the availability of the data necessary for informed regulation and decision-making and enables the public to access those data in order to help them to analyse and evaluate the information, ideas and opinions disseminated by the media.
2. To this end, States should adopt and implement legislation that sets out enforceable disclosure/transparency obligations for media in a clear and precise way. Such obligations should, as a minimum, include the following information:
- Legal name and contact details of a media outlet;
- Name(s) and contact details of the direct owner(s) with shareholdings enabling them to exercise influence on the operation and strategic decision-making of the media outlet. States are recommended to apply a threshold of 5% shareholding for the purpose of the disclosure obligations.
- Identity and contact details of natural persons with beneficial shareholdings. Beneficial shareholding applies to natural persons who ultimately own or control shares in a media outlet or on whose behalf those shares are held, enabling them to indirectly exercise control or significant influence on the operation and strategic decision-making of the media outlet.
- Information on the nature and extent of the share-holdings or voting rights of the above legal and/or natural persons in other media, media-related or advertising companies which could lead to decision-making influence over those companies, or positions held in political parties;
- Name(s) of the persons with actual editorial responsibility or the actual authors of editorial content;
- Changes in ownership and control arrangements of a media outlet.
3. The scope of the above minima for disclosure/transparency obligations for the media includes legal and natural persons based in other jurisdictions and their relevant interests in other jurisdictions.
4. High levels of transparency should also be ensured with regard to the sources of financing of media outlets in order to provide a comprehensive picture of the different sources of potential interference with the editorial and operational independence of the media and allow for effective monitoring and controlling of such risks.
5. To this end, States should adopt and implement legislation that sets out enforceable disclosure of the following information:
- Information on the sources of the media outlet’s income, including from State and other funding mechanisms and (State) advertising.
- The existence of structural relationships or contractual cooperation with other media or advertising companies, political parties or the State, including in respect of State advertising;
6. Legislation should set out clear criteria as to which media are subject to these reporting obligations. The obligations may be limited with regard to factors such as the commercial nature of the media outlet, a wide audience reach, exercise of editorial control, frequency and regularity of publication or broadcast, etc., or a combination thereof. Legislation should also determine the timeframe within which reporting obligations must be met.
7. Such legislation should also require the maintenance of a public, online database of media ownership and control arrangements in the State, with disaggregated data about different types of media (markets/sectors) and regional and/or local levels, as relevant. Those databases should be kept up to date on a rolling basis and they should be available to the public free of charge. They should be accessible and searchable; their contents should be made available in open formats and there should not be restrictions on their re-use.

8. Reporting requirements relating to media ownership should include the provision of:
- A description of media ownership and control arrangements for media under its jurisdiction (including media whose services are directed at other countries);
- A description of changes to the media ownership and control arrangements within the State during the reporting period;
- An analysis of the impact of those changes on media pluralism in the State.
9. Legislation should provide for the publication of reports on media ownership to be accompanied by appropriate explanations of the data and the methodologies used to collect and organise them, in order to help members of the public to interpret the data and understand their significance.
10. States should issue clear, up-to-date guidance on the interrelationship and implications of the different regulatory regimes and on how to implement them correctly and coherently. That guidance could take the form of user-friendly guidelines, handbooks, manuals, etc.
11. States should also facilitate inter-agency cooperation, including the relevant exchange of information about media ownership held by media regulatory authorities, competition authorities and company registers. Similarly, the exchange of information and best practices with other national authorities, both within their own jurisdiction and in other jurisdictions, should be facilitated.
V. Media literacy/education

1. States should introduce legislative provisions or strengthen existing ones that promote media literacy with a view to enabling individuals to access, understand, critically analyse, evaluate, use and create content through a range of legacy and digital (including social) media.
2. States should also develop a national media literacy policy and ensure its operationalisation and implementation through (multi-)annual action plans. A key strategy for that purpose could be to support the creation of a national media literacy network comprising a wide range of stakeholders, or the further development of such a network where it already exists.
3. In the multi-media ecosystem, media literacy is essential for people of all ages and all walks of life. Law and/or policy measures promoting media literacy should thus help to develop the teaching of media literacy in school curricula at all levels and as part of lifelong learning cycles, including by providing suitable training and adequate resources for teachers and educational institutions to develop teaching programmes. Any measures adopted should be developed in consultation with teachers and trainers with a view to ensuring a fair and appropriate integration of relevant activities in work-flows. Any measures adopted should not interfere with the academic autonomy of educational institutions in curricular matters.
4. States should encourage all media, without interfering with their editorial independence, to promote media literacy through policies, strategies and activities. They should also promote media literacy through support schemes for media, taking into account the particular roles of public service media and community media.
5. States should ensure that independent national regulatory authorities have the scope and resources to promote media literacy in ways that are relevant to their mandates and encourage them to do so.
6. States are encouraged to include in their national media literacy programmes focuses on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership in order to help citizens to make an informed and critical evaluation of the information and ideas propagated via the media. To this end, States are called upon to include in their strategies for ensuring transparency in the media sector educational content which enables individuals to use information relating to media ownership, organisation and financing, in order to better understand the different influences on the production, collection, curation and dissemination of media content.
Press Release Tata Steel HQ
Tata Steel board reviews its European portfolio - TS UK under fire
Edited: 201603291014
March 29, 2016
Mumbai: The Tata Steel board today reviewed the recent performance of the European business of the company, more specifically, of Tata Steel UK. It noted with deep concern the deteriorating financial performance of the UK subsidiary in the last twelve months. While the global steel demand, especially in developed markets like Europe has remained muted following the financial crisis of 2008, trading conditions in the UK and Europe have rapidly deteriorated more recently, due to structural factors including global oversupply of steel, significant increase in third country exports into Europe, high manufacturing costs, continued weakness in domestic market demand in steel and a volatile currency. These factors are likely to continue into the future and have significantly impacted the long term competitive position of the UK operations in spite of several initiatives undertaken by the management and the workers of the business in recent years. Even under these adverse market conditions, the Tata Steel has extended substantial financial support to the UK business and suffered asset impairment of more than £2 billion in the last five years.



The Tata Steel board also reviewed the proposed restructuring and transformation plan for Strip Products UK, prepared by the European subsidiary in consultation with an independent and internationally reputed consultancy firm. Based on the review conducted, the Tata Steel board came to a unanimous conclusion that the plan is unaffordable, requires material funding support in the next two years in addition to significant capital commitments over the long term, the assumptions behind it are inherently very risky, and its likelihood of delivery is highly uncertain. Therefore, the board concluded that it would not be able to support the investment necessary to proceed with the proposed Strip Products UK transformation plan.

The company has also been in deep engagement with the UK government in recent months seeking its support to achieve the best possible outcome for the UK business, within the restrictions of State Aid Rules and other statutory limits. These discussions are ongoing and will continue. Discussions will also continue with Greybull in relation to a sale of the UK Long Products business. The UK government is also involved in the latter discussions.

Following the strategic view taken by the Tata Steel board regarding the UK business, it has advised the board of its European holding company ie Tata Steel Europe, to explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts. Given the severity of the funding requirement in the foreseeable future, the Tata Steel Europe board will be advised to evaluate and implement the most feasible option in a time bound manner.
news
The Independent verdwijnt op 26 maart als gedrukte krant; gaat digitaal verder
Edited: 201602131010
In 2010 kocht de Russische zakenman (en ex-KGB-agent) de krant op.
WOLF Martin
On income inequality: One cause of disquiet is the sense that those at the top are corrupt, complacent and incompetent (FT)
Edited: 201602020918
Who is Martin Wolf?
Martin Wolf is chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, London. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2000 “for services to financial journalism”. Mr Wolf is an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, an honorary fellow of the Oxford Institute for Economic Policy (Oxonia) and an honorary professor at the University of Nottingham.

He has been a forum fellow at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos since 1999 and a member of its International Media Council since 2006. He was made a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, by Nottingham University in July 2006. He was made a Doctor of Science (Economics) of London University, honoris causa, by the London School of Economics in December 2006. He was a member of the UK government's Independent Commission on Banking in 2010-2011. Martin's most recent publications are Why Globalization Works and Fixing Global Finance.
RT News
Israël promoot Koerdische staat
Edited: 201601200959
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has spoken out in favor of an independent Kurdish state. She also urged increased cooperation between Israel and the Kurdish people. Shaked sees this as an opportunity to weaken Israel’s rivals in the region.
“We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel,” Shaked told the annual INSS security conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, as cited by the Times of Israel.
More precisely, Shaked proposed the new state be founded between Turkey, Israel and Iraq.

lees meer over dit plan
Kurdpress News Agency - KNA
Massrour Barzani says Kurds should not lose opportunity to establish state Kurdistan
Edited: 201601022035
Region Chancellor of Security Council Masrour Barzani has issued a message to mark the 2016 New Year, has highlighted the major developments the Middle East and reiterated that Kurds in Iraq should not lose the current opportunity to establish an independent state in the north of Iraq.
In a statement on Thursday, Barzani thanked the people of the Kurdistan Region for remaining strong in the face of a series of crises during the last year, and wished all a peaceful coming year.
All the indications show that political borders in the Middle East will soon be redrawn, reads the statement, and Kurds must not miss this unique opportunity as it may not happen again, BasNews reported.
He reiterated on the role of the Peshmerga forces on the frontlines against Islamic State (IS) and stressed that their sacrifices have created a peaceful atmosphere for people to celebrate the New Year.
“Not only the people of Kurdistan, but the world is now proud of the Peshmerga,” Barzani said.
He urged the international community to provide further immediate support to the Peshmerga forces as “they are fighting on behalf of the globe.”
Independent
2 januari 2016: Turkey: Erdogan cites 'Hitler's Germany' as example of an effective form of government
Edited: 201601020354
Prof. Laszlo Maracz, Univ. Amsterdam
The Western European elites, they basically support this migration independently of the democratic support of their own voters, and this will give problems.
Edited: 201512080007
Europe has to be active in the border protection of Greece and Italy independently of what the Turkish authorities will do.

Maracz verklaarde dit in een interview met RT.
DS 20141126
Twee medicijnen tegen oogziekte maculadegeneratie: een prijsverschil van 760 EUR !
Edited: 201411261316
Twee medicijnen met blijkbaar dezelfde werking op oogzieken: een verschil van 760 EUR per injectie.
Het gaat om Lucentis (gelanceerd in 2007, 800 EUR/injectie) van Novartis en Avastin (40 EUR/injectie) van Roche. Testaankoop dient klacht in. Het Federale Geneesmiddelenagentschap (FAGG) houdt zich op de vlakte. In Nederland en Italië wordt Avastin wel gebruikt; Frankrijk volgt.



Tot daar in het kort de berichtgeving van De Standaard.


Discussie al jaren aan de gang
Het is wellicht goed om weten dat de discussie reeds een aantal jaren aan de gang is. Zo wijdde het Nederlandse Pharmaceutisch Weekblad in augustus 2011 reeds een discussie aan dit probleem en liet hoogleraar oogheelkunde prof. dr. Carel Hoyng, werkzaam op de afdeling Oogheelkunde van het UMC St Radboud in Nijmegen, aan het woord. Hyong is ook consulent van Novartis (aldus de gepubliceerde 'Richtlijn Leeftijdgebonden Maculadegeneratie' van 2014, Bijlage 6, Belangenverklaringen). Alhoewel de argumenten in dat artikel van PW genuanceerd naar voor worden gebracht, wordt het toch zonneklaar dat financiële (terugverdienen van de research) en commerciële motieven aan de basis liggen van het prijsverschil en van de achterwege blijvende vraag tot erkenning voor de behandeling van maculadegeneratie (Avastin beschikt overigens over een Europese vergunning, maar dan wel voor andere oncologische aandoeningen) van het goedkopere geneesmiddel Avastin. Zo wordt duidelijk dat een geneesmiddel dan al kan bestaan, maar dat het daarom nog niet op de markt wordt gebracht. Weerom een ethische en geen technische kwestie. Regeert het geldgewin dan overal?
Maar wellicht belangrijker dan het antwoord op deze retorische vraag, is het de mechanismen te doorgronden en de medespelers te herkennen in dit verslindende spel. Daarop kan je namelijk een beleid bouwen - zou een minister dan kunnen denken - zodat middelen overgeheveld naar andere prioritaire velden van de gezondheidszorg zonder te raken aan de medische belangen van maculadegeneratiepatiënten.
Lees het artikel uit het Pharmaceutisch Weekblad hier. Maar voor het geval dat u toch niet doorklikt, hebben we hier een passage die duidelijk maakt dat het over een courante aandoening gaat: "Maculadegeneratie is een ziekte die epidemische vormen aanneemt: op dit moment zijn er in Nederland 100.000 mensen met deze aandoening en jaarlijks komen daar 10.000 bij. Als je een middel hiervoor zo duur maakt, legt dat een te grote belasting op de uitgaven in de zorg." Het gaat dus om een groeimarkt, want in de gezondheidszorg wordt ook in die economische termen nagedacht.

Bij Novartis hebben wij het jaarverslag 2013 opgevraagd. Daaruit blijkt dat Lucentis in 2013 goed was voor een netto-verkoop van 2,383 milliard dollar (tegen 2,398 milliard dollar in 2012 en ca. 1,966 miljard $ in 2011). Dat is exclusief de verkopen van Lucentis in de USA, waar het medicijn door Genentech/Roche op de markt wordt gebracht. Novartis heeft een belang van 33,3% in Roche, goed voor een waarde van 14,8 miljard $ terwijl de totale markwaarde van Roche per 20131231 241,2 miljard $ was. Het jaarverslag benadrukt:'Novartis does not exercise control over Roche Holding AG, which is independently governed, managed en operated.' (AR2013:104) Natuurlijk sluit dit geen commerciële deals op wereldniveau uit.



Wat is het FAGG?

Federaal Agentschap voor Geneesmiddelen en Gezondheidsproducten, FAGG (voorheen Directoraat-generaal Geneesmiddelen van FOD Volksgezondheid)

Oprichtingsdatum: 01.01.2007

Voogdijminister: Maggie De Block (OpenVLD), minister Volksgezondheid [op de website van het FAGG stond tot 20141126 foutief Laurette Onkelinx nog vermeld als voogdijminister - dit is inmiddels bijgesteld]

Administrateur-generaal: Xavier De Cuyper
Instelling van openbaar nut met rechtspersoonlijkheid, ingedeeld in categorie A
Bevoegde overheid op het vlak van de kwaliteit, de veiligheid en de doeltreffendheid van de geneesmiddelen en de gezondheidsproducten
Competentiedomeinen: onderzoek en ontwikkeling (R&D), registratie of vergunning voor het in de handel brengen, productie en distributie (inspectie- en controleactiviteiten), vigilantie, goed gebruik van geneesmiddelen en gezondheidsproducten
Personeel : 390 medewerkers op 01.01.2012 voor het merendeel met een wetenschappelijke vorming (o.a. geneesheren, apothekers, dierenartsen)
Slogan : “Uw geneesmiddelen en gezondheidsproducten, onze zorg”

Bekijk het organogram van het FAGG

Het jaarverslag van het FAGG kunt u hier downloaden








De historiek van Roche vindt u hier

Roche Group Sales 2013: 46,780 milion CHF






Novartis: Kerncijfers 2013: Omzet: 57,9 miljard USD; Netto Resultaat : 9,3 miljard USD

Company History of Novartis

Farmaceutische nota van European Medicines Agency (EMA) over Lucentis ranibizumab

Farmaceutische nota van European Medicines Agency (EMA) over Avastin bevacizumab

Ter info: website van het RIZIV

[tekst aangevuld op 20141202]
Human Rights Watch
Saudi Arabia: New Terrorism Regulations Assault Rights
Edited: 201403200901
(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s new terrorism law and a series of related royal decrees create a legal framework that appears to criminalize virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism. The sweeping provisions in the measures, all issued since January 2014, threaten to close down altogether Saudi Arabia’s already extremely restricted space for free expression.

“Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “These regulations dash any hope that King Abdullah intends to open a space for peaceful dissent or independent groups.”

The new regulations come amid a campaign to silence independent activists and peaceful dissidents through intimidation, investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment. On March 9, the prominent human rights activists Abdullah al-Hamid and Mohammed al-Qahtani completed their first year in prison, serving 11 and 10-year sentences, respectively, for criticizing the government’s human rights abuses and for membership in an unlicensed political and civil rights organization.

Two other human rights activists, Waleed Abu al-Khair and Mikhlif al-Shammari, recently lost appeals and will probably begin their three-month and five-year respective sentences soon for criticizing Saudi authorities.

On January 31, Saudi authorities promulgated the Penal Law for Crimes of Terrorism and its Financing (the “terrorism law”). The law has serious flaws, including vague and overly broad provisions that allow authorities to criminalize free expression, and the creation of excessive police powers without judicial oversight. The law cites violence as an essential element only in reference to attacks carried out against Saudis outside the kingdom or onboard Saudi transportation carriers. Inside the kingdom, “terrorism” can be non-violent – consisting of “any act” intended to, among other things, “insult the reputation of the state,” “harm public order,” or “shake the security of society,” which the law fails to clearly define.

On February 3, two days after the terrorism law came into force, King Abdullah issued Royal Decree 44, which criminalizes “participating in hostilities outside the kingdom” with prison sentences of between three and 20 years. On March 7, the Interior Ministry issued further regulations designating an initial list of groups the government considers terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthi group in Yemen, along with “Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al-Qaeda in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Da`ish [the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, or ISIS], Jabhat al-Nusra, and Hezbollah inside the kingdom.”

The interior ministry regulations include other sweeping provisions that authorities can use to criminalize virtually any expression or association critical of the government and its understanding of Islam. These “terrorism” provisions include the following:

Article 1: “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based.”
Article 2: “Anyone who throws away their loyalty to the country’s rulers, or who swears allegiance to any party, organization, current [of thought], group, or individual inside or outside [the kingdom].”
Article 4: “Anyone who aids [“terrorist”] organizations, groups, currents [of thought], associations, or parties, or demonstrates affiliation with them, or sympathy with them, or promotes them, or holds meetings under their umbrella, either inside or outside the kingdom; this includes participation in audio, written, or visual media; social media in its audio, written, or visual forms; internet websites; or circulating their contents in any form, or using slogans of these groups and currents [of thought], or any symbols which point to support or sympathy with them.”
Article 6: “Contact or correspondence with any groups, currents [of thought], or individuals hostile to the kingdom.”
Article 8: “Seeking to shake the social fabric or national cohesion, or calling, participating, promoting, or inciting sit-ins, protests, meetings, or group statements in any form, or anyone who harms the unity or stability of the kingdom by any means.”
GOLTZ Thomas
Azerbaijan Diary: A Rogue Reporter's Adventures in an Oil-rich, War-torn, Post-Soviet Republic
Edited: 199908310001
Published August 31st 1999 by Routledge

In its first years as an independent state, Azerbaijan was a prime example of post-Soviet chaos - beset by coups and civil strife and astride an ethnic, political and religious divide. Author Goltz was detoured in Baku in mid-1991 and decided to stay, this diary is the record of his experiences.

Thomas Goltz (born October 11, 1954) is an American author and journalist best known for his accounts of conflict in the Caucasus region during the 1990s.
Robert Gilman
The Idea Of Owning Land An old notion forged by the sword is quietly undergoing a profound transformation
Edited: 198412210004
One of the articles in Living With The Land (IC#8)
Originally published in Winter 1984 on page 5
Copyright (c)1985, 1997 by Context Institute
HOWEVER NATURAL “owning” land may seem in our culture, in the long sweep of human existence, it is a fairly recent invention. Where did this notion come from? What does it really mean to “own” land? Why do we, in our culture, allow a person to draw lines in the dirt and then have almost complete control over what goes on inside those boundaries? What are the advantages, the disadvantages, and the alternatives? How might a humane and sustainable culture re-invent the “ownership” connection between people and the land?

These questions are unfamiliar (perhaps even uncomfortable) to much of our society, for our sense of “land ownership” is so deeply embedded in our fundamental cultural assumptions that we never stop to consider its implications or alternatives. Most people are at best only aware of two choices, two patterns, for land ownership – private ownership (which we associate with the industrial West) and state ownership (as in the Communist East).

Both of these patterns are full of problems and paradoxes. Private ownership enhances personal freedom (for those who are owners), but frequently leads to vast concentrations of wealth (even in the U.S., 75% of the privately held land is owned by 5% of the private landholders), and the effective denial of freedom and power to those without great wealth. State ownership muffles differences in wealth and some of the abuses of individualistic ownership, but replaces them with the often worse abuses of bureaucratic control.

Both systems treat the land as an inert resource to be exploited as fully as possible, often with little thought for the future or respect for the needs of non-human life. Both assume that land ownership goes with a kind of exclusive national sovereignty that is intimately connected to the logic of war.

In short, both systems seem to be leading us towards disaster, yet what other options are there?

The answer, fortunately, is that there are a number of promising alternatives. To understand them, however, we will need to begin by diving deeply into what ownership is and where it has come from.

THE HISTORICAL ROOTS

Beginnings Our feelings about ownership have very deep roots. Most animal life has a sense of territory – a place to be at home and to defend. Indeed, this territoriality seems to be associated with the oldest (reptilian) part the brain (see IN CONTEXT, #6) and forms a biological basis for our sense of property. It is closely associated with our sense of security and our instinctual “fight or flight” responses, all of which gives a powerful emotional dimension to our experience of ownership. Yet this biological basis does not determine the form that territoriality takes in different cultures.

Humans, like many of our primate cousins, engage in group (as well as individual) territoriality. Tribal groups saw themselves connected to particular territories – a place that was “theirs.” Yet their attitude towards the land was very different from ours. They frequently spoke of the land as their parent or as a sacred being, on whom they were dependent and to whom they owed loyalty and service. Among the aborigines of Australia, individuals would inherit a special relationship to sacred places, but rather than “ownership,” this relationship was more like being owned by the land. This sense of responsibility extended to ancestors and future generations as well. The Ashanti of Ghana say, “Land belongs to a vast family of whom many are dead, a few are living and a countless host are still unborn.”

For most of these tribal peoples, their sense of “land ownership” involved only the right to use and to exclude people of other tribes (but usually not members of their own). If there were any private rights, these were usually subject to review by the group and would cease if the land was no longer being used. The sale of land was either not even a possibility or not permitted. As for inheritance, every person had use rights simply by membership in the group, so a growing child would not have to wait until some other individual died (or pay a special fee) to gain full access to the land.

Early Agricultural Societies Farming made the human relationship to the land more concentrated. Tilling the land, making permanent settlements, etc., all meant a greater direct investment in a particular place. Yet this did not lead immediately to our present ideas of ownership. As best as is known, early farming communities continued to experience an intimate spiritual connection to the land, and they often held land in common under the control of a village council. This pattern has remained in many peasant communities throughout the world.

It was not so much farming directly, but the larger-than- tribal societies that could be based on farming that led to major changes in attitudes towards the land. Many of the first civilizations were centered around a supposedly godlike king, and it was a natural extension to go from the tribal idea that “the land belongs to the gods” to the idea that all of the kingdom belongs to the god-king. Since the god-king was supposed to personify the whole community, this was still a form of community ownership, but now personalized. Privileges of use and control of various types were distributed to the ruling elite on the basis of custom and politics.

As time went on, land took on a new meaning for these ruling elites. It became an abstraction, a source of power and wealth, a tool for other purposes. The name of the game became conquer, hold, and extract the maximum in tribute. Just as The Parable Of The Tribes (see IN CONTEXT, #7) would suggest, the human-human struggle for power gradually came to be the dominant factor shaping the human relationship to the land. This shift from seeing the land as a sacred mother to merely a commodity required deep changes throughout these cultures such as moving the gods and sacred beings into the sky where they could conveniently be as mobile as the ever changing boundaries of these empires.

The idea of private land ownership developed as a second step – partly in reaction to the power of the sovereign and partly in response to the opportunities of a larger-than- village economy. In the god-king societies, the privileges of the nobility were often easily withdrawn at the whim of the sovereign, and the importance of politics and raw power as the basis of ownership was rarely forgotten. To guard their power, the nobility frequently pushed for greater legal/customary recognition of their land rights. In the less centralized societies and in the occasional democracies and republics of this period, private ownership also developed in response to the breakdown of village cohesiveness. In either case, private property permitted the individual to be a “little king” of his/her own lands, imitating and competing against the claims of the state.

Later Developments By the early days of Greece and Rome, community common land, state or sovereign land, and private land all had strong traditions behind them. Plato and Aristotle both discussed various mixtures of private and state ownership in ideal societies, with Aristotle upholding the value of private ownership as a means of protecting diversity. As history progressed, the “great ownership debate” has continued between the champions of private interests and the champions of the state, with the idea of community common land often praised as an ideal, but in practice being gradually squeezed out of the picture. Feudal Europe was basically a system of sovereign ownership. The rise of commerce and then industrialism shifted power to the private ownership interests of the new middle class (as in the United States). The reaction against the abuses of industrialism during the past 150 years swung some opinion back again, bringing renewed interest in state ownership (as in the Communist countries).

As important as these swings have been historically, they have added essentially nothing to our basic understanding of, or attitudes about, ownership. Throughout the whole history of civilization land has been seen as primarily a source of power, and the whole debate around ownership has been, “To what extent will the state allow the individual to build a personal power base through land ownership rights?”

TAKING A FRESH LOOK

But the human-human power struggle is hardly the only, or even the most important, issue in our relationship to the land. Whatever happened to the tribal concerns about caring for the land and preserving it for future generations? What about issues like justice, human empowerment and economic efficiency? How about the rights of the land itself? If we are to move forward towards a planetary/ecological age, all of these questions and issues are going to need to be integrated into our relationship to the land. To do this we will have to get out beyond the narrow circle of the ideas and arguments of the past.

We have been talking about “ownership” as if it was an obvious, clear-cut concept: either you own (control) something or you don’t. For most people (throughout history) this has been a useful approximation, and it has been the basis of the “great ownership debate.” But if you try to pin it down (as lawyers must), you will soon discover that it is not so simple. As surprising as it may seem, our legal system has developed an understanding of “owning” that is significantly different from our common ideas and has great promise as the basis for a much more appropriate human relationship to the land.

Ownership Is A Bundle Of Rights The first step is to recognize that, rather than being one thing, what we commonly call “ownership” is in fact a whole group of legal rights that can be held by some person with respect to some “property.” In the industrial West, these usually include the right to:

use (or not use);
exclude others from using;
irreversibly change;
sell, give away or bequeath;
rent or lease;
retain all rights not specifically granted to others;
retain these rights without time limit or review.
These rights are usually not absolute, for with them go certain responsibilities, such as paying taxes, being liable for suits brought against the property, and abiding by the laws of the land. If these laws include zoning laws, building codes, and environmental protection laws, you may find that your rights to use and irreversibly change are not as unlimited as you thought. Nevertheless, within a wide range you are the monarch over your property.

No One Owns Land Each of these rights can be modified independent of the others, either by law or by the granting of an easement to some other party, producing a bewildering variety of legal conditions. How much can you modify the above conditions and still call it “ownership”? To understand the answer to this, we are going to have to make a very important distinction. In spite of the way we normally talk, no one ever “owns land”..In our legal system you can only own rights to land, you can’t directly own (that is, have complete claim to) the land itself. You can’t even own all the rights since the state always retains the right of eminent domain. For example, what happens when you sell an easement to the power company so that they can run power lines across you land? They then own the rights granted in that easement, you own most of the other rights, the state owns the right of eminent domain – but no single party owns “the land.” You can carry this as far as you like, dividing the rights up among many “owners,” all of whom will have a claim on some aspect of the land.

The wonderful thing about this distinction is that it shifts the whole debate about land ownership away from the rigid state-vs.-individual, all-or-nothing battle to the much more flexible question of who (including community groups, families, etc. as well as the state and the individual) should have which rights. This shift could be as important as the major improvement in governance that came with the shift from monolithic power (as in a monarchy) to “division of powers” (as exemplified in the U.S. Constitution with its semi-independent legislative, executive and judicial branches).

Legitimate Interests How might the problems associated with exclusive ownership (either private or state) be solved by a “division of rights” approach? To answer this, we need to first consider what are the legitimate interests that need to be included in this new approach. If we are to address all the concerns appropriate for a humane sustainable culture we need to recognize that the immediate user of the land (be that a household or a business), the local community, the planetary community, future generations, and all of life, all have legitimate interests. What are these interests?

The immediate users need the freedom to be personally (or corporately) expressive, creative, and perhaps even eccentric. They need to be able to invest energy and caring into the land with reasonable security that the use of the land will not be arbitrarily taken away and that the full equity value of improvements made to the land will be available to them either through continued use or through resale should they choose to move.
The local community needs optimal use of the land within it, without having land held arbitrarily out of use by absentee landlords. It needs to be able to benefit from the equity increases in the land itself due to the overall development of the community, and it needs security that its character will not be forced to change through inappropriate land use decisions made by those outside the community or those leaving the community.
The planetary community, future generations, and all of life need sustainable use – the assurance that ecosystems and topsoil that have been developed over hundreds of thousands of years will not be casually destroyed; that the opportunities for life will be enhanced; that non-renewal resources will be used efficiently and for long term beneficial purposes. This larger community also needs meaningful recognition that the earth is our common heritage.
Is it possible to blend these various interests in a mutually supportive way, rather than seeing them locked in a power struggle? The answer, fortunately, is yes. Perhaps the best developed alternative legal form that does this is called a land trust.

LAND TRUSTS

A land trust is a non-governmental organization (frequently a non-profit corporation) that divides land rights between immediate users and their community. It is being used in a number of places around the world including India, Israel, Tanzania, and the United States. Of the many types of land trusts, we will focus here on three – conservation trusts, community trusts, and stewardship trusts. These will be discussed in more detail in other articles in this section, but an initial overview now will help to draw together many of the threads we have developed so far.

In a conservation land trust, the purpose is generally to preserve some aspect of the natural environment. A conservation trust may do this by the full ownership of some piece of land that it then holds as wilderness, or it may simply own “development rights” to an undeveloped piece. What are development rights? When the original owner sells or grants development rights to the conservation trust, they put an easement (a legal restriction) on the land that prevents them or any future owners from developing the land without the agreement of the conservation trust. They have let go of the right to “irreversibly change” listed above. The conservation trust then holds these rights with the intention of preventing development. The Trust For Public Land (82 Second St, San Francisco, CA 94105, 415/495-4015) helps community groups establish conservation and agricultural land trusts.

A community land trust (CLT) has as its purpose removing land from the speculative market and making it available to those who will use it for the long term benefit of the community. A CLT generally owns full title to its lands and grants long term (like 99-year) renewable leases to those who will actually use the land. Appropriate uses for the land are determined by the CLT in a process comparable to public planning or zoning. Lease fees vary from one CLT to another, but they are generally more than taxes and insurance, less than typical mortgage payments, and less than full rental cost. The lease holders have many of the use and security rights we normally associate with ownership. They own the buildings on the land and can take full benefit from improvements they make to the land. They can not, however, sell the land nor can they usually rent or lease it without the consent of the trust. The Institute For Community Economics (57 School St. Springfield, MA 01105, 413/746-8660) is one of the major support groups for the creation of community land trusts in both urban and rural settings.

The stewardship trust combines features of both the conservation trust and the CLT, and is being used now primarily by intentional communities and non-profit groups such as schools. The groups using the land (the stewards) generally pay less than in a normal CLT, but there are more definite expectations about the care and use they give to the land.

In each one of these types, the immediate users (nonhuman as well as human) have clear rights which satisfy all of their legitimate use needs. The needs of the local community are met through representation on the board of directors of the trust which can enforce general land use standards. The larger community usually has some representation on the trust’s board as well. Thus by dividing what we normally think of as ownership into “stewardship” (the users) and “trusteeship” (the trust organization), land trusts are pioneering an approach that better meets all the legitimate interests.

The system is, of course, still limited by the integrity and the attitudes of the people involved. Nor are current land trusts necessarily the model for “ownership” in a humane sustainable culture. But they show what can be done and give us a place to build from. I’ll explore more of where we might build to in a later article, but now lets turn to other perspectives and experiences with going beyond ownership.

Bibliography

Chaudhuri, Joyotpaul, Possession, Ownership And Access: A Jeffersonian View (Political Inquiry, Vol 1, No 1, Fall 1973).

Denman, D.R., The Place Of Property (London: Geographical Publications Ltd, 1978).

Institute For Community Economics, The Community Land Trust Handbook (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1982).

International Independence Institute, The Community Land Trust (Cambridge, MA: Center For Community Economic Development, 1972).

Macpherson, C.B., Property: Mainstream And Critical Positions (Toronto: Univ Of Toronto Press, 1978).

Schlatter, Richard, Private Property: The History Of An Idea (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1951).

Scott, William B., In Pursuit Of Happiness: American Conceptions Of Property (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977).

Tully, James, A Discourse On Property: John Locke And His Adversaries (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press, 1980).

Land Rights

by John Talbot

IT WAS NOT so long ago in human history that the rights of all humans were not acknowledged, even in the democracies. Slavery was only abolished a few generations ago. In the same way that we have come to see human rights as being inherent, so we are now beginning to recognize land rights, and by land I mean all life that lives and takes its nourishment from it, as well as the soil and earth itself. Once we have understood and accepted that idea, we can truly enter into a cooperative relationship with Nature. I’m not talking about living in fear of disturbing anything or a totally “hands off nature” angry ecologist view, but simply acknowledging the right to be of land and nature, and that when we do “disturb” it we do so with sensitivity and respect, doing our best to be in harmony with what is already there.

Being in harmony, apart from being a very subjective state, may not always be possible: for example in the case of putting a house down where once there wasn’t one. But we as humans have needs too. Nature knows that and is, I believe, quite willing to accommodate us. Our responsibility is, however, to act consciously and with the attitude of respect and desire for cooperation. It is no different from respecting other people’s rights in our interactions, being courteous and sensitive to their needs and feelings. This attitude toward the land is almost universally held by aboriginal and native peoples, from the Bushman to the Native American Indians to the tribes of the South Pacific. Earth Etiquette, you might say.

Following directly from that is the principle that you cannot really buy, sell or own the land. Just as we cannot (or should not) own slaves of our own species, we would not make slaves of animals, plants or the land and nature in general. Sounds easy but I feel this represents a very profound and fundamental change in human attitudes; one that takes thought, effort and time to reprogram in ourselves.
LT
Olieconcessies in het Midden-Oosten: Iraq Petroleum Cy (IPC) en aanverwante, Anglo-Iranian Oil Cy (AIOC), Arabian American Oil Cy (ARAMCO), Kuwait Oil Cy (KOC), American Independent Oil Corp. (AMINOIL) - Kaart 1950
Edited: 195000000909
De oliebelangen zijn particuliere belangen.
wiki
28 April 1949: The London Declaration: Commonwealth of Nations
Edited: 194904280917
The London Declaration was a declaration issued by the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference on the issue of India's continued membership in the Commonwealth of Nations after its transition to a republican constitution. It was made in London on 28 April 1949 and marked the birth of the modern Commonwealth. The declaration had two main provisions: It allowed the Commonwealth to admit and retain members that were not Dominions, so including both republics and indigenous monarchies, and it changed the name of the organisation from the British Commonwealth to the Commonwealth of Nations, reflecting the first change. The Declaration recognised King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth. Following his death, the Commonwealth leaders recognised Queen Elizabeth II in that capacity.

The London Declaration
The Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon, whose countries are
united as Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and owe a
common allegiance to the Crown, which is also the symbol of their free
association, have considered the impending constitutional changes in
India.
The Government of India have informed the other Governments of the
Commonwealth of the intention of the Indian people that under the new
constitution which is about to be adopted India shall become a sovereign
independent republic. The Government of India have however declared
and affirmed India’s desire to continue her full membership of the
Commonwealth of Nations and her acceptance of The King as the symbol
of the free association of its independent member nations and as such the
Head of the Commonwealth.
The Governments of the other countries of the Commonwealth, the basis
of whose membership of the Commonwealth is not hereby changed,
accept and recognise India’s continuing membership in accordance with
the terms of this declaration.
Accordingly the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon hereby declare that they remain
united as free and equal members of the Commonwealth of Nations,
freely co-operating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress.
26 April 1949