Tag Archives: European Council

Monitor European Agenda 6/12 March 2011

Certainly, the theme of this week is the rise of far right in France. The results of a new French poll about potential 2012 presidential candidates offers quantitative support to the emerging consensus that under Marine Le Pen, the French far right is a force to be reckoned with. The new poll has shocked French and European political circles and Western media analysts by showing a far right candidate coming in first place (23 percent of voting intentions). But, according to Jean-Yves Camus, a specialist on France’s far right, the poll’s biggest flaw is the absence of International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn – or DSK, as the French call him — as the likely Socialist candidate.

Estonia’s centre-right coalition government won out Sunday in the Baltic state’s general election after winning a clear majority in parliament with a total of 56 seats, according to results from the national electoral commission.

Predictably, Ramzan Kadyrov was elected for the second consecutive mandat, the president of Chechnya, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Itar-Tass agency reports that Chechen MPs voted unanimously for Kadyrov’s candidacy. The president said that Chechen Republic is part of the Russian Federation and the Chechen people is its defender.

Faithful to a discrete policy like the ostrich with head in the sand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania on March 8 will have a new round of US bilateral negotiations on anti-missile shield. According to an announcement posted on the website of the institution, the Romanian delegation will be headed by Bogdan Aurescu Secretary of State for Strategic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry, and will have an inter-institutional structure. The U.S. delegation will be headed by Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for arms control.
The two delegations will continue, given the positive results of previous rounds, the negotiation of the legal framework which will regulate bilateral cooperation in missile defense. The program will include a meeting between the heads of two delegations to discuss security issues of common interest.

The Political Quarterly 2011 Annual Lecture – David Miliband – Why is the European Left Losing Elections?
8 March 2011, 6.30pm, Old Theatre, London School of Economics and Political Science; “For the first time since the First World War, governments in Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Italy come from the centre-right. Is this just an accidental quirk of fate or is it more serious?” An interesting debate in full accord with the theme of the week.

Also, Serbia and Kosovo on March 8 have first round of direct negotiations, mediated by the EU.

A leading expert on contemporary Egypt, the historian and writer Tewfik Aclimandos, as well as Egypt’s ambassador to France Nasser Kamel will be among those taking part in an exchange of views on the situation in Egypt at a meeting of the Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Paris on 8 March 2011 – 3 p.m. Council of Europe office in Paris (55 Avenue Kléber, Paris 16ème, métro: Boissière).

A current affairs debate on co-operation between the Council of Europe and emerging democracies in the Arab World will be a highlight of a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Paris on 11 March 2011. Other topics to be debated include an opinion on the Draft Council of Europe Convention to Prevent and Combat Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, preserving the environment in the Mediterranean, the need for a global consideration of the human rights implications of biometrics, and “Genetically modified organisms: a solution for the future?”

The parliamentarians will also discuss social measures, education and rehabilition for young offenders as well as the situation of the inhabitants of Rhodes and Kos with a Turkish cultural background. There will also be a report on a code of conduct for rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly.

About European Summit in Brussels on 11, 24 and 25 March 2011 I will write a separate post.

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Lisbon Treaty comes into force opening a new era for EU

On 1 December, The EU’s Lisbon Treaty comes into force, marking what Sweden’s prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt describes as a “new era – more open and more democratic” for the 27-nation bloc.

Tuesday, in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, the event was celebrated by a pageant with fireworks, music and leaders’ speeches. After, EU leaders were to attend a celebration dinner in Lisbon later Tuesday. In his speech, Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden ( the country that holding the EU presidency) said that:  “We open today a new page of success stories. In the future, when we make decisions concerning citizens’ freedom, security and justice, our main principle will be to make them together with the European Parliament”. The treaty makes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding for EU institutions and, according to Mr. Reinfeldt, “we make clear equality between men and women and protection of children’s rights within all policy areas”. Herman van Rompuy, European Council President stated that: This is the most ambitious project of European history. Earlier today a new step in European construction. A project in which we want a Europe of all, more prosperous, more secure, peace and democracy “

Lisbon has come into force eight years after the EU started negotiations on the institutional reforms. Many analysts are calling it a historical day for the EU. However, questions like: What is the significance of the Lisbon Treaty once it takes effect? What role the Lisbon Treaty will play in the future development of the EU ? What impact will it bring to the EU’s foreign policy and its image on the world stage? The Lisbon Treaty will influence the growth pattern of other regional political and economic organizations ? generate the different views. Critics and skeptics accuse that the Treaty will cede too many national powers to Brussels. That is exactly what, in an interview for  EuroNews, Jose Manuel Barroso, president of European Commission,  consider to be the main asset of the Treaty. According to recent surveys, less than half the EU population (45 – 47%) trust the EU’s future.

Week Review (16 – 21 march 2009)

It was a week in that to review the economic indicators foreshadows the  spectrum of a recession without precedent in world history.

obama_jay-lenoForecasts increasingly bleak U.S. economy led by President Obama to come to the show “Jay Leno Show”. Obviously all about the crisis they spokes. Also about the scandal bonuses from AIG, about the people closest to the president. But also about how to “cool” is to fly Air Force One, even if it fails to impress on their daughters Obama family. In addition, the world has learned that even United States President cannot do he wants if the Security  Service says, “No, sir. No. Sorry”. Certainly PR president had reason for joy. And Americans have forgotten time of 30 minutes of the crisis. He was pleasant.

Surprise at the EU foreign ministers (CAGRE) in Brussels. At Chapter energy package, the final conclusions Nabucco project name has been replaced with the name “southern energy corridor”. Romania, Austria, Poland and Slovenia not wants to accept the new name entered. More, the discussions about this project seem to tense again relationships in the EU. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that “Nabucco should not be funded from public money”. Even if apparently surprising, I noted that the  Merkel’ statement come to the found of Gazprom’s refusal to participate in this project. Finally, European leaders reached an agreement, that Nabucco will appear on the list of joint projects on energy.

eu-council-march-2009

Romanian President Traian Basescu had a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko in Brussels in the margin the European People’s Party meeting, which preceded the spring European Council meeting, inform the agency Interfax-Ukraine, cited Kyiv Post newspaper. Remember that President Traian Basescu had to go to visit Ukraine at the end of February, but the visit was postponed at the last minute for reasons that have not been clearly explained by officials. Soon after, spoke of the scandal of spying on the recipient Ukraine – via KGB,  followed by expulsions of diplomats by both sides. (Although it were never made public details of the talks  between the two presidents, clearly Basescu assured  his  Ukrainian  counterpart on the Romanian’s support for accession to Euro-Atlantic structures.)

Returned from Brussels, where the prospect of financial collapse of Ukraine not too excited (deh, the crisis is everywhere!) Yushchenko gave interviews on tape stock: ARD German TV Channel, Ukrainean Channel 5, a clear sign that its popularity is the past. While premier Yulia Timosenko hopes to help from Moscow (obviously not devoid of cross), president Victor Yushchenko informed that next week he would hold a regular meeting with representatives of state authorities at which he expects them to complete work on anti-crisis package necessary for continuing cooperation between Ukraine and the IMF. He also repeated that resuming cooperation with the IMF is crucial for Ukraine in fighting economic crisis because it would give “green light for foreign investors”.

putin_kissingerAnd Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a full week. Met with presidents, ministers, advisors, Prime Ministers. I noticed the discussion with 56th United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The two leaders  discussed a whole number of urgent international problems in the framework of the long-standing confidential dialogue. Kissinger made a brief visit to the exhibition of water colors by Sergei Andriyaka in the Government House, too.

Also noticed meeting with Ramzan Kadyrov. Friends know why. During the meeting Putin and Kadyrov discussed the social and economic situation in the region, in part, the labour market (Chechnya have unemployment – between 50% and 60%) and the efforts to eliminate the consequences of the earthquake in the republic.