EU’s Lisbon Treaty comes into force

and more from the European agenda…

EU Lisbon Treaty comes into force

The EU’s Lisbon Treaty comes into force, marking what Sweden’s prime minister calls a “new era” for the 27-nation bloc.

Lisbon Treaty implementation ? first day

by Grahnlaw

On the first day of the EU Lisbon Treaty in force, some formal implementing decisions have been taken. The Council of the European Union informs us (1 December 2009, document 16919/09:

The Lisbon Treaty: A new constitution for the European Union

by Julien Frisch

It is the 1st of December 2009, and the Lisbon Treaty has entered into force less than one hour ago.

Sixteen years and one month ago, on the 1st of November 1993, when the Maastricht Treaty entered into force, the European Union was born. In that moment, we all became citizens of the first supranational Union, and we have been its citizens ever since.

Anti-WTO-Demo in Genf (in German)

Eurothinkers (Centre for European Studies): The Lisbon Treaty – A Continuation or an Institutionalization of the Democratic Deficit in ESDP?

from Bloggingportal.eu – Today’s posts
When the EU was established and many decades after, one of its most remarkable characteristics was that it was an internationally recognized civilian power, a player on the international level that was able to maintain its status and recognition with…

Is There A Double Dip Risk In Germany?

from A Fistful Of Euros » A Fistful Of Euros by Edward Hugh

This is not an idle question. Despite all those bullish headlines in the press, most informed observers – including Bundesbank head Axel Weber – are only to well aware of just how fragile the German recovery actually is. Indeed only last week the OECD warned that Germany?s economy, may only recover slowly next since investment ?is lagging,?. The OECD now predict that German gross domestic product will expand 1.4 percent in 2010 and 1.9 percent in 2011 after shrinking 4.9 percent this year, which is in fact up on their earlier estimate, where the OECD predicted German growth of 0.2 percent next year. So whichever way you look at it, output at the end of 2010 will still be well down of 2008 levels. Worse, events like the recent upheaval in Dubai start to cast doubts on whether even the rather optimistic 1.4 percent growth level may now not be excessively optimistic for next year. The problem is that the recent rebound in Eurozone growth is extremely uneven as between countries, and, given its long standing export dependence, the German economy is hardly going to be leading the charge. As I said in my most recent post on the Eurozone :

 

EU Stockholm Programme background: Area of freedom, security and justice

by Grahnlaw

The 2979th session of the Council of the European Union ? Justice and Home Affairs configuration ? starts in Brussels on Monday, 30 November 2009, under the Treaty of Nice, and continues on Tuesday, 1 December 2009, when the Lisbon Treaty has entered into force.

Elmar Brok (EPP) on Catherine Ashton: Bruxelles2 interview

from Julien Frisch by Julien Frisch

L’Europe de la Défense et de la Sécurite has published a kind-of-interview with Elmar Brok, EPP spokesperson for foreign affairs in the European Parliament, on the nomination of Catherine Ashton.

The summary of the interview could be this quote (own translation):

In the interview we had, Elmar Brok rests very prudent and does not want to give a preconceived judgement on the new High Representative, Catherine Ashton. But one feels at least a lack of enthusiasm, even some scepticism. The word “inexperienced” is the one that comes up the most from his mouth.

Greece can expect no gifts from Europe

from FT.com – World, Europe

The EU’s authorities, rightly or wrongly, are more afraid of the moral hazard of a bail-out than the possible spillover effect of a hypothetical Greek default, writes Wolfgang Münchau

European Parliament: New sloth habitat?

by Grahnlaw

There was not very much the institutions of the European Union could do, when the Lisbon Treaty agreed by the EU member states went on its ratification tour of 27 capitals, but once it became clear that the amending treaty finally enters into force, all the institutions have a responsibility to get the EU up and running under the new rules.

The European Council appointed its president and the high representative before 1 December 2009. José Manuel Barroso unveiled his new Commission on Friday, 27 November 2009. Well done!

Climate pledges ‘not enough for deal’, says EU

from EurActiv.com
Pledges made so far by governments to cut greenhouse gases are not enough for an effective pact to fight climate change, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said on Sunday (29 November).

Barroso names Europe’s first innovation commissioner

from EurActiv.com
Ireland’s Máire Geoghegan Quinn has been handed the newly-created innovation portfolio at the EU executive.

European Union, Get Serious in Iraq

from Atlantic Community RSS-Feed
Richard Gowan and Daniel Korski: The potential rewards the EU might reap from improved trade in Iraq are huge, but the risks of instability remain highly problematic. By coordinating efforts, both within the Union and with NATO, Europe will win gratitude in Washington and a fruitful market in Baghdad. Yet, if the EU wants to develop trade, it needs to contribute to security now.

EU foreign policy in relation to EC selections

First, a few quotes that relate to selection of EU?s top officials:
Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be part of Europe. (Mr Van Rompuy)
If the point of the Lisbon Treaty was to create a more prominent face for Europe, the result on Thursday was the opposite. It appeared to

Sarkozy claims big win in EU jobs

EU Lisbon Treaty into force 1 December 2009

by Grahnlaw

The Lisbon Treaty enters into force Tuesday, 1 December 2009. The consolidated (readable and updated ) versions of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), were published in the Official Journal of the European Union 9 May 2008 (OJEU 9.5.2008 C 115), and they are available in 23 treaty languages.

EU Commissioners’ golden parachutes

by Open Europe blog team

The Sunday Times reported on the huge payoffs the 13 EU Commissioners stepping down this week will walk away with, on top of the pretty hefty salaries they netted while in office.

Open Europe has calculated that the 13 outgoing EU Commissioners have cost taxpayer ?2.7 million each.

Each one will walk away with an average of ?1.3 million in ?golden goodbyes? alone. The total bill in ?golden goodbyes?, including pensions, for those leaving is more than ?16.6 million.

Two new leaders in search of a job description

from EurActiv.com
Although the EU has appointed its first permanent president of the Council and High Representative for Foreign Affairs, “the question of precisely what powers they will exercise remains largely unknown, as it is not yet clear how they will perform as individuals and in tandem,” write Piotr Kaczy?ski and Peadar ó Broin of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in a November paper.

EU language industry ‘worth 8.4bn euros’

from EurActiv.com
Europe’s ?8.4bn language industry is set to grow by 10% annually over the next few years after having recorded one of the highest growth rates of any EU industrial sector despite the economic crisis, according to a European Commission-backed study published last Friday (27 November).

Eurozone inflation turns positive

from FT.com – World, Europe
Eurozone annual inflation has turned positive for the first time in seven months but is still undershooting the European Central Bank’s goal by a wide margin

 

Nielsen European Growth Reporter ? November 2009 (PDF; 513 KB)
Source: Nielsen

The third quarter of 2009 has shown nominal growth at 2.4%?the lowest growth over the past 18 months. Inflation is decelerating, recording a low 1.4% in the third quarter. The inflation rate almost halved compared to the start of the year and is down 0.8 points compared to the second quarter 2009. Deflation has been recorded in 10 markets.

 

Bloggingportal challenges Europarties

by Grahnlaw

Bloggingportal.eu has grown considerably since the start. It now brings together 487 Euroblogs in one convenient place on its Posts page. Voluntary editors tag the entries according to their contents (although the system needs improvement) and post their choices on the Home page. RSS feeds are available for all posts or for the editors? choice on the ?front page?.

[Comment] Enlargement is the EU’s strongest foreign policy tool

from EUobserver.com – Headline News

Barroso II – Winners and Losers

from Blogactiv

Last week William Hague said that the appointment of Baroness Ashton as High Representative was the result of a deal done by Brown with the French to allow Sarkozy to secure the prized Internal Market post for his nomination Michel Barnier. Whether a d?

 

EU scraps visas for Balkan states

from BBC News | Europe | World Edition
The EU grants visa-free travel for citizens of three Balkan countries – Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

 

A vote on Scottish independence?

from Federal Union by Richard Laming

A settlement of Scotland?s long-running constitutional debate came a step closer yesterday with the publication of a White Paper outlining a road to independence. Four different scenarios are set out for the future relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK, with the aim of holding a referendum at some point next year. (Read the White Paper here.)

What now for Social Democracy in Europe?

from Social Europe Journal by Keith Grech

The reality is more complex than a simple story of social democracy in inevitable decline.

KeithGrechOn the face of it these are testing times for left-of-centre, social-democratic movements in Europe. The results of the June 2009 European parliamentary elections served to stress the point that in spite of the economic meltdown, social-democratic parties have been largely unable to attract to themselves the confidence of the electorate.

VoteWatch.eu Summary of European Parliament Votes 24-27 November 2009

from Stephen Spillane by Stephen

Votewatch.eu sent this out to all its users today. Its a good idea and may be a reason in itself to sign up to the website!

Important votes were taken during the recent EP?s plenary session, such as the resolutions on the upcoming Summit on Climate Change, the Stockholm programme in the area of justice and home affairs, ?origin labelling?, the smoke-free environments, the European Police Office (Europol) and European Crime Prevention Network (EUCPN).

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