and more from the European agenda…
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:
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.
Eurothinkers (Centre for European Studies): The Lisbon Treaty – A Continuation or an Institutionalization of the Democratic Deficit in ESDP?
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 :
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.
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.“
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
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!
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
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.
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.
Nielsen European Growth Reporter – November 2009 (PDF; 513 KB)
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.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”.
from EUobserver.com – Headline News
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…
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.)
The reality is more complex than a simple story of social democracy in inevitable decline.
On 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 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).