Whilst there is a unanimous view among the Irish electorate that their ‘no’ vote on the Lisbon Treaty should be respected, it is "necessary to respect the fact that a substantial majority of member states have approved [the text]" too, argues Peadar ó Broin, a researcher at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), in a paper for the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN).
Details of the composition of a planned but somewhat controversial reflection group in charge of anticipating long-term challenges to the Union are starting to emerge. It now appears that the nine wise men will in fact be twelve, as the chairman of the Group Felipe Gonzalez had not included himself and his two deputies in his proposal to the French EU Presidency.
After the worrying moves against Italy’s Roma population back in the summer, it seems that racial tensions are on the rise Italy-wide. After all, if the state’s going to sanction the persecution of one ethnic minority, why not start having a crack at the rest? In times of growing economic hardship (and it’s not like Italy’s economy’s been doing too well in the last few years anyway), finding scapegoats is always popular. And so:
Having previously described European elections as "second-order national elections," Professor Cees Van der Eijk of the University of Nottingham spoke to EurActiv about the outlook for next year’s vote as well as MEP Andrew Duff’s radical proposals to overhaul the European electoral system.
The French Presidency wants an EU summit on 15-16 October to back the establishment of a "group of wise men" to lead reflections on Europe’s future, but there is still no agreement on its composition, EurActiv has learned from diplomatic sources.
A Call for the Revival of the Weimar Triangle
SWP Comments 2008/C 20, October 2008, 8 pages
From time to time up pops ex-German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to demoan some aspect of how the EU conducts its business. Last week was no exception, with a short interview with Euractiv that contains this passge:
I think we need an avant-garde to deepen integration. We are unable to move together because of some misperceptions by our British friends. We need an avant-garde, such as the Eurogroup, to deal with challenges such as the developments in Georgia and the current financial crisis. Otherwise we will be sitting, doing nothing, waiting for the Irish miracle.
Following the death of Austrian right-wing populist politician Jörg Haider, the European press speculates on the consequences for coalition negotiations in the country and the future of Europe’s right-wing parties. Haider’s Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ) could now possibly reunite with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).
Jörg Haider: Charismatic right-wing politician whose controversial beliefs and policies led to isolation for Austria
The European press praises the joint action by the 15 Eurogroup states in the global financial crisis. Commentators applaud Europe’s strong stance with regard to the US, and say Europe should go on forging its own way – that of a "social market economy" – in the future. But there are also those who warn of an imminent recession.
Europe should not fear Russia like it did before the fall of the Berlin Wall, despite Moscow’s temptation to revert to posturing from the past, the historic leader of the Polish anti-communist movement ‘Solidarno??’ and former Polish President Lech Wa??sa told EurActiv Poland in an interview.
"Lobbying is still in its infancy" in the ten newest EU member states, but the practice is continually developing as civil society actors recognise the value of participation in the political process, argues Conor McGrath, an independent Dublin-based scholar, in a paper published
in the Journal of Public Affairs.
EU moves towards joint immigration procedures