Barroso II Commission announced

Copenhagen: the next Seattle?

from FP Passport by Joshua Keating

Some environmental groups are planning disruptive protests for the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen, taking cues from the anti-globalization movement:

“We feel that right now in Copenhagen there is a real opportunity for things to come together a little bit like they did 10 years ago at the World Trade Organization protest in Seattle,” Müller told SPIEGEL ONLINE….


Police tactics at G20 slammed – but will anything change?,

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Andy May

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The final HMIC report on the G20 should be another nail in the coffin of the current oppressive model of protest policing. It’s all the more significant coming from a body largely staffed by ex police officers which sets the forces operational guidance.



from – World, Europe
Greece needs to complete the structural changes, such as pension and labour market reforms, pledged when it joined the euro but hardly begun. Without them, the economy faces a slow death

FYROM & Greece: The dispute over the word “Macedonia” continues

by Julien Frisch

According to EurActiv, the Greek and the Macedonian prime ministers will meet on Friday to discuss the stupid name issue they have been running for years.

Last hooray for the EU on Iran?

from Centre for European Reform by Centre for European Reform

by Tomas Valasek

When the EU’s first ‘foreign minister’, Cathy Ashton, starts work on December 1st, she will find Iran on top of her ‘to do’ pile. Earlier this week, Tehran turned down a proposal from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that would have seen a large part of the country’s stock of uranium moved out of the country for further enrichment. Barring a last-minute change of heart in Tehran, the US, UK, France and Germany will soon move to tighten UN sanctions on Iran. This could set the scene for a confrontation with Russia and China, which are unconvinced that tough sanctions would work.

The Union for the Mediterranean: A zombie organisation

by Julien Frisch

In March of this year I looked at the Union for the Mediterranean for the last time, and it was clear that this Sarkozian project was deadly frozen.

A freshly published Council document reporting about the outcome of a meeting in June of the “Directors-General of Civil Protection of the Union for the Mediterranean Member States” pretty much proves how dead this Union is, although it pretends to be alive.

Czech EU mysteries explained

by Grahnlaw

Is the Czech Republic a constructive and contributing member of the European Union, or still lost in Europe after prolonged Soviet occupation and Communist rule?

EU citizens have been mystified by Czech happenings in 2009.

Limiting Ashton’s power: The role of the rotating Council Presidency in foreign policy

by Julien Frisch

With the nomination of van Rompuy and Ashton for the two major top posts, it looked pretty clear that the coordination of the EU’s foreign policy will now be handed over to these two persons and their administrations.

Yet, as I have explained earlier, the rotating Council Presidency will not disappear but will chair all Council configurations except for the Foreign Affairs Council that will be chaired by Ashton.

Educating future EU Council Presidencies ? Czech example

from Grahnlaw by Grahnlaw

Today and tomorrow the Trans European Policy Studies Association TEPSA and the Real Instituto Elcano arrange a conference on the Spanish EU Council presidency 2010, which starts the 18 month trio presidency Spain-Belgium-Hungary. See Spain: Presidency of the EU Council 2010 (Grahnlaw, 25 November 2009).

In addition to the ongoing Swedish presidency, past presidency experiences are valuable for the politicians and the administrations in the member states preparing to take on the responsibilities.


EU-Russia Relations: Reset or stagnation?


The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the conclusion of the 24th EU-Russia summit in Stockholm show that relations between Europe and Russia are at a critical juncture, writes George Bovt in a November article for the EU-Russia Centre.

Thanksgiving from EU

by Grahnlaw

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to express gratitude. From the perspective of a citizen of the European Union, there are a few things I would like to thank the United States for:

Van Rompuy and Ashton jobs: State of the European Union?

by Grahnlaw

Few questions have attracted as much comment in the Eurosphere as the (s)election of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton to the new top jobs of the European Union under the Lisbon Treaty. Between deep despair, vitriol and angelic official optimism, few emotional notes have been missed. Is there any sense in adding to the virtual deforestation the nominations have caused on the web?

Ukraine and the EU: A vicious circle?

Countries that managed to accede the EU did so “by observing a few simple guidelines,” according to writes Tomas Valasek, director of foreign policy and defence at the Centre for European Reform: “cultivate friends among EU governments, be prepared to make painful sacrifices and, above all, show patience and good faith”. But Ukraine “has broken every one of those principles over the past two years,” his November paper claims.

MAIN FOCUS: New hope for climate summit | 27/11/2009

from euro|topics

The US and China have changed tack now and announced concrete targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover both US President Barack Obama and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the climate conference in Copenhagen. This will help the climate, writes the European press, but not much.

New Commission Announced

from Stephen Spillane

Here is the list of the new European Commission, as headed up by Jose Manual Barroso, and their portfolios from New Europe. These were announced today.


The new European Commission: Names and portfolios of Barroso II

by Julien Frisch

In a press conference, Barroso just announced the names and portfolios of the new Commission.

Me and some others have tweeted from the press conference under the hashtag #barroso2, so if you want to re-read our comments and live quotes from Barroso you just need to click on the link

Who gets what

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis

European Commission president matches names and portfolios.

Liberals get influential portfolios in Barroso II

from European Voice – RSS – News & analysis
Powerful jobs for Rehn and De Gucht; re-nominated commissioners all get new roles.

Barroso II Commission proposed

by Grahnlaw

President-elect José Manuel Barroso has proposed his second Commission, including the posts:

Brussels, 27 November 2009
President Barroso unveils his new team
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, today announced the portfolios responsibilities for the next Commission. The President has held detailed consultations with all the Commissioners-designate in order to assign the right jobs to the right people. The President believes that this team can deliver the agenda for change he set out in the political guidelines he presented in September, following his nomination by all 27 Member States and before his approval as President of the next Commission by the European Parliament.

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