Euro roundup: Belgian EU Presidency begins

MAIN FOCUS: Divided Belgium takes over EU presidency | 01/07/2010

from euro|topics

Belgium takes over the EU Council Presidency for six months today, Thursday. But the country is deeply divided politically and has only a provisional government led by former Premier Yves Leterne, who was voted out of office in June. The press, however, is confident of the strength of the EU and believes the current Belgian regionalism is a model for Europe.

Belgian EU Presidency ‘will be Van Rompuy’s’

from by andrew
Political problems linked to the formation of a new government will plague the Belgian EU Presidency, giving permanent Council President Herman Van Rompuy a unique opportunity to take charge of the EU’s agenda, political science professor Pascal Delwit told EurActiv France in an interview.

Belgian presidency sets parliament in its sights

from – Headline News

Spain ends invisible EU presidency

from – Headline News

MAIN FOCUS: Europe nervous about German presidential election | 30/06/2010

from euro|topics

The German Federal Convention will today, Wednesday, elect the new federal president of Germany. If the candidate of the liberal-conservative coalition Christian Wulff does not easily win the government would be severely weakened, the European press believes. With negative repercussions for the entire continent.

Project Europe 2030 and Innovation Union

by Grahnlaw

The future prosperity of EU citizens will be decided by our collective choices between reform or witnessing our decline. During the Lisbon strategy decade, we crawled in the slow lane. The new Europe 2020 strategy is now supposed to bring us jobs and growth, but without renewed resolve it will only become another pompous pipe dream.

Green Paper ? Corporate governance in financial institutions and remuneration policies

Source: European Commission (via European Information Association)
From the Introduction:

The scale of the financial crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in autumn 2008 and linked to the inappropriate securitisation of US subprime mortgage debt led governments around the world to question the effective strength of financial institutions and the suitability of their regulatory and supervisory systems to deal with financial innovation in a globalised world. The massive injection of public funding in the US and Europe ? up to 25% of GDP ? was accompanied by a strong political will to learn the lessons of the financial crisis in all its dimensions to prevent such a situation happening again in the future.

Is liberty safe in the UK with the Coalition in charge?, Guy Aitchison

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Guy Aitchison

There have been worrying signs since the formation of the Coalition government that its support for civil liberties might not be strong as advertised. It was, above all, a shared commitment to rolling back the intrusive powers given to the state by New Labour which provided the glue that brought the Tories and the Lib Dems together with the Coalition Agreement proudly announcing plans to ?restore the rights of individuals in the face of encroaching state power, in keeping with Britain?s tradition of freedom and fairness.?

EU Council presidency primer – Belgium?s website launched

by Grahnlaw

With less than a week to go to the beginning of July, Belgium yesterday launched the website of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council.

Belgium?s EU Council presidency website: First impressions

by Grahnlaw

Euroblogger Julien Frisch noted the fresh look of the website of the Council of the European Union, redesigned in a manner similar to the new web pages of the European Council. Julien liked the look, but essentially the navigability had not improved that much. I agree with his remarks:

Belgium pledges ‘sustainable’ EU presidency

from by paul

Belgium wants to lead by example during its upcoming EU presidency and has pledged to minimise the environmental impact of the numerous meetings and summits planned over the next six months.

Despite internal divisions, Belgium ?thinks big? about EU


New Belgian government could hamper EU presidency

from – Headline News

Should bloggers get access badges for the EU institutions?

from Julien Frisch

Trichet writes to Van Rompuy on economic governance

by Grahnlaw

When the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, spoke at the hearing of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament 21 June 2010, he was not prattling on as a free thinker.

The Geert Wilders enigma , Cas Mudde

from open Democracy News Analysis – by Cas Mudde

A striking fact about the general election in the Netherlands on 9 June 2010 was the difference of focus between the country itself and the rest of the world. As the Dutch themselves were still following the close race for first place between the social-democratic PvdA (Labour Party) and the conservative-liberal VVD (People?s Party for Freedom and Democracy) until deep into election-night, the interest of the media in Britain and the United States was defined by the victory of the PVV (Party for Freedom) of Geert Wilders.

Commission plans to ?embed? journalists with Barroso

from by daniela

Journalists will be able to travel with European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and other members of the college to important meetings abroad, Vice-President Viviane Reding writes in a letter obtained by EurActiv

On increasing the number of MEPs

from Nosemonkey’s EUtopia

The European Parliament is getting bigger ? 18 new MEPs joining (thanks to the Lisbon Treaty), taking the total to 754.

Cue the predictable outrage from the usual suspects about the ?cost? of these new MEPs, rent-a-quote eurosceptic think tank Open Europe telling the eurosceptic Telegraph:

EU JHA co-operation: After Lisbon, reality bites

by Centre for European Reform

By Hugo Brady

EU policies on policing, justice and immigration were widely expected to take a big leap forward after the ratification of the Lisbon treaty. But interested outsiders should not assume that new powers for the EU?s institutions will translate automatically into more coherent European action in security and migration matters. In fact, the EU?s governments and its institutions face serious challenges in justice and home affairs (JHA) co-operation in the years ahead.

The EU’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR): EU fails proper coordination in the Council of Europe

by Julien Frisch

It is rare that public EU documents actually give an insight into failures at diplomatic or bureaucratic level, and so the publishing of this Council document regarding the negotiations of the EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is one of the few valuable exceptions.

Europe 2020 strategy: Innovation Union – preparation and communication

by Grahnlaw

There is a link to the European Council?s conclusions [to be adopted] 17 June 2010, but otherwise the European Commission?s central website for the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and growth is still as dead as the dodo.

Public Affairs 2.0: Why the shortage of influential policy bloggers in Brussels?

from – Today’s posts
Some people will tell you there are scores of influential policy bloggers in Brussels. Unfortunately, they?re wrong. There?s an active throng of smart and passionate Eurobloggers who write about the EU and a number of issues surrounding it. Most…

Britain?s new foreign policy approach

from Nosemonkey’s EUtopia by nosemonkey

As regular readers of this blog will know, my single biggest worry about the Conservative party taking office in the UK was the prospect of arch-eurosceptic William Hague taking over the Foreign Office (the man who, as leader of the party back in 2001, ran a last-ditch general election campaign on the slogan ?7 days to save the pound?).

Hague has repeatedly rattled his sabre in the direction of the EU, making numerous references to ?repatriating? powers from ?Brussels?, and often seeming to believe numerous Europhobic myths about the way the EU operates.

found in Peter Komierowski

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