The campaign to collect signatures on reintroducing the death penalty in Switzerland was stopped by its initiators today, Wednesday, a day after it began. By their own account the organisers wanted to draw attention to shortcomings in the prosecution of sex killings. The aborted action has Europe’s press up in arms.
The grass root campaigners for a PES Primary we are following have to shovel away without explicit endorsement from the Party of European Socialists (PES) or the formidable resources of its member parties at national level. Lacking a seal of approval from various party headquarters, they also have to overcome general attitude problems among party faithful who wait for a cue. The civil society actors have to surpass inertia and hostility.
While surveys indicate that two thirds of the French approve of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s current Roma policy, there has been no ebb in the flow of international criticism. The press accuses Sarkozy of discrimination, disregard for basic rights and populist vote catching, and argues over the role played by the EU in the conflict.
From a summary of the Eurobarometer controversy we set course for our following harbour: a roundup of how the latest EU-wide poll of public opinion has been received. In Roundup haven we bunker facts and arguments for the next leg of our voyage.
We find four threads of thought in the news reports and comments on the latest Eurobarometer poll.
Steven Hill?s recent paean to Angela Merkel on the SEJ website (18/08/10) may yet prove woefully ill-advised. For although he is correct in arguing that ?social? Germany is well ahead of the USA is many respects, his endorsement of Merkel?s economics is?to put it as politely as possible?somewhat overenthusiastic.
Following renewed criticism by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Slovakian Prime Minister Iveta Radi?ová reiterated her country’s refusal to provide aid to Greece on Wednesday in Berlin. While some commentators praise Slovakia’s self-assurance, others see it as a threat to the EU.
EU Advocates General of European Court of Justice (ECJ, CURIA) Find Proposed Common Patent System Incompatible with EU Treaties
This is a bit late but the original opinion was in French and only released in English translation a few days ago.
The Council of the European Union requested an opinion from the Advocates General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ, CURIA) on the Compatibility of the Proposed European Patent Court System with EU Treaties. The Advocates General found the proposal incompatible (see the English version of the opinion here, translated from the French — Request of the Council of the European Union for an Opinion on the compatibility of the proposed European Patent Court System with European Treaty Law, Court of Justice of the European Union, Opinion of the A-G, No. 1/09, 2 July 2010, translation provided by Pierre Véron, Véron & Associés), stating inter alia:
Here’s an example of some good old EU spin for you:
The European Commission today announced the results from the latest Eurobarometer poll – carried out in May during the height of the crisis – with a press release carrying the headline,”EU citizens favour stronger European economic governance”. 75 percent of Europeans, we are told by the press release, are in favour of giving the EU a stronger role in the coordination of member states’ economic and budgetary policies.
The UK based anti-EU lobby group Open Europe managed, perhaps unintentionally, to stir up a debate at European level when they accused the European Commission of spinning the results of the Eurobarometer poll of public opinion in the European Union. After ? as they might have seen it ? beating the Commission to pulp, they finally reached what they saw as the main result: declining support for EU membership.
In God We Trust is the official motto of the United States of America, surprisingly for a country where the first amendment enshrines the separation of church and state.
What do citizens of the European Union trust in?
The UK based anti-EU lobby group Open Europe has avidly seized on diminished support for the EU:
On 26 August 2010, the Open Europe blog accused the European Commission: A Classic Example Of EU Spin. According to Open Europe the Commission is ?trying to take us for a ride?.