Skip to main content

Home/ European Union/ Group items tagged council

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.11.10: Progress in talks about EU budget - 0 views

  • A series of compromises and a new draft of next year's EU budget has increased optimism that member states and the European Parliament can reach a deal on the 2011 spending plan before Christmas. But parliament's call for a role in discussions over the bloc's next multi-annual budget (post 2013) could still scupper a final accord.
  • A day earlier, member-state diplomats agreed to drop previous calls for unanimity voting on decisions to transfer money between EU budget headlines. Parliament has made the greater level of spending flexibility, provided by member state qualified majority voting, a key demand in the ongoing battle over the 2011 EU budget.
  • Officials from all sides will next meet on 7 December to discuss the budget draft, in a bid to enable a parliamentary vote on the final version at its 15 December plenary session, the last of the year. Sources say Mr Barroso's announcement this week to come forward with proposals on EU 'own resources' in June 2011 has enabled both parliament and member states to claim victory on the controversial issue by breaking the link with the 2011 budget debate but ensuring future discussion on the subject. Now the parliament's demand for a role in discussions over the EU's post-2013 multi-annual budget remains the main outstanding stumbling block.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • MEPs insist they are allowed a greater say under the Lisbon Treaty, while national capitals have appeared reluctant to hand the legislature a greater role in the already complex negotiations. If decision on this issue is left to European leaders meeting in Brussels for a summit on 16-17 December, parliamentary approval could be kicked to an extraordinary session just days before Christmas. Total failure to reach a deal between the two sides will see this year's EU budget rolled over into 2011 on a month-by-month basis.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.11.10: Tough problems for the Hungarian presidency - 0 views

  • The incoming Hungarian presidency of the European Union is bracing itself for an unexpectedly difficult six months (Jan-June 2011) at the helm, likely to test the diplomatic skills of the presidency first-timers to the full. The ongoing fight to shore up eurozone stability, together with calls for EU treaty change and acrimonious EU budget talks are among the prickly issues on the packed agenda, with Turkish accession talks and the Roma ethnic question also potential flashpoints.
  • Some EU and member state officials have been alarmed at what they perceive as a concentration of power under Herman Van Rompuy, the bloc's first president of the European Council, the body representing EU leaders. "Mr Van Rompuy has taken on a number of issues that should instead be run by the rotating presidency, helped by the current political limbo surrounding the Belgian government," one Polish official said earlier this month.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

24.11.10: EU-Commission will put forward proposals as to own resources - strongly oppos... - 0 views

  • European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was cheered in the European Parliament on Tuesday (23 November) when he outlined plans to publish an official proposal on EU self-funding before the end of June 2011. A fresh draft of next year's budget is also expected before 1 December.
  • Parliament has said debate on the controversial 'own resources' issue is a key demand in the ongoing battle over next year's annual EU budget, but France, Germany and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy have all indicated they oppose the idea of an EU tax. "We will use our right of initiative to put forward formal proposals as to own resources before the end of next June," Mr Barroso told MEPs in the Strasbourg plenary chamber. "The proposals ... will make large endeavours to achieving a consensus in the future. We're open to any ideas," he added.
  • "I am against the introduction of an EU tax," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this month. "I do not think that redesigning the way the EU get its revenue is a top priority," Mr Van Rompuy said a week later. Reacting to Mr Barroso's announcement, non-attached UK MEP Diane Dodds called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to clearly state that proposals for an EU tax would trigger a referendum in the country.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Parliament warns EU summit against backroom deals - 0 views

  • Ahead of an EU summit opening today (28 October), Liberal group leader Guy Verhofstadt warned that the European Parliament was determined to use its new powers under the Lisbon Treaty and would not let economic governance plans be "diluted" by Germany and France.
  • But Verhofstadt, who leads the Parliament's Liberal group, warned that such backroom deals were now over. The European Parliament, he said, would have full co-decision powers on legislative proposals that will come out later in the year to flesh out the EU's new economic governance. His warnings were echoed by other political groups in Parliament, including the centre-right European People's Party (EPP), which commands the largest number of seats in the Strasbourg assembly. IƱigo Mendez De Vigo, a Spanish MEP in charge of institutional issues at the EPP, said he welcomed the Task Force's proposals. But he added that "they should take into account that the European Parliament is now co-legislator and will play its full part in defining the reforms to come".  "I regret that the French-German proposal does not even mention the European Commission, which also has a say on this issue," De Vigo said, adding the Parliament should also be more involved. The Greens, the fourth largest group in Parliament, also backed the Liberals and the EPP, in a move which could herald a long battle with member states over the economic reform plans. The Parliament "will be a co-legislator on four of the six legislative proposals" on economic governance, said Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, saying his group was "in favour of a more ambitious and broader economic framework than the Commission and Council". Verhofstadt said he hoped this new battle would not take nine months, referring to the time it took to pass a recent package of financial supervision laws through the assembly.
  • In a statement, Verhofstadt detailed the three key areas where the Task Force had diluted the Commission's initial proposal and on which he said Parliament was ready to pick a fight. First, the Commission had proposed to impose sanctions on member countries with excessive deficits or severe imbalances at an earlier stage, without delay. By contrast, the Task Force argues that a political decision should be taken on the proposed sanctions, meaning that they could be blocked by a country capable of putting together a blocking minority. The result is that there will be no preventive procedure and therefore no sanctions, the liberal group leader warned. Second, the Task Force foresees a "double filter" for decision-making, involving a political recommendation by the Council before the Commission can take action. In practice, this means the Commission will be allowed to take sanctions only after a certain period, Verhofstadt said. Finally, while the EU executive had proposed that corrective action or sanctions be initiated directly by its own services, the Task Force called instead for a recommendation that would need subsequent backing by the bloc's 27 finance ministers. "It's easy to change a recommendation, and far more difficult to change a proposal by the Commission, because in that case you need unanimity," Verhofstadt explained.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.10.10: EU states and MEPs clash over international talks - 0 views

  • Member states are considering taking the EU Parliament to court if it does not back down on demands for new powers on EU foreign policy and international agreements, EUobserver has learnt. Ambassadors representing member states at a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (13 October) signaled their discontent over an inter-institutional agreement between the European Commission and the EU legislature which may give fresh powers to euro-deputies, especially when it comes to international negotiations on behalf of the EU.
  • The draft report, according to an analysis by the council of ministers' legal services, could lead to a stand-off between EU institutions if adopted as such next week in Strasbourg. "The court option is not off the table," one EU source said. Ambassadors will come back to the matter in their meeting next Wednesday, following the MEP's vote in the plenary. The crux of the matter is to what extent MEPs can be part of EU delegations to multilateral and bilateral meetings and negotiations with other countries. According to the draft, the Parliament wants to have its representatives guaranteed participation in all multilateral, but also bilateral agreements "of particular political importance" - for instance on trade or fisheries.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.10.10: MEPs to oversee details of Ashton spending - 0 views

  •  
    The European Parliament has won the right to look into the nitty gritty of spending in foreign delegations in the EU's new diplomatic service amid mild alarm over rising costs. The provisional agreement was put together at an informal meeting between MEPs, EU officials and member states on Monday (11 October) and represents an easing of tensions between the assembly and Catherine Ashton's office after a dispute over diplomatic appointments last week.
1 - 7 of 7
Showing 20 items per page