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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.11.09: Klaus signature completes EU treaty ratification - 0 views

  • Czech President Vaclav Klaus has finally signed the Lisbon Treaty, ending a highly drawn out ratification process that left many wondering whether the document's provisions would ever see the light of day. "I signed the Lisbon Treaty today at 15.00 (CET)," Klaus told reporters on Tuesday (3 November).
  • As well as appointing a new set of commissioners, the EU can now move ahead with the planned overhaul of its institutions and the appointment of several new positions intended to increase the bloc's standing on the world stage. All of these decisions had been held up by the political uncertainty in Prague, with Mr Barroso saying he can only assemble his commission team when it is clear who will become EU foreign minister, a new post that will see the person also act as vice-president of the commission.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.10.09: Czech court buoys EU Lisbon Treaty chances - 0 views

  • The Swedish EU Presidency is today (7 October) expected to apply maximum pressure on the Czech Republic to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, riding on a wave of positive developments after the Irish 'yes' vote, including the removal of a hurdle by the Czech constitutional court on Tuesday.
  • The Czech Republic's Constitutional Court rejected on Tuesday a challenge against a law related to the EU's reform treaty, lifting a secondary hurdle to the pact's final ratification in the country.  A group of senators close to Eurosceptic President Václav Klaus had complained against an amendment of the parliament's rules of procedure which requires both Houses to approve any potential shift of national competences to Brussels by a simple majority vote, insisting that a qualified majority vote is required instead. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.10.09: Brussels in limbo over Klaus treaty delay - 0 views

  • The heads of the EU's three main institutions on Wednesday (7 September) came together to point out to Czech President Vaclav Klaus the "costs" to Europe if he continues to delay ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the union's new rulebook. European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish Prime Minister and the current chair of the EU, said several pending decisions are awaiting clarification from Prague.
  • The uncertainty stems from the fact that the Czech constitutional court is examining a legal challenge to the Lisbon Treaty, lodged by senators close to Mr Klaus. It is unclear how quickly the court will make its decision and, if the decision is positive, how much later Mr Klaus would then sign the treaty, completing ratification. Time is pressing because the current commission's mandate expires at the end of October, as does the post of the current high representative for foreign affairs, held by Javier Solana. The Swedish presidency is nervous about entering uncharted legal territory. It can either keep the commission as a caretaker, but ineffectual, executive, or try to set up a new commission under the Lisbon Treaty rules. Another option would be to negotiate a new commission with the current rules, but that would mean unwanted negotiations on reducing its size.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

05.10.09: EU leaders face 'difficult task' naming new Commission - 0 views

  • EU heads of state and government will have to make difficult choices when they meet in Brussels for a summit on 29-30 October, with uncertainty over when the Lisbon Treaty will come into force having huge consequences for the size of the next European Commission, analysts told EurActiv.
  • Background: According to pro-EU politicians, Europe is in a "completely new" situation after the resounding 'yes' vote in the second Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum, held last Friday (EurActiv 03/10/09).  At present, 25 out of 27 EU member states have ratified the Union's reform treaty, and the news from Poland is that its president, Lech Kaczyński, will soon sign the ratification by the country's parliament, completing the procedure in that country too.  All eyes are now turning to the Czech Republic, where a group of 17 Eurosceptic senators close to the country's president, Václav Klaus, filed a second complaint against the Lisbon Treaty with the constitutional court in Prague, putting its ratification on hold (EurActiv 30/09/09).  This strategy is seen as an attempt to delay final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty until a conservative government comes to power in Britain, where elections are due next year.  Tory leader David Cameron, who leads comfortably in opinion polls, said that in the event that the Lisbon Treaty is not fully ratified by then, he will call a referendum in the UK, despite the fact that the country has already ratified the treaty in parliament (EurActiv 24/09/09). 
  • On the one hand, EU leaders can assume that the Lisbon Treaty will soon be ratified and invite member states to submit candidacies for commissioners and other top jobs. Alternatively, they can choose to avoid taking any risks and launch a procedure for nominating a smaller-size Commission under the current Nice Treaty, analysts told EurActiv. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

:: Portál sdružení EUROPEUM :: - 0 views

    "Welcome to Europeum Institute for European Policy website EUROPEUM Institute for Europan Policy is a think-tank that undertakes programme, project, publishing and training activities related to the European integration process. " EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan and independent institute. It focuses on the issues of European integration and its impact on the transformation of political, economic and legal milieu in the Czech Republic. EUROPEUM strives to contribute to a long-lasting development of democracy, security, stability, freedom and solidarity across Europe. EUROPEUM formulates opinions and offers alternatives to internal reforms in the Czech Republic with a view of ensuring her full-fledged membership and respected position in the European Union.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.06.09: Czech MPs mull suspension of Klaus' powers over Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • The Czech social democrat party is discussing the possibility of suspending president Vaclav Klaus' powers if he does not sign the EU's Lisbon treaty. The temporary suspension would require a simple majority of 41 votes in the country's 81-seat senate and would allow caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer to sign the document instead.
  • The president's powers could be suspended on grounds that he is unable to discharge his official functions because he is trying to act above the law. "There is nothing in the constitution that gives the president the right to veto decisions of the country's highest institutions. Otherwise we could be considered as some kind of absolutist monarchy," former Constitutional Court judge Vojtech Cepl told newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes on Thursday (25 June).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.06.09: Czech parliament should vote on Lisbon guarantees, Klaus says - 0 views

  • Czech President Vaclav Klaus has said the Czech parliament should ratify any fresh legal clauses attached to the Lisbon treaty to help Ireland clinch a Yes vote in its second referendum. EU leaders meeting in Brussels on 18-19 June are set to agree on legal guarantees for Ireland in the areas of taxation, neutrality and social affairs.
  • The extra bells and whistles are designed to help Ireland hold a second referendum on the text in autumn, after an initial No vote last summer. But it is not yet clear how the guarantees will be enshrined in EU law. The eurosceptic Czech president – a staunch opponent of the treaty – has said that the guarantees would constitute a mini-treaty in themselves. Under Czech law, any fresh international treaty must be ratified by parliament and signed by the president. "Any conclusion in another form would contradict Article 49 of the [Czech] constitution and I could not accept such a proceeding," Mr Klaus wrote to Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer in a letter released on Wednesday (17 June). Mr Fischer rejected the request, saying a government agreement would be enough. "[The guarantees] are not an international treaty of a political nature ...but an international treaty of a governmental type which does not require the powers of the head of state to be concluded," he wrote on the government website.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.09: Trotz Senatszustimmung: Vaclav Klaus erklärt Lissabon-Vertrag für tot - 0 views

  • Am Ende war es weniger knapp als erwartet: Der tschechische Senat hat den EU-Reformvertrag angenommen. Damit hat das Werk eine große Hürde genommen. Doch die Skepsis in Tschechien, dessen Premier Topolanek den Vertrag einst einen "Haufen Mist" nannte, bleibt. Vor allem bei Präsident Klaus.
  • Der Senat stimmte für den Vertrag von Lissabon. Mit einem klareren Votum als erwartet: 54 von 79 anwesenden Senatoren stimmten mit Ja. Schon vor der Sitzung hatte sich eine Mehrheit für Lissabon angedeutet
  • Freilich, so etwa der sozialdemokratische Senator und erste Nachwende-Außenminister Jiri Dienstbier, könne Klaus nur schwerlich ignorieren, dass beide Kammern des Parlaments mit Drei-Fünftel-Mehrheit für den Reformvertrag gestimmt hätten. „Wir müssen aufhören, uns provinziell zu verhalten und Europa als etwas Fremdes anzusehen“, mahnte er. „Wir müssen aufhören zu sagen, Europa sind „die“. Europa sind in Wahrheit wir.“
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.09: Czech senate approves EU's Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • The Czech Senate on Wednesday (6 May) approved the EU's Treaty of Lisbon, a move that was greeted with relief in Brussels and that ups the pressure on Ireland, facing its second referendum on the document. Fifty-four of the 79 senators voted in favour of the new institutional rules, which introduce an EU foreign minister, a permanent president of the European Council and widely extend the powers of the European Parliament. The lower house passed the document in February.
  • For the ratification process to be completed, the treaty still has to be signed by the country's eurosceptic president, Vaclav Klaus. He has previously indicated he would not sign it no matter what the outcome of the parliamentary votes. In a reference to Mr Klaus, the commission president said he hoped the remaining "constitutional requirements" would be completed as quickly as possible.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.05.09: Anxious EU awaits Czech verdict on Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
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  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • Even if there is a "yes" vote in the Senate, Klaus as head of state would have to formally sign and ratify the text.The Czech president has never stated openly whether he would block the passage of the treaty if it is approved by parliament.However comments he made in February are typical of his stated stance."I fear that attempts to speed up and deepen integration and to move decisions about the lives of the citizens of the member countries up the European level can have effects that will endanger all the positive things achieved in Europe in the last half a century," he told the European parliament in Brussels back then.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.04.09: The Czech Presidency - an interim balance - 0 views

  • The Czech political malaise will dent the country’s reputation but just might jumpstart the Lisbon Treaty. PRAGUE | The coalition government of the Czech Republic lost a confidence vote on 24 March and is expected to be out of office within weeks. Leaving aside for the moment the effect on the egocentric Czech political scene, what are the European consequences of the government falling midway through its prestigious European Union presidency?
  • No, the biggest political threat for the union as a whole dealing with the Czech turmoil has to do with the Lisbon Treaty. The way this plot line develops depends on who prevails in Czech politics. Will it be the euroskeptic President Vaclav Klaus or the Klaus-averse coalition of Topolanek’s Civic Democrats and the opposition Social Democrats that may be emerging?
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.03.09: EU foreign ministers at Hluboká: Lisbon treaty a must for future en... - 0 views

  • The Czech EU presidency hosted an informal meeting of the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers over the weekend in Hluboká, south Bohemia. Although Czech officials went into the meeting with an ambitious agenda it was the Czech Republic’s own domestic crisis that inevitably drew the most attention. Just days after the fall of the country’s centre-right government EU foreign ministers sought reassurances regarding the Czech EU presidency and the fate of the Lisbon treaty.
  • Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said he appreciated the “remarkable solidarity” of his colleagues, but said their support was not needed at the moment as the government of PM Mirek Topolánek remained in place for the time being. Mr Schwarzenberg conceded that it would not be possible to go ahead with EU enlargement without the Lisbon treaty in force, and said that the Czech Republic would not be a hurdle in the process. “This whole meeting here was to serve the noble aim of enlarging Europe. And I don’t think we are a hurdle, and I do think that – if you wish to allude to the ratification process [of the Lisbon treaty] – I am sure that it will be ratified in due time.”
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.03.09: Lisbon treaty ratification in Czechia and Ireland? - 0 views

  • Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said he will try and persuade his generally eurosceptic party to accept the Lisbon treaty, adding that he believed it would be ratified before the June European elections. "I will plead for the approval of the Lisbon Treaty, and try to cause only the smallest scars and slightest damage to the unity of the [Civic Democrats]," he said, according to Reuters, having being ousted from power by a vote of no confidence last week.
  • Meanwhile, the Irish government has said it will continue negotiations with the Czech EU presidency on securing a legal text on certain issues concerned with the treaty, despite Prague's complicated domestic problem. These legal guarantees - on neutrality, tax and social issues - were agreed by EU leaders following Ireland's rejection of the treaty in a referendum last year. A diplomatic source told the Sunday Business Post that the Irish government expected the guarantees to be agreed ahead of a June EU leaders summit, but admitted: ‘‘We don't know what's going to happen. Nobody does. They don't know themselves."
  • In Brussels there are fears that if the treaty is not approved this year then it risks not coming into place at all. Next year, a general election in the UK could see the Conservatives return to power. Its leader, David Cameron, has said he would hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it is not already in place.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.03.09: Czech government defeat raises major Lisbon concerns - 0 views

  • The presidents of both the European Commission and the European Parliament on Wednesday (25 March) urged the Czech Republic to proceed with the ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty despite the fall of the Czech government the day before, while Czech deputy premier Alexandr Vondra admitted the ratification would now become "more difficult."
  • "I would like to urge all political leaders not to use this political crisis in a way to make the Lisbon Treaty hostage to domestic problems. That would not be fair to the other countries of Europe," Mr Barroso said at a press conference in Strasbourg.
  • The Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany and Poland comprise the four countries that have yet to complete the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
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  • "From the European Parliament's perspective, it would be a tragedy for Europe if the Lisbon Treaty were to fall in one country, in a country that belonged previously to the Warsaw Pact," he said, referring to the organisation of Communist states in central and eastern Europe that existed from 1955 to 1991. "I cannot imagine that the Czech people, these 10 million people ... are going at the end of the day to stand against the 490 other million citizens of the European Union ... We have a historic responsibility to see this through," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.03.09: 'No US radar, no Lisbon Treaty', Prague warns - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek yesterday (18 March) confirmed reports revealed by EurActiv in January: President Barack Obama's decision to put on hold US plans to construct its missile shield and radar base in the Czech Republic effectively blocks his country's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
  • Topolánek, who chairs the ODS, told the Czech press that he is putting the Lisbon Treaty on ice, together with the US agreement. But he blamed the Social Democratic opposition for the stalemate. He also indicated that he hopes to convince the US president at the NATO summit on 4 April in Strasbourg to change his mind and proceed with the missile shield plan.  Obama will be travelling to Prague for an EU-US summit on 5 April: his first official visit to Europe.  Asked to clarify whether the deadlock could spell the end of the Lisbon Treaty, Topolánek said in an interview with Czech news: "I think that is possible. But I would stress it is not entirely our responsibility. I will not instruct anyone how to vote [...] I have said that many times before.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.03.09:Topolánek: Stopping enlargement is a 'road to hell' - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister and current EU presidency holder Mirek Topolánek today (13 March) warned that stopping enlargement and introducing new barriers in Europe is a "road to hell". He was writing in English during an online chat session, in response to a question from EurActiv.
  • As EU countries are only expected to offer Croatia a realistic chances of joining the bloc in the near term, holding back the membership aspirations of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania, Topolánek, who had just returned from a tour of the region, strongly advocated a more generous approach to the Western Balkans.  "The citizens of the countries which try to prevent further EU enlargement are opposing the principal idea of the European Community. The civilisation mission and the enlargement of a space of security, prosperity and freedom must be perpetuated, since these are the values upon which the EU was founded. Introducing new iron curtains, barriers or walls is a road to hell," Topolánek said. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.01.09: Majority of Czechs want Lisbon ratified - 0 views

  • A majority of Czechs want their parliament to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, according to a poll published on Wednesday (28 January). The number of those in favour of the treaty has grown among followers of all political parties and reached 64 percent – an increase of 19 percent compared to October, according to survey publisher STEM polling.
  • The Czech Republic currently holds the rotating six-month EU presidency and both those who understand the treaty and those who do not have said this fact raises their country's profile in Europe. This could explain their current stronger support for the Lisbon Treaty, the STEM analysts explain.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.01.09: Irish changes to Lisbon vital for Czech ratification - 0 views

  • The ratification of the Lisbon treaty in the Czech senate will be "very problematic" if the EU protocols promised to the Irish for a second referendum are not adopted, Ludek Sefzig, head of the EU affairs committee in the Czech senate told EUobserver. A former member of the European Parliament and currently a Czech senator from the conservative ODS party, Mr Sefzig was present on Monday (19 January) in Brussels at a joint debate with national parliaments on EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs.
  • "We interrupted our ratification procedure because we have more time for discussions now after the Irish No and we prepare our own rules of procedure in both chambers. We will continue the ratification procedure in two months. During this time we will finish our amendments," Mr Sefzig explained. The issue at stake was the transfer of powers, especially in the area of justice and home affairs, from national to an EU level, where Mr Sefzig as well as other senators feared that decisions could be taken behind closed doors and without parliamentary control.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.01.09: Polish president won't sign Lisbon before Irish referendum - 0 views

  • Poland will not complete the final step of ratification for the EU's Lisbon treaty until after Ireland has had its second referendum on the document, the Polish president has reiterated. While noting that his country does not intend to be an obstacle to the bloc's ratification of the text, Lech Kaczynski said he would only sign off on the treaty if Irish citizens say Yes in the new vote, expected in autumn.
  • The president's tough stance comes despite the Polish parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday passing a resolution for him to yield. "The parliament requests the president to respect the will of both houses of parliament and to finish the process of ratification as quickly as possible," the resolution - which is to be voted on in plenary on Thursday - says, according to Rzeczpospolita.
  • Besides Ireland and Poland, Germany - which is awaiting a ruling by its highest court on legal challenges to the text - and the Czech Republic have also not yet ratified the EU treaty.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.01.09: Czech PM gives scant praise to Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has trampled on the EU's unspoken rule that presidency countries do not offer a controversial opinion on the sensitive topic of the moment. Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 January), Mr Topolanek, in charge of the EU for the first half of this year, offered only half-hearted support for the EU's new rulebook - seven years in the making and facing an uncertain future - and expressed doubts that Czech citizens would approve it in a referendum.
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