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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.11.08: Debates about lisbon-treaty in Ireland and Czechia - 0 views

  • An Irish parliamentary committee is to debate a report arguing that a second referendum on the EU's Lisbon treaty is legally possible. The draft report, first seen by the Irish Times, has been discussed in a private session by the Subcommittee on Ireland's Future in the EU and is due to be presented to the joint Committee on European Affairs on Thursday (27 November).
  • It argues that a second poll on the EU's new reform treaty - following the debacle in June when the Irish voters rejected the document by a clear majority - would be preferable, suggesting a vote on the same text but accompanied by clarifying declarations on controversial issues.
  • Meanwhile, Prague is expecting a verdict from the Czech constitutional court on whether the EU reform plan is in line with the Czech constitution after a heated exchange between the country's president and government officials in the courtroom on Tuesday (25 November). The Czech Republic is the only country that has not yet voted on the Lisbon treaty. Despite this fact, the republic is preparing to take over the helm of the EU from France in January, when it assumes the six-month rotating EU presidency, and must then lead talks with Ireland on how to solve the institutional problem.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.08: Czechia pledges not to bloc Lisbon treaty ratification - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said his government will seek to complete the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty if the country's constitutional court confirms the new EU rules do not contradict the Czech constitution. Prague is one of seven European capitals where the bloc's reform treaty has not yet received a blessing from the national lawmakers, with the process currently on hold after the parliament's upper chamber sent it for a review by top judges in late April.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.05.07: Czechia seeks get-out clause für EU laws in new treaty - 0 views

  • The Czech Republic wants a new EU treaty to include a clause allowing groups of EU states to opt out of Brussels legislation, in a plan set to re-ignite the debate on a two-speed Europe.
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

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

05.01.09: EU efforts to broker a ceasefire in the Palestinian territorities - 0 views

  • The Czech EU presidency this weekend retracted its support for Israel amid the ground attack on Gaza, while France switched its criticism from Israel to Hamas.
  • Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who last week complained about Israel's disproportionate use of force, laid the lion's share of blame on Hamas in an interview on Monday.
  • The melee of EU diplomats will also be joined on Monday by Tony Blair, the former British leader and current special envoy of the Middle East quartet (the EU, US, UN and Russia).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.10.08: Weakened Czech leader pledges EU treaty ratification - 0 views

  • Reeling from a huge political blow in last weekend's regional elections, Czech centre-right Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said that his country - set to chair the EU as of January - will push forward the ratification of the bloc's new Lisbon treaty. "It would be very complicated to talk with the Irish about their ratification process and conditions of the process if we ourselves did not ratify the Lisbon treaty," Mr Topolanek said during a visit by German leader Angela Merkel to Prgaue on Monday (20 October), suggesting he would try his best to deal with the document at national level "by the end of this year," CTK agency reported
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.12.08: Topolánek: 'My government is not fighting for survival' - 0 views

  • The EU doesn't need to worry about internal political in-fighting in the Czech Republic during its upcoming EU Presidency as the country has seen much worse in times past, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek told EurActiv Czech Republic in an exclusive interview.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.12.08: Czechs to reshuffle government ahead of EU presidency - 0 views

  • Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has signalled a government reshuffle just two weeks before it assumes the EU presidency as pressure grows from the opposition Social Democratic party to reach agreement over the Lisbon Treaty.
  • The prime minister's announcement came amid growing pressure from the opposition Social Democratic Party (CSSD) to agree upon a coalition programme in view of the imminent Czech Presidency of the EU, which starts on 1 January and will last six months. Topolanek's ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) have emerged weakened from recent regional elections, losing all 13 regions to the opposition CSSD (EurActiv 20/10/08). The CSSD and Communists now hold 97 votes in the 200-seat lower chamber, while Topolanek's ODS only has 96 seats. The remaining seven seats are held by independents.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.12.08: Czechs postpone Lisbon Treaty vote to 2009 - 0 views

  • Having survived a party leadership contest at the weekend (EurActiv 08/12/08), Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek in theory gained a stronger mandate to ratify the treaty in the Czech parliament and could have put it to vote had he so wished.  However, at yesterday's extraordinary meeting of parliament initiated by the Czech opposition, Topolanek instead led his ODS (Civic Democrat) party to postpone the debate on the treaty, which will now take place on 3 February. This, then, is the earliest possible date for the Czechs to vote on the treaty. Even then, the vote is not guaranteed to take place. 
  • In reality, it is believed the Czech PM is buying time in order to unify the warring factions of his own party, following the dramatic resignation from the ODS of anti-Lisbon Czech President and party chairman Vaclav Klaus on Saturday. As a result of Klaus' defection and Topolanek's victory over Klaus' ally, Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, it is believed many ODS deputies currently feel considerable antipathy toward the Czech PM and might have used a vote on Lisbon to punish their party leader. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.12.08: Czech President tussles with Danny the Red on Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • A meeting between Czech President Vaclav Klaus and a top-level delegation of MEPs descended into verbal fisticuffs on Friday (5 December) after the co-leader of the Greens in the parliament attacked Mr Klaus for his opposition to the Lisbon treaty and his relations with Irish No campaigner Declan Ganley.
  • "I don't care about your opinions on [the Lisbon treaty]. I want to know what you will do if both the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the Senate approve it," Green MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit asked, according to a transcript of the meeting - designed to debate the upcoming Czech EU presidency - published by Mr Klaus.
  • Mr Klaus responded by saying that nobody had talked to him in such a way in the six years since he was elected president, calling the conversation "unprecedented." "You are not on the Paris barricades here," he said, referring to the Green leader's past life as a 1968 Paris protester. "I thought that these practices had ended for us 19 years ago. I see I was wrong. I would not dare to ask how the Greens' activities are funded," Mr Klaus said. Others in the parliamentary delegation then entered the fray, with Irish MEP Brian Crowley telling Mr Klaus he was offending Ireland.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.12.08: Czech PM wins leadership contest, clears path for Lisbon ratification - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek survived a leadership battle with the anti-Lisbon Treaty wing of his party this weekend, effectively gaining a clear mandate to ratify the treaty in his country's parliament tomorrow (9 December).
  • Topolanek's ruling ODS (Civic Democrat) party has been plagued in recent months by internal divisions over the Lisbon Treaty, most notably due to the high-profile actions of the party chairman, Czech President Vaclav Klaus (EurActiv 13/11/08). Klaus opposes the treaty, in open defiance of his party's official line.  Topolanek successfully saw off the challenge of Prague Mayor and Klaus ally Pavel Bem in a convincing 284-162 vote. With his renewed mandate, Topolanek is now expected to put the treaty to vote in an extraordinary meeting of the Czech parliament on Tuesday. 
  • This week is a key milestone in the troubled journey of the Lisbon Treaty. After the Czech parliament has discussed and possibly voted on the treaty, the Irish government is expected to unveil its roadmap for a solution at the EU summit in Brussels. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.12.08: Czechs unveil priorities for EU presidency - 0 views

  • "Europe without barriers" is the motto the Czech government picked for its time at the helm of the six-month rotating EU presidency, a phrase they intend as an allusion to Prague's current free-market orientation, especially when it comes to lifting labour barriers between old and new member states, administrative hurdles and trade relations with countries beyond the EU, Ms Vicenova explained.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.11.08: Lisbon treaty storms through Swedish parliament - 0 views

  • The Swedish parliament late on Thursday (20 November) adopted the Lisbon treaty by a sweeping majority, becoming the 23rd EU country to ratify the text. The treaty was passed by 243 votes against 39 at 23:30 local time, with 13 abstentions and 54 deputies absent from the 349-seat legislature, the Riksdag.
  • Final four The Swedish result comes after Ireland voted No to Lisbon in a referendum in June. A small crowd of anti-Lisbon campaigners protested outside the Swedish embassy in Dublin on Thursday, saying the Irish government should have told Sweden the treaty is dead. The Czech Republic is awaiting a constitutional court verdict on 25 November before resuming parliamentary ratification. A German constitutional court verdict is expected in early 2009. The Polish president has refused to sign off on the treaty unless Ireland overturns its No.
    Lisbon treaty storms through Swedish parliament
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.11.08: Debates on Lisbon Treaty ratification in the Irish and the European Parliament - 0 views

  • Speaking in the Irish parliament on Tuesday (18 November), Declan Ganley, the head of anti-Lisbon campaign group Libertas, said the Irish government had encouraged other EU states to continue with ratification of the Lisbon treaty in order to increase pressure on Irish citizens.
  • Strasbourg urges ratification before June 2009 Meanwhile, the European Parliament's constitutional affairs committee approved on Monday a report urging the Irish government to put forward concrete proposals on the way forward after the referendum to ensure that the Lisbon Treaty is ratified before the 2009 European Parliament elections. The committee also called on Sweden and the Czech Republic to complete their ratification procedures before the end of 2008. The Swedish parliament is expected to pass the treaty on Thursday.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.11.08: France 'overstepped mandate' on missile shield moratorium - 0 views

  • Prague and Warsaw have poured cold water on French calls for a moratorium on a planned US missile shield in Europe, with both capitals saying that president Nicolas Sarkozy overstepped his mandate.
  • "I don't think that third countries, even such good friends as France, can have a particular right to express themselves on this issue," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday (15 November)
  • The Polish leader described Mr Sarkozy's comments as his "own point of view, [with] no impact of the future of the project," according to AFP, adding that "The question of the anti-missile shield is governed by an agreement between Poland and the United States."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.11.08: New pan-European alliance to fight EU treaty - 0 views

  • A European political force opposed to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and to further EU integration will emerge today (12 November) after a visit to Ireland by eurosceptic Czech President Václav Klaus.
  • Klaus's controversial visit to Dublin is expected to culminate later today with a gathering of prominent eurosceptics, the Irish press reported.  Among them are Philippe de Villiers, the leader of French sovereign party Mouvement pour la France, Anthony Coughlan, an Irish 'No' campaigner, English-born columnist Bruce Arnold and several MEPs.  In total, 80 people were invited to a dinner today in Dublin, closed to the media. Both Ganley and Klaus are expected to deliver speeches. 
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.
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