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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.12.08: Czechs to widen EU-US summit to more nations - 0 views

  • Outlining some of the main priories of the incoming Czech EU Presidency, Milena Vicenova, the Czech ambassador to the bloc in Brussels, said her country would seek to hold an "informal summit" with the US in Prague, involving the leaders of the bloc's 27 member states in a departure from the usual European 'troika' format of delegations.
  • Meanwhile, the Czech ambassador also said her country would follow up on proposals tabled by the European Commission earlier this month to develop an Eastern Partnership to improve ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and particularly Ukraine.
  • The Czech ambassador also expressed her hope that the European elections, which are scheduled to take place on 4-7 June 2009, would be a success. "We will do everything in our power to avoid low turnout our voter apathy, and we hope to keep a positive spirit."
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  • EU official documents Czech EU Presidency: Website Czech EU Presidency: Priorties
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.09.08: Balkans model to underpin EU's 'Eastern Partnership' - 0 views

  • EU policies applied to the Western Balkans - such as a regional free trade area - are inspiring the "Eastern Partnership" with Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and "hopefully" Belarus, participants at a conference organized Wednesday (17 September) by the German Konrad Adenauer think-tank learned.
  • Initially a Polish-Swedish proposal endorsed in June by all member states, the Eastern Partnership is designed to deepen ties with the "European neighbours" to the east, balancing the 'Mediterranean Union' with the southern "neighbours of Europe," as Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski put it. The Georgian conflict sped up the process of drafting the eastern policy by the European Commission, with president Jose Manuel Barroso scheduled to sketch out the main features already at the EU summit on 15 October.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Popescu (2008), Enlargement Lite - 0 views

  • But unlike the “accession neighbors” of Central Europe or the Western Balkans, the EU's eastern neighbors have two other alternatives to the EU: joining the gradually re-consolidating Russian “sphere of influence” or playing a Tito-style game of perpetual maneuvering between East and West to strengthen their position, rather than fully committing to one or the other. The new neighbors can more easily eschew EU conditionality and attendant reforms. They also have deeply corrupt and often authoritarian elites whose primary goal is to stay in power.
  • As a result, most Eastern European governments want an ENP “a la carte.” Unlike the accession countries of the 1990s, they are much more selective of what they take from the EU. Most of them are not interested in importing the whole acquis. Why should they adopt expensive social or environmental laws, if they are not going to join the EU?
  • The EU is entering a new game in the neighborhood (and even in countries like Turkey or Serbia). A reworked model of ENP, or what is effectively enlargement-lite, might work for Moldova and Ukraine, but is unlikely to have much effect elsewhere. Instead, the EU's ability to shape the future development - and choices -- of its other eastern neighbors will depend on the EU's capacity to differentiate and play the different “sovereignty games” of its neighbors, which implies being much more responsive to their needs.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.11.08: EU plans stronger ties with East European neighbours - 0 views

  • he European Commission is working on an 'Eastern Partnership' with Ukraine, Georgia and other countries lying on its eastern borders, diplomats and EU officials have announced.
  • Ukraine wants an 'Eastern European Partnership', modelled on the defunct Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, as a precursor to future EU membership, the country's ambassador in Brussels told journalists yesterday (6 November)
  • According to Veselovski, the partnership's added value compared to the EU's current neighbourhood policy would reside in a joint effort to change perceptions about the region, which he said is too often portrayed as a conflict-ridden area unfit for EU integration. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

22.05.08: Pland and Sweden to pitch 'Eastern Partnership" idea - 0 views

  • Poland and Sweden are to unveil joint proposals for a new eastern Europe policy at an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels on Monday (26 May), in a mini-version of France's "Mediterranean Union." The "Eastern Partnership" envisages a multinational forum between the EU-27 and neighbouring states Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Polish press agency PAP reports.
  • The forum would aim to negotiate visa-free travel deals, free trade zones for services and agricultural products and strategic partnership agreements with the five countries. It would also launch smaller, bilateral projects on student exchange, environmental protection and energy supply, but would avoid the controversial topic of EU membership perspectives.
  • Unlike the grander Mediterranean club, the eastern set-up would not have its own secretariat but would be run by the European Commission and financed from the 2007 to 2013 European neighbourhood policy budget. A commission official would be appointed as its "special coordinator."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.05.08: EU foreign policy 'undermined' by flurry of national initiatives - 0 views

  • Following France's example with the EuroMed proposal, Poland and Sweden are due to present an 'Eastern Initiative' at a meeting next week, in a move which diplomats warned could ruin the EU's patient efforts to craft a common external policy.
  • The Commission's attempt to forge a European Neighbourhood Policy with countries on its southern and eastern borders will be dealt another blow when Poland and Sweden present their joint proposal for an 'Eastern Initiative' at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday (26 May). 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.05.08: Poland and Sweden defend 'Eastern initiative - 0 views

  • A new proposal by Sweden and Poland to strengthen the EU's ties with its eastern neighbours to be officially presented today is not meant to undermine but rather enhance existing EU policies, according to a draft paper obtained by EurActiv.
  • Mirroring the countries already covered by the ENP scheme, the new initiative aims to improve ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and particularly Ukraine. The draft paper suggests that a new Enhanced Partnership Agreement (EPA) currently being negotiated with Ukraine "could serve as a reference" for other countries. 
  • The new initiative is seen as a complement to the French-driven 'Union for the Mediterranean' proposal, but unlike the original French vision, the Polish-Swedish proposal clearly states that it would be embedded into existing EU structures and does not seek additional funding but is financed solely out of the ENP budget.
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