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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.01.11: Poland: Elections will not disrupt EU presidency - 0 views

  • The Polish junior minister for EU affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, has promised that upcoming elections will not disrupt Poland's EU chairmanship and defended Hungary over its controversial media law. Speaking to EUobserver ahead of a visit by EU Council head Herman Van Rompuy to Warsaw on Monday (17 January), Mr Dowgielewicz predicted the election will take place in the second half of October - slap-bang in the middle of Poland's EU presidency - but said the vote will be separated from its EU activities by a "Chinese wall".
  • The latest poll, by GfK Polonia in December, indicated that centre-right Prime Minister Donald Tusk will sail through to a second term on 54 percent, leaving behind the main opposition party, Law and Justice, on 26 percent. Even if the situation changes drastically, Law and Justice' bull-in-a-china-shop boss, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is unlikely to turn up at any EU summits in 2011. "The presidency has been set up in such a way as to allow the old government to continue running things until late December, until the last session of the European Parliament, no matter what happens," Mr Dowgielewicz noted.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.12.10: Elections in Kosovo demonstrate internal division of the society - 0 views

  • Acting Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci has declared victory for his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) following the first parliamentary elections to be held in an independent Kosovo. He made the declaration before the country's electoral commission has published the preliminary results. Exit polls signalled that the PDK had won most of the votes but the victory was overshadowed by reports of serious fraud in two municipalities in the Drenica region, a PDK stronghold. A 94 percent turnout was reported in Skenderaj while in the rest of Kosovo it averaged around 45 percent.
  • The elections demonstrated the internal divisions of a society that broke loose from its former Serbian rulers and declared itself an independent state in February 2008. Turnout in the majority Serb areas of the north was around one percent, after the Belgrade government's call for a vote boycott. However, there was a higher than expected turnout among Serbs in the rest of Kosovo, a sign that divisions run through the Kosovar Serb community as well. Even if the PDK's victory is confirmed, it will need at least two more parties, including minorities, as coalition partners to create a new government.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.10.10: Rethinking needed after Bosnian elections - 0 views

  • In my earlier article - Bosnia on the road to the EU, sorry to Dissolution - I described a bit the background and made some small forecast about outcome which seems to be not so far away from reality. Now elections are held and most votes counted. Turnout in the vote — the sixth general elections in Bosnia since the end of the 1992-95 war - was some 56 percent, the highest since 2002 (in 2006 the turnout was 55.3 percent).The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has assessed that the elections were generally in line with international standards for democratic elections, although certain areas, including ethnicity and residence-based limitations to active and passive suffrage rights, require further action.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

AriRusila's BalkanPerspective » Blog Archive » Bosnia on the road to the EU, ... - 0 views

  • Despite international community’s state building efforts in Bosnia the country is splitting parts Since war 15 years ago foreign aid has exceed USD 80 bn for artificial creature designed in Dayton agreement aiming multi-ethnic state with EU perspective. As a result Bosnia is now even more divided, with less national identity, 20 percent of population living under the poverty line, with a nightmare triple administration plus international supervising making the country as worst place in Europe to do business west of Ukraine, even as it seeks to join the European Union. (Bosnia this year ranked 116th in World Bank’s ease of doing business index.)
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.01.10: Croatians voted for Change - 0 views

  • The last election in Croatia can bring a refreshing change with new President Ivo Josipovic – a university law professor and a composer of classical music – but he will find a much tougher struggle ahead of him. This struggle not only due economical problems (national debt and unemployment) but also problems related to Croatia’s past. These problems are highlighted when Croatia is on final round to come next EU member state.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.08.09: Moldova Elections - 2nd attempt - 0 views

  • The 29 July early parliamentary elections in Moldova swept Europe’s last ruling Communist party from power by pro-EU opposition parties. With 98.3 percent of votes counted, the Communist Party won 48 seats in the 101-seat Moldovan parliament and the four opposition parties collected 53 seats. The former Soviet republic has been experiencing a political crisis since the April elections that turned into a week of violent demonstrations by young pro-opposition activists in the capital Chisinau, dubbed the “Twitter revolution” (More in my article “Twitter Revolution - Case Moldova” )
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.06.09: Sarkozy vows to change Europe after EU elections success - 0 views

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said his party's victory in Sunday's European elections showed that French people wanted the EU to change and has said he would come up with initiatives in that respect "in the days to come." In a communique published Monday (8 June) on the French president's website, Mr Sarkozy said that his centre-right UMP party's victory showed French people's "recognition for the work accomplished during the French presidency of the European Union [in the second half of last year] and their support for the efforts undertaken by the government to bring to an end an unprecedented global crisis".
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.05.09: EU-Wahl als Testfall für Web-2.0-Kampagnen - 0 views

  • Seit Barack Obama mit starker Web-Präsenz punktete, gelten Facebook & Co. auch hierzulande als vielversprechende Wahlhelfer - Die SPÖ versucht es mit "120 BotschafterInnen"
  • Entwickelt und betreut wird sie vom heimischen Social-Media-Spezialisten Knallgrau, die Online-Kampagnen mit sozialen Medien von Youtube und Facebook bis Twitter für große Kunden wie BMW oder durchführt und in der Blogging-Szene für das Gratis-Blog bekannt ist. "Die eigentliche Novität ist nicht die Technologie, sondern dass wir zusammen mit dem Renner-Institut in das Training von 120 Personen investierten, die als Botschafterinnen und Botschafter in sozialen Medien fungieren", beschreibt Knallgrau-Geschäftsführer DieterRappold. Die "120 BotschafterInnnen" fanden sich aus Teilen der SPÖ, und ihre Arbeit zielt mehr auf die Aktivierung der Basis als auf unmittelbaren Stimmengewinn ab.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.04.09: EU welcomes Macedonian elections, but calls for further reforms - 0 views

  • The European Commission on Monday (6 April) welcomed the way Sunday's presidential elections were conducted in Macedonia, but insisted the former Yugoslav country should still do more before it is let closer to the EU.
  • The commission had previously repeatedly indicated that these elections would be the "moment of truth" for Macedonia and called them the "key outstanding condition" for Skopje to be allowed to start EU accession talks. Violent incidents marked the general elections in the country last year, killing one person and wounding several others in an ethnic Albanian area. In Monday's statement however, Mr Rehn underlines that the Balkan country has also to speed up reforms in other fields before it is allowed closer to the bloc. "Now that the elections have been completed, it is time to step up reform efforts in order to meet the benchmarks which have been set," the commissioner stated. "Important work remains in order to deliver results on judicial reform, the fight against corruption and reform of the civil service," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.04.09: Centre-right wins Macedonia presidential elections - 0 views

  • Macedonia's ruling party candidate Gjorge Ivanov won Macedonia's presidential election on Sunday, pledging to resolve its long-standing name dispute with Greece in a bid to show the Balkan state's readiness to join the EU and NATO.
  • "Our first task will be to resolve the name issue with our southern neighbor Greece," Ivanov told Reuters. "I am sure we can find common interest and compromise." "I am sure Greece will be cooperative on the issue."
  • Macedonia applied for EU membership in 2005 but has not advanced since then, and Greece has blocked its NATO application in a 17-year-old dispute over Macedonia's name, which it shares with the northernmost Greek province. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.03.09: Sweden preparing for difficul EU presidency - 0 views

  • Sweden has set itself ambitious goals for its six-month stint at the EU helm but the upcoming European elections and uncertainty about when the next EU commission will be appointed will make its presidency "quite difficult", the country's minister for European affairs has said.
  • Sweden is to take over the EU chair from the Czech Republic on 1 July until the end of the year. The period coincides with the end of the mandate of the current European Commission, due in October, and follows the European Parliament elections in June. "Two key players and very important partners of the presidency – the parliament and the commission – will not be fully operational until quite some time into the autumn, which of course complicates matters," Swedish EU minister Cecilia Malmstrom said at a debate organised by Brussels-based think-tank The Centre on Monday (16 March). To the institutional limbo, she said, should be added the economic crisis and the planned second referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty, set for October
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.02.09: Macedonia faces challenges, pressure in 2009 - 0 views

  • Macedonia has its sights set on opening membership negotiations with the EU and NATO this year, goals that hinge on two main criteria. One is the country's local and presidential vote, scheduled for March 22nd. The other is a solution to the ongoing name dispute with Greece. Both present serious challenges.
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

15.12.08: Romanian 'grand coalition' to govern until 2012 - 0 views

  • The two parties that won the most seats in the Romanian Parliament during elections on 30 November yesterday (14 December) agreed upon a German-style "grand coalition" to govern the country until 2012. EurActiv Romania reports.
  • The agreement saw former adversaries the PDL (Democrat Liberals close to President Traian Basescu) and the PSD (Social Democrats, until now in opposition) sign a coalition agreement called "A Partnership for Romania".  As anticipated (EurActiv 10/12/08), the new prime minister will be PDL politician Teodor Stolojan, an economist and former World Bank expert. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.12.08: Pan-Europe Libertas Partay launched to fight "anti-democratic" Brussels - 0 views

  • Declan Ganley, the Irish businessman behind the Libertas campaign group, of the key organisations that defeated the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland's referendum on the text in June, has launched Libertas as the first truly pan-European political party. The new Libertas Party, which aims to run candidates in all 27 European Union states for the European Parliament elections in June 2009, says it wants to democratise the European institutions, with an elected commission and a president.
  • "This is a pro-European organisation. There is no future for Euroscepticism. The European Union is necessary," he added. "It is the status quo that if left as it is, will allow euro scepticism to grow." The new party will not partner with other political parties, but rather run all its candidates under the Libertas banner in each of the EU states. Beyond its position on democracy in Europe, Libertas' social and economic positions will be centrist, in order to attract people from across the political spectrum, although Mr Ganley was "not sure about communists."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.10.08: Bosnia vote marks nationalist surge - 0 views

  • Local elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday (5 October) confirmed deep ethnic divisions within the Balkan country, which is seen as a natural candidate for EU accession.
  • Serb, Muslim and Croat nationalists obtained high scores in the race for mayorships in the country's 149 municipalities following a campaign marked by nationalist rhetoric and lack of interest in the real problems faced by citizens. 
  • Links European Union European Commission: Bosnia and Herzegovina – Relations with the EU AFP: Nationalists lead in Bosnia’s local elections Reuters: Bosnians vote along ethnic lines in local polls Reuters: City voters boycott Bosnia’s local polls Huriyet, Turkey: Bosnians vote expected to seal hardliners Balkanisnsight, Serbia: Polls close in Bosnia’s local elections Voice of America: EU defence ministers agree to phase out peacekeeping mission in Bosnia Le Monde Diplomatique: Analysis: The black hole of Bosnia
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.09.08: Far right surges in Austrian election - 0 views

  • The victory of the Social Democrats in the general elections on Sunday (28 September) was overshadowed by the resurgence of the extreme right, with the two populist parties virtually holding a near-majority in the new parliament.
  • With 29.5% of the vote, the two far-right parties hold a virtual majority in the new parliament, putting them on an equal footing with the Social Democrats. Both parties have campaigned on anti-foreign sentiment, with Strache waging a campaign against Muslims and promising to pull Austria of the EU if he becomes chancellor.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.07.08: Pro-EU government approved in Serbia - 0 views

  • Serbia's parliament on Monday (7 July) approved the country's new government which will be led by prime minister Mirko Cvetkovic and favouring prompt EU membership– but which remains opposed to Kosovo's independence. The government coalition will be made up of a pro-EU alliance – led by current president Boris Tadic's Democrats (DS) – who won the elections in May, but did not get a big enough majority to form a government on its own, and the reformed Socialists (SPS) of late president Slobodan Milosevic
  • New prime minister Mirko Cvetkovic (DS) – a 57-year-old economist and former finance minister – promised that one of his first actions would be the introduction of a pre-accession EU deal for ratification by the Serbian parliament.
  • However, the new premier also stressed his country was nowhere close to accepting Kosovo's independence. "I pledge allegiance to the Republic of Serbia and promise with my honour that I will respect the Constitution... and to be committed to the preservation of Kosovo and Metohija within the Republic of Serbia," the premier and his ministers vowed after being sworn in.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.06.08: EU relief over new pro-European government in Serbia - 0 views

  • Following six weeks of tense negotiations, the Serbian Socialists yesterday (23 June) agreed to form a government with the pro-European bloc of President Boris Tadic, in a move seen as an important step towards Serbia's future EU membership.
  • The agreement with the Socialist Party of former dictator Slobodan Milosevic provides Tadic's bloc with a comfortable majority in the 250-seat parliament. Tadic, who clearly won the elections in May but could not reign alone, was confident that the new government would be formed "very soon". Two smaller parties - United Serbia, a breakaway former partner of the Socialists and the Bosniak 'List for European Sandzak' - had already joined the alliance earlier (EurActiv 12/06/08).  
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