Skip to main content

Home/ European Union/ Group items tagged enlargement_fatigue

Rss Feed Group items tagged

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.04.09: Busek: Adaptation of EU-decision-making-system would facilitate enlargement - 0 views

  • As it continues to enlarge, the European Union needs to review its current vote weighting and abandon the veto system, Erhard Busek, special enlargement advisor to the Czech EU Presidency, told EurActiv in an interview.
  • "Personally, I'm convinced that the current voting weight repartition, as well as the lack of qualified majority vote in most of the situations, is the real background of these hesitations. It has nothing to do with region, because it's completely clear for all member states that all the Western Balkan countries should become members of the EU," Busek said.  He also expressed his personal view that in order to avoid infighting between neighbours, Western Balkan countries could more easily join the EU as a bloc. As an example, he referred to the Croatia-Slovenia border dispute (EurActiv 10/03/09), which he said should be solved by negotiations.  "My personal opinion is that […] there could be a bloc of entering countries. Because the real danger is - and we have to learn from the experience of Slovenia and Croatia - is that one country blocks the neighbouring country because of bilateral problems. It's a real nonsense and I think it's better to do it all together," Busek said. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.03.09: France, Germany remain cool on EU enlargement - 0 views

  • EU foreign ministers meeting on Saturday (28 March) sought to reassure western Balkan countries on their EU future, but the bloc's heavyweights, France and Germany, reaffirmed their reluctance to accept further enlargement so long as the EU's own institutional future is in limbo. "Clearly there will be no enlargement if there is no Lisbon treaty. Everybody knows it, so why not say it?" French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner was reported as saying by Reuters after the informal foreign ministers meeting in Hluboka Nad Vltavou in the Czech Republic.
  • But other traditionally pro-enlargement EU states urged the bloc not to shut the door on the EU hopefuls. "I think we have got to make the argument that the European Union should learn from its history and its history is that wider makes stronger," said British foreign secretary David Miliband. Sweden's Carl Bildt expressed a similar opinion.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.03.09: Bosnia's irresponsible politicians drive Auntie EU crazy - 0 views

  • Take Bosnia-Herzegovina, where EU foreign ministers today named Valentin Inzko, a high-ranking Austrian diplomat, as the bloc’s new Special Representative. Inzko will wear two hats - he was named the world’s High Representative for Bosnia last week. But it will be something of a miracle if he makes any progress towards bringing the Bosnian state off the international life support machine on which it has depended since the end of the 1992-95 civil war. Insofar as the EU has any idea what to do, it seems to believe that the mutual suspicions that poison relations between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Serbs (and, to some extent, both communities’ relations with Bosnian Croats) will gradually disappear under the lure of eventual EU membership for the country. But as an excellent new report by the International Crisis Group points out, Bosnia is quite unlike the other former communist states to which the EU has - often successfully - applied this soothing strategy.
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

27.02.09: Bridging the EU's solidarity gap - 0 views

  • The Wall that represented the geographical and political division of Europe was taken down 20 years ago, bringing euphoric hopes of unity. Yet today there is a new division in Europe - a solidarity gap.
  • The Russian-Ukrainian dispute became the opening act of the East-West drama that called into question the EU's credibility among its new members. The lack of long-term support on the part of the European Commission for the integration of Europe's gas transmission systems and the initial reluctance of key European leaders such as Sarkozy, Merkel or Berlusconi to enter the fray resulted in a 14-day stalemate for a number of recently-admitted EU members. One immediate result was that previously high levels of support for the union fell by nearly 20% in Bulgaria during the weeks of the crisis. Last week, fresh news of Ukraine firm Naftagoz' inability to pay Gazprom has conjured the spectre of a new gas crisis, raising new fears in EU's East.
  • Meanwhile, the protectionist statements by French President Nicolas Sarkozy amid the growing financial difficulties of the new member states became an alarming signal for the prospects for their economies. With their banks owned mostly by West European banking institutions and their financial balances highly dependent on foreign direct investment from the established industrial countries, the new member states face the risk of financial turmoil in the months to come.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.02.09: What does the financial crisis mean for EU foreign policy - 0 views

  • But enthusiasm for further enlargement was already on the wane before the crisis. Now, the growing resentment over intra-EU labour migration in countries like Britain, Ireland, and Spain is hardly likely to engender support for millions of potential new migrants from Turkey, or the Balkans or for structural adjustment funds to be spent outside of today's EU. As a new paper by the Center for European Reform notes "With Europeans now fearing for their jobs and incomes, opposition to the union taking in more poor countries will most likely rise further."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.02.09: Serbia told to hold back EU application - 0 views

  • After meeting Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić in Brussels yesterday (9 February), Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn advised Belgrade not to rush with its formal application for EU membership, admitting that the political climate is not good for enlargement.
  • With the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) not yet having entered into force, the European Commission considers membership application as premature, the commissioner explained.  Serbia ratified the agreement last September (EurActiv 09/09/08), but on the EU side, the same process is on hold, as the Netherlands wants the country to "fully cooperate" with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. In other words, The Hague first wants war criminal Ratko Mladic to be captured and brought to justice.  In a significant shift of vocabulary, Rehn even refrained from referring to the EU's 'enlargement policy', instead preferring the expression "EU policy for stabilisation and societal progress in the Western Balkans". He said this is because the political context in the EU is not favourable to enlargement at present. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.12.08: 2009 shapes up as a weary, dreary year for EU enlargement - 0 views

  • With Croatia, there is less certainty. Quarrels with Slovenia, its former fellow-Yugoslav republic, meant that the EU on Friday concluded only three chapters with Croatia and opened one more. Slovenia blocked further progress.
  • Then there is Serbia. A report by the United Nations war crimes prosecutor this month made it clear that, even if Serbian co-operation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague had improved, it ought to be even better.
  • Macedonia is stuck, too - over that wearisome dispute with Greece about what its name should be. As for Bosnia-Herzegovina, it will be something of an achievement if it hangs together as a state, never mind about joining the EU. And when Montenegro officially presented its membership application on Monday, there were mutterings on the EU side that this was much too premature.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.12.08: France Warns Macedonia over 'Name Row" - 0 views

  • Even if Macedonia meets all the necessary reform requirements, Skopje cannot progress in its EU bid unless the 'name row' with Greece is solved, France has warned.
  • Despite acknowledging the fact that the country has met many criteria to move forward, and the Enlargement’s Commissioner’s evaluation that Macedonia has “plenty of potential to advance in EU integration,” Brussels decision-makers warn again that this could be overshadowed by the political unwillingness of EU member states.
  • Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, reiterated that the Commission had presented benchmarks this spring as a criteria that has to be fulfilled before Macedonia starts accession talks with the bloc.“But in meantime, it is true that the EU Council functions on the basis of unanimity and this is also the essential factor concerning the decision on opening accession talks with FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia),” Rehn said.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.11.08: Western Balkans still way off EU entry criteria - 0 views

  • EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn made clear yesterday (5 November) that Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Kosovo, are still a long way away from getting clear persprectives of EU accession.
  • In spite of the EU executive's insistence that its assessments are based on objective criteria, the countries in the region are increasingly aware that enlargement is no longer fashionable in the EU, especially in the context of the current financial crisis and uncertainty following the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by Ireland.  European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering said on Tuesday that "perhaps with the exception of Croatia," no enlargement was possible without the Lisbon Treaty. This statement contradicts strong views, expressed repeatedly by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, that no enlargement whatsoever was possible before the Lisbon Treaty comes into force (EurActiv 20/06/08). In fact, the Nice Treaty provides institutional arrangements for only 27 member states, but some countries believe that it may be possible to find a compromise to accommodate Croatia. 
  • Links European Union European Commission: Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2008-2009 European Commission: Key findings of the progress reports on the candidate countries: Croatia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: European Commission: Key findings of the progress reports on Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo European Commission: 2009 the year of the Western Balkans European Commission: Croatia 2008 Progress report European Commission: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2008 Progress report European Commission: Albania 2008 Progress report European Commission: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2008 Progress report European Commission: Montenegro 2008 Progress report European Commission: Serbia 2008 Progress report European Commission: Kosovo (under UNSR 1244/99) 2008 Progress report
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.04.08: European Parliament debates Western Balkans Relations - 0 views

  • The EU wants the Western Balkans to become as "normal, prosperous and boring" as Scandinavia, with the help of Stabilisation and Association Agreements that EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn hopes to sign soon with all countries in the region, he told the Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday. MEPs and experts also debated "enlargement fatigue", the EU's "absorption capacity", Serbia and Turkey.
  • Elmar Brok (EPP-ED, DE), who is drafting an EP report on the Commission's 2007 enlargement strategy paper, said that this was "not an attempt to block any further accessions". The EU "needs to see its own limits" if it wants to remain an effective institution, he said, arguing that granting some special status short of enlargement to neighbouring countries would strengthen their European perspective, rather than blocking the possibility of their joining the Union later on.
1 - 11 of 11
Showing 20 items per page