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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.05.08: Commission adopts code of conduct for EU lobbyists - 0 views

  • The European Commission has adopted a code of conduct regulating lobbyists' behaviour as a forerunner to the voluntary register to be launched by Administration and Anti-Fraud Commissioner Siim Kallas on 23 June.
  • The 'Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives ', officially adopted on 28 May, contains "clear and precise rules" for lobbyists to follow in their relations with Commission staff, according to the EU executive. 
  • The code of conduct is intended to complement the lobbyists register the Commission is set to publish on 23 June and constitutes part of the wider transparency initiative launched by Vice President Kallas in 2005. 
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  • Links European Union European Commission: Communication: A framework for relations with interest representatives (Register and Code of Conduct) (27 May 2008) [FR] [DE] European Commission: Press release: The Commission adopts a code of conduct for interest representatives (28 May 2008) [FR] [DE] European Commission: Coming soon: the Commission's Register for Interest Representatives European Commission: Results of the Consultation on the Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives (27 May 2008) European Commission: Transparency Initiative [FR] [DE] European Commission: Frequently Asked Questions on Transparency Initiative EU Actors positions ALTER-EU: ALTER-EU submission to the consultation on a Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives EPACA: EPACA Response to the Draft European Commission Code of Conduct for Interest Representatives (15 February 2008)
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

25.06.08: Kommission legt "Small Business Act" für KMU vor - 0 views

  • Die EU-Kommission hat heute einen „Small Business Act“ für Europas Kleine und Mittlere Unternehmen (KMU) vorgelegt. Ziel ist, die Unterstützung der KMU zu verbessern, damit sie ihr Potenzial, langfristig nachhaltiges Wachstum und mehr Arbeitsplätze zu schaffen, voll ausschöpfen können.
  • Informationen im Einzelnen zum Small Business Act (SBA) und den zehn Grundsätzen finden Sie hier. Alle Dokumente zum SBA im Überblick gibt es auf der Seite der EU-Kommission. nformationen zum neuen Statut der Europäischen Privatgesellschaft gibt es hier. Weitere Informationen zur Europäischen Privatgesellschaft sind abrufbar auf der Seite der EU-Kommission. Hintergrundinformationen zu neuen praktischen Leitlinien für die Mitgliedstaaten im Bereich der Öffentlichen Auftragsvergabe für KMU gibt es hier.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.05.08: EP report on European External Action Service (EEAS) - 0 views

  • The European Parliament is trying to influence the ongoing preparations for the establishment of a 'European External Action Service' (EEAS), to be set up jointly between the EU Council of Ministers and the Commission after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. But critics say this major novelty in the EU architecture is about to be introduced in almost complete secrecy.
  • On 6 May, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee put forward a draft report on the Common Foreign and Security Policy, which is intended to constitute MEPs' wish-list vis-à-vis the Council and the Commission on establishing EEAS.  The report points out that the future office of High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission will derive its legitimacy directly from the European Parliament. It also stresses the need for "transparency and democratic input" into the process of setting up the planned European External Action Service, and calls for a mechanism to be set up to provide confidential information to select Foreign Affairs Committee Members. 
  • "The key expectation of the Parliament is that it has more to say on that and Parliament can add additional democratic legitimacy from taking positions. And we expect to be involved in shaping these decisions ex ante, and not only post factum," Saryusz-Wolsky said. 
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  • EU official documents Lisbon treaty see Article 2, Title VI European Parliament Draft report on CFSP by Jacek Saryusz-Wolski European Parliament Press release: A more effective EU foreign policy in prospect, but more parliamentary scrutiny needed The European Commission Sppeech by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

2,280 questions asked about Albania's EU readiness - 0 views

  • Albania on Wednesday (16 December) took another step towards EU membership when the European Commission sent Tirana a voluminous questionnaire about its readiness to join the bloc.
  • Helmuth Lohan, head of the EU mission in Tirana, handed the questionnaire – a 384-page document with 2,280 questions – to Prime Minister Sali Berisha, the EU Delegation in Albania announced on its website. 
  • "The questionnaire attaches particular importance to the 'Copenhagen political criteria' for EU accession. Good governance, the rule of law, judiciary reform, the fight against corruption, media freedom – these are all key issues which will form the core of our assessment," read a statement from the EU delegation. 
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  • Although Albania has changed enormously since the Communist period, when it was a unique case of autarchy vis-à-vis not only the West, but also the rest of the Communist bloc except China, it still remains a poor country. A recently published Eurostat survey puts Albania at the very bottom in Europe in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per inhabitant, expressed in purchasing power standards.  With an EU-27 average of 100, Albania comes last with 26% of this indicator. Another candidate country, Croatia, stands much higher with 63%, a rate similar to that of EU member Hungary, at 64%. Turkey stands at 46%, which is higher that the rate of EU member Bulgaria (41%).  Iceland, the Nordic EU hopeful, stands above the EU average, at 121% - higher than Sweden, which has 120%. The highest wealth per habitant is registered in Luxembourg, with 276%, followed by Ireland, a long way behind with 135%. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.12.10: Treaty change to provide for a permanent European Stability Mechanism from mi... - 0 views

  • A two-sentence paragraph to be inserted into the Lisbon Treaty will prepare the legal groundwork for a permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) from mid-2013 onwards, under which the costs of future eurozone bail-outs may also be shared by sector private sector participants.

    "The member states whose currency is the euro may establish a stability mechanism to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole. The granting of financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality," reads the paragraph, contained in draft EU summit conclusions seen by this website on Monday (13 December).

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pressed EU leaders to accept the treaty change as she fears Germany's powerful constitutional court may raise objections to the €440 billion temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), agreed in May and set to provide aid to Ireland. While EU policymakers insist the temporary facility and earlier aid to Greece do not contravene the EU treaty's 'no bail-out clause', Berlin is keen to remove any legal uncertainty, with a number of legal challenges currently under examination by the German court.
  • The treaty change is to take place under a new procedure introduced under the Lisbon Treaty - the simplified revision procedure - allowing for limited treaty changes without the setting up of a convention, on condition that new powers are not transferred from the national to EU level. In the draft conclusions, EU leaders also call on euro area finance ministers and the commission to finalise work on setting up the permanent aid mechanism, including features that could force sovereign bond holders to accept diminished returns on their investments, should a eurozone government be forced to call for aid under the ESM from 2013 onwards. The move stands in marked contrast to aid terms recently agreed for Ireland, under which holders of Irish sovereign debt and senior debt in Irish banks were not forced to accept a 'haircut.' Instead, Irish taxpayers will indirectly pay back the €85 billion borrowed from the EU-IMF for many years to come. Analysts say this move was partially designed to prevent further instability in the European banking sector, with many firms considerably exposed to the Irish market.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.01.08: Google-DoubleClick merger brings EU into uncharted territory - 0 views

  • The proposed acquisition of online advertising company DoubleClick by Google, the Internet search giant, raises a host of privacy concerns that make the merger more than a mere competition case, legal experts have said.
  • The European Commission decided in November to open an in-depth investigation to verify the effects produced by the operation to the markets for intermediation and ad serving in online advertising. The deadline for the decision was designated 2 April 2008.
  • EU official documents European Commission: Provisional deadline for Google/DoubleClick decision (2 Oct. 2007) European Commission: Merger: European Commission opens in-depth investigation into Google'e proposed take over of DoubleClick (13 Nov. 2007) [FR] [DE]
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.10.10: Ashton calls off EU ambassador hearings - 0 views

  • EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has called off plans for EU ambassadors to hold hearings in the European Parliament in a serious rift with MEPs over the set-up of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

    Ms Ashton announced the move late on Monday (4 October) on the eve of the first hearing with the new EU envoy to Japan, Austrian diplomat Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, which was due to have taken place in the parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday morning.

    The decision comes after MEPs opted to hold the hearings in public and before the nominees have been formally installed in their posts, raising the risk that if one of them tripped up in questioning it could cost them their new job.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.03.08: Croatia handed 2009 target date to conclude EU talks - | EU - Eu... - 0 views

  • Commission President José Manuel Barroso has presented an "indicative timetable" for concluding EU membership talks with Croatia by November next year, with 2010 as the likely entry date.
  • "In this autumn's enlargement package, the Commission will present an indicative timetable for the technical conclusion of the negotiations in 2009, provided a number of conditions are met by Croatia," said the Commission President. He said these included: Complying with all legal obligations under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA), including cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); "urgently" improving the management of EU financial assistance under the PHARE and IPA programmes, and; suspending all aspects of Croatia's Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone, which had blocked Slovenian and Italian vessels from fishing in Croatian waters.
  • Links EU official documents Commission: Speaking points of Commission President Barroso following his meeting with Croatia's PM Sanader Commission: Croatia - Country profile Commission: Croatia - Key documents
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.04.08: Slovakia, Poland ratify Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • Slovakia has become the ninth country to ratify the new EU Treaty as deputies approved the text by a margin of 103 votes to five - after settling a dispute over a controversial media bill that had dragged on for months.
  • Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico expressed his relief following the vote, saying "with this document, the EU will be closer to Slovak citizens"
  • Meanwhile, Polish President Lech Kaczynski added his signature to the Treaty, clearing the final hurdle in the country's ratification process. It had already been approved by both chambers of the Polish Parliament last week (EurActiv 02/04/08).  The Polish president and his brother, former prime minister and current opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, had long delayed ratification, demanding legal guarantees that the new Treaty would not threaten Polish interests.  Ahead of Poland and Slovakia,  seven countries have ratified the Treaty, namely Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Slovenia and Austria, which was the most recent signatory (EurActiv 10/04/08). The text has to be approved by all 27 member states to enter into force. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.06.08: EU mulls Lisbon Treaty sweeteners for Ireland - 0 views

  • As EU foreign ministers try to breathe life back into the Lisbon Treaty, the charter of institutional reforms rejected by Irish voters last week, Dublin is likely to be offered stronger guarantees in the sensitive areas of taxation, defence and family policies. According to the Financial Times, "explanatory protocols" should explicitly state that the document does not affect Ireland's ability to set its own tax rates, the country's neutrality status or its abortion policy.
  • Another solution being floated involves a legal assurance that Ireland will never lose its seat at the European Commission table, the Irish Times reports. The Lisbon Treaty enables EU leaders to put the reduction of the size of the commission on ice. Either scenario is expected to be agreed at the first top-level meeting of EU leaders under the French EU presidency in October.
  • Irish No will not put brakes on EU enlargement Aside from the size of the next European Commission - now capped by the current EU rules - a question mark hangs over the 27-nation bloc's capacity to absorb new members. The Nice Treaty is tailored to no more than 27 member states. When asked about the prospects of EU hopefuls' accession to the EU, Mr Rupel excluded any changes to the process. "The outcome of the Irish referendum in no way changes enlargement policy...The EU unanimously decided to invited the countries of the Western Balkans to take membership so there is no doubt about that," the minister said, but added: "How we will carry that out that is another question."
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

Portal: Vertrag über eine Verfassung für Europa - 0 views

  • Ratifizierung und Referendum: aktueller Stand Eine Verfassung für Europa: Themenblätter Die Themenblätter erklären thematisch geordnet die wesentlichen Veränderungen in der Verfassung. Ihre Darstellung ist präzise und detailliert, ein Index ist beigefügt Zusammenfassung des Verfassungsvertrags Wichtige Reden Diskussionsveranstaltungen der Zivilgesellschaft Informationen aus den Mitgliedsländern
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

29.04.08: EU attempts to woo Serbia with SAA - 0 views

  • With just over a week to go until what is being billed as decisive elections in Serbia, the EU on Tuesday (29 April) sent a strong political signal to the western Balkan country that its future belongs in the European Union.

    In a piece of political manoeuvring that gives the pro-EU forces in Belgrade something to use at home but upholds a key European demand, both sides signed a pre-membership deal at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

    The deal came after the Netherlands and Belgium dropped their opposition to the move but on condition that the implementation of the agreement depends on Belgrade's cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal.

    "This is a good day, a happy day for both Serbia and the EU," Slovenian foreign minister Dimitrij Rupel whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said after signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) in Luxembourg.
  • The decision was taken on Tuesday morning after Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to sign the SAA.
  • They yielded to the pressure of other EU states – who have been prepared to sign the agreement for weeks - on condition that Serbia will not get any concrete benefits from the agreement until Belgrade is judged as fully cooperating with the ICTY. Normally, ratification of such documents is launched immediately after they are signed.
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  • Meanwhile, the party of Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, has reiterated its opposition to signing the SAA and said the country's parliament would never ratify the document, according to Russian news agency Itar-Tass.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.11.10: Albania and Bosnia to get visa-free travel before Christmas - 0 views

  • EU interior ministers are on Monday (8 November) expected to lift visa requirements for Albanian and Bosnian citizens despite limited progress in terms of democracy, the fight against organised crime and corruption in the two countries.
  • To Bosnians and Albanians, the news is sweet after they were left behind last year when Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro got on the visa-free list. Kosovo, on the other hand, has little prospect of catching up as it is not even recognised by all EU member states. On the EU side, some capitals are unhappy about the developments. The Netherlands is opposing the move, saying there has been too little progress in terms of democratisation, organised crime and corruption in Albania and Bosnia and pointing to the political chaos in both countries. France is also reluctant, fearing a massive influx of migrants. The EU commission has given reassurances that Tirana and Sarajevo will make it clear that visa-free travel is not a ticket to asylum or residence in the EU after problems with Macedonian asylum seekers last year. But even if France or the Netherlands votes No or abstain on Monday, the decision will be adopted by qualified majority. The commission itself shares Dutch concerns. In the 2010 accession progress reports on the two countries, to be published on Tuesday and seen by EUobserver, neither Albania nor Bosnia win much praise. "Bosnia and Herzegovina has made limited progress in addressing key reforms. Incompatibilities between the Bosnian constitution and the EU convention on human rights were not removed, despite the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights," the document says. It also criticises Bosnia for lacking "a shared vision by the leaders on the overall direction of the country and on key EU-related reforms." On Albania, it says the political stalemate after 2009 elections is the biggest obstacle to progress. It adds that Albania has made too little headway to be granted the status of EU candidate country, for which it applied in 2009. "Activities of organised crime groups in Albania, having impact outside of the country, remain an issue of serious concern. Further strenghtening of co-operation at the international level is necessary, including in particular with neighbouring countries," it says.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.06.07: EU treaty rifts remaiin after meeting of EU foreign ministers - 0 views

  • EU foreign ministers have agreed on how the new EU treaty should be presented – it should not be called a constitution, and not contain symbols such as an EU flag – but key divisions on the substance of the text remain unresolved.
  • But deep rifts remain on key parts of the treaty that go beyond mere names and symbols and which concern the division of power between the EU and its member states. The status of the Charter of Fundamental Rights – a document listing citizens rights and fully integrated into the draft constitution – is the subject of strong controversy, with the UK in particular opposing a charter that is legally binding.
  • Paris and Madrid seek the scrapping of a number of national vetoes as proposed in the draft constitution. This is strongly opposed by London which is not yet prepared to give up its veto in justice and police matters.
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  • The voting weights issue is seen as a major stumbling block for an agreement at this week's EU summit, with Warsaw proposing its own alternative voting system which would give itself more power relative to Germany.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EU Bookshop - EU publications only a click away - 1 views

    EU Bookshop is an online service giving access to publications from the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies. In addition to the online bookshop, this service will offer an online catalogue and archive of all EU publications.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.12.08: EU Treaty's impact on defence policy remains unclear - 0 views

  • The Lisbon Treaty will strengthen the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) but the scope of the changes will very much depend on the composition of the new troika to be appointed in 2009, according to MEPs and experts participating in a European Parliament workshop.
  • Background: The Lisbon Treaty, which was signed by European heads of state and government in December 2007 and is expected to come into effect in 2009, brings with it several changes for the ESDP.  The most notable one is the upgrade of the position of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HR), a role currently held by Javier Solana. The HR, who will be supported by a European External Action Service (EEAS), will also serve as a Commission vice-president and will technically be the Union's foreign minister.  Moreover, the new treaty provides for an extension of the Petersberg Tasks on peacekeeping, disarmament and conflict prevention and resolution as well as 'permanent structured cooperation' of those member states "whose military capabilities fulfil higher criteria and which have made more binding commitments".  The text also includes first-ever mutual defence and solidarity  clause in an EU treaty. 
  • uropean Union Parliament: The Lisbon Treaty and its implications for CFSP/ESDP (February 2008) Parliament: The Impact of the Lisbon Treaty on ESDP (January 2008)
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Irish government applies for EU#-IMF bail-out of up to € 90 billion - 0 views

  • The Irish government has applied for an EU-IMF bail-out of up to €90 billion to save its banking sector from collapse and reduce its borrowing costs, a move that in effect places Irish democracy, like that of Greece, under the protectorship of experts from Brussels and Washington.

    Ireland's finance minister, Brian Lenihan, made the announcement speaking to public radio on Sunday evening (21 November) that he would recommend the application to a cabinet meeting later that night. The taoiseach, the country's prime minister, Brian Cowen, publicly addressed his nation, admitting to what had been denied for a week.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EUROPA - European Union Documents - 0 views

    Access to all documents of the EU. Database for all legal documents. Also separate sections for the different EU institutions.
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