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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Too big to run? Analysing the impact of enlargement on the speed of EU decision-making,... - 0 views

  • Too big to run? Analysing the impact of enlargement on the speed of EU decision-making

    1. Robin Hertz
      1. ETH Zürich, Switzerland, robin.hertz@eup.gess.ethz.ch
    1. Dirk Leuffen
      1. University of Konstanz, Germany

    Abstract

    The article analyses how enlargements affect the speed of European Union (EU) decision-making. In line with rationalist theories of group choice, we argue that enlargements increase the costs of organizing decisions, i.e. transaction costs. Increasing transaction costs, in turn, slow down EU law-making. We test this theory by estimating Cox regression models that incorporate time-varying covariates on all directives, regulations and decisions submitted by the European Commission between 1976 and 2006. In contrast to previous analyses, we show that an increase in group size indeed slows down EU law-making.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.05.11: EU finds a clearer voice in the UN - 0 views

  • Catherine Ashton, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will at last have the right to speak at the United Nations General Assembly, following a vote held yesterday (3 May).
  • A vote in the 192-nation General Assembly saw 180 countries come out in favour of granting the EU 'super observer' status, which does not give the bloc voting rights but will allow the High Representative to speak on behalf of the European Union.
  • With this resolution, the General Assembly acknowledges that since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, the European Commission and the EU Delegations have represented the Union externally in accordance with the Treaties, Van Rompuy stated.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Borrás/Ejrnaes (2011): The legitimacy of new modes of governance in the EU: S... - 0 views

  • The literature on new modes of governance suffers from a gap between the normative and the positive approaches to legitimacy. This article addresses this gap by studying the patterns of national stakeholders’ support for the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). The results of our survey demonstrate that the OMC receives greater support than previously assumed and that the support of national stakeholders is largely associated with their involvement in national procedures. These findings corroborate the assumptions of normative theories of participatory democracy about the importance of involvement. Furthermore, the study’s findings underline the pivotal role that national stakeholders play regarding matters of legitimacy in the EU’s multi-level system of governance.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.03.11: Eurozone debt crisis intensifies on eve of summit - 2 views

  • Moody's cut Spain's debt rating yesterday (10 March), pushing the euro lower and deepening the sense of crisis in the 17-nation currency bloc on the eve of a crucial EU summit in Brussels.
  • A French presidential source said euro zone leaders would discuss Portugal's measures to cope with its financial problems at Friday's summit but they were not working on a rescue plan.

    EU sources said Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates is under intense pressure from his peers and the European Central Bank to announce additional austerity measures and accelerate economic reforms. The sources said he would make a statement to the leaders at the start of a summit on Friday on his commitment to deeper reforms, including to the labour market

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

France breaks ranks on Libya, dwarfs EU's Ashton | EurActiv - 0 views

  • France broke ranks with its European partners yesterday (10 March) by becoming the first country to recognise Libya's opposition and by deciding to "explore the possibility" of carrying out targeted bombings in the civil war-torn country. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton finds herself pushed onto the sidelines as EU leaders flock to Brussels for a crisis summit.
  • According to the EU Treaties, the bloc's Common Foreign and Security Policy is an area of "shared competence" between member countries and the Union. In an effort to ensure greater coordination and consistency in EU foreign policy, the Treaty of Lisbon created Catherine Ashton's post.

    Ashton is in charge of implementing the agreed common positions of the EU. It appears, however, that there is no obstacle preventing one member country from breaking free from positions that have already been agreed, as illustrated by France in the Libya case.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.03.11 ECB turned blind eye to predatory lending, ex-EU-ambassador says - 0 views

  • The European Central Bank turned a blind eye to "irresponsible lending" by German, French, British and Belgian banks, the European Union's former ambassador to the United States, John Bruton has said.

    In a damning speech at the London School of Economics on Monday (7 March) evening, Mr Bruton, also a former Irish prime minister of the same conservative political stripe as the current leader-elect, Enda Kenny, has accused Frankfurt of failing to use its powers to rein in speculative bubbles in countries such as Ireland and Spain.

  • "From 2000 on, British, German, Belgian, French banks, and banks of other EU countries lent irresponsibly to the Irish banks in the hope that they too could profit from the then obtaining Irish construction bubble," he said. "They were supervised by their home central banks, and by the ECB ... who seemingly raised no objection to this lending."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EUISS: European Union Institute for Security Studies - 0 views

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    The European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) is a Paris-based agency of the European Union, operating under the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Its goals are to find a common security culture for the EU, to help develop and project the CFSP, and to enrich Europe's strategic debate.The board of the EUISS is chaired by Catherine Ashton High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.The EUISS is an autonomous agency with full intellectual freedom. As a think tank it researches security issues of relevance for the EU and provides a forum for debate. In its capacity as an EU agency, it also offers analyses and forecasting to the Council of the European Union.Álvaro de Vasconcelos of Portugal has been the Institute's Director since 1 May 2007.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.03.11: European Socialists propose alternative to Barroso-Van-Rompuy pact - 0 views

  • Europe's Socialist leaders have proposed a ‘growth pact' as an alternative to the ‘competitiveness pact' originally proposed by France and Germany as a solution to the bloc's economic woes.

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and most of the continent's social democratic leaders, many of whom currently sit on opposition benches in their parliaments, including French Socialist leader Martine Aubry and Germany's head of the SPD, Sigmar Gabriel, met at a summit in Athens to co-ordinate their strategy ahead of an EU summit where a ‘comprehensive response' to the eurozone crisis is to be finalised.

  • The centre-left leaders endorsed a plan that still backs austerity, but alongside it the introduction of a financial transactions tax that they say would deliver €250 billion a year to European coffers that could be invested in green technologies and infrastructure.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.03.11: Centre-right leaders prepare economic battle-lines - 0 views

  • Europe's centre-right leaders are gathering in Helsinki to prepare the political family's strategy ahead of two crucial summits on economic issues later this month.

    An overhaul of the bloc's emergency lending fund, fiscal discipline and measures to boost economic competitiveness are all high on the agenda of Friday (4 March) evening's meeting.

    "We are preparing for the eurozone summit on 11 March so we can agree on significant measures there to stabilise the euro and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists prior to the talks.

  • Berlin meanwhile is keen so see any changes to Europe's emergency lending fund accompanied by tough new fiscal laws and measures to boost the economic competitiveness of member states.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.03.11: Denmark eyeing referendum on euro - 0 views

  • The EU's economic convergence plans are forcing Denmark to reconsider its euro opt-out, with a referendum on "modernising" Copenhagen's relation with Brussels possibly taking place by June.

    With plans for a "Competitiveness Pact" currently being drafted by EU institutions to replace a Franco-German draft on pensions harmonisation and constitutional "debt brakes", Denmark does not want to be left out of the decision-making process, due to not being in the single currency.

  • Dubbed the "Big Bang model", a referendum on all three opt-outs may be more successful than holding a referendum just on euro adoption, with 45 percent of Danes in favour of this move, according to a Megafon poll carried out in February. But the margin is still narrow, with 43 percent opposing it and 12 percent undecided.

    A strong advocate for Denmark's euro-accession is Belgian Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who points to the fact that the country's economy is already fully integrated into the eurozone and that the Danish krone is pegged to the euro.

    In addition, he believes that there is a need for a small country like Denmark to counter-balance Germany and France who "dictated" the competitiveness pact being currently drafted for the 17 member-strong eurozone.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

28.02.11: Lukewarm response to Barroso-Van-Rompuy economic plan - 1 views

  • New proposals on joint economic governance put forward by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy on Monday (28 February) have failed to overcome resistance from some member states.
  • The Barroso-Van-Rompuy plan does contain a requirement that German-style 'debt brakes' be implemented across the eurozone, however. Resistance to this element comes from those who do not want to open the Pandora's Box of constitutional amendments this could entail.

    Opposition to the Franco-German pact also revolved around the proposal that countries that maintain inflation-indexed wage systems abandon this practice. Belgium and Luxembourg in particular were resistant.

  • As key figures on the left in Europe, including within the commission itself, have begun to issue their misgivings over the path of austerity chosen by the EU as a response to the crisis, the commission warned social democrats that throughout the crisis, they have also backed this process.

    Last week, Greece's EU commissioner, Maria Damanaki, publicly distanced herself from EU austerity, saying it is leading to "social degradation." Former commission president Jacques Delors, a French Socialist, has also called the commission's recent Annual Growth Survey, a first step in the EU's new system of oversight of and intervention in national budgets, as "The most reactionary document ever produced by the commission."

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Journal of Common Market Studies - Volume 49,Special Issue 1 - Security Cooperation be... - 0 views

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    Special Issue: Security Cooperation beyond the Nation State: The EU's Common Security and Defence Policy
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Stivachtis et al. (2011): Changing Gender Attitudes in Candidate Countries: The Impact ... - 0 views

  • The impact of the European Union integration process on democratization in candidate states is often considered to be gradual. Yet it could also be argued that the effects can be seen more immediately, often in parallel to the membership negotiations. This paper investigates the impact of EU conditionality on gender attitudes and policies in Turkey to verify the above-indicated hypothesis. Furthermore, impacts may come during the pre-accession and accession negotiations phases and thus the effects on gender equality may be short or medium term. Despite major shortcomings that still exist in Turkish legislation, one should acknowledge that the actions of the Turkish government have been particularly significant given the context in which these reforms take place. The Turkish case clearly shows that the speed and depth of reforms of EU conditionality must be examined within a country's political and socio-cultural context.
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

12.01.11: Kroes: Commission 'not shy' on Hungarian media law | EurActiv - 0 views

  • Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said yesterday (11 January) that the European Commission would not make any compromise and would make sure EU law is implemented fully in the case of the controversial Hungarian media law.
  • But Kroes made clear that the directive was "an instrument to find the issues to tackle" and that if problems were identified, Reding would be called into play, in respect of Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty.

    Article 7 reads that after a reasoned proposal by one third of EU member states, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a member state of the EU values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12-01-11: EU considers increase of bail-out fund, as debt crisis rumbles on - 0 views

  • Against a background of growing fears that the eurozone's rescue fund would be insufficient should Spain or Belgium knock on its doors, the European Union's economy chief has called for a hike in the effective lending capacity of the EU's bail-out mechanism.

    "We need to review all options for the size and scope of our financial backstops - not only for the current ones but also for the permanent European stability mechanism too," EU economics and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn wrote on Wednesday in an opinion piece in the Financial Times.

  • The commissioner issued the call after member-state representatives met in the European capital to discuss proposals to boost the fund ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers next week.

    Mr Rehn also issued a stark warning that for all the deficit-slashing austerity measures that European states have so far imposed, it is not enough.

    "There is insufficient ambition and a lack of urgency in implementation. That needs to change," he wrote.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.01.11: Core EU states put squeeze on Portugal to accept bail-out - 0 views

  • Major European powers are putting the squeeze on Portugal to follow Greece and Ireland and knock on the doors of EU and IMF bail-out resources.

    Reports over the weekend quote senior European sources as saying Berlin, Paris and other core eurozone capitals are leaning heavily on Lisbon to apply for a financial rescue, although the Portuguese government continues to deny that any pressure is being mounted.

  • The eurozone core fears that if a firewall is not built around Portugal, investor nervousness could spread to Spain, a much larger economy than those of the two states - Greece and Ireland - that have already been bailed out.

    However, formal negotiations with Lisbon have yet to begin, the source continued, and discussions have yet to match the pace of similar talks ahead of the Greek bail-out last May or that of Ireland last November.

    Should Portugal decide to ask for a rescue, the bill would amount to between €60 and €80 billion, the source said.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.01.11: Brussels wants bondholders to help pay for future bank failures - 0 views

  • The public would be spared from further pain in bailing out banks in the future, with bondholders instead footing more of the bill under plans unveiled on Thursday (6 January) by the European Commission to give EU national regulators more powers to intervene ahead of any crisis.
  • "The impact on taxpayers is obvious," the EU executive said in a statement, adding that the existing arrangements covering how to deal with such crises retained "serious shortcomings."

    "We must put in place a system which ensures that Europe is well prepared to deal with bank failures in an orderly manner - without taxpayers being called on again to pay the costs," said internal market commissioner Michel Barnier.

Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Hungary outlines EU presidency priorities (SETimes.com) - 0 views

  • Hungary, which is due to replace Belgium at the EU helm on January 1st, has said that further consolidation and enlargement of the 27-nation bloc will be among the key priorities of its six-month chairmanship of the Union.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.12.10: European Parliament condems the outcome of the European Council - 0 views

  • The centre and left of the European Parliament have robustly condemned the outcome of the European Council, complaining that the interest of the bloc as a whole has been sidelined in favour of national interests.

    It is common for the groups in the parliament to criticise the results of European summits, but the missives issued the afternoon following the meeting were abnormally trenchant.

  • The Party of European Socialists "condemned" the result, attacking the "conservative leaders" who hold a majority in the Council.

    "The Conservative leaders are fundamentally mistaken. Yet again they have failed to take control of the crisis," said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the former Danish prime minister and leader of the PES. "The reaction of the Markets illustrates this clearly."

    Mr Rasmussen pointed to the overnight downgrading of Irish bonds by the Moody's credit agency as signifying that the investors were unconvinced by the council's plan. He warned that the EU Council had put itself in "direct conflict" with the parliament over its refusal to countenance any move towards debt issuance at the EU level.

    "The German, British, Swedish and Dutch Governments formed a roadblock to progress on the eurobonds issue. So blatantly putting national interest before European recovery is short-termist and lacking in leadership," he said.

  • The European Parliament must be consulted on the treaty change, but it has no co-decision power under the 'simplified revision procedure' - the new method the EU leaders are using to deliver the limited treaty change while avoiding any national referendums.

    But, depending on the fine print of how the permanent bail-out fund is constructed, it may have approval powers.

    The EU prime ministers and presidents at the summit did not take any decisions on the details of the fund.

    According to a parliamentary legal expert, if the European Council itself develops the mechanism on an 'intergovernmental' basis, and the fund is similar to the existing €440 billion rescue mechanism, which involves a series of loan guarantees by member states, then the chamber will only be consulted, as with the treaty change.

    But if the EU is asked to develop and present a proposal, or if it involves any direct EU funds as well as national loan guarantees, then "this is part of the community method, and the parliament has co-decision powers".

    The Greens also said that the permanent crisis mechanism "will not be enough to get Europe out of the crisis."

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