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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.10.08: Barroso and Sarkozy plead for permanent EU presidency - 0 views

  • European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and French President Nicolas Sarkozy - currently chairing the EU - have urged the need for a permanent EU presidency to replace the rotating system. "We need a president of the Council [the institution representing EU member states] that does not change every six months," Mr Barroso told journalists at the end of an EU leaders' meeting in Brussels on Thursday (16 October). "To lead [EU] member states, we need a very strong presidency."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.09.08: French EU presidency wants EU closer to NATO - 0 views

  • The French EU presidency is to put forward a security package at the December summit aimed at relaunching the European security and defence policy (ESDP) with strong links to NATO, many measures of which were outlined at a Brussels conference on defence on Monday (15 September).
  • At the December EU summit, France will present a series of concrete measures in order to address these shortcomings, including the launch of joint military European training courses modelled on the Erasmus Programme - the civilian university student exchange system.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.09.08: Forthcoming Presidencies will focus on the Balkans - 0 views

  • EU enlargement, particularly to the Western Balkan countries, is set to feature high on the agenda of the bloc's two presidencies in 2009, with Croatia seen as likely to conclude its EU membership talks next year, said the Czech Republic and Sweden - the next two member states to hold the EU's six-month rotating chairmanship after France.
  • During the presentation of their common programme, the current presidential trio - France, the Czech Republic and Sweden - also stressed their general support for the whole Balkan region and its "path towards EU integration." "The whole region will be a priority during our consecutive presidencies," Ms Malmstrom pointed out.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.11.08: France 'overstepped mandate' on missile shield moratorium - 0 views

  • Prague and Warsaw have poured cold water on French calls for a moratorium on a planned US missile shield in Europe, with both capitals saying that president Nicolas Sarkozy overstepped his mandate.
  • "I don't think that third countries, even such good friends as France, can have a particular right to express themselves on this issue," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Saturday (15 November)
  • The Polish leader described Mr Sarkozy's comments as his "own point of view, [with] no impact of the future of the project," according to AFP, adding that "The question of the anti-missile shield is governed by an agreement between Poland and the United States."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.11.08: Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord - 0 views

  • With Russia's backing for the G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a new security and defence arrangement between the EU, Russia and the US to be agreed at a summit mid-2009, calling both on Moscow and Washington to refrain from deploying missiles until that date. Mr Sarkozy was speaking at a press conference on Friday (14 November) following the EU-Russia summit held in Nice, alongside his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
  • "As acting EU council president I propose that mid-2009 we gather for instance within the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to lay the basis of what might be a future EU security arrangement ...which would of course involve the Russians and the Americans," Mr Sarkozy said, backing an idea originally proposed by his Russian counterpart.
    Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.06.08: Germany, Poland say EU treaty ratification should continue without isolating ... - 0 views

  • The German and Polish leaders said Monday that European Union countries should press ahead with ratifying the reform treaty rejected by Irish voters, but vowed not to isolate Ireland as they seek a way out of the crisis. The charter, meant to replace the failed EU constitution, was rejected in an Irish referendum on Thursday _ the only popular vote planned in the bloc. The treaty requires the ratification of all 27 EU members, leaving EU leaders scrambling to salvage their reform plans.
  • She also argued that the treaty is vital to further expansion of the EU into the western Balkans, whose stability is critical to Europe's well-being. «We need the Lisbon Treaty because we want to expand the EU,» she said.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.06.08: Sarkozy heads to Prague for emergency EU treaty talks - 0 views

  • French president Nicolas Sarkozy will today (16 June) fly to Prague for emergency talks on the Lisbon Treaty with the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, with Czech president Vaclav Klaus declaring the treaty dead after the Irish No vote. "The project is over in its entirety," Czech president Vaclav Klaus said after the rejection of the EU pact by Irish voters last week, AFP reports. "It makes no sense to continue the ratification of a dead document."
  • The Czech Republic will take over the EU's rotating presidency from France on 1 January 2009. So far, parliaments in 18 EU member states have approved the Lisbon treaty. The UK has also indicated it would proceed with the document's ratification.
  • Meanwhile, an adviser to Polish president Lech Kaczynski – who still has to complete Poland's ratification by signing the document – has said that Mr Kaczynski should know whether the Lisbon treaty exists before he goes forward. "For now, there is a strong suggestion the treaty may have ceased to exist as it was rejected by one [EU] country," the presidential aide, Michal Kaminski, told Polish daily Rzeczpospolita. The Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, is strongly pro-ratification, however. A TNS OBOP opinion poll over the weekend said 71 percent of Poles would back the treaty if there was a referendum in Poland.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.07.08: Sarkozys inaugural address to the EP - 0 views

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned Europe against falling into institutional paralysis in the wake of Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon treaty and said he hopes to propose a solution to the situation before the end of this year. In a passionate speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday (10 July), Mr Sarkozy said that nothing was worse for him than "immobility" and stressed the EU should not let itself be paralysed because of yet another "institutional psycho-drama."
  • Paris' "absolute priority" in the next six months will be tackling climate change, notably by pushing for the adoption of legislative proposals on how to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020 – a goal agreed by EU leaders last year. Harmonising the 27 member states' immigration policies and strengthening the bloc's defence capacity are the other main policy areas outlined by the president.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.06.08: France readies for 'heaviest Presidency in EU history - 0 views

  • On 1 July 2008, France takes over the EU's six-month rotating presidency from Slovenia with an exceptionally busy agenda. According to a French diplomat in Brussels, "this presidency is the heaviest one of all the history of the European Union in terms of workload".
  • Irish referendum on everyone's minds The outcome of the Irish referendum on 12 June will undoubtedly have a considerable impact on the Presidency's schedule. 
  • "For the first time, you have this coincidence of a heavier Union but there is also the end of the political mandate of the Commission and Parliament as well as the end of the [ratification process of] the Lisbon Treaty. You never had all these things together."
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  • Preparing for the EU diplomatic service And provided all goes well and Ireland ratifies, there will still be a lot to do as the pressure then will fall on preparations for the Treaty's new provisions, which enter into force on 1 January 2009. According to Kouchner, the French Presidency's work there will centre on designating the future permanent president of the Council and the new foreign policy chief, decisions which are all expected to be taken by EU heads of state at a summit in December.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

The French EU Presidency - 0 views

  • Under the motto "a more protective Europe", France takes over the rotating EU Presidency with an additional challenge – getting the EU out of an institutional crisis triggered by the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland. More on this topic: News LinksDossiers Analysis France looks east ahead of EU Presidency (23 May 2008) Commission further waters down Med Union proposal (21 May 2008) France promises 'citizen-oriented' EU Presidency (16 May 2008) France outlines EU Presidency priorities (30 August 2007) The Portuguese Presidency: In Brief (03 August 2007) EU Presidencies (19 April 2005) Nicolas Sarkozy: A new style of EU Presidency? (08 May 2008) How France intends to meet all those EU presidency expectations (20 June 2008) Seen from America : What to expect from the French EU Presidency (20 June 2008) Sarkozy at the wheel of Europe: What to expect from the French EU Presidency (11 June 2008) Milestones: July-Dec. 2008: French Presidency. 11 July: Sarkozy visit to Ireland. 15-16 Oct.: EU Summit (Brussels). 11- 12 Dec.: EU Summit (Brussels). Policy Summary Links From 1 July to 31 December 2008, France will organise and chair the European Council meetings. The French government has already announced that its motto will be "a more protective Europe" (EurActiv 06/11/07).
  • Links Policy Summary Governments French EU Presidency website Permanent Represenation of France to the EU: French Presidency agenda | FR Prime Minster: Europe pages | FR Foreign Affairs Ministry : Europe pages French Senate: Budget for the French EU presidency General Secretariat for European Affairs (SGAE) Permanent Represenation of France to the EU Conference of Committee Chairmen of the European Parliament [FR] [DE] (20 May 2008)
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.09.08: EU-Russia talks suspended until Russia withdraws troops - 0 views

  • EU leaders on Monday (1 September) agreed to postpone talks on a new EU-Russia partnership until Russian troops withdraw from Georgia following the insistence of a bloc of member states.
  • The talks on a new treaty defining the EU relations with Russia were scheduled to take place later this month, but pressed by the demand of several member states, it was decided this would be tied to Russian withdrawal from Georgia. The postponement modifies a previously circulated draft version of the summit's conclusion that took a softer stance on the issue of talks.
  • Poland – one of the countries pushing for the suspension – hailed the final declaration as a victory and insisted its position was not isolated. "We were not alone, we were acting within a group," including also the Czech Republic, the Baltic States - Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, the UK and Sweden, Polish President Lech Kaczynski told journalists.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.08.08: EU diplomats keen to avoid Russia controversy - 0 views

  • The French EU presidency is expected to endorse the Russia-Georgia ceasefire, offer humanitarian aid and urge EU unity in a statement after an EU foreign ministers meeting on Wednesday (13 August), with Paris keen to avoid controversy on who to blame for the crisis. Preparatory discussions by EU diplomats on Tuesday saw a group of former communist states speak in "sharp language" about Russia, but the tone was "less radical than they used for their domestic press," one diplomat who attended the debates told EUobserver.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.06.08: A Preview on the French Persidency - 0 views

  • French presidency Nicolas Sarkozy is set to visit the Irish capital on 11 July. The issue will come up at the October meeting of EU leaders and once again at the December summit where member states will be hoping that Dublin will set out a concrete plan of action.
  • A concrete issue where progress could be made is on a climate change deal. The EU in March last year agreed a series of ambitious goals, including reducing CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
  • In the run up to its presidency, France has made no secret of its desire to boost defence policy in the bloc. In a major speech on 17 June, Mr Sarkozy spoke of a making "the first step towards a genuine revival of European defence."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.06.08: France hints at Lisbon Treaty reopening - 0 views

  • For the first time since the failed referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, France has hinted at the possibility of reopening the text to address specific concerns that the Irish may have. A clearer picture could emerge following a fact-finding mission to Dublin by the French EU Presidency on 11 July.
  • "Then it will become clear if there is a need to reopen or not to reopen the Treaty," he said. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.08: Sarkozy - No further enlagement without Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • Enlargement of the EU will come to halt if the Lisbon treaty does not enter into force, French president Nicolas Sarkozy warned member states in the aftermath of the Irish No vote last week. "It is certain that as long as we have not solved the institutional problem, the question of enlargement is stopped de jure or de facto," he said at a press conference in Brussels on Thursday night (19 June).
  • But Central and eastern European EU states, traditionally favouring further EU expansion, may harm the process if they do not continue to pursue treaty ratification, said the French president. "A certain number of countries which have some reserves on the Lisbon treaty are the most active on enlargement… the Lisbon [treaty] allows further enlargement. No Lisbon, no enlargement," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EUobserver - 0 views

  • French president Nicolas Sarkozy has reaffirmed his intention to make European defence a major theme during his country's six-month stint at running the European Union, beginning in less that two week's time.
  • Mr Sarkozy said he wants to make defence and security policy an example of a "concrete Europe, of a Europe that responds to the needs of its citizens." "I very much hope that the French presidency of the European Union (…) will be the first step in a veritable relaunch of European defence for the coming years," he said, according to AP.
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