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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Mapping EU attitudes: Conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU supp... - 12 views

  • Mapping EU attitudes: Conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU support Hajo G. Boomgaarden University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Andreas R. T. Schuck University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Matthijs Elenbaas University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Claes H. de Vreese University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Abstract Public attitudes towards the European Union (EU) are at the heart of a growing body of research. The nature, structure and antecedents of these attitudes, however, are in need of conceptual and empirical refinement. With growing diversification of the policies of the Union, a one-dimensional approach to attitudes towards the EU may be insufficient. This study reviews existing approaches towards theorizing EU public opinion. Based on this inventory, originally collected public opinion survey data (n = 1394) indicate the presence of five dimensions of EU attitudes: performance, identity, affection, utilitarianism and strengthening. The study furthermore shows that different predictors of EU public opinion matter to differing extents when explaining these dimensions. In light of these findings, we suggest tightening the link, conceptually and empirically, between attitudinal dimensions and their antecedents.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.07.08: Netherlands ratifies Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • The Netherlands on Tuesday (8 July) became the 21st country to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, and the third to do so following the failed Irish referendum on 12 June.
  • Without surprises, a large majority of the Senate (60 to 15) voted in favour of the treaty, which replaced the EU Constitution rejected by Dutch voters in a referendum held in 2005. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.02.07: Barroso puts pressure on the Netherlands over EU constitution - 0 views

  • European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday (8 February) urged the Netherlands to start "moving" towards a compromise on the EU constitution. Mr Barroso's trip to The Hague, the first-ever visit of a commission president to the Dutch parliament, came just one day after the publication of a new Dutch coalition agreement which says the Netherlands will seek major changes to the EU constitution, which was rejected by Dutch voters in a 2005 referendum
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.07.10: Iceland membership talks formally begin Tuesday - 0 views

  • At their last meeting before the summer break, EU foreign ministers on Monday (26 July) gave the greenlight for the start of negotiations on Iceland's membership bid. Talks will formally begin on Tuesday. The small north Atlantic island, with a population of just 320,000, has aligned itself with many EU laws and is seen as fitting snugly with the slightly more ineffable European 'norms', but negotiations on a few key issues - such as fishing rights and its traditional whale hunting - are expected to be difficult.
  • In addition, the UK and the Netherlands have linked actual membership with resolution of a dispute over the €3.8 billion in British and Dutch savings, lost in the banking crisis that consumed the nation in 2008. After the Icelandic Icesave internet bank collapsed two years ago, depositers in the UK and the Netherlands were compensated by their governments. The Hague and London now are demanding Reykjavik pay them back.
  • Icelanders themselves in a recent referendum rejected a payout plan that would have cost each household tens of thousands of euros. The disagreement has soured the population's sentiment towards the EU. Immediately after the crisis, a majority of Icelanders looked to the EU as a solution to their problems, but the bitter fight with London and the Hague has slashed support for EU membership on the island. In addition to potential controversial policy issues, there is also the increasingly negative opinion of Icelanders towards EU membership.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.10.10: EU to move ahead on Serbia accession, add tough conditions - 0 views

  • EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (25 October) will invite the European Commission to submit its opinion on Serbia's application for EU membership. But the ministers' conclusions, seen by WAZ.EUobserver, are to say bluntly that Serbia cannot go further toward EU accession without the arrest of war crimes suspects Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadzic and a constructive approach in the upcoming dialogue with Kosovo.
  • After two nights of long and tiring talks, the representatives of 26 EU countries and the Netherlands on Friday agreed the final text of the ministers' communique. The compromise consists of several elements: Ministers will voice strong support for Serbian president Boris Tadic; they will say Belgrade's attitude toward Kosovo is a key condition for further Serbian EU integration; and they will make clear Serbia cannot obtain official EU candidate status unless all EU member states, including the Netherlands, agree on a positive assessment of its co-operation with the Hague War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY), based on ICTY chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz' reports.
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

15.09.08: Netherlands blocks EU-Serbia trade deal - 0 views

  • EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday (15 September) failed to unfreeze the trade related part of a pre-accession deal with Serbia, following the Netherlands' opposition. "There is a very, very big majority saying that we [EU] should unfreeze [the agreement]. But there is no unanimity," French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, told journalists after the meeting.
  • EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was more optimistic, however, saying that the bloc's 27 ministers could agree to unblock the interim agreement during their next meeting in October.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.04.08: Dutch urged to clear path for Serbia EU agreement - 0 views

  • According to EU diplomats, the Netherlands is under pressure from other EU countries to drop its opposition to the signing of a pre-accession Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia, in a bid to boost the pro-European camp ahead of the parliamentary elections on 11 May.
  • The Netherlands objects to signing the SAA with Serbia if Belgrade does not "fully cooperate" with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The conditions include the handover of General Ratko Mladic and former political leader Radovan Karadzic to the Hague tribunal of war criminals. Serbia denies both men are on its territory. 
  • The Dutch position can be partly explained by the fact the country is hosting the ICTY. But it is also due to bad memories from the recent past. The Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, when an estimated 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were killed by the army of Republika Srpska and other paramilitary units, took place despite the presence of 400 armed Dutch peacekeepers in the area.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.02.07: New government of the Netherlands set to delay EU referendum decision - 0 views

  • The Netherlands is set to postpone a decision on whether to hold a second referendum on the European constitution until a new version of the text is agreed at EU level. The three Dutch political parties that are in the final stages of forming a new centre-left government on Monday (5 February) broadly endorsed a coalition agreement which leaves the tricky decision of whether to hold a new EU constitution referendum to the country's highest constitutional advisory body, the Council of State.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.10.10: Serbia rushes to launch accession talks - 0 views

  • The EU moved closer to starting accession talks with Serbia yesterday (25 October) after overcoming long-standing opposition from the Dutch government. Belgrade said a "new era" in its history had begun. BETA, EurActiv's partner in Serbia, contributed to this article.
  • Meeting in Luxembourg, EU foreign ministers found a formula to unblock the launch of accession talks with Serbia. The diplomatic jargon adopted accommodates the Netherlands' demand that any further step in Serbia's EU accession must be conditional on Belgrade's cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The move became possible after Belgrade agreed to engage in talks with Kosovo, its former province, whose declaration of independence in 2008 Serbia does not recognise. Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said he was satisfied that the compromise text had put "pressure" on Serbia to fully cooperate with the ICTY. Steven Vanackere, Belgium's foreign minister, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, praised the "good balance" of the text. In fact, Belgium made a huge contribution to successfully reaching the compromise. It had to step aside from its own national position as its duty at the EU’s helm is to seek a common position. Jean de Ruyt, Belgium's EU ambassador, told EurActiv that his country's stance on the need for full cooperation with ICTY mirrored the Dutch view.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.11.10: Nightmare scenario of Dutch referendum returns to haunt EU - 0 views

  • The nightmare scenario of another referendum on a change to the EU treaty in the Netherlands, five years after the country rejected the bloc's proposed constitution, could return to haunt European leaders, with the hard-right Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders on Tuesday (2 November) announcing it is considering proposing just such a vote.
  • MP Louis Bontes of the anti-immigrant PVV, which is part of the governing coalition pact, said his faction in the parliament may push for a referendum if the penalties for countries in breach of new EU fiscal rules are not strict enough.
  • The left-wing Socialist Party, one of the leaders of the No campaign in 2005 against the EU constitution, claiming that the dud EU charter had favoured the interests of businesses over citizens, has already endorsed the idea that another referendum should be called. On Friday, MP Harry Van Bommel, the party's spokesman for EU affairs and the deputy chair of the parliament's standing committee on the same subject, said that if a treaty change is approved by the European Council, it will call for a referendum. "We are very happy to have the support of the PVV in our push for a referendum," he told EUobserver, "and that they are willing to look into the issue as well." Mr Van Bommel was keen to stress that his party's opposition to the treaty change was for different reasons to that of the PVV. "They are more concerned that we not pay out to poorer countries whereas we are more worried that the proposed changes limit a nation's policy space in the social arena," he explained.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.11.10: EU budget talks collapse after MEPs seek new powers - 0 views

  • A last attempt to reach an agreement for the 2011 EU budget failed on Monday (15 November) due to reluctance by member states to grant MEPs extra powers in future multi-annual budget negotiations. The EU commission will now have to draft a new proposal, while the first months of next year will be funded on the basis of the 2010 budget.
  • The final collapse was mainly due to disagreements over procedures and extra powers granted to MEPs under the Lisbon Treaty, the EU's new rulebook. Junior ministers from Britain and the Netherlands insisted that the only issue on the table was the budget for 2011 and declined to discuss contentious issues for the long-term budgetary perspective, such as raising more EU "own resources" through supplementary taxes or the "flexibility" of the budget when unexpected expenses arise. Shortly after announcing €95 billion in domestic budget cuts, Britain has spearheaded demands for next year's EU budget to stay frozen at 2010 levels or go up by a mere 2.9 percent, or less than half the MEPs' original request.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.09.08: Serbia to forge own EU path, despite Dutch veto - 0 views

  • Serbia vowed Wednesday to press on and implement a European Union trade deal despite anger at a Dutch veto that came even though Belgrade arrested top war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic.Bozidar Djelic, Serbia's deputy prime minister for EU integration, said in an interview with a local newspaper that he was "infuriated" by the Netherlands' refusal to unfreeze the EU trade and aid pact.
  • EU foreign ministers on Monday failed to convince their Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen, to drop his country's objections to unfreezing the accord despite Belgrade's improved track record on war crimes.UN chief war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz had told the EU ministers there was "very clear progress" in Serbia's cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.04.08: Serbia says it remains committed to European perspective - 0 views

  • Despite its steady opposition to the EU's policy on Kosovo, the largest country in the Balkans will continue its move towards EU membership, Serbia's foreign minister Vuc Jeremic told his EU counterparts at their informal meeting in Brdo last weekend (28-29 March).
  • Much will depend on the forthcoming elections in Serbia on 11 May, he added, describing them as "a critical battle for the European souls of the Western Balkans". 
  • Underlining his country's EU commitment, Jeremic said that the Serbian government was ready to sign the SAA "immediately" and continue moving forward rapidly. This step, in addition to an agreement over a road map for the adoption of a visa-free regime, could help counter Serbian concerns fostered by uncertainty over Kosovo, Jeremic suggested.  The Netherlands and Belgium remain opposed to signing an SAA with Serbia before it hands over the former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic to the court in The Hague.  Jeremic said that "we are very much aware of our obligations to the ICTY," adding that "the only way we'll be able to finish what we started […] is to keep building Serbia's road to Europe".
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  • European Union Presidency: EU Foreign Ministers Discuss the Western Balkans (29 March 2008) Presidency: Brdo Presidency Statement: New focus on the Western Balkans (29 March 2008) Commission: Communication on the Western Balkans (5 March 2008) Commission: EU-Serbia relations Commission: Strategy and Progress Reports 2007 Commission: Key findings of the progress reports on Kosovo and the potential candidate countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia (06 November 2007
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

23.11.2006: Parliamentary elections Netherlands -> implications for the EU - 0 views

  • The EU-critical Socialist Party and the anti-immigrant Party for Freedom are the biggest winners of the Dutch elections. Balkenende's Christian-Democrat CDA remains the strongest formation but future coalition talks will be difficult.
    It is unclear what the implications of these elections will be for the European Union, but the strong protest vote for the very EU-critical SP and the anti-immigration party might spell bad news for the future of the European Constitution.
    The big win for the SP confirms that the Netherlands have turned from a reliable EU lover to a euro-critical country. The party of Marijnissen has rejected the EU draft Constitution and wants to renationalise European policies in the areas of education, health, social affairs, public transport and housing. It also wants a stronger role for national parliaments in European decision-making.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

27.07.09: EU kick-starts Iceland's accession - 0 views

  • Just days after Iceland filed its application to join the European Union, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels today (27 July) are expected to accept it and ask the European Commission to draft an opinion.
  • Diplomats told EurActiv they were confident that the EU foreign ministers would forward Iceland's application to the Commission for an opinion - a thorough screening of the candidate's credentials based on answers to a questionnaire.  The procedure, which follows Iceland's formal application on 16 July, is progressing much more quickly than with other candidates, diplomats pointed out. 
  • But the negotiations will not all be plain-sailing for Iceland.  Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen recently said his country would block Iceland's EU accession if the country did not reimburse Dutch victims of a bankrupt Icelandic bank, Icesave, a web-based subsidiary of the Landsbanki bank from which many savers from Britain and the Netherlands are awaiting reimbursement.  But the issue will be part of the Commission's opinion, other diplomats explained, saying that no objections are expected to be raised either by Britain or the Netherlands at this stage.  Also, a diplomat from a country with a long coast warned that fisheries could mean Iceland's accession process takes longer than expected. He referred to positions expressed by the island's foreign minister, Össur Skarphéðinsson, that Reykjavik would not accept a rotten deal with the EU for its powerful fishing industry.  Seafood accounts for almost half of Iceland's exports and 10% of its gross domestic product. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.06.09: Croatia's EU talks to resume after long dispute - 0 views

  • Slovenia is expected to unblock Croatia's EU accession talks at a ministerial meeting today (15 June). The two countries have clashed for several months over disputed territories on the Adriatic coast.
  • Background: During the French EU Presidency, Slovenia blocked the opening of nine out of ten negotiating chapters with Zagreb due to an unresolved border dispute (EurActiv 18/12/08).  The Czech Presidency has so far failed to make any progress in the negotiations. Indeed, the EU recently postponed an accession conference after the two countries had failed to show any sign of conciliation (EurActiv 24/04/09).  Diplomats have serious doubts about the viability of Croatia's objective of wrapping up accession talks by the end of the year (so as to be ready to join the bloc in 2010) if the bilateral dispute is not resolved soon (see EurActiv LinksDossier on 'EU-Croatia' relations).  The border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia concerns small pockets of land along the Adriatic coast, which could prove important if accompanied by exclusive access rights to deep-sea zones. 
  • However, this may not be the end of the region's problems, as similar obstacles are expected to emerge in the Western Balkan accession process as a whole, diplomats told EurActiv.  EU diplomats said the lack of a clearly defined border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina could soon create problems "one hundred times worse" than the current dispute between Ljubljana and Zagreb, in which the European Commission has invested a huge mediation effort. 
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  • The Netherlands and Belgium are blocking the ratification of the EU's Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia as long as Mladic is at large. Diplomats say that imposing such conditions makes it difficult for the reformist government in Belgrade to withstand the surge of nationalist and anti-European forces. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.12.09: Dutch foreign minister visits Belgrade - 1 views

  • The Netherlands has faith in Serbia’s European future, but it is still essential to continue the cooperation with the Hague Tribunal, Verhagen said after his meeting with Jeremić. He congratulated his Serbian counterpart on “efforts Serbia was making in cooperation with the tribunal”. The Serbian foreign minister said that Belgrade would remain dedicated to the cooperation with the Hague Tribunal until it was completed. “I assured Verhagen that Brammertz’s next report could only be better than the last one,” Jeremić said.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.12.09: EU lifts hurdle on Serbia's path to accession - 0 views

  • EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday (7 December) removed restrictions against a trade agreement with Serbia after the Netherlands put aside objections related to Belgrade's performance on war crimes probes. The agreement was signed in April 2008 and was never ratified due to the Dutch position, even though its terms were implemented internally by Serbia in a situation playing to the EU's financial advantage.
  • But a positive report from UN chief prosecutor Serge Brammertz on the way in which Belgrade is co-operating with the war crimes tribunal in the Hague helped persuade the Netherlands to back down. The move is good news for Belgrade on its EU accession track and comes just one week after the bloc's interior ministers decided to lift visa requirements for Serb citizens from 19 December. Serbia and the EU in 2008 signed a so-called Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) - seen as a first step toward membership - of which the trade pact was a part. But the SAA is unlikely to be fully ratified until Mladic and Hadzic are behind bars.
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