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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Carbone (2010): National Politics and European Integration: From the Constitution to th... - 0 views

  • National Politics and European Integration: From the Constitution to the Lisbon TreatyMaurizio Carbone 0 ReviewsEdward Elgar Publishing, 2010 - Law - 243 pagesThis book discusses the domestic politics of treaty reform in the European Union, from the failed referendums on the Constitutional Treaty held in France and the Netherlands in May-June 2005 to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in December 2009. The chapters, written by some of the finest scholars in the field of EU/European politics, show how European integration has increasingly become a contested issue in a majority of Member States. Going beyond the view that national governments are the main, if not the sole, driving force in the process of European integration, this book shows that other actors and factors have played a central role in preference formation and inter-state bargaining. These include: political parties, public opinion, the media, presidents, constitutional courts and, more broadly, political systems, ratification hurdles and the general negotiation context. National Politics and European Integration combines empirical analysis and theoretical explanations for one of the most controversial periods in the history of the European Union. This important book will be of great interest for advanced students in EU studies, comparative politics and public policy.« Less
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

The Lisbon Treaty - Ratification in the member states - 0 views

    • Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann
      Lisbon Treaty. Excellent overview over the process of ratification in all member states providing an abundance of detailed information. Highly recommendable!
  • On 13 and 14 December 2007, the 27 Heads of State and Government met in Lisbon to sign the new treaty. The Lisbon Treaty was ratified by the 27 Member States and can enter into force on 1 December 2009.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.11.09: Klaus signature completes EU treaty ratification - 0 views

  • Czech President Vaclav Klaus has finally signed the Lisbon Treaty, ending a highly drawn out ratification process that left many wondering whether the document's provisions would ever see the light of day. "I signed the Lisbon Treaty today at 15.00 (CET)," Klaus told reporters on Tuesday (3 November).
  • As well as appointing a new set of commissioners, the EU can now move ahead with the planned overhaul of its institutions and the appointment of several new positions intended to increase the bloc's standing on the world stage. All of these decisions had been held up by the political uncertainty in Prague, with Mr Barroso saying he can only assemble his commission team when it is clear who will become EU foreign minister, a new post that will see the person also act as vice-president of the commission.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.10.09: Czech court buoys EU Lisbon Treaty chances - 0 views

  • The Swedish EU Presidency is today (7 October) expected to apply maximum pressure on the Czech Republic to ratify the Lisbon Treaty, riding on a wave of positive developments after the Irish 'yes' vote, including the removal of a hurdle by the Czech constitutional court on Tuesday.
  • The Czech Republic's Constitutional Court rejected on Tuesday a challenge against a law related to the EU's reform treaty, lifting a secondary hurdle to the pact's final ratification in the country.  A group of senators close to Eurosceptic President Václav Klaus had complained against an amendment of the parliament's rules of procedure which requires both Houses to approve any potential shift of national competences to Brussels by a simple majority vote, insisting that a qualified majority vote is required instead. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EUobserver / German debate on EU decision-making powers heats up - 0 views

  • Germany's debate on how much national say there should be over further EU integration is intensifying two weeks after the country's constitutional court handed down a significant judgement on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. The judgement was initially greeted with relief by the pro-integration camp as it did not say the EU treaty was incompatible with the German constitution.
  • But the 147-page ruling, now scoured by legal and constitutional experts, is causing strong discussion in political circles, just weeks before a new draft law incorporating the court's points is to be published.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.06.09: Verfassungsgericht billigt EU-Reformvertrag unter Auflagen - 0 views

  • Das Bundesverfassungsgericht hat den umstrittenen EU-Reformvertrag von Lissabon nur unter Auflagen gebilligt und die Zustimmung Deutschlands vorerst gestoppt. Zuerst müssen Bundestag und Bundesrat mehr Mitbestimmungsrechte bei EU-Entscheidungen erhalten, wie die Richter am Dienstag in Karlsruhe verkündeten. Insgesamt ist das Abkommen aber mit dem Grundgesetz vereinbar. Der Bundestag will noch vor der Wahl im September die Karlsruher Forderungen umsetzen. Erst dann darf Bundespräsident Horst Köhler das deutsche Gesetz zu dem Vertrag unterzeichnen.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.06.09: Czech MPs mull suspension of Klaus' powers over Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • The Czech social democrat party is discussing the possibility of suspending president Vaclav Klaus' powers if he does not sign the EU's Lisbon treaty. The temporary suspension would require a simple majority of 41 votes in the country's 81-seat senate and would allow caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer to sign the document instead.
  • The president's powers could be suspended on grounds that he is unable to discharge his official functions because he is trying to act above the law. "There is nothing in the constitution that gives the president the right to veto decisions of the country's highest institutions. Otherwise we could be considered as some kind of absolutist monarchy," former Constitutional Court judge Vojtech Cepl told newspaper Mlada fronta Dnes on Thursday (25 June).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.06.09: Czech parliament should vote on Lisbon guarantees, Klaus says - 0 views

  • Czech President Vaclav Klaus has said the Czech parliament should ratify any fresh legal clauses attached to the Lisbon treaty to help Ireland clinch a Yes vote in its second referendum. EU leaders meeting in Brussels on 18-19 June are set to agree on legal guarantees for Ireland in the areas of taxation, neutrality and social affairs.
  • The extra bells and whistles are designed to help Ireland hold a second referendum on the text in autumn, after an initial No vote last summer. But it is not yet clear how the guarantees will be enshrined in EU law. The eurosceptic Czech president – a staunch opponent of the treaty – has said that the guarantees would constitute a mini-treaty in themselves. Under Czech law, any fresh international treaty must be ratified by parliament and signed by the president. "Any conclusion in another form would contradict Article 49 of the [Czech] constitution and I could not accept such a proceeding," Mr Klaus wrote to Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer in a letter released on Wednesday (17 June). Mr Fischer rejected the request, saying a government agreement would be enough. "[The guarantees] are not an international treaty of a political nature ...but an international treaty of a governmental type which does not require the powers of the head of state to be concluded," he wrote on the government website.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.06.09: Negotiations on Ireland's Lisbon guarantees continue - 0 views

  • Negotiations on Ireland's guarantees on the EU Lisbon Treaty are going down to the wire with still no text on the table exactly a week before EU leaders are supposed to sign up to them. EU ambassadors were meant to gather Thursday (11 June) to have a special meeting on the matter but agreeing wording that does not make any other member state jittery but keeps Ireland's electorate happy is proving more difficult than first thought.
  • Ireland is looking for special guarantees on ethical issues, tax sovereignty and its neutral status. It wants them signed off by EU leaders at their summit next week and a commitment made to make them binding as quickly as possible. The idea was to tack them on to the next available treaty - possibly Croatia's accession treaty - so that they could be ratified by national parliaments across the bloc. However, member states fear this could open the door to a further delay in the getting the text ratified, particularly if anything in the text catches the idea of eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.06.09: Irish Lisbon guarantees raise questions - 0 views

  • Ireland is busy working on legal wording to make the Lisbon Treaty more palatable to Irish voters, but its EU partners have raised concerns about the scope of the texts and some impatience at the pace of the work. Last week, officials from Dublin met representatives from the 26 other member states to shed some light on what kind of wording Ireland is looking for in order to ensure the greatest chance that its citizens will vote "Yes" the second referendum on the treaty, scheduled for autumn.
  • But the reason for the wariness among other capitals is that these texts will take the form of legally-binding protocols, which will be attached to the first legal vehicle available to get them ratified. At the moment, the talk is of Croatia's accession treaty, which will have to pass through all 27 parliaments of the EU. "We want to make sure it is very specific to Ireland, so we do not get asked why we haven't got guarantees on certain issues," said one diplomat.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.09: Trotz Senatszustimmung: Vaclav Klaus erklärt Lissabon-Vertrag für tot - 0 views

  • Am Ende war es weniger knapp als erwartet: Der tschechische Senat hat den EU-Reformvertrag angenommen. Damit hat das Werk eine große Hürde genommen. Doch die Skepsis in Tschechien, dessen Premier Topolanek den Vertrag einst einen "Haufen Mist" nannte, bleibt. Vor allem bei Präsident Klaus.
  • Der Senat stimmte für den Vertrag von Lissabon. Mit einem klareren Votum als erwartet: 54 von 79 anwesenden Senatoren stimmten mit Ja. Schon vor der Sitzung hatte sich eine Mehrheit für Lissabon angedeutet
  • Freilich, so etwa der sozialdemokratische Senator und erste Nachwende-Außenminister Jiri Dienstbier, könne Klaus nur schwerlich ignorieren, dass beide Kammern des Parlaments mit Drei-Fünftel-Mehrheit für den Reformvertrag gestimmt hätten. „Wir müssen aufhören, uns provinziell zu verhalten und Europa als etwas Fremdes anzusehen“, mahnte er. „Wir müssen aufhören zu sagen, Europa sind „die“. Europa sind in Wahrheit wir.“
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.09: Czech senate approves EU's Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • The Czech Senate on Wednesday (6 May) approved the EU's Treaty of Lisbon, a move that was greeted with relief in Brussels and that ups the pressure on Ireland, facing its second referendum on the document. Fifty-four of the 79 senators voted in favour of the new institutional rules, which introduce an EU foreign minister, a permanent president of the European Council and widely extend the powers of the European Parliament. The lower house passed the document in February.
  • For the ratification process to be completed, the treaty still has to be signed by the country's eurosceptic president, Vaclav Klaus. He has previously indicated he would not sign it no matter what the outcome of the parliamentary votes. In a reference to Mr Klaus, the commission president said he hoped the remaining "constitutional requirements" would be completed as quickly as possible.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.05.09: Anxious EU awaits Czech verdict on Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
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  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • European leaders are anxiously awaiting a Czech Senate vote on the Lisbon treaty this week, amid French and Germans warnings that EU enlargement can't continue unless the reforms are ratified.The latest signals out of Prague are fairly upbeat that the Czech upper house of parliament will approve the treaty designed to streamline the working of a union which has expanded from 15 to 27 nations since 2004.
  • Even if there is a "yes" vote in the Senate, Klaus as head of state would have to formally sign and ratify the text.The Czech president has never stated openly whether he would block the passage of the treaty if it is approved by parliament.However comments he made in February are typical of his stated stance."I fear that attempts to speed up and deepen integration and to move decisions about the lives of the citizens of the member countries up the European level can have effects that will endanger all the positive things achieved in Europe in the last half a century," he told the European parliament in Brussels back then.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.03.09: EU foreign ministers at Hluboká: Lisbon treaty a must for future en... - 0 views

  • The Czech EU presidency hosted an informal meeting of the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers over the weekend in Hluboká, south Bohemia. Although Czech officials went into the meeting with an ambitious agenda it was the Czech Republic’s own domestic crisis that inevitably drew the most attention. Just days after the fall of the country’s centre-right government EU foreign ministers sought reassurances regarding the Czech EU presidency and the fate of the Lisbon treaty.
  • Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said he appreciated the “remarkable solidarity” of his colleagues, but said their support was not needed at the moment as the government of PM Mirek Topolánek remained in place for the time being. Mr Schwarzenberg conceded that it would not be possible to go ahead with EU enlargement without the Lisbon treaty in force, and said that the Czech Republic would not be a hurdle in the process. “This whole meeting here was to serve the noble aim of enlarging Europe. And I don’t think we are a hurdle, and I do think that – if you wish to allude to the ratification process [of the Lisbon treaty] – I am sure that it will be ratified in due time.”
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.03.09: Lisbon treaty ratification in Czechia and Ireland? - 0 views

  • Outgoing Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said he will try and persuade his generally eurosceptic party to accept the Lisbon treaty, adding that he believed it would be ratified before the June European elections. "I will plead for the approval of the Lisbon Treaty, and try to cause only the smallest scars and slightest damage to the unity of the [Civic Democrats]," he said, according to Reuters, having being ousted from power by a vote of no confidence last week.
  • Meanwhile, the Irish government has said it will continue negotiations with the Czech EU presidency on securing a legal text on certain issues concerned with the treaty, despite Prague's complicated domestic problem. These legal guarantees - on neutrality, tax and social issues - were agreed by EU leaders following Ireland's rejection of the treaty in a referendum last year. A diplomatic source told the Sunday Business Post that the Irish government expected the guarantees to be agreed ahead of a June EU leaders summit, but admitted: ‘‘We don't know what's going to happen. Nobody does. They don't know themselves."
  • In Brussels there are fears that if the treaty is not approved this year then it risks not coming into place at all. Next year, a general election in the UK could see the Conservatives return to power. Its leader, David Cameron, has said he would hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it is not already in place.
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

26.03.09: Germany's important Lisbon Treaty judgement - 0 views

  • The bulk of the six proceedings challenging the compatibility of Lisbon Treaty and the German Constitution initiated by the conservative MP Peter Gauweiler and a number of left-wing deputies from Die Linke, revolves around the question of whether the Lisbon Treaty erodes the German parliament's powers of participation in EU decision making.
  • National parliaments and the Lisbon Treaty Under the Lisbon Treaty, national parliaments are involved in the EU's policy formulation process by safeguarding the subsidiarity principle. It is essentially a consultation mechanism operating before the onset of the EU decision-making procedure and is applicable only where competences are shared between the EU and the Member States.
  • Three final remarks suffice. First, both chambers of the German parliament have approved the Lisbon Treaty and have therefore made use of what the Federal Constitutional Court has deemed in its Maastricht judgment a key means of ensuring a democratic character of the Union and of Germany's membership in it. Second, much of the academic literature, as well as an empirical inquiry recently conducted at Utrecht University, have shown that the Bundestag, unlike the Bundesrat, is quite passive in using the available tools of influencing Union's policies and laws. Third, the outcome of the pending Lisbon Treaty cases is of prime importance not only for Germany but for the whole of the EU and its relevance transcends the remaining ratification procedures in Ireland, Poland and the Czech Republic. This is not least because the "sale of the state's vital powers" is at stake, as Prof. Klaus Buchner one of the complainants said. It has all the ingredients to become the most influential pronouncement that the German Federal Constitutional Court has ever made regarding the EU.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.03.09: Czech government defeat raises major Lisbon concerns - 0 views

  • The presidents of both the European Commission and the European Parliament on Wednesday (25 March) urged the Czech Republic to proceed with the ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty despite the fall of the Czech government the day before, while Czech deputy premier Alexandr Vondra admitted the ratification would now become "more difficult."
  • "I would like to urge all political leaders not to use this political crisis in a way to make the Lisbon Treaty hostage to domestic problems. That would not be fair to the other countries of Europe," Mr Barroso said at a press conference in Strasbourg.
  • The Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany and Poland comprise the four countries that have yet to complete the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
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  • "From the European Parliament's perspective, it would be a tragedy for Europe if the Lisbon Treaty were to fall in one country, in a country that belonged previously to the Warsaw Pact," he said, referring to the organisation of Communist states in central and eastern Europe that existed from 1955 to 1991. "I cannot imagine that the Czech people, these 10 million people ... are going at the end of the day to stand against the 490 other million citizens of the European Union ... We have a historic responsibility to see this through," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.03.09: 'No US radar, no Lisbon Treaty', Prague warns - 0 views

  • Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek yesterday (18 March) confirmed reports revealed by EurActiv in January: President Barack Obama's decision to put on hold US plans to construct its missile shield and radar base in the Czech Republic effectively blocks his country's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.
  • Topolánek, who chairs the ODS, told the Czech press that he is putting the Lisbon Treaty on ice, together with the US agreement. But he blamed the Social Democratic opposition for the stalemate. He also indicated that he hopes to convince the US president at the NATO summit on 4 April in Strasbourg to change his mind and proceed with the missile shield plan.  Obama will be travelling to Prague for an EU-US summit on 5 April: his first official visit to Europe.  Asked to clarify whether the deadlock could spell the end of the Lisbon Treaty, Topolánek said in an interview with Czech news: "I think that is possible. But I would stress it is not entirely our responsibility. I will not instruct anyone how to vote [...] I have said that many times before.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.03.09: Outside interference in Lisbon treaty campaign, Irish minister says - 0 views

  • Irish Europe minister Dick Roche has said there was "serious external interference" in the run-up to the country's referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The minister made the comment after Ireland's ethics watchdog published a report Friday (13 March) saying that Libertas, which last year led a successful campaign against the EU's Lisbon treaty, did not reveal enough information on its referendum campaign.
  • Reacting to the report, Europe minister Dick Roche, who has a long-running feud with Mr Ganley, was quoted by the Irish Times as saying: "It raises real issues regarding the extent of foreign interference channelled via Libertas into the referendum campaign. The report demonstrates the need for an immediate strengthening of the law." "It confirms questions raised by me and others about the role of US defence contractor Rivada Networks Ltd and its Irish office. It contains and confirms that there was serious external interference in Ireland's referendum campaign from Mr Ganley's eurosceptic contacts via the Libertas campaign." In the run-up to the June referendum last year, Ireland was awash with speculation that Libertas was being funded from US sources opposed to European integration.
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