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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

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

05.10.09: Turkey rides on Irish 'yes' to promote EU entry - 0 views

  • Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, said an Irish 'yes' to the Lisbon Treaty would create the legal conditions for future EU enlargements and pleaded passionately for his country's accession to the Union.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.09.09: Support for Lisbon Treaty drops in Ireland - 0 views

  • With just a month to go until Ireland's second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, a poll has shown that 46 percent support a yes vote, down eight points since May. Published by the Irish Times, the TNS mrbi poll shows a rise of one point in those saying they plan to vote No to 29 percent with the Don't Knows registering at 25 percent, up seven points in comparison to a pre-summer survey.
  • For his part, Mr Cowen has met with the main opposition parties to work out how to make the most effective Yes campaign ahead of the 2 October poll. He has also tried to persuade to voters to rise above their feelings for the government and concentrate on the issue at hand in the referendum. "I don't believe this is about the future of this government or the future of personalities, it's about the future of the country. This is not politics as usual. It goes beyond any issues of party, organisation or locality. It is about our country's future," said the prime minister on Wednesday (2 September).
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.03.09: Sweden preparing for difficul EU presidency - 0 views

  • Sweden has set itself ambitious goals for its six-month stint at the EU helm but the upcoming European elections and uncertainty about when the next EU commission will be appointed will make its presidency "quite difficult", the country's minister for European affairs has said.
  • Sweden is to take over the EU chair from the Czech Republic on 1 July until the end of the year. The period coincides with the end of the mandate of the current European Commission, due in October, and follows the European Parliament elections in June. "Two key players and very important partners of the presidency – the parliament and the commission – will not be fully operational until quite some time into the autumn, which of course complicates matters," Swedish EU minister Cecilia Malmstrom said at a debate organised by Brussels-based think-tank The Centre on Monday (16 March). To the institutional limbo, she said, should be added the economic crisis and the planned second referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty, set for October
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.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

16.02.09:_ Irish poll shows swing in favour of Lisbon treaty - 0 views

  • A new poll has shown a swing in favour of the Lisbon treaty in Ireland as the main political parties argue about when would be the best time to hold a second referendum on the document. According to a survey carried out by the Irish Times newspaper, 51 percent are in favour of the treaty while 33 percent would vote against it.
  • Analysis of the results suggests it is farmers and middle-class voters who have shifted their opinion towards a Yes since the referendum in June last year. Meanwhile, the least well off tend to be opposed to the treaty. The swing in Lisbon's favour comes amid the country's convulsions in the economic crisis, which has caused massive job losses.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.01.09: Polish president won't sign Lisbon before Irish referendum - 0 views

  • Poland will not complete the final step of ratification for the EU's Lisbon treaty until after Ireland has had its second referendum on the document, the Polish president has reiterated. While noting that his country does not intend to be an obstacle to the bloc's ratification of the text, Lech Kaczynski said he would only sign off on the treaty if Irish citizens say Yes in the new vote, expected in autumn.
  • The president's tough stance comes despite the Polish parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday passing a resolution for him to yield. "The parliament requests the president to respect the will of both houses of parliament and to finish the process of ratification as quickly as possible," the resolution - which is to be voted on in plenary on Thursday - says, according to Rzeczpospolita.
  • Besides Ireland and Poland, Germany - which is awaiting a ruling by its highest court on legal challenges to the text - and the Czech Republic have also not yet ratified the EU treaty.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

14.01.09: UK opposition leader vows Lisbon referendum - 0 views

  • David Cameron, the leader of the opposition Conservative party in Britain, has pledged to hold a referendum on the EU's Lisbon treaty if his party is elected later this year.
  • An early election by Mr Brown - the last date by which the government has to call an election is June 2010 - would hand the Conservatives an opportunity to derail the EU's latest treaty, although it has already been ratified by British Parliament and approved by the queen. Britain's Conservative Party, which is generally eurosceptic, is a strong opponent of Lisbon and has long campaigned to hold a referendum on the document.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.01.09: Irish poll shows majority support for Lisbon Treaty - 0 views

  • A new poll suggests that a majority of Irish voters may back the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum set to be held this year. The Sunday Independent / Quantum Research survey carried out last Friday showed that 55 per cent of the 500 people asked would support the treaty while 37 per cent said they would oppose it and 15 per cent said they were undecided.
  • These latest figures should a strong rise in support (plus 16%) for the charter when compared to a survey carried out by the same newspaper in December. Those saying they would vote against the treaty decreased by seven percent.
  • Ireland's deteriorating economy is likely to be an important factor behind the change of heart, with many still shocked and angered by last week's announcement that 1,900 jobs at the Dell plant in Limerick are to be transferred to Poland.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.01.09: Czechs begin work on legal guarantees for Ireland - 0 views

  • The Czech EU presidency is to begin the complicated task of providing the legal guarantees for the political concessions that Ireland has received on the rejected Lisbon Treaty. Work will soon begin between Irish lawyers, the legal services of the Council (representing member states) and the European Commission, to firm up EU promises to that the treaty will not affect Irish neutrality, abortion or tax laws.
  • Mr Martin admitted that running a second referendum will be "very challenging" but noted that the worsening economic situation in Ireland due to the global financial crisis may make voters "accept that it is far better for Ireland to be at the heart of the European Union ... rather than to marginalise itself."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.01.09: Slovenia waves referendum card at Croatia - 0 views

  • Slovenia may call for a referendum over Croatia's accession to the European Union if a long-standing border dispute between the two countries is not quickly resolved to Ljubljana's satisfaction.
  • Slovenian Foreign Affairs Minister Samuel Zbogar stated that if talks over the border dispute are not resolved in his country's interest, it would be "quite realistic" to expect a popular referendum on ratification of Croatia's accession treaty to the Union, the Croatian daily Jutarni List reported yesterday (7 January). 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

24.11.08: Eurosceptic chancellor to take lead in Austria - 0 views

  • Austria yesterday (23 November) formed another grand coalition between the Social Democrats (SPÖ) and the conservative People's Party (ÖVP). But this time the new government is expected to be led by a eurosceptic chancellor.
  • A 200-page coalition agreement indicates that the government will fall if one party decides to push for a referendum on a new EU treaty. The Austrian Parliament ratified the Lisbon Treaty in April 2008 amid calls for a referendum from the right-wing opposition.  The prospective new chancellor, Werner Faymann (SPÖ), insists that a nationwide referendum should be held on any new EU treaty. But his future Deputy Chancellor Joseph Proell (ÖVP) insists that no referendum should occur against his party's wil
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.10.08: Irish MEP: Hold second Lisbon vote, with opt-outs - 0 views

  • rish centre-right MEP Colm Burke (EPP) recently became the first Irish politician to propose a specific 'roadmap' for holding a second Lisbon referendum in Ireland. Discussing this plan and other issues in an interview with EurActiv, Burke called for a multi-question referendum to be held in October 2009, allowing Irish citizens to vote on possible opt-outs from the Lisbon Treaty while also constituting a second ballot on the text itself.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.09.08: Compromise over Irish revote on EU treaty takes shape - 0 views

  • A compromise package aimed at convincing the Irish to return to the urns and agree to the Lisbon Treaty seems to be taking shape as Dublin considers opt-outs on defence. Meanwhile, EU countries appear to be leaning towards retaining the current system of one commissioner per country in response to Ireland's concerns that it may lose its commissioner.
  • According to the source, keeping the present system of one commissioner per country may not only serve to give the Irish a sense of having accomplished an important goal with their negative vote. Such a measure could also be easily adopted (by means of a brief intergovernmental conference) because other countries are starting to have second thoughts about reducing the number of commissioners, the source added. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

EurActiv.com - Top EU officials ask capitals to boost communication | EU - European Inf... - 0 views

  • In the aftermath of the Irish 'no' to the Lisbon Treaty, European institutions are yet again confronted with their failure to communicate the benefits of Europe with citizens, Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström and Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal-Quadras told EurActiv on two separate occasions.
  • The Commission Vice President also stressed the role of new technologies. “In France, people suddenly realised the importance of the internet during the [French 2005] referendum. I'll keep talking about using the internet more, but traditional leaders are used to traditional channels."
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    Note that the role of the Internet and citizen journalism as means to boost communication are highlighted.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.07.08: Interview: Irish politicians 'failed' to explain EU treaty - 0 views

  • Goulard also called on Irish politicians to face up to "their responsibilities" by coming up with solutions to the crisis. "We are again witnessing an amalgam where critics say Brussels irritates, that people do not want Europe, when in fact the people responsible for this slip are rather to be found in the national capitals." "We had a prime minister who said he had not read the treaty, an Irish European commissioner who said the same," she pointed out. And if Irish voters were being made to believe that the treaty influences Ireland's sovereignty on abortion, defence or tax policy, it is because Irish politicians failed to explain the text properly, which was considered by voters to be too complex. "These issues were not considered in the treaty," Goulard points out. "We can therefore measure how much the Irish political class failed in its mission to explain [the treaty]."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.06.08: Europe's calamity by JOSCHKA FISCHER - 0 views

  • It has happened. After France and the Netherlands rejected the European Constitutional Treaty, Ireland's "No" vote is the second and probably decisive blow against a united and strong Europe.

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    June 12, 2008, will have to be remembered as the day that made European history. No matter what desperate rescue efforts will be undertaken, they cannot hide the fact that the European Union has left the world stage as a serious foreign policy player for at least 10 years (if not for much longer).
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    An insightful analysis concerning the implications of the Irish No vote by Joschka Fischer, former German foreign minister.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.08 Eurobarometer Post Referendum Survey in Ireland - 0 views

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    A nationwide referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was held in Ireland on 12 June 2008. After the result was known, a Flash Eurobarometer survey was conducted by Gallup, from 13 to 15 June, at the request of the EU Representation in Ireland. Altogether, a randomly selected 2,000 respondents, aged 18 and older, were interviewed by telephone. The main objectives of the survey were to understand the reasons for non-participation in the referendum, the respondents' views about the campaign, the reasons for the "yes" or "no" votes and the overall reactions to the result. Respondents were also asked how they judged the likely consequences of the referendum. The paper summarizes the most important findings of the survey.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.06.08: MEPs in passinate war of words over Irish No - 0 views

  • After the Irish rejection featured in several diverse discussions throughout this week's plenary session in Strasbourg, the assembly held a debate dedicated exclusively to the issue on Wednesday (18 June).
  • With all eyes on the EU leaders' summit in Brussels on Thursday, Janez Lenarcic, secretary of state for European affairs for Slovenia, currently chairing the 27-strong bloc, told MEPs that the continued ratification of the treaty looks likely to be supported by all participants at the top-level meeting. "The presidency has held talks with countries which have not yet ratified the treaty, and it is quite encouraging to see that those countries are ready to continue the ratification process," said Mr Lenarcic. The same approach was advocated by the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who argued that the energy the EU had put in to drawing up its internal reform "cannot go to waste."
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