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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.05.08: Danes likely to have two referendums on EU treaty op-outs - 0 views

  • The Danish centre-right government has launched negotiations with opposition parties to agree on a strategy for scrapping opt-outs from the EU treaties, with the government hoping to abolish the derogations in two steps, according to Danish media reports.

    Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is set to call for a referendum in September to remove the derogation from judicial and defence co-operation and at the same time announce a subsequent referendum on the euro.
  • Denmark is not bound by first-pillar legislation on justice and home affairs and EU citizenship and does not take part in EU defence co-operation. Denmark is also not obliged to take part in the single currency and refused to abolish its national currency, the Krone, in a referendum in 2000. The liberal-conservative coalition government is eager to scrap the opt-outs and have the country participating fully in the EU.
  • Big-bang referendum difficult to win Opinion polls have suggested a big-bang referendum including all four Danish opt-outs would be very difficult to win – but taking the issues one-by-one would increase the chances of a yes. According to a fresh poll by the Greens polling institute, published by business paper Boersen on Friday (9 May), a slim plurality of 43 percent would accept scrapping all four derogations in such a big-bang referendum, 39 percent would vote no and 18 percent are undecided.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.08 Eurobarometer Post Referendum Survey in Ireland - 0 views

    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

21.01.08: UK Parliament ups pressure on EU Treaty referendum - 0 views

  • Rebel Labour MPs are expected to join forces with the Conservatives today (21 January) in a bid to force through a referendum on the new EU Reform Treaty, after a report by the House of Commons' Foreign Affairs Committee concluded that the text is the same as the abandoned EU Constitution.
  • The case for a referendum was further strengthened yesterday (20 January) with the publication of a report by the House of Commons' Labour-dominated Foreign Affairs Committee, which claims that the British government is misleading the public by playing down the significance of new institutions, such as the creation of a new full-time EU President and foreign affairs chief.  "We conclude that there is no material difference between the provisions on foreign affairs in the Constitutional Treaty, which the government made subject to approval in a referendum, and those in the Lisbon Treaty, on which a referendum is being denied," concludes the report. 
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

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

24.04.08: France takes further step towards scrapping enlargement referendums - 0 views

  • The French government on Wednesday (23 April) approved plans for constitutional reform that would scrap the obligation for France to hold a referendum on any further enlargement of the EU after Croatia.
  • The 2005 referendum clause was seen as particularly targeted at Turkey and a bid to reassure public opinion and increase the chances of a yes vote in the upcoming referendum on the EU constitutional treaty. However, it would also have affected all western Balkan countries – apart from Croatia - which are hoping to join the EU in the near future. Under the proposal adopted by the ministers yesterday, the decision on whether or not to approve a country's accession to the EU can be taken either by referendum, or by the French Congress – a body comprising the country's National Assembly and the Senate – which would have to approve it by a three-fifths majority.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Ireland - Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty: Campaign, Results and Reasons for Rejection - 0 views

  • The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2008 was a bill introduced by the Government of Ireland in 2008 to amend the Constitution of Ireland in order to enable ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) of the European Union, so it could be enacted as scheduled on 1 January 2009. As part of the enactment of the bill, a referendum was held on 12 June 2008.[1] The proposal was defeated by 53.4% of votes to 46.6%, with a turn out of 53.1%.[2]
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

12.03.08: Ireland to hold EU treaty referendum im June - 0 views

  • The Irish government has indicated that the country's highly anticipated referendum on the EU treaty will take place in the second week of June.
  • Ireland is the only country to have a referendum on the EU treaty, meaning that between now and the poll, the government and Irish voters will be carefully watched by both politicians and media from around Europe. All 27 member states must ratify the treaty for it to come into force, with the goal for this to take place being the beginning of next year.
  • So far, five countries have ratified the treaty - France, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary and Malta. But in other countries, the treaty question is becoming tangled up in other issues. Slovakia was forced to put off a vote on the treaty due to an internal dispute over media law, while the Finnish media is reporting that semi-autonomous Aaland - an island between Finland and Sweden - is kicking up a fuss over snuff. Finnish state broadcaster YLE reports that the Aaland government may reject the EU treaty - and undermine the country's general ratification of the treaty, due to a row over the right to sell snuff, a smokeless tobacco.
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

05.10.09: EU leaders face 'difficult task' naming new Commission - 0 views

  • EU heads of state and government will have to make difficult choices when they meet in Brussels for a summit on 29-30 October, with uncertainty over when the Lisbon Treaty will come into force having huge consequences for the size of the next European Commission, analysts told EurActiv.
  • Background: According to pro-EU politicians, Europe is in a "completely new" situation after the resounding 'yes' vote in the second Irish Lisbon Treaty referendum, held last Friday (EurActiv 03/10/09).  At present, 25 out of 27 EU member states have ratified the Union's reform treaty, and the news from Poland is that its president, Lech Kaczyński, will soon sign the ratification by the country's parliament, completing the procedure in that country too.  All eyes are now turning to the Czech Republic, where a group of 17 Eurosceptic senators close to the country's president, Václav Klaus, filed a second complaint against the Lisbon Treaty with the constitutional court in Prague, putting its ratification on hold (EurActiv 30/09/09).  This strategy is seen as an attempt to delay final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty until a conservative government comes to power in Britain, where elections are due next year.  Tory leader David Cameron, who leads comfortably in opinion polls, said that in the event that the Lisbon Treaty is not fully ratified by then, he will call a referendum in the UK, despite the fact that the country has already ratified the treaty in parliament (EurActiv 24/09/09). 
  • On the one hand, EU leaders can assume that the Lisbon Treaty will soon be ratified and invite member states to submit candidacies for commissioners and other top jobs. Alternatively, they can choose to avoid taking any risks and launch a procedure for nominating a smaller-size Commission under the current Nice Treaty, analysts told EurActiv. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.12.08: EU leaders gatehr for rift-packed summit - 0 views

  • Almost two years after adopting ambitious green goals, a year after signing the new Lisbon Treaty and some sixteen months after the first signs of the financial crisis, EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday (11 December) to write a new chapter in the three long-running dossiers.
  • But it will be his Irish colleague, Prime Minister Brian Cowen to open the show by presenting Dublin's analysis on why the Irish voters rejected the EU's reform treaty in the June referendum and what can be done to rescue its ratification.
  • Moreover, Dublin could see a pledge to retain the country's commissioner if all other EU leaders follow the French line – all in a bid to enable the Irish government to hold the second referendum by 31 October, according to the draft document. It would mean that one of the key elements of the EU's institutional reform would be changed despite previous pressure on member states not to touch the package when the bloc was turning the former European Constitution into the Lisbon Treaty, following the negative referendums in France and the Netherlands.
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  • Another hot issue at the summit will be Europe's grand strategy for economic recovery. Brussels has suggested that the Union invest 1.5 percent of its GDP to boost economic activity amid projections of a severe recession in 2009.
  • But if anything is to cause the leaders to be up all night, it will be the complicated arguments over the climate change package. Although the member states had agreed on most elements of the legislation before this week's top-level meeting, there are still a couple of areas where they had not been able to strike a compromise since the European Commission put forward the bill in January.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.01.09: Almost half of Slovenians against Croatia's EU entry - 0 views

  • Nearly half of Slovenians would take part in a referendum on Croatia's EU membership and most would reject their neighbour's entry into the 27-national bloc, a new survey has shown. The poll, published in Croatian weekly Globus on Wednesday (14 January), indicates that 48.2 percent of Slovenians would vote in a referendum on Croatia's EU membership, while 31.5 percent would not.
  • Some 47.5 percent of those asked would be against Croatia's EU entry, while 36.8 percent would support it. Slovenia has repeatedly raised the threat of a referendum if the two countries do not manage to solve the border dispute they have been locked in since they each broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Ljubljana accuses Zagreb of claiming an illegitimate share of the Adriatic Sea close to the Slovenian city of Piran.
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

03.04.08: Sarkozy in U-turn over Turkey referendum - 0 views

  • Referenda linked to future EU enlargements will no longer be compulsory in France under a draft law amending the Constitution to be adopted in July. The move primarily aims to allow Croatia to join the bloc next year but also clears the way for Turkey's accession bid, EurActiv France reports.
  • The "referendum lock" contained in article 88-5 of the French Constitution will be entirely lifted when both houses of Parliament adopt the law at a Congress meeting on 7 July, in what will seem a symbolic gesture from France just days after it assumes the rotating EU Presidency on 1 July.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.05.08: France may keep referendum on Turkish/Ukrainian membership - 0 views

  • The French parliament will on Tuesday evening (20 May) discuss a constitutional reform plan that could eventually make it compulsory for France to hold a referendum on large countries wanting to join the EU. Under an amendment tabled by Jean-Luc Warsmann – a deputy from the centre-right UMP party – in the French parliament's Committee on Legislation last week, holding a referendum would become obligatory to approve the EU accession of any country whose population surpasses five percent of the EU's population - currently about 500 million people.
  • After the debates on the constitutional reform proposal and its amendments in the French Assembly, the text will be brought before the French Senate and a final decision is to be taken by a three-fifths majority of the two bodies gathered for a Congressional meeting in July.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.05.08: French deputies uphold anti-Turkey referendum clause - 0 views

  • The lower house of the French parliament on Thursday (29 May) approved an amendment to constitutional reforms that could make it compulsory for France to hold a referendum on large countries joining the EU, in a move targeting Turkey. Under the amendment tabled by Jean-Luc Warsmann – a deputy from the centre-right UMP party - holding a referendum would be obligatory to approve the EU accession of any country whose population surpasses five percent of the EU population (about 500 million people).
  • Ukraine also affected Besides Turkey, the amendment would also affect EU hopeful Ukraine with its some 46 million inhabitants.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

30.06.08: Czech Government: Lisbon-Treaty doesn't violate Czech Constitution - 0 views

  • The Czech government has advised the country's Constitutional Court that the EU's Lisbon treaty does not violate the Czech Republic's own constitution, improving the climate for ratification in the most problematic EU state after the Irish No vote.
  • Analysts expect the EU treaty to get through the 200-seat lower house. But the eurosceptic ODS party, many of whose members say Lisbon is dead after the Irish referendum, holds a 41-strong majority in the 81-seat upper house. The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus - an outspoken enemy of Lisbon - must also sign the text to make it law. The largely honorary office of the Czech president would find it hard to block a parliamentary decision in practice, however.
  • Ratification map France, Germany and the European Commission have called for ratification to continue despite the Irish No, pointing to a scenario in which Ireland stands isolated against 26 EU states and faces pressure for a re-vote, as occured with the 2001 Nice treaty referendum. Sixteen EU states have so far definitively ratified Lisbon. The Finnish, Polish and German parliaments have approved the text, but are awaiting their presidents' signatures. The Swedish, Dutch, Belgian, Italian, Spanish, and Cypriot legislatures will finish voting between July and the autumn. The Czech Republic is not the only problem country left, with the Polish president's office questioning whether the treaty still legally exists and the German constitutional court considering a legal challenge. Austrian leader Alfred Gusenbauer last week said he would also call a referendum if Lisbon is tweaked for a second Irish vote.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

02.08.07: France could re-open debate on Turkey referendum - 0 views

  • The major political question of whether France will in future hold a referendum on the EU entry of Turkey and Balkan states may be soon re-opened for discussion, following the creation of a high-level committee on institutional reform by French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • The new president last month tasked a "Reflection Committee" of senior politicians and experts to re-think the overall institutional balance of the French Republic. Mr Sarkozy is hoping that this committee will also advise scrapping the compulsory referendum on EU accessions, Mr Quatremer writes on his blog.
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