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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.05.08: Latest Irish poll shows EU treaty heading for defeat - 0 views

  • The latest poll in Ireland has revealed a shock swing to the "no" side ahead of next week's vote on the EU's Lisbon treaty. Carried out for the Irish Times, the TNS/mrbi poll shows that those saying they intend to vote "no" has almost doubled to 35 percent (up 17 points) since their last survey three weeks ago.
  • The poll revealed a clear socio-economic divide, with a majority of better-off voters intending to vote "yes," and a majority among the working class planning a "no" vote. Meanwhile, older voters tended to be more positive towards the treaty, but there was only a majority of "yes" supporters among the over-50s. The survey's result comes despite the fact that Ireland's main political parties all support the treaty, and shows there will have to be a large swing before the 12 June vote if it is to result in a "yes."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

20.06.11: Füle shows Macedonia yellow card - 31 views

    In an unprecedented move, Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle has warned Macedonia that the country could lose its EU candidate status if no progress is made on the path to reform and if the EU hopeful keeps on taking actions considered by Greece as "provocations".

    The warning came in a TV interview given by Füle to Macedonian TV channel A1, one of the few media outlets with a critical voice and which the government is reportedly trying to silence.

    Füle was asked to comment on the decision by Nikola Gruevski's government to erect a statue of a 'warrior on horseback' resembling Alexander the Great in the centre of Skopje, which has sparked fury in Greece. Over the weekend, the 12-meter high statue was finally assembled.

    The commissioner said that not only in bilateral affairs, but also in normal life any person should avoid doing things seen by its neighbour as a provocation.
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

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

26.05.08: Voting gap narrows ahead of Irish referendum - 0 views

  • The gap between the "Yes" and the "No" camps ahead of the EU treaty referendum in Ireland has narrowed, according to the latest poll published on Sunday (25 May). The survey for the Sunday Business Post shows that 41 percent plan to vote in favour of the treaty - a three percent increase on a similar poll two weeks ago. But the same survey showed that the No side has increased its share of the vote by five percent in the same period, with 33 percent saying they plan to reject the pact. A quarter of the electorate remain undecided about how they will vote on 12 June.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.06.08: Ireland shows EU establishment the red card - 0 views

  • A total of 53.4% of Irish voters rejected the Lisbon Treaty, with just 46.6% voting in its favour. Turnout was not as low as initially predicted with 53.1% of the electorate turning up at the urns.  With a total of 862,415 votes against, the Lisbon Treaty, which would have affected all the EU's 495 million citizens, was effectively rejected by 0.175% of the bloc's population, throwing the EU into an existential crisis. 
    Comprehensive analysis of the referendum in Ireland and its possible implications
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.06.08: What about the size of the eu-commission after the No vote in Ireland? - 0 views

  • The EU summit, which starts in Brussels today (19 June), was meant to give EU leaders the opportunity to discuss their first full-time president. But following the 'no' vote in Ireland, they now face the less pleasant prospect of having to reduce the size of the European Commission as currently required by the Nice Treaty.
  • Background: The Nice Treaty stipulates that when the number of EU member states reaches 27, the number of commissioners appointed in the subsequent EU executive would have to be less than this number, without giving a precise figure.  With the EU now having numbered 27 members since 1 January 2007, there is an understanding that the current number of commissioners exceeds the realistic number of portfolios.  As an example, to accommodate Bulgaria and Romania, Markos Kyprianou, the Cypriot health and consumer protection commissioner, had to abandon the second part of his portfolio in favour of his new Bulgarian colleague, Meglena Kuneva (EurActiv 26/10/06) Similarly, the multilingualism portfolio was taken from Ján Figel, the Slovak commissioner for education, training and culture, and handed to Leonard Orban, the Romanian commissioner (EurActiv 31/10/06).
  • But following the failed Irish referendum, heads of state and government will instead have to revert to the provisions of the Nice Treaty, which is designed for a Europe of 27 member states, diplomats said.  In short, this means having to consider reducing the number of commissioners to below 27, as foreseen under the current treaty agreed upon in Nice in 2001. In contrast, the Lisbon Treaty envisages reducing the number of commissioners to 15 by 2014. 
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  • "Under Lisbon, this would only have happened in 2014," Sellal told journalists in Brussels on 18 June. The question of which country (or countries) should give up their commissioner will therefore now have to be open to negotiation between EU heads of state. And because such decisions have to be taken by unanimity, this raises the prospect of endless haggling between member states.  "As long as there will be no Lisbon Treaty, this question will remain open," Sellal said. 
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

11.05.07: Citizens more ambitious than leaders on future EU policies - 0 views

  • EU citizens are more ambitious about what Europe should do in the future than its political leaders, a new report summing up a series of popular debates shows.
  • The report, published on Thursday (10 May), refers to the main conclusions of all national debates and shows that citizens in most countries favour action in social policy where Europe does not hold key powers and which is generally not foreseen as an area for major future initiatives.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

21.03.07: Why is Brussels so unloved? - 0 views

  • And today, surveys continue to show a lack of enthusiasm. A Financial Times poll of the five biggest EU states published on Monday (19 March) show that just 25 percent of those asked feel that life in their country had improved since it joined the EU, while 44 percent feel it has become worse.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

18.12.2006: Eurobarometer 66 shows strongly varying attitudes towards important issues - 1 views

    The survey, conducted for the European Commission, for the first time quizzed Europeans about some key societal issues which are closely related to national histories and cultures. Europeans for example strongly disagree about homosexuality, drugs, religion and agree on  the need for more equality and justice.
    Moreover the study surprisingly shows that citizens in France and the Netherlands, who last year rejected the constitution, now support it!
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

09.06.09: Sarkozy vows to change Europe after EU elections success - 0 views

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said his party's victory in Sunday's European elections showed that French people wanted the EU to change and has said he would come up with initiatives in that respect "in the days to come." In a communique published Monday (8 June) on the French president's website, Mr Sarkozy said that his centre-right UMP party's victory showed French people's "recognition for the work accomplished during the French presidency of the European Union [in the second half of last year] and their support for the efforts undertaken by the government to bring to an end an unprecedented global crisis".
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

02.09.10: Barroso blames capitals for plunge in EU popularity - 0 views

  • Faced with a plunging popularity of the EU institutions, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has blamed national capitals for not defending the European project during the economic crisis. The devastating results of a Eurobarometer published last week showing that support for EU institutions is waning across the continent are due to the economic crisis, argued Mr Barroso in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. He said it is "normal" that citizens' confidence is dropping during such times.
  • "I admit that we should do more together in order to give confidence to citizens and consumers. But I also want to tell the truth: We won't solve the problems unless each nation sees the European project as its own," the Portuguese politician said. "In fact this is not the case now. When things go well it's their merit and when they go wrong it's Brussels' fault," he added.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

27.08.10: Europeans losing faith in EU - 0 views

  • Just 42% of Europeans say they trust the European Union, according to a new opinion poll, down six percentage points in just six months.
  • The survey also found that fewer than half of Europe's citizens see their country's membership of the EU as a positive thing, but the European Commission is clinging to the positive elements of the report, particularly on economic governance. Officials are presenting the new Eurobarometer as an endorsement of greater budget oversight from Brussels, pointing to the 75% of Europeans who said stronger coordination between member states will help weather the economic storm.
  • Notwithstanding the positive spin from Brussels, a deeper analysis of the report shows a crisis of faith in the Union. Just 49% of citizens view membership of the European Union as a good thing, while 47% said they do not trust the EU. Even prospective members have gone cold on the European project, with just 27% of Turks saying they trust Brussels. For the first time, the Eurobarometer included Iceland, which is currently in talks to join the EU. A startling 35% said they trusted the Union, while only 29% thought that Iceland would benefit from becoming a member.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Turkey losing patience with EU - 0 views

  • Exasperated Turkey slammed its fist on the table this weekend saying Europe is dragging its feet on EU entry talks, while the 27-nation bloc sought to boost ties with a nation whose worldwide weight is on the rise.After sitting down for talks on Saturday with the 27-nation bloc's foreign affairs chiefs, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "I expressed our dissatisfaction with the speed of the negotiations, I expressed it clearly."
  • Since the kickoff of entry talks in 2005, movement has been sluggish, due to the deadlock over Cyprus, the slow pace of reforms in Turkey and, more fundamentally, because France and Germany are wary of seeing the Muslim-majority nation of 75 million join the bloc.
  • But Ankara can bank on the support of other EU states in its bid to join.Britain, which in July publicly expressed its opposition to France and Germany on the question, this weekend reiterated its willingness to see progress on the entry talks."It would be good to see those talks speed up," said Foreign Secretary William Hague, as with Turkey inside the EU "there is a very powerful combination to have.""It's very important to show some momentum on this and the UK will be trying to make sure that that happens before the end of the year," he said.Sweden's Carl Bildt took an even stronger tack.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

08.09.10: EU should facilitate Kosovo-Serbia talks, show new muscle - 0 views

  • A rare combination of events offers the EU the opportunity to help Serbia and Kosovo resolve their differences, establish relations and unblock their paths to further European integration. The 22 July International Court of Justice (ICJ) opinion that found Kosovo's declaration of independence violated no international law or UN Resolution, a September discussion in the UN General Assembly on Kosovo, an invitation to mediate by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and unprecedented domestic support for Prime Minister Hashim
  • Possibly, it only wants talks that discuss Kosovo's status, inherently delaying other countries' decisions to join the 69 states that have already recognised. But this delaying tactic is not going to work, and there will be no EU facilitated dialogue if Serbia does not accept to sit down with Kosovo as an equal. The encouraging news is that some high level officials in Serbia seem to recognise this. They are interested in moving forward with their EU candidacy and feel Kosovo as an albatross holding them back. They want to find mutually acceptable solutions with Pristina which could pave the way for recognition.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.12.10 The US assessment of EU-policy towards Kosovo and Serbia - insights from Wiki... - 0 views

  • The EU's "low profile" mission in Kosovo and the "fatigue" shown by Europeans on the independence issue are failing to address the increasing threat of partition in the northern part of Kosovo, a fresh set of US cables released by WikiLeaks shows just as Kosovars head to the polling stations on Sunday (12 December).
  • With five EU member states still not having recognised the independence of Kosovo and a certain "fatigue" emerging on the issue, US diplomats fear that Europe will cave in to Serb pressure for the northern part of the country to be split off - a development which could trigger ethnic violence.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

13.12.10 Germany wants political co-operation to be deepened - 0 views

  • German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has said his country is willing to discuss greater harmonisation of eurozone tax policy, adding that the next decade is likely to see Europe take significant steps towards closer political union. The remarks, made in Germany's mass-selling Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday (12 December), come as EU leaders look set to agree a limited EU treaty change this week in order to set up a permanent crisis mechanism to provide financial support to struggling eurozone states.
  • Meeting in the German town of Freiburg on Friday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also said eurozone leaders must draw a fundamental lesson from the ongoing debt crisis and take steps towards political integration, including the harmonisation of tax policies or labour law. These initiatives would foster greater convergence of eurozone economies and "show this is not just about currency issues but also about political co-operation, which has to be deepened," said Ms Merkel.
  • Germany has successfully won its demand for the permanent mechanism to include the private sector sharing in future bail-out costs, reports the BBC. Such a decision could significant raise the borrowing costs of 'peripheral' eurozone states, as investors demand extra yields to cover the costs of a potential debt restructuring under the new mechanism.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

31.12.08: Corruption in Bulgaria tests EU expansion - 0 views

  • Frustrations mount over Bulgaria – the most violent, corrupt, and poorest of EU members. Aid is being withheld as reform promises are made (and broken). Can it be fixed?
  • Bulgaria's case was putting the credibility of EU enlargement at stake: Brussels needed to send a message to those arguing against further expansion and to candidates banging on the door, including Croatia, Serbia, Albania, and Turkey. Just last month, EU officials warned Croatia that its failure to crack down on organized crime and corruption jeopardizes its chance to join the EU next year. "Brussels needed to get serious, to show they're not just taking a country's word for fighting corruption," says Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Center for European Reform in London. "If they can't do that with Bulgaria, how are you going to do that with the countries still queuing outside?" In late November, Brussels slapped Sofia with an unprecedented penalty, withdrawing €220 million ($315 million) in development assistance – less than the initial threat of €500 million, but still a huge sum for the poorest EU member.
  • When Bulgaria and Romania were finally admitted to the EU in January 2007, they became the first to enter with strings attached: They were given several months to clean up their legal systems and to develop methods of tracking EU funding. Promises were made, but deadlines were missed, prompting a growing litany of threats from Brussels.
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  • The next EU evaluation of Bulgaria is due in January. Another $15 billion in assistance that Bulgaria stands to receive from the EU over the next few years could be pulled. A greater humiliation, says Ruslan Stefanov, an analyst with the Center for Study of Democracy in Sofia, would be internal shunning: Brussels could bar Bulgaria from joining both the eurozone of shared European currency and the visa-free travel area known as the "Schengen." Something has to give. Bulgarian lawmakers, up for reelection next year, find little sympathy at home. Opinion polls indicate greater support for Brussels than their own leaders.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.12.08: Bosnian Govt's Performance "Catastrophic" - 0 views

  • The performance of Bosnia’s state government and parliament is “catastrophic,” claims a local non-governmental organisation, which analyses the work of local governments. The Centre of Civil Initiatives, CCI, on Monday in Sarajevo presented its annual report analysing the work of the state government and parliament against their action plans adopted at the beginning of the year. The report showed that the state administration has on average carried out only 7.9 percent of their action plans for 2008. As an example, in the first nine months of 2008, the state Parliament adopted only 8 out of 101 laws planned for this year.
  • CCI spokeswoman, Majda Behrem Stojanov, said that if the current leadership remains in power until the next scheduled elections in 2010, it would have devastating affects on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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