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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

03.09.08: Forthcoming Presidencies will focus on the Balkans - 0 views

  • EU enlargement, particularly to the Western Balkan countries, is set to feature high on the agenda of the bloc's two presidencies in 2009, with Croatia seen as likely to conclude its EU membership talks next year, said the Czech Republic and Sweden - the next two member states to hold the EU's six-month rotating chairmanship after France.
  • During the presentation of their common programme, the current presidential trio - France, the Czech Republic and Sweden - also stressed their general support for the whole Balkan region and its "path towards EU integration." "The whole region will be a priority during our consecutive presidencies," Ms Malmstrom pointed out.
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

29.05.09: Sarkozy cancels Sweden visit over Turkey - 0 views

  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy has cancelled a visit to Sweden scheduled for next Tuesday (2 June) in order to avoid a clash on the question of Turkey's EU membership just days before the European elections and a month before Stockholm takes over the EU's rotating presidency.
  • But the French president, who is an outspoken opponent of Turkey's entry to the European Union, did not want to highlight the strong divergence of views on this topic with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Le Monde reported on Thursday (28 May). Sweden favours further EU enlargement, including to Turkey. On Monday this week, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt told Le Figaro newspaper that the EU had "a strategic interest" in Turkey's EU integration and warned against "closing the door" to Ankara.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

01.09.09: Swedes plan big bang institutional summit in October - 0 views

  • - Sweden is hoping to clear up the EU's distracting institutional issues in one grand summit next month in order to drag the union's focus back to pressing international issues.

    Speaking to MEPs on Tuesday (1 September) Cecilia Malmstrom, Sweden's Europe minister, said: "Our aim is - if everything goes smoothly and the Lisbon treaty is adopted - that at the October council ...we can decide on all the institutional issues."

    The gathering of EU leaders at the end of next month should appoint the new list of commissioners, the new EU foreign minister and the president of the European Council.

    According to Mrs Malstrom, the summit should also agree a "loose framework" for the EU's fledgling diplomatic service.

  • The minister was responding to a series of questions from euro-deputies in the constitutional committee on how the Lisbon treaty – which faces a referendum in Ireland on 2 October and final approval in three other countries – should function in practice.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.06.09: Priorities for Sweden's upcoming Presidency - 0 views

  • With just over a week to go before Sweden takes over the helm of the EU's six-month rotating presidency, the country's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, has made it clear he does not intend to waste time attempting to unblock the many bilateral disputes that currently pepper the EU's diplomatic landscape.
  • One area where he appears to be more optimistic for a quick solution is the future status of Iceland which – depending on an upcoming parliamentary debate – may submit an application in the coming months to join the EU.
  • Sweden's European affairs minister and former MEP, Cecilia Malmstrom, speaking alongside her colleague, said she is under no illusion the next six months are going to be easy and that the presidency's main priorities will be to deal with negotiations in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen in December and the economic crisis.
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  • Not likely to help the Swedes however, is the significant institutional change that is expected under their watch, with a new European Parliament due to sit for the first time next month and the current commission scheduled to end this October. Adding to this confusion is the current drawn-out changeover between the Nice and Lisbon Treaties, with four countries – Ireland, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic - yet to ratify the EU's new set of rules.
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. 
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