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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.03.11: European Socialists propose alternative to Barroso-Van-Rompuy pact - 0 views

  • Europe's Socialist leaders have proposed a ‘growth pact' as an alternative to the ‘competitiveness pact' originally proposed by France and Germany as a solution to the bloc's economic woes. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann and most of the continent's social democratic leaders, many of whom currently sit on opposition benches in their parliaments, including French Socialist leader Martine Aubry and Germany's head of the SPD, Sigmar Gabriel, met at a summit in Athens to co-ordinate their strategy ahead of an EU summit where a ‘comprehensive response' to the eurozone crisis is to be finalised.
  • The centre-left leaders endorsed a plan that still backs austerity, but alongside it the introduction of a financial transactions tax that they say would deliver €250 billion a year to European coffers that could be invested in green technologies and infrastructure.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

04.03.11: Centre-right leaders prepare economic battle-lines - 0 views

  • Europe's centre-right leaders are gathering in Helsinki to prepare the political family's strategy ahead of two crucial summits on economic issues later this month. An overhaul of the bloc's emergency lending fund, fiscal discipline and measures to boost economic competitiveness are all high on the agenda of Friday (4 March) evening's meeting. Print Comment article "We are preparing for the eurozone summit on 11 March so we can agree on significant measures there to stabilise the euro and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told journalists prior to the talks.
  • Berlin meanwhile is keen so see any changes to Europe's emergency lending fund accompanied by tough new fiscal laws and measures to boost the economic competitiveness of member states.
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

02.03.11: Croatia's justice system still not up to scratch, EU report says - 0 views

  • Brussels - Croatia's efforts to reform its judicial system, fight crime, prosecute war criminals and protect minorities are still not good enough for European Union membership, a report concluded Wednesday.
  • The negative findings meant the commission was unable to recommend closure of talks with Croatia on the judiciary and fundamental rights, a key step towards accession.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

28.02.11: Lukewarm response to Barroso-Van-Rompuy economic plan - 1 views

  • New proposals on joint economic governance put forward by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy on Monday (28 February) have failed to overcome resistance from some member states.
  • The Barroso-Van-Rompuy plan does contain a requirement that German-style 'debt brakes' be implemented across the eurozone, however. Resistance to this element comes from those who do not want to open the Pandora's Box of constitutional amendments this could entail. Opposition to the Franco-German pact also revolved around the proposal that countries that maintain inflation-indexed wage systems abandon this practice. Belgium and Luxembourg in particular were resistant.
  • As key figures on the left in Europe, including within the commission itself, have begun to issue their misgivings over the path of austerity chosen by the EU as a response to the crisis, the commission warned social democrats that throughout the crisis, they have also backed this process. Last week, Greece's EU commissioner, Maria Damanaki, publicly distanced herself from EU austerity, saying it is leading to "social degradation." Former commission president Jacques Delors, a French Socialist, has also called the commission's recent Annual Growth Survey, a first step in the EU's new system of oversight of and intervention in national budgets, as "The most reactionary document ever produced by the commission."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Journal of Common Market Studies - Volume 49,Special Issue 1 - Security Cooperation be... - 0 views

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    Special Issue: Security Cooperation beyond the Nation State: The EU's Common Security and Defence Policy
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Europeanisation in new member and candidate states - 0 views

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    The Europeanisation of candidate countries and new members is a rather recent research area that has grown strongly since the early 2000s. Research in this area has developed primarily in the context of the EU's eastern enlargement. A small number of theoretically informed book-length studies of the EU's influence on the Central and Eastern European candidate countries have provided a generalisable conceptual framework for this research area, drawing on the debate between rationalist institutionalist and constructivist institutionalist approaches in International Relations and Comparative Politics. This framework makes these studies highly compatible with analyses of the Europeanisation of member states, with which they also share one key empirical finding, namely that the impact of the EU on candidate countries is differential across countries and issue areas. At the same time, the theoretical implications of these findings appear more clear-cut than in the case of the Europeanisation of member states: rationalist institutionalism, with its focus on the external incentives underpinning EU conditionality and the material costs incurred by domestic veto players, appears well-suited to explaining variation in the patterns of Europeanisation in candidate countries. A very recent development within this research agenda is the focus on the Europeanisation of new member states. While the study of the EU's impact during the early years of membership was hitherto primarily a subfield of analyses of the Europeanisation of member states, it has now become an extension of studies of candidate countries by analysing the impact of accession on the dynamics of pre-accession Europeanisation and how durable and distinctive the patterns of candidate Europeanisation are in the post-accession stage.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

15.02.11: EU and Turkey reach 'stagnation point' at wrong time - 0 views

  • Against a background of unfolding revolutions in the Arab world, speakers at a conference in Istanbul last weekend said Turkey could provide a democratic model for Islamic countries to follow. But ironically, EU-Turkey relations have reached "stagnation point," they said.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Belgrade steps closer to EU negotiations - 0 views

  • In Brussels this week, Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic submitted the answers to more than 2,400 questions regarding reforms being implemented and the country's readiness to become a candidate for EU membership. After a meeting with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday (January 31st), Cvetkovic said he is confident Serbia would become a candidate by the end of the year.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Stivachtis et al. (2011): Changing Gender Attitudes in Candidate Countries: The Impact ... - 0 views

  • The impact of the European Union integration process on democratization in candidate states is often considered to be gradual. Yet it could also be argued that the effects can be seen more immediately, often in parallel to the membership negotiations. This paper investigates the impact of EU conditionality on gender attitudes and policies in Turkey to verify the above-indicated hypothesis. Furthermore, impacts may come during the pre-accession and accession negotiations phases and thus the effects on gender equality may be short or medium term. Despite major shortcomings that still exist in Turkish legislation, one should acknowledge that the actions of the Turkish government have been particularly significant given the context in which these reforms take place. The Turkish case clearly shows that the speed and depth of reforms of EU conditionality must be examined within a country's political and socio-cultural context.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Benson et al. (2011): Exploring the Tool-kit of European Integration Theory: What Role ... - 1 views

  • Abstract More and more scholars are revisiting federal theories in an attempt to explain the functioning of the EU. Yet in-depth empirical testing of their claims remains surprisingly limited. Cooperative federalism represents one particularly promising variant of federal theory in this respect. This article extends and refines existing claims about its utility to show how EU policy-making can be fruitfully conceived of as a multi-level 'cooperative game' played out between different actor coalitions. It then uses these arguments to analyse task allocation — a critical indicator of the European integration process — within the environmental sector. Drawing on fresh empirical evidence, it demonstrates how differential patterns of task allocation have emerged from a series of interlinked 'cooperative' dynamics, which were in turn shaped by broader federal structures. Although greater testing and development is needed, it concludes that there are good reasons to add cooperative federalism to the evolving 'tool-kit' of EU integration theory.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

Wasserfallen (2010): The judiciary as legislator? How the European Court of Justice sha... - 0 views

  • The question of whether, and if so, how the European Court of Justice influences European integration has been a matter of long-standing academic dispute. Several more recent empirical studies have shown that the Court influences the integration path, but scholars have also documented that member states can successfully limit the practical relevance of activist Court decisions. Drawing on this literature, this paper argues that the Court eventually impacts integration in salient policy fields effectively when the legislator incorporates judicial considerations in the policy-making process. The theoretical section conceptualizes the leverage of the Court in the legislation process and the empirical section elucidates how the judiciary shaped legislation in the development of exchange students' social rights. Findings show that the Court can successfully promote distinct legislative outcomes.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

17.01.11: Poland: Elections will not disrupt EU presidency - 0 views

  • The Polish junior minister for EU affairs, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, has promised that upcoming elections will not disrupt Poland's EU chairmanship and defended Hungary over its controversial media law. Speaking to EUobserver ahead of a visit by EU Council head Herman Van Rompuy to Warsaw on Monday (17 January), Mr Dowgielewicz predicted the election will take place in the second half of October - slap-bang in the middle of Poland's EU presidency - but said the vote will be separated from its EU activities by a "Chinese wall".
  • The latest poll, by GfK Polonia in December, indicated that centre-right Prime Minister Donald Tusk will sail through to a second term on 54 percent, leaving behind the main opposition party, Law and Justice, on 26 percent. Even if the situation changes drastically, Law and Justice' bull-in-a-china-shop boss, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is unlikely to turn up at any EU summits in 2011. "The presidency has been set up in such a way as to allow the old government to continue running things until late December, until the last session of the European Parliament, no matter what happens," Mr Dowgielewicz noted.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12.01.11: Kroes: Commission 'not shy' on Hungarian media law | EurActiv - 0 views

  • Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said yesterday (11 January) that the European Commission would not make any compromise and would make sure EU law is implemented fully in the case of the controversial Hungarian media law.
  • But Kroes made clear that the directive was "an instrument to find the issues to tackle" and that if problems were identified, Reding would be called into play, in respect of Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty. Article 7 reads that after a reasoned proposal by one third of EU member states, by the European Parliament or by the European Commission, the Council, acting by a majority of four fifths of its members after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament, may determine that there is a clear risk of a serious breach by a member state of the EU values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

12-01-11: EU considers increase of bail-out fund, as debt crisis rumbles on - 0 views

  • Against a background of growing fears that the eurozone's rescue fund would be insufficient should Spain or Belgium knock on its doors, the European Union's economy chief has called for a hike in the effective lending capacity of the EU's bail-out mechanism. "We need to review all options for the size and scope of our financial backstops - not only for the current ones but also for the permanent European stability mechanism too," EU economics and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn wrote on Wednesday in an opinion piece in the Financial Times.
  • The commissioner issued the call after member-state representatives met in the European capital to discuss proposals to boost the fund ahead of a meeting of European finance ministers next week. Mr Rehn also issued a stark warning that for all the deficit-slashing austerity measures that European states have so far imposed, it is not enough. "There is insufficient ambition and a lack of urgency in implementation. That needs to change," he wrote.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

10.01.11: Core EU states put squeeze on Portugal to accept bail-out - 0 views

  • Major European powers are putting the squeeze on Portugal to follow Greece and Ireland and knock on the doors of EU and IMF bail-out resources. Reports over the weekend quote senior European sources as saying Berlin, Paris and other core eurozone capitals are leaning heavily on Lisbon to apply for a financial rescue, although the Portuguese government continues to deny that any pressure is being mounted.
  • The eurozone core fears that if a firewall is not built around Portugal, investor nervousness could spread to Spain, a much larger economy than those of the two states - Greece and Ireland - that have already been bailed out. However, formal negotiations with Lisbon have yet to begin, the source continued, and discussions have yet to match the pace of similar talks ahead of the Greek bail-out last May or that of Ireland last November. Should Portugal decide to ask for a rescue, the bill would amount to between €60 and €80 billion, the source said.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

06.01.11: Prospects for EU-Croatia enlargement negotiations in 2011 - 0 views

  • But European commission president José Manuel Barroso has been more cautious, saying that the end of 2011 is more likely while EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Füle warns that Croatia's last leg to accession "would be the hardest".Good progress was made in December in closing three more negotiating chapters.But the difficult chapter eight, concerning competition, still remains. Along with the fight against corruption and judicial reform, it is seen as a key test for Croatia's accession.Many believe Croatia may have to close some of its five shipyards if it is to be successful in convincing the commission that it is serious about eliminating unnecessary state aid for its shipbuilding industry.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

07.01.11: Brussels wants bondholders to help pay for future bank failures - 0 views

  • The public would be spared from further pain in bailing out banks in the future, with bondholders instead footing more of the bill under plans unveiled on Thursday (6 January) by the European Commission to give EU national regulators more powers to intervene ahead of any crisis.
  • "The impact on taxpayers is obvious," the EU executive said in a statement, adding that the existing arrangements covering how to deal with such crises retained "serious shortcomings." "We must put in place a system which ensures that Europe is well prepared to deal with bank failures in an orderly manner - without taxpayers being called on again to pay the costs," said internal market commissioner Michel Barnier.
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