Michael Berendt's blog

Archives for European politics

At last a touch of balance in Britain’s Daily Telegraph over the nomination of Michel Barnier to the internal market portfolio, with responsibility for financial services! I guess it’s no coincidence that the writer, eurosceptic Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, was the newspaper’s correspondent in Brussels from 1999 until 2004 – the same time span as Barnier’s former […]

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We live in the age of media celebrity. So no surprise at the critical and sometimes bitter press reaction to the nomination of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton, virtually unknown beyond their own parishes, as Council President and High Representative respectively. As someone said, it was like a TV talent show where the choice […]

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With the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty the British Conservatives have set out the policy which an incoming Conservative government would apply towards the European Union. There is to be no referendum, but a series of legislative measures to limit the extent of EU jurisdiction, and negotiations to take employment and social policy law […]

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A fundamental purpose of the Treaty of Lisbon is to make the European Union an effective force in the modern world, a global player with a power and influence far greater than the sum of its parts. The appointment of a High Representative bestriding Commission and Council, served by the European External Action Service (EEAS), […]

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It looks like end-game for the Lisbon Treaty at last. Ireland’s two-to-one majority in favour of ratification on October 2 was a convincing reversal of the 2007 “no” vote, especially given the increased turnout, which at 58 per cent of the electorate was six points up on last time.
The convincing “yes” majority can be ascribed […]

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The European Parliament’s convincing vote for Jose Manuel Barroso’s second term as European Commission president puts him in a stronger position than any candidate since Jacques Delors in the 1980s. To have secured the votes of the European Conservatives and their allies and an estimated 25 Socialists in addition to his centre right supporters in […]

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Rarely has the Brussels rentrée occurred in such a muddle of doubt and anticipation. Doubt because the October 2 Irish referendum could kill the Lisbon Treaty for good; anticipation because approval of Lisbon should open up new capabilities for Europe and settle the constitutional uncertainty which has dogged the EU for so many years – […]

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What a frustrating time this must be for Sweden’s EU presidency! Stockholm’s ambitious plans to demonstrate its dynamic management of the Union are becalmed. Two days after confirming the Council’s candidacy of Barroso, prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt was obliged to announce that the European Parliament had postponed until mid-September its vote on renewing the Commission […]

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Who’d be leader of the British Conservatives in the European Parliament? No sooner had the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) been formed, with representation of eight member countries, than Finland’s Hannu Takkula decided not to join the group after all. He has chosen to remain with the Liberal ALDE group in deference to home […]

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People have been grumbling over the last year or so that Barroso’s presidency of the European Commission has been too much influenced by hope of a second term, and that he has leant over backwards not to upset the big member states. I’m not convinced of the evidence for that, but the Commission president has […]

Posted by Michael Berendt