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Archives for Treaty of Lisbon

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 […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

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 […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

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 – […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

I see that the EU Council of Ministers has asked the European Commission to deliver an opinion on Iceland’s application to join the EU, just 10 days after Reykjavik submitted its formal request for membership. The Swedish presidency wants the report by the end of the year, and foreign minister Carl Bildt has implied that […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

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 […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

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 […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

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

It looks very much as if early October will be the time for Ireland’s second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. This is certainly what the ALDE leader Graham Watson assumes after talking with Taoiseach Brian Cowen in Brussels last week. It also reflects recent comments by Europe minister Dick Roche.
An earlier vote – for instance […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

The European Competitiveness summit should look very different this year. The March 19-20 meeting will be struggling to finalise an EU position for the April 2 crisis meeting of the G20 in London on the basis of the Commission’s Communication.
Negotiations will take place against a profoundly uncertain economic backdrop where there are major potential risks […]

Posted by Michael Berendt