March 21, 2008 | The EU and the Iraq War: after five years
It has been five years since the United States began its military operation dubbed 'Iraqi Freedom'. The war resulted in a deep rift in transatlantic relations, caused a split within the European Union and made Iraqis the single largest group seeking refuge in Europe.
March 19, 2008 | Around Europe with the EUDemocrats
Today we will take a look at the activities of EUD member organizations or politicians inside the European Union. We, at the EUDemocrats, always strive to promote our values for democracy and transparency further. This work is as important at the local level of Member States as it is in the European Institutions. The EUD members everywhere are actively involved in political campaigns and actions that seek to protect and promote the interests of the citizens of each Member State. We take a quick look now at four developing stories and reports in four different countries of the Union.
March 17, 2008 | Mediterranean Union plan has a green light from EU leaders
EU leaders on Thursday (13 March) approved a watered-down version of a plan put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for a grand Mediterranean Union stretching from Morocco to Turkey and aiming to foster cooperation with the EU's southern neighbours.
March 13, 2008 | EU leaders meet in Brussels
EU leaders are gathering in Brussels for what is likely to be unusually conflict-free summit. European Commission proposals on how to turn ambitious green goals into concrete laws, the union's Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs and ways in which to strengthen fragile financial markets are the main topics up for debate.
March 12, 2008 | Summary of the Secret Audit Report of the EP
Last week the EUD revealed some key information on a secret report presented before the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament. The highlight in this particular document is that it contains proof that unknown MEPs have abused the system by various means. The bottom line is that apparently fraud did happen in the Parliament, more than one time, yet due to the secret nature of the audit report, the public is left in the dark. Furthermore, the document has been secreted away quite fast and is, at the moment, out of reach for anyone. This week we follow this story with more information on the contents of the report as revealed within a summary written by Dutch MEP Paul van Buitenen.
March 12, 2008 | The Irish Referendum will take place in June
The Irish government has indicated that the country's highly anticipated referendum on the EU treaty will take place in the second week of June. Prime Minister Bertie Ahern told parliament on Tuesday (11 March): "The government have more or less signed off on the date. It is really a question about the day of the week".
March 10, 2008 | Zapatero wins general elections in Spain
Spanish socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Sunday won a decisive victory in what was his second general election, increasing his party's vote despite the killing on Friday of a former socialist municipal councillor in the militant-nationalist blighted Basque country.
February 26, 2008 | EUDemocrats reveal secret report
Fraud in the European Parliament! by Jens-Peter Bonde: Tuesday, late afternoon, the Committee on Budget Control voted on whether the question on publishing the internal document should be put at the agenda of the meeting or not. It was rejected by 21 votes to 14. Members from the two biggest groups voted for secrecy, representatives from the smaller groups voted in favour. EPP picked seven-eight German CDU members in the final minute before the vote to change the balance. They won. We - and the taxpayers - lost. Members of the European Parliament can continue to cheat with secretariat allowances until the European elections in 2009. Then, there will come new rules for the next parliament to avoid this question to be discussed with the taxpayers and voters. "I was rumoured today that ther exist an even more secret report which cannot even be seen by the Budget Control Committee Members. This report includes names taken off the report we discussed today. It shows who are under suspicion. This report should be delivered to OLAF and the report without names should be published immediately to regain parliament authority".
February 25, 2008 | Communist elected as president in Cyprus
Promises to renew the unification talks with the Turkish Cypriots as well as a pledge to defend Cyprus's best interests before the EU were elements that helped 61 year old Dimitris Christofias win the presidential run-off. Leading the communist Akel party, he had 53.36% of the votes to Mr Kasoulides 46.64% in the Sunday election. Both men had campaigned strongly against former president Tassos Papadopoulos, who rejected a UN plan for the unification of the island a week before Cyprus accession to the EU. Now Mr Christofias said his first order of business will be to meet with the representatives of the Turkish side and try solving a decades-long struggle that has so far marred Turkey's claim to EU accession.
February 21, 2008 | European Parliament says YES to Lisbon Treaty
After more than two hours of debate on the troublesome piece of paper that has come, after bearing several titles, to be called the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament gathered in Strasbourg has passed a resolution endorsing it with a clear majority. 525 votes were in favour, 115 against and 29 abstentions, showing that the general position of the Parliament over the treaty is highly supportive. Declarations ranged from extremely enthusiastic, like the one made by Mr. Hans-Gert Pattering, President of the European Parliament, to very critical of the report, as for example Ms. Mary Lou McDonald's declaration who, speaking on behalf of the GUE/NGL group, said "this treaty is not about reform or efficiency, it is a carte blanche for further eroding democracy".
February 18, 2008 | Kosovo declares independence: what will the EU do?
On Sunday, the democratically elected Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thai, read out loud that "From now onward, Kosovo is proud, independent, sovereign and free". Seeking "the blessing of the world", the Kosovar leadership went on to note that this new state would be democratic and free. This was targeted specifically at the large Serbian population of the province, who were reassured that their rights would be respected in full. However, the enthusiastic celebration that erupted throughout the Albanian parts of Kosovo were not mirrored in Serbia, or in many other parts of the world. Russia called an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting, while the EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss the situation. What the future truly holds for Kosovo seems rather out of the hands of its inhabitants.
October 18, 2007 | Lisbon Conference: Overnight deal struck on new treaty
With this agreement we have managed to get out of stalemate, we will be ready to tackle the world's challenges. It is in these words that Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates announced on Friday at around 02:00 local time the agreement on the text of the new Treaty, describing it as a "victory for Europe". The new treaty will be formally signed by European leaders on 13 December of this year and subsequently go for ratification in all member states with a view to coming into place by mid-2009, ahead of the next European elections.
July 12, 2007 | The danger of a militarised EU. An Irish point of view
At the issue of the June summit which was held on June 21 to 22 the EU elite agreed on the terms of reference of the new treaty which is to be drafted during the Portuguese presidency before the end of 2007. Defeated by the French and Dutch people during the 2005 referendums, the EU elite agreed on the terms of reference for a new treaty which is 90 to 95% the same as the one already defeated, but which they say no longer needs a referendum! The only state, where there will definitely be a referendum, is the Republic of Ireland, probably in May 2008.
July 05, 2007 | The EUDemocrats adopt their Political Demands
Following a majority vote in the annual party Congress on June 22nd, the EUDemocrats Assembly has adopted an in-depth version of its political demands. Based on the four pillars that constitute the basis of the party, the political demands consist in a serie of concrete demands on transparency (14 demands), subsidiarity (8 demands), democracy (6 demands) and diversity (2 demands). These demands are the result of a solid research work led by our staff in Brussels for the past few months.
June 25, 2007 | From the draft Constitution to the Reform Treaty
"What counts for me is that we have emerged from paralysis" German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the end of the European Summit on Sunday morning. It seems that, although the previous draft of the Constitution was facing fierce opposition, the Heads of State and Governments have emerged with an acceptable solution. The plan is to write a Reform Treaty before the end of 2007 and to have it ratified by all member states by 2009, before the European elections.
June 15, 2007 | A European Constitution: Sooner or Later?
Since the French and the Dutch No to the European Constitution, the future of the latter has been uncertain. Indeed, Member States agreed to a period of reflection. This period ended with the Austrian presidency and was completely forgotten by the German one. As we have already stated on the website, it seems that the general conception is for a European Constitution at any cost. However, since the first wave of ratifications, many political changes have taken place. Are they significant? Will they change the outcome of the race for a Constitution?
May 23, 2007 | The Future of Europe is in good hands
On the 22nd of May, in Strasbourg, MEPs met around the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Romano Prodi to talk about the Future of Europe. In a very motivated speech, Mr. Prodi highlighted what he thought was important. First, he reinstated the necessity of having renewed institutions in order to deal with the enlargement of the EU. He also argued that those who voted in favour of the Constitution represent more than half of European citizens and that they should also be listened to. The EU is in serious need of reform and the countries that are ready to begin further integration should be allowed to do so even if it means leaving some countries behind.
On Saturday, in Portugal, Angela Merkel reiterated for the hundredth time that it was a matter of urgency to find an agreement on the future of the European Constitution. The new deadline is the end of June which is quite short notice since many European countries are currently undergoing political changes (the latest being the UK with the eminent departure of Tony Blair). Other than this obvious lack of realism, the attitudes of Merkel and her followers are difficult to understand in so-called democracies.