We hate to break bad news to you, but let us just get this out of the way first: The decade-long stability in Europe is over and "we are no longer the coolest dudes on the planet". Says Jan Techau, the director of Brussels-based think tank Carnegie Europe.
In other news, the Scottish now have a document to base their independence discussion on: a white paper describing why Scots are better off alone. The Open Europe Blog has looked at how the Salmond administrations intends to deal with the delicate topic of EU membership.
Looking to the East, we see the Vilnius Summit coming up, which will bring together the EU and the six Eastern partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. While pro-EU demonstrations in Kyiv capture the world's attention and headlines, the blog of the Library of the European Parliament ask: What’s in for Moldova?. Unlike Ukraine, Moldova still has a good chance of initialling the Association Agreement. Currently, however, the signing ceremony is still marked "tbc" in the agenda.
Neither? You’re not in the mood? Well, that’s because you opt for direct democracy and started your own European Citizens Initiative? Not really, you say? Because you don’t know what you should call for? What about:
None of these, you say. Your Bloggingportal.eu editor realises by now that you’re not interested at all. You’re not in the mood to kill the sacred cows. You don’t care that Serbia and Kosovo finally came to an agreement. At last. You’re not in the mood to think about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising 70 years ago.
It may be a year until the European elections, but with Croatia joining the EU in July, Croats are heading to the polls today to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. It’s not been the best week for people power in the EU, however, with heavy criticism directed at the European Citizens Initiative and the Commission for the lack of initiatives been taken up by the Commission. (Stephen Spillane highlights one of these ECIs still collecting signatures – the Let Me Vote campaign). When it comes to European office terms, Eberhard Rhein argues that a third term for Barroso would be one term too many. Finally, Hungary is in the spotlight again, as the EU considers taking legal action over the country’s radical constitutional changes.
Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, was remembered as she passed away this week. A controversial figure, Jason O’Mahoney asks us to forget some of the myths surrounding her. The debate on her legacy continues to rage in the British media and will doubtless last for a long time to come.
Cameron’s renegotiation strategy has suffered a setback this week as France and Germany rule out participating in the review of competences. Simon Usherwood notes that some constructive cooperation continues between Britain and other Member States below the surface.
And if you still haven’t had enough of the crisis, Estonia brings us Austerity Opera – bringing the debate between the Estonian President and Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman to musical life. Could a Finanzministerdaemmerung be next?
Once this first wave of blog posts was over, we were warned of the “dramatic days ahead” and informed about the search for “fresh solutions“. Yet suddenly, we all realised that democratically elected parliaments still had a say when the Cyprus parliament offered “the gift” to refuse the deal – quickly followed by European Central Bank’s threat to stop paying if democracy prevailed.
But then again, it is Sunday and the European and Cyprus leaders continue to negotiate about who will or will not pay for whatever this is all about. Or, as the tourism video calls it: “From a relaxing day to an unexpected night.“
we here at our idealistic European project called Bloggingportal.eu (that’s for you, Jean) that functions without any government money (that’s for you, Margaret), we hope you both had a modestly convenient week watching EU affairs.
Jean, you will have noticed with pleasure that 50 years ago the EU court ruled on the supremacy of EU law, and we know that you, Margaret, would have loved to go back in time and do what would have been necessary to prevent this from happening.
In the end, Margaret, don’t you fear that this leads from a healthily critical approach to centralised EUropean power to a caricature of policy-making? And were you, Jean, really hoping for somebody like Mario Monti to be presented as the future hope for the European Commission?
Well, looking at all this, we here at Bloggingportal.eu ivory towers, we know it may have been a week full of ups and downs for both of you. Yet, since you are or were both politicians, you would be able to sell any of these things as a victory for yourself and your own ideological ideals – just as all national leaders have sold the budget deal as a win for themselves.
We think this made yo happy, below and above the soil. Thus, we wish you a happy next week, probably more quiet than the previous on when it comes to EU matters.
In the week we turned 4, in the week CameronheldhisspeechonEurope, in the week Jeroen Dijsselbloem became head of the Eurogroup, in the week the EU adopted the Financial Transaction Tax, in the week the Franco-German friendship turned 50, the Euroblogosphere argued for the single market, for an EU-wide unemployment system, for a Union that focuses more on citizens than on technocracy, for a more transparent Union, for a celebration of Croatia’s EU accession, for a more active and European Ségolène Royal to maybe one day become the President of the European Parliament.