Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), embroiled in a leadership crisis, must unite and keep their ruling coalition stable as Germany takes on the rotating European Union presidency this year, Greens leader Annalena Baerbock said on Saturday (15 February).
In this July 2007 online dossier, Marco Overhaus and Hanns W. Maull of Deutsche-Aussenpolitik.de take ''a first systematic stock'' of Germany's EU Presidency - which ended on 31 June 2007 - by comparing the ''stated goals before the presidency'' with ''the actual results at the end of the term''.
A double-majority system with a safety clause could overcome Poland's request for a square root voting system in the Council, claim Daniel Gros, Sebastian Kurpas and Mika Widgren in a June 2007 paper for the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).
The EU is in urgent need of a new Treaty, argue Richard Baldwin and Mika Widgren in a June paper for the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London. The new Treaty simply must reform the current EU decision-making system, whatever other 'filler' items it may contain, the paper insists.
It should be possible to reach an agreement over the stalled Constitutional Treaty at the June Summit if two sets of conditions are satisfied, write Sebastian Kurpas and Stefano Micossi in a May 2007 paper for the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).
Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski dismissed EU leaders' hopes of finding a swift solution to the institutional impasse, saying that new treaty negotiations could take up to a year. European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering warned that a Polish veto would 'put Europe into a crisis'.
Prime Minister Tony Blair believes that no referendum on the Constitutional Treaty would need to be held in the UK if, instead of attempting revive the original wide-ranging Treaty, the members states now simply agreed on a series of amendments, writes Brendan Donnelly of the Federal Union.
MEPs have threatened to vote down a new EU Treaty that would fail to preserve the key elements of the draft EU Constitution, as Parliament struggles to make its voice heard ahead of the June Summit on institutional reform.
European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi have called on the 'naysayers' to drop their resistance to institutional reforms ahead of a decisive EU Summit on 21-22 June.
A solution to the EU's Constitutional crisis is within reach if leaders concentrate on a short treaty designed to make the Union work better, claims a Friends of Europe discussion paper, published in May 2007. A divided Europe is the risk of failure on the constitutional issue, the report declares.
The two heads of government exposed their opposing views on how to proceed with the Constitutional Treaty and clashed on the issues of voting rights, division of competences and symbols in the current text.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pleaded for more solidarity within the EU ahead of the European Summit, as the Czech government teams up with the Poles to open up the voting-rights issue in the new treaty.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso changed his plans to hold informal talks with a hand-picked group of key EU leaders on the stalled EU Constitution, after controversy broke out over the number of invitees.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso has called on EU leaders to follow an ambitious road map to put a new treaty in place by 2009 and has warned against reopening issues already agreed in the Constitutional Treaty.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has exhorted European leaders to overcome internal problems in order to make the EU fit to face the challenges of globalisation, after an EU Summit in Berlin had agreed to institutional reform by 2009.
As European leaders get ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in Berlin on 25 March 2007, last-minute disagreements have emerged over a declaration outlining the EU's major achievements and future perspectives.
In this commentary for the March issue of the German monthly publication Politik & Kommunikation, Hajo Friedrich, independent journalist in Brussels and Vienna, takes a critical look at the European Union, the media and the German Presidency.