Finance Commissioner Olli Rehn yesterday (12 December) brushed aside the possibility of UK legal threats and warned the City of London that it could not avoid EU financial regulation as a result of the UK veto of a last week's summit deal.
Delegates from 193 nations are struggling to strike a deal on steps to fight global warming before the UN Cancún climate conference's scheduled deadline of Friday 10 December. If they fail, it will herald a damaging setback for the multilateral process after the Copenhagen summit ended in disarray last year.
In the run-up to the G20, the prospects for an ambitious co-ordinated response to the crisis have been hampered by national governments on both sides of the Atlantic pursuing "parochial" domestic policies, experts said.
The Czech Republic is pushing for a clear decision on the next Commission president at the EU summit in June, Czech EU Affairs Minister Štefan Füle told EURACTIV.cz in an interview, stressing that his government would "not deviate" from the previous government's intention to support incumbent José Manuel Barroso.
"We have climbed on board an express train, but we have no doubt about the train reaching the end of the line on time with a maximum number of goals achieved," Czech EU Affairs Minister Štefan Füle told EURACTIV.cz in an interview, referring to his country's stint at the EU helm.
"Amidst the hoopla over 60th birthday parties, there is a crying need to involve citizens in determining what NATO should stand for," wrote Gerald Loftus, a former diplomat, on his blog after a two-day 'NATO shadow summit'.
"[French] President [Nicholas] Sarkozy has shown how important and useful for all it is to have a strong and stable leadership for the Union," argue the contributors to a European Policy Centre (EPC) commentary on the outcome of the outgoing French EU Presidency.
"While the 15-16 October European Council agreed on the financial rescue package, they displayed growing disunity over the energy and climate package," according to the European Policy Centre's (EPC) post-summit analysis.
The bank bail-out guidelines agreed by the eurozone countries and the UK in Paris last Sunday were endorsed by all 27 EU member states during the first day of the European summit in Brussels. Leaders also agreed to review the rules governing global capitalism and to strengthen cross-border supervision of banks.
After having signed off the new Lisbon Treaty, EU leaders are in Brussels to discuss setting up a new 'reflection group' to deal with long-term issues, the EU's approach to globalisation and the future of the Western Balkans.
Changes to the EU's forthcoming Treaty, pushed through by French President Nicolas Sarkozy during the Summit, will not have significant implications for the EU's free-market policy according to Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who sought to allay fears of increased protectionism in Europe.
European Union leaders clinched an agreement in the early hours on Saturday (23 June) to reform the EU's creaking institutions in a complex compromise which introduces a two-step delay in new Council voting rights vehemently resisted by Poland.
Following a number of bilateral talks and round table meetings, diplomats were hopeful to reach an agreement among EU leaders on a 'Reform Treaty' on 22 June. However, key elements remained uncertain as the Summit promises to bring another late night of discussion.
EU leaders were scrambling to reach agreement over a draft mandate for institutional reform at a summit on 22 June. A Polish veto threat over voting rights in the Council and British 'red lines' on labour law, justice and other issues remained the main obstacles on the way to a deal.
Those member states who supported the original Constitutional Treaty (CT) should demand a radical revision of the current treaty amendment procedure in return for their readiness to compromise in the forthcoming intergovernmental conference (IGC), writes Janis A. Emmanouilidis of the Centre for Applied Policy Research (CAP) in a June 2007 paper.
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).
Some 66% of Europeans - and 69% of Poles - want a Constitution to be adopted, according to a Eurobarometer survey, published hours before a decisive Brussels summit. However, British citizens remain highly critical of the EU.
Britain has outlined its 'red lines' for negotiations on a new Treaty ahead of the European Summit and is showing a tougher stance on plans for an EU Foreign Minister backed by Germany, France and Spain.