Friday, 5 July 2013

Happy Fourth of July?

Each year I commemorate the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) and the 1787 federal prototype, the Constitution of the United States of America, which replaced the Articles of Confederation, as great achievements in political history. - Independence Day, July 4th is an excellent time for reflection, on both shores of the Atlantic. Read Happy Fourth of July?

Sunday, 30 June 2013

The age of zero trust: Spies and spied upon

I have noticed being troubled by the implications of this ground zero of trust for the Internet economy. If the Internet returns to a mental Stone Age of zero trust, what is going to happen to us and our economies? Read The age of zero trust: Spies and spied upon.

Ultra-fast Internet, mobile services and roaming in EU

After the EU Digital Agenda Scoreboard SWD(2013) 217 in a nutshell and a look at the fragmented and contracting telecoms markets in Europe, we steam ahead to the second annex chapter about fast and ultra-fast Internet access (from page 43). - I pick and choose a few figures. Read Ultra-fast Internet, mobile services and roaming in EU.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Variations on a telecommunications regulation theme

The ouverture presents the theme. In the blog entry ECTA and ETNO lobbying – the sequel I mentioned the Financial Times article by Daniel Thomas and James Fontanella-Khan: Telecoms chiefs urge rethink of reforms (€). Read Variations on a telecommunications regulation theme.

Friday, 28 June 2013

ECTA and ETNO lobbying – the sequel

How do you think telecommunications lobbying in Brussels AD 2013 serves the public? Read ECTA and ETNO lobbying – the sequel.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

ECTA and ETNO shadow boxing on telecoms single market

Let us turn to the public information (and communication practices) of two major telco industry interest groups. Read ECTA and ETNO shadow boxing on telecoms single market.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Telecoms single market outlined

At the Digital Agenda Assembly (DAA) in Dublin, 20 June 2013, Kroes sang the praise of progress with the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) before concentrating minds on unfinished business, the proposal promised for the telecoms single market. Read Telecoms single market outlined.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

EU telecommunications market proposal

Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes has promised an EU telecommunications market proposal in September. Read EU telecommunications market proposal.

Fragmented and contracting telecoms services in Europe

Markets in the United States and South East Asia are rising, but Europe is falling behind. Are the European leaders prepared to act quickly and decisively to get our continent back on a growth path? Read Fragmented and contracting telecoms services in Europe.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

EU Digital Agenda Scoreboard 2013 in a nutshell

Dear fellow citizens of #Neuland, I wish you happy reading and a brighter future. Read EU Digital Agenda Scoreboard 2013 in a nutshell.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Merkel in #Neuland – Where are the digital natives?

The digital natives have (deservedly) had some fun, but are we going to see more of the discussion Jon Worth started by asking questions and enlightening the politicians necessary for both market reforms and Internet regulation in Europe? Read Merkel in #Neuland – Where are the digital natives?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Creative and competitive Europe? Digital Agenda Assembly 2013 opens

Is Europe too defensively anchored in the past, as sketched in the entry #jesuisreactionnaire joins Colbert 2.0, or can enough creative people seize the offensive opportunites in a competitive digital world, as on offer in the public consultation about television and the Internet (connected devices)? Read Creative and competitive Europe? Digital Agenda Assembly 2013 opens.

Neelie Kroes on Digital Agenda for Europe

While following the #DA13 Twitter stream, I look at some of the themes Kroes has dealt with in her latest speeches. Read Neelie Kroes on Digital Agenda for Europe.

#jesuisreactionnaire joins Colbert 2.0

France abounds with great ideas – for earlier centuries. But it makes it harder for the rest of the European Union to become fit for the global era. Read #jesuisreactionnaire joins Colbert 2.0.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Connected devices and TV in EU media policy

Perhaps a few more Europeans should ask why the great Internet, information technology and entertainment firms are American. In principle Europe should offer a seamless home market of 510 million citizens and consumers through the European Economic Area (EEA). Read Connected devices and TV in EU media policy.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A WMD called Nicole Bricq

Giving one country an EU veto is like providing it with a weapon of mass destruction, here directed by France against growth and jobs in the whole union. You don't even need to argue if you keep repeating: non, non, non, non ! Read A WMD called Nicole Bricq.

Friday, 14 June 2013

A democratic federation of citizens

There has to be a better future for the citizens of the EU. This is the reason for the open letter from Mathias Darmell and other concerned citizens to EU leaders for profound democratic reform. Read A democratic federation of citizens.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Hollande saving us from capitalism, growth and jobs

We saw that the European Parliament voted for the exclusion of cultural and audiovisual services, including those provided online, to be clearly stated in the negotiating mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). France is the main proponent of this fendamentalist approach to growth sectors, not limited to safeguarding cultural diversity. Read Hollande saving us from capitalism, growth and jobs.

Monday, 10 June 2013

TTIP and audiovisual services

I decided to take a closer look at the plenary debate and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) vote in the European Parliament with regard to audiovisual services. Read TTIP and audiovisual services.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

European Parliament: Complete the digital single market!

On the agenda of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament 17-18 June 2013 we see that the committee is going to consider amendments and compromise amendments to the draft motion for a resolution on the digital single market. Read European Parliament: Complete the digital single market!

Kroes promises single telecoms market initiative

In these gloomy times there is at least one area where national and EU politicians could do something popular, while kick-starting growth and job creation for added brownie points. Tearing down barriers does not even tax public budgets much, but new activity could bring in new revenue. Read Kroes promises single telecoms market initiative.

All quiet on EU telecommunications front

Can there ever be a real EU single telecommunications market, a digital single market or, indeed, a seamless and comprehensive single market (with corresponding international free trade, including the TTIP with the USA and the FTA with Japan), if France and other protectionistic member states block progress and carve out widening exceptions regarding the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital in the most dynamic sectors? Read All quiet on EU telecommunications front.

French veto threatens free trade

Hopes for economic growth and new jobs in Europe are pinned on international trade and a seamless single market in digital and other services, including telecommunications. The external and internal aspects are merging, because of global value chains, but veto powers can leave the EU even farther behind in dynamic business sectors. Read French veto threatens free trade.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Market and language phobias: France

Can there ever be a real EU single telecommunications market, a digital single market or, indeed, a seamless and comprehensive single market (with corresponding international free trade, including the TTIP with the USA), if France and other protectionistic member states block progress and carve out wider exceptions regarding the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital? Read Market and language phobias: France.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Can there be a digital single market with France?

There won't be much of a digital single market in the European Union (nor much free trade online) without the political will of the member states. France has been so busy lately that we can only scratch the surface in one blog post. Read Can there be a digital single market with France?

To be or not to be? EU single telecommunications market

Thursday, 6 June 2013, the telecommunication ministers of the EU member states convene in Luxembourg to make their contribution for a return to competitiveness, growth and the creation of new jobs in Europe. Read To be or not to be? EU single telecommunications market.

Cameron cracks down on tax evasion

Aren't you astonished to find the British prime minister selectively calling for more effective EU action, instead of praising 'freely cooperating sovereign nation states' (unanimity) and Hague's proposed extension of obstacles and vetoes to the level of national parliaments in a matter so close to taxation, when the 'selfish actions' originate in other EU member states? Read Cameron cracks down on tax evasion.

Monday, 3 June 2013

'Red card' disembowels EU and democracy

Yesterday we saw the UK foreign secretary William Hague at work to de-legitimise the European Parliament and reject European level democracy, even if the British constitutional and political system is hardly a modern day model for developed nations: Another plague from vague Hague. The Danish MEP candidate Karen Melchior reminds us that already Yes, Europe has a demos!, which discusses political subjects without regard to national boundaries. Read 'Red card' disembowels EU and democracy.

Another plague from vague Hague

The ongoing review of the balance of competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union is supposed to define how fully Britain is going to cut its moorings, but the foreign secretary William Hague has hastened to reject empowering the European Parliament and the citizens of the EU. Read Another plague from vague Hague.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

EU internal market and industry update

The EU Competitiveness Council was overshadowed by the country-specific recommendations from the European Commission and its infringement package, political agreement on the common fisheries policy and Schengen, as well as the meeting between chancellor Angela Merkel and president François Hollande. For European businesses the Competitiveness Council offers an update closer to the strategic and operational issues they face. Read EU internal market and industry update.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

EU Council adopted annual report on public access to documents

Just in case you did not look for information about public access to EU documents in the provisional conclusions of the first day of the Competitiveness Council 29 May 2013, here is the official account of the adoption (10142/13). Read EU Council adopted annual report on public access to documents.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Nordic countries and EU: Public opinion in Iceland

Formally Iceland is still a candidate country, but the reality on the ground changed with the new government voted in, as I stated in the blog post Iceland voted for ”fax democracy”, as currently and as in Norway. The government programme of the rural Progressive Party and the rightist Independence Party promises to shelve the EU membership negotiations and a referendum at some point (on a possible restart). Read Nordic countries and EU: Public opinion in Iceland.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

#MyEurope blogging – Part four: Citizens

Growing again and living well within our means, citizens' visions and demands and informed citizens are among the issues we encounter. Long after institutional #EuropeDay celebrations and official European Year of Citizens 2013 events #EYC2013 are over, the #MyEurope hashtag on Twitter can continue to serve citizens with a European vision to share. Read #MyEurope blogging – Part four: Citizens.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Democracy in Europe (26 May 2013): European Parliament elections 2014

Neither ground rules nor outcomes justify the intergovernmental European Union as is. Sooner or later deviating from the EU's founding value of democracy is going to become unacceptable even for the ”Court” and the courtiers, and turn into a reality for a new polity with the power vested in the people. Among the skirmishes on the road we can already see the 2014 elections to the European Parliament. Read Democracy in Europe (26 May 2013): European Parliament elections 2014.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

European Federalist Paper number seven: democracy versus Hollande

Interestingly, the really pro-European persons are often as critical as anti-EU campaigners of the undemocratic and ineffective eurozone and European Union the national and EU leaders have imposed on citizens, but usually much more accurate in their criticism. There's also the difference between looking towards the future and fleeing into the past. Read European Federalist Paper number seven: democracy versus Hollande.

Nordic countries and EU: Public opinion in Norway

After a short recap of the new government in Iceland, we begin to look at various degrees of lukewarm: how the European Union and the eurozone are perceived in the Nordic countries. First we glance at public opinion in Norway. Read Nordic countries and EU: Public opinion in Norway.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Iceland voted for ”fax democracy”

In Iceland, as in Norway, solid majorities in opinion polls reject the representation ensured by EU membership, but tolerate the continuing practice of hollowed out democracy at the national level. Is it rational? Read Iceland voted for ”fax democracy”.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

#MyEurope blogging – Part three

We continue the roundup of #MyEurope blogging and tweeting, originally activated to profile #EuropeDay citizens' perspectives during this European Year of Citizens 2013 - #eyc2013 – but the #MyEurope hashtag continues to draw forth tweets. What do these EU citizens have to tell? Read #MyEurope blogging – Part three.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

#MyEurope blogging – Part two

Jakub Jermář on JakUB – Jakub's Universal Blog explained his interest for The Federalist in America following the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and how he stumbled across the European Federalist Papers. Read #MyEurope blogging – Part two.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Hollande's EU proposals in media

When president François Hollande decided to outline his next four years in office, I decided to look at his proposals for European reform in two stages. First I presented and commented on his introductory speech without referring to outside opinions. My assessment is critical, because Hollande's sketches were almost empty and they did little to enlighten citizens on substance. I wonder if this works as a communication exercise intended to enhance the stature of the president as a European statesman. In this second post I am going to check a number of newspaper articles and blog posts to see what others have found regarding European integration. As always, the rights of citizens – benchmark standards of democracy and fundamental rights – are my starting point. Read Hollande's EU proposals in media.

Empty phrases from the Elysée Palace

If France wants better outcomes, it needs to make its universal republican values a reality at the European level. Citizenship, democracy and human rights are the values and practices needed as foundations for sufficient and legitimate powers, the 'sine qua non' of tolerable outcomes in the eurozone and the wider European Union. Read Empty phrases from the Elysée Palace.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Democracy in Europe (19 May 2013): Citizenship, democracy, human rights

Citizenship, democracy and human rights are the 'sine qua non' of sufficient powers and tolerable outcomes in the eurozone and the wider European Union. You don't need to be a Hamilton to understand that in a more rational world this would lead to conclusions and solutions. In political Europe the official responses tend towards avoidance and denial. Therefore the main focus of this review is on other actors. Read Democracy in Europe (19 May 2013): Citizenship, democracy, human rights.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

European Federalist Paper number six: Secession and EU referendum

It is easy to locate the articles in the series, because the blog entry about the European Federalist Paper number five offers links to the six earlier blog posts. You can follow @europafederatie (Leo Klinkers) on Twitter and the European Federalist Papers on Facebook. Read European Federalist Paper number six: Secession and EU referendum.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The real engine of European integration: Jon Worth

Forget the European Council, the Euro Summits, Eurogroup templates, EU referendum breakaways and Brexit, as well as the ”indispensable” Franco-German tandem cycling off in two different directions. The real engine of European integration is the untiring citizen-blogger Jon Worth, who at this stage has done more to animate the discussion about the European Parliament elections May 2014 than the Europarties, Eurofoundations and national governments put together. Read The real engine of European integration: Jon Worth.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Socialist and Green primaries for European elections 2014

After the latest post on Eurofoundations, Europarties and the public, we turn to the pre-election plans of two political parties at European level: the Party of European Socialists PES and the European Green Party EGP. Read Socialist and Green primaries for European elections 2014.

Eurofoundations, Europarties and the public

Earlier this week I tried to find signs that the Europarties, which met during the weekend, communicated openly with the public about their preparations for the elections to the European Parliament in May 2014. Now you can read Eurofoundations, Europarties and the public.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Mass desertion from European Union

The European Union of, by and for the heads of state or government and their governments is facing mass desertions. Naturally a trifling matter such as a democratic EU is not on the draft agenda of the May European Council (7623/13), the umpteenth EUCO summit during the prolonged financial and economic crisis. Read Mass desertion from European Union.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Value for money? Europarties prepare for European Parliament elections

With only a year and some days to go, the Europarties have started their warm-up exercises ahead of the campaigns for elections to the European Parliament in May 2014. Some of these Europarties, officially political parties at European level, were busy laying their campaign plans during the weekend. - How did these Europarties inform and interact with the public? Read Value for money? Europarties prepare for European Parliament elections.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

France's republican values at European level

Alexis de Tocqueville, the author of De la démocratie en Amérique (Democracy in America), inspired the headline for these recurring if random observations about European democracy. Earlier columns can be found here, here, here and here. As an afterthought to the discussion about the declaration of unity and the campaign for a United States of Europe, initiated by Bernard Barthalay, I would like to add: France's republican values at European level.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

European Federalist Paper number five: United States, federal or republic?

In this entry we pick up the thread of the European Federalist Papers I have presented and tried to discuss in a constructive but critical spirit. Read European Federalist Paper number five: United States, federal or republic?

Friday, 10 May 2013

#MyEurope blogging on #EuropeDay – Part one

In the spirit of the blog post Speak your mind on Europe Day, 9 May 2013 numerous of EU citizens seized the opportunity to tweet their expectations for the European Union using the traditional Bloggingportal.eu hashtag #MyEurope, in the spirit condensed by the OneEurope network: democracy, unity, diversity. Read #MyEurope blogging on #EuropeDay – Part one.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Europe Day for democracy, unity and diversity

If the 9 May 1950 Schuman declaration was the first concrete step in the federation of Europe, this Europe Day should sound the death knell of intergovernmental and undemocratic European integration and the awakening call for a quantum leap to democratic and accountable government in the European Union, or at least the eurozone. Read Europe Day for democracy, unity and diversity.

”Anything goes” for Daniel Hannan MEP

'Scepticism' conveys the meaning of doubt or questioning of accepted opinions, but not for the anti-EU campaigner @DanHannanMEP, who denounces @matsJpersson and Open Europe for not being ”eurosceptic” anymore. Read ”Anything goes” for Daniel Hannan MEP.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

One notch closer to Brexit: Queen's Speech

Forty years into British EEC/EU membership and twenty years since the ”completion” of the single market, the United Kingdom seems to be following an erratic course towards the EU periphery or withdrawal (Brexit). Read One notch closer to Brexit: Queen's Speech.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

François Villon on Europe Day

Ahead of Europe Day (9 May), when Europe needs a real discussion about how to get the citizens in charge and on board, we hear lullabies to send Europeans and their leaders to sleep at the end of the political cul-de-sac of intergovernmental Europe. Read François Villon on Europe Day.

Speak your mind on Europe Day, 9 May 2013

Thursday 9 May 2013, Europe Day is an excellent opportunity to commemorate the aim of the Schuman declaration and to take stock of how far the elite project of European integration has advanced towards a union of citizens, with power vested in the people, in the eurozone and the wider European Union. Read Speak your mind on Europe Day, 9 May 2013.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Democracy in Europe (5 May 2013): a Citizen of Europe

Yesterday I noted down a few thoughts from reading the fourth of the European Federalist Papers. Today I want to pay my respects to the Federal Constitution of Europe blog, written by a Citizen of Europe since 2009. Read Democracy in Europe (5 May 2013): a Citizen of Europe.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

European Federalist Paper number four: USA

Look at the texts, which introduce the Articles of Confederation, in force before the US Constitution. Is there anything we Europeans could learn from the American experience? Read European Federalist Paper number four: USA.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Van Rompuy's clarion call?

The current system ensures the growing success of a motley crew of protest parties, often with nasty attitudes and mostly with few constructive policies on offer. Even if active resistance is still a minority option, growing numbers of Europeans have entered a stage of alienation, passive resistance and clenched fists. Read Van Rompuy's clarion call?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Letta goes Europe, but no democratic EU in sight

Based on his eurozone and EU priorities, Italy's new prime minister Enrico Letta started by meeting members of the European Council: the German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, the French president François Hollande in Paris and the European Council (EUCO) president Herman Van Rompuy in Brussels, followed by a meeting with the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso today. Read Letta goes Europe, but no democratic EU in sight.

Italy's Letta challenges European Council

The economic and political challenges of Europe must be solved together, according to the new Italian government, led by Enrico Letta, who demands effective action from the members of the European Council (EUCO). Read Italy's Letta challenges European Council.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Habermas preparing Europe Day

In order to enrich my experience, today I wanted to go outside the Brussels bubble to shed light on the relations between the European institutions and the citizens they are supposed to serve. It felt natural to turn to the lecture delivered on 26 April 2013 in Leuven by professor Jürgen Habermas, ”Democracy, Solidarity and the European crisis”. I follow the written text, but you can also can also watch the YouTube video. Read and reflect on Habermas preparing Europe Day.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Barroso wanders off: A new narrative for Europe

The day after telling the representatives of think tanks that he rejected the European superstate needed in the era of globalisation and after twisting ”federalism” into a ”federation of nation states”, rightly known as a ”confederation”, the Commission president José Manuel Barroso ventured into a new minefield. Read Barroso wanders off: A new narrative for Europe.

Monday, 29 April 2013

ECFR wrings its hands at deathbed of eurozone and EU

Last week José Ignacio Torreblanca and Mark Leonard of the European Council on Foreign Relations ECFR confirmed my deep-seated worry that the handling of the eurozone crisis is an ongoing disaster, also from the viewpoint of public confidence. Yesterday we saw the latest manifestation, when the the election results in Iceland showed that the voters were quite happy to throw their EU membership application and a responsible recovery over board. Read ECFR wrings its hands at deathbed of eurozone and EU.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Democracy in Europe (28 April 2013): Barroso is no democrat

This week the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso told listeners from a number of think tanks that he was brave enough to use the word 'federalism', which he instantly corrupted by defining it as a 'federation of nation states', which means a 'confederation' despite the referral to Jacques Delors (SPEECH/13/346). Read Democracy in Europe (28 April 2013): Barroso is no democrat.

Iceland rejects austerity and EU

Tired of austerity, voters in Iceland seem to have returned to power the conservative Independence Party and the liberal Progressive Party which presided over the outbreak of economic crash (Iceland Review Online). Read Iceland rejects austerity and EU.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

European Federalist Paper number three

This time I comment by inviting you to read a book or two about the the ideas of Europe and the origins and history of European integration. There's nothing systematic about my choice, although there is more for the general reader than for the scientific writer. They are just picks from my bookshelves, but had left a feeling that I profited from and enjoyed the reading. Read European Federalist Paper number three.

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Battle in Britain: Visible Open Europe

The battle in Britain about the country's future inside or outside the European Union involves campaign groups, think tanks and other non-governmental organisations. Let us look at one of the most visible and active players with considerable resources. Read The Battle in Britain: Visible Open Europe.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

EESC on MiFIR and MiFID proposals

As we saw in the blog entry ECB on MiFID and MiFIR proposals, the European Central Bank was consulted on the proposed Directive on markets in financial instruments MiFID COM(2011) 656 and the draft Regulation on markets in financial instruments MiFIR COM(2011) 652. We turn to the opinions from the European Economic and Social Committee. Read EESC on MiFIR and MiFID proposals.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

ECB on MiFID and MiFIR proposals

For reasons of efficiency and clarity, the ECB decided to adopt a single opinion on four related legislative proposals, including the two we are following, namely the proposed Directive on markets in financial instruments (MiFID) COM(2011) 656 and the draft Regulation on markets in financial instruments (MiFIR) COM(2011) 652. Read ECB on MiFID and MiFIR proposals.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Data protection and MiFID and MiFIR proposals

The blog entry Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID review search rounded up the Commission's press material and the proposed Directive and Regulation: MiFID COM(2011) 656 and MiFIR COM(2011) 652. Because the co-legislators have the final say, the mandatory or voluntary opinions contributing to the end result are often overlooked. Therefore I want to present the official opinions regarding the two drafts, starting with the EDPS. Read Data protection and MiFID and MiFIR proposals.

Monday, 22 April 2013

European Federalist Paper number two

This Paper deals with the question what belongs to the essence of a federal organization. Klinkers describes this on the basis of what he has learned over the years by Tombeur. He raises a number of questions with the intention to get his thoughts about federalism improved or supplemented by Tombeur. Read comments on European Federalist Paper number two.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Democracy in Europe (21 April 2013)

Democratic government and fundamental rights are the foundation of the relationship between citizens and the government of municipalities, regions and states in Europe. However, the 'enlightened' elites behind the project of European integration have refused to empower the citizens of their union. In the blog entry Democracy in Europe (14 April 2013) I illustrated the growing chasm and the necessary quantum leap to a Basic Law for a European republic. Now you can read Democracy in Europe (21 April 2013) featuring the ”Let them eat cake” prize.

European Federalist Paper number one

From the introduction of the European Federalist Papers and comments on paper number zero, we move on to paper number one. Through the homepage of the European Federalist Papers you can access all the papers you want, plus additional information about the authors, literature, a collection of links to thinktanks, non-governmental organisations and other websites of interest, as well as contact details for your feedback. Read European Federalist Paper number one

European Federalist Paper number zero

After the short introductory blog entry European Federalist Papers I want you to take part in the virtual constituent assembly here on the Internet by blogging, tweeting and sending your comments to the authors. Here a presentation of the opening federalist paper (numbered zero) followed by my brief comments. Read European Federalist Paper number zero

Saturday, 20 April 2013

European Federalist Papers

The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States of America (1787) remain inspirations for mankind. The Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, brilliantly defended the US Constitution during the ratification battle, leaving a lasting legacy. We can only speculate what North America would look like today, had the anti-federalists won and the weak Articles of Confederation (1777) remained in force (from 1781). Read European Federalist Papers

Friday, 19 April 2013

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID review search

In the blog entry Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID proposal we navigated the webpages of the Europa portal until we found a page which promised enough introductory information about the draft promised by the Single Market Act (SMA). Having found the Investment Markets Directive – Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) webpage (available in German DE and French FR as well), let us dig in. This blog post continues our exercise in finding EU information, as if thrown into the pool at the deep end for an internal market law course Single Market Act (SMA) assignment. Starting from a narrow perspective, we may need to broaden our scope to gain a more holistic picture. Read Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID review search

Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID proposal

Under the growth and confidence ”lever” of the Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 'Access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)' the European Commission promised one key action, one programme and four additional legislative proposals: ¤ Key action: regulation on European Venture Capital Funds, EuVECA passport ¤ Adopt Action Plan on SMEs' Access to Finance ¤ Revise Transparency Directive ¤ Revise Regulation implementing Prospectus Directive ¤ Revise Market Abuse Directive ¤ Revise MiFID Directive In this blog entry we turn to the last promised action under this heading, the MiFID Directive (from markets in financial instruments). Read Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID proposal

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

ECOFIN and EP: EU Market Abuse Regulation

Having looked at the EESC and ECB opinions on the proposed EU Market Abuse Regulation COM(2011) 651 we follow the legislative procedure to the dens of the co-legislators. Read ECOFIN and EP: EU Market Abuse Regulation

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

EESC and ECB opinions: EU Market Abuse Regulation

In the blog entry on the Impact assessment we continued following the legislative process concerning the draft EU Market Abuse Regulation COM(2011) 651, which is one of the proposals promised by the Single Market Act COM(2011) 206. Consultation serves the purpose of better legislation. Here we look at the opinions from the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Central Bank.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Impact assessment: EU Market Abuse Regulation

In the blog entry New EU Market Abuse Regulation? we glanced at the draft Regulation on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse) COM(2011) 651 final. The perspective of this blog on EU law and politics is often 'de lege ferenda' (with a view to the future law). Therefore we remind readers of a crucial tool in the Commission's ”better regulation” toolbox, the impact assessment, although we deal only cursorily with the IA concerning this concrete proposal. Read: Impact assessment: EU Market Abuse Regulation

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Cameron with Merkel: Common reform or knife in the back?

Is there a UK reform agenda for Europe built on common ground with EU members, or are the British Conservatives knifing chancellor Merkel and the eurozone in the back?

Democracy in Europe (14 April 2013)

The mix of liberty, equality and dynamism ensures Democracy in America a lasting place in political literature on both shores of the Atlantic. What would Alexis de Tocqueville make of the long overdue need to insert the political foundations for the common currency and to establish European level democracy today? Read: Democracy in Europe (14 April 2013)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

New EU Market Abuse Regulation?

The first Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 promised to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one of the twelve ”levers” intended to boost growth and strengthen confidence. One key action and five other proposals were outlined. Is there going to be a New EU Market Abuse Regulation?

Friday, 12 April 2013

UK as ”Great Switzerland”?

When I wondered if the UK prime minister David Cameron is riding to EU reform or if he risks being thrown from the saddle, I promised to return to the EU scenarios for Britain in Vivien Pertusot's Ifri note (in English): In Europe, not ruled by Europe: Tough love between Britain and the EU (March 2013; 39 pages). Now you can read UK as ”Great Switzerland”?

EU Commission Regulation implementing the Prospectus Directive

The first Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 promised to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one of the twelve ”levers” intended to boost growth and strengthen confidence. One key action and five other proposals were outlined (pages 6-7). Here we look at the EU Commission Regulation implementing the Prospectus Directive.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Agreement on EU Accounting Directive and Transparency Directive

While we followed the revision of the Transparency Directive 2004/109 in the European Parliament, the Parliament and the Council negotiators reached an agreement regarding the disclosure requirements for the extractive and forestry industries. The deal concerns the proposed Accounting Directive as well. There are no new official documents available yet, so we highlight existing ones as we turn to the press releases from the EU institutions and glance at media reports and reactions from NGOs. Read: Agreement on EU Accounting Directive and Transparency Directive

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Is Cameron riding to EU reform or thrown from the saddle?

Yesterday I wondered at the UK prime minister David Cameron suddenly cutting short another trip to the European continent to explain his plans on EU (dis)integration with regard to Britain. This time Cameron cancelled scheduled meetings with the leaders of the EU heavyweights Spain, France and Germany (Public Service Europe). Now you can read: Is Cameron riding to EU reform or thrown from the saddle?

Anti-corruption and ”blood diamonds” in EP: Transparency Directive

Yesterday I referred to the building of the single market as generally ”humdrum actions for trade and prosperity in Europe”, but seemingly dull business regulation can target hot topics, such as government corruption in developing countries and ”blood diamonds”, (rare) minerals from warlords in conflict areas and "flavour of the season" tax evasion. Read: Anti-corruption and ”blood diamonds” in EP: Transparency Directive

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Cameron's aborted Europe mission

The cyclopean UK government refuses to consider European level democracy. Like a weathervane prime minister David Cameron again found a pretext to abort a European tour, but he had already sent an advance message of a flexible Europe (nothing to do with cherry-picking), while the eurozone deepens integration through eventual treaty change (Irish Independent). Read: Cameron's aborted Europe mission

EU Transparency Directive proposal

In the blog entry Amending the EU Transparency Directive we presented the two directives to be amended (2004/109 and 2007/14) and the Commission proposal COM(2011) 683 accompanied by the impact assessment documents SEC(2011) 1279 final/2 and SEC(2011) 1280. Here we register a few key points from the proposal. Read: EU Transparency Directive proposal

From Thatcher to opinions on the Transparency Directive revision

Britain, Europe and the rest of the world ponder the legacy of the unforgettable and divisive UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Financial Times obituary, €), but despite her visceral opposition to fundamental aims of deeper European integration, the Single European Act SEA and the single market remain milestones of her influence beyond the borders of the United Kingdom and for what now is known as the European Union. Despite the milestones, the internal market or single market is mostly about countless small steps to make cross-border commerce among thirty European countries (EEA) seamless. Let us return to the Transparency Directive revision, one of these humdrum actions for trade and prosperity in Europe. Read: From Thatcher to opinions on the Transparency Directive revision

Monday, 8 April 2013

Amending the EU Transparency Directive

The European Commission has proposed amendments to the Transparency Directive 2004/109 in order to ease the regulatory burden for listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also to establish uniform administrative sanctions and to clarify various duties. Read: Amending the EU Transparency Directive

Sunday, 7 April 2013

EU action plan on SMEs' access to finance

Yesterday's entry reminded us of tight financing conditions for businesses, especially in the weaker eurozone economies, and of the actions promised by the Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Now you can read: EU action plan on SMEs' access to finance

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Britain nixes European democracy

The minor steps the UK government has taken or promised will do little to convert the EU referendum and Brexit brigade at home (or the secessionists abroad), but they strengthen the case of those who see that European level democracy and accountable government have to be built on the eurozone, which needs full representative democracy, functioning government, robust rules, good governance, accountability and transparency. Read: Britain nixes European democracy

Access to finance for SMEs in EU

A recent story in the Financial Time ”Eurozone SMEs struggle to access finance” (€) pointed at tougher conditions and higher charges for smaller companies, especially in troubled economies such as Italy and Spain, another example of financial fragmentation across the euro area. Read: Access to finance for SMEs in EU

Friday, 5 April 2013

Roundup: European Venture Capital Funds

One part of following the (first) Single Market Act COM(2011) 206 has been to watch the legislative process concerning the proposed regulation on European Venture Capital Funds COM(2011) 860, with the EuVECA passport. Read Roundup: European Venture Capital Funds

Is the single market a blessing or a curse for the UK?

Could something good emerge from the Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union? Read: Is the single market a blessing or a curse for the UK?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

European Venture Capital Funds

The European Union wants to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving their access to finance through the establishment of an EU-wide passport for managers of venture capital funds (EuVECA) relating to the marketing of their funds. Read: European Venture Capital Funds

Businesses and citizens review UK-EU relations

The great need for a better class of UK secessionists and more informed British voters in general is repeatedly brought home to me through (social) media channels. Let us continue our struggle against lack of information and especially the widespread refusal to even contemplate serious study among anti-EU campaigners.Read: Businesses and citizens review UK-EU relations

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Anti-EU media poison UK opinion

Relentless drive for EU referendum leading to Brexit: Anti-EU media poison UK opinion

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Tepid EU support from UK Labour and Liberal Democrats

Tepid EU support from UK Labour and Liberal Democrats We turn to the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and public opinion in the United Kingdom with regard to the European Union.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Van Rompuy laments slow single market reform

Ahead of the spring European Council next week (14 to 15 March 2013), the dedicated EUCO webpage has been updated with a link to the invitation letter from president Herman Van Rompuy (EUCO 62/13), stressing structural reforms that would boost European competitiveness and would reinforce confidence in the European economy. Single Market Act I Van Rompuy deplores the missed end-2012 deadline for most of the twelve priority measures under the Single Market Act I (SMA I). He now hopes that at least three of them, the accounting directive, the recognition of professional qualification and the directives on public procurement, could be adopted during the Irish presidency of the Council, before July 2013.