Thursday, 30 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 13:15
Wednesday, 29 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 09:43
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 11:20
Sunday, 26 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:18
Saturday, 25 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:48
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 06:51
Thursday, 23 May 2013
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
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:06
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Monday, 20 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:51
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:27
Sunday, 19 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:24
Saturday, 18 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:15
Friday, 17 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 14:22
Thursday, 16 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:54
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:31
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 14:01
Monday, 13 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:06
Sunday, 12 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:03
Saturday, 11 May 2013
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?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:11
Friday, 10 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 15:28
Thursday, 9 May 2013
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.
'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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 12:30
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
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
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:46
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 05:55
Sunday, 5 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:57
Saturday, 4 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
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?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:27
Thursday, 2 May 2013
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:50
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.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 12:31
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
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.