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Is Europe fresh for 2011?

January of a New Year in Brussels is always a month of planning, discussion, retreats and, of course, of hope that the policies in the New Year will be successful. This year, many of the planned activities for January announced that “Europe needs a fresh start for the 2011”. Is this… Surprising? Not really […]

The Spinelli phenomenon

Altiero Spinelli was the heavyweight of the European federalist movement, first as activist, then as a very hardworking MEP. What do classic federalism want? In a nutshell it’s autonomy of the member states, under a common judicial and legislational authority, and the citizens’ democratic rights are provided by the Union. As decades went by federalism… » read more

On 20 June 1950, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, opened the Schuman Plan Conference, that gave birth to modern Europe, based on the European Communities. This supranational Community system made a complete break with history and Europe’s record of wars and bloodshed. The Conference defined the five major democratic institutions of Europe: European Commission (High… » read more

The ‘European Community‘ was, according to Jean Monnet’s Mémoires, a political and economic concept invented by Jean Monnet himself. This is a falsehood. Monnet did not invent it. It was already in existence. In his boast, Monnet is as wrong as if someone today were trying to claim he invented the wheel. It is also… » read more

Guy Verhofstadt, president of the European Parliament (EP) Liberal Democrats and former Belgian prime minister, briefed the European Policy Centre today on his vision for Europe. In his view the main underlying issue at stake is whether the EU uses the ‘Community method’ or intergovernmentalism. The Union will only progress if it reduces its intergovernmental… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘EU unveils five-year digital economy plan‘: ESOA (the European Satellite Operators Association) welcomes the European Commission’s Digital Agenda. We support the ambitious targets of the Commission, but reiterate the need to decouple the immediate ‘Broadband for All’ objective from any bandwidth/speed requirement and therefore from the long-term Next Generation Access objective. In that… » read more

Our livelihood and possibly our lives may depend on a correct understanding of supranational democracy. It involves a system for the security of Europe. Europeans are now facing a future of extreme difficulties. It is vital therefore that Europeans understand what it means and where it came from. Many textbooks still erroneously repeat that Jean… » read more

When The Council of Ministers asked Felipe Gonzalez to lead a Reflection Group on Europe 2030, it offered the participants a poisoned chalice. It told them that under no circumstances were they to discuss, debate or expose INSTITUTIONAL questions. They took it and drank. And from the report itself, they did not realise how poisoned… » read more

Given the very long pregnancy and current birthing problems, many commentators voice pessimism about the EU External Action Service. First among the Cassandras are journalists, not always imune to cynicism, and sometimes confusing soundbites and trends. While I like many of them, I am more optimistic, also based on personal experience and anecdotes. ( One… » read more

Last week MEP Martin Kastler (EPP-CSU) launched the first European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI). Is this a slow-motion train wreck, or the dawn of a new era of democracy? Two things immediately caught my eye when I checked out “Mum and dad belong to us on Sunday” (via @Kosmopolit via @andrewjburgess). First, apparently: Recently, the European… » read more

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