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The European Parliament Conference of Presidents today decided not to bring the proposed Cross Border Health Directive before plenary this session. This is despite the fact that it was approved by its Labour & Social Affairs Committee by a 35-2 vote. This is an extraordinary decision. It may be that MEPs are focussing on the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The Conference of European Presidents have decided that three reports on the Lisbon Treaty (Brok, Dehaene and Leinen), adopted by the Constitutional Affairs Committee, would not be put to plenary. The reason is that a major public debate on arrangements applying the Lisbon Treaty could affect adversely the second Irish referendum. Parliament has obviously caught… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

A stimulating debate on “Is Chinese foreign policy changing?” at the 5th Informal European Parliament Dialogue on China on 18 February (organized by the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies) prompted me to write this post. The opening of China after Deng Xiaoping represented a pivotal change. Under Mao, the greatest threat was seen as… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

An increasing number of voices are speaking out in the UK in favour of the EU, including those of hitherto eurosceptics (as reported in previous posts). The latest is Foreign Minister David Miliband in a speech in London on 9 March. He sees the economic crisis as challenging the EU’s core values and institutions, the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Europe faces – together with the rest of the world – a frightening economic and financial crisis. How will this affect the EU itself? Will it lead to further integration or disintegration? How will it influence the June elections to the European Parliament? Paradoxically, EU citizens recognize that none of the major challenges facing their… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The Conservatives will leave the EPP-ED group after the June elections. Joseph Daul, leader of the European People’s Party group was formally informed on Wednesday, in Strasbourg, by a Conservative delegation led by foreign affairs spokesman William Hague. The stated intention is to establish a new grouping in the European Parliament. There are currently 27… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I have hitherto refrained from commenting on the ‘Bishop Richard Williamson affair’, but the resignation from the CDU of Werner Münch, former Saxe-Anhalt minister-president, accusing Angela Merkel of humiliating the Pope, cannot pass without comment. The Vatican has the right to decided that unity of the Catholic church came before reversing the decision to readmit… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Spotlight Europe of January 2009 highlights the interrelationship between a number of conflicts which ravage the Greater Middle East and the fact that the only solution is a long term, comprehensive one. The paper contains two revealing charts, one setting out the interests of the key regional actors, and the other listing the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick