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German parliamentary ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is assured in good time, but nevertheless Germany may prevent the new treaty coming into force on 1 January 2008. A contradiction? No. According to the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Peter Gauweiler of the CSU and Left Party politicians are considering challenging the ratification before the country’s… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

The impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the appointment of the 2009-2014 European Commission may not be widely realised. The President will be proposed by the European Council, after consultation and acting by a qualified majority, taking into account the elections to the European Parliament. He/she has to be appointed by an absolute majority of… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Kennedy 45 years on

I urge the next President of the United States to read and apply the extraordinarily current words of John F Kennedy in Philadelphia on 4 July 1962: “But I will say here and now, on this Day of Independence, that the United States will be ready for a Declaration of Interdependence, that we will be… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Understanding Islam

The great thing about Karen Armstrong’s ‘ISLAM: A Short History’ is that it is short (161 pages) and clearly written. The book is a must for those who need to understand more about Islam than they do – which means most of us. I’m a fan of the author, who converted me with her ‘A… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Anyone reading some of the thousands of words in the English media, in blogs and on the net and in text messages about his 7 February speech, may be forgiven for believing that the Dr Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England, is crazy. Did he not say that the introduction of certain parts… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Overall responsibility of an EU Member State for relations with the Union institutions and the other 26 countries lies with the foreign minister. The foreign minister of the rotating presidency is president of the Council and chairs the General Affairs Council. Official communications between other ministries and their equivalents in other Member States are channelled… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Emotional Brits

The British “love Europe in secret. They can admit it in private, but not in public” said Reijo Kemppinen, the EU Commission’s representative in London, in an interview published today in El Pais. The article notes that Britain is “probably the most eurosceptic member of the EU”, and that Kemppinen’s job is “potentially one of… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

A meeting, the other day, of the European Policy Centre ‘EU Neighbourhood Forum’ struck me for the praise reaped on the EU’s ENP (European Neighbourhood Policy) by ambassadors of partner countries, NGOs and others. The ENP has its limitations and drawbacks, but it has clearly delivered – and continues to deliver – a wide range… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Alain Lamasourre, MEP, (in his comment of 4 February) came up with a great idea for the appointment of the President of the European Council, which is expected to be decided during the French Presidency (July to December 2008). In a nutshell: Candidates are invited to declare themselves publicly. Each candidate has a televised hearing… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Brussels, February 2008     Rats make leaders and are fair in their dealings with others and expect the same from others in return. The Year of the Rat is a time for hard work, activity and renewal. The Earth Rat adds solidity.   All these characteristics are needed if China is going to maintain… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick