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Spring European Council 2012

The Spring European Council this year will take place on March 1-2. During the summit the leaders of the 27 member states will discuss the results from the first measures, agreed precisely one year ago for tightening the economic governance of the EU - the European Semester and the Euro Plus Pact. As the tradition goes for the spring summits, the leaders will discuss the Annual Growth Survey 2012 (AGS2012), presented by the Commission earlier than usual - in November 2011. Special focus at this summit will be put on (as in January) on the measures the member states have to undertake to promote growth and to tackle unemployment.

Another important topic, which the European Council is expected to discuss is Serbia's readiness to receive a candidate status. Belgrade expected this to happen in December last year but then there was no agreement among the 27 and the decision has been postponed for the spring under the condition that Serbia would continue its dialogue with Kosovo.

7 March 2012 11:04 The New Passenger on the Train to Brussels

Some people do not know anything about it, while others have slightly forgotten the fact that former Yugoslavia had a partnership agreement with the EU back in 1980 and that in June 1999 the European Commission offered measures, aimed at improving the relations between them, but as the country f ...

6 March 2012 11:34 Schengen - The Denouement is Yet to Be Seen

Another episode of Bulgaria`s and Romania`s Schengen saga did not bring the long-awaited denouement, but produced a very important question. Maybe this will be at the heart of the intrigue, but for now the playwrights keep silence. In fact, the Schengen issue appeared quite unexpectedly on the a ...

2 March 2012 16:24 Herman Van Rompuy - President of the EU and the Eurozone

When Herman Van Rompuy was elected to take the just created with the Lisbon Treaty position of a President of the European Council, I was disappointed. At that time the EU needed a strong leader, in harmony of the economic might of the Union and its growing role on global stage. Alas, the pyrami ...

2 March 2012 09:44 Ireland - a Messenger of Spring in the EU

If all countries with troubles were like Ireland, probably the bailout programmes, the increasing of the size of eurozone rescue funds, as well as the meetings of the Eurogroup, would not have been in the headlines almost everyday. Against the backdrop of the growing frequent messages of the EU ...

1 March 2012 17:45 Juncker: Greece Needs a EU Growth Commissioner

"Mr Juncker, you are one of the few European politicians who can speak clearly and tell the truth." These words belong to Jean Paul Gauzes MEP (EPP, France), but I think many would agree with him. Luxembourg Prime Minister and Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker is one of the most influentia ...

6 March 2012 17:09 Germany`s Awkward Leadership

Since the debt crisis unleashed in the euro area two years ago, all dilemmas, related to solving it (economic, political and even philosophical ones), eventually were reduced to a simple question - does Germany agree? "For nearly 70 years, Germany's grand national ambition has basically been not ...

6 March 2012 11:10 And Why, Dammit, Aren't You Growing?

On October 9th, 2010, The Economist came out with a very moving cover, roughly calling for economic growth: "Grow, dammit, grow!" It is time that such an appeal is conveyed to the EU, because the magazine's cover actually was the basis of a special 18-page report about the world economy situatio ...

2 March 2012 13:38 European Parliament: Give Us Back the Rights You Took Away from National Parliaments

For the first time in the last two years we have a 'normal' summit, which in itself is a breakthrough, because it allowed us to focus calmly on the problems. This is how Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, assessed the Spring European Council on 1 and 2 March. He, however, manag ...

2 March 2012 07:58 The Eurogroup Decided to Allocate Half of the Second Greek Loan

After failing to meet the conditions of its creditors during the last two years, now Greece has managed to do so only in a few days, faced with the real imminence of a default. Apparently everyone have drawn the necessary lessons. Greece - that there is no free lunch, and the creditors - that mo ...

1 March 2012 12:00 The European Leaders Revive the Euro Plus Pact

The menu for the working dinner of the EU leaders, gathered for their regular spring meeting in Brussels, includes the European semester as main course, garnished with the Euro Plus Pact and a little bit of Schengen and Serbia for dessert. Economic and fiscal convergence, however, is the natural ...

free talk corner
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An opinion poll announced last night shows that the #refugee strategy of #Croatia government has been a winning one. 65.9% of respondents support the government refugee policy whereas 20.2% are against it. What is interesting is that among the supporters are more than 37% of the voters of the opposition conservative HDZ party, according to the opinion poll of RTL television. Two thirds of respondents support a humane and open approach to the refugees while only a quarter of Croats accept the position of HDZ and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic for strong border control with the participation of the army. 14% are in favour of building a fence. In case Germany and Austria close their borders 43.5% responded that they would accept a certain number of refugees and the rest should be returned to the country they came from. 31% believe that in such a case Croatia should close its border with Serbia and even build a fence. 12% would accept several thousands of refugees but with financial assistance from the EU
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