It has been exactly sixty years since the Treaty of Paris came into force. Nouvelle Europe's Florian Chevoppe and new recruit Sissie Derdelinckx-Furham were invited by the Centre Virtuel de la Connaissance sur l'Europe (CVCE) to attend a day of seminar in the lovely Luxembourgish capital city, here is an account of this nice day of celebrating sixty years of our past.
On December 7th, as Europe further slips into an economic and financial crisis Nouvelle Europe's staff organized a debate about an aspect of our common future : the next budget, which will define the European Union's activities for the years 2014-2020.
It is interesting to commemorate anniversaries, in the word of Robert Schumann “it's time to think about what we did”. In the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty, we will see what has been done since then in the field of the institutional system. The European Union, in its fundamental basis, hesitates between federalism, supra-nationality and intergovernmentalism, which may be seen through the creation and the evolution of its institutions.
Following the repeated warnings of climatologists, tax systems for limiting carbon emissions are more and more numerous. They all have one principle: the integration of negative externalities in terms of climate damage into prices linked to CO2 emissions (polluter-pays principle). How does it function in practice? How efficient is it? Several questions have been raised by the project of creating a French carbon tax and a European one.
Everyone had seen it coming, but when it finally happened it was nonetheless shocking. Last year’s political crisis on a possible referendum in Bosnia and Herzegovina was yet another painful sign of the ongoing political stagnation of the country. The EU’s standard rulebook for the Balkan countries matches uneasily with the peculiar political situation of Bosnia. Not only should the EU step up its efforts, but it should also increase its legitimacy in the country.
On 14th October, the European Parliament in Brussels opened its new visitor’s centre called “Parlamentarium”. As explained throughout the exhibition, it is the result of a long process of discussion inside the institution about what it should exactly be: an exhibition about the daily work of the European Parliament or a more general one displaying European history?
Europe launched the Galileo project, designed to give the continent -and the world- the most accurate and entirely civilian positioning system. But as with any European project, it is now more than five years late and costing extra billions every year. Have we become so warry of the United States that we are preparing for World War III ? Do we really need this system or is it already obsolete even before completion ?
And here we go again, we're back the Major years. It has been 38 years, 9 months and 24 days since the United Kingdom of Great Britain joined the EEC. But originally a meaningless debate triggered only through petition, the issue of Britain's membership has erupted into a full-scale Conservative rebellion defying the Prime Minister while 70% of Britons are demanding a referendum. Just like John Major did, David Cameron's leadership is under heavy threat. What did Major face ? What are the stakes and what does it mean about the current state of mind of politicians and public opinion ?
The question of a European memory has become one of the great axis of European integration since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Commemorations of this event have actually been a way for the Polish government to protest the omission of Solidarity and its contribution the fall of puppet Communist regimes in Europe from the official European Commission video.
Some EU officials argue that the result of enlargement may not be as important as the process. Indeed, acceeding to the EU implies a significant metamorphosis from the applicants: to comply with the Helsinki criteria (state of law, resistant free-economy, respect of human rights, respect of the acquis communautaire, etc), to get “europeanized”, adaptation is the only way possible. What shape does this transformation take, especially in Turkey ?