Zapatero over a coffee

As much as the star of Zapatero has been rising fast in Spain and internationally, as fast it could fall. He for sure pushed through some very good policies (foreign: Iraq, very pro-EU, except Endesa; domestic: smoking ban, gay rights, ETA) and is currently governing a country with a very solid economic growth. But he is running into troubles over ETA since the bombing of Barajas and has now stumbled over a cup of coffee. Continue reading

Peterle: in search of support

Alojz Peterle (better known as Lojze), former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Slovenia, nowadays a prominent EPP Member of the European Parliament, recently announced his standing at the coming Presidential elections. He immediately got the support of his own party – NSi, but failed to get the support of any other major party on the centre-right in Slovenia.

Why am I writing about this? Continue reading

Liberals becoming Social Democrats – as if it would matter

It has been a while since I haven’t posted anything about Slovenia. I’ve spent there quite some time though recently. And found the political climate more and more confusing. On two fronts: the Liberal Democrats (LDS) are slowly disappearing as a credible party, while the Social Democrats (SD) (they actually changed the corporate image in the meantime) gain ground while basically standing still.

Let’s deal with the second one for a moment. 4 big shots from the LDS’ parliamentary group have left the party and joined the SD in the parliament. The names will be known for some of you perhaps, one of them being a former Prime Minister. Darja Lavtižar Bebler, Milan M. Cvikl, Anton Rop (former PM) and Marko Pavliha thus swithced not only parties but also parlimentary groups, bringing the total number of the SD parliamentarians to 14, which places it now second only to the groupd of governing Slovenian Democrats (SDS). The party has also shown some serious growth in % of public support recently. Continue reading

Single representatives…

Maurice Faure, the last living signatory of the Treaty of Rome: “The way negotiations were led at the time could serve as an example to relaunch the European project. This is what I call the spirit of Val Duchesse [the name of the Belgian chateau where the negotiations took place]…If every government named a single representative, and if this person were only to negotiate with two or three collaborators, I am convinced that in just a few months, they would reach constructive compromises…â€? Continue reading

Berlin Declaration – what is in and who signs what?

Good, the informal Summit, called also “celebration� of the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaties is over. The lights are off, everyone left Berlin and heads back to national capitals. We have the final result in 23 languages, signed supposedly by 3 people alone: German Chancellor Angela Merkel that currently holds the EU Presidency, President of the European Commission Mr Barroso and my strong “favourite� of this post Hans-Gert Poettering. I’m still in Berlin and have a bit of time on my hands to reflect on it… Continue reading

Berlin Declaration – leaked, first in German

OK, the Berlin Declaration leaked out when Merkel sent it to national capitals last night. Some words about how nice is to be together, about how seriously we will fight terrorism and cooperate. It’s at least short;)
For now in German:

Europa war über Jahrhunderte eine Idee, eine Hoffnung auf Frieden und Verständigung. Diese Hoffnung hat sich erfüllt. Die europäische Einigung hat uns Frieden und Wohlstand ermöglicht. Sie hat Gemeinsamkeit gestiftet und Gegensätze überwunden. Jedes Mitglied hat geholfen, Europa zu einigen und Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit zu stärken. Der Freiheitsliebe der Menschen in Mittel- und Osteuropa verdanken wir, dass heute Europas unnatürliche Teilung endgültig überwunden ist. Wir haben mit der europäischen Einigung unsere Lehren aus blutigen Auseinandersetzungen und leidvoller Geschichte gezogen. Wir leben heute miteinander, wie es nie zuvor möglich war. Continue reading

Flying to Berlin to celebrate the EU – what to be excited about?

I just got stuck in the Brussels aiport, something I admit hasn’t happened as often as it could have. The Virgin Express airline is about to merge with SN Brussels this weekend and probably they do not mind to let their last passengers wait a while longer…So a modest delay of 3 hours gave me plenty of time to catch up with some emails resting in my Inbox and with a deserved blog. Continue reading

Triglavska malomarnost…ali?

Med krajšim sprehodom na Å kabrijel (blizu Nove Gorice) mi ja padla v oči malomarnost organizatorjev nekakšnega pohoda, ki se je odvil pred kratkim. Lepo, da Zavarovalnica Triglav podpira športne dogodke, še lepše bi bilo, če bi kot pogoj zahtevali tudi odstranitev plastičnih reklamnih trakov, takoj po končanem dogodku.

Pri meni so vsekakor dobili minus točke, čeprav mogoče nič krivi in nevedni.

Frattini – proud to be Italian

Only recently has the European Commission released the list of special advisors to the Commissioners. There are few elements of conflicts of interests, well articulated by Corporate Europe Observatory (with an ironic aronym CEO), but even more impressive is the list of the advisors on the pay slip of Mr Frattini – one of the Vice-Presidents of the Commission, in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security. Thinking probably that he has to formulate Italian policies not European ones, he hired 11 Italian advisors. 11 out of 11 on the list…

Besides that, one of them is, according to Financial Times, charged with fraud in Italy (You might just shrug and say: many Italians are).  Continue reading