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Autori: Subjekti: \"Vizioni pėr Evropėn duhet tė rezultojė njė histori e suksesit\"
Eni_P

Postuar mė 13-11-2002 nė 13:36 Edit Post Reply With Quote
"Vizioni pėr Evropėn duhet tė rezultojė njė histori e suksesit"

Evropa Juglindore mes Paktit të Stabilitetit dhe BE-së

Sonila Harasani


Zgjerimi i BE-së është një sfidë e madhe për vetë unionin: bisedimet me 10 vendet kandidate që do të antarësohen deri në vitin 2004 janë në prag të përfundimit. Megjithatë janë edhe shumë vende të tjera që kanë shprehur interesin për antarësim në BE. Krahas Bullgarisë dhe Rumanisë edhe vendet fqinjë në Perëndim të tyre dëshirojnë të pranohen sa më shpejt në union. Të gjithë këto vende aktualisht përkrahen nga Brukseli nëpërmjet iniciativës së Paktit të Stabilitetit për Evropën Juglindore. Megjithatë si Komisioni Evropian ashtu edhe të ngarkuarit e Paktit të Stabilitetit janë të mendimit, se vendet që duan të integrohen në Evropë duhet të sillen si evropianë.

Përveç Sllovenisë vendet e tjera të Evropës Juglindore nuk bëjnë pjesë në radhën e kandidatëve që do të pranohen në vitin 2004 në BE. Megjithatë dëshira e këtyre shteteve për t´u antarësuar në BE është mjaft e madhe. Brukseli ka siguruar, se këto vende janë kandidatë të mundshëm për antarësim. Ish-koordinatori i Paktit të Stabilitetit, Bodo Hombah, thekson, se këto vende mund t´ia arrijnë qëllimit të tyre vetëm duke ndjekur rrugën e përcaktuar: "Procesi i zgjerimit është në lëvizje. Sic e gjykoj unë situatën të gjitha vendet e Evropës Juglindore duan të bëhen pjesë zyrtare e shtëpisë evropiane. Kjo është mëse e drejtë, sepse vetëm antarësimi zyrtar krijon bazën për një zhvillim të arësyeshëm social dhe ekonomik, por rruga drejt antarësimit presupozon plotësimin e një sërë kushteve, që janë; përshtatja në fushën e drejtësisë, apo heqja e doganave dhe pengesave të tjera tregtare."

Pra për t´u antarësuar në BE nuk mjafton vetëm dëshira e vendeve pretendente, sepse BE-ja ka përcaktuar një listë të gjatë me kërkesa. Secili vend duhet t´i plotësojë këto kërkesa, thekson Liselore Cyrus, e ngarkuara e Ministrisë së Jashtme të Gjermanisë për Paktin e Stabilitetit: "BE nuk është një klub politik, ku vendimet se cili vend lejohet të antarësohet dhe cili jo merren me arbitraritet politik. BE është një subjekt që vendos kushte mëse të qarta. Ndaj pyetja e parë që duhet shtruar është, se cili vend i përmbush standardet e kërkuara?" Kushtet që duhet të plotësojë cdo vend që pretendon të antarësohet në BE janë përcaktuar në të ashtuquajturat kriteret e Kopenhagenit. Pikat më të rëndësishme janë funksionimi i demokracisë, i ekonomisë së tregut dhe i shtetit ligjor.

Njerëzve në Ballkan u mungon vecanërisht besimi tek sistemi i drejtësisë, sepse policia dhe drejtësia vazhdojnë të karakterizohen prej strukturave të vjetra të pushtetit. Edhe Reinhard Priebe, i ngarkuari i Komisionit Evropian për Ballkanin Perendimor, vë në dukje, se në këtë drejtim ka mjaft probleme: "Kjo është një dukuri, të cilën e hasim në të pesë vendet e Ballkanit Perendimor; institucionet e drejtësisë janë të rënuara. Ky është një problem shqetësues. Por ky është edhe një shembull, se ka probleme që duhet të zgjidhen konkretisht përpara se të ëndërrohet për hapjen e bisedimeve për antarësim në BE. Këto probleme nuk mund të zgjidhen vetëm me thesin e parave. Nëse drejtësia është e korruptuar, si p.sh. në Shqipëri apo në Maqedoni, atëherë duhet të ndryshojë personeli dhe duhet të ndryshojë kultura e drejtësisë. Ky është një proces që nuk mund të realizohet vetëm me një program tre vjecar financimi, ky është një proces që kërkon ndoshta 10 deri në 20 vjet."

Kroacia është një shembull, se si rruga për në BE mund të përballohet edhe më shpejt. Gjatë dy viteve të fundit qeveria në Zagreb arriti të vërë në lëvizje një sërë reformash duke u bërë kështu model për vendet e tjera kandidate. Nga Serbia dhe Mali i Zi Komisioni Evropian pret që të vendoset përfundimisht nga të dyja palët për kartën e re kushtetuese për krijimin e federatës shtetërore. Por edhe nëse Beogradi e Podgorica arrijnë në një marrëveshje lidhur me këtë cështje, i pasqaruar mbetet statusi i Kosovës. Në kuadër të procesit të zgjerimit të BE-së në Lindje ky është një problem mjaft delikat, nënvizon zoti Priebe: "Çështja e Kosovës nuk do të vendoset në Bruksel, por në Këshillin e Sigurimit. Edhe pse vendimi mund të influencohet nga Brukseli kurrësesi nuk mund të vendoset në Bruksel për këtë cështje. Problemi kryesor që kemi aktualisht me Kosovën është, që të jemi të kujdesshëm në mënyrë që statusi i pasqaruar i kësaj pjese të Ballkanit të mos bëhet pengesë për përpjekjet politike për afrimin e të gjithë rajonit në Evropë."

Sa i përket Bullgarisë dhe Rumanisë është e qartë, se këto dy vende nuk do të marrin pjesë në raundin e parë të zgjerimit në vitin 2004. Por megjithatë këto janë dy kandidatë të sigurtë, nëse BE-ja do të hapë portat për një raund të dytë antarësimi. Sipas Reinhard Priebe secili vend i Ballkanit do të vlerësohet mbi bazën e arritjeve të veta dhe nuk do të ketë asnjë lloj imponimi për pranimin njëkohësisht të të 5 vendeve të Ballkanit Perendimor.

Por një gjë është e qartë; BE është mjaft e ngarkuar me raundin e ardhshëm të pranimit të antarëve të rinj, fazë kjo që do të shërbejë edhe si shtysë për të gjithë unionin. E ngarkuara për politikën e Paktit të Stabilitetit në Evropën Juglindore, Liselore Cyrus, është plot besim: "Vizioni i Evropës duhet të jetë një histori e suksesit edhe për të vetmen arësye, se reflektimi ndaj vetrave të tjera rajonale të krizës në botë është jashtëzakonisht i madh. Mendoj, se Ballkani mund të jetë një shembull për të nxjerrë mësime si duhet të zgjidhen konfliktet e tjera rajonale. Prandaj procesi i zgjerimit të BE-së duhet të ketë sukses dhe prandaj unë jam optimiste për rrugën që kemi zgjedhur", vë në dukje zonja Cyrus, e ngarkuar e ministrisë së jashtme gjermane për Paktin e Stabilitetit.

DW2002

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burimuji

Postuar mė 11-2-2005 nė 05:17 Edit Post Reply With Quote
THE BERLIN WALL’S REVENGE
By Nelson Ascher

Europundits
Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Maybe we, or at least many of us, were too busy commemorating the fall of the Berlin wall in late 1989. Thus, we overlooked all those people who weren’t exactly happy with the outcome of the Cold War. Well, perhaps “overlooking” is not the appropriate term.

I, for instance, had an acquaintance (deceased since then), a hardliner Trotskyite who should have felt partly vindicated by the failure of the system erected by his hero’s archenemy, Stalin. But he didn’t look vindicated at all. It wasn’t easy for him, in that climate of euphoria, to give full vent to his disappointment, but still he managed to mutter a few words about the “wrong” turn events were beginning to take in Eastern Europe, and he was not talking about the looming shadows of the Balkan wars (which were clearly visible by then). No: he complained that those societies, instead of using their newly conquered freedom to correct their course and head full-speed towards the socialist utopia, were rather turning to Western style “alienated” consumerism.

But there were probably, no, not probably, but surely, those who felt utterly defeated at the time. They just didn’t think it was advisable to go public with their anger and frustration. Also, in the late 80s and early 90s, Western Europe was at the top of its economic and social performance. Western Europeans were then almost as affluent as the Americans and, so, some could console themselves with the appearance that the whole thing wasn’t basically an American victory, but rather a Western one - and that Europe would anyway soon eclipse the USA.

For Western Europe however, the next 15 years were a unidirectional stroll down the slope. It became less and less competitive compared to the US and both high levels of unemployment and low growth rates came to stay. And the growing, alienated, Muslim minorities didn’t become any more assimilated in the meanwhile. But, on the other hand, Bill Clinton asking non-stop the world to forgive his country’s sins and his reluctance to take decisive action after many terrorist attacks projected a re-comforting image of a repentant, humbled and weakened America.

Those whom the fall of the Berlin Wall had left orphans of a cause, spent the next decade plotting the containment of the US. It was a complex operation that involved the (in many cases state-sponsored) mushrooming of NGOs, Kyoto, the creation of the ICC, the salami tactics applied against America’s main strategic ally in the Middle-East, Israel, through the Trojan Horse of the Oslo agreements, the subversion of the sanctions against Iraq etc. I’m not as conspiratorially-minded as to think that all these efforts were in any way centralized or that they had some kind of master-plan behind them. It was above all the case of the spirit of the times converging, through many independent manifestations, towards a single goal. Nonetheless we can be sure that, after those manifestations reached a critical mass, there has been no lack of efforts to coordinate them.

And so, spontaneously up to a point, anti-Americanism became the alternative ideology that came to fill in the vacuum left by the failure of traditional, USSR-based communism and its Maoist or Trotskyite satellites. Before 1989, the global left had something to fight for: either the strengthening of the communist states or the correction of what they called their bureaucratic distortions. To fight for something is simultaneously to fight against whatever threatens it, and thus, the leftists were anti-Western and anti-Americans too, anti-capitalistic in short.

Now, whatever they wanted to defend or protect doesn’t exist anymore. They have only things to destroy, and all those things are personified in the US, in its very existence. They may, outwardly, fight for some positive cause: save the whales, rescue the world from global heating and so on. But let’s not be deceived by this: they choose as their so-called positive causes only the ones that have both the potential of conferring some kind of innocent legitimacy on themselves and, much more important, that of doing most harm to their enemy, whether physically or to its image.

We, well, at least I was wrong to dismiss the pre-1989 leftists as dinosaurs condemned to extinction by evolution. While I was looking the other way, they were regrouping, inventing new slogans, creating new tactics and, above all, keeping the flames of their hatred burning. The history is still to be written about the moment when the left made its collective mind up and decided to strike an alliance with radical Islam. It had been tried before, in Iran/79, but, threatened by the USSR to the north and by its Iraqi client to the West, Khomeini didn’t have much time for the local leftists, nor did he need them. The idea of such an alliance was probably (re)-born in several different minds and in several different places, and it would be as difficult to say exactly where it took place first as it is to say which grain of corn is the first to pop when one’s making pop-corn. All that can be said is that, right now, we have a “fait accompli”.

This newly ever-growing Western left, not only in Europe, but in Latin America and even in the US itself, has a clear goal: the destruction of the country and society that vanquished its dreams fifteen years ago. But it does not have, as in the old days of the Soviet Union, the hard power to accomplish this by itself. Thanks to this, all our leftist friends’ bets are now on radical Islam. What can they do to help it? Answer: tie down America’s superior strength with a million Liliputian ropes: legal ones, political ones, with propaganda and disinformation etc. Anything and everything will do.

In the same way as the murderers of 911 used the West’s technology against itself, the contemporary left will do its best to turn democracy into a suicidal pact. This is already being done, obviously. The fight for Guantanamo Bay is, in many ways, as important as that for Baghdad. And, whenever a British born terrorist is released and sent back to the UK, to be joyfully acclaimed by the pages of “The Guardian”, “The Independent” or through the waves of the BBC, that fight is being lost. Radical Islam is being given one more tactical victory and the left’s strategy is being vindicated.

There has been some talk recently about the probable inevitability of a nuclear attack on the mainland US in, say, the next ten or fifteen years. The Berlin Wall’s orphans are already busy creating the slogans, formulating the dogmas, writing down the articles and books that will allow them, when the worst happens, to lay all the blame on the victims, making retaliation as difficult as it can be. They’re carefully preparing their case and the court is already in session.

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burimuji

Postuar mė 27-5-2005 nė 16:29 Edit Post Reply With Quote
Germany politics: A vote for reform
The Economist Intelligence Unit
Posted on 05/23/2005

Germany's chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has called for an early general election, following the severe defeat suffered by his Social-democratic Party (SPD)-Greens coalition in the state election in Nordrhein-Westfalen on May 22nd. The federal election will be held in September, one year ahead of schedule. On current form, it is likely to see the return to power of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) after seven years in opposition.

Given the poor standing of the SPD in pre-election opinion polls, the result of the vote in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany's most populous state, came as little surprise. Compared with the last election in 2000, support for the SPD fell from 42.8% to just 37.1%, while the Greens' share of the vote dropped from 7.1% to 6.2%. The conservative CDU, meanwhile, boosted its tally from 37% to 44.8%. And although share of the vote of the economically liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) slipped from 9.8% to 6.2%, together the two opposition parties still have a comfortable majority in the state parliament.

Although expected, the outcome was no less bitter for the ruling parties. For a start, the CDU's victory brings to an end almost four decades of SPD rule. As a result, it means that not a single one of Germany's 16 states is now governed by an SPD-Greens coalition (mirroring the federal government). It also means that the CDU, its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, and the FDP have added further to their majority in the Bundesrat, the upper house of the federal parliament (which is composed of representatives of state governments), although they still remain just short of the two-thirds majority that would allow them to block most legislation.

Enough is enough

In the event, the real shock on the day was Mr Schroeder's announcement that he would seek to hold an early federal election, which caught most, if not all, observers off-guard. Constitutional restrictions mean that early elections are extremely rare in Germany. The power to call a vote rests with the president, but only after the chancellor has called and lost a vote of confidence in the Bundestag, the lower house of parliament. Although the SPD and the Greens still have a majority in the Bundestag, they are expected to abstain when the vote is held, as the CDU/CSU-FDP did in 1983 -- the only other occasion when an early election was called. That Mr Schroeder has decided to go down this route came as a huge surprise, because it was, and still is, difficult to see how it could be in the interest of the chancellor or his party (although there is little doubt that it is in the interest of the country).

With the benefit of hindsight, the decision is not out of character, however. When caught in a tight spot, Mr Schroeder's response has often been to make a clean breast of things -- a characteristic that has earned him the nickname the "Basta Chancellor" ("basta" being the word for "that's enough" in Italy, the home of the chancellor's favourite suits, wines and holidays). Several of Mr Schroeder's former colleagues have become acquainted with this side of their chancellor to their cost; when scandals broke, ministers were required to leave quickly rather than force the government to share their embarrassment. Mr Schroeder's decision to launch the Agenda 2010 reforms in March 2003 was also motivated in part by a desire to end internal squabbling about lesser measures.

This time around, it seems Mr Schroeder is fed up with the lack of enthusiasm for his government's policies, saying the electoral rout signalled that "support for our reforms to continue has been called into question". In fact, the source of the chancellor's disillusionment is probably less the voters of Nordrhein-Westfalen, than the opposition parties in the Bundesrat, which must give their assent to many of the most important bills. Lacking a majority in the upper house, the government has regularly had to rely on negotiations with the CDU/CSU and the FDP. Although agreements were ultimately reached, the desire of the opposition to protect its core supporters or to embarrass the government by exposing weaknesses in legislation (often minor ones) has meant that deals were long in coming and legislation has frequently been watered down.

By bringing forward the election Mr Schroeder will avoid 18 months of pre-election gridlock. And if the decision helps to win back some respect, so much the better for his chances of re-election. But there is another, perhaps more important reason for the move: to force the hand of opponents within his own party. In recent months the chancellor has been coming under intense pressure from the left wing of the SPD to backtrack on his Agenda 2010 programme of labour market and welfare reforms. These voices have grown louder in recent weeks, egged on by some senior SPD figures. By forcing the party to contest an early election, Mr Schroeder will hope to quell this rebellion by focusing minds on the prospect of a conservative government that would be even more zealous in its pursuit of reforms.

A vote for reform -- and more reform

By doing so the chancellor is taking a huge gamble. According to recent opinion polls the SPD can expect to win between 29-30% of the national vote, compared with the CDU/CSU's share of 44-45%. With the Greens polling between 9% and 10%, and the FDP on 6-7%, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked in favour of a CDU/CSU-FDP coalition. And with only four months to go before the election, the SPD-Greens now have little time to regain public confidence. Although there was a chance that an economic upswing might take hold next year to strengthen support for the SPD, this seems very unlikely to happen by September this year.

By contrast, the swiftness of the campaign will benefit the CDU/CSU, which is clearly in the ascendancy. The pressure to accelerate the selection of the party's chancellor candidate reduces the prospect of in-fighting between potential candidates (the decision will now be taken on May 30th, rather than in December, as previously planned). Judging by first reactions, the CDU/CSU has united behind Angela Merkel, the CDU party leader.

From the point of view of economic policy, the news that the election will be held early is extremely welcome, as it will cut short a pre-election period when few major legislative proposals were expected to be presented before parliament. The decision also makes clear that the SPD, at least under its current leadership, remains strongly committed to the process of economic reform, despite the recent debate. Further progress during the next legislative term is likely to be even more substantial if the CDU/CSU-FPD wins. Clearly, Ms Merkel is not the German equivalent to Margaret Thatcher -- the CDU/CSU still has a very strong commitment to the social element of the German economic policy system. Nevertheless, the party leadership has understood the need for more than piecemeal reforms.

The CDU/CSU has already done substantial preparatory work on a major overhaul of the tax system and on healthcare financing (although the final bills will probably differ substantially from the proposals agreed by the CDU and the CSU last year, which appealed to nobody). Labour market reform will also be high on the agenda, and changes will be facilitated by the fact that those most affected are not counted among the CDU/CSU's core supporters. Likely changes include modifications to the wage bargaining system, a weakening of the influence of trade unions and a diminution of co-determination rights of workers in companies (all of which means that strikes are likely to be an increasing problem).

The CDU/CSU is expected to remain vague about its intentions in the run-up to the election, as it will seek to avoid alienating voters. Although some on the left wing of the party will be vocal in their opposition to drastic reforms, their influence has waned substantially, and more economically liberal elements are generally more powerful. Still, the CDU/CSU-FDP will have to be careful to present a more united front than the current coalition, which it has constantly accused of lacking a clear direction. It is worth remembering that the reason for the SPD's weakness is not so much its reforms as such, but the muddled way in which they were implemented, and the fact that the party has often appeared torn between its modernising elements and the influence of the trade unions.

Nosy neighbours

For these and other reasons the election campaign will be observed with as much interest outside Germany as within it. The CDU/CSU has been fiercely critical of the Schroeder government's attitude towards fiscal rectitude -- it remains to be seen whether a new conservative government would uphold Germany's commitments to its partners in the euro area to rein in its budget deficit. If it does, pressure on other recalcitrant governments is likely to increase.

The prospect of a swift change of government in Berlin has caused European stockmarkets to rise, even though the economic impact over the next couple of years would be small, as it would take time for the CDU/CSU to finalise new legislation. However, there was one country where the news was not so well received: Turkey, which is fearful of the CDU/CSU's opposition to Turkish membership of the EU. Although the EU is still expected to give the go-ahead to the opening of accession talks in October this year, Turkey will have to be careful to meet all the EU's conditions, and thus avoid giving a new CDU/CSU government the excuse it needs to stall progress.

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Geopolitical Diary: Sunday, May 22, 2005
Stratfor.com
May 23, 2005 0949 GMT

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder stunned Germany on Sunday by calling for a national election, following a serious defeat for his Social Democratic Party (SPD) in regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia. The province has been a party stronghold, having had an SPD government since 1966. North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous province, is one of the keystones of SPD power. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) didn't just win a regional election, it won big. For the SPD to lose there means a sea change is under way in German politics. It is as if a pro-abortion, pro-income-tax Democrat took Texas. It would be noticed in the White House.

The reason for the SPD's defeat is fairly obvious. Germany's economy is in terrible shape. Apart from slow growth tending toward recession, German unemployment has reached double digits -- now, at 5 million, at all-time highs for the postwar era. Schroeder has pushed through measures that have infuriated his political base, including limits on unemployment benefits and controls on other social programs. None of this has done any good. Schroeder has managed an impressive balancing act -- introducing enough reforms to infuriate his political base but not enough to achieve a solution to his problems.

Calling an election in Germany is not routine. Normally, the chancellor's party would stand for re-election in 2006. There is a single precedent for this move, so it is not unheard-of, but the last time it was tried, it was intended to increase a chancellor's majority in the Bundestag. Given the fact that polls indicate that the CDU would win nationally, this seems an elegant path to political suicide. One theory being talked about is that Schroeder faced a revolt from the left wing of the SPD that would have forced a vote of no-confidence anyway, so he simply embraced the inevitable.

The central fact is that the core of the European axis -- France and Germany -- simply isn't functioning. The economies of these countries are paying the price for maintaining social programs that exceed the economic base, and doing so by running deficits. The French and Germans have been here before, during the 1970s. The same economic problems remain. The tax structure and employment laws discourage small, entrepreneurial startups while favoring giant, inefficient corporations; meanwhile, two layers of regulation exist (national and European), and regulations discourage corporate restructuring. Germany has a 1980s-style economy that is trying to operate in the 21st century.

There is no way to solve this without pain. The United States dealt with stagflation with the agonizing economic restructuring of the 1980s. The new competitive system forced companies like IBM to completely reinvent themselves while companies like DEC simply disappeared. This process caused enormous social pain. The Germans and French have never been able to withstand the pain. The elections in North Rhineland-Westphalia show the consequences.

With the French referendum on the EU Constitution uncertain and Schroeder staggering, the leadership of Europe is now faltering. Germany and France, which have been trying to play a more active role on the international stage, are now likely to be obsessed with national politics. Tony Blair has won re-election in Britain but has been weakened. The ability of anybody to lead Europe at this point is dubious. We are likely to see little internationally from Germany in the coming months, and probably much less from France or Britain. As an example, Iran -- which was hoping for a Franco-German bloc to give it some reprieve from U.S. pressure over the nuclear issue -- won't get much attention from Schroeder, and French President Jacques Chirac himself might be very busy with other things in the coming months.

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Germany: Schroeder's 'Elections' Call
Stratfor.com
May 23, 2005 1929 GMT

Summary

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on May 22 called for early elections. Rather than seriously threatening elections, however, Schroeder's call represents an attempt to force his own party to support him on a raft of economic reforms that he feels Germany badly needs.

Analysis

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder stunned his Social Democratic Party (SPD) May 22 when he called for early elections. Schroeder's call came after his party lost yet another regional government -- this time in longtime SPD power center North Rhine-Westphalia -- to the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Schroeder's move, however, is not about elections, but about snapping his own party back into line.

Germany has suffered from three recessions in the past three years, and the 1990s was the country's slowest decade of growth since the Weimar Republic era that followed World War I.

The underlying reason for Germany's at-best-tepid growth is that the German/European socialist economic model is failing. Spending massive amounts of money on elaborate and generous social support programs may have been possible in the semi-protected environment of the Cold War, when the United States was willing to trade economic benefits for security policy. But now, the United States is steadily forcing Germany -- and Europe -- to compete on a more level playing field. Add in 10 new members to the European Union that have adopted a more American style of economic management, and Germany simply can no longer compete.

Remedying such an imbalance would require massive economic reforms in everything from corporate management to labor laws. Such reforms would prove socially traumatic. Had German leaders thought Germany could handle such trauma, they would have adopted similar reforms in the 1980s when the United States did. Now, this lack of reform combined with the stresses of absorbing the former East Germany has pushed unemployment to near 80-year highs.

Over the course of the past two years, Schroeder has adopted a handful of reforms, but only over the dogged opposition of his own party and the Green Party, his coalition partner. Both the SPD and the Greens ideologically oppose such reforms, and the SPD's poor showing in regional elections represents more a public disillusionment with Schroeder's seeming abandonment of his party's platform than an acceptance of the need to reform -- no matter how necessary those reforms may be. This resistance has lead to prolific desertions before votes on reform provisions, forcing Schroeder regularly to rely on the support of the CDU for his economic initiatives.

Schroeder is using the fear of elections to attempt to force his coalition to back him. A preliminary poll released May 23 on Germany's WDR Television confirmed the unpopularity of the ruling SPD-Green alliance, predicting a huge CDU win in the case of early elections. The ruling parties cannot doubt that, should elections come about, they would be booted from office.

[** bolding for emphasis here and below mine -- SteveD]

But elections are not what Schroeder is after.

The German Constitution does not allow early elections or the votes of confidence that trigger them. Instead, Germany has "constructive votes of no confidence" in which the motion's proponent presents an alternative government to replace the sitting government. Needless to say, the sitting government does not propose such motions.

The one exception to this rule occurred in 1982, when then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the CDU called for a no-confidence vote in his own government shortly after successfully displacing the previous government with a constructive vote of no confidence. That vote gave Kohl a popular mandate for his jump to power.

At the time, the German Supreme Court publicly -- but not officially -- mused that the action was unconstitutional. Kohl, however, would have remained in power regardless of the court's ruling, so the opposition SPD did not bother filing a court case.

Unlike the 1982 example, Schroeder's problem lies not with the opposition, but with his own party. Schroeder is not attempting to garner public approval for his actions, but is seeking his coalition's unflinching backing -- particularly for policies on which the CDU cannot outflank him. Economic reform constitutes the biggest of those issues. For Schroeder, the vote of confidence actually represents a means to force his coalition to declare its unqualified support for his policies, or risk facing the electorate's wrath. Just as in 1982, the opposition has no interest in legally challenging the result, no matter what it is.

Therefore, the real threat to Schroeder comes not from the CDU, but from within the SPD itself. The governing coalition cannot send itself packing constitutionally, but it can fire the country's chancellor and install a new one. SPD powerbrokers must be mulling the question, "Do we have anyone better than Schroeder in the backroom?"

Schroeder has bet on a "nein." He will probably win his gamble. On May 23, SPD Chairman Franz Muentefering supported Schroeder's proposal and announced that the supposedly unconstitutional no-confidence vote would take place by July 1. In the weeks ahead, we shall see just how tight Schroeder's grip on power really is. But barring a massive miscalculation by SPD and Green representatives in the Bundestag -- who would almost certainly lose their seats should they abandon their leader -- this will not be determined by elections.

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France and the EU Vote: Oui or Non? Dream On
Stratfor.com
May 20, 2005 2215 GMT

Summary

French voters decide May 29 whether to approve the proposed EU Constitution. Public opinion has favored a no vote over the past four weeks. But regardless of how the vote turns out, the French dream of using a united Europe to magnify Paris' influence globally will remain just that: a dream.

Analysis

The French vote May 29 on whether to approve the European Union's new constitution. Far from the easy victory the government -- and France's fellow Europeans -- expected, however, the constitution's naysayers have consistently led in opinion polls over the past four weeks.

In a union of 25 states, there is little that everyone can agree on. But one thing our sources across the Continent seem to be in agreement on is this: if the French reject the constitution, the charter dies.

Unlike previous treaties, this one will not be renegotiated. Not only is the text as integrationist as Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, etc., would allow, the constitution is the best that Paris could possibly hope for -- after all, a Frenchman wrote it. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the document's author, has campaigned for the constitution in a bit of a fog, stunned that any sane Frenchman might suggest that he could have eked more out of the marathon negotiations.

So a French "non" leaves only one route for the constitution to be salvaged: resubmission in hopes of receiving the "correct" result. Hardly the vote of confidence that France, a founding member of a united Europe, was expected to provide.

Many pundits have attributed the lack of French enthusiasm for the constitution to the love deficit they feel toward the current government. Similar perceptions nearly defeated France's approval of previous EU treaty law and have led many to call the constitution vote a "Raffarindum" on the popularity of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, which a survey published May 20 puts at 21%.

That is an easy explanation, but it represents a cop out. It also does not explain why French politicians on the left and right -- some even from within the ruling party -- are both campaigning for the "non" forces. In fact, French agonizing is so acute that Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, currently wearing the mantle of the EU presidency, resorted April 19 to saying that the French should vote for the constitution if for no other reason than because the Americans want them to vote no.

What all this misses is that this referendum is fundamentally different from previous EU votes. France stands at a crossroads and quite literally has no idea which path to follow.

France and "Europe"

When the French government first jumped into the European experiment in the early days after World War II, the idea of a "united" Europe was simple: make another European war unthinkable. After France's initial postwar political stability issues were sorted out with the ascendance of Charles de Gaulle, however, the focus quickly changed.

Under Gaullism, the French sense of centrality, extant since the pre-1871 period, returned. Formerly, Paris was for all practical purposes the capital of Europe, even while the British were far more active in global affairs. The reascendance in French political thought of the importance of French power left Paris -- and in particular, de Gaulle -- outraged at the political balance of the Cold War.

Far from calling the shots -- or even having a say -- in Europe, France found itself relegated to the sidelines as just another European state undergoing massive American -funded and -directed reconstruction. Washington created the Bretton Woods system to manage European economic affairs. Washington created NATO to manage European security affairs. Politics were left to the Europeans so long as they did not clash with either Bretton Woods or NATO. For a Gaullist, such an arrangement was intolerable.

De Gaulle's reaction was twofold. First, France needed to take command of its own security affairs, so in 1966, Paris withdrew from the NATO Military Committee, ordering NATO forces off French soil. Second, it needed a potential counterweight to the United States. Something that could in time ultimately challenge the West's superpower.

That something became "Europe."

At first, everything went blissfully according to plan. France's original five European partners -- Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands -- perhaps represented the perfect match for France's geopolitical ambitions. The Low Countries -- ravaged in both world wars -- were in no mood to rock the boat and demand much of anything. And given their diminutive size, France had little problem overshadowing them politically.

As for the other two, Western attitudes toward German behavior during the Second World War ensured that Bonn would spend at least a generation apologizing for its actions, allowing Paris to slip into Germany's shoes and speak for Bonn, too. Finally, there was Italy which was, well, Italy.

And so in this little Europe, the French had their first soapbox. Paris wasted no time in working to establish a middle ground between Washington and Moscow. A key policy of the time were efforts to convince their European partners that American security guarantees were meaningless, and that Europe should seek an accommodation with the Soviets under a French-led security partnership.

In retrospect, Americans may find this almost farcical, but one must remember the context and the times.

While pitching itself as the ultimate guarantor of European security, the United States suffered from an unavoidable and equally inconvenient fact: it was on the wrong side of the Atlantic. Any conventional NATO-Russian conflict was destined to end with the Soviets overrunning Western Europe, as the Americans simply could not relocate forces in time. That meant that the core pillar of the American security guarantee was the nuclear option -- which would, of course, result in a Soviet counterstrike annihilating the United States.

Why, the French would ask, should we believe that the Americans would be willing to guarantee their country's destruction to protect us? Countering that argument forced the United States to fight any fight the Soviet Union chose, at the time and place of the Soviet Union's choosing. As such, the United States found itself sucked into conflicts in places such as Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia.

But in time, France's ability to speak for Europe rapidly degraded. The core logic behind Gaullism and French foreign policy in the post-World War II era was that Paris had to matter. Countries should need to come to France for guidance and arbitration. French troops should be needed in strategic locations. For that to happen, France needed a core group of states willing to let France speak and act on the group's behalf. In a Europe of six, that was possible.

But not as Europe expanded.

The key year when France's dream of a French-led Europe began to falter was 1973, the year Denmark, Ireland, and most of all, the United Kingdom, joined the European Community, the forbearer of today's European Union. Unlike France's existing partners, London would neither admit to French centrality nor submit to French authority. The United Kingdom -- a country with a vested interest in being part of Europe so it could prevent the development of a Europe strong enough to threaten its independence -- became Europe's poison pill. It should be no surprise that Paris did not cease vetoing the United Kingdom's membership application until after de Gaulle left office.

Every state that the European Community -- which morphed into the European Union in 1993 -- accepted as a member for the next 22 years complicated France's vision. Greece was in effect a European island with security concerns far from France's; Spain and Portugal enjoyed strong relations with Latin America and ultimately the United States; Austria, Finland and Sweden -- all officially neutral states -- made the idea of a French-led common European security force problematic at best.

Russia and a "Greater Europe"

But what is often missed is the centrality that Moscow played in French plans, and how efforts to broaden and deepen the European Union -- a prerequisite for a stronger Europe capable of countering the United States -- made it impossible for Russia to participate in realizing French ambitions.

Paris fully understands that the United States' overwhelming economic heft -- at the beginning of 2005 the U.S. economy stood at more than $11 trillion versus the European Union's $7 trillion -- means that successfully challenging the United States requires some flavor of a "greater Europe." Considering the dearth of options available, such an entity by default required a close strategic partnership with Russia.

In many ways a Franco-Russian partnership is a match made in heaven. The two are far enough removed from each other that they have few points of contact, and therefore few points of friction. That became even more the case with the implosion of Russian influence globally during the 1990s. Both are resentful of what they perceive as the intrusion of American power into their backyard -- and front yard. Both feel, with considerable justification, that they would be far more powerful both at home and abroad if the United States were taken down a peg or 30.

During the Cold War, European security arrangements with the United States made any broad Franco-Russian alliance impractical. With the end of the Cold War, however, the European security dynamic changed sufficiently enough that it was possible to consider not just a Franco-Russian partnership, but perhaps even a European-Russian grouping. Despite the problems of brokering agreements among a Europe of 12, and as of 1995, 15 members, suddenly the building blocks for a larger "Europe" came tantalizingly within reach.

But two unrelated events directly linked to French efforts to strengthen Europe soon fully killed the French dream to create a rival superpower -- and both had to do with Russia.

The first occurred Jan. 2, 2002, when the European Union formally adopted the euro as the Continent's common currency. Although since that time the financial strictures undergirding the euro have been watered down and creatively interpreted, one thing that all EU states readily agree on is that post-Soviet collapse Russia is incapable of meeting the financial rigors necessary to qualify for euro membership within a human lifetime. Since meeting those requirements is embedded within EU membership requirements, Russia is barred from EU membership because of technical reasons. In other words, assuming both Paris and Moscow were interested in solidifying an alliance under the aegis of the European Union -- which would constitute the ideal scenario for Paris given its assumption that it would lead an EU with Russia as a member -- the implementation of the common currency regime essentially rendered this economically impossible.

The second discriminating event occurred on May 1, 2004 when the EU expanded to bring in 10 Central European and Mediterranean states. Seven of the 10 states the European Union absorbed in 2004 had been directly occupied by the Russians since World War II, and none of them trust Moscow. The problem introduced by U.K. membership was suddenly magnified tenfold, and a common Russian-French foreign policy, determined by Paris of course, is now a political impossibility.

Without the population, geographic heft and resources of Russia, Europe remains dependent on the United States for security, markets and -- via American global military commitments -- also on U.S. military force to guarantee European access to global resources and markets alike.

For all practical purposes, from the French viewpoint, the idea of a greater Europe realistically capable of challenging the United States is dead.

Of Constitutions and Betrayal

Which brings us back to the issue at hand: the French Constitution. While Paris continued to attempt to use Europe to further its geopolitical goals, it knew full well that Europe would lack the size and strength to challenge the United States in its current form without Russia's help. The question then became: How does France make due with the building blocks it has on hand?

The constitution was supposed to answer that question. As French thinking went, having a common European constitution would bind the member states into a firm alliance that paid heed to French wisdom, expertise and goals. As such, Paris pulled every string it had to put a Frenchman in charge of putting the critical document together.

While that process was under way, however, the world threw France a curveball in the form of the 2003 Iraq war. Paris recognized straightaway that a world in which the United States could launch Iraq-style operations without consent or consequence would be a world in which France neither mattered nor was respected. Paris, feeling secure in its position as the leader of "Europe," worked with the Germans and various EU bureaucrats nominally responsible for EU foreign policy and publicly challenged the United States' motives and methods on all things Iraqi.

The result was that nearly all of the rest of Europe broke ranks with the Franco-German (and to a lesser degree, Russian) axis. In January 2003, almost a year after France took it upon itself to represent Europe as a power facing off against the United States, a host of other European countries -- Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom -- issued an open letter in the world's newspapers applauding the United States' role in Europe. The letter also opposed French efforts regarding Iraq and mocked the idea of a common European foreign policy.

Within days, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia indicated that they also would have signed the letter if asked. The Netherlands chimed in that it had wanted to sign but was concerned that it would create an appearance of European disunity.

Paris perceived the statements as betrayals of European (read: French) values and a (successful) challenge to the idea of French leadership. Suddenly, the entire European experiment had been turned on its head, and instead of Europe meekly allowing France to wax philosophic about the wonders of Parisian culture and statesmanship, a very different "Europe" began to take shape. That Europe became codified into the document the French will consider May 29.

In this Europe, foreign policy would be largely relegated to the hands of each member state. Common European positions could be crafted, but they would first have to receive unanimous support from the 25 EU members. Estonia or Hungary could counter French efforts to ally with Russia. Cyprus or Greece could block French efforts to court Turkey. Bulgaria or the United Kingdom could halt French efforts to isolate the United States. Suddenly, instead of an enabler, the European Union had become a cage.

And the cage has a mind of its own. The French statist/socialist model (still highly popular among the French) always has clashed with Anglo-style capitalism, which more closely resembles American economic practices. Nearly all of the states that joined in 2004, as well as Bulgaria and Romania who will join in 2007, fall on the side of the United Kingdom in thinking. Combined with a European Commission that took office in late 2004, Paris finds its entire economic model under constant criticism. And unlike the realm of foreign policy, EU economic initiatives do not require a unanimous vote -- except in issues of taxation, a category where high French taxes put French business at a permanent disadvantage.

As such, the constitution put before the French populace in the May 29 referendum represents the worst of all worlds for France.

It constitutionally isolates France within a union of broadly pro-American states, it gives other states the potential to impose on France what the French perceive as a hostile economic structure and it essentially destroys any hope France once had for forming a French-led union.

No wonder then that the French are hesitant about voting for the constitution. Doing so not only would put them on the defensive within Europe, it would consign dreams of global influence to history's proverbial dustbin.

Making matters even worse (yes, it can get worse), rejecting the constitution would not help. Should any single state -- say, France -- vote no, the constitution will not take effect. This would mean that existing EU treaty law, which the constitution would have superceded, would remain intact. The voting provisions laid out by the Nice Treaty represent the most important provisions a no vote would preserve.

To be approved, the constitution demands that decisions be approved by 55% of the European Union's states representing at least 65% of the European Union's population. Under such an arrangement, France and Germany voting together could be overruled, but it would take near EU unanimity to do so.

Under Nice, however, the smaller states have far more power in proportion to their populations. Spain, for example, has 27 votes to France's 29, despite only having 41 million people to France's 59 million. As the states get smaller, the distortion grows. The three Baltic states and the Czech Republic -- with a combined population of less than 20 million -- voting together wield as many votes as the proud Fifth Republic.

The European Union has now become too large to be safely controlled, and too hostile to French aspirations to be trusted. The French truly are damned whether they do or do not.

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Anton Ashta

Postuar mė 6-7-2005 nė 07:57 Edit Post Reply With Quote
Eine politische Union braucht eine Verfassung”


05. Juli 2005 Der rumänische Präsident und frühere Bürgermeister von Bukarest Traian Basescu spricht im F.A.Z.-Gespräch über die Erweiterung der EU, über das Verhältnis Rumäniens zu Amerika und über seine Visionen von Europa.


Wie ernst ist die Krise, in welche die Europäische Union nach den verlorenen Volksabstimmungen in Frankreich und Holland sowie nach dem gescheiterten Gipfel geraten ist?

Ich glaube, daß es sich um einen Unfall auf einem sehr langen Weg handelt. Ich gehöre nicht zu den Politikern, die das so dramatisch sehen.

Wie wirkt sich diese Krise auf Rumänien aus?

Wir müssen unseren Verpflichtungen auf dem Weg zur Europäischen Union noch besser nachkommen. Das ist ein zusätzlicher Druck, der aus zwei Gründen eigentlich nicht nötig gewesen wäre: erstens, weil die gegenwärtige Regierung sehr entschlossen ist, alle Verpflichtungen einzuhalten, die sich aus den Beitrittsverhandlungen ergeben haben, zweitens, weil es unser Ziel ist, am 1. Januar 2007 aufgenommen zu werden.

Die frühere Regierung hat viele Reformen nur vorgetäuscht, aber nicht in die Tat umgesetzt, und die neue Regierung ist gerade erst ein halbes Jahr im Amt. Wäre eine Verschiebung um ein Jahr nicht auch im rumänischen Interesse?

Nein, dazu sage ich kategorisch nein. Seit 15 Jahren wird in Rumänien vorgetäuscht und aufgeschoben, damit möchte ich Schluß machen. Das rumänische Volk kann dieses Ziel erreichen und wird es erreichen. Das ist jedenfalls meine Art, die Dinge zu sehen, vielleicht ist sie berufsbedingt. Ich bin Schiffskommandant gewesen, ein Schiff muß zum vorgesehenen Zeitpunkt im Zielhafen ankommen. Was zu tun ist, ist innerhalb der gesetzten Frist zu tun.

Es wird ja gesagt, daß es einen Gegensatz gebe zwischen einer Freihandelszone, was Blair für Europa anstrebe, und einer politischen Union, wie Chirac und Schröder sie wollten. Welches ist das Ziel Rumäniens?

Im vorigen Jahrhundert hat es zwei große Kriege gegeben. Das vereinte Europa garantiert den Frieden für fünfhundert Millionen Europäer mit politischen und mit wirtschaftlichen Mitteln.

Was heißt für Sie ein politisch vereintes Europa? Heißt das gemeinsame Außenpolitik, gemeinsame Verteidigung?

Das heißt erstens eine gemeinsame europäische Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik, zweitens heißt das, dem globalen Wettbewerb standzuhalten und den Wohlstand zu wahren, wenn zugleich China und Indien stärker werden.

In der Irak-Krise hat sich die rumänische Haltung deutlich von der deutschen und der französischen unterschieden. Es war damals die Rede von einer Achse Washington-London-Bukarest. Wie sollten die Beziehungen zwischen Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten gestaltet werden?

Mein Standpunkt hat sich nicht geändert. Rumänien hat sich nicht zwischen Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten zu entscheiden. Es ist in Europa und möchte ein zuverlässiger Partner sein. Zugleich ist die strategische Partnerschaft mit den Vereinigten Staaten in der Sicherheitspolitik eine Konstante unserer Außenpolitik. Wir lassen uns da nicht vor eine Wahl stellen. Wir sind gute Europäer und brauchen eine gute Sicherheitspolitik. Rumänien befindet sich jetzt an der östlichen Grenze der Nato und der EU. Wir grenzen an das Schwarze Meer, in unserer Nachbarschaft befindet sich der ehemals sowjetisch beherrschte Raum. Zeichnen Sie auf der Landkarte die eingefrorenen Konflikte aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion ein. Sie werden dann sehen, daß es an den Grenzen Rumäniens, der EU und der Nato, an der nördlichen Hälfte des Schwarzen Meeres gleich vier solcher Konflikte gibt: Transnistrien, Ossetien, Nagornyj Karabach, Abchasien. Niemand kann sagen, wann und mit welcher Intensität diese Konflikte wiederaufflammen werden. Am Schwarzen Meer überschneiden sich mehrere Großräume: der Nahe Osten, die ehemalige Sowjetunion, die russische Föderation, die Nato und die EU. Die erweiterte Schwarzmeer-Region ist eine Transitbrücke für den Drogen- und Menschenschmuggel nach Frankreich und Italien, nach Deutschland und Großbritannien; sie ist aber auch eine Brücke für den illegalen Waffenhandel aus Transnistrien in die Länder des westlichen Balkans, nach Afghanistan, Irak und Afrika. Es gibt noch einen Faktor: 50 Prozent der Energie, die in der EU verbraucht wird, stammen aus der erweiterten Region des Schwarzen Meeres. Und jetzt analysieren Sie bitte, ob Rumänien eine strategische Partnerschaft mit den Vereinigten Staaten nötig hat! Rumänien ist sich seiner Pflichten gegenüber Europa bewußt, und es kann ihnen mit der Hilfe der Länder der EU und der Nato auch nachkommen. Vielleicht haben Länder, die an den Atlantik grenzen, eine andere Perspektive, denn das ist ja eine sichere Grenze.

Es heißt, daß die Krise der Union auch damit zu tun hat, daß sich Europa keine Grenzen setzt. Wo liegen diese Grenzen? Gehört die Türkei dazu, die Ukraine? Der Balkan und der Kaukasus?

Als Politiker sind mir die Schwierigkeiten, die die EU mit der Erweiterung hat, durchaus bewußt. Ich bin einverstanden damit, daß Europa nach der Erweiterung um zehn Staaten, zu denen jetzt noch Bulgarien und Rumänien kommen, eine Pause benötigt. Aber angesichts dessen, daß Europa den Frieden erhalten muß, glaube ich, daß die nächste Priorität der westliche Balkan ist. Die Politiker dieser Region müssen verstehen, daß die europäischen Standards im Minderheitenschutz, die Ablehnung des Extremismus und die regionale Zusammenarbeit für ihre europäische Integration notwendig sind. Europa wird nicht sicher sein, solange der westliche Balkan nicht nach den europäischen Standards integriert ist.

Und die Türkei? Und die Ukraine?

Wir sind mit der Türkei befreundet. Wir haben ein Interesse daran, daß die EU von einem Sicherheitsgürtel umgeben ist, der die Ukraine umfaßt und eine Türkei, die in den europäischen Raum eingebracht werden könnte. Der Beschluß, im Oktober die Beitrittsverhandlungen mit der Türkei zu beginnen, ist eine gute Lösung. Aber die Geschwindigkeit der Integration dieser beiden großen Länder, der Ukraine und der Türkei, hängt auch von der Aufnahmefähigkeit der Europäischen Union ab.

Was halten Sie von dem Vorschlag einer privilegierten Partnerschaft für diese Länder, um die Stabilität zu fördern, aber die Erweiterungsfähigkeit der Union nicht zu überfordern?

Ich glaube, daß das gegenwärtig ein guter Kompromiß wäre, sowohl für die EU als auch für die Türkei und die Ukraine. Er würde die beiden Länder nicht abschrecken, und die Union würde Zeit gewinnen, um sich über die weitere Integration klar zu werden. Ich halte es für sehr wichtig, daß man diesen Ländern nicht kategorisch nein sagt. Europa braucht Zeit für Lösungen, und diese Länder brauchen Zeit, um sich auf die Integration vorzubereiten.

Das Europa der Fünfzehn ist um Deutschland und Frankreich herumgebaut worden, die beiden waren der Motor. Glauben Sie, daß dieser Motor ausreicht, um ein Europa mit 25 oder 27 Mitgliedern voranzubringen?

Die EU der 15 hatte einen Motor für 15, für 27 braucht es einen größeren Motor.

Kann eine größere EU ohne Verfassungsvertrag existieren, mit Entscheidungen, die zum nicht geringen Teil noch immer einstimmig gefaßt werden müssen?

Ganz sicher nicht. Ein in seinen Entscheidungen schwerfälliges Europa verliert an Glaubwürdigkeit vor seinen Völkern. Ein Europa ohne Verfassung bleibt letztlich eine Freihandelszone, eine politische Union braucht eine Verfassung, und die Friedenssicherung braucht die politische Union.

Die vorgeschlagene Verfassung ist allerdings gescheitert. Was nun?

Die Verfassung ist noch nicht gescheitert. Ich bin überzeugt, daß Europa noch eine Lösung finden wird. Sicherlich, es gab die beiden negativen Volksabstimmungen. Nun müssen die Politiker, nicht nur dieser beiden Länder, den Bürgern die Notwendigkeit einer solchen Verfassung erklären. Schlechte Information war ein Grund der Ablehnung. Den Bürgern müssen auch die Nachteile erklärt werden, die aus der Ablehnung der Verfassung erwachsen.

Glauben Sie, daß die Europäische Union besser funktionieren würde, wenn es eine abgestufte Integration gäbe, also mehrere - enger und weiter gezogene - Kreise der Zusammenarbeit?

Das wäre ein Fehler, nur ein vereintes Europa kann der Globalisierung standhalten. Alles andere wäre eine halbe Lösung, wäre komplizierter, würde einen Bruch innerhalb der Union herbeiführen und die Integration bremsen. Wenn es einmal ein vereintes Europa gibt, wäre eine solche gruppenweise Zusammenarbeit nach bestimmten Verantwortlichkeiten allerdings möglich.

Sehen Sie für Rumänien eine besondere Rolle oder gar eine Mission in der Europäischen Union?

Der Fläche und der Einwohnerzahl nach steht Rumänien in Europa an siebenter Stelle. Es muß die Aufgaben eines Landes bewältigen, das sich an den Grenzen der Union befindet und für sie diese Grenzen sichert. Nach Finnland haben wir die zweitlängste Grenze mit Staaten außerhalb der EU, nämlich 2050 Kilometer. Wir haben die Pflicht, gute Nachbarschaftspolitik zu betreiben, weil dies Sicherheit für ganz Europa bedeutet. Wir können ein guter Handelspartner sein und ein gutes Beispiel sowohl für die Länder des westlichen Balkans als auch für die Ukraine, Georgien und - warum auch nicht - die Russische Föderation. Die Streitkräfte unseres Landes wurden modernisiert und werden weltweit in verschiedenen Krisenregionen eingesetzt, vom westlichen Balkan bis nach Afghanistan.


Das Gespräch führten Günther Nonnenmacher und Karl-Peter Schwarz.

Text: F.A.Z., 06.07.2005, Nr. 154 / Seite 5
Bildmaterial: picture-alliance/ dpa/dpaweb


interviste shume interesante





Por sot, Shqypni, pa m´thuej si je?

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burimuji

Postuar mė 21-12-2005 nė 11:42 Edit Post Reply With Quote
Merkel - Vizionare e Radhes

Metropol, 21 Dhjetor

Një klub brenda klubit
FRANK DOHMEN

E ardhmja e Bashkimit Evropian

Evropa ia doli të arrijë një marrëveshje për buxhetin. Por pyetje më të rëndësishme kanë mbetur pa përgjigje. Një klub evropian me 25 vende ka rezultuar shumë i ngathët. Zgjidhje mund të jetë krijimi i një bërthame të BE

Nga njëri cep i BE, në tjetrin, mund të ndiesh një psherëtimë çlirimi – nga bregu i Portugalisë, deri në Sllovaki. Të shtunën në mëngjes, 25 krerët e qeverive, të mbledhur në samitin e BE në Bruksel, deklaruan më së fundi se kishin arritur një marrëveshje për buxhetin e klubit për vitet 2007-2013. Në shtatë vitet e ardhshëm, BE do të shpenzojë afro 862 miliardë euro – ose 1.045 për qind e ekonomisë së vendeve të BE të marra së bashku. Financat e grupit janë tashmë të sigurta.

Por, kjo ishte gjithë sa ndodhi. Reformës së buxhetit, duke përfshirë subvencioneve për bujqësinë, do t’i duhet të presë deri në 2014. Në marrëveshjen finale nuk gjen kërrkund një strategji ekonomike të përbashkët për 25 shtetet anëtare. Zgjerimi i mëtejshëm mbetet tërësisht i diskutueshëm. Një politikë e përbashkët sigurie dhe mbrojtjeje është vite drite larg. Dhe kushtetuta evropiane? Harrojeni!

Prej muajsh, BE ka rrëshqitur nga një humbje në tjetrën. Dhe është një prirje që nuk ka gjasa të ndryshojë, të paktën së afërmi. Gjë që i ka dhënë edhe më shumë besueshmëri një ideje, e cila prej kohësh sillet vërdallë në korridoret e Brukselit: asaj të krijimit të një klubi brenda klubit evropian. Krerët e atyre shteteve që kanë qenë më gjatë në BE ndiejnë se – duke punuar së bashku – mund ta nxjerrin Evropën nga kriza e saj aktuale.

Një bllokim thuajse i pashpresë

Sipas kësaj ideje, disa vende që janë bërthamë e BE, do të ndërmerrnin të vetëm hapin e radhës drejt të ardhmes evropiane – pra t’i dorëzojnë BE-së kontrollin e politikave të tyre të jashtme dhe të sigurisë. Ose ndoshta grupi i ri do të nxirrte ligje të përbashkët për norma sociale, apo një kod të unifikuar taksash. Në fakt, Kryeministri belg, Verhofstadt, beson se një strategji e tillë është e vetmja shpresë që ka mbetur për të zhbllokuar BE.

Në të vërtetë, Verhofstadt ka nxjerrë një “manifest”, në të cilin përshkruhet se si do të ngjante një “Evropë e re” sipas kësaj ideje. Bërthamë e një Evrope të tillë do të ishin një grup i vogël shtetesh – një lloj “Shtete të Bashkuara të Evropës” – të lidhur ngushtë. Ato vende që janë dyshues ndaj një rreshtimi të tillë do të formonin një aleancë më pak të lidhur përreth grupit në bërthamë. “Organizata e Shteteve të Evropës”, siç e ka pagëzuar Verhofstadt. Ky i fundit ka nisur ta thotë disi me zë të lartë idenë dhe tashmë ia ka parashtruar Presidentit të Francës, Zhak Shirak dhe Kancelares së Gjermanisë, Anxhela Merkel. Ata kanë treguar interes. Në fund të fundit, problemet me të cilat përballet Evropa sot nuk përbëjnë aspak sekret.

Që nga maji 2004, kur Bashkimit Evropian iu shtuan dhjetë vende, klubi është bërë shumë i ngathët. Ndërkohë që përpara zgjerimit, ekzistonte një konsensus themelor për atë që BE ishte dhe në cilin drejtim duhej të shkonte, tashmë mbretëron një kaos në dukje i pashpresë. Shtete si Polonia apo Republika Çeke, të cilat deri në 1989 kontrolloheshin nga diktatorë komunistë, tregojnë shumë pak interes në dorëzimin e sovranitetit të tyre në institucionet e Bashkimit Evropian. Ato janë treguar sidomos jo të gatshme në pranimin e një politike të përbashkët për sigurinë dhe mbrojtjen.

Çfarë lloj Evrope?

Dallime thelbësore ekzistojnë gjithashtu sa i përket pranimeve të mëtejshme. Ndërkohë që Gjrmania dhe Franca janë shprehur të shqetësuara lidhur me aftësinë e klubit për të integruar edhe më shumë anëtarë – dhe që, të dyja janë skeptike për anëtarësimin e Turqisë – vendet evropianolindore së bashku me Britaninë e Madhe duan të vazhdojnë me këto ritme procesin e zgjerimit.

Edhe kur flitet për çështja të tilla si ekonomia, apo si duhet të luftohet papunësia, BE është e ndarë. Në vend që të bashkohet, për të sfiduar superioritetin ekonomik të Shteteve të Bashkuara, apo energjinë ekonomike në rritje të Kinës, Evropa zgjedh të grindet lidhur me modelin e saktë. Nga njëra anë janë vende si Britania dhe disa shtete skandinave. Ato kanë prirje ta shohin BE një entitet që është pak më shumë se një zonë e tregtisë së lirë dhe pjesën tjetër dëshirojnë t’ia lënë “tekave” të tregut të lirë. Nga ana tjetër, janë vende si Franca, Gjermania, Belgjika apo Luksemburgu. Ato dëshirojnë të mbrojnë standardet e larta sociale të Bashkimit Evropian dhe të mbrojnë qytetarët e tyre nga globalizimi, sa më shumë që të jetë e mundur.

Mekanizmat për eliminimin e dallimeve të pafundme në opinione ende mungojnë. Kushtetuta evropiane do të kishte ofruar mjete të tilla. Ndërkohë, dështimi i saj nënkupton që BE ka ende nevojë për unanimitet për të marrë vendime në çështje thelbësore.

Duhet të merret një vendim fondamental lidhur me pyetjen “çfarë Evrope duam”, u tha javën e kaluar ministrave të Jashtëm të BE, ministri i Jashtëm i Francës, Douste-Blazy. Por si duhet të bëhet kjo? Tashmë, siç thotë Verhofstadt, “Evropa nuk është më një grup homogjen”.

Eurozona si model

Dhe në fakt, modeli i Verhofstadt për një bërthamë të BE tashmë ekziston: eurozona e monedhës së përbashkët. 12 vende brenda BE ia kanë dorëzuar tashmë drejtimin e politikës monetare, Bankës Qendrore Evropiane. Kur takohen ministrat e Financave të BE, 12 ministrat e eurozonës zhvillojnë bisedime përpara se të takohen me 13 kolegët vendet e të cilëve nuk e kanë adoptuar euron.

Në këtë parambledhje, merren vendimet më të rëndësishme për eurozonën – pikërisht në klubin e pararojës. Dhe ky është një model i cili mund të transferohet pa problem në fusha të tjera. Kjo është një ide që është lançuar nga Franca dhe e cila është pranuar deri në një farë mase. Tashmë, samiti i parë i udhëheqësve të eurogrupit është planifikuar për në 2006.

Por kjo nuk mund të vijë kaq shpejt, sipas Kryeministrit të Luksemburgut, Juncker. Ky i fundit, i cili është gjithashtu ministër i Financave të vendit të tij, drejton eurogrupin, mendon se modeli ka goxha të mira, por ndien që ideja ka nevojë për më shumë kohë që të piqet. Jo përpara vitit 2007, thotë ai.

Në 2007, me shumë gjasa, Zhak Shirak do të dalë në pension prej votave të shtetasve të tij. Kancelarja Merkel, nga ana tjetër, sapo do të ketë marrë presidencën e BE – për gjashtë muajt e parë, do të jetë radha e Gjermanisë të drejtojë. Merkel, që tashmë shihet si ylli i ri i Evropës pas marrëveshjes së fundjavës lidhur me buxhetin e Bashkimit Evropian, do të ketë në dorë një shans të madh për të siguruar trashëgiminë e saj evropiane. Ajo mund ta transformojë eurogrupin në një bërthamë të re, solide, të Evropës së Bashkuar.

Der Spiegel

Dy qëndrime

Nga njëra anë janë vende si Britania dhe disa shtete skandinave. Ato kanë prirje ta shohin BE një entitet që është pak më shumë se një zonë e tregtisë së lirë dhe pjesën tjetër dëshirojnë t’ia lënë “tekave” të tregut të lirë. Nga ana tjetër, janë vende si Franca, Gjermania, Belgjika apo Luksemburgu. Ato dëshirojnë të mbrojnë standardet e larta sociale të Bashkimit Evropian dhe të mbrojnë qytetarët e tyre nga globalizimi, sa më shumë që të jetë e mundur.

Mekanizmat për eliminimin e dallimeve të pafundme në opinione ende mungojnë. Kushtetuta evropiane do të kishte ofruar mjete të tilla. Ndërkohë, dështimi i saj nënkupton që BE ka ende nevojë për unanimitet për të marrë vendime në çështje thelbësore.

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