Introduction

The EU in 2009 – a reassuring outlook even in times of crisis?

In the sec­ond half of 2008 the Euro­pean Union has been faced by many crises: the ‘rat­i­fi­ca­tion’ cri­sis, the ‘Geor­gian’ cri­sis, and last but by no means least, the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis. These crises touch the insti­tu­tion­al archi­tec­ture and the future shape of the EU, its neigh­bour­hood and exter­nal rela­tions, and the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic poli­cies with­in the EU. Dur­ing these ‘hard’ times, one of the found­ing mem­bers of the EU was hold­ing the pres­i­den­cy of the EU – and some say luck­i­ly so.

In this last issue of EU-27 Watch with­in the life­time of EU-CONSENT, all those issues are dealt with and a prospect for 2009 is giv­en, a year that might well be a year of oppor­tu­ni­ties but also of uncertainties:

  • the future of the EU after the Irish ‘No’,
  • the pri­or­i­ties for transat­lantic rela­tions after Pres­i­dent Bush,
  • the EU response to the finan­cial cri­sis and the chal­lenges of glob­al governance,
  • the eval­u­a­tion of the French Pres­i­den­cy and expec­ta­tions for the Czech Presidency,
  • prospects for Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy and enlarge­ment after ‘Geor­gia’, and
  • oth­er cur­rent nation­al issues.

As in the oth­er issues of EU-27 Watch, the coun­try reports give a unique snap­shot of dis­cours­es and debates on those top­ics in all 27 mem­ber states as well as in Croa­t­ia and Turkey.

What becomes obvi­ous when dip­ping into the reports is that while there is con­sen­sus on some of the issues, there is also a lot of het­ero­gene­ity. This may not be too sur­pris­ing giv­en the dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences, eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions of the 27 mem­ber states, and the two can­di­date states.[1]

Future of the EU: waiting for the second Irish referendum

With regard to the future of the EU after the Irish ‘No’, most mem­ber states seem to be sat­is­fied with the agree­ment reached at the Euro­pean Coun­cil meet­ing in Decem­ber 2008: Ire­land has got some con­ces­sions and agreed, in exchange, to hold a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum, prob­a­bly in autumn 2009. These con­ces­sions include spe­cial arrange­ments regard­ing sen­si­tive areas where Ireland’s neu­tral­i­ty could be touched upon such as tax­a­tion pol­i­cy, fam­i­ly, social and eth­i­cal issues, and Com­mon Secu­ri­ty and Defence Policy.[2] The fur­ther con­ces­sion, the agree­ment to keep the prin­ci­ple of ‘one Com­mis­sion­er per mem­ber state’, has been the most con­tro­ver­sial. While some gov­ern­ments wel­comed the fact that all coun­tries will keep ‘their’ Commissioner,[3] espe­cial­ly the Benelux coun­tries deplored the keep­ing of this prin­ci­ple as a “step back”[4] with regard to the supra­na­tion­al char­ac­ter of the Euro­pean Commission.[5] The Bel­gian Prime Min­is­ter empha­sised that the rat­i­fi­ca­tion “should not take place at the expense of the treaty’s essen­tial elements”.[6] Some media were even less enthu­si­as­tic, for exam­ple, an Ital­ian ana­lyst point­ed out, “quot­ing a pop­u­lar phrase by opera singer Maria Callas, ‘once you start mak­ing too many con­ces­sions, you’ll nev­er be able to stop, since peo­ple will expect you to do so automatically’“.[7]

Regard­ing Turkey and Croa­t­ia, the lat­ter seems to be quite opti­mistic about the acces­sion process com­menc­ing as planned, where­as Turkey fears that enlarge­ment is cur­rent­ly not among the EU’s main priorities.[8]

Oth­er insti­tu­tion­al issues influ­enced by the still unclear future of the Lis­bon Treaty, e.g. the for­ma­tion of the next Com­mis­sion, or the ‘per­son­al tableau’ (Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive), so far have not received much pub­lic atten­tion besides first spec­u­la­tions about pos­si­ble candidates.[9]

Inter­est in the upcom­ing Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions in June 2009 varies sig­nif­i­cant­ly through­out Europe – from high expec­ta­tions and sup­port in some new mem­ber states, for instance Cyprus and Poland, to dis­il­lu­sion in oth­er mem­ber states, such as Fin­land and Bel­gium. As stat­ed in the French report, regard­ing vot­er par­tic­i­pa­tion and pub­lic atten­tion, “one should not expect a mir­a­cle for the next elections”.[10] Con­trary to this, in Poland the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment is seen as “a seri­ous, demo­c­ra­t­ic institution”[11] and no con­cerns are men­tioned regard­ing the turnout of the election.

Transatlantic relations: high expectations and hopes for more multilateral relations

The elec­tion of Barack Oba­ma as 44th Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States in Novem­ber 2008 was warm­ly wel­comed all over Europe. The new US admin­is­tra­tion is wide­ly believed to pro­vide an oppor­tu­ni­ty to re-define or revi­talise EU-US rela­tions and also bilat­er­al rela­tions with the US. The fol­low­ing areas were men­tioned in most of the coun­try reports to be of top pri­or­i­ty in this con­text: region­al con­flicts (Afghanistan, Iraq, Mid­dle East), ener­gy and cli­mate poli­cies, and the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis. In gen­er­al, there seems to be a wish for a shift from uni­lat­er­al­ism or bilat­er­al­ism, to mul­ti­lat­er­al transat­lantic rela­tions on a more equal foot­ing. But despite all the enthu­si­asm and opti­mism con­cern­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s elec­tion, Euro­peans also have to be aware, as the Por­tuguese report put it in a nut­shell, that “no mat­ter how much Oba­ma was acclaimed as the ‘can­di­date of the Euro­peans’ he will be the ‘Amer­i­can President’”.[12]

What is under­lined in most reports as well is that the EU will also have to become more active at the glob­al lev­el. As sum­marised by a French jour­nal­ist, Flo­rence Autret, “on all these issues (diplo­ma­cy, econ­o­my or envi­ron­ment) the elec­tion of Barack Oba­ma will place Europe face to face with its own responsibilities”.[13] Most crit­i­cised in this con­text is the inabil­i­ty of Europe to speak with “one voice”[14] and, for exam­ple not­ed in the Bul­gar­i­an report, the focus of the EU on inter­nal prob­lems. Com­mis­sion­er for Exter­nal Rela­tions Beni­ta, Fer­rero-Wald­ner, also empha­sised that Europe would not get a bet­ter part­ner­ship for free.[15]

The financial and economic crisis – the EU response

Dur­ing 2008, the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis crossed the Atlantic and final­ly reached the Euro­pean con­ti­nent in the sec­ond semes­ter of the year. But, as the reports clear­ly show, the 29 nation­al economies have been hit quite dif­fer­ent­ly. Some finan­cial sys­tems like Denmark’s or Luxembourg’s came ear­ly under strong pressure,[16] while oth­er, for exam­ple Croatia’s,[17] still stand strong. In the real econ­o­my the con­se­quences diverge as well among the report­ing coun­tries. For exam­ple, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion expects a 29 times high­er eco­nom­ic growth than the Euro­zone aver­age for Cyprus.[18] While some of the gov­ern­ments and soci­eties have to strug­gle hard with the eco­nom­ic downturn,[19] oth­er gov­ern­ments could pre­pare mea­sures against the approach­ing recession.[20] That pro­voked indi­vid­ual reac­tions of the mem­ber states at first. This is wide­ly dis­cussed in the reports. Some crit­i­cise “the lack of an answer from the EU at the beginning”,[21] as it is report­ed from the Bel­gian Prime Min­is­ter, while oth­ers, e.g. the Lithuan­ian gov­ern­ment, empha­sise that “every state should take in to account its own sit­u­a­tion before choos­ing con­crete actions”.[22]

In sum­mer 2008, politi­cians were main­ly con­cerned with seek­ing “a tan­gi­ble response to tur­bu­lence on finan­cial markets”,[23] as the agen­da of the French Pres­i­den­cy showed. This search­ing process became con­struc­tive dur­ing a series of sum­mits start­ing with a meet­ing of the four Euro­pean G8 mem­ber states – France, Ger­many, Italy, and the Unit­ed King­dom – on 4 Octo­ber 2008,[24] fol­lowed by the Eco­nom­ic and Finan­cial Affairs Coun­cil on 7 Octo­ber 2008,[25] and the first meet­ing of the heads of state and gov­ern­ment of the Euro­zone mem­ber states and the British Prime Min­is­ter on 12 Octo­ber 2008.[26] Final­ly the Euro­pean Coun­cil on 15 and 16 Octo­ber 2008 endorsed, among oth­er mea­sures, the prin­ci­ples the Euro­zone mem­ber states had pre­vi­ous­ly agreed on. As the con­se­quences for the real econ­o­my had already become more obvi­ous, the Euro­pean Coun­cil invit­ed “the Com­mis­sion to make appro­pri­ate pro­pos­als” “to sup­port growth and employment”.[27] After a first com­mu­ni­ca­tion on 29 Octo­ber 2008[28], the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pub­lished “A Euro­pean Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery Plan” on 26 Novem­ber 2008.[29] In line with this com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the Euro­pean Coun­cil on 11 and 12 Decem­ber agreed on the “Euro­pean Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery Plan”.[30]

Whether these ini­tia­tives are an ade­quate response to the eco­nom­ic chal­lenges and why the Euro­pean Union act­ed as it did, is con­tro­ver­sial­ly debat­ed in the coun­try reports. The eval­u­a­tions cov­er the whole spec­trum from being “right and very ambitious”,[31] as the for­mer Aus­tri­an Chan­cel­lor is quot­ed, to regard­ing the Euro­pean Eco­nom­ic and Recov­ery Plan as the best proof that the Euro­pean Union is insti­tu­tion­al­ly not able to “have a sin­gle strategy”.[32] The con­tro­ver­sy about con­crete mea­sures is even stronger: Should the mem­ber states stick to the Sta­bil­i­ty and Growth Pact? Are pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures jus­ti­fied? Does Europe need an eco­nom­ic gov­ern­ment? But on one point almost all reports agree: The Euro is a fac­tor of sta­bil­i­ty and the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s cri­sis man­age­ment was effi­cient. Thus, some spec­u­la­tions about coun­tries join­ing the Euro­zone are made. Just one coun­try seems to be immune against such ideas: the Unit­ed Kingdom.[33]

Regard­ing the glob­al stage, the cur­rent cri­sis is regard­ed “as a time of change in the glob­al architecture”.[34] Con­cern­ing the direc­tion of change, there is a broad con­sen­sus among the report­ing coun­tries that the world will become much more mul­ti-polar and the so called ‘ris­ing pow­ers’ will enter the polit­i­cal stage. Just about the time frame when this will take place, dis­agree­ment is found in the reports: The Hun­gar­i­an report e.g. express­es the expec­ta­tion of change in the “near future”,[35] while oth­ers regard a decade[36] as being a real­is­tic time frame.

Praise for efficient French crisis handling, mixed expectations for Czech Presidency

The French Pres­i­den­cy was regard­ed as a high­ly suc­cess­ful one by most mem­ber states, espe­cial­ly prais­ing its effi­cient deci­sion-mak­ing and its abil­i­ty to rep­re­sent the EU as a strong unity.[37] Some,[38] though, crit­i­cised the ‘Sarko show’ for being too per­son­i­fied and omnipresent, and small­er mem­ber states felt espe­cial­ly ignored and left out. These mixed feel­ings were rein­forced by Pres­i­dent Sarkozy’s speech to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, when he stat­ed that “larg­er Euro­pean coun­tries do not have spe­cial duties, but they do have spe­cial responsibilities”.[39] The Czech report also stress­es crit­i­cal­ly that “Sarkozy’s glam­our and ener­gy seemed to over­shad­ow occa­sion­al reports about logis­ti­cal prob­lems and orga­ni­za­tion­al chaos”.[40] Yet, the main results: road map for the fur­ther rat­i­fi­ca­tion process, ener­gy and cli­mate pack­age, deal­ing with the Geor­gian and finan­cial cri­sis, were wel­comed. Also, the Union for the Mediter­ranean – a mat­ter of spe­cif­ic impor­tance for the French Pres­i­dent – per­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back espe­cial­ly in South­ern mem­ber states, such as Cyprus, Mal­ta and Italy.[41] Fur­ther­more, the Ener­gy and Cli­mate Pack­age was strong­ly sup­port­ed and warm­ly wel­comed. For instance in Swe­den and Den­mark it is per­ceived as a cru­cial basis for the Unit­ed Nations Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Copenhagen.[42] Nev­er­the­less, among oth­ers, the Finnish Mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Satu Has­si, crit­i­cal­ly remarked that “the EU copped out and gave too many con­ces­sions to the indus­tries’ lobbying”.[43]

While most agree with the impor­tance of the Czech Presidency’s pri­or­i­ties (the so called three E’s – Econ­o­my, Ener­gy and Europe in the World[44]), some mem­ber states[45] are con­cerned because of the euroscep­tic Czech Pres­i­dent, Vaclav Klaus. Espe­cial­ly his state­ment that peo­ple like Sarkozy harm Europe and tram­ple the basic idea of Europe because they do not respect diver­si­ty and plu­ral­i­ty of ideas, over­shad­owed rela­tions between Brus­sels and Prague.[46] How­ev­er, espe­cial­ly new mem­ber states, for exam­ple Poland, are look­ing for­ward to the per­for­mance of the Czech Pres­i­den­cy, see­ing it as a bench­mark for their future pres­i­den­cies. Despite some Euro­pean-wide scep­ti­cism, Ger­man experts also esti­mate that “a smoother Czech EU-Pres­i­den­cy is a nec­es­sary change to the stress­ful last six months of the French predecessors”.[47]

These eval­u­a­tions in the coun­try reports bring to mind dis­cus­sions over whether big found­ing mem­ber states, like France, are on prin­ci­ple more capa­ble of rep­re­sent­ing the EU at the inter­na­tion­al lev­el and bro­ker­ing agree­ments than small­er and new­er mem­ber states.

Repercussions of the ‘Georgian’ crisis

The Geor­gian cri­sis under­lined once more the impor­tance of sta­bil­i­ty and peace in the EU’s neigh­bour­hood. While most mem­ber states were high­ly sat­is­fied with the com­mon EU response to this cri­sis, the con­se­quences for the future strate­gic goals of the Euro­pean Neigh­bour­hood Pol­i­cy (ENP) and enlarge­ment seem to be far from clear.

While some mem­ber states, like Hun­gary and Lithua­nia, empha­sised espe­cial­ly the impor­tance of the East­ern Part­ner­ship, oth­ers like Latvia high­light­ed the impor­tance of offer­ing a mem­ber­ship per­spec­tive for the West­ern Balkan coun­tries, or the need for an “open door” pol­i­cy of the EU, as stat­ed for exam­ple in the Lithuan­ian report.

Look­ing into the reports, it can be observed that dis­cus­sions about ENP seem to be of high­er salience in East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries. The focus of many of these new­er mem­ber states lies first and fore­most on guar­an­tee­ing secu­ri­ty, a state­ment empha­sised by the Roman­ian Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs describ­ing the ENP as “instru­ments that we have at our dis­pos­al for pur­su­ing our secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy in the neighbourhood”.[48] Over­all, despite the lack of clear strate­gic goals, it seems that the ENP is wide­ly regard­ed as an impor­tant instru­ment to cre­ate a “ring of pros­per­ous and demo­c­ra­t­ic neighbours”.[49]

Anoth­er issue of high impor­tance are rela­tions with Rus­sia – a top­ic that has been dis­cussed very con­tro­ver­sial­ly in the reports. While the Ger­man and Lux­em­bourg Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs Frank-Wal­ter Stein­meier and Jean Assel­born cau­tion against the iso­la­tion of Russia,[50] oth­er mem­ber states, for exam­ple Esto­nia, showed con­cerns about Rus­sia being treat­ed too priv­i­leged by stat­ing that “Europe has not giv­en its neigh­bours the same priv­i­leges as have been giv­en to Russia”.[51] Con­cern­ing NATO enlarge­ment, no Euro­pean strat­e­gy could be observed. Some com­mon ground was found con­cern­ing the need for sta­bil­is­ing con­flicts between Rus­sia and Geor­gia as well as Ukraine – with or with­out an enlarge­ment per­spec­tive for the latter.

Financial crisis, energy security, and climate change high on national agendas

The oth­er issues cur­rent­ly on nation­al agen­das show a pic­ture of diverse nation­al topics/events and com­mon chal­lenges. Besides inter­nal prob­lems like cor­rup­tion scan­dals, all Euro­pean coun­tries are cur­rent­ly deal­ing with the con­se­quences of the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis. Fur­ther­more, the threat posed by the gas con­flict between Ukraine and Rus­sia, revi­talised the dis­cus­sions about secur­ing ener­gy sup­ply. Through­out Europe the fight against cli­mate change seems to be an issue of high salience. The con­se­quences of ille­gal immi­gra­tion is an urgent top­ic espe­cial­ly in, among oth­ers, Italy and Mal­ta. Besides those Europe-wide con­cerns, excep­tion­al inter­nal events have tak­en place for instance, in Bel­gium, where the gov­ern­ment resigned after a scan­dal in the twi­light of the finan­cial cri­sis. Also, Latvia is sin­cere­ly suf­fer­ing from a loss of con­fi­dence in the nation­al gov­ern­ment, par­lia­ment and polit­i­cal parties.[52] Fur­ther­more, as cov­ered by inter­na­tion­al media, Greece was hit by a wave of mass protests after the death of a 15-year-old, while Ger­many is cel­e­brat­ing the 20-years-anniver­sary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Outlook

Over­all, what can be deduced from the coun­try reports is that while the mem­ber states and the EU face many chal­lenges, the gen­er­al mood seems not to be too pes­simistic. As men­tioned in the Bul­gar­i­an report, a cri­sis can also be seen as a chance.[53] Thus, although at the begin­ning of 2009 there are still many uncer­tain­ties ahead, there might also be some oppor­tu­ni­ties lying ahead.

In addi­tion, the French Pres­i­den­cy also demon­strat­ed the abil­i­ty of the EU to reach results and effec­tive pol­i­cy mak­ing in ‘vital’/popular areas such as ener­gy, cli­mate, immi­gra­tion, etc., even in time of crisis.

What is reas­sur­ing is that almost four years after the French and Dutch ‘No’ to the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Treaty, the mem­ber states and the EU are still capa­ble of pol­i­cy-mak­ing, estab­lish­ing new ‘Euro­pean’ poli­cies (e.g. ener­gy pol­i­cy), and deal­ing with cur­rent crises and chal­lenges despite the increased inter­nal het­ero­gene­ity after the ‘big bang’ enlarge­ment in 2004/2007.

 

 

 

[1] See also Bar­bara Lippert/Timo Goos­mann: Intro­duc­tion: A por­trait of the Union in a puz­zling state of mind, in: Insti­tut für Europäis­che Poli­tik (Ed.): EU-25 Watch, No. 2, Jan­u­ary 2006, Berlin, avail­able at: http://www.iep-berlin.de/fileadmin/website/09_Publikationen/EU_Watch/EU-25_Watch-No2.pdf (last access: 19 March 2009), pp. 8–17.
[2] For fur­ther details see Con­clu­sions of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, avail­able at: http://www.eu2008.fr/webdav/site/PFUE/shared/import/1211_Conseil_europeen/European_Council_12-12–2008_Conclusions_EN.pdf (last access: 17 March 2009).
[3] Men­tioned, for instance in the Aus­tri­an, French, or Sloven­ian chap­ters on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[4] Bel­gian chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[5] See the Bel­gian, Dutch and Lux­em­burg chap­ters on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[6] Quo­ta­tion is tak­en from the Bel­gian chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[7] Quo­ta­tion is tak­en from the Ital­ian chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[8] See Croa­t­ian and Turk­ish chap­ters on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[9] See, for instance, the Bul­gar­i­an, Czech, or Dutch chap­ters on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[10] French chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[11] Pol­ish chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).
[12] Por­tuguese chap­ter on transat­lantic rela­tions (chap­ter I.2).
[13] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the French chap­ter on transat­lantic rela­tions (chap­ter I.2).
[14] Men­tioned, for instance, in the Croa­t­ian, French, or Sloven­ian chap­ters on transat­lantic rela­tions (chap­ter I.2).
[15] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the Aus­tri­an chap­ter on transat­lantic rela­tions (chap­ter I.2).
[16] See the Dan­ish and Lux­em­bour­gian chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[17] See e.g. the Croa­t­ian, Cypri­ot and Czech chap­ters on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[18] See the Cypri­ot chap­ter and for oth­er coun­tries, expe­ri­enc­ing mod­est con­se­quences of the cri­sis in the real econ­o­my, e.g. the Czech and Finnish chap­ters on the on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[19] See e.g. the Dan­ish, Eston­ian, Greek, Lat­vian and Turk­ish chap­ters on the on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[20] See e.g. the Croa­t­ian chap­ter on the on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[21] See the Bel­gian chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[22] Lithuan­ian chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[23] Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union: Work Pro­gramme for the Coun­cil (Eco­nom­ic and Finan­cial Affairs), Doc. 11204/08, 27 June 2008, avail­able at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st11/st11204.en08.pdf (last access: 16 March 2009).
[24] See French Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy: Sum­mit on the inter­na­tion­al finan­cial cri­sis, 4 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.eu2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-10_2008/PFUE-04.10.2008/sommet_crise_financiere_internationale (last access: 16 March 2009).
[25] See Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union: 2894th Coun­cil meet­ing Eco­nom­ic and Finan­cial Affairs, press release, Doc. 13784/08 (Presse 279), 7 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/103250.pdf (last access: 16 March 2009).
[26] See French Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy: Sum­mit of the euro area coun­tries: dec­la­ra­tion on a con­cert­ed Euro­pean action plan of the euro area coun­tries, 12 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.eu2008.fr/PFUE/lang/en/accueil/PFUE-10_2008/PFUE-12.10.2008/sommet_pays_zone_euro_declaration_plan_action_concertee (last access: 16 March 2009); Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union: Sum­mit of the Euro Area coun­tries – Dec­la­ra­tion on a con­cert­ed Euro­pean Action Plan of the Euro Area coun­tries, Doc. 14239/08, 14 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/pdf/en/08/st14/st14239.en08.pdf (last access: 16 March 2009).
[27] Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union: Brus­sels Euro­pean Coun­cil 15 and 16 Octo­ber 2008. Pres­i­den­cy Con­clu­sions, Doc. 14368/08, 16 Octo­ber 2008, avail­able at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/103441.pdf (last access: 16 March 2009).
[28] Euro­pean Com­mis­sion: Com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Com­mis­sion to the Euro­pean Coun­cil. From finan­cial cri­sis to recov­ery: A Euro­pean frame­work for action, COM (2008) 706, avail­able at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0706:FIN:EN:PDF (last access: 16 March 2009).
[29] Euro­pean Com­mis­sion: Com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Com­mis­sion to the Euro­pean Coun­cil. A Euro­pean Eco­nom­ic Recov­ery Plan, COM (2008) 800, avail­able at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2008:0800:FIN:EN:PDF (last access: 16 March 2009).
[30] Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union: Brus­sels Euro­pean Coun­cil 11 and 12 Decem­ber 2008. Pres­i­den­cy Con­clu­sions, Doc. 17271/1/08, 13 Feb­ru­ary 2009, avail­able at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/104692.pdf (last access: 16 March 2009).
[31] See the Aus­tri­an chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[32] Hun­gar­i­an chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[33] See the British chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[34] Roman­ian chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[35] Hun­gar­i­an chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[36] See, e.g., the Ger­man chap­ter on the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance (chap­ter I.3).
[37] Men­tioned, for instance, in the Greek, Mal­tese, or Swedish chap­ters on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[38] Men­tioned for instance, in the Czech and Roman­ian chap­ters on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[39] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the Por­tuguese chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[40] Men­tioned in the Czech chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[41] Nev­er­the­less, the Cypri­ot report expressed con­cerns about the con­flict-resolv­ing role of the EU in the Mediter­ranean area, espe­cial­ly con­cern­ing its inabil­i­ty to solve the Cyprus conflict.
[42] See Dan­ish chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[43] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the Finnish chap­ter on cur­rent issues and dis­cours­es (chap­ter IV).
[44] See Work Pro­gramme and Pri­or­i­ties of the Czech EU Pres­i­den­cy, avail­able at: http://www.eu2009.cz/en/czech-presidency/programme-and-priorities/programme-and-priorities-479/ (last access: 19 March 2009).
[45] Men­tioned, for instance, in the British chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[46] Quo­ta­tion from the Czech chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[47] Ger­man chap­ter on the French Pres­i­den­cy (chap­ter II).
[48] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the Roman­ian chap­ter on the prospects for ENP and enlarge­ment after ‘Geor­gia’ (chap­ter III).
[49] Men­tioned in the Dutch chap­ter on the prospects for ENP and enlarge­ment after ‘Geor­gia’ (chap­ter III).
[50] Men­tioned in the Lux­em­bour­gian chap­ter on the prospects for ENP and enlarge­ment after ‘Geor­gia’ (chap­ter III).
[51] Quo­ta­tion tak­en from the Eston­ian chap­ter on the prospects for ENP and enlarge­ment after ‘Geor­gia’ (chap­ter III).
[52] See Lat­vian chap­ter on cur­rent issues and dis­cours­es (chap­ter IV).
[53] Men­tioned in the Bul­gar­i­an chap­ter on the future of the EU (chap­ter I.1).