сряда, 27 юли 2016 г.
понеделник, 25 юли 2016 г.
вторник, 12 юли 2016 г.
Theresa May: So, Brexit is Brexit! We have to make it a success!
Senior Civil Servant: Yes, Prime Minister!
TM: We need to start negotiations with the EU immediately and secure the best deal for the UK!
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister!
TM: And for that purpose we need to activate Art. 50 of the TEU, since the EU would not start negotiations without this step.
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! We definitely need to activate Art. 50 for the start of the negotiations, but you need to know that after that we will be out of the EU within two years regardless whether we manage to achieve the best possible deal or not. In fact, we are going to be out, even if we end up without any deal at all.
TM: Well, this is tricky then. We need to tread carefully and prepare the ground for the Brexit better. So maybe it is a good idea to delay the triggering of Art. 50 with, say, six months?
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister!
TM: And within that time we need to convince our EU partners in informal talks that it is better for them to allow us to stay in the Single Market without accepting the freedom of movement of people.
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! Although the EU already said that they are not going to have informal talks with us, especially on this issue.
TM: So what are we going to do during the six months then? It will be as if nothing happens at all, won’t it?
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! But on the other hand, people will think that we are making everything possible to secure a smooth transition to a new global role. Markets will be calmer. Pressures on the pound will probably ease.
TM: But what will happen when the six months expire and we have to notify the EU? Isn’t it possible to have then a real meltdown of the stock market and a massive devaluation of the pound?
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! It is very probable. Unless we agree very fast to have something like a Norwegian option, which will keep us in the Single Market. But then in practice everything will be pretty much the same indeed.
TM: Well, the difference will be that we are going to lose our voice in EU decision-making while continuing to contribute to its budget and observing its rules.
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! Right on the spot!
TM: But surely this would make us look like idiots!
SCS: Yes, Prime Minister! You nailed it, Prime Minister!
(to be continued)
неделя, 10 юли 2016 г.
Illiberal democracies, the Visegrad Group and future prospects for the EU
Expert workshop and publication on the growing divide between
Central European States, West Europe and the future of the EU
11 July 2016
Sala Jordi Maragall, CIDOB. Elisabets 12, 08001 Barcelona
Organised by: CIDOB in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the support of Europe for Citizens programme
The last few months have witnessed a growing divide between the central European states and the Germany-Brussels tandem. The refugee crisis has sparked bitter reactions among the governments of Hungary and Poland regarding Germany’s and the European Commission’s proposals to jointly tackle the crisis. In addition, the October elections in Poland gave the absolute majority to the Eurosceptic Law and Justice Party (PiS), who has joined up with Hungary’s Viktor Orbán to establish an alliance of “illiberal democracies”.
The growing divide between the Visegrad Group (the so-called V4, formed by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and the EU also happens at a time when the EU faces several threats of disintegration, including the effects of the Eurocrisis and the Brexit referendum. This group of countries continues to benefit from the EU’s contribution to their societies and economies (either in the form of structural or cohesion funds), yet their distance from the core of the Union keeps growing.
This workshop will be aimed at exploring the causes of this growing divide, the genealogy of the so-called East-West crisis in the EU, the politics of V4 countries –in particular Hungary and Poland- and the EU’s response to the political reforms initiated by Orbán and the PiS. To what extent is the fracture between East and West Europe here to stay? Is it only a matter of time until these countries elect more EU-friendly governments? What degree of internal opposition do they face? Is the alliance of the V4 strong enough to counterbalance Germany’s leadership? What are the consequences of Poland and Germany’s growing distance? What are the prospects for the resolution of EU crisis, particularly the refugee crisis?
09.15 Welcome remarks
Jordi Bacaria, Director, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs
Gero Maass, Delegate, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Spain
09.30 Session 1: An alliance of "illiberal democracies"? The political situation in V4 countries
When Viktor Orbán came to power in 2010, he pioneered the birth of Europe’s illiberalism. He introduced the constitutional reforms and limits to the freedom of press that would be later replicated by PiS in Poland. Illiberalism has been embraced by government parties but also faces even more populist threats by far-right parties like Jobbik. Despite divergences persist among V4 countries (for example regarding the relations with Russia), is an alliance taking shape around illiberalism? What is the relation of the forces in government with more extreme parties? What domestic political agenda have they put forward and what’s the likelihood of their survival?
Vladimír Bartovic, Director, Europeum Institute for European Policy, Czech Republic
András Bíró-Nagy, Co-director, Policy Solutions, Hungary
Katarzyna Szymielewicz, President, Foundation Panoptykon, Poland
11.00 Coffee Break
11.30 Session 2: The V4 and the refugee crisis
The refugee crisis has offered a new opportunity for EU-bashing to V4 countries. Their opposition to the relocation of refugees suggested by the European Commission and their opposition to Germany’s handling of the crisis has been the most prominent example of the formation of the V4 alliance. Anti-migrant rhetoric has gained ground in all of them. What is the criticism of V4 countries with regards to the refugee crisis? What is their alternative agenda? How has the V4 common voice and strategy been articulated? Is this common agenda signalling an expanding drift between East and West Europe?
Máté Szalai, Research Fellow, Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Vít Beneš, Research Fellow, Institute of International Relations, Czech Republic
Jarosław Kuisz, Editor in chief, Polish online weekly newspaper Kultura Liberalna
14.00 Session 3: Prospects for the EU and the European integration crisis
Trust in the EU is falling sharply in V4 countries. This reveals a broader malaise regarding the health of the European integration project and speaks about Europe’s accumulation of crises in the last few years. However, V4 countries continue to be net beneficiaries of EU funds and have witnessed a progressive consolidation of better living conditions since their accession to the EU. At the same time, there is a growing divide between Brussels and V4 capitals, especially since the European Commission started to investigate PiS-led reforms. Some observers even hinted at the possibility that the EU removes voting rights and funding to those countries legislating against European values. What does this divide tell us about the state of the European project? Is it possible to overcome? How can an ever more divided Europe face the multiple challenges it faces?
Chair: Pol Morillas, Research Fellow, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs
Josef Janning, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations, Germany
Daniel Smilov, Programme Director, Political and Legal Research, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria
Marek A. Cichocki, Research Director, Natolin European Centre, Poland
четвъртък, 7 юли 2016 г.
Historical and Museum Centre of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Day I: 6 July
9.00 - 9.30: Registration
9.30 - 10.20: Opening Remarks
Dr. Andriy Meleshevych, President of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
Serhiy Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine (TBC)
Dr. Magnus Ohman, Senior Political Finance Adviser and Regional Europe Office Director,
Kateryna Ryabiko, Project Co-ordinator, Strengthening Dialogue on the Human Dimension in Ukraine Project, OSCE/ODIHR
Prof. Richard Katz, Chair of the OSCE/ODIHR Core Group of Experts on Political Parties (video message)
10.20 – 11.00: In memory of Prof. Yuri Shveda: The importance of Political Parties in the XXI Century
Political Parties in Ukraine: A Crisis of Faith? - Sergii Leshchenko, Member of Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine
Political Parties as Gatekeepers of Democracy - Dr. Marcin Walecki, Head, Democratization Department, OSCE/ODIHR
Kateryna Ryabiko, Project Coordinator, Strengthening Dialogue in Human Dimension in Ukraine Project, OSCE/ODIHR
Svitlana Matvienko, Director of the Agency for Legislative Initiatives
11.00 – 11.05: Group Photo
11.05 – 11.30: Coffee Break & Press/Media Briefing
Session I: Political Parties and Elections
Dr. Magnus Ohman, Senior Political Finance Adviser and Regional Europe Office Director, IFES
Olga Aivazovska, Elections and Parliamentary Program Co-ordinator, OPORA
Serhii Kalchenko, Election Expert of the Venice Commission, Attorney, “Moor & Partners” Law Firm
Mary O'Hagan, Resident Senior Director, NDI Ukraine
Igor Kogut, Chief of Party, USAID Rada Project
Maria Vrabel, Programme Manager, ALI
13.00 - 14.00: Lunch
14.00 - 15.30: Session II: Political Party Financing I – Public funding to Political Parties and the newly introduced system in Ukraine
Nataliia Korchak, Head of the National Agency for Prevention of Corruption
Nataliia Vadimova, Head of Division of Control over Use of Funds, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
Prof. Daniel Smilov, Associate Professor at the Political Science Department, University of Sofia
Denys Kovryzhenko, Senior Legal Advisor, IFES–Ukraine
Dr. Fernando Casal Bertoa, Research Fellow, University of Nottingham
Dr. Marcin Walecki, Head, Democratization Department, OSCE/ODIHR
15.30 – 16.00: Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.30: Session III: Political Party Financing II – Effective Enforcement
Viktor Chumak, Member of Parliament, Ukraine
Dr. Viktor Taran, Director of the Centre for Political Studies and Analysis / ELDOS
Inga Jaunskunga, Head of the Division of Control of Political Parties financing, Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB), Latvia
Lisa Klein, IFES Senior Political Finance Expert
Laura Sanz-Levia, Administrator, Secretariat of the GRECO, Council of Europe
Yuliya Shypilova, Senior Project Officer, IFES-Ukraine
18.00 – 19.00: Reception
19.00 – 20.00: Evening Debate: What role for political parties today?