Tag Archives: UK

Joining the party

8 Sep


But who will be invited?

Despite frustrations and apparent increasing scepticism within its own borders, EU membership still holds significant attractions for some.

  • On Sunday, Turkey holds a referendum on constitutional reform. The outcome could have a significant bearing on whether its bid to join the EU receives a major boost. As part of the reforms the country’s Prime Minister wants to restructure the judiciary and limit the power of the army – something that would go down well here in Brussels. Opinion polls put the result currently neck and neck.
  • And in Croatia, a country much further along the road to EU accession, the government has set about privatising its shipyards. At the moment, the state pays huge subsidies to the yards, which is contrary to EU competition rules.
  • Meanwhile Iceland, which seemed determined to join the EU at the height of the economic crisis, appears to be getting cold feet. Iceland wants to be able to catch more mackerel than EU quotas would allow and public opinion appears to be heading towards opposition to membership. Four Icelandic MPs this week called for a parliamentary vote against joining the EU.
  • Over in the UK this morning a Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, has launched his bid for a referendum in Britain on a straight-forward question about the EU: In or Out?

It’s a question being asked by some on the inside looking out and on the outside looking in.

EU wields its big stick

28 Jun
Court of Justice of the European Union

EU Court of Justice: Are they still awake?

Four countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Greece – are being taken to the European Court of Justice for not introducing European law.

Belgium hasn’t introduced the law on what to do with old vehicles, Luxembourg has not brought in clean drinking water legislation, Germany has not made rules on the access and use of certain environmental data and Greece hasn’t brought in Euro-legislation on landfill.

Meanwhile Portugal has been given two months to make sure that two significant building developments in a protected coastal area which have been planning permission do not break environment rules. Otherwise it too could be taken to court.

And all but seven countries – including the UK – have been warned they haven’t brought in European legislation aimed at liberalising the gas and electricity market.

And if they don’t – yes, you’ve guessed it, they will be taken to court.

Behind all the smiles at governmental level, Brussels is increasingly using its power to crack down on countries that break the rules.

See you in court.

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