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  • Author: Tiia Lehtonen
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: On 1 July 2011, Poland took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is the first Presidency for Poland during its seven-year EU membership. As an ambitious, large and relatively new member state, Poland is now striving towards joining the club of heavyweight players in the EU. Although the Polish Government and political elite are highly pro-European, this work remains nothing but demanding. Nevertheless, Poland is no doubt the most powerful state in the Presidency trio compris¬ing of Poland, Denmark and Cyprus.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland
  • Author: Marikki Stocchetti
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Lisbon Treaty anchored the EU development policy at the forefront of the Union's external relations. For the development policy, this provides an opportunity to improve its own role and functions in relation to its own targets, as well as in relation to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the trade policy. To take this opportunity, the EU development policy actors need to find a means and a vision in the context of the changing institutional landscape and the EU development policy overhaul. A stronger EU development policy as a part of the external relations equation depends on the EU development actors' capability to act jointly in the area of shared competency, and to define the policy's focus and content vis-à-vis the other branches of the EU's external relations. This is of utmost importance in the new institutional context that was formed to implement the Lisbon Treaty. Most notably, the European External Action Service (EEAS) risks inheriting the previous organizational challenges of the EU development policy and creating new ones. The EU Commission proposal 'Agenda for Change' (October 2011) still passes up the opportunity to present a strong vision for the development policy in the EU's external relations along the lines of the Lisbon Treaty. While enhancing the common agenda for the CFSP and the development policy is conducive to development policy objectives, it is alarming that the policy proposal turns a blind eye to the role of the EU trade policy.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Teija Tiilikainen
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The European Parliament achieved full legislative powers when the Lisbon Treaty came into force, as most of those policy fields that had formerly been beyond the reach of the EP were duly added to these powers. In the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the EP's strengthened position is characterized as a vigorous promotion of arrangements favourable to its own position in the EU decision-making process. Important changes have taken place in the roles and functions of major parliamentary committees along with the extension of the EP's powers; the changes are most substantial in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) and in the Committee on International Trade (INTA). Concerns about the spread of undemocratic legislative practices and weaknesses in administrative capacities have been raised since the EP has been accommodated to its new powers.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon
  • Author: Anna Korppoo, Thomas Spencer
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Despite the lack of a global agreement in Copenhagen, momentum remains for the further development of EU climate policy, as indeed it does in many other countries. A 2010 Deutsche Bank report surveying the development of climate policies worldwide concluded that "…'the race is on' for countries to achieve a green economy". A wide range of EU initiatives on energy and climate are expected this year, providing opportunities to enhance the coherence and impact of EU policy.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kaisa Korhonen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The presidency of the Council of the European Union is still alive and rotating, albeit in a somewhat modified form, after the entering into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1 December 2009. At the same time as the prerogatives of the Council presidency were decreased in number by the new treaty, it was overshadowed by two new political figures with presidential mandates–the President of the European Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The post-Lisbon role of the Council presidency was tentatively deemed politically unimportant and limited to administrative assistance only. After a year with the Treaty of Lisbon in place, a more nuanced analysis of this new role is, however, justified.
  • Topic: Security, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Lisbon