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BRUSSELS 28-29 Jun 2012 EU leaders meet, could return to external issues

At the June European Union summit, the leaders might have some appetite for talking again about enlargement and external issue

June 28, 2012 - NULL

BRUSSELS 28-29 Jun 2012 EU leaders meet, could return to external issues

At the June European Union summit, the leaders might have some appetite for talking again about enlargement and external issues. If they have made sufficient strides on strengthening fiscal governance, fixing banks and reforming structural policies they can return their attention to earlier concerns. These include the Balkans, Egypt, Syria and Ukraine.

The so-called fiscal compact aimed at returning economic stability to the euro zone is expected to have been signed by June and the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a permanent Luxembourg-based €500 billion (US

BRUSSELS 28-29 Jun 2012 EU leaders meet, could return to external issues

At the June European Union summit, the leaders might have some appetite for talking again about enlargement and external issues. If they have made sufficient strides on strengthening fiscal governance, fixing banks and reforming structural policies they can return their attention to earlier concerns. These include the Balkans, Egypt, Syria and Ukraine.

The so-called fiscal compact aimed at returning economic stability to the euro zone is expected to have been signed by June and the new European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a permanent Luxembourg-based €500 billion (US $652) bail-out fund, should be in place -- or close -- after ratification by national parliaments. It will replace the current European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).

The leaders are likely to discuss sanctions to pressure the Syrian government into stopping the killing of protesters. The same approach might also be used on Egypt, where security forces are killing protesters. The main EU thrust in the two countries has been supporting the pro-democracy movement.
The leaders agreed to make Croatia the 28th member of the bloc in July 2013. The leaders are likely to return to the membership aspirations of Serbia and Montenegro, which are next in line. There are complications. For months Kosovo Serbs have barricaded roads because Pristina, the Kosovar capital, asserts its right to control the border with Serbia. EU pressure has brought down some barriers, but the situation remains unstable. Serbs in the north of Kosovo reject the authority of both Pristina and Belgrade. Ethnic conflict continues in Bosnia-Herzegovina and civil strife is roiling Albania. According to the Wall Street Journal, the explosive situation has been kept somewhat under control because of the region's ambition to join the European Union.

The Turkish bid for accession to the European Union appears has lost its impetus, partly because of divisions within the bloc about whether it is ready for an Islamic member country and partly because interest in joining appears to have cooled in Ankara.

EU leaders had sought deepening political cooperating and trade integration with Ukraine, but the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko has set back the mission. In December the bloc refused to sign a key partnership deal with Kiev because President Viktor Yanukovych has ignored EU pressure to release the former premier. She was convicted and handed a 7-year sentence in October for overstepping her authority while negotiating a natural gas contract with Russia in 2009. (WRITTEN DEC 2011)

RELATED READING:

Analysis - Searching for glimmers of euro zone hope in 2012 (Reuters 22 Dec 2011)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/22/uk-eu-crisis-outlook-idUSTRE7BL0XC20111222

EU and Croatia remind world the Union is still working (EU Summit 9 Dec 2011)
http://euobserver.com/15/114577

Don't sideline EU enlargement (WSJ 7 Dec 2011)
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204903804577080081419419266.html?mod
=googlenews_wsj

Ukrainian court upholds 7-year jail sentence for . . . Tymoshenko (AP/WP 23 Dec 2011)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/ukraine-court-upholds
-ex-ukraine-pm-tymoshenkos-7-year-jail-sentence/2011/12/23/gIQA0l3FDP_story.html

EU summit fails to impress (FX Street 13 Dec 2011)
http://www.fxstreet.com/fundamental/market-view/european-crisis/2011/12/13/02/

Date written/update: 2012-06-28