Obama Election: EU Reactions

With Obama’s Coronation as the new President of the United States of America, Europe was quick to react. A collection of reactions can be found below:


European Commission:


Commission President José Manuel Barroso this morning made the following statement on the outcome of the US presidential election:

“On behalf of the European Commission and on my own behalf, I would like to congratulate Senator Obama on becoming the 44th President of the United States of America.

This is a time for a renewed commitment between Europe and the United States of America.

I want to assure Senator Obama of the support of the European Commission and of my personal support in forging this renewed commitment to face together the many challenges ahead of us.

We need to change the current crisis into a new opportunity. We need a new deal for a new world. I sincerely hope that with the leadership of President Obama, the United States of America will join forces with Europe to drive this new deal. For the benefit of our societies, for the benefit of the world.”



Javier SOLANA,

EU High Representative for the CFSP, congratulates Barack Obama on his election as President in the United States of America

“I want to congratulate Barack Obama on his impressive election victory. Elections are about political renewal. The campaign has been exciting and uplifting and the turnout impressive.

The sense of renewal also applies to the transatlantic relations. Europeans and Americans are keen to open a new chapter in their relations.

President-elect Obama ran on a ticket of change. This is most welcome since many things in the world today need changing. Let us do that together.

Europe is willing and able to help. There is a high number of very complex global problems: from the Middle-East to Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan, from climate change to nonproliferation. We need to address those problems together with determination and creativity. President-elect Obama personifies what is good and impressive about America. He also personifies today’s complex and globalized world where change is a constant. As we grapple with these problems, it is good to have someone who put change, empathy and good judgement at the heart of his campaign. I am looking forward to working with President Obama and his administration.”

European Parliament:

Hans-Gert Pöttering congratulates the new President of the United States

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has conveyed his congratulations to the newly-elected President of the United States, Barack Obama, for his great success in these elections.

In his letter congratulating Barack Obama on his election as President of the United States, Hans-Gert Pöttering wishes Barack Obama “every success in the challenging new role which you take on at this critical time’. He says that the result “has proved once again the extraordinarily capacity for renewal which has so often been evident at difficult moments in American history”. He welcomes the opportunity for a fresh start to EU-US relations, putting them on a stronger and more vibrant footing” and looks forward to the US and EU “working together in effective partnership on many of the global issues facing decision-makers in our both continents, for example climate change”.

Hans-Gert Pöttering congratulated Barack Obama in the name of the European Parliament and expressed at the same time an invitation to the new US President to address the European Parliament on an early visit to Europe, possibly in April before the 2009 Nato Summit. “Such a speech would allow you to showcase your approach to transatlantic relations and set out your vision of foreign policy for the years ahead”.
“It would give an excellent message to the people of the European Union if Barack Obama were to make a speech in the European Parliament during his first visit to Europe. This way he could address the almost 500 million citizens of the European Union”.
The last time a US President addressed the European Parliament was when Ronald Reagan spoke in Strasbourg in May 1985.

Barak Obama, a president for a new transatlantic partnership

European Council:

Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament give three cheers to Barack Obama on his well-deserved victory. Senator Obama has redrawn the electoral map, reshaped the debate in American politics and revived hope for America’s future.

“As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to heal the divisions within America and between America and others in the international community: as President his challenge is to make good on those fine words.

The Presidential in-tray is bulging with challenges: the financial crisis, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many more. But in Europe President Obama will find a partner and friend, ready to strengthen the links between the US and the EU and work for common solutions to common problems” said ALDE Leader Graham WATSON.

“This breakthrough also throws the spotlight on Europe’s leaders. As we look around the table at the Council of Ministers and the European Commission we see twenty seven white heads of government, and twenty seven white Commissioners. Which will be the first European country to break our glass ceiling and puts its faith in a leader of colour?”

Alexander Graf LAMBSDORFF: (FDP, Germany) added: “Barack Obama has promised change, now he must deliver. We Europeans are hoping for a change as well, a change of tone in transatlantic relations. The challenges are as manyfold as they are complex: the financial crisis, climate change and peace and security in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. Barack Obama has promised more consultation, in return, he will look for more contribution from Europeans when it comes to addressing these challenges.”


Obama victory heralds new dawn for EU – US relations

Annemie Neyts, President of ELDR Party declared today: “The European Liberal Democrats welcome Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election and consider it not just a victory for Obama, but for those with liberal democrat beliefs throughout the world. Greeting Obama’s victory, the ELDR Party welcomes the democratic commitment on the fight to strengthen civil rights enforcement and the desire of the new president to fight for pay equality between men and women and encouraging women-owned businesses. For Europeans, however, it is Obama’s desire to strengthen relations between the US and EU that will be particularly important. ”

“As European liberal democrats we have not forgotten the promises Obama made in his speech in Berlin about supporting democratic partners and upholding principles of sovereignty throughout Europe and Eurasia, towards a common idea of democratic progress. We look forward to increased cooperation between the EU and the new US administration. Furthermore, in relation to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, the challenge is to pursue an integrated strategy in the region and to invigorate the Transatlantic Alliance, so that we can work together in a trilateral commitment: US-EU-Russia with a unified voice.”, she stated.


Election d’Obama: “Une puissante et magnifique exigence de changements”


Déclaration de Francis WURTZ,  Président du groupe de la Gauche unitaire européenne – Gauche verte nordique du Parlement européen


Bruxelles, 05/11/08,


Une quarantaine d’années à peine après les durs combats pour les droits civiques, je perçois le mouvement populaire qui vient de porter à la présidence des Etats-Unis, un “Africain-Américain” – comme aime à se présenter Barack Obama – comme un grand et beau moment d’histoire. Et pas que pour les Etats-Unis. Il exprime tout à la fois un profond phénomène de rejet de tout ce qu’a représenté la funeste administration Bush – la guerre, la violence sociale, l’intolérance, l’ultra-conservatisme, la volonté de dominer, et finalement le fiasco intégral et l’isolement international – et une puissante et magnifique exigence de changements. Barack Obama a su incarner cette soif de dignité et ces aspirations à une ère nouvelle. Son éclatante victoire lui confère d’immenses responsabilités.


Les attentes vont, en effet, très au-delà des engagements pris par le candidat démocrate. Tant sur le plan économique et social qu’en matière de politique internationale. En outre, dans le contexte d’une Amérique affaiblie par la crise qui secoue le monde entier, les pressions de Wall Street sur le nouveau Président seront très fortes dans le sens de la reconquête du “leadership” américain.


Cette situation entièrement nouvelle devrait conduire les progressistes européens à relancer une dynamique de coopération avec les progressistes des Etats-Unis pour faire converger leurs efforts en faveur d’objectifs aussi pressants que la démilitarisation des relations internationales; la réforme profonde des règles et des institutions économiques et financières internationales; la mobilisation contre le changement climatique; la lutte contre le racisme et pour les droits humains.


Un nouvel espoir est né. C’est une chance que nul n’a le droit de gâche





Virtual Strip Search – Giving security a whole new dimension… Hello Genitalia!!!

Someone thought this would be a joke... Apparently it's closer to reality than ever!

Press Release – A proposal to introduce body scanners at European airports – which show a person’s naked image and genitalia – raises serious concerns about human rights, privacy and personal dignity, Philip Bradbourn MEP, Conservative justice and home affairs spokesman, will say tonight…

Wanted: The Lisbon Treaty

I wanted to see what everybody thinks… Though I don’t expect a huge voter turnout… 🙂


Just looking back on some emails, I recieved mixed messages:

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, welcomed as a strong political signal the call by European Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels for the Lisbon Treaty ratification process to go ahead in those countries that have not ratified.


From the Press:

No Lisbon Treaty by June 2009- Juncker

Juncker rules out Lisbon treaty before 2010



President Kaczynski Cartoon…

With Poland’s President Kaczynski having stirred the waters with nearly every one of his visits to Brussels, his government is now literally begging him not to come to Brussels next week for the EU Summit.
Little gold star for Foreign Minister Sikorsi who realises that Kaczynski does more bad than good; for Poland, and for Europe.

What the press said:

The Times:

Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland’s Foreign Minister, pleaded with President Kaczynski “on bended knee” not to attend this week’s European Union summit, saying that his presence could harm Warsaw’s negotiating position.

Sikorski added each of the EU’s 27 member states will have two seats at the negotiating table, and the government wants them to be occupied by Tusk and Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski, who both have a history of economic proficiency.

The summit is expected to focus on the global financial crisis and the EU’s efforts to buttress its beleaguered banking system. Leaders will also discuss the EU’s plan to tackle global warming, which Poland believes to be too costly. (Reuters)


‘On bended knee, I beg you Mr President, don’t go… Don’t weaken our negotiating position at this important summit,’ Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said in a radio interview.

More money into markets = stocks going to hell

Countries are putting up billions like they have bottomless pockets. The stocks are still however, falling.. lower and lower… and lower… (see below from Yahoo finance).

Maybe, just maybe, the approach might be wrong?!?!?!?!


FTSE 100 4,087.88 -225.92 -5.24%
Chart for FTSE 100
DAX 4,541.20 -345.80 -7.08%
Chart for DAX
CAC 40 3,202.05 -240.65 -6.99%
Chart for CAC 40

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

EU Elections – Opportunity to go transnational for parties

MEP Andrew Duff has set about to change things up a little bit in the way EU elections are run. Amongst other things, he proposes that a number of MEPs from lists put together by the European parties to be voted on at the EU-level and not the member-state level. Whether this is done automatically (ie if someone votes for a national party part of the EPP, his vote goes to the EPP automtically, or whether voters have to check an additional box indicating which party at the EU level they vote for) is not clear at this point.

This proposition gives parties, and Europe itself a chance to go transnational and achieve a cross-border connection between member states. Interesting, and positive for Europe. Thumbs up!

A new electoral procedure for re-enforced European democracy

With the European elections approaching in June 2009 we cannot but face up the fact that that though the European Parliament is among the most appreciated of the European institutions according to recent Eurostat survey, it is also one of the least visible. This has been proven by the constantly dwindling voter turnout since the first election by direct universal suffrage in 1979.

This situation is not irreversible. Beyond the characteristics of the campaigning political parties there are objective reasons for this voter disaffection. Reasons were identified and specific proposals to remedy this outlined by the ALDE spokesman for Constitutional Affairs, Andrew DUFF (Lib Dem, United Kingdom).

Mr Duff will present his report proposing to modify the 1976 act concerning the election of members of the European Parliament. This report will be debated on the same afternoon in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) in the European Parliament.

Duff’s key proposal is the establishment, in time for the 2014 elections, of a small number of MEPs elected from EU-wide lists drawn up by the European political parties. This reform, he believes, will transform the character of the European elections campaigns and allow the transnational political parties to come of age. Duff also proposes, to bring forward the date of the elections from June to May to allow the newly elected Parliament to start working over the summer. The proposals also include concentrating of Europe’s polling days over one weekend, rather than a week, in order to focus a greater degree of attention on the event, emphasize what is at stake for the electorate. Duff also calls to facilitate voting for EU citizens residing in another EU country and for a regular revision of the number of MEPs per country in order to reflect demographic trends and to maintain a fair balance in the representation of Member States.



Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

First Russian Checkpoint Dismantled… A necessary step.

And so we have a step for the better… But god knows that things aren’t great. Besides- what’s the difference… Moving 50-100-200kms away just means it takes a few hours for the troops to get back there “if necessary”. But as I said; A step toward the better. A necessary step.

EUMM confirms first checkpoint to be dismantled

On 5 October, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) confirmed the dismantling of the first Russian checkpoint. The checkpoint was located in Ali, north west of Gori in the adjacent area to South Ossetia. The dismantling was observed on location by EUMM monitors.

“I can confirm that our monitors have been able to verify that a first Russian checkpoint, in the village of Ali, has been dismantled this morning”, said Ambassador Haber.
Furthermore, EUMM monitors have been able to register on their patrols since the start of their operational work on 1 October 2008 numerous signs that indicate the preparation of the planned withdrawal of Russian forces at different checkpoints in the adjacent areas both to South Ossetia and Abkahazia.
“Our monitors have seen indications that preparations for withdrawal is ongoing at different observation- and checkpoints. We are confident that the Russian side will respect its commitment to withdraw forces by 10 October”, added Ambassador Haber.
The EU mediated Agreements of 12 August and 8 September 2008 committed the EUMM to deploy by 1 October and for the Russian troops withdrawal from the areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia by 10 October 2008. “We are continuing technical talks with our Russian and Georgian counterparts in order to facilitate an orderly process”, explained Ambassador Haber.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine