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Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver)

URL: http://blogs.euobserver.com/mahony/

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Type: Journalist / Media

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Latest posts
Managing expectations NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 5 Months, 4 Minutes ago
A not-quite-a-summit is ahead of us. True – all 27 EU leaders, as well as ECB chief Mario Draghi and Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission will gather in Brussels this evening.  But to what end? No one is quite sure. EU diplomats have...
Summit footnote – the ‘Monti effect’ NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 7 Months, 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 1 Hour, 59 Minutes ago
So many laurels have been laid at Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s door that he risks having an ‘Obama’ done to him – being awarded the EU’s equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize simply for existing. Well, say some, the effects of mere ex...
Some straight talking (maybe) NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 7 Months, 3 Weeks, 1 Day, 7 Hours, 31 Minutes ago
How can EU leaders be persuaded to engage in proper political discussion? The problem is particularly acute for the traditional March European Council, tasked with dealing with economic policy. Work leading to this summit starts with the publication...
Not punishment but persuasion NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 7 Months, 4 Weeks, 2 Days, 1 Hour, 38 Minutes ago
It was very revealing how the European Commission on Wednesday tip-toed around the fact that it is sanctioning Hungary for its excessive deficit. The various commissioners and spokespeople delivering the message made all sorts of qualifying statement...
Taking your friends to court NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 8 Months, 2 Weeks, 14 Hours, 19 Minutes ago
So now, imagine one of your friends has broken the law. The breach is not an especially bad one. It is not murder (or the fiscal equivalent). They have not carried out an act expressly against you. And you won’t feel the effects immediately. An...
Treaty football NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 8 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days, 14 Hours, 19 Minutes ago
There’s no accounting for politics. It can make even the best laid plans go awry. The Berlin-driven fiscal discipline treaty was completed on Monday. A delighted Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, praised the “very successful outcome”...
The political tightrope NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 8 Months, 3 Weeks, 16 Hours, 12 Minutes ago
I wonder how long German Chancellor Angela Merkel can maintain this political balancing act of keeping her backbenchers happy while not alienating her EU allies too much. She appears to be reaching the outer limits of good will, at least as far as he...
Merkel’s political union NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 8 Months, 3 Weeks, 6 Days, 14 Hours, 22 Minutes ago
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not one for high emotions. Public speeches are calm and measured. During debates in the Bundestag, she drives home points using repetition rather than rhetorical flourish. Her press conferences at the increasingly r...
The emperor’s new treaty NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 9 Months, 1 Week, 3 Days, 4 Hours, 46 Minutes ago
Has there ever been a time in EU history where a treaty is being negotiated that a) virtually nobody wants b) does not solve the problem at hand c) whose contents are already, or could in future, be part of general EU law and d) deteriorates in quali...
A historic summit NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 1 Week, 3 Days, 21 Hours, 6 Minutes ago
What a mess. Last week’s meeting will surely go down in the annals of recent EU summitry as the one where the worst outcome was achieved.  For that reason alone, it could be given the ‘historic’ label that leaders are so keen to bandy about. I...
Pre-summit grumbles NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 20 Hours, 10 Minutes ago
Grumbling is part of the run-up to any gathering of EU leaders. There seems to be more it about than usual though –  possibly a sign that this summit may really produce (some of) the goods. Here is a list of some of the grumbles / issues. Tighteni...
A short guide to the European Council NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days, 18 Hours, 12 Minutes ago
1)   This is it. The summit to beat all summits. This is D-day for the eurozone crisis. You may think you have heard this before. You have. But now Standard & Poor’s have said so, too. So it must be true. 2)   “Bazooka”. First coined by...
An Irish referendum? NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 18 Hours, 7 Minutes ago
When Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny travelled to Berlin mid November, Chancellor Angela Merkel asked him if it was possible for Ireland to avoid having a referendum on an amended EU treaty. Kenny, according to one account by someone familiar with th...
France and intergovernmentalism NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days, 18 Hours, 27 Minutes ago
Germany has been receiving some bad press lately.  It has emerged as the undisputed leader amid this eurozone crisis. So it is Berlin’s medicine that is prevailing. Not everybody else in Europe agrees with the remedy, which is seen as too dogmatic...
A little criticism among friends NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 10 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, 19 Hours, 41 Minutes ago
Well, well, well. That was quite a speech. On Monday evening, Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski went to Berlin, the eurozone’s lion’s den as it were, and told it like he sees it. Before an audience at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für A...
Putting the cart before the horse NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 11 Months, 8 Hours, 28 Minutes ago
Is it possible to have a fiscal discipline union before a political union? On Wednesday the European Commission is going to unveil proposals to vastly extend its budgetary oversight powers. The move is part of an attempt to make budgetary surveillanc...
A taste of what is to come NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 11 Months, 4 Days, 10 Hours, 46 Minutes ago
With all this talk of treaty change to further tighten up centralised economic governance in the EU, it is easy to overlook what has already been agreed. The so-called “six pack” of legislation, now coming into force, profoundly alters th...
On Germany and Britain (and others) NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 11 Months, 5 Days, 14 Hours, 42 Minutes ago
Dipping in to listen to the European Parliament debate on economic governance on Wednesday, I happened to catch Nigel Farage just as he was about to speak. A strident eurosceptic, good at public speaking and flinging insults, the Briton’s time on t...
Regional hoping NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 11 Months, 1 Week, 5 Days, 7 Hours, 50 Minutes ago
It seems perverse to be wondering about possible new EU member states just now. But others were doing just that in the European Parliament on Wednesday. Regionalists, devolutionists and soft nationalists – of academic and politic bent – gathe...
On a Greek referendum NEW
Behind the Scenes - Honor Mahony (EUobserver) 2 Years, 11 Months, 2 Weeks, 6 Days, 8 Hours, 58 Minutes ago
Greek prime minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum on the second bailout package for his country was a shock. By some accounts, not even finance minister Evangelos Venizelos knew about it. EU politicians and markets have reacted with co...