Venture at a standstill--
This article reports on the state of the European Union a year after French and Dutch voted to reject the EU constitution
May05. The European Union, according to author, is a standstill suffering from a lack of leadership, disagreement on what citizens want or do not
want from the EU, and the demise of the constitutional treaty. Many different answers have been proffered during the pause for reflection. In some
ways, the argument has turned into a new round in the long debate between "institutionalists", who would like a new institutional framework that
then produced closer integration; and "incrementalists", who would prefer the club to develop organically, with institutional change coming later. If
such minor amendments went into the accession treaties rather than a new constitutional treaty, ratification should become easier in most countries.
And in one way, such an outcome would be refreshing: it would mean that, instead of the past decade of endless tinkering with new treaties and
constitutions, the European Union would have to concentrate on delivering benefits to its members. Now that's a prospect to reflect on.
For Bush, Sugar Could Be a Bitter Pill; U.S. Industry Leads Opposition to Agreement On Liberalizing Trade With Central America
Senate Finance Committee, the chamber's starting point for action on trade and a barometer of congressional sentiment, two Western Republicans are
voicing alarms about sugar. Both lawmakers, by and large, have been supportive of trade liberalization in the past, voting in 02 to give mr. [Bush]
special trade negotiating authority.With the panel divided 11 to 9 along party lines, Mr. Bush can't afford even small defections. And that's raising
anxiety among Cafta supporters over whether Mr. Bush will be able to beat back an effort in committee to strip sugar provisions from the pact. A
change would undermine support for the pact in Central America, where farmers are grumbling about the deal, and the sugar provisions are the one
clear gain for them.Abroad, the fight over sugar imports is a symbolically important test of Mr. Bush's ability to deliver a broader promise to
developing countries to liberalize agricultural trade as part of the Doha Round of world-wide trade negotiations. In return for those higher exports,
the Bush administration agreed to expose U.S. sugar producers to greater foreign competition. The promised change is modest:
Europe: Treaty Blues; Charlemagne
The author offers opinions on the summit meeting of the heads of state of the European Union (EU). The
meeting was intended to draft a new constitution for the EU, a course favored by most of its 27 member nations. Compromises made to satisfy major
nations whose voters are opposed to the constitution, notably Great Britain and France, left proponents and opponents alike declaring themselves
satisfied. The author notes no one left the conference appearing satisfied.
Judge or be judged