Omnipresent French Presidency followed by too eurosceptic Czech President

Luxembourg
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman
 
In concert with many other news media, the leading French left-of-centre newspaper “Le Monde” enumerates the French Presidency’s victims: “(There are) two victims of Sarkozy’s Presidency: Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who presides over the Eurozone finance minister group and Javier Solana, the European responsible for foreign policy. Their posts were shadow posts of the European council president. Sarkozy showed that his personal experience grew during the French Presidency of the EU and that he did a strong showing”[1].
 
Luxembourg did not like the French Presidency’s proposal to offer a permanent Commissioner to Ireland. Sarkozy wanted to weaken the Commission; the Commission has been relegated to a secretariat of the Council. Every member state should have a representative in the Commission to push forward its interests. This way the governments can hope for a better understanding of their viewpoint. This compromise proposed by Sarkozy to satisfy the Irish demands was reached “by killing a certain European spirit“.[2]
 

Common actions within the EU needed but no economic government

Luxembourg
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman
 
A European response to the financial crisis and challenges of global governance makes sense to all politically and economically relevant actors in Luxembourg. As a very small country, whose economy is almost totally dependent on foreign trade relations and whose present prosperity is largely tributary to its financial services exports, Luxembourg is primarily hit by the financial crisis. But not for even one second can the Luxembourg government and parliament imagine reacting on their own behalf to the crisis. They can only act in cooperation with Luxembourg’s neighbours, within the Euro group, or in all EU coordinated actions. As Luxembourg’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Jean-Claude Juncker is the current President of the Eurogroup, Luxembourg’s voice in this matter is most audible through the declarations of its Prime Minister.
 

Transatlantic relations put to the test by economic crisis, Afghanistan and Middle East

Luxembourg
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman
 
“The hero” (“d’Lëtzebuerger Land”), President Barak Obama is everybody’s darling on the Luxembourg political stage: the Christian-Democrats,[1] Socialists,[2] Liberals[3] and the Greens[4] hail his election; even the Populists admire his capacity to bring about change. The editorialist of a left-of-centre newspaper, ”d’Lëtzebuerger Land” compares Obama’s election in 2008 to the 1981 election of François Mitterrand “whose Keynesian experiences are already history.”[5]
 

Optimism about reinforcement of democracy, transparency and efficiency

Luxembourg
Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes Robert Schuman

The Luxembourg government is satisfied with the fact that the Lisbon Treaty is a quasi ‘copy and paste’ of the essentials of the former Constitutional Treaty it strongly supported, and which the Luxembourg people voted for in the referendum of 10 July 2005. Hence the Lisbon Treaty will contribute, according to the government, to reinforcing democracy, transparency and efficiency in the functioning of EU institutions. The government regrets that certain European symbols (like the European flag) have disappeared from the new text and that certain exceptions, like the one allowing the United Kingdom to maintain certain opt-out possibilities, the non-application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the non-cooperation in the domain of politics, justice and internal affairs have made their entry in the Lisbon Treaty.[1]