18th Nov 2017

Greek foreign minister set to join convention

The Greek foreign minister, Giorgios Papandréou, is due to join the Convention next month. He will be a member of the Convention's influential steering committee, the presidium, where he will replace the current Greek representative, Giorgos Katiforis.

This move by the Greeks, which "has not been officially announced yet" could strengthen the federalists hand in the Convention as Greece belong to those countries which would support a strong Commission in a future EU. The Commission is generally perceived as being the defender of the smaller member states. It is also likely to be positively interpreted by small countries as Athens has spoken out for maintaining the current six-month rotating presidency. At an explanatory session on the Greek presidency in Brussels in December, Mr Papandréou underlined the importance of maintaining the rotating-presidency.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

In earlier Convention plenary sessions, the Convention president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing has strongly urged that this system be scrapped as it is too unwieldy and will be "unworkable" in an enlarged Union. It is supported by smaller states, however, as it guarantees them a chance at the helm of the EU - and so, in their eyes, ensures that the Union is not just governed by the larger member states.

Mr Panadreou will join fellow small-country representatives in the Presidium, the Irishman John Bruton, the Dane Henning Christophersen and the Belgian Jean-Luc Dehaene.

Illustrates importance of Convention

Greece's decision illustrates the importance which governments are attributing to the Convention and follows recent moves by France and Germany to appoint their foreign ministers, Dominque de Villepin and Joschka Fischer to the Convention.

The announcement that Mr Papandréou will be joining the Convention "will be made to the Greek people most likely sometime this month" said a spokesman. The foreign minister is set to join the Convention next month.

MEP switches vote on 'private expenses' transparency

A small group of MEPs are looking into how members of the European Parliament spend the monthly €4,300 'private expenses' funded by taxpayer money. Last month, MEPs voted on transparency amendments on the funds.

EU data chief: MEPs must accept transparency

Europe's top data protection chief says politicians have to accept transparency. His comments follows a case pitting journalists against the European Parliament, which refuses to disclose MEPs' expenses.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse