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Schwarz, Karl-Peter

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 14/07/2015

Romania may lose fight against corruption

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta is under investigation for alleged corruption, the state prosecutors' office announced on Monday. But despite this prominent example the fight against corruption in Romania may well be lost, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung fears: "The Romanian parliament has been presented with 25 changes to the penal code and the code of criminal procedure which would make it more difficult to bring charges against corrupt politicians. The danger that these changes - which were introduced by social democrats - will also be supported by liberals and conservatives is great, because whenever the issue at hand is the defence of an independent judiciary, a cross-party consensus is quickly established in Bucharest. The summer is warm and the EU is too focussed on its own problems to worry about the situation in Romania. But if the planned reforms go through, the fight against corruption in Romania will be a lost cause."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 01/07/2013

EU repeats old mistakes

The EU has once again closed its eyes to many problems in the accession negotiations with Croatia, the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments looking back on the process: "The so-called 'Yugosphere' is just one big crisis area. Unlike the post-communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which subjected themselves to a living cell therapy on their own initiative in the 1990s, the mentality of workers' management and blind trust in the 'blessings' of state control of the economy and Western help still rule the day there. ... The decision of the EU to integrate the countries of the Balkans and keep the door open was correct; there is no better option. But the leniency shown regarding the obvious weaknesses of these countries deserves to be criticised. The mistakes that were made with Romania and Bulgaria are now openly acknowledged, yet with Croatia they have nonetheless been repeated."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 14/01/2008

Croatia moves toward EU entry

Karl-Peter Schwarz has concerns about that the stability of the new government under Ivo Sanader, despite the solid conservative majority. "Unlike in the past legislative period, which was dominated by pro-European forces in the government, Sanader now has to take coalition partners into consideration whose prime concern is protecting the interest of their clientele. The Croatian Peasant Party has pursued a thoroughly protectionist course for years. It was already able to introduce one of its main demands, a 12-year moratorium on sale of agricultural lands to foreigners, into the government programme, which might not be exactly favourable to the image of Croatia in the EU. But in particular the party calls for the unfailing enforcement of the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (EFPZ) enacted on January 1. Prospects for a speedy and uncomplicated EU-entry process for Croatia have worsened dramatically."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 23/04/2007

Tougher protective clauses for future EU membership agreements

Karl-Peter Schwarz describes the suspension of Romanian President Traian Basescu as a "cold-blooded and concealed parliamentary putsch" aimed at reversing judiciary reforms. "Paradoxically, it was the hostile mood that took hold of expansion-weary Europe in the final phase of Romania's accession process that gave the reforms their greatest boost. The European Commission was forced to take a hard line and support the president and his justice minister, who were consequently able to push through anti-corruption measures that are tougher than those of any other EU country... However, the lesson to be learned from the experiences there can be applied to any candidate country for EU membership. Reforms that don't come about without pressure from the EU can be reversed as soon as the pressure is relaxed. The protective clauses which were incorporated into the accession agreements of Romania and Bulgaria are not effective enough as deterrents."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 20/10/2006

Karl-Peter Schwarz on populism in Europe

The paper's Czech correspondent Karl-Peter Schwarz analyses the rise of populism in Central and Eastern Europe. "The rise of the populists and their failure to fulfil their campaign pledges have the same root cause: governments must respond to the demands of the single market and the pressures of globalisation, and this pressure is bringing populists into power. It is not only the new EU members that are facing this problem. In virtually every EU state there is a deep rift between voters. It polarises entire societies, as in Italy, or hinders the building of a majority with a sufficiently coherent programme, as is the case in Germany and Austria. This in turn leads to the formation of grand coalitions that have only limited ability to find solutions... Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are not post-communist exceptions to the rule. They are battling with the same problems of political stagnation that plague the EU as a whole."

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