Wednesday, 29 June 2005

German ELSA NCM Frankfurt/Oder

Well, I went to FFO last Saturday and it took me a bloody 13.5 hours, as I missed 1 train and one other had a delay. It should have taken only 8.5 hours... Ah well, am now sure that ELSA NCMs are not really for me anymore, as I hardly knew any people and the parties aren't that good anymore as they used to be. I might also get old... :)
Christina was voted unanimously with 122 votes as the new president of ELSA Germany and I am positive that she will do a great job for Germany and internationally. Hope also that she will kick the IBs ass, as there always stays a kind of Cold War between Germany and the IB. Very fun though. I once suggested to stop all the payments from Germany to the IB (around 15.000€ of a the IB's budget of around 120.000), but my board considered that too harsh. :)
Anyway, will see how many ELSA things I will visit. Think my days are really over now.

OSCE Mission Albania

Finally went to the ministry today to get my documents, money and tickets. They booked us a very shitty flight, as we arrive tomorrow at 23.55 at Tirana and fly from Schiphol at 20.05. Will be back the 6th at 19.20, so if someone wants to pick me up?
The Dutch delegation will consist of 8 participants, of whom I am the youngest by far. The others are not only older, but also experienced in observer missions. They've been in Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia and more for that already. The only advantage I have, is that I know the country and the backgrounds of some issues and problems, due to my working experience at the embassy last summer. Will do my best and see how it will go. At least it's a great opportunity to go back and do something completely new. I applied for the internal MFA pool for observer missions, so I need to have some experience and this will be good to get in. I am most curious where I will be placed and with whom, as you are sent in couples.
Will try to keep you all updated, but since I don't know yet where I will be placed, I might not have any interenet around. Will see. Will for sure post a review after I have returned. For now, goodnight and till next week! :)

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Did I mention it was a convertible? Posted by Hello

Great Ass!!! Posted by Hello

The cute monster Posted by Hello


A few weeks ago I had a BMW Z4 for a (long) weekend in my posession. I won a contest at CCDrive (my work) a long, long time ago and was finally able to cash the prize in. It was the perfect weekend for it, as the sun was shining, the weather was great, and Christina was here. My god, what a great car that is. It has hardly any space inside (although it has a big trunk), but the cornering is fantastic, the stability is superb and the looks are perfect. I am happy to live near the Germany border (no speed limits there), so I took it for a spin and got to 230km/h... It's a kind of car where I very well could get used to... :) It's also a car that when you drive it, everyone looks at you, thinking "some rich yupp" or "rich daddies son", but it was great. Drove through inner roads to Pieterburen and watched some seals, back through Lauwersoog, Bedum, Haren, Glimmen and other rich villages where the Hamptons would easily could stand the comparisation. Too bad that I had to hand the car in at the end of 3 days superb touring and fully enjoying. God, ain't I blessed? :)

My university Posted by Hello

The fresh BA (middle) with entourage. Posted by Hello

What a player... Posted by Hello

Bert as Wigger... Posted by Hello

Bert caught shopping! (see the face...) Posted by Hello

Election observer

If all goes well I will be in Albania next Wednesday. I have been trying to get into the election observer mission of the OSCE/ODIHR for the parliamentery elections on the 3rd of July, since I left Albania last year October. I knew that this would take place and that I would be a great opportunity to get back (for free) and see the country and everyone again. As I was/am not in the election observer pool of our ministry (you have to apply for that and I just did, as I had to wait for the annoucement to do so), I had to use every contact I got in Albania and here on our Foreign Ministry. Sometimes life is all about contacts... But I can say that it worked and that from the 29th of June till the 6th of July I will be somewhere in Albania helping counting votes, observing the election process and what more... God, I'm looking forward to that. I might not have been graduated yet, but I've done so many crazy and special things already. I really love life. :)

Lonely Planet

Today at 11, my doorbell rang. I didn't expect anyone, so I was suprized to see the postman standing for my door with 2 packages. As I didn't order anything and didn't expect anything, I was really curious what it would be. The label said Lonely Planet which confused me even more. In both packages was the same: the new Cityguide for Istanbul. I am confused, as I have no clue why they sent me 2 copies of Istanbul. I have never been there and also don't have plans to go there. The only things I can think of are that I participated in another contest or that this is my reward for commenting on the LP of the Transsib. The first I cannot remember, the latter was right after I travelled, so that's quite a long while ago. So I called LP, to figure out what was the deal. (Believe me: I love presents, but I want to know why and don't need the same twice...) They didn't know as well, but would try to figure out why I got them. In the meantime I have 2 copies of Istanbul: anyone? :)

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Sunday, 12 June 2005

Some real art at my parents' place Posted by Hello

Art: my shoes in the train Posted by Hello

The Villa... :) Posted by Hello

My mom and I Posted by Hello

Saturday, 11 June 2005

My new camera :) Posted by Hello

Thursday, 2 June 2005

EU Constitution 2

More than 60% of the Dutch population voted against the constitution. The polls turned out to be correct for once. Too bad. The question remains of who the real winners are now: the pro-europeans? The anti-europeans? Many pro-europeans also voted against, but are in favour of a strong europe. Strange world, but ok, it's done and they beat us. Better luck next time. I still don't favour referenda.

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Austria moots Europe-wide referendum

Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel has revived the idea of an EU-wide referendum on the constitution, following France's rejection of the document on Sunday and a probable Dutch No today.
According to reports in the Austrian press, Mr Schüssel believes EU leaders could decide on a pan-European referendum in just over two weeks time when they gather for their traditional June summit. A principle agreement then could lead to an intergovernmental conference where member states decide on the legal basis for such a procedure.
At the moment, a Europe-wide referendum would not be legally binding and would only be of symbolic value, according to the Chancellor.Mr Schüssel believes that a Europe-wide referendum should take place on one day and the constitution would only be considered adopted if over half of member states and over half of the EU population voted in favour of it.He is set to raise the issue today when he meets Luxembourg prime minister and current head of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, for a bilateral discussion on the future EU budget.
This is not the first time, the Austrian leader has mooted the idea. He raised it last year before the ratification process began in member states but the idea did not curry favour in most of the rest of the EU.Meanwhile, elsewhere in the EU, politicians are wondering about the political and legal implications of one and possibly two rejections of the constitution.
EU leaders have generally kept quiet about whether ratification can continue after such a scenario, with speculation in the British press that prime minister Tony Blair will call off his planned referendum. The Polish government is to meet this week to take a final decision on what to do.But some have already said that ratification should stop.
According to the FT, Giuliano Amato, one of the principle architects of the treaty, said that there may be nothing left of the constitution to rescue if ratification continues in other countries.Fearing a domino effect caused by the French No, Mr Amato suggested that instead some parts of the document be "transplanted" into the Treaty of Nice, where the EU's current decision-making process is laid out.
By Honor Mahony


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