Right when the European unity is more vocally proclaimed around its 60th celebration, it was challenged once more during the latest European Council in Brussels, when Donald Tusk was re-elected as Council’s President. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, voted against his compatriot’s appointment and was outvoted 27-1 by the other Member States.
The Polish government has been increasingly drifting away from the core of the EU during the past couple of years and this event will likely accelerate this trend. Continue Reading
After the publication of the White Paper on the Future of Europe by the European Commission, several heads of governments explicitly came out in supporting one of the 5 directions outlined by the document. French President, Francois Hollande, warned that without a multi-speed Europe, the European Union would explode. On the other hand, the Visegrad group argued against the multi-speed Europe and a Bulgarian MEP recently compared such a perspective to the apartheid. Continue Reading
As our simulation predicted a week ago, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) won the elections to become President of the European Parliament in the run-off against his compatriot Gianni Pittella (S&D). In addition to the expected support from the ECR, the centre-right candidate secured the support of the Liberal group (ALDE), after the signing of a new coalition between EPP and ALDE that aims at relaunching the European project. Continue Reading
On Sunday morning, Beppe Grillo, the leader of the main Italian opposition party, the 5 Star Movement, made a shock announcement, indicating that he intends to join the European liberal family, ALDE. If that were to happen, the 5 Star Movement would become the dominating force in the ALDE group in the European Parliament, currently headed by the staunch federalist Guy Verhofstadt. Continue Reading
At a time when Europe can count less on the US and the UK, Germany becomes more important than ever in determining the future of Europe, reason for which the entire continent now has a huge stake in Berlin’s future policy orientations. After an incredible 11 continuous years in government, Merkel’s CDU is poised to win yet another round of elections in September 2017. Continue Reading
If you think that 2016 was a dynamic year politically-wise, wait until you see the new year unfolding. The changes that will take place in the US and Europe will gradually reshape the currents of opinion globally and hence the patterns of international relations. Geo-political realignments will affect world governance, trade, businesses, economies and societies. Continue Reading
Mainstream parties seem to make one miscalculation after another, always underestimating the risk of political turmoil in several of our countries. Renzi had to resign, plunging Italy into uncertainty and thus adding weight to the centrifugal spinning that has already pushed away the UK, Greece, Poland or Hungary. France and the Netherlands are not far behind, as nationalists are topping the polls ahead of key elections in spring next year. Continue Reading
Note: this analysis, originally published in September, was updated to take into account the latest developments up to 17 November 2016.
Last evening, Doru Frantescu, the Director& cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, delivered an insightful presentation at an event hosted by the Union of European Federalists, where he analysed the chances of building a real European Defense Union. Continue Reading
Those who believed this spring that CETA was a done deal now have quite a few things on their hands. The complexity of the EU decision-making and the diverging political interests within it have once again taken the bureaucrats in charge of negotiating the deal by surprise.
This occurrence is a case in point of why one needs to make much broader political calculations when trying to get something approved by the EU decision-making machinery. Continue Reading
There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading