How will the EU institutions look like after the 2019 reshuffle? This is the question on everyone’s mind in Brussels, but the answers differ based on the information that one has (one’s personal mini-bubble). In order to get an overview of the expectations of the EU affairs community as a whole, VoteWatch Europe has surveyed more than 1.000 members of the broader ‘EU bubble’ (which also includes national civil servants, whose views are more reflective of the different national perspectives) for their views regarding the reallocation of top EU positions in 2019 (Presidencies of European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and European Central Bank). Continue Reading
by Hsiao-Chiang (Jeff) Hsu – Business Development Assistant at VoteWatch Europe
Despite the absence of formal diplomatic relationships with Taiwan, the EU has established solid relations with the first democratic country in East Asia over the past decades. Economic relations between the two partners are particularly close and dynamic: Taiwan is currently the EU’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia and the EU is Taiwan’s fourth largest export market. Continue Reading
2019 is surely going to bring a large shake-up to the EU system. Next year we will see the first EU elections without the British and an increasingly fragmented European Parliament, as new political movements like Macron’s En Marche and the Italian 5 Star Movement are set to pose a serious challenge to the traditional parties. As a result, the allocation of top EU posts will be a more complex operation than ever before. Continue Reading
by Sabina Varga, journalist and futurist
What does it take to be a citizen? If you take a citizenship test, you have to prove your knowledge of history, law, culture – and fulfill a few other requirements before joining the official ranks of a certain country. Alternatively, by simply being born on the territory of a country you can become a citizen by default.
Citizenship is something many of us take for granted. Continue Reading
The European Commission has recently taken a bold new initiative to bring the Western Balkans closer to EU accession, demonstrating a desire for Serbia and Montenegro to become full members of the Union by 2025. This renewed momentum supporting the EU accession of Western Balkan countries comes amidst the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, highlighting the different attitudes towards Brussels across the European continent.Continue Reading
Another major European election, another big earthquake for the (traditional) political establishment. In a historical Italian election, the mainstream parties that have dominated the Italian political life over the last 20 years (i.e. Renzi’s Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia) have been crushed by the 5 Star Movement (an internet-based party founded by a comedian), and the far-right League, whose campaign took inspiration from Donald Trump’s style. Continue Reading
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Executive summary: The outcome of the upcoming Italian elections is far from certain and it will likely lead to a difficult government formation process. For this reason, these elections are followed with apprehension in Brussels, as they might lead to more political instability and/or a shift from the current status quo in Rome, depending on which coalition will take the power. Continue Reading
This plenary session was clearly dominated by the debate on how to share the spoils after the British MEPs vacate their seats in 2019. The key event was the failed initiative to establish a joint constituency with transnational lists for the upcoming EP elections. On the other hand, most EU Parliamentarians renewed their support for the Spitzenkandidaten process and threatened to reject any other potential candidate to the Presidency of the European Commission. Continue Reading
The decision by the UK to leave the European Union has put Sweden, one of its main partners, in an awkward position. As highlighted by our previous report on Nordic countries, Swedish policymakers are not particularly enthusiastic about the Franco-German acceleration towards a multi-speed Europe, in particular when it comes to the Defence Union and the deepening of the Monetary Union. Continue Reading