The European Parliament baked the plan to give an extra €1.8 billion in EU medium term loans to Ukraine. The aim of the financial aid is to help the country out of its economic recession and to support Ukraine’s economic stabilisation and reform agenda.
The text was supported by 492 votes in favour, while 107 MEPs voted against and 13 abstained.
(Click here to see how the MEPs voted). Continue Reading
Youtube is one of the biggest platforms for video-sharing, having more than 1 billion users around the globe and approximately 300 hours of video being uploaded every minute. These statistics show YouTube’s potential in educational matters. By spreading informational content on such platforms, the chances of reaching a higher number of people interested in a specific subject increase. Continue Reading
The impression of the centrist grand governing coalition vs. opposition at the fringes is increased even more by the way these smaller groups use alternative tools to hold EU institutions accountable, while at the same time gain visibility: the GUE-NGL, EFDD and non-attached MEPs draft substantially more written statements and parliamentary questions than centrist MEPs. Continue Reading
The largest European political group, the EPP, is proving much better at mobilising its members in this first part of the new parliamentary term, and as a result it continues to be the group who has won most votes. All of this despite substantial losses in the May 2014 elections. This can be partly explained by the new political landscape, with the EPP under increased pressure to rally its members. Continue Reading
Similar to the first six months of the preceding Parliament, the European political group most present in the roll-call votes is the Greens-EFA, with an average participation of 90.5%. It is closely followed by the centre-left S&D group (90%). Interestingly, the non-attached MEPs have become much more participative in votes after the elections: their participation score has gone up from 77% to 89%. Continue Reading
During the first six months of the current term of the European Parliament (July 2014 – December 2014), the three pro-European groups at the centre of the spectrum have succeeded in being ‘on the winning side’ much more often than the other groups, as a result of pre-vote agreements between them. Had there not been the vote in January 2015, when the political groups founded impossible to reach consensus on the Commission’s working plan for the current year, we could have concluded that a (super) grand coalition is alive and well. Continue Reading
Brussels, 27 February 2015. VoteWatch Europe, the organisation tracking the voting and activity records of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), has released a special report to shed light on the developments of the first 6 months of the new EP term. The report is based mainly on the roll-call votes in the EP plenary.
VoteWatch Europe finds that the “grand coalition” (EPP-S&D-ALDE) is more frequent in votes in this EP than in the previous two EPs. Continue Reading
This week, Greece has reached a deal with its Eurozone partners to extend its current bailout programme by 4 months. The extension buys time for the new government in Greece to assess its options. Greece is required to submit a reform proposal to the Eurogroup, listing all the policy measures it plans to take during the remainder of the bailout period.
What do Members of the European Parliament say and why is this important?
Regardless of the Eurogroup’s ability to reach a compromise, political groups in the European Parliament have taken their own positions on the situation in Greece and in general about how the economic crises should be dealt with. Continue Reading
Freedom of movement of people inside the Union is one of the four fundamental freedoms on which the European construction is based, along with that of goods, services and capital. While the principle is clearly stated in the EU’s treaties, when it comes to applying it, many issues surface. The European Executive, the Commission, has proposed in recent years a number of pieces of legislation aimed at removing the remaining regulatory barriers between the countries.
These laws have eventually been approved in the Council of the EU, but only after tough disputes between the Member States. However, the introduction of qualified majority voting has made it possible to reach a position even without all governments agreeing. This has set the ground for a new kind of power game in the Council, with each interested government looking to find allies and build majorities, or blocking minorities. Failure to do so results in being left in minority and losing the battle. Continue Reading
Every year, the European Commission adopts a plan of action for the next twelve months. The Work Programme is prepared in dialogue with the European Parliament and with the European Council.
In the year 2015 the Work Programme has set its focus on a series of proposals and existing legislation, which will be reviewed for the benefit of Europe’s citizens and entrepreneurs. The EU’s regulations play a key role in creating growth and jobs, which is the Juncker Commission’s top priority. While all political forces support this objective in principle, the key challenge is how exactly to achieve it, through more or less regulation? The new EU Executive believes that the answer is to keep EU legislation simple – not to go beyond what is necessary to achieve policy goals and to avoid overlapping layers of regulation. Continue Reading