Germany in 2017: how would a CDU-Greens-FDP government change Berlin’s policies?

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

MEPs support mandatory corporate tax reporting and exchange of information

Canary wharf skyline

An overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament adopted a legislative resolution setting out a plan to reduce aggressive tax planning, evasion and avoidance by increasing the transparency of tax policies across the EU and making mandatory the automatic exchange of information on corporate taxation among national authorities.

The report was adopted by 567 votes in favour, 30 against and 53 abstentions. Continue Reading

Banking Union is positive, but important improvements are still needed, MEPs say

The first EU Parliament annual report on the progress made in 2015 by the Banking Union (BU), drafted by the Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Roberto Gualtieri (IT, S&D), welcomed the BU as instrumental to ensuring stability and restoring confidence in euro area banks, but said that work still needs to be done.

The resolution was adopted by 351 votes in favour, 112 against and 30 abstentions. Continue Reading

MEPs back FTA negotiations with Australia and New Zealand

In another move that aims to increase the EU’s leverage on the global market, MEPs last week backed the opening of trade talks with Australia and New Zealand with an overwhelming majority. The only opposition came from the (far) left and the extreme right amid concerns over globalisation. Agriculture and transparency remain thorny issues, however.

This FTA adds one more link to the global trade network that the EU is building and which includes similar deals with the US (TTIP), Canada (CETA), Japan, alongside the already completed FTA with South Korea, and the TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement). Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians want recovered companies’ tax avoidance to go to the EU budget

EU Parliamentarians adopted a non-binding resolution stating that the money recovered by EU member states from a company due to infringements of tax-related state aid rules should be returned to the EU budget or to the member states unfairly deprived of the money.

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EU deputies support the creation of a Digital Single Market

On Tuesday 19 January 2016, MEPs adopted a series of recommendations to boost the 16 Digital market initiatives launched by the Commission in May 2015. European Parliamentarians have pushed for a rapid adoption of the project.

The motion was approved by 551 to 88 with 39 abstentions on 678 presents. The majority in favor of the resolution included the Christian democrats, the Socialists, the Greens, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The radical left group abstained. The Eurosceptics and the Nationalists opposed the text. 90% of MEPs voted along political groups’ lines.

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EU’s macroeconomic policy: no clear way forward, as political families disagree

by Doru P. Frantescu, director & co-founder of VoteWatch Europe (@dorufrantescu)

EU’s economy is still not doing great and new measures need to be taken to unleash its enormous potential, this is what the Members of the European Parliament agree on. They also agree that the EU should take a more active role to coordinate the economic policies of the 28 EU Member States. Continue Reading

Bienkowska: Single Market Initiative 2015 will grow the economy. She will have to convince some leftist factions in the European Parliament

by Monika Golaszewska & Doru P. Frantescu

On Wednesday, October 28th, the Commission has launched a single market plan, which aims at unleashing its full potential and creating new opportunities in the global economy.

Commissioner for the internal Market, Elzbieta Bienkowska, has started her public diplomacy campaign by saying that she is very enthusiastic about the new opportunities for innovation and she “fell in love” with the single market while working on new strategies of its upgrading. “EU is the biggest market in the world, with 500 million consumers, but we have not realized its full potential” stressed Bienkowska. She sees the main problems in the barriers and protectionist measures, which hold back the entrepreneurs. The Commission has been working on a new approach to industrial competitiveness, to build an open and efficiently functioning product and service market. Continue Reading

Debate en el Parlamento Europeo sobre la legislación hipotecaria y los instrumentos financieros de riesgo en la UE, caso español

por Laura Gallego

El pasado 5 y 8 de octubre se ha debatido en Estrasburgo una propuesta de resolución de petición a la Comisión, crucial para muchos afectados españoles en el tema de las preferentes y abusos bancarios que se han podido producir en España entre los años 2003 y 2011. Han sido diversas las cajas y bancos que han podido vender productos en algunos casos de seguridad dudosa y  por el que se han visto afectados un número importante de ciudadanos españoles. Continue Reading

Manfred Weber (EPP) vs. Gianni Pitella (S&D): allies or rivals?

Manfred Weber and Gianni Pittella are the leaders of the two biggest political factions in the European Parliament, the groups of the European People’s Party and of the Socialists and Democrats, respectively.

Many observers have argued that there are few differences between the views of these two, a situation which acts as a disincentive for the European citizens to come to vote, since they can’t see why an option is better than the other. Continue Reading