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

EU and US send opposite signals to Iran’s reconciliation plan

The agreement between the international community and Iran is under question now that Donald Trump will preside over the United States. The new American President has taken a clear position against the deal throughout his campaign. In contrast, just a couple of weeks ago the Europeans have expressed very contrasting views, voting a resolution that endorses closer economic and political relations with Iran. Continue Reading

Turkey’s Accession to the EU: VoteWatch analysis on eleven years of voting on accession negotiations with Turkey

by Michael Kaeding[1] and Felix Schenuit

The political situation between Turkey and the EU is getting increasingly delicate. Recent developments, including Erdogan’s clear-cut reactions towards the resolution of the German Bundestag on the Armenian Genocide or the “Böhmermann affair” illustrate how big the differences are between Turkey and EU’s Member States. Continue Reading

EU-Turkey cooperation on migration not to be linked to EU accession negotiation, say the MEPs

Against the background of the criticised EU-Turkey political agreement on irregular migration of March 2016, EU Parliamentarians adopted a non-binding resolution supporting the engagement between the two entities on the refugee and migration crisis but also underlining that EU-Turkey cooperation on migration should not be linked to EU accession negotiation process. Continue Reading

Amid protests in Kosovo, EU presses ahead with its enlargement strategy

Kosovo has been an unruly place for the past few months. Despite widespread unrest and opposition protests against an-EU backed deal with Serbia, the EU presses ahead with its current enlargement strategy. A recent debate in the European Parliament confirmed the EU is staying its course on Serbia and Kosovo.

MEPs debated the progress on Serbia and Kosovo last month –politically sensitive, both Kosovo and Serbia are always discussed at the same time. Continue Reading

TTIP and NATO start being mentioned in the US electoral debates

New Hampshire, United States – On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders came out with a major win over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After an extremely narrow loss in Iowa last week, the Vermont senator won by over 20 points in New Hampshire.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump emerged victorious with about 35% of the vote and taking 10 delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer. Continue Reading

German and British MEPs are the only Socialists who disapprove the creation of the European Defence Union

In a vote last week in the European Parliament, British and German Socialist delegations have disapproved the creation of a European Defence Union.

The votes took place on an EP resolution called Mutual Defence Clause, which aims at asking to the EU institutions to establish, as soon as possible, practical arrangements and guidelines for the future potential activation of the mutual assistance clause. The document was adopted in the chamber following the official invocation of the mutual defence clause of Article 42(7) TEU[1] by France after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. This was the first time in the EU history when this clause was invoked.

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EU Parliamentarians call for stronger EU-China relations, but condemn China’s human rights records

A vast majority of Members of the European Parliament pushed through a non-legislative resolution calling for the deepening of EU-China relations and for promoting EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The resolution on EU-China relations was adopted by 554 votes in favour, 50 against and 99 abstentions. All the EU political groups voted in favour of the text with the exception of the majority of the far-right group of Marine Le Pen that opposed it and the Eurosceptic EFDD group and the Radical-left group GUE-NGL that abstained. 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

Majority of EU Parliamentarians endorse the relocation of an additional 120,000 asylum seekers. Conservatives, Far-right and UKIP oppose

EU Parliamentarians endorsed an emergency proposal to relocate 120.000 asylum seekers from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other EU Member States. This EU Commission proposal was published on 9 September to respond to the unprecedented arrival of refugees and migrants at EU’s borders.

The text was adopted by 370 votes in favour, 134 against and 52 abstentions. This time again, the majority supporting the proposal included the socialist group S&D, the radical left group GUE/NGL and the group of the Greens together with the Christian-Democrats (EPP group) and the Liberal and Democrat members (ALDE group). The Conservatives of the ECR group opposed it alongside the far-right group of Marine Le Pen (ENF) and the British members of the EFDD group.

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