The Walloons are from Venus, the Flemish from Mars. Is it true what they say? Are the Belgians divided, and if yes, is this reflected when they take part in decisions made at the EU level? This report provides a comparative perspective of the positions taken by Belgian EU Parliamentarians on key issues voted recently in the European Parliament.
Please note that this is not a survey: we took into account the actual decisions made by Belgian MEPs, not merely opinions or carefully crafted political statements. Continue Reading
The trade defense reform recently proposed by the European Commission is directly aiming at limiting Chinese exports to the EU, a creative way to avoid frontal collision with WTO regulations. This strategy has gained momentum especially after the Brexit referendum, as this is removing a key ally of China from the EU power game: the UK has been the most pro free-trade EU government and British leaders have fought, from inside the EU institutions, to block protectionist moves by the EU. 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
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
The European Parliament has recently said “no” to granting market economy status (MES) to China. At the final vote, 84% of its Members backed the EP document, which made it look to the outsiders like there is a broad consensus against MES for China. However, a closer look at the actual text adopted and on how MEPs voted on key amendments shows a much more nuanced picture by country and political family. Continue Reading
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
Members of the Parliament adopted the EU’s annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013. The report was supported by 390 votes in favour, 151 against and 97 abstentions. Click here to see how the MEPs voted.
Among other topics, the adopted report puts a particular focus on the question of human rights in relations with EU partners, including China and Russia. The report discussed the challenges posed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea, whether this policy of aggression is a Russia’s continuation towards authoritarian rule, with a worsening human rights situation inside the country. Continue Reading