Large support in the EP for the new EU agency for border control, even from some euro-critic parties

Refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea on a boat, heading from Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, 29 January 2016.

Despite the frequent clashes among both the political groups and the different national delegations in the European Parliament on how to respond to the unprecedented migratory flows, a compromise for the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard has been supported by 68% of the MEPs. Continue Reading

Austrian thrilling elections will have far-reaching impacts on EU political developments

After a passionate two-day scrutiny, Alexander Van Der Bellen (supported by the Greens) narrowly defeated his far-right wing opponent, Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party of Austria), therefore becoming the new Austrian President (50,3% vs 49,7%). Notably, the ecologist candidate only managed to win thanks to the postal votes counted today, whereas yesterday night the anti-EU Hofer was leading by some 144.000 votes. Continue Reading

So what’s driving the major shift in Austria’s political landscape?

Radio France Internationale

25.04.2016

Radio interview of our Director Doru Frantescu about the dramatic result of the elections in Austria, where the far-right anti-EU candidate came 1st in presidential elections. None of the candidates of the pro-EU mainstream parties made it to the “final”, a situation he predicted and drew attention to in a report 2 weeks ago. Continue Reading

Austria’s elections take-aways: TTIP and EU’s migration policy under pressure

A political earthquake shook Austria yesterday evening, when the far-right anti-EU candidate Norbert Hofer received about 36% of the votes, trumping every other candidate by more than 10 points. Coming just 2 weeks after the referendum in the Netherlands that rejected the EU-Ukraine agreement, this is likely to impact on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other trade agreements, at a time when President Obama, Angela Merkel and other European leaders are trying to build a favourable momentum in Hannover. 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

MEPs call for a holistic approach to migration in the EU

On Tuesday 12th April, a majority of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a non-binding resolution on a holistic approach to migration in the EU.

The text, drafted by Kashetu Kyenge (S&D) and Roberta Metsola (EPP), was adopted by 459 votes in favour, 206 against and 52 abstentions. The two larger groups, the Christian-Democrats and the Socialists, as well as a majority of the Greens and ALDE members, voted in favour of the report. Continue Reading

How will the Austrian presidential elections influence EU’s (migration) policy and TTIP?

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Austrians will vote for a new President on April 24. The race is very tight, as the migration crisis is substantially impacting on the national political landscape. A victory of a candidate from outside the current grand-coalition would seriously undermine the governmental policies. The nationalist anti-immigration and anti-EU FPÖ is on the rise and pushes hard to be part of a future government. Continue Reading

Last European Council summit of 2015: what’s on the agenda, who will take part and what is their power?

A very important European Council meeting will take place at the end of the week. This is the first EU Council after the tragic Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November and Member States representatives will discuss, among others, the counter-terrorism strategy, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing the radicalisation and information exchange.

Similarly, the EU leaders will discuss the refugee crisis, including migrants’ relocation, hotspots and security of the EU’s external borders. 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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EU Parliamentarians vote in favour of refugees’ binding quotas. The Conservatives and the far right oppose

Against the background of the latest refugee crisis developments, the members of the European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution welcoming the EU Commission’s new proposals to deal with the unprecedented influx of migrants and refugees.

The text was adopted by 432 votes in favour, 132 against and 57 abstentions. All the political groups at the left of the spectrum (the socialist group S&D, the radical left group GUE/NGL and the group of the Greens) supported the resolution together with the Christian-Democrats (EPP group) and the Liberal and Democrat members (ALDE group). The Conservative MEPs of the ECR group opposed it alongside the far-right group of Marine Le Pen (ENF) and the British members of the EFDD group (UKIP). Continue Reading