(Update) What chances for a real European Common Security and Defense Policy?

Note: this analysis, originally published in September, was updated to take into account the latest developments up to 17 November 2016.

Last evening, Doru Frantescu, the Director& cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, delivered an insightful presentation at an event hosted by the Union of European Federalists, where he analysed the chances of building a real European Defense Union.   Continue Reading

EU-FBI: how European and national politics clash

EU-FBI: how European and national politics clash

After the terrible terror attack stricken in Nice during the celebration for the Bastille Day, politicians are facing again the dilemma on how to properly address the rising threat of terrorism in the main European cities. The previous reactions to the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels showed that a European response to terrorism is still far away. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians adopt the long awaited EU-PNR Directive

The Members of the European Parliament adopted yesterday the long awaited Directive on the regulation of the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

With this new law, airlines will have to hand national authorities the passengers’ data for all flights from third countries to the EU and vice versa. Continue Reading

European centre-left blocks the adoption of EU-PNR Directive

At the beginning of the March plenary session of the European Parliament, the ECR Group (of David Cameron) made the request to place on the plenary agenda the report on the use of passenger name record data (EU-PNR). The demand was rejected by 163 votes in favour to 207 against. The opposing camp included the centre-left MEPs of the Socialist group S&D, the Liberals of the ALDE group, the radical left MEPs and the Greens. 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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Who wants Snowden free? And who says security is more important than privacy? (See how MEPs voted)

The vote on a document adopted in the European Parliament on 29 October gives us the opportunity to see clearly who thinks what with regard to the Snowden case, beyond ambiguous statements of various politicians.

The battlefield is divided between those who are of the opinion that privacy is more important than security, and those who think the opposite, that security prevails over privacy. Continue Reading

EPP and S&D groups at odds on EU security priorities

The non-binding resolution concerning the European Agenda on Security for 2015-2020 proposed by the Commission was adopted by a narrow margin by the European Parliament. This document  sets out the guidelines on how the Union can bring added value to support the Member States in ensuring security.

The text was adopted by 250 votes in favour 204 against and 184 abstentions. The socialist group and the liberals supported the final resolution. The majority of the EPP members abstained, together with the majority of the Greens and of the GUE/NGL. The conservatives, the eurosceptics and the new party group of Marine Le Pen voted against.

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Profile: what does Poland’s Duda really stand for ?

There has been a lot of speculation lately about what the impact of the surprising election of Andrzej Duda as president of Poland could be for Europe and for his country. We did a fact-check to find out what his true views are on policy-making, by analysising his voting behavior as an MEP, a position he held since 2014.

What did we find: judging by his voting record, Mr. Duda has reservations with regard to Juncker’s Commission, is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s European aspirations, favours the inclusion of investor’s protection clause in international trade agreements and supports a bigger EU budget. He prefers security over privacy and shares Israel’s views on Middle East politics. He does not support ambitious targets for renewable energy or gender-based affirmation action and he opposes to promotion of contraception and abortion.  Continue Reading