Exclusive interview: Turkish Ambassador addresses Europeans after the EU October Summit

The EU-Turkey relations are at their lowest in recent years, at a time when the EU seems to be facing increasing challenges to promote its interests internationally, while facing rising nationalism internally.

The EU leaders have not shied away from imposing sanctions on Russia, taking distance from the US (after the change of administration in Washington) and build trade defence mechanisms against China. Continue Reading

This is why the EU lacks a position on the Middle East crises

Qatar responded to the ultimatum imposed by other Gulf countries, as the tensions in the region keep escalating. While the US is very active, the EU seems to lack the ability to have a coherent position on these developments. Why? This report shows how key European political actors have different preferences for their coalition partners in the Middle East, which leads to the EU as a whole having an ambiguous response when these regional crises occur. Continue Reading

Comparing the positions of the Hungarian Government and Hungarian parties in the EP on symbolic European issues

Executive Summary

The purpose of this joint study of VoteWatch and Policy Solutions is to examine the voting patterns of Hungarian Members of the European Parliament in order to figure out whether Hungarian political parties have the same positions on key issues in both Brussels and Budapest.

For this reason, we explored how Hungarian MEPs voted in the European Parliament using VoteWatch.eu and compared it to their respective national party’s position by using Policy Solutions. 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

Cypriot Elections: what impact on EU’s relations with Turkey and Russia’s influence?

Yesterday, the Cypriot citizens living in the southern part of the island cast their vote to elect the House of Representatives, the legislative institution of Cypriot political system. The two larger parties, the centre right wing Democratic Rally (DISY-EPP) and the far left wing Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL-GUE-NGL) saw their share of votes declining, whereas smaller anti-establishment parties gained more votes (and seats). 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

Majority in EP supports Turkey’s path, but disagree on key matters

EU Parliamentarians adopted their annual report on Turkey’s progress in the context of the EU accession process. The non-binding text states that the Commission should review the conduct of the EU accession negotiations with Turkey and assess how EU-Turkey relations could be improved.

The resolution was adopted by 432 votes in favour, 94 against and 127 abstentions. The support for the continuation of the negotiations came from the EPP, S&D, ALDE and the Greens/EFA groups. Continue Reading

Turkish government should stop systematic pressuring of the press, or loose financial assistance, MEPs say

All political families in the European Parliament agreed on a resolution expressing the concern of the EU over the attacks to the freedom of the press in Turkey following the arrests of journalists and media executives at the end of 2014.

In the resolution, the MEPs stated their doubts over real the independence of the judiciary in the country and their worries as regards increasing intolerance towards political opposition, public protest and critical media in the past few years. Continue Reading