Youtube is one of the biggest platforms for video-sharing, having more than 1 billion users around the globe and approximately 300 hours of video being uploaded every minute. These statistics show YouTube’s potential in educational matters. By spreading informational content on such platforms, the chances of reaching a higher number of people interested in a specific subject increase. Continue Reading
The impression of the centrist grand governing coalition vs. opposition at the fringes is increased even more by the way these smaller groups use alternative tools to hold EU institutions accountable, while at the same time gain visibility: the GUE-NGL, EFDD and non-attached MEPs draft substantially more written statements and parliamentary questions than centrist MEPs. Continue Reading
The largest European political group, the EPP, is proving much better at mobilising its members in this first part of the new parliamentary term, and as a result it continues to be the group who has won most votes. All of this despite substantial losses in the May 2014 elections. This can be partly explained by the new political landscape, with the EPP under increased pressure to rally its members. Continue Reading
Similar to the first six months of the preceding Parliament, the European political group most present in the roll-call votes is the Greens-EFA, with an average participation of 90.5%. It is closely followed by the centre-left S&D group (90%). Interestingly, the non-attached MEPs have become much more participative in votes after the elections: their participation score has gone up from 77% to 89%. Continue Reading
During the first six months of the current term of the European Parliament (July 2014 – December 2014), the three pro-European groups at the centre of the spectrum have succeeded in being ‘on the winning side’ much more often than the other groups, as a result of pre-vote agreements between them. Had there not been the vote in January 2015, when the political groups founded impossible to reach consensus on the Commission’s working plan for the current year, we could have concluded that a (super) grand coalition is alive and well. Continue Reading
This week, Greece has reached a deal with its Eurozone partners to extend its current bailout programme by 4 months. The extension buys time for the new government in Greece to assess its options. Greece is required to submit a reform proposal to the Eurogroup, listing all the policy measures it plans to take during the remainder of the bailout period.
What do Members of the European Parliament say and why is this important?
Regardless of the Eurogroup’s ability to reach a compromise, political groups in the European Parliament have taken their own positions on the situation in Greece and in general about how the economic crises should be dealt with. Continue Reading
Every year, the European Commission adopts a plan of action for the next twelve months. The Work Programme is prepared in dialogue with the European Parliament and with the European Council.
In the year 2015 the Work Programme has set its focus on a series of proposals and existing legislation, which will be reviewed for the benefit of Europe’s citizens and entrepreneurs. The EU’s regulations play a key role in creating growth and jobs, which is the Juncker Commission’s top priority. While all political forces support this objective in principle, the key challenge is how exactly to achieve it, through more or less regulation? The new EU Executive believes that the answer is to keep EU legislation simple – not to go beyond what is necessary to achieve policy goals and to avoid overlapping layers of regulation. Continue Reading
Background: there are 7 political families in the European Parliament. Individual Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sit not according to nationality, but join political families according to their own ideology. Then, for most of the time, they vote according the position decided within the group. Some groups are more united when the votes are about civil liberties, others are more disciplined when voting on economic affairs. Continue Reading
The Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament believes that a single market for electronic communications is a key tool for creating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. According to specialised studies in e-commerce, EU citizens could save around 60 billion EUR a year as a result of lower prices in telecoms and 95 billion EUR as a result of having more choices. A single market for electronic communications would also increase consumer choices, quality of service and contribute to territorial and social cohesion, as well facilitate overall mobility across the EU. Continue Reading
LuxLeaks: EU parliamentarians set up a special committee to look into tax rulings
The EP’s political group leaders have decided to set up a special committee to look into tax rulings by member states.
The creation of the special committee was adopted with an overwhelming majority of 612 Parliamentarians voting in favour, 19 against and 23 abstaining from the vote. The MEPs who did not vote in favour of this text came mainly from the UKIP (who voted against) and French Front National (who abstained). Click here to see how each MEP voted. Continue Reading