Manfred Weber (EPP) vs. Gianni Pitella (S&D): allies or rivals?

Manfred Weber and Gianni Pittella are the leaders of the two biggest political factions in the European Parliament, the groups of the European People’s Party and of the Socialists and Democrats, respectively.

Many observers have argued that there are few differences between the views of these two, a situation which acts as a disincentive for the European citizens to come to vote, since they can’t see why an option is better than the other. Continue Reading

The British Government’s minority report: UK opposes most frequently in EU Council votes, especially on budget, agriculture and foreign policy

As the UK General Elections are getting close and the EU-UK relations are one of the main topics of the electoral campaign, we looked into the decisions of the Council to see, factually, what exactly divides the UK and the other Member States and to what extent this impacts on EU policy making. Continue Reading

Belgium and Luxembourg abstained, while new GMOs legislation was approved by EU governments

The legislation on the new rules allowing flexibility for EU Member States to ban Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) has been very controversial due to disagreements between pro- and anti-GMO Member States. It took 4 years for the Council to reach an agreement on the text.

The aim of the proposal is to provide legal basis in the EU legal framework for Member states to restrict or prohibit GMO cultivation on their territory, even if these would have been authorised beforehand at EU level. Continue Reading

The Netherlands, Sweden and UK fail to block new EU measures for promoting agricultural products

The Council of the EU approved the text that regulates a framework for agricultural products in order to set the strategic priorities and encourage promotion in new markets, such as in third countries. The proposed act was adopted by a majority of 25 governments voting in favor, while the Dutch, Swedish and British delegations voted against (click here to see how each Member State voted – the formal vote took place on October 13th 2014). Continue Reading