Pro-European EP groups reverse the cuts made by Member States to the EU budget for 2016

The resolution on the 2016 EU draft budget restoring all the cuts proposed by the Council (Member States’ governments) was adopted by 434 votes in favour, 185 against and 80 abstentions.

The three main pro-EU groups were able to push it through. Indeed, the Christian-Democrat group EPP, the Socialist group S&D and the Liberal group ALDE voted in favour of the motion. On the contrary, the Conservative group ECR, the far-right group of Marine Le Pen and the Eurosceptic group of Nigel Farage all opposed the text. Notably (but not unusually), the British delegation of the Socialist group (Labour Party) voted against the line of the group and therefore against a bigger EU budget. Continue Reading

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

MEPs approved aid to redundant workers in Spain, Netherlands, Romania and Greece

MEPs approved aid to redundant workers in Spain, Netherlands, Romania and Greece 

MEPs voted in favour of the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help redundant workers to find new jobs for five applications coming from Greece, Romania, Spain (Aragón & Castilla y León) and the Netherlands, and for a technical assistance application at the initiative of the European Commission. Continue Reading