The US Democratic Primaries: Where do the candidates stand on EU-US relations?

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Gage Skidmore: https://flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/49540584737/

It is no news that the relationship between the EU and the US went through a rocky three years, following Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. Since then, top EU policymakers have hardly concealed their frustration with Trump’s muscular approach to international relations and trade. Continue Reading

Von der Leyen gets the green light, but the biggest challenges are yet to come

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

Today, a majority of MEPs decided to give the green-light to the new von der Leyen Commission. About 65% of MEPs backed the new College of Commissioners, whereas only 22% of Parliamentarians voted against von der Leyen. This means that, after a difficult process, the new legislative cycle can finally start. However, if you think von der Leyen’s life will be any easier after clearing this major hurdle, you might want to reconsider: the biggest challenges are yet to come, as the latest trends show that coalition building on EU policy initiatives is going to be more difficult than ever. Continue Reading

How each MEP voted on Lagarde, Brexit backstop, US-Iran sanctions and Amazon fires

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

While preparing for the upcoming hearings of the EU Commission nominees, MEPs cast their votes on some of the hottest topics on the EU agenda: the appointment of Christine Lagarde to succeed Mario Draghi at the ECB, the EU strategy on the Brexit negotiations, the US sanctions against Iran and the case of the Amazon fires.

While the mainstream forces (S&D, Renew Europe and EPP) managed to remain cohesive in backing Lagarde and the EU Brexit strategy, rifts among these groups were observed with regards to the EU position on US-Iran and the Amazon fires. Continue Reading

EP2019: how do MEPs feel towards EU trade policy post-elections?

The EU has achieved a strong position in global trade acting together as a single voice (through the European Commission), rather than with 28 separate trade negotiations. Among other policy priorities, trade agreements have been one of the major achievements by Juncker’s Commission. However, different political forces assess the performance of the current Commission very differently from each other and, with the European elections around the corner, we wondered how the EU’s trade agenda might look with a very different texture of the future European Parliament. Continue Reading

France: the decline of traditional parties and the rise of internet-based movements

The results of the French elections are yet another historical event in a very short time interval: for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, the two major political parties have been voted out of the race in the first round, something inconceivable until recently in a “politically conservative” country like France.

More broadly, the  French elections seem to be confirming a trend that we’re seeing elsewhere, ie. Continue Reading