The stakes can hardly be higher, as EU leaders are meeting today to kick off a negotiating marathon to decide on the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU. Finding an agreement will be more difficult than ever, as the increasing political fragmentation and polarization of political systems across the EU decrease the room for maneuver of the different national leaders. Continue Reading
The confirmation process of the new College of Commissioners got off to a rocky start, after the Committee on Legal Affairs refused to green-light two Commissioners-designate (Rovana Plumb from Romania – S&D – and László Trócsányi from Hungary – EPP) for alleged conflicts of interest.
This is highly relevant for stakeholders as it showcases how the political battles ahead will look like:
1) Protection by traditional political families is now less effective
The content of the arguments used for the rejection is, of course, relevant, but since the subject is brought to the interpretation of fellow politicians (as opposed to independent judges), it is difficult to overlook the political considerations of parties. Continue Reading
While the summer break is just behind the corner, the hectic political debate in Brussels shows no sign of abating. In fact, the upcoming year will bring about a series of brand new changes: a new balance of power in the EP following the elections in May 2019, a new leadership of the EU institutions, and the (tentative) finalization of the Brexit negotiations. At the same time, EU decision-makers are expected to make progress on the proposed reforms of the Eurozone governance, the EU asylum system and the ambitious proposals for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, among many other hot issues. Continue Reading
Who gets what from the EU money, the regulation of the labour market, mandatory labelling, subsidies for farming (CAP) and a new investment fund for the Eurozone were the chief topics on which continental political forces fought during the latest plenary session of the European Parliament.
In the key showdown, MEPs took a stand on the Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Continue Reading
The finalization of Brexit and the 2019 elections for the European Parliament will lead to a re-alignment of the alliances among national parties at the European level (for more insights check the results of our surveys on the matter: What will happen in 2019 and Who will lead the EU after 2019). This ‘reshuffle’ is going to provide some national political forces with a great opportunity to gain broader access to European political networks, increase their leverage on EU policy-making and obtain further protection from the hostile attacks of their opponents. Continue Reading
Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for a stronger EU response to some of the initiatives carried forward by the Hungarian government. Amongst others, Orban’s policies on migration and the attacks against the Central European University in Budapest are harshly criticised in the report.
An ad-hoc liberal-left wing coalition succeeded to rally a majority to push through a very critical resolution that asks for the launch of the rule of law procedure, which is only activated in case of risks of breaches of fundamental values of the EU. Continue Reading
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
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
Photo: European Parliament
EU parliamentarians overwhelming adopted a non-binding resolution calling on the Polish government to respect EU fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law.
The motion was approved by 513 MEPs, whereas 142 opposed and 30 abstained. The votes in favour came mainly from all the pro-EU groups, the Christian-Democrats (EPP), the Socialists (S&D), the Liberals (ALDE), the leftist group GUE/NGL and the Greens. Continue Reading
A non-binding resolution urging the EU to monitor the situation in Hungary as regards the threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the country has been adopted by the EU Parliamentarians.
The motion expressed serious concerns regarding the measures taken in recent months that have made access to international protection very difficult, have criminalised refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and urged the Hungarian Government to return to normal procedures and repeal emergency measures. Continue Reading