The European Greens are at a crossroads. Green parties are struggling to counter the rise of right-wing parties across the continent and put environmental protection back to the forefront of the political agenda of EU Member States. Their closest partners, the Social Democrats, are also losing power in most countries, as they were not in the position to capitalize on the backlash against economic and social globalization. Continue Reading
by Doru Frantescu and Awenig Marie, with thanks to Davide Ferrari
This is a time of deep political uncertainty in most of the EU’s member states. The British are still to decide their link to Europe, Italians have just ousted their PM, Spaniards are experiencing the hurdles of their first coalition government after prolonged stalemate, while the Polish are redrawing the roles of their own institutions away from Europe. Continue Reading
Key recent developments, such as the blockade of CETA by Wallonia and the triumph of protectionism in American Presidential elections (which is likely to ditch TTIP), highlight the need for those who work on trade to understand how politics affects their side of the business. In order to predict and to prevent blockages, one has to gain a genuine understanding of the actual views of all relevant political factions and the balance of influence between them. Continue Reading
Donald Trump is now president-elect, which means he is no longer playing a character. At least not the one that he thought was needed to play in order to gain the votes. Now, he has to act according to a different script.
The United States are a stable democracy with strong institutions which keep each other in check. Hence, we should not expect sudden dramatic developments. In order to forecast what the US policies will actually be during the next 4 years, we have to wait and see what the agreements between Trump and Republican majorities in Congress will be. Continue Reading
This commentary is written on the flight back to Brussels from Washington DC with just a day to go before the start of the vote on the most controversial American presidential elections ever. Over the past week, I have talked to relevant American experts and European professionals based in the US. I have also exchanged views on the future of Europe and of the Trans-Atlantic relations during a panel debate at the King’s College in New York and during meetings in Washington DC. Continue Reading
Those who believed this spring that CETA was a done deal now have quite a few things on their hands. The complexity of the EU decision-making and the diverging political interests within it have once again taken the bureaucrats in charge of negotiating the deal by surprise.
This occurrence is a case in point of why one needs to make much broader political calculations when trying to get something approved by the EU decision-making machinery. Continue Reading
Which members of the European Parliament – MEPs – are the most in favour of free trade and which, to the contrary, are the most opposed to it? Not necessarily those you might think, our latest VoteWatch Europe study shows.
We have used the European Parliament as object of analysis for two reasons. Firstly, this European institution plays an increasing role in influencing EU’s trade policy. Continue Reading
There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading
After a passionate two-day scrutiny, Alexander Van Der Bellen (supported by the Greens) narrowly defeated his far-right wing opponent, Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party of Austria), therefore becoming the new Austrian President (50,3% vs 49,7%). Notably, the ecologist candidate only managed to win thanks to the postal votes counted today, whereas yesterday night the anti-EU Hofer was leading by some 144.000 votes. Continue Reading
Despite lengthy negotiations and the optimism of the top-level political elites in Hannover, the fate of TTIP is far from certain. The on-going revelations based on leaked documents were meant to give an important blow to the negotiations. Their real impact on the public opinion will be measurable in the coming weeks, while on the medium-term crucial electoral contests are looming ahead. Continue Reading