The representatives of the French Republicans in the EU institutions seem to have adjusted their position on Ukraine to be in line with the campaign rhetoric of Francois Fillon, their candidate running in the race for the Presidency of France which will hold its first round of elections on 23 April.
In an unusual move, the EU Parliamentarians of “Les Republicans” (LR) abstained in a vote in the European Parliament that approved visa exemptions for Ukrainian citizens. Continue Reading
by Doru Frantescu
In a report of the European Parliament on the military situation in the Black Sea area, some Members supported an amendment asking that the possibility of providing Ukraine with defensive arms should be considered, if Russia does not fully implement the Minsk ceasefire agreements (par. 16/3).
This strong statement generated severe disagreements, dividing the MEPs on both ideological and national lines. Notably, all MEPs coming from Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance supported the idea. Conversely, all MEPs coming from their coalition ally in the German government, the social-democrats (SPD), voted against it. This development illustrates the deep divisions within the German Government on what the best course of action should be in response to the rising geo-political tensions on the EU’s Eastern frontier. Continue Reading
VoteWatch Europe has been quoted by BBC World News:
10 June 2015
Anti-EU parties including UKIP have voted against a European Parliament resolution, which condemns Russian human rights abuses.
The strongly-worded, non-binding resolution was passed by a majority of MEPs. It called for a ban on funding of political parties in the EU by non-EU “political or economic stakeholders”. Continue Reading
The EU Parliament adopted by a large majority a report on the state of EU-Russia relations stating that in the current international context the EU has no choice but to “critically re-assess” its relations with Russia.
The non-legislative report was adopted by 494 votes in favour, 135 against and 69 abstention. Only the radical left / communists, eurosceptics and the nationalists opposed the final text. Continue Reading
There has been a lot of speculation lately about what the impact of the surprising election of Andrzej Duda as president of Poland could be for Europe and for his country. We did a fact-check to find out what his true views are on policy-making, by analysising his voting behavior as an MEP, a position he held since 2014.
What did we find: judging by his voting record, Mr. Duda has reservations with regard to Juncker’s Commission, is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s European aspirations, favours the inclusion of investor’s protection clause in international trade agreements and supports a bigger EU budget. He prefers security over privacy and shares Israel’s views on Middle East politics. He does not support ambitious targets for renewable energy or gender-based affirmation action and he opposes to promotion of contraception and abortion. Continue Reading
The European Parliament baked the plan to give an extra €1.8 billion in EU medium term loans to Ukraine. The aim of the financial aid is to help the country out of its economic recession and to support Ukraine’s economic stabilisation and reform agenda.
The text was supported by 492 votes in favour, while 107 MEPs voted against and 13 abstained.
(Click here to see how the MEPs voted). Continue Reading
Photo from EPA/ Zurab Kurtsikidze
Centrist groups have succeeded in reaching a common position to ask the European Union to send a strong signal of support for Ukraine’s European aspirations. EU Parliamentarians passed a resolution condemning the acts of terrorism and criminal behavior of the separatists and other irregular forces in eastern Ukraine.
The resolution also calls for the continuation of the current EU sanctions regime and takes positive note of the recently adopted additional sanctions on investment, services and trade regarding Crimea and Sevastopol. Continue Reading
In this edition:
1. Super Grand Coalition EPP-S&D-ALDE approved the New European Commission
2. Pro-EU groups reversed the Council’s cuts in the draft EU budget for 2015
3. EP urged Member States to fully implement EU Semester 2014 economic priorities
4. MEPs backed a prolong Ukraine’s duty-free access to the EU market
The EP adopted a resolution welcoming the Minsk ceasefire agreement and criticising its violation by Russian troops and separatists. The resolution also strongly condemns the Russian Federation for conducting a “hybrid war” against Ukraine and calls on Russia to withdraw all its military forces from the country.
The text reiterates EU’s commitment to the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and that the international community will not recognize the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Continue Reading
EPP, S&D, ECR, ALDE, Greens/EFA push through EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
Simultaneously with the Ukrainian Parliament, the European Parliament gave its consent by a large majority to the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA). The Agreement will deepen political and economic ties and will create a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the signatories. Continue Reading