While political environments are often being described as ‘bubbles’ that are detached from the rest of society, they are far from being immune to the most dramatic international developments. After facing significant disruption due to the wave of terrorist attacks in 2015 – 2016, the EU political life is now sliding towards a standstill due to the ongoing Corona Virus pandemic. Continue Reading
During the last plenary session, MEPs gave the green light to the new von der Leyen’s Commission, as the eventful 2019 year comes close to an end. After a prolonged period of EU transition limbo, in 2020 the focus will shift back to the day-to-day legislative battles. Who are the future winners and losers of EU politics going to be? Continue Reading
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
Despite the rocky start of the Parliamentary vetting process, the new College of Commissioners led by Ursula von der Leyen is still expected to take office before the end of the year. While often sneered as ‘faceless Eurocrats’ by its staunchest critics, the College of Commissioners is mostly composed of career politicians whose task is to provide political impetus to the powerful executive machine of the EU, which is currently made up of about 30.000 civil servants. 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