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MEPs upset over Schulz's double role as president and candidate

17.04.14 @ 09:25

A majority of MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (16 April) said Martin Schulz must explain how he is able to run a campaign and fulfil his role as European Parliament President at the same time. The outgoing leader was ...

EU ElectionsBulgarians protest controversial MEP listing

15.04.14 @ 09:29

The recent appointment of controversial media mogul Delyan Peevski to head the candidates' list in three areas for the Turkish party Movements for Rights and Freedoms has triggered new protests in Sofia. Bulgarians were ...

OpinionEU parliament boycotts transparency check

14.04.14 @ 14:30

When the European Parliament's Constitutional Affairs committee voted on changes to the EU lobby register (18 March), it explicitly noted its support for transparency NGOs. "The European Parliament … welcomes and ...

EU ElectionsJuncker campaign hits the road

14.04.14 @ 09:30

The two men with whom she was talking are "not that into" politics, but nevertheless Erika van der Weijden was curious enough to ask them what was happening in a central square in Utrecht, the fourth largest city in The ...

AgendaBanking union dominates final EP session This WEEK

14.04.14 @ 09:29

Crucial laws for the EU's banking union will headline proceedings in Strasbourg this week as MEPs gather there for the parliament's final session before May's European elections. On Tuesday (15 April) deputies will ...

EU ElectionsItaly PM chooses women MEP candidates to combat 'grey' list

11.04.14 @ 17:24

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has selected five women to front the campaign of his Democratic Party (PD) for May's European Parliament elections, with an 11th-hour reshuffling of candidates' lists that caused a ...

Controversy over citizens' initiative on abortion funding ban

11.04.14 @ 09:27

A second citizens' initiative demanding a change in EU law courted controversy on Thursday (10 April) over its proposals to ban funding for abortion and reproductive health services in developing countries. The 'One of ...

ReviewOn lacklustre EU debates and top job candidates

10.04.14 @ 17:48

The setting was more than unfortunate. Europe’s first ever live (!) televised (!) debate between the two main contenders for the European Commission crown took place in an empty chamber. And that chamber echoed – both ...

Financial sector spends €120mn on EU lobbying

09.04.14 @ 21:31

The EU's financial industry spends more than €120 million per year and employs over 1,700 lobbyists to work in the EU institutions, according to new research by transparency campaigners. The report on "The fire power of ...

EU ElectionsFar-right Austrian MEP withdraws from EU elections

08.04.14 @ 17:58

Austrian MEP Andreas Moelzer, of the far-right Freedom Party, announced on Tuesday (8 April) he will quit the European election after making comments comparing the EU with the Third Reich. “It is the obvious loss of ...

EU ElectionsBarcelona university invents tool for measuring hate speech

08.04.14 @ 09:10

A team of academics in Catalonia have come up with a monitoring tool for xenophobic speech, something they say could be used at EU level too. Ricard Zapata-Barrero, professor of political and social sciences at ...

AgendaCorporate governance on the agenda this WEEK

07.04.14 @ 09:33

New legislation on the rights of shareholders and corporate governance is set to top the agenda of a quiet week for the EU's institutions. On Wednesday (9 April) the European Commission will table plans to re-write the ...

EU ElectionsItaly's Grillo wants disloyal MEPs to pay hefty fine

07.04.14 @ 09:27

Adopting a novel way to enforce discipline, Italy's Five Star Movement, expected to capture the largest share of mounting Eurosceptic sentiment in Italy, has asked candidates for next month's European Parliament ...

MEPs accuse commission of blocking EU statistics 'whistleblower'

07.04.14 @ 09:25

Talks aimed at increasing transparency on EU statistical output have collapsed after the European Commission refused to apply the rules it demands of national statistical offices to its own statistical agency. Lawmakers ...

InvestigationSecret EU lawmaking: the triumph of the trialogue

04.04.14 @ 09:29

The setting could not be less spectacular – one of the more nondescript rooms in the European Parliament's glass towers overlooking Place Luxembourg in Brussels, where a handful of officials gather with armfuls of ...

Six commissioners head for EU election campaign trail

03.04.14 @ 08:11

Six EU commissioners will officially hit the campaign trail later this month as part of their candidacies for May's European elections. Economic affairs chief Olli Rehn, justice commissioner Viviane Reding, industry ...

EU parliament chief censors report criticising his actions

02.04.14 @ 18:19

European Parliament President Martin Schulz removed a paragraph critical of his stewardship in a key committee report set for debate late on Wednesday (2 April). “He used his prerogatives to take out one paragraph in ...

EU ElectionsEU politicians 'overwhelmed' by power shift to social media

02.04.14 @ 17:27

Power is moving to the internet and only politicians and political parties that adapt to this new reality will survive in the future is the stark message sent to MEPs on the eve of EU elections. "Power is shifting from ...

EU ElectionsNordic populist parties divided on which EP group to join

02.04.14 @ 09:13

Right-wing populist parties from the Nordic countries are set to take different political paths after the European elections in May. While the Sweden Democrats are looking towards the likely coalition between France’s ...

EU ElectionsRecord number of Roma running in Czech EU election

02.04.14 @ 09:12

Despite rising animosity toward the country’s minority Roma population – or perhaps because of it – there is now a record number of Roma running in the Czech EU elections. Out of the 39 parties and political movements ...

Common debt fund needs EU treaty change: report

01.04.14 @ 10:01

The EU treaties and democratic constraints block the way to establishing a fund to pool eurozone debt, according to a European Commission report released Monday (31 March). The report by a commission expert group led by ...

AgendaChinese President in first-ever EU visit this WEEK

30.03.14 @ 11:32

Hot on the heels of Barack Obama’s visit to the EU capital, Chinese President Xi Jinping will spend three days in Belgium this week. He will meet top EU officials in Brussels on Monday (7 April) to discuss prospects for ...

EU ElectionsFar-left set for big gains in European Parliament elections

24.03.14 @ 11:44

Europe's far-left is set to almost double its deputies in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May. Poll predictions indicate that the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group is set to become the ...

EU ElectionsDutch extremists in disarray after anti-Moroccan chant

24.03.14 @ 09:29

Will extreme right parties in Europe finally succeed in forming a group in the European Parliament? Chances were looking good until last Wednesday (19 March) when Dutch politician Geert Wilders led an anti-Moroccan ...

EU ElectionsFrench far-right politician endorses Crimea vote

21.03.14 @ 08:57

Aymeric Chauprade, head of the National Front’s list in Ile-de-France constituency, was an observer at the Crimea referendum on Sunday (16 March). Contrary to the official approach taken by the EU, he believes the ...

EU clinches accord on bank wind-down rules

20.03.14 @ 16:40

The EU is set to complete the final piece of its ambitious banking union after lawmakers agreed a deal on rules for winding down failed banks. Bleary-eyed MEPs and ministers announced agreement on a compromise text at ...

InterviewFrench socialists hope to capitalise on anti-EU sentiment

20.03.14 @ 09:30

Currently struggling in the polls – behind both the centre- and far-right – the French Socialist party is desperately seeking to boost its political fortunes. Having failed to capitalise on the crash of the financial ...

EU ElectionsEuropean political parties to get legal status, must abide by EU values

19.03.14 @ 18:25

European Political parties will be put on a firm legal footing, have to declare sizeable donations, and abide by EU values under new rules agreed Tuesday (18 March). The rules, which have to be endorsed by the plenary ...

EU ElectionsPolitical groups pledge to conduct hate-free campaigns

19.03.14 @ 17:58

The majority of mainstream parties in the European Parliament on Wednesday (19 March) signed a pledge to conduct election campaigns free from discrimination and intolerance. “The [European Parliament] elections are ...

OpinionRule of law: EU 'mechanism' needs upgrade

19.03.14 @ 09:18

The European Commission’s much-awaited “rule of law mechanism” needs some improvements if it is to bring about real results. The tool, announced on 11 March, is the commission’s response to calls by EU member states, ...

EU ElectionsThreat of voter fraud haunts EU vote in Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia

18.03.14 @ 09:30

A sharp insight into the abuse of European democracy was revealed in the recent trial of Croatia's ex-Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. The ex-leader of the now-opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was sentenced in ...

EU ElectionsEU top candidates to slug it out in TV debate

17.03.14 @ 14:30

This year will see the first-ever televised debate between candidates running to be the next head of the European Commission but the details of the format - not least how to make it interesting TV - are proving to be a ...

EU ElectionsJuncker and Schulz in favour of eurobonds

17.03.14 @ 09:29

Eurobonds - a controversial debt mutualisation project fiercely opposed by Germany - are being supported in the long run by both the centre-right and centre-left top candidates in the EU elections. In a double-interview ...

MEPs: Troika undemocratic, European Monetary Fund needed

13.03.14 @ 14:21

The European Parliament is calling for the creation of an EU monetary fund to replace the "undemocratic" troika of international lenders. In a non-binding report voted Thursday (13 March) in Strasbourg, MEPs set out the ...

AgendaUkraine, data protection, and troika in spotlight this WEEK

10.03.14 @ 09:28

Ukraine, data protection, and the performance of the troika in bailout countries, are among the top subjects set for debate and vote at the Strasbourg plenary session this week. MEPs on Monday evening (10 March) will ...

ECB monitoring effects of Ukraine confrontation

04.03.14 @ 09:18

The European Central Bank (ECB) is monitoring the possible economic effects of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, ECB chief Mario Draghi told EU lawmakers on Monday (3 March). During a hearing at the European Parliament that ...

EU ElectionsSchulz approved as Socialist candidate for commission presidency

01.03.14 @ 20:20

There will never be a United States of Europe, according to the newly-crowned top Socialist candidate for the European elections. European Parliament President Martin Schulz was endorsed by the Party of European ...

MEPs boost transparency in committee votes

27.02.14 @ 09:22

A large majority of MEPs on Wednesday (26 February) in Strasbourg agreed to increase transparency in the committee level decision-making process. With more and more critical votes on draft laws taken at the committee ...

EU ElectionsGerman neo-Nazis could enter EU parliament after court ruling

26.02.14 @ 12:55

A myriad small German parties, including the neo-Nazi NPD, could enter the European Parliament following a ruling by the Constitutional Court on Wednesday (26 February) to abolish the minimum threshold for the vote. The ...

MEPs redouble attack on bailout 'troikas'

25.02.14 @ 10:01

MEPs investigating the troika of international lenders in bailout countries have said it was marred by conflicts of interest and lacked democratic accountability. The economic affairs committee on Monday (24 February) ...

EU ElectionsSlovakia keen to boost legitimacy of EU commission

24.02.14 @ 09:10

Slovakia's ruling party has said it will try to boost the democratic legitimacy of the EU executive by sending the country's current commissioner to campaign in the upcoming European elections. Maros Sefcovic, currently ...

AgendaMerkel gets royal reception in London this WEEK

21.02.14 @ 18:44

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be received with the highest level of pomp during her visit to London on Thursday (27 February). She is to meet the queen, Prime Minister David Cameron and speak to the joint houses ...

AnalysisA political obsessive's paradise: A 28 nation opinion poll

20.02.14 @ 09:11

There are few things that political obsessives love more than opinion polls. On Wednesday (19 February), Brussels' army of amateur psephologists saw their dreams come true. A poll for all twenty eight EU countries. The ...

EU ElectionsPoll: Socialists to top EU elections, boost for far-right

19.02.14 @ 14:00

Europe's socialists are set to top the polls in May's European elections, according to the first pan-EU election forecast. The projections, released by Pollwatch Europe on Tuesday (19 February), give the parliament's ...

First EU citizens' initiative calls for right to water

17.02.14 @ 20:47

EU law should guarantee the right to water and sanitation, the first valid EU citizens’ initiative has said. It also called for water services not to face liberalisation, collecting 1.8 million signatures after a ...

Interview'Baltic candidate' challenges Juncker for EU top job

17.02.14 @ 09:21

Conservative parties in the three Baltic states are supporting former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis to take the pole position for the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) in the EU elections. Speaking ...

ReviewThat German court decision

14.02.14 @ 09:29

There is a long-standing tradition in politics of only dealing with something when really necessary. Why put your hand in a political hornet’s nest now, when others, down the line, could do it instead? It's a tradition ...

EU ElectionsEconomic chaos sees Greek voters swing to fringe parties

13.02.14 @ 10:20

Mihalis’ head was bloody and swollen. Around him loomed a threatening crowd. Garbage blazed in an overturned bin. After the police detained and chased protesters during an anti-fascist demonstration, a handful of left- ...

AnalysisWould a eurozone committee enrich the EU parliament?

12.02.14 @ 19:16

The European Parliament seems likely to create a new committee specifically for the eurozone when MEPs convene in July for the first meetings of the new legislature. The idea, set out in a letter from Sharon Bowles, the ...

EU ElectionsGuide to the 2014 European Elections

12.02.14 @ 11:53

The next European Parliament election, the eighth one since direct voting began in 1979, will take place from 22-25 May. It is a unique event in global terms, in which 400 million eligible voters out of a population of ...