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OpinionThe day we got EU parliamentarianism

15.07.14 @ 08:52

Parliamentarism means that a parliament elects a country's prime minister and decides its laws. A majority can turn against the prime minister, in which case the government must resign or call an election. The essence ...

OpinionJuncker: The right man for the job?

08.07.14 @ 09:43

Now that the unseemly spectacle surrounding the nomination of Jean Claude Juncker as European Commission president candidate has passed, the legitimate question remains as to whether he is the right man for the job. ...

Pro-EU forces shut out eurosceptics from Parliament top jobs

07.07.14 @ 23:43

Eurosceptic deputies were denied several of the European Parliament's top committee posts on Monday (7 July), as the assembly's centrist groups joined forces to shut them out. The committees elected chairpersons and ...

Court ruling to boost access to EU documents

03.07.14 @ 17:50

EU institutions must demonstrate that the disclosure of a document effectively harms the public interest if they want to deny publication, the European Court of Justice has ruled. The EU's top court also said on ...

MEPs to renew battle against Strasbourg seat

03.07.14 @ 17:43

Surveys in five countries have revealed large public support for a single European Parliament seat. Published on Wednesday (2 July), the poll surveyed more than 1,000 people in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Poland. ...

EU-US trade deal must have national approval, say MPs

02.07.14 @ 17:54

A landmark free trade agreements between the EU and US should be subject to approval by national parliaments before it can become law, national deputies have told the European Commission. The demand is contained in a ...

Post EU ElectionsNational MPs demand more say in EU law-making

27.06.14 @ 07:58

National MPs want more powers in EU law-making, according to a letter backed by most of the EU’s national parliaments. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by EUobserver, warns that “there are signs that [the EU’s] ...

Post EU ElectionsRomania's ruling party revives nationalism ahead of presidential election

18.06.14 @ 09:54

Romania’s governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) looks set to base its presidential election campaign on conservative nationalism that mixes religious devotion and home security. The party won the European elections in ...

OpinionThe small price of democracy

17.06.14 @ 17:40

The Portuguese constitutional court recently rejected government spending cuts for the sixth time. In June 2012, the court stated that since a plan to limit extra holiday and Christmas pay was targeted only at public ...

Post EU ElectionsFighting Juncker – how not to conduct a battle

16.06.14 @ 17:10

It is a bizarre way to fight a battle, particularly when the stakes are so high. What led David Cameron to pursue this anti-Juncker campaign in such a spectacularly foot-stomping manner? His stirring of the tabloids, ...

OpinionHungary’s insidious media clampdown

13.06.14 @ 10:09

It started with a May 25 Constitutional Court decision that website operators are responsible for any comments to blog posts or news commentary that may violate the media law. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, a ...

Post EU ElectionsHungarian media in mass protest against new tax rules

06.06.14 @ 09:26

More than 60 media outlets in Hungary have joined a protest against a planned tax on advertising revenues which the industry says will cripple press freedom in the country. The move, unprecedented in scale by the ...

Post EU ElectionsPolitical interference row between Norway and Hungary escalates

04.06.14 @ 16:57

Norway summoned the Hungarian ambassador in Oslo to the foreign ministry on Wednesday (4 June) after the Hungarian authorities two days earlier raided the offices of NGOs involved in administrating aid from the Nordic ...

Post EU ElectionsSlovakia's EP election turnout set for all-time low of 13%

25.05.14 @ 14:45

Slovakia is set to rewrite the record books of EU elections again, with unofficial turnout figures suggesting that just some 13 percent of people cared to vote. If confirmed, this would surpass both the pessimistic pre- ...

OpinionMobilise vulnerable communities to vote: anti-racism NGO

23.05.14 @ 09:20

On 25 May EU citizens will go to the polls to elect our European Parliament representatives. Many decisions taken by the EP have a direct impact on our daily lives. However, the biggest challenge is making sure that ...

Post EU ElectionsEU-disillusioned Portuguese see little point in voting

22.05.14 @ 09:50

Abstention looks set to be the most certain winner in Portugal's European Parliament election, with a majority of voters unlikely to bother voting on Sunday (25 May). The indifference comes after three years of ...

OpinionHow the EU's 'big bang' enlargement changed foreign policy

01.05.14 @ 09:19

The European Union’s leap from 15 to 25 (and later to 28) members was supposed to have consigned the Cold War legacy of separate and hostile camps in Eastern and Western Europe to the shelves of history. The fault lines ...

Post 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 ...

Post 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 ...

OpinionEven Germany's intellectual elite is falling out of love with the EU

28.03.14 @ 16:51

The European Union is under attack from all sides. To many on the Right in Europe, it seems to be an over-regulated bureaucracy that is undermining the bloc’s competitiveness. To those on the Left, it appears in the ...

OpinionLooking on the bright side of the euro crisis

11.02.14 @ 12:31

As the European Parliament elections approach many cite the lack of a European public sphere as the reason for the disinterest in European politics and the inevitable low voters’ turnout. But is this really so? Or is ...

OpinionA forgotten crime: Montenegro’s double-dealing on the media

06.02.14 @ 08:50

Montenegro is first in line after Croatia to enter the EU, according to some European politicians and parliamentarians. It’s a leader in the Balkan region. But the country’s press is under attack, with Prime Minister ...

Analysis'I'm in politics to seek solutions, not to block things'

17.01.14 @ 18:36

Debating how to increase the role of national parliaments in EU law making is far from being a new subject, nor is it one to set the pulse racing But that didn't matter to the several hundred political hacks, academics ...

OpinionBringing the EU's political debate to social media

07.01.14 @ 08:00

Three years ago, I moved from Silicon Valley to Europe. Since then I’ve met with countless politicians and civil society leaders in many nations – from Hungary to Germany, Jordan to Morocco – to learn about how they ...

EUobserved2014: Changing of the guard in the EU

03.01.14 @ 09:11

When the EU last trotted into election year, in 2009, things were very different. The scale of the global financial crisis and the eurozone trauma were only just becoming apparent. At the height of the crisis, there ...

MEPs point to conflicts of interest within troika

19.12.13 @ 09:34

The European Commission and the European Central Bank had conflicting interests when they acted within the troika of international lenders in bailed out countries, MEPs say. Othmar Karas and Liem Hoang Ngoc, the two ...

Euro policy needs to be 'controversial,' EU commissioner says

16.12.13 @ 16:04

The prevailing policy response to the eurozone crisis risks leading to a situation where membership of the single currency and democracy are no longer compatible in southern member states, the EU's employment ...

EUobservedWhen Barroso dared to take on Berlin

15.11.13 @ 09:22

Oh what it is to be the most powerful state in the European Union. For one, nasty messages from Brussels don’t come out of the blue. They are heralded and wrapped in velvet well in advance. Rumbling about Germany’s ...

EU parliament to probe bailout troikas

28.10.13 @ 13:04

MEPs dealing with economic affairs are to launch an inquiry into the "non-transparent" work of EU Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials overseeing spending cuts in bailout countries ...

VideoNo jobs for Europe's brightest graduates

21.10.13 @ 18:05

Despina Papadaki, from Greece, was one of the 150 participants selected from 2,600 to celebrate the 15th year of the youth partnership between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in Budapest. The plight of ...

Interview'If it's public money, it has to be visible'

21.10.13 @ 07:49

The EU's brand new ombudsman is planning a strategic shake up of the office taking it away from being a "dumping ground" for EU staff disputes to becoming a force for good governance in an EU capital awash with ...

OpinionAll eyes on the integrity of the 2014 European elections

17.10.13 @ 09:02

This week, EUobserver and others reported that Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats recently received almost €700,000 in donations from major shareholders of German car company BMW. In the absence of upper limits for ...

EU parliament unveils €16mn 'go and vote' campaign

10.09.13 @ 16:25

The European Parliament on Tuesday (10 September) began a €16-million effort to persuade people to go to the polls in next year's EU election amid rising unease about ever decreasing voter turnout. The campaign, to run ...

OpinionEU rules on democratic governance need updating

05.09.13 @ 09:33

The question of how or whether the European Union as a whole can respond to violations of liberal democratic norms among its members has come up frequently in discussions about Hungary since Viktor Orban and his Fidesz ...

OpinionThe future of European Turkey

18.06.13 @ 09:09

On Saturday night (15 June), central Istanbul descended into apocalyptic scenes of unfettered violence. The police targeted tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets at protestors, and stormed a hotel near the park, ...

OpinionCan national parliaments make the EU more legitimate?

10.06.13 @ 17:50

The EU has long had a problem of legitimacy, but the euro crisis has made it worse. According to Eurobarometer, 72 percent of Spaniards do not trust the EU. The Pew Research Centre finds that 75 percent of Italians ...

AnalysisListening to Britain on EU reform

03.06.13 @ 18:29

'Listening' was the watchword of William Hague's speech at the Koenigswinter conference last Friday, an understated - and welcome - approach after the fire and brimstone that has dominated recent debate on the UK's ...

National parliaments eclipsed by EU powers

28.05.13 @ 18:53

The EU financial crisis has prompted centralisation of economic and budgetary powers in Brussels, while national parliaments struggle to fulfil their role as democratic watchdogs. The issue will be highlighted on ...

AnalysisIn search of Europe's prophets

19.04.13 @ 08:40

Among other things, recent European politics has suffered from a shortage of prophets. Although it would be a stretch to describe Michael Higgins as a prophet, the Irish president is possibly Europe's only intellectual ...

Commission unveils plans for noisier EU elections

13.03.13 @ 09:29

The European Commission on Tuesday (12 March) unveiled a series of proposals to make the next European elections a pan-European political event rather than an also-ran quasi national poll with an embarrassingly low ...

AnalysisBeppe Grillo - an Italian or European phenomenon?

08.03.13 @ 17:16

Beppe Grillo's extraordinary success in the recent Italian elections tapped into anti-establishment feeling that is ripe for the plucking in other member states too, say analysts. Grillo's 5-Star Movement, established ...

AnalysisComplex EU law-making dubbed 'infernal, undemocratic'

04.03.13 @ 09:24

Brussels is awash with stories about the unhealthy influence of lobbyists on law-makers but as big a scandal, say some experts, is the increasing amount of legislation made with little scrutiny at all. The lack of ...