Monday

27th May 2019

Germany to postpone Airbus decision

Germany might postpone the final decision on buying 73 A400M military transport aircraft until after the September 22 elections. A spokesman for the German defence ministry indicated on Friday, that the budget committee of the German Bundestag, meeting for the last time before the elections on Thursday 12 September, would not be able to reach a conclusion.

The Ministers of defence of eight EU countries signed in December 2001 an agreement to buy in total 196 A400M military transport aircraft, deemed essential for the credibility of the 60,000 strong European rapid reaction forces. However, the 18bn euro contract was dependent on the German Parliament’s promise to buy 73 aircraft for Germany because the minimum orders required by Airbus in order to start production are 180 aircraft.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The German government pledged to buy the 73 planes in two stages, but was only willing to earmark enough money to buy about 40 planes this year. Germany then came under pressure from its partners in the project to give a binding guarantee for the financing of the rest of the project. After an opposition complaint to the Constitutional Court, the defence minister at the time, Rudolf Scharping, was forced to concede he could only give a political commitment, which would not be binding on the next parliament.

While the Germans are still holding up the Airbus project, France plans a big increase in defence spending over the coming years. A five-year military planning bill to be discussed in the French cabinet on September 11 will see spending gradually increased to 15bn euro in 2008 from 12.5bn euro this year.

Bundestag gives green light to Airbus

With the permission to buy 60 military transport aircraft A400 M, the German parliament has erased the last formal obstacle for the European project.

EUobserved

Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection

A party like atmosphere has seized the Greens as a packed room of people discuss around food and drinks. Elsewhere, the centre-right EPP appear sombre, as they huddle around their computers behind closed doors.

2019 European election results

With 427 million possible voters, across 28 EU countries, electing 751 MEPs, it's the second-biggest democratic vote in the world. The results will come thick and fast - follow them here, via the European Parliament's official results site.

News in Brief

  1. Timmermans calls for 'progressive alliance'
  2. Catalonia's Puigdemont wins MEP seat
  3. Weber opens door to alliance with greens and liberals
  4. Tsipras calls snap Greek election after EP defeat
  5. Polish ruling PiS takes lion's share of EU vote
  6. Romanian voters punish ruling PSD party
  7. First official EP projection: EPP remain top, Greens fourth
  8. UK forecast puts Brexit Party on top, with 24 seats

Key details on how Europeans will vote

It's one of the biggest democratic exercises in the world with over 400 million eligible voters. National rules apply, and national parties run, but the stakes are at European level.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Latest News

  1. Populists' EU breakthrough fails, greens and liberals gain
  2. Jubilant Greens in party mood after first EP projection
  3. 2019 European election results
  4. Thunberg: We can still fix climate, but must start today
  5. Turnout up in Slovakia, with pro-EU liberals scoring high
  6. Belgium votes in hybrid EU-national election
  7. Irish greens take Dublin in second EU exit poll
  8. EU election results to trigger top jobs scramble This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us