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European Parliament

The EU and Belarus: doing less might be better

By André Gerrits / 30 September, 2020

It is easy to call for EU action in crises at the borders of the bloc. And in the case of Belarus, these calls have been made again. But the European Union must acknowledge that the Belarusian case cannot be considered without thinking of Russia, and that in some crises...

A too Teutonic talk

By László Andor / 17 September, 2020

As we learned from the great British historian Eric Hobsbawm, tradition is something that is invented. The tradition of State of the Union (SOTEU) speeches by the European Commission president was invented in 2010, in the wake of the great financial crisis. It has always provided a panorama of EU...

Making the UN more inclusive and democratic

By Jo Leinen / 8 September, 2020

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year (UN75). Secretary-General António Guterres has invited everybody to discuss and propose measures for “renewing and strengthening” the world organisation. Notably, a UN Parliamentary Assembly and a World Citizens’ Initiative could be measures that increase its democratic base. Many papers and...

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Out of the Doldrums

By László Andor / 16 September, 2019

The 2019 European Parliament (EP) elections saw Social Democracy falling to a historic low. In the new EP, the share of seats held by Socialist, Social-Democratic and related progressive parties is the lowest ever. Overall electoral support for progressives continues to show a downward trend in Europe, calling for a...

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The new European Parliament: tackling the triple injustice of climate change

By Céline Charveriat / 6 September, 2019

The recent election to the European Parliament marked a turning point in the EU’s history: for the first time, rising concerns about climate change and environmental degradation became a significant factor in electoral choices. Climate change and social inequality, however, are linked. We are faced with a multiple injustice that...

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“The technocratic approach is not credible anymore” – real debate is needed

By Luuk van Middelaar / 4 September, 2019

In his recent book, ‘Alarums and Excursions – improvising politics on the European stage’, the Dutch historian Luuk van Middelaar analyses how a decade of crises – from the financial chaos of the euro and the Greek sovereign debt, the conflicts with Russia over Ukraine, unprecedented levels of refugees from...

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House of Cards – European version

By Alain Bloëdt / 2 September, 2019

Like Claire and Frank Underwood, well known to fans of the TV series House of Cards, the Franco-German couple, formed by Chancellor Merkel and President Macron, preferred to pursue their own petty domestic interests despite the ecological challenge and the crisis of representative democracy. Some historians will probably say that...

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Making the European Parliament the guarantor of the independence of European citizens

By David Maria Sassoli / 30 August, 2019

We are in the midst of historic changes: youth unemployment, migration, climate change, the digital revolution, new world balances, which in order to be tackled need new ideas and the courage to know how to combine great wisdom and maximum audacity. But we also need the institutions to take on...

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EU Governance in the new term

By Enrique Barόn Crespo / 29 August, 2019

The outcome of the 2019 elections to the European Parliament (EP) has opened a new term in the governance of the European Union with a dramatic package of new appointments for the top responsibilities in the institutional triangle (Parliament, Commission and Council), plus the announced succession at the helm of...

European Democracy needs “Spitzenkandidaten” in the 2019 European Elections

By Jo Leinen / 5 October, 2016

Members of the European Parliament usually don’t vote according to their nationality, but according to the line of their respective political groups. This transnational competition between different political visions and ideas has not been presented to the electorate during the campaigns for European elections. The gap between the supranational functioning...

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