Tag Archives: EPP

Loiseau self-destructive sarcasm

President Emmanuel Macron’s  candidate to lead a new centrist alliance in the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau said on she was pulling out of the race, in a defiance to French government influence in the parliamenEt.

Nathalie Loiseau was quoted by Belgian newspapers disparaging allies in Renew Europe, formed by Macron’s party and the liberal ALDE, and adding she intends a sweeping overhaul of the group, the third biggest in the European Parliament.

Loiseau was quoted in Le Soir calling ALDE’s longtime leader Guy Verhofstadtan old git with pent-up frustrations” and branding the conservative European People’s party candidate for Commission president an “ectoplasm”.

Loiseau described the comments, made during an off-record briefing to journalists in Brussels, as “pure fiction” but their leak damaged her credibility just as competition for the leadership intensified. And according to her own words she preferred to renounce her ambition to lead the group.

 

 

Orban withdraws support to Weber for top EU job

The leader of Germany’s conservatives made clear she expected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party would quit Europe’s main center-right group –European People’s Party (EPP) – after he withdrew support for Manfred Weber (pictured) – the bloc’s candidate to head the European Commission.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, signaled that the anti-immigrant, hard-right Orban had crossed a river.

With his behavior in the last few days and the meeting with (Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini), he has given a clear sign that he will leave,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. At present Fidesz is suspended from EPP as a result of disagreement on various policies.

Weber would have been good for us as president of the commission,” Orban said, “but he made the statement that not only does he not need the Hungarian votes but he doesn’t even want the Hungarian votes to become commission president.”

In March Weber told German broadcaster ZDF that he “would not accept the post” of Commission president if he had to depend on votes from Fidesz, Orban‘s party.

That is such an offense to Hungary and the Hungarian voters,Orban added.

Orban said he could no longer support Manfred Weber after he “insulted” Hungarians.

 

MEPs support Frontex enhancement

New measures strengthening the European Border and Coast Guard to secure the EU’s borders were agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on March 28. The provisionally agreed changes to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) aim to respond  to the present needs in security and migration.

A new standing corps of 10 000 staff to be set up by 2027.

The European Border and Coast Guard law will overhaul Europe’s border management. It will mean an additional 10 000 border and coast guards for Europe; more efficient returns; more tools to fight crime and will serve to allay security and crime concerns and aid in our migration strategy. Europe’s citizens were looking to us to deliver and we have, in record time. This is a win for Europe” rapporteur Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) said.

The negotiators agreed on setting up a new standing corps to support EU countries on the ground. The new corps could, at the request of a member state, carry out border control and return tasks as well as fight cross-border crime. It would also include a rapid reaction pool for rapid border interventions.

Starting with 5 000 operational staff in 2021, the standing corps would be fully operational by 2027 with 10 000 staff. Currently, the Agency relies solely on member states’ contributions.

The updated Agency would be able to support return procedures in member states, for example by identifying irregularly staying non-EU nationals and assisting national authorities in obtaining travel documents. The new rules would also strengthen the cooperation with the EU Asylum Agency.

EP and Council negotiators agreed that cooperation with non-EU countries needs to be strengthened. MEPs managed to introduce several safeguards to ensure respect for fundamental rights and protection of personal data is included in such cooperation.

To ensure effective scrutiny by the EP of the Agency and by the national parliaments of national authorities, the agreement introduces greater inter-parliamentary cooperation. The Agency’s management will be required also to attend joint meetings of the European and national parliaments.

Orban Fidesz party suspended from EPP

The center-right European People’s Party (EPP) has voted to suspend Hungary leading conservative party Fidesz, Joseph Daul (pictured)  group’s president announced.

The largest political “family” in the European Parliament, gathered in Brussels for an Assembly to decide upon the future relations with  Fidesz led by Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The negative decision did not come as a surprise after a protracted period of arguments between Orbán and the leading EPP figures, clashing over the EU migration policy, and border controls. The EPP opponents continuously blamed Orban  for obstruction the EU migration and asylum policy, but also the issues of the judiciary and media independence. At September Plenary (2018) European Parliament adopted the so-called Sargentini Report, condemning the anti-democratic stance of Hungary’s leadership and initiating the procedure related to Article  7 (1) of the Treaty on the European Union.  

However Prime Minister Orban has not been receptive to criticism, on contrary he flaunted his alliances with Italy Matteo Salvini Lega party, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, resisting the EU migration concept.

In spite of a huge deal of criticism many of the EPP  party members  continued to demonstrate tolerance towards Orbán’s government, until the last straw dropped in the form of a poster campaign, accusing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker of promoting migration policies compromising Hungary’s security.

Fidesz party  made clear that  it would immediately abandon the EPP in case of suspension, Orban’s chief of staff said to the Hungarian media.

The posters ruining the relations between Orban and EPP depicted the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as a puppet of the American billionaire – globalist George Soros, sponsoring uncontrolled immigration via his Open Society Foundation. There has also been consternation at the plight of the Soros-founded Central European University, which claimed it was being forced out of Budapest because of the Orbán government’s hostile stance.

“You have the right to know what Brussels is about to do!” 

“You have the right to know what Brussels is about to do!”

Thirteen constituting EPP parties called for a vote on Fidesz’s continuing membership, in the wake of the Juncker-Soros poster campaign.

Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberals in the European Parliament was unsatisfied with the EPP measures to discipline Fidesz: “EPP have lost the moral authority to lead Europe“, he wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Brexit extension not guaranteed

Although there is an understanding that Brexit without a legal framework would be a catastrophe, the ‘open end‘ extension of Article 50 is not considered as an option for Members of European Parliament (MEP), who consider it would import British political crisis from the Westminster, and  block the development of the European Union. There is also a concern that Brexit crisis might ‘hijack‘ the European elections, imposing its own agenda.While the MEPs recommend, it is up to the European Council to decide if an extension can be granted, and for what period of time.

Julie GIRLING, MEP (EPP, UK), explains that the request to shift the UK departure deadline (March 29) might be refused as a result of the alliance between Matteo Salvini Eurosceptic Lega and Nigel Farage Brexit party, insisting “Leave means leave’“.

 

 

 

Batten MEP calls for hard Brexit

Gerard BATTEN MEP (UKIP) shared his views on Brexit vote in Westminster, and commented on proposals of political groups of the European Parliament to extend deadline if needed. Batten also warned against Brexit EU trap, which will make Britons an eternal vassal of Brussels.

Ahead of the vote Batten said that the best way to Brexit is just to go without any deal, and then gradually restore the  sovereignty of the UK, adjusting laws to citizens needs. MEP does not believe Prime Minister Theresa May intentions to leave the EU, and deliver Brexit, he presumes that May as a Remainer will do everything in her power to tight Britons to EU forever.

The readiness to extend the deadline for Brexit  has been expressed by Esteban GONZALES PONS (Spain), representing the EPP, the biggest Europarliament group, however he added that Westminster has to make up their mind before the European elections in May this year.

The leader of Greens Philippe LAMBERTS (Belgium) has a vision of the II referendum as the best solution for a current political deadlock in Westminster, highly likely to be voted down the Article 50 deal with the EU27, negotiated by Theresa MAY government.

EPP Weber aims for EU agenda of change

Manfred Weber (Germany, EPP) backed by 79% of his party members, launches his campaign across the continent for a position of the president of the European Commission, the powerful executive branch of the European Union, the guardian of the treaties, also possessing powers to  propose laws and policies on its own initiative. Although there is no election for this particular position, but an appointment behind the closed doors of the Council, there is an obvious need to introduce Brussels politician to the broader European audiences.

Starting his European tour in Cyprus, the stronghold of the European People‘s party, Weber (46) promises to re-connect the European project with the citizens through attentive listening to them, and crystallizing broader frame programme for the five-year period mandate ahead of his appointment.

Representing young generation of the European politicians, Weber claims that the EU project’s success depends on clarity of the messages, which should replace the general slogans, filling them with the “concrete substance”, including taking a definite stand on existential for the EU27 issues as Turkey‘s accession. He also wishes similar clearly-shaped approach to the trade agreements: CETA, EU-Japan, and the others, which were in the lime-light of an intense public debate.

However it is the “democratisation” of Europe that is at heart of the project, Weber claims, eager to make key promises to Europeans while assuming the job, a gesture needed to restore the link between the citizens and the institutions. One of the mistakes of the past, Weber presumes, was insufficient investment in European youth, the deficiency he would address.

Although Weber underlined that he only started his campaign, he reiterated his loyalty to basic EPP framework, believing in Trans-Atlantic relations as one of the core policy for the EU security, especially now, when “it became cold outside Europe“. Nevertheless he criticized the European foreign policy lacking of ambition, letting the the others like US, Russia, or Turkey to take lead. “There should be more Europe in external affairs and defence, and the intentions should be lined with concrete initiatives, which are lacking nowadays”, – he said referring to the declarations of Macron-Merkel to organise the EU army, complementing NATO. Some of the projects could be delivered without delay, Weber assumes, pointing at cyber-defence, and drone brigade, – both costly high-tech projects, difficult to implement for small EU member-states. However he had no immediate answer to the decision-making mechanism in such a unit, suggesting it can be resolved in due time. The other matter to be reformed is unanimity in decision-making process in foreign policy and defence, shifting to qualified majority voting.

Weber underlined his sees his major political partners in Socialists, and Liberals, brushing off the perspective of co-operation with the European far-right: “I don’t want to listen Le Pen“, he said frankly. He also has cast doubt in success of new Liberal Macron-Rutte alliance, who have not so many issues in common.

However, as a contemporary politician Weber believes the technocratic position only is not good enough for the leader of the European Commission, offering an emotional pledge to defeat cancer. There should be a sufficient European funding to find a remedy, Weber believes, referring to his personal experience of losing his brother to cancer.

The initiative to launch a campaign across Europe for the position of the president of the European Commission is certainly innovative, however it might be also related to low profile of Manfred Weber, known as a leader of the EPP group in the European Parliament, who has punched above his weight being a Bavarian politician, without any relevant national or international experience.

The incumbent President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is the longest-serving head of any national government in the EU, he led Luxembourg as Prime minister (1995-2013), and chaired Eurogroup for eight years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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