Tag Archives: EPP

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Absurd” accusations against Hungary

This morning, Hungarian Minister Gergely Gulyás  (pictured) made it clear that the pro-immigration political parties in the European Parliament will stop at nothing to push their ideological agenda. In an information note on the Article 7 procedure Minister described their action as a ‘political accusation disguised as rule of law concerns’.

As a result of a political decision, there is an ongoing political procedure against Hungary, despite the many attempts to disguise them as rule-of-law concerns.” said Gergely Gulyás, Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, at a press conference this morning,

The European Parliament takes positions on matters, which don’t belong under the European Union’s competence” he added. “We believe that the accusation stating there is a systemic threat to rule-of-law in Hungary is completely absurd,” Gulyás concluded. “… The European Parliament’s adoption of the decision is not valid,  and we are challenging it in the European Court of Justice“.

On Monday, November 12  the Council of the European Union will assess the Sargentini Report, examining the European Parliament’s recommendation to pursue an Article 7 procedure against Hungary based on the MEP Judith Sargentini  research findings. Since its publication, the Report was criticized by the Hungarian government, pointing at its highly subjective vision, and a deliberate omittance and distortion of reality.

Earlier this month at the Congress of the European People’s party in Helsinki Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban warned about the risks illegal mass migration imposition on sovereign nations represents for  the future of the European project.

EP president Tajani seeks to renew mandate

Incumbent president of the European Parliament  Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia)  expressed his readiness to seek for the second mandate.
“I think the EU institutions need an Italian at their head,” he told reporters during his attendance at European People’s party Helsinki congress.
“I’m ready to stand again, if there are the conditions, obviously inside the parliament, and if there is a good electoral result for the European People’s Party to lead the EP for the next two and a half years”.

Previously the position of the speaker of the European parliament was a subject for rotation each two and a half years between two major political groups. The tradition was ended by Socialists & Democrats, who promoted their leader Martin Schulz (Germany) for two successive terms.

MEPs nominate Sentsov for Sakharov Prize

This week  the European  Parliament president Antonio Tajani and the leaders of the political groups during the Conference of Presidents  meeting will select this year’s winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from among the three finalists. The prize will be awarded in a ceremony in Strasbourg on 12 December.

The biggest  political group – the European Peoples Party (EPP) – has nominated Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov who was sentenced for 20 years’ imprisonment by a Russian court on charges of plotting terrorist acts against Russian authorities in Crimea, in a process deemed unfair by human rights watchdogs.

On 14 May, Sentsov went on hunger strike, lasting over 100 days, to call for the release of around 70 other Ukrainian citizens who are to his opinion illegally arrested and convicted to long prison sentences by Russian judges.

METSOLA: MEPs demand protection of press

Roberta METSOLA MEP (EPP, Malta) shares her views on freedom of press in the EU in framework of the relevant debate during Strasbourg April Plenary session. MEPs express their concern with assassinations of investigation journalists in Europe, and demand governments for better protection of whistleblowers. They also insist on independent investigation, including recent case of murder of Slovak Jan Kuciak, and his fiancée Martina Kusnirovà. The resolution to be voted on Thursday, April 19.

 

Orban to give up to Soros pressure

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban informed the EU’s center-right political group   that his government would reconsider measures that were perceived by his own political family as an ‘attack on academic freedom.’ The pressure on Orban mounted after the visit of US financial wizard and philantropist George Soros to the European Commission.

“Prime Minister Orban committed himself in the EPP council to follow and implement all the demands of the European Commission within the deadline set by the Commission,” a spokesman of the European People’s Party (EPP) told reporters.

While emphasizing that the government does not want to close the CEU, Orban’s spokesman Bertalan Havasi told the Hungarian state news agency MTI the university should not “enjoy special privileges” even if the Hungarian government is ready to cooperate with the Commission. The major request to the foreign establishments is transparency, according to Orban copied from the US legislation.

Tusk: will EU humiliate Poland?

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Brussels. Talking to the EU journalists ahead of the Summit in Brussels,  Prime Minister Beata Szydlo made clear that any pressure on Poland, even if in minority opposing over Donald Tusk second mandate as the president of the European Council , is unacceptable. Anyway it does not comply with the tradition of taking decisions in consensus, while respecting minority is one of the fundamental European values.

The argument over the candidacy of Donald Tusk for the second mandate imprints the Summit as real suspense, everything it should not be in view of the 60 anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, presumably organised to demonstrate to the rest of the world the unity of EU27, without the UK. However, instead of unity the EU opts for pressures and collisions, creating further cracks in the already shaken by Brexit project.

The position of the majority of states is similar to expressed by Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban (pictured), who said ahead of the Summit: “We are not discussing personality of Donald Tusk, but supporting the European People’s party candidate.”

Clearly, Poland finds itself in isolation, and can be overruled overwhelmingly, however the deepening of the conflict between EU26 versus Poland will cause a long-term turbulence. So far Polish have been loyal to the EU project, it is up Brussels to demonstrate if Polish loyalty is precious in times of calamity, when Brittons are preparing to start the procedure of triggering Article 50. The question is if Donald Tusk second mandate is worth of humiliating the government of one of the biggest and at most loyal to EU member state?  (Continuation follows).

Anna van Densky, from the Justus Lips building

https://twitter.com/WorldnewsPoli/status/839857928613982209

Europarl against foreign fighters

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To counter the growing threats from “foreign fighters” travelling to conflict zones for terrorist purposes and “lone wolves” planning solo attacks, new EU-wide rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday.

The new directive on combatting terrorism will update the current EU “framework” rules on terrorist offences and widen their scope to include emerging threats.

“We need to stop the perpetrators before they commit these acts rather than regretting the fact that there have been attacks”,  said Parliament’s lead MEP Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) in the debate ahead of the vote. “We have struck a good balance between improving security and strictly upholding fundamental rights, because there is no point in having security without rights”, she stressed.

The text, informally agreed by Parliament and Council in November 2016, was approved by 498 votes to 114, with 29 abstentions. The extended list of preparatory acts to be criminalised includes: travelling abroad to join a terrorist group and and/or returning to the EU with the aim of carrying out a terrorist attack; recruiting for terrorism; training or being trained for terrorism; aiding, abetting or attempting to carry out an attack; public incitement or praise of terrorism, andfinancing of terrorism and terrorist groups.

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