Tag Archives: Jean-Claude Juncker

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.

May-Juncker last attempt to secure orderly Brexit

The European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the British Prime minister Theresa May agreed on additional legally binding declarations on the ambivalent Irish border backstop in a last-minute effort to avoid no-deal Brexit, overcoming House of Commons skepticism.

In late night talks in Strasbourg Theresa May also met with the Members of the European Parliament, who spread a work about her request on extension of the deadline of the UK departure to 24 of May. 

After the talks  both parties declared the Article 50 deal improved, although no one word has been changed, but the legally binding interpretations were added.

The EU and UK agree to swiftly start talks on a new trade deal after Brexit. They stress they do not want the backstop to kick in. Should that happen, both are “determined” to agree a different way of maintaining the open Irish border to replace it.

– The sides agree to a “regular” review of their agreements on the Irish border. They say the so-called Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, an international law on legal agreements between states, is a reference in any disputes.

– Sides will use “their best endeavors” to agree a trade deal to obviate the need for the backstop by the end of 2020.

– “A systemic refusal to take into consideration adverse proposals or interests” would amount to a breach of the EU-UK agreement.

I hope that the House of Commons will support the agreement reached by Theresa May. There is no alternative” wrote Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte in his Twitter mico blog.

Juncker-May deadlocked in Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May faces  perspective of Brexit delay weeks before the official date of the UK departure from the block in absence of the endorsed deal, ensuring the orderly separation.

May met the EU leaders at the margins of the Summit in Egypt in attempt to win support for the deal negotiated by her government, and subsequently rejected by the Westminster.  A number of bilateral meetings took place at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh where Arab League-EU summit has taken place.

In spite of May‘s considerable efforts to re-shape the deal, making it acceptable for the British lawmakers, the EU executives insist they will not re-open the negotiations, however they are ready to supply with political declarations.

The position of the EU executives has not been changed since the deal has been endorsed by the EU Council in the end of the 2018. The political declarations only are not suffice for the UK lawmakers to accept the deal in its current state.

 

May attempts to save Brexit deal

The European Union promised to cooperate with the British Prime minister Theresa May on “whether a way through can be found” to avoid the disruption of a no-deal Brexit after her visit to Brussels on Feburary, 7. However the EU Council president Donald Tusk admitted that there is “no break-through in sight“. The note about it was made in his Twitter micro blog.

Meanwhile the European Parliament speaker Antonio Tajani warned that ‘no-deal’ will be a “catastrophe“.

Theresa May ensured her government will deliver Brexit on time”, and she will continue to negotiate with the EU in coming days.

The EU promised more talks on Brexit issue to avoid no-deal scenario, but there are no signs for readiness to re-negotiate the deal, endorsed by the EU Council the end last year.

Juncker letter to May

“In these challenging times, we therefore share with you the determination to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for citizens and companies in a situation where a Member State leaves the European Union after more than four decades of closest economic and political integration. That is why the Withdrawal Agreement that you and the Leaders of the 27 EU Member States agreed after long negotiations is so important. It represents a fair compromise and aims to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, thereby limiting the negative consequences of Brexit. That is also why we wish to establish as close as possible a relationship with the United Kingdom in the future, building on the Political Declaration, which the Leaders of the 27 EU Member States agreed with you. It is also why we want negotiations to this effect to start as soon as possible after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brexit simulations on motorway

Britain began simulations for the upheaval of a no-deal Brexit by lining up 87 trucks at a little-used airport for a trip towards the United Kingdom’s most important trading gateway to continental Europe. (Image: illustration).

The group of 89 HGVs set off at 08:00 GMT from the disused Manston Airport, near Ramsgate in Kent, on a 20-mile route to the Port of Dover, the UK media reports.

At Dover, lorries were directed to the Eastern Docks roundabout where they did a loop and drove back to the airfield.

Prime minister May said that Britain would be in uncharted waters if the negotiated with the EU27 Brexit deal is rejected by the Westminster, in a vote, postponed to mid-January.

Facing defeat in parliament last month, May cancelled the vote on the agreed with the EU deal and pledged to seek further political and legal assurances from Brussels. The EU did nothing to calm the tensions, on contrary the European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker described May’s requests as “nebulous“, causing further deterioration of political climate.

Juncker also stated that the renegotiation of the deal is not possible. Many experts assess the EU27 hash position toward the UK as a deliberate ideological choice to “punish” Britons, creating a negative example for those, who might be interested to follow London on the way to exit the bloc.

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