The Polish outgoing head of State, Bronislaw Komorowski (Civic Platform PO) was beaten during the 2nd round of the presidential election on 24th May with 48.85% of the vote by Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice, PiS) who won 51.55% of the vote. Turn out in the second round was higher than that recorded on 10th May last totalling 55.34%. Aged 43 Andrzej Duda will take over from Bronislaw Komorowski on 6th August next.
On 10th April last the President of the Latvian Republic Andris Berzins told his fellow countrymen that he did not wish to remain for a further mandate as Head of State. According to a poll by TNS Latvia for the TV channel LNT 2/3 of the Latvians (68%) backed the outgoing head of State's decision. 41% of them said that Mr Berzins had chosen to do this because he knew that he did not have enough support within the Saiema, Parliament's only chamber. The outgoing President is the first in Latvia's history to give up on a second mandate due to personal reasons in justification of his decision.
As the Riga Summit approaches on the Eastern Partnership the Foundation has published a study by Michel Foucher and Gilles Lepesant. They believe that the radically new geopolitical context typified amongst other things by the Arab rebellions and a new Russian domestic and foreign policy has changed the situation. Even though it explains to a large degree the present difficulties of the European Neighbourhood Policy this new context must not mask thought about the successes and the shortfalls of this policy. They explore the foundation of this geographical theory whereby all of the countries on the edge of Europe should share the same framework and the same prospects simply because they are close.
The hypothesis whereby the UK might leave the European Union still seems unlikely in the eyes of most. It has become plausible however. Indeed British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that if his party remains in office after the general elections on 7th May, a referendum will be organised on the possible Brexit by the end of 2017 at the latest. Jean-Claude Piris gives a detailed legal analysis of the various possible options and their consequences for the UK and the European Union.
In an editorial on his site Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation draws the lessons learnt from the UK general election that took place on 7th May.
The issue of migration is causing turmoil in the domestic policies of the European Union's Member States. Protest movements have taken hold of it, challenging both government action and the European institutions. Simplistic ideas are flourishing, criticising the Schengen Agreements, the inefficacy of national and European policies. Reality however is very different: Europe is facing a significant challenge that it will only be able to overcome with time. It requires constant effort, courage, imagination and certainly the reject of slogans. This paper to necessary thought is an updated version of a study that was published in December 2014 in the review CESM.
Is 2015, the year of recovery for Europe? The fresh election of the Union's political institutions offers an exceptional opportunity for a better understanding of future issues: strengthening of the euro zone, the position of France and the UK in Europe, regional secessionism, growth and employment, investment and financing of the European economy, Energy Union, immigration, terrorism, European Defence and security challenges in the east and south, transatlantic issues etc... These questions form the core of the Schuman Report 2015. This work of reference is for both decision makers and observers of the European Union, a source of analysis and original proposals, supported by a requirement for rigour and quality. It is a vital tool for a full panorama of European policy. Available in good bookshops, as an e-book and on the Foundation's site.