The draft bill on growth and activity that was promoted by Brussels as one of the reforms that France was going to introduce to match European criteria was only adopted due to the 49-3 procedure included in the Constitution. This highlights deep divisions within the majority and augurs badly for the future reforms that are however necessary. Olivier Rozenberg draws a picture of France's relationship with Europe highlighting its difficulties in defining a European narrative.
979 910 Estonians are invited to vote on 1st March next to renew the 101 members of the Riigikogu, the only chamber in Parliament. These general elections are being held one year after the resignation of Andrus Ansip (Reform party, ER), who led Estonia for 9 years (2005-2014). Following the withdrawal of the head of government a new government coalition was formed. This combined the Reform Party and Sven Mikser's Social Democratic Party (SDE) which is led by Taavi Roivas.
Due to Russia's intervention interpreting recent events in Ukraine has led to real confusion which has far too often enabled propaganda, inaccuracy and references to the past to prevail over a rational analysis. In a bid to provide a better understanding of the issues at stake Jean-Dominique Giuliani presents a paper that restricts itself to the legal aspects only of the question, which is also an eminently political one. It does not aim to ignore Russian resentment or the Ukrainians' will to free themselves of the tutelage of their powerful neighbour or the national interests in question, it simply analyses the impact on international law.
Recalling a sentence in the Schuman Declaration of 9th May 1950 Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Foundation is calling for Europe to wake up so that it might face the strategic uncertainties facing Europe better.
Following the terrible attacks committed in Paris, the Foundation has published a text on "The European Union and Terrorism" by Alain Chouet, former head of the DGSE - the French Information and Security Department. In his opinion the terrorist threat in Europe requires true multilateral cooperation between the 28 Union Members for the identification, surveillance, monitoring and if necessary, the neutralisation, of dangerous people and circles. "If Europe enters the fray divided, or worse, if it refuses to engage, it will find only dishonour and destruction." This text is from the upcoming edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union", (to be published in March).
Prokopis Pavlopoulos was elected President of the Republic of Greece on 18th February. He won 233 votes i.e. 33 more than the 2/3 majority required during the first round of voting. MPs of the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA), of the Independent Greeks Party (ANEL) and of New Democracy (ND) voted for him. Nikos Alivizatos, the candidate put forward by To Potami, the party led by Stavros Theodorakis and supported by the Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), won 30 votes.
Prokopis Pavlopoulos will take office on 13th March.
The Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani is the author of "Pourquoi et comment l'Europe restera le coeur du monde - Petit traité d'optimisme". This book published by Lignes de Repères available in paper and in digital format (e-books and tablets), was awarded the Emile Girardeau Prize from the Academy of Moral Science and Politics on 17th November.