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.
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.
On 10th May next the Poles will be going to ballot in the first round of the presidential election. If none of the 11 candidates running manages to win an absolute majority, a second round will be organised two weeks later on 24th May. The most recent poll by IBRiS for the daily Rzeczpospolita published on 30th March credits outgoing President Bronislaw Komorowski (Civic Platform, PO) with 41% of the vote in the first round ahead of Andrzej Duda (Law and Justice, PiS), who is due to win 27%. Left wing candidate Magadelna Ogorek, Janusz Korwin-Mikke (Coalition for the restoration of freedom and hope for the Republic, KORWiN) and Adam Jarubas (People's Party, PSL) are due to win 5% each. Around 11% of those interviewed say that they still have not made their choice...
Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Foundation has published an editorial on his site entitled "Are politics crumbling in Europe?" in which he notes that the major government parties have been weakened. Protest votes are on the rise. Rebels are breaking away from their movements. Unexpected coalitions are forming out of a need to govern. And, given this reality, he calls for a rapid change to political Europe so that citizens can recover the hope that they deserve..
On 7th May next the British will be renewing the 650 members of the House of Commons, the lower chamber of Parliament. No party is due to win an absolute majority and speculation is running high about possible coalitions. The formation of the future government majority is therefore the real issue at stake in this election. All of the polls, just one month before the election, show that the two main parties (Conservatives and Labour) are running neck and neck. The TV debate on 2nd April between the seven main candidates did not reveal a winner. Economic issues, healthcare and immigration are the priorities in this election, and indirectly, Europe, since outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron announced in May 2013 that a referendum would be organised, if he won the election, on the UK's exit of the EU - the Brexit.
The economic situation in the European Union requires rapid response. Growth is stagnating at around 1% whilst it is over 2.5% in the USA and 7% in China - unemployment lies at 10% (11.5% in the euro area), disparities between the Member States have grown instead of converging. Although it still leads in term s of the production of wealth in the world and that it offers an unparalleled quality of life, the Union has lost its self-confidence. It is experiencing true political stagnation and its economic policy is an element of division and debate. To get out of this rut it needs new impetus supported by new paradigms which are not necessarily the ones we expect. We cannot win today's battles and those of tomorrow with recipes from the past. True strategic thought that is open and pragmatic is needed for victory and success.
A month and a half after their Estonian neighbours 4.5 million Finns are to renew the 200 members of their parliament, the Eduskunta/Riksdag (Finland is a bilingual country) on 19th April. Early voting will take place between 8th and 14th April.
Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, its on-going support for separatist groups in eastern Ukraine, and the robust diplomatic and economic response from the EU have led to the biggest rift in EU-Russia relations since the Cold War. The EU and Russia are heading, at best, towards a protracted stalemate. At worst, they could be on the verge of a serious deterioration in their relations, should Moscow fan further the flames of conflict in the region.
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.