On 23rd June British citizens, as well as those from the Commonwealth countries or Ireland living in the UK and those registered on the county's electoral rolls for at least 15 years, citizens of the Commonwealth living in Gibraltar and members of the House of Lords will decide on the future of the UK within the EU. They are being called to answer the following question: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
Former spokesperson for the ecologist party (1997-2008), Alexander Van der Bellen (Die Grüne - DG) finally won the 2nd round of the presidential election in Austria on 23rd May after a tense 24 h wait. He won 50.3% of the vote against 49.7% for Norbert Hofer (FPÖ). He will take office on 8th July next.
The Democratic Rally (DISY) the party of President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, won in the general elections that took place in Cyprus on 22nd May with 30.68% of the vote and 18 seats.
The major challenges which the Europeans face such as terrorism, migratory crisis and on a different level the euro zone crisis, the risk of the "Brexit", the rise of anti-European populism, all call for the redesign and the revival of European integration. These different challenges must not be treated separately, but rather more in perspective, in a more articulated manner.
For a better understanding of the challenges facing Europeans today: the refugee question, immigration, euro area reform, investment, growth, employment, taxation, the danger of a "Brexit", populism, energy transition, but also the new strategic context in the southern Mediterranean and in the East of the continent and terrorism. Never has Europe faced so many questions. The most eminent personalities and the best experts have chosen to contribute to the "Schuman Report 2016 on the State of the Union" now on sale in bookshops and on the Foundation's site in paper and digital form.
In an editorial published on his site, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Foundation, recalled that the world would miss the European Union should it no longer exist.
30 years after its launch and nearly 20 years after its effective opening, the Schengen Area is under challenge and Member States are sorely tempted to withdraw behind their national borders. To protect the area the challenge comprises the implementation of a series of measures that will enable the strengthening of the external border in its role as a filter and in terms of security cooperation. This requires political determination together with a transfer of sovereignty.
The Foundation has published a European Interview with Jean-Paul Perruche, Lieutenant General (2S), Chairman of EuroDefénse-France and member of the Foundation's Scientific Committee. He reviews future priorities whilst the 28 heads of State and government are to adopt an updated European security strategy at the end of June.
The People's Party (PP) of outgoing Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy came out ahead in the parliamentary elections that took place on 20th December in Spain. With 28.72% of the vote, the party won 123 seats in the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the Spanish Parliament, i.e. 63 less than in the previous parliamentary elections that took place on 20th November 2011. The PP also won 124 seats in the Senate (12 less). The PP was followed by the Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), led by Pedro Sanchez, which won 22.01% of the vote and 90 seats (20 less) and 47 Senators (1 less).
The repeated drownings in the Mediterranean have led to an emergency situation regarding the European migratory question. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 1,750 migrants perished in the Mediterranean between January and April 2015, ie more than 30 times the figure in the same period in 2014. Given these repeated catastrophes an extraordinary European Council was organised on 23rd April and ten new measures were put forward on 20th April by the European Commission including stepping up surveillance operations and rescue at sea. The Robert Schuman Foundation is offering its readers an information file on the theme of immigration, that brings together its publications on this issue in order to review the development of these events in Europe.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to organise a referendum in 2017 on the issue of the UK's place in the EU: "Do you think that the UK should remain in the European Union or leave the European Union?" The question of the UK's status within the European Union is one of the issues at stake in the latter's development. The Robert Schuman Foundation offers its readers an information file on the main questions set by the referendum as well as the options open to the UK if it leaves the EU.