On Wednesday 22nd October the European Parliament approved the new Commission with 423 votes in support, 209 against and 67 abstentions out of the 699 present in the hemicycle. In the morning Jean-Claude Juncker, the President elect gave a speech to the European Parliament. He explained the changes made to the portfolio of certain commissioners and answered questions set by the MEPs. To provide Europe with new impetus Jean-Claude Juncker has the support of an experienced team that will implement a working programme focused on growth, employment, the environment and the place of the Union in the world.
The elected President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced on 10th September a so-called "shock" team, the members of which underwent a hearing before the European Parliament from 29th September to 7th October and then on 20th October for two of them, prior to a vote of approval held on 22nd October. After a general presentation of the appointed commissioners which demonstrates a concentration of strong and varied competency, and then an analysis which refers to the innovative matrix organisation and the questions raised by this new organisational architecture, the study details the programme described in the team members' roadmap.
Ireland, the second euro zone country to benefit from the EU and IMF's financial assistance after Greece, exited the aid programme on 15th December 2013, three years after its launch. The rigorous control of government spending, innovative bank debt management solutions, targeted investments and the constant support of exports have helped revive growth and enabled the country to return to the financial markets where it is now borrowing at historically low rates. However the page cannot be completely turned on the crisis whilst unemployment is still high, financing the economy is still affected by the fallout of the property crisis and fiscal policy is still being criticised. The lassitude of public opinion in regard to 8 years of austerity will also probably slow work towards budgetary consolidation in the years to come.
Until the mid-80's, European integration was characterised by a "unity dogma". All Member States were supposed to apply the same policies, at the same speed. The concepts of "Europe à la carte", "variable geometry" and "different speeds" were put in the same basket. No derogation was possi-ble, unless justified, limited and temporary. During the following 30 years however, since the mid 80's, heterogeneity between members has grown formidably. Differentiation thus became unavoid-ble to allow those able and willing, to go further. Jean-Claude Piris, General Manager of Legal Services at the Council of the European Union.
Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, has published an editorial on his site called "Juncker's other challenge: the security of Europe". He assesses the growing number of threats which are forcing States to respond and to do more together. What is the situation within the European institutions which to date have been unable to move forward?
The Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), the main opposition party led by former Prime Minister (2009-2013) Boyko Borissov, came out ahead in the general elections that took place in Bulgaria on 5th October. This snap election followed the resignation of the government led by Plamen Oresharski in the wake of the withdrawal of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) from the government coalition. The GERB won 32.66% of the vote and 85 of the 240 seats in the National Assembly (Narodno sabranie), the only chamber in Parliament, i.e. 12 less in comparison with the previous election on 12th May 2013.
Harmony Centre (SC) won the general elections that took place in Latvia on 4th October but the party led by the Mayor of Riga, Nils Usakovs who was standing for the first time without his socialist partner achieved a lower score that the one forecast in the polls: 23.13% of the vote and 24 of the 100 seats in the Saeima (Parliament), i.e. 7 seats less in comparison with the previous election on 17th September 2011.
18.3 million Romanians will be appointing their president on 2nd November next. If none of the 14 candidates running wins the absolute majority in the first round, a second will be organised on 16th November. Outgoing head of State Traian Basescu, who is ending his second term, is not allowed to stand for re-election.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, and Wolfgang Schäuble attended the conference organized by the Robert Schuman Foundation in Paris on July 18, 2014 about the future of the euro area.
he Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani has published a book entitled "How and Why Europe will remain at the heart of the world - A small Treaty on optimism". Europe is no longer the centre of the world. It is not the leading military force. But to the world Europe is the heart that provides the pace, that feeds minds, culture and which attracts. It is the leading economic and trade power. According to Jean-Dominique Giuliani Europe has all the assets it needs to rise to the challenge. This book published by Lignes de Repères is available from bookshops and on the Robert Schuman Foundation site in paper format and in digital format for e-readers and tablets.
Is 2014 a turning point for Europe ? The European elections and the renewal of the all of the Union's political institutions offer an exceptional opportunity to analyse how the European Union is developing. These questions are the focus of the Schuman Report 2014, a yearly work of reference on Europe. This 8th edition includes an exclusive analysis by the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who gives his view of European defence issues. This book, edited by Thierry Chopin and Michel Foucher, is published by Lignes de Repères. It is available in libraries and on the Foundation website in printed paper format and digital version (eReaders and tablets) in the next few days.