On 20th December next the Spanish will be renewing the two chambers of parliament (Congress of Deputies and the Senate). Just one month before the election the People's Party of outgoing Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is in the lead but it seems that it will not win the absolute majority.
The deadly attacks of Paris (January and November 2015) and of Copenhagen (February 2015), as well as those foiled in Belgium, (January 2015) have highlighted the reality and extent of the jihadist terrorist threat across Europe. They also pose the question of Europe's response to this threat with great acuity .
The measures provided for in the treaties do not diminish the Member States' exercise of responsibility in maintaining public order and the protection of internal security (article 72 TFEU ). But the Union must also work to ensure a high level of security, particularly via measures involving coordination and cooperation between police and judicial authorities (article 67 TFEU). And so the question of European "added-value" is raised in a battle that is first and foremost the responsibility of the Member States themselves.
In an editorial on his site, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Foundation recalls that the European project to build peace between the continent's nations has succeeded beyond all expectations. Now that it is under attack from the outside it must, as is often the case in human history, learn to fight for its way of life and its values - for its survival in fact.
European airlines are facing an offensive strategy on the part of their State competitors in the countries of the Gulf, which is leading to their demise. The European Union has in its possession regulatory tools that it must use to the full but which in all likelihood require completion so that they can rise to the new situation.
It must also draw up a global strategy which brings fair competition to the heart of the airline industry of all players who want to enjoy the benefits of the Single European Sky. The European Parliament has turned its attention to the issue by adopting two resolutions on transport and the Aviation Package, which both move in this direction. The European Commission use this work to finalise the "Aviation Package" that it is due to present at the end of 2015.
The right-wing opposition coalition Domoljubna Koalicija (Patriotic Coalition), led by the Democratic Union (HDZ) and Tomislav Karamarko, came out ahead in the general elections that took place on 8th November in Croatia. It won 59 of the 151 seats in Parliament. The coalition Hrvatska Raste, (Croatia is growing), led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) took 56 seats. Most-Nezavisnih Lista (Bridge-Independent Lists) took 19 seats. The other parties obtained 7 seats and the minorities 8 seats.
The 2015 version of ""Better Regulation"", the last stage in a policy on- going for the last fifteen years, aims to provide new impetus to European public action, and has been undertaken in view of reforming the Union's decision making process and the ensuing regulations. It intends to improve the efficiency of the European legislative process via greater transparency and the use of pertinent expertise.
Just weeks before COP21 the issues at stake in Europe's energy policy revolve more than ever before around sustainable, reliable, affordable energy for all Europeans, both businesses and citizens alike. The dual economic and ecological challenge facing Europe under energy transition must be seen as industrial policy and competitiveness goals. The vast project of Energy Union is precisely "a historic opportunity" to reshape the foundations of European leadership.
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.
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.
On 30th September the European Commission will publish an action plan on the Capital Markets Union which will cover all of the measures that it is likely to take by 2019. This initiative is useful to improve the financing of a more innovative economy and to foster the revival of long term investment. It may also help to strengthen the euro zone before steps are taken to complete it. In this sense, CMU is an integrated part of the European economic and financial policy. However, its implementation will have to be clarified in order to link it to the Juncker Plan and to facilitate its appropriation by all of those involved.
In an editorial on his site Jean-Dominique Giuliani explains that the unprecedented wave of immigration quite clearly reveals the major issues that the European Union has to face - regarding of course external border controls, the reception of asylum seeking refugees but which also calls on its diplomacy and defence policy.
30 years after its signature on 14th June 1985, the Schengen agreement, which set up an area for the free movement of people, is fundamental to the building of Europe. It is an example of cooperation that combined at the outset a small number of States before being extended within the framework of treaties, whilst allowing participation by States that are not members of the European Union. The Foundation publishes a study by Philippe Deivet that draws up a report on this cooperation and insists on the challenges ahead. Confronted with challenges that are without precedent within a context of profound destabilisation amongst its neighbours, the Schengen area must be strengthened in order to ensure effective control of its external borders whilst responding to the humanitarian emergency.
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.