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GERB wins EU elections without a clear majority in Bulgaria

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:58
The GERB party of former prime minister Boyko Borissov (EPP) won convincingly the country’s early parliamentary elections and the European vote but the country registered its second lowest-ever turnout of 31.8%. 
Categories: European Union

Pro-EU liberals triumph over Fico’s Smer in Slovak EU elections

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:57
Liberal opposition party Progressive Slovakia (PS/Renew) emerged victorious in the European elections in Slovakia with 27.8% of the vote and six seats, beating Robert Fico’s Smer-SD (NI), initially seen as the frontrunner, which secured 24.8% of the vote and five seats. 
Categories: European Union

Orbán’s Fidesz faces worst-ever EU election result

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:56
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party came out on top in the European elections in Hungary on Sunday, the party's weakest ever EU election result, as the opposition made gains.
Categories: European Union

Controversial far-right coalition comes third in Czech EU elections

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:51
The controversial far-right coalition of Přísaha and Motoristé made significant gains in Czechia’s European elections, securing two seats and emerging as the country’s third party.
Categories: European Union

Tusk wins as PiS opposition trails close behind

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:51
Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Coalition (KO, EPP) scored 37.4% in the European elections in Poland on Sunday the vote, with Law & Justice (PiS, ECR) trailing close behind with 35.7%, meaning both are expected to send 20 MEPs to Brussels.
Categories: European Union

Right-wing wins, PSOE comes close second, as both outperform other parties

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:47
The Partido Popular (PP/EPP), the main opposition party, received the most votes, 34.19% of the ballots cast, giving them 22 seats, while the socialist party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (PSOE/S&D) came second with 30.18%, 20 seats, and the far-right VOX party, third with 9.62%, six seats.
Categories: European Union

A Youtuber shakes Cyprus’ political landscape

Euractiv.com - Mon, 06/10/2024 - 07:46
A 25-year-old independent candidate who became known as an influencer on YouTube and TikTok was the big surprise of the EU elections in Cyprus as he managed to rank third and become elected as an MEP.
Categories: European Union

Secondary movements of asylum-seekers in the EU asylum system

Written by Anja Radjenovic.

Secondary movements occur when refugees or asylum-seekers move from the country in which they first arrived, to seek protection or for permanent resettlement elsewhere. While most asylum-seekers seek protection in countries close to their countries of origin, some are compelled or choose to move onwards (often in an irregular manner) from or through countries in which they have already, or could have sought, international protection, to other countries, where they may request such protection. Many different factors may influence these movements and the decision to settle in a particular country.

While asylum-seekers in the EU may have very legitimate reasons for seeking asylum in a Member State other that responsible for examining their asylum application, secondary movements are seen as a challenge for migration management in the EU. Although no genuine data are available that would provide reliable information about the scale of the phenomenon at the level of EU countries, some of the existing databases can give an indication of the travel routes relating to asylum-seekers’ secondary movements.

The aim of the common European asylum system’s current instruments has been to limit secondary movements of applicants for international protection between EU Member States. However, the increased inflow of asylum-seekers to Europe in the past decade has shown that the system has been unable to discourage secondary movements. For this purpose, among others, in 2016 and 2020 the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform in order to harmonise asylum rules and introduce a range of new measures on asylum policy that would address such movements.

Read the complete briefing on ‘Secondary movements of asylum-seekers in the
EU asylum system
‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Eurodac hits Member States (MS) with the highest share of foreign hits for each type of query
Categories: European Union

Agenda - The Week Ahead 10 – 16 June 2024

European Parliament - Fri, 06/07/2024 - 15:13
The European elections are taking place on 6 - 9 June.

Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP
Categories: European Union

How has Parliament ensured the EU’s long-term budget finances our priorities?

As a taxpayer, you want your money to be well spent. The European Union’s spending is based on a seven-year plan, the multiannual financial framework (MFF), and reflects the political priorities set by European leaders. The current long-term budget was agreed at the end of 2020, when the EU was addressing the dire economic and social consequences of the pandemic. With the Member States’ economies in bad shape, EU budgetary policy focused on means for recovery, in particular through the establishment of the temporary instrument Next Generation EU (NGEU). The 2021-2027 MFF and NGEU together form the largest budget ever financed in the EU.

With its power to decide on the EU budget, the European Parliament has always defended effective financing of the EU’s commitments and priorities and of EU citizens’ interests. Parliament secured budgetary reinforcements totalling €15 billion for 10 of the EU’s flagship programmes, including research, health, Erasmus+ and border protection. Parliament also enhanced the budget’s flexibility with €1 billion to cope with urgent needs, and established respect for the rule of law as a necessary condition for receiving EU financing.

As co-legislator, Parliament helped frame a legally binding plan to reform the EU’s financing system. This reform was one of the conditions set by Parliament for giving its consent to the 2021‑2027 MFF. Parliament successfully insisted on setting out a roadmap for the introduction of new own resources to finance additional expenditure for NGEU.

In December 2022, Parliament and the Council adopted the EU Conditionality Regulation, which allows the EU to take measures if breaches of the rule of law principle affect or risk affecting the EU’s financial interests. The effects of the strengthened rule of law mechanism are beginning to show. Both Member States and candidate countries have made significant improvements according to the most recent ‘Rule of Law Index‘.

From the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Parliament has insisted on credible, predictable and adequate EU funding for Ukraine in line with the country’s needs. In February 2024, an agreement on the first ever revision of the EU’s long-term budget was reachedafter Parliament’s repeated demands. The revision secured crucial financial resources for Ukraine, with €17 billion from the EU budget and €33 billion in loans, and further enhanced funding of €4 billion for migration-related challenges and to allow for some budget flexibility.

This scrutiny activity shows how Parliament used its law-making powers as well as its influence over the budget to protect EU citizens’ interests in the long-term EU budget. Parliament’s powers fall broadly into six, often overlapping, domains: law-making, the budget, scrutiny of the executive, external relations, and, to a lesser extent, constitutional affairs and agenda-setting. This graphic shows more examples of areas where Parliament used one or more of its different powers to influence legislation:

Mapping the European Parliament’s powers in different areas

For a fuller picture of the European Parliament’s activity over the past five years, take a look at our publication Examples of Parliament’s impact: 2019 to 2024: Illustrating the powers of the European Parliament, from which this case is drawn.

Categories: European Union

Press release - Civil society, business, and culture encourage citizens to vote in European elections

European Parliament - Fri, 06/07/2024 - 11:13
Youth volunteers, pan-European civil society groups, and global businesses have joined in with the #UseYourVote campaign for the 6-9 June European elections.

Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP
Categories: European Union

Press release - Civil society, business, and culture encourage citizens to vote in European elections

European Parliament (News) - Fri, 06/07/2024 - 11:13
Youth volunteers, pan-European civil society groups, and global businesses have joined in with the #UseYourVote campaign for the 6-9 June European elections.

Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP
Categories: European Union

Simone Veil, European political pioneer

Written by Philippe Perchoc (updated on 05.07.2022).

Simone Veil, the first President of the directly elected European Parliament in 1979, and the first woman to hold the office, died on 30 June 2017, at the age of 89. A prominent French public figure beyond her years in office, she leaves an important and enduring legacy.

First President of the directly elected European Parliament © European Communities – EP, 17 July 1979

On 17 July 1979, Simone Veil was elected President of the European Parliament by her peers. She became the first female President of the Parliament, which had for the first time been elected directly by the citizens. In her first speech as President, she declared: ‘Our Parliament must also be a motive force in European integration. This is particularly true at a time when, as I already have mentioned, Europe’s prime need is a further measure of solidarity. This new Parliament will make it possible for the views of all Community citizens to be voiced at European level, and will at the same time more effectively impress upon every sector of society the need for a solidarity transcending immediate concerns, however legitimate, which must never be allowed to mask the fundamental interests of the Community’.

Indeed, the 1979 election was a turning point in the history of the European Parliament, as the newly directly elected assembly started to discuss possible reform of the European institutions. Altiero Spinelli launched a productive dialogue with Veil, President of the Parliament, on these issues as early as 1981. After her presidency, Simone Veil remained an active MEP until 1993, and the Parliament later decided to give her name to the agora, located in front of the Spinelli building, at the heart of its Brussels campus, as a symbolic way to encourage the continuation of this dialogue.

Defender of women’s rights

In France, Simone Veil is also known as a defender of human rights, in her capacity of judge working in the field of penitentiary policies. Known for her courage, she was nominated minister of health by the then newly elected President, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who tasked her with decriminalising abortion in France in 1975. After four years as a minister, she carried on her human rights work in the European Parliament until 1993. After a further brief period as a minister, she continued her respected legal career as a member of the French Constitutional Council from 1998 until 2007.

A tragic family history

During the Second World War, Simone Veil was arrested in the street in Nice, and in 1944 her family was deported to concentration camps because of their Jewish background. She was freed from Bobrek and returned to France in 1945, but neither her parents nor her brother returned. Throughout her life, Simone Veil battled to make sure the Holocaust is never forgotten. In 2018, she was buried in the Panthéon in Paris, where those whom the French state honours have been laid to rest ever since the French Revolution.

Read this At a glance on ‘Simone Veil, European political pioneerin the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Categories: European Union

How has Parliament monitored use of the Next Generation EU recovery instrument?

Years later, we are all still experiencing the consequences of the COVID‑19 pandemic, as EU countries recover from the severe economic downturn that followed the 2020 outbreak. The EU Recovery Instrument – Next Generation EU (NGEU) was specifically created to help Member States address these challenges. It has a strong focus on the twin green and digital transitions – key priorities backed by the European Parliament and a total budget for recovery initiatives of €806.9 billion, financed through EU borrowing on the markets, which has to be paid out by the end of 2026.

While the Council established the NGEU, Parliament co-legislated the rules for its implementation, adopting the regulation on the NGEU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in February 2021. The RRF distributes 90 % of the NGEU allocation to the Member States, financing reforms and investments specified in their national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs). Parliament wanted to ensure the RRF is managed transparently, that it stimulates progress in the green, digital and energy sectors, supports children, young people and women, and that respect for the rule of law is among the key prerequisites for receiving funding.

The European Commission has to update Parliament on RRF implementation progress, and present annual, mid-term and ex-post reports. To ensure it receives timely and detailed information, and to enable an exchange of views with other institutions, Parliament insisted on a bi-monthly meeting between Members of its Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets and the European Commission representatives in charge. In addition, Parliament set up a special standing working group for RRF scrutiny, to discuss the quality of NRRP measures and progress on their implementation.

Parliament has also adopted a number of resolutions on these topics. Members have called, for example, for a thorough assessment of the plans and payment requests, stressed the importance of sound execution of the RRF objectives, and demanded that respect for the rule of law be a pre-condition for disbursements.

Since 2022, Members have looked very closely at RRF expenditure through the annual budgetary discharge procedure. RRF-related issues are prominent in the work of Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), and were included in a dedicated chapter of the decision granting budget discharge to the European Commission. This procedure applies only to RRF grants, however; the loans are beyond Parliament’s scrutiny. Implementation of the RRF entered a decisive stage in 2024, as the 2026 deadline for payment execution approaches. To closely monitor NGEU allocation Parliament, thus used both its powers over the budget and on oversight and scrutiny. Parliament’s powers fall broadly into six, often overlapping, domains: law-making, the budget, scrutiny of the executive, external relations, and, to a lesser extent, constitutional affairs and agenda-setting. This graphic shows more examples of areas where Parliament used one or more of its different powers to influence legislation:

Mapping the European Parliament’s powers in different areas

For a fuller picture of the European Parliament’s activity over the past five years, take a look at our publication Examples of Parliament’s impact: 2019 to 2024: Illustrating the powers of the European Parliament, from which this case is drawn.

Categories: European Union

Pro-EU parties should ‘Europeanise’ election campaigns to combat far-right, analysts say

Euractiv.com - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 13:52
Pro-EU parties are ceding political space to far-right Eurosceptic groups in their European election campaigns by failing emphasise the EU's positive impact on ordinary citizens, experts say.
Categories: European Union

Belgian parties seek pharma revamp focused on talent, innovation, and digital transformation [Advocacy Lab Content]

Euractiv.com - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 13:24
The future of Belgium’s pharmaceutical industry is under scrutiny as competition challenges Belgian success. Leading Belgian politicians discussed revamping pharma's road map in a recent conversation with Euractiv.
Categories: European Union

Slovak candidates contest EU health vision, pharma package central to concerns [Advocacy Lab Content]

Euractiv.com - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 13:07
As Slovak voters go to the polls candidates are fighting for Slovakia's 15 MEP seats with substantially different visions of how EU health legislation should be directed - the EU Pharma Package is central to current concerns.
Categories: European Union

Familiar faces and newcomers, key agri-food candidates to watch in EU Elections

Euractiv.com - Thu, 06/06/2024 - 12:52
On the eve of the EU elections, Euractiv takes a look at the expected outs – and possible “ins” – of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee (AGRI).
Categories: European Union

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