The Formation of Three Right-Wing Alliances in the European Parliament

The EU-skeptical, ultra right-wing and right-wing populist parties in the European Parliament try to get themselves organized. Most likely there will be three EU-skeptical party families and one of them might be the third biggest faction. The project for a far-right party led by Marine Le Pen’s Front National will come into existence and also the future of Nigel Farage’s EFD seems to be now secured. All of these EU-skeptic parties have different aims, from leaving the Euro to abandoning the union. All three parties are not characterized by strength but rather weakness looking at their party programs. Continue reading “The Formation of Three Right-Wing Alliances in the European Parliament”

“I want the United States of Europe”

Stefan Windberger in a discussion on science and research in Vienna (c) EFP/APA/Preiss
stefan profilfoto
Stefan Windberger from NEOS is running as a Member of European Parliament

The youngest Austrian candidate with a realistic chance to be elected into the European Parliament is Stefan Windberger. The 25-year-old has studied international affairs and international political economy at the London School of Economics and Sciences Po in Paris and has started recently his own consulting firm in Vienna. In February, he was officially selected as the number two candidate for NEOS, a newly established liberal movement. The polls suggest that NEOS will get some 12% at the European Parliament elections on 25 May 2014 whereby about 10% would be necessary for Stefan to become a Member of European Parliament (MEP). Standing up against youth unemployment, calling for educational reform and establishing easier ways to start new businesses for young people are his main priorities. In addition, he presents his ideas about Europe that are based on a call for a federal Europe. This Skype interview was conducted on 12 April 2014. Continue reading ““I want the United States of Europe””

More democracy in Germany for European Parliament elections

What kind of chance should small parties have at the European Parliament elections? (c) Flickr/European Parliament

“Every eligible voter’s vote must have the same value and the same legitimate chance of success.” Germany’s constitutional court decided on Wednesday (26 February 2014) that the 3% hurdle for political parties in Germany for the European Parliament (EP) is unconstitutional. The ruling will come into effect immediately and apply to the EP elections in May 2014. Germany has by far the biggest population in the European Union with some 82 million people out of the total of 503 million EU citizens and its citizens can vote for 96 out of 751 members of European Parliament. Continue reading “More democracy in Germany for European Parliament elections”

The Economist is wrong: More instead of less democracy in the EU

Christine Lagarde could be a candidate for the EU Commission, as long as she is elected by the Parliament (c) Wikipedia

In an act of masochism, everyone in Brussels and who is working for the EU institutions, particularly, the EU Commission, reads it. It could not be more critical of the EU and its policies. Although it is a weekly that I truly enjoy reading in general, I have huge challenges when it comes to their reporting about the EU (like in any British media as anything what is coming out of the EU is bad – with the noble exceptions of the BBC and the Guardian). Continue reading “The Economist is wrong: More instead of less democracy in the EU”

“Give us a TV Debate”

european debateAn important demand has been started on Facebook for EU citizens just this Monday. It calls for “TV debates on major European channels between the candidates for president of the European Commission.” Through that, it rightfully demands that EU citizens can make a more informed choice when they go to the ballot box for the European Parliament elections in May 2014. At the time of writing, this Facebook page has already some 655 “likes” on Facebook, but I am sure it can and will grow in much higher numbers. It is a demand from EU citizens to know what the possible future EU Commission President nominated by one of the different political groups is going to implement and what she or he is standing for. Continue reading ““Give us a TV Debate””

Who will head the EU in 2015?

There is light at the end of the tunnel: more democracy in the EU! (c) Flickr/Francois de Halleux
There is light at the end of the tunnel: more democracy in the EU! (c) Flickr/Francois de Halleux

In January 2015, José Manuel Barroso will be gone. Finally! Not many people will miss the current president of the EU Commission, the most important position in the EU. Pro-Europeans are hopeful that a more charismatic and visionary person is going to take over his job. The crucial question is: Who is going to follow Barroso? Thanks to the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament (EP) will have a much bigger say in this decision. Thus, it will be EU citizens who will influence who will take over this post because for the first time ever the people will know the frontrunners of the major political groups in the European Parliament. Consequently, a vote at the European Parliament elections in May 2014 will contribute to the decision where the EU will head to in the future. Continue reading “Who will head the EU in 2015?”