“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”

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?”

One currency for East Africa

Believe it or not: already in August the East African Community (EAC) wants to conclude a monetary union that should be signed by November 2013. The five head of states decided in Arusha, Tanzania, just one week ago that they want to achieve a further step in regional integration, hoping that a High Level Task Force consisting of senior experts will finish all negotiations in some months and resolve the outstanding issues. According to Rwanda’s “The New Times,” Rwanda’s Minister for EAC Affairs Monique Mukaruliza said that the issue of a single currency was in its final stages of conclusion.

Continue reading “One currency for East Africa”

South Sudan still waiting to join the EAC

A week ago, the head of states of the East African Community (EAC) came together for a summit in Arusha, Tanzania. The main issue on the agenda was the establishment of a monetary union that ultimately will be necessary to achieve a federation among the five member states (see my article). However, one of the most pressing issues was not addressed as “The East African” pointed out: the future membership of countries waiting in line to become part of the most dynamic regional organization in sub-Saharan Africa.

Continue reading “South Sudan still waiting to join the EAC”