Tag - EP2014

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Trading Influence : a Union for a President
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Knives being sharpened as the EU starts negotiations on its leadership

Trading Influence : a Union for a President

In Shakespeare’s play King Richard III offered his Kingdom for a horse. In a similarly astounding manner the European Parliament seems to be handing control of the EU’s political agenda to the Council in exchange for having its candidate appointed as Commission President. Some see this as an astute way of increasing its power over the Commission. In this thinking, the Commission President will be more willing to bend towards positions taken by the EP if he or she has to thank his appointment to the EP. David Cameron seems to share this view. It has convinced him that accepting the EP’s candidate weakens the EU member states in the European Council. However, the opposite may be true. Before the Lisbon Treaty came into force the Council appointed the president of the Commission but he or she then had to be “approved” by the European Parliament. The parliament did so[...]

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Knives being sharpened as the EU starts negotiations on its leadership

The EP elections did not really surprise anyone. One of the much noted aspects was the mounting support for Eurosceptic parties in many countries, including in some of the original six. The Netherlands was bucking the trend as the Eurosceptic PVV of Geert Wilders lost a seat rather than winning several as they had hoped and expected. But in France, the UK, Greece and Denmark the Eurosceptics claimed important victories. Even in Germany, a country normally opposed to extremist parties, the Alternative für Deutschland did much better than expected. This has led some well-respected journalists and other observers to call for changes at the EU. The FT’s Gideon Rachman called it a populist howl that EU leaders cannot simply ignore. He admits that in a currency union “control of economic and fiscal policy can never be fully restored” (which is why he believes in a break-up of the euro). But[...]

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