FEPS Fresh Thinking

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This week could be a turning point for climate and energy policy in Europe. The Commissioner for Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic announced the strategy for Energy Union alongside a Climate communication from the European Commission on the ‘road to Paris’ and a Communication reporting on the electricity interconnection target of 10 percent. According to the… » read more

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Last week, I was asked to discuss the potential lessons for the European Union from the Nordic Models at the Nordic Labour Movement congress SAMAK. For me, three points seem essential: First: Freedom and prosperity needs to be created through opportunities and challenges! Democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law remain guiding principles… » read more

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The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls gave a speech this week on the general policies to implement in the country to overcome the crisis and to implement an economic policy in order to foster growth and reduce the high unemployment rate in France. The content of the speech was submitted to a confident vote in… » read more

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The day after the official presentation of the new European commission by the President-designate Jean-Claude Juncker, the press remains ambiguous in its analyses. Some have praised the audacity to try a new structure with the designation of the 7 Vice-presidents, while the mergers and splits within some of the portfolios are still quite incomprehensible. Others… » read more

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Yesterday’s decision of the European Central Bank to cut its key interest rate below zero and the other measures announced are more than a European way of the U.S. Quantitative Easing (QE). The ECB cut its main refinancing rate to 0,15% and its deposit rate from zero to minus 0,1%. The European Central bank is… » read more

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Two days after the European elections the European parliamentarians took the initiative. The leaders of the groups in the European Parliament met and agreed to propose Jean-Claude Juncker as candidate for the presidency of the European Commission. The European Council, convoked by its president Hermann van Rompuy for yesterday night, was stunned by this quick… » read more

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1. The European election campaign undoubtedly helped the European Union to do an enormous step towards greater politicisation. Nevertheless the European Union is still far away to be a transnational democracy. There was still no unifying topic that mobilised voters across member states. 2. The decision of the PES (Party of European Socialists) after the… » read more

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Invited yesterday to speak at a conference of the S&D Group in the European Parliament I raised the crucial question of the European Common Foreign and Defence Policy of the sharing of sovereignty. Looking on the current state of the CFSP one has to admit that there is some “movement”. It seems also that many… » read more

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During the weekend I received some emails and comments on the proposal to establish the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP/TAFTA). Talks between the EU and US started this summer. In the public debate taking place in Europe over the TTIP negotiation, it seems that we Europeans have to accept US standards and law and… » read more