FEPS Fresh Thinking

Archives for EU Priorities and Opinion

On Wednesday 1st March 2017, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented his ‘White Paper’ on the future of Europe to the European Parliament in Brussels. The White Paper presents a range of scenarios for how the European Union could evolve within the next decade(s). ‘What future do we want for ourselves, for our children and… » read more

Posted by Ernst Stetter

  – As Immanuel Kant in 1795 already stipulated, universal hospitality and Human Rights had to be at the centre of every evolving asylum and refugee policy. Upholding European values starts with the unambiguous acknowledgement for refugees and asylum seekers of legal obligations under international conventions ratified by the EU and its Member States. Beyond… » read more

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

The debate on Greece and how a solution can be found is causing more and more problems. The public opinion in Northern Europe is influenced by the “pacta sunt servanda” approach, meaning Greece has to fulfil all commitments so far signed. In Southern Europe – especially in Portugal, but also in Spain – it is… » read more

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter

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

Posted by Ernst Stetter