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The European Parliament, the only institution where EU citizens directly elect their representatives, had its role revolutionized in the past decades. Aside from being one of the most transparent and powerful parliaments in the world, its strong legislative function alongside the Council and its power to elect European Commission members (giving itself a de facto… » read more

The notion of democracy derives from ancient history; it originates from the Greek words dêmos and kratos, which means ‘rule of the people’. Its modern definition lies in the eye of the beholder since nations have various interpretations on what makes a society ‘democratic’. But generally, a democracy, according to Wikipedia, is “a form of… » read more

Never again.

As I am writing this I am listening to the speeches in the EP plenary in Strasbourg, on the WW I and lessons of the past as we look to the future. I’ve been pondering on writing on this subject for the past few months, as the subject is so vast and incredibly complex, that… » read more

Foucault distinguishes between despotic power and the limited state (governmentality, physiocratic economic liberalism, economic free market liberal criticism of Nazism in the Ordoliberalismus group), criticizing the state which claims to unify the nation/peopleo within itself and defending economic, societal and personal space outside state control (Barry Stocker: Political theory and the Idea of Europe, Foucault… » read more

Federalism in #RO

I have made it no secret that I am a true believer in a Federal Europe. My first post on this blog is about my belief that the national state has lived it’s life. And I do have to agree that in Romania, where I live, the federalist momentum has yet to become a reality,… » read more

By Horatiu Ferchiu Our leadership, such as it is today, is in many respects weak. It suffers at the mercy of interests other than those of the common folk. It lacks the power to uphold and protect the values inscribed within the EU project. We need someone to take us through this stage, and push… » read more

By Mark Dawson and Pierre Thielboerger Hopes are that the upcoming EU elections will produce a stronger and more politicized EP. This task has been made more difficult by the recent ruling of the German Constitutional Court squashing the 3%-threshold for German parties seeking election to the EP. In striking down a legislative compromise between… » read more

by Elaine Fahey and Maria Weimer The European Court of Justice does not make law per se, but it has to make many choices, and it has to make them fast and within page limits. Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston’s visit to the Architecture of Postnational Rule-Making Project at the University of Amsterdam clarified her perspective.… » read more

“The euro is reshaping Europe. It is a costly, painful exercise. We should have approached it in a different way. But the euro is forcing several countries in Europe to solve problems which otherwise would have taken decades to come about. The euro is forcing through what governments can’t, such as labour market reform.” –… » read more

By Eberhard Rhein The European Commission will continue to suffer from too many Commissioners and portfolios, and the recent suggestion by the French Economics and Finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, to give France a super-portfolio encompassing Economics, Energy, Industry, Foreign Trade and Competition sounds more than dazzling: an illustration of French ‘grandeur’ without caring about other… » read more

    The EP elections are coming in 70 days. 70. And this year also brings elections in Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK. Next year marks general elections in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Spain. That means that 2014 and 2015 will be hard years for the… » read more

The European Parliament elections on May 25 will have the première of a powerful wave of euro populist and euro-extremists. Euroscepticism will increase, although it already has its representatives in Parliament, albeit in low numbers. Where before there could not be a sustainable and distinct euro populist group in the European Parliament, operating in parallel… » read more

For years, BEUC and many other organisations pressed for the transfer of responsibility for medicines from DG Enterprise to DG Sanco. It seemed wrong that one DG should combine responsibility for medicines with responsibility for promoting the European pharmaceutical industry. It was not, in my view, a question of impropriety but rather that it would… » read more

By Joop Hazenberg One of the last interviews for Next Europe is with Philippe Legrain, a British economist who worked for BEPA – the Commission’s own think-tank – until this year. In his book Aftershock, he mentions four big dangers to the world (economy): financial collapse, debt crises, protectionism and climate change. We are three… » read more

Matteo Renzi, just 39, is the new Italian prime minister, but not without attracting some controversy. Beyond his political skills, he considers his relatively young age one of his strengths. Renzi is considered an exponent of the Erasmus generation, comprised of young people who have almost exclusively lived in the time of the Euro, and… » read more

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