Posts in "Institutions" Category — Page 2

2014: was it different this time? A company perspective

This time it’s different.

With this slogan, the European Parliament made it clear: the 2014 European elections would give citizens unprecedented power in determining the future leader and direction of the European Union.

With the appointment of victorious Spitzenkandidat Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured) as President of the European Commission, these elections were different and took some by surprise.

But that was not all.

The role of social media during the European election campaigns has already been the subject of numerous articles. Candidates, political parties and the EU institutions have used social media to mobilise voters in what has been labelled as the first digital European election campaign.

Read More0

Review of the Year: 15 key dates in Europe’s Year of Change

That was the year that was…

Check out our Review of the Year with the fifteen key images and events from Europe’s Year of Change, including the party congresses, the European Parliament elections, the drama of the Commission presidential nomination and election, the selection of a new College of Commissioners, and the election of a new President of the European Council.

Read our review of 2014

Words  David O’Leary
Photos  (c) European Union 2015

Dear @Xavier_Bettel, it’s time to rotate the @EU_Presidency


In seven months Luxembourg will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. Preparations seem to be well underway, but so far your government has not set up a specific Twitter account for the presidency.

As you may know, the current Italian EU Presidency is quite active on Twitter. It has amassed more than 32,000 followers to its account, @IT2014EU. The Latvian government – which holds the presidency in the first half of 2015 – is already tweeting via two accounts – in English (@EU2015LV), and in Latvian (@ES2015LV). They have a combined total of  more than 3,800 followers.

Read More2

A trio of troubles in Tusk’s in-tray

??????????????????????????????????The final piece of Europe’s jigsaw is almost in place.

On Monday, Donald Tusk (pictured above) – elected by the national leaders at the end of August, becomes President of the European Council. But what faces the former Polish prime minister when he arrives in his new office on Monday?

Herman Van Rompuy – Tusk’s predecessor in the role – identified three key issues when the new President was unveiled in the summer. None of the these three issues has become simpler in the last three months.

Read More0

Who will be the social media champion of #TeamJunckerEU?

Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission team faces questions from Members of the European Parliament next week – but they already being probed on Twitter.

So how well are the commissioners-designate prepared to engage online – and who will be the social media king or queen of the new Commission?

Download our PDF infographic of the new European Commission on Twitter

There are more commissioners-designate on Twitter than serving commissioners – which is no surprise. Despite the fact that the Juncker team has more senior national experience than José Manuel Barroso’s team, they have fewer followers on average (19,000 in Juncker’s team as opposed to 26,500 in Barroso’s). However, their accounts should quickly gain followers – if they survive the hearings.

Pierre Moscovici, a former French finance minister, Commissioner-designate for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and a relatively early adopter of Twitter, has the largest following – just over 109,000. (Barroso is the most-followed Twitter user in the current team, with 121,000 followers.)

Read More3

Scotland votes No: what happens next?

Scotland voteScotland has voted No in yesterday’s landmark independence referendum, by a margin of 55% to 45%.

The turnout was an unusually high 85%. In the final days of the campaign, the pollsters converged on a margin of victory for the No side of 52% to 48%. The result was within the margin of error (three percentage points), but there will be questions asked of the main polling companies and their methodologies.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has reacted to the result by stating a “balanced settlement” is needed for the whole of the United Kingdom. He has announced that work will start immediately on proposals to answer the ‘West Lothian question’ – that is, the situation whereby Scottish MPs can vote in Westminster on issues that only impact England, while English MPs have no say over matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood.

Read More0

Sweden votes: pendulum swings back to left in hung parliament

Stefan LofvenSweden’s Social Democrats have emerged as the largest party following parliamentary elections in Sweden, but are likely to have to form a minority administration.

Although the Social Democrats, led by Stefan Löfven (pictured right) gained only one seat, the governing centre-right Alliance lost more than 30 seats, mainly to the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration party, which more than doubled its number of representatives in parliament.

Following his party’s defeat, the Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, announced that he would stand down as PM and, in 2015, as leader of the Moderate Party, the biggest member of the four-party Alliance.

Download our full Insight (PDF)


A five-point guide to the EU top jobs puzzle

This weekend, the European Council will meet again to decide on the holders of the EU’s top jobs.

Here’s our five-point guide to Saturday’s meeting and what it means – and have your say on one of the key issues of the summer by voting in our poll.

1. Time for action

hvr squareAfter the failure to agree on the top jobs at the last summit in July, European Union leaders are under pressure to reach an accord. The European Council is increasingly gaining a reputation as an institution that takes too long to decide anything, and whose decisions are often ‘fudges’.

Saturday is the crunch moment: if EU leaders fail to conclude a ‘package’ of appointments, it will put paid to any remote hopes of appointing the Commission on time. More importantly in the long term, it will increase popular and global perceptions of the EU as a sclerotic organisation. Herman Van Rompuy (pictured left), the President of the European Council, was criticised by EU leaders and many analysts for not preparing a watertight deal before July’s summit (although he was not helped by some prime ministers). The President will not want another failure.

The decisions are not easy: there are significant political, institutional and personal headaches for the 28 leaders. But the leaders are there to lead, and to decide. It’s time to act.

Read More7

Herman’s checklist: finding a balance for the EU’s top jobs

9157497455_724ede816a_h - UPDATEDA big week, and a careful balancing act

This time next week, Angela Merkel will be celebrating her sixtieth birthday – and short of anything better to cheer, the rest of the European Council will probably be celebrating the end of the gruelling quinquennial EU top jobs race.

Tuesday (15 July) sees the election of the new President of the European Commission. Jean-Claude Juncker does not quite have his feet under the desk yet, but the ‘grand coalition’ that held for Martin Schulz’s election as President of the European Parliament is expected to hold and see Juncker made President-elect.

And then, on Wednesday, the rest of the pieces of the top jobs jigsaw are expected to be put into place.

The European Council, denied a backroom deal over the Commission presidency, can (more or less) get back to old ways with its selection of a new President of the European Council and a new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (although the choice for the latter position is one for leaders to take with the President-elect). A new permanent president for the Eurogroup (finance ministers of eurozone countries) is also expected to be named.

Read More2

The new European Parliament on Twitter: look who’s talking


Download our PDF infographic of the new European Parliament on Twitter

As predicted, more MEPs are on Twitter than ever before (531 compared to 408 in the previous EP), and almost half are tweeting every day.

Our infographic of the new European Parliament on Twitter shows this increase in the number of Twitter users also brings in some significant new faces: Pablo Iglesias, a Spanish Podemos MEP who is the radical left candidate for the presidency of the European Parliament, has more than 400,000 followers – far ahead of leading tweeters from the last parliament (such as Marine Le Pen, Martin Schulz or Nigel Farage). The GUE/NGL Group also has the biggest proportion of daily tweeters.

On the opposite side of the hemicycle, nearly 80% of MEPs from the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) Group are on Twitter. The group also features the Parliament’s two most prolific tweeters (both new MEPs from the UK Independence Party – it remains to be seen if they will remain so active when they take up their roles as MEPs).

Read More1