Members of the European Parliament are threatening to take the European Commission to court with an article 265 procedure regarding a long expected mechanism that is supposed to link EU funds to the rule of law.
The Socialists & Democrats (S&D) are the second largest group in the European Parliament with 146 seats in total. The group mainly consists of national pro-EU social-democratic parties and is associated with the EU-wide Party of European Socialists (PES). The group has always been one of the more enthusiastic groups of the EP on the topic of European integration so let’s find out what the EU should look like according to the S&D.
This past week, reports have amassed on Russia increasing its deployment of troops near the Ukrainian border. It is estimated that this constitutes the largest deployment since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, with heavy equipment and artillery being towed from as far as Siberia. According to Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov, the build up is nothing more than an exercise but military experts say the troop movements paint a different picture.
Stricter rules are going to apply to European vaccine exports. The European Commission, yesterday, added the principles of reciprocity and proportionality to the transparency and authorisation mechanism (a mechanism that allows Member States to stop vaccine exports under certain conditions). The two new principles allow countries to look at how much the destination country is exporting itself and if the conditions in that country are better or worse than the EU’s.
The European Commission proposed its long-awaited Digital Green Certificate last week. The certificate, which is welcomed by countries that wish to open up their tourist sector this month but despised by anti-vax tweeters that think it’s the EU’s newest strategy to keep everyone prisoner, is meant to facilitate free movement again. This comes after a period of rather restricted movement, with more and more Member States recently stopping travellers at the border.
The European Parliament voted yesterday to declare the whole European Union an LGBTIQ Freedom zone. The resolution, on which 492 MEPs voted in favour, 141 voted against and 46 abstained, comes as a response to the declaration of LGBTIQ-free zones in over a hundred Polish regions, counties and municipalities and is intended to put political pressure on states with illiberal tendencies.
The long-awaited and much-debated conference on the future of Europe finally seems to be gaining some traction now that the European Parliament has signed a joint declaration by the Parliament, Commission and Council. The project was set to launch in May 2020 already but hit a brick wall due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Orbán’s ruling party, Fidesz, leaves the European People’s Party (EPP). In a letter addressed to Manfred Weber, the group’s leader, he informs him that all Fidesz MEPs resign their membership of the Christian Democrat group. The letter comes as a response to today’s meeting where the EPP decided to vote in favour of changing the rules of member party exclusion.
The European Parliament and the Council have come to a provisional agreement on the conditionality of the distribution of funds based on the state of rule of law in Member States. Now if this sentence didn’t make any sense to you at all, that’s understandable. I threw some Brussels Bubble vocabulary in for you. But don’t be alarmed. I’m going to explain it as best I can…
Many topics were discussed in last week’s plenary session of the European Parliament, but one of its most important ones was the CAP. Or the Common Agricultural Policy. The discussion was even awarded its own trending hashtag: #VoteThisCAPdown.