The war in Ukraine has brought Europeans’ support for the EU to the highest levels in fifteen years. This is the key takeaway from the latest Eurobarometer survey, published on Wednesday, 22 June.
A pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflation, an energy crisis, and heated elections in several European countries such as Hungary and France. It does not take an expert to see that these events that have taken place over the past year have severely influenced the overall state of press freedom in Europe. On May 3rd, World Press Freedom Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published their yearly World Press Freedom Index.
Defending democracy, social justice, freedom of speech, and the protection of human rights are the most important of EU citizens. These are the insights from the European Parliament’s recent Eurobarometer survey conducted in Autumn 2021. Other significant factors are public health, poverty, social exclusion, and climate change.
The socialists (PS) reinforced their power in the Portuguese elections, being able to govern alone in the four upcoming years. This is the third election where the Portuguese elections result in an absolute majority.
The stage is set for the upcoming presidential elections in Italy on 24 January 2022. The Italian parliament together with the regional representatives will cast their votes through a secret ballot to elect the country’s next president. The choice is crucial as it will have far-reaching effects not just for Italy but also for the European Union.
The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament have nominated Alica Bah Kuhnke to run for the position of President of the European Parliament in next week’s vote.
The Slovakian member of the European Parliament Michal Wiezik is switching sides. He is giving up his membership of the Christian Democratic European People’s Party (EPP) and is joining the liberal Renew Europe Group.
The European Peoples Party (EPP) has elected Roberta Metsola from Malta to be their candidate to become the president of the European Parliament. Metsola was up against the Austrian Othmar Karas and Dutch Esther de Lange.
Esther de Lange, Dutch MEP of the European Peoples Party (EPP), submitted her candidacy to be the EPP nominee for the President of the European Parliament.
A majority of the European Parliament supports the report led by the MEP of the Greens Group, Daniel Freund, on the creation of an Independent Ethics Body during September’s plenary session. The primary purpose of the body will be that of strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the EU by proposing and advising on ethics rules for members of the European Commission and the Parliament. In addition to this, it also intends to raise awareness, provide guidance on ethical matters, and have an advisory role with the ability to issue recommendations and initiate investigations on conflicts of interest. In addition to the members of the Commission and Parliament, this body will also be open to all EU institutions, agencies and bodies.