Eurosphere agenda: “Green light for Juncker


The EU’s heads of state and government plan to nominate Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president today, Friday, despite the UK’s opposition to the move. This will be the first time that the European Council is not unanimous in its decision on who takes this top post. Some commentators see Juncker’s nomination as strengthening the European Parliament and its voters. Others fear it will only widen the rift between the EU and its citizens

Arguments for and against Luxembourg’s Juncker

Far-right parties from the Netherlands and France have failed to form an anti-European Union parliamentary group in the European Parliament, Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said in a statement late on Monday.


The French Front National and the Dutch PVV have failed to meet Tuesday’s deadline for forming a far-right group in the European Parliament. That comes as no surprise since radical positions don’t lend themselves to cooperation, some commentators write. Others lament that Europe will now remain without a strong opposition voice.

The economic rationale for poorer countries joining the eurozone was that it would hasten economic convergence between themselves and the richer members of the currency union. They would benefit from a stable macroeconomic environment and more trade and inward investment. And Portugal aside, there was some convergence in the early years of the single currency. But this went into reverse in 2008 and by 2013 the poorer members of the currency union were no better off relative to the EU-15 average than they had been in 1999. Worse still, they have been overtaken by a number of the 2004’s EU intake, who in 1999 had been much poorer. Has the euro become a mechanism for divergence? If so, what are the implications for growth across the eurozone as a whole and for the case for joining?

MAIN FOCUS: EU sets its bearings at Ypres summit | 26/06/2014


A month after the European elections, the European heads of state and government will meet today in the Belgian town of Ypres to set the course for EU policy over the next five years. Jean-Claude Juncker looks set to be nominated European Commission president on Friday. Commentators fear this decision will lead to Britain exiting the Union, and call on the politicians to develop true visions for the future of the EU.


Juncker: The first European Commission President we can get rid of

Ideas on Europe by Ronny Patz

The news today reported that both Sweden and the Netherlands – i.e. their prime ministers – have dropped their previous opposition to Jean-Claude Juncker to becoming European Commission President.

This pretty much means that Juncker will get the first EU top job nomination at the European Council meeting tomorrow and after-tomorrow, as only Cameron (UK) and Orban (Hungary) remain opposed to him


MAIN FOCUS: Socialists back Juncker | 23/06/2014


At a meeting in Paris on Saturday the EU’s leading Social Democrats agreed to back Jean-Claude Juncker for the post of European Commission president. In return they want top EU posts and a relaxing of the Stability Pact. Commentators see this as a victory for Angela Merkel and believe it will further weaken the British government.


Meet Britain First: the UK’s fastest growing far right group

open Democracy News Analysis – by Matthew Collins

A child of the BNP and the EDL, Britain First has shifted the glare of bigots from race war to faith war. Meet the man behind the fastest growing far right movement in Britain, and find out what makes him tick.

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