On 9 May a group of 30 students and alumni assembled in Leiden to celebrate Schuman Day 2013. Thanks to the head of the Leiden University Fund, Annemieke Sterrenburg, we could start with a borrel in the wonderful backyard of the LUF headquarters.
While enjoying the sun the guests shared experiences and more or less funny stories (depending on the perspective). The group was a perfect mix of years with alumni who had graduated up to three years ago. After this nice borrel the group moved on to the ‘Oude Harmonie’ that offered a great 3-course-dinner. Discussions continued and everybody had a nice and informative evening among friends. Those who did not want to go home alone found a shelter at Cafe de Keyzer where our Schuman Day celebration continued until late in the night. Thanks to all participants for the great evening. Schuman Day 2014 is already highlighted in some calendars.
The last weeks have brought even more troubles to a difficult political and economic climate in a – nevertheless – stronger than ever European Union. The European project will not fail but there are major changes lying beyond the horizon waiting to be implemented. Let’s hope that our policy-makers are aware of their responsibilities and act accordingly ending the self-inflicted economic hunger strike called austerity and coming up with more appropriate and hopefully more democratic ideas.
As usual, several important topics have been discussed in the Plenary last week in Strasbourg (15 – 18 April 2013). The Irish president has given a speech on the economic situation in Europe. Furthermore, there was an interesting and surprising vote on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). And finally, there are some decisions made with regards to neighbourhood policy and external policy.
The main discussions in the European Parliament are still dominated by the EU budget discussions for 2014 to 2020. Additionally the Parliament has voted on a, as always controversial, revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The seats have been re-divided for the new term. Several other topics were also discussed at length, such as women’s rights, foreign policy topics and the horse meat scandal.
By Frederick van Mierlo, 2012-13 MA EUS student, first posted on 6th Feb 2013 on the EST Network.
Euro-sceptics and federalists alike readily put the words ‘democratic deficit’ and the EU together. Whilst the former conclude that exit is best, the latter that ever-closer union is the way forward. Continue reading
The European Parliament’s Plenary session was held last week from 4 to 9 February, in which several important decisions were taken. First of all, the Plenary was at the forefront of a European Council meeting where the heads of state met up to discuss the long-term European budget (the Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF), which also led to preliminary debates in the Parliament. Furthermore, the French president, François Hollande, gave a speech in the plenary and there has been progress made on the European Common Fisheries Policy and several other policy developments.
By Frederick van Mierlo, 2012-13 MA EUS student, first posted on 10th Jan 2013 on the EST Network.
It’s not exactly a secret that Britain has not always been the most enthusiastic member of the European club. Yet, sitting in the Christmas waiting room of a Specsavers Opticians, as I browsed the Daily Express newspaper I was still disappointed to find that they are running a ‘crusade’ to pull the UK out altogether. Continue reading
The first plenary of 2013. Everyone is back in business and work is back to normal. This time the European Parliament’s plenary week saw the change of the Council presidency with the Cypriot presidency leaving and the Irish presidency commencing. Apart from the presidencies, there was quite some economic debate this time about credit agencies, unemployment and labelling.