In what is considered to be his outgoing speech, which he delivered at Sciences Po in Paris on Tuesday (25 November), European Council President Herman Van Rompuy urged France to regain confidence and drive Europe into the next era.
“France needs Europe, because France can only be big in Europe. But Europe too needs France more than ever,” he added, stressing the need for a confident France that is economically strong and free of pessimists of all kinds.
A recent vote in the European Parliament provided the opportunity to look into which MEPs voted against EU policies to promote the development agenda. Surprisingly, all the Eurosceptic and conservative British MEPs voted against.
A resolution was passed on Tuesday (25 November) on the EU and the global development framework. A total of 541 MEPs voted, with 96 against (14.41 against) and 29 abstentions (4.4%).
Nicolas Sarkozy's hopes of running for a new French presidential term in 2017 face a crucial first test on Saturday, as members of his crisis-ridden conservative UMP party vote for a new leader.
Sarkozy, who has watched impatiently from the sidelines since losing the French presidency to Socialist François Hollande in 2012, is favourite to be named UMP chairman. But he also knows only a landslide win will deter party rivals from emerging later to challenge him for the presidential ticket.
The Kremlin has privileged politico-military-territorial objectives in Ukraine, while ignoring the economic consequences, and this begins to look like a strategic miscalculation, or Tolstoy’s “ill-directed will of one individual, and usurpation of power”, writes Michael Emerson.
The OECD has thrown its weight behind the argument for relaxing budgetary policy, a position championed in the eurozone by France and Italy. The European Commission is due to publish its judgements on the member states' budget bills on 28 November. EuActiv France reports.
“I promised to present an ambitious Investment Plan before Christmas. One month later and Christmas has come early – I am here to deliver on my promise”, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs, presenting his €315 billion investment plan.
Juncker presented his €315 billion investment plan, which has indeed put together in record times. He pledged to present such a plan on 15 July, when MEPs confirmed him as next Commission President, but had time to work on it only after his team took office on 1 November.
The Juncker Commission is less interested in a Europe that responds to citizens’ needs or achieving a transition to a sustainable economic model, and more interested in pandering to short-term business interests, writes Jeremy Wates, but gives the President the chance to prove himself.
Jeremy Wates, Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau