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European Union (EU)

Europe’s Elections As A Mirror

Ah, those elections last week to the European Parliament, in which voters across the European Union administered a sound whack to the technocrats, market fundamentalists, and liberal authoritarians who now hold power across much of the Continent: Let us attempt what we are not supposed ever to undertake. Let us try to understand them. The E.U. Parliament, to get straight a few basic details, is one strut of the three-legged stool of which the union is made: The unelected technocrats are in Brussels, the unelected central bankers are in Frankfurt, and the elected legislature is in Strasbourg. Belgium, Germany, and France: The distribution of institutional power in this way is meant as a display of the Continent’s hard-won unity.

Democracy Will Not Come Through Compromise And Fear

Half of the world’s population will have the opportunity to vote by the end of this year as 64 countries and the European Union are scheduled to open their ballot boxes. No previous year has been so flush with elections. Among these countries is India, where a remarkable 969 million voting papers had to be printed ahead of the elections that culminated on 1 June. In the end, 642 million people (roughly two-thirds of those eligible) voted, half of them women. This is the highest-ever participation by women voters in a single election in the world. Meanwhile, the European Union’s 27 member states held elections for the European Parliament, which meant that 373 million eligible voters had the opportunity to cast their ballot for the 720 members who make up the legislative body.

European Nuclear Deterrent A Harebrained Illegal Proposal

It is quite astonishing and clearly insane, that Manfred Weber, the German leader of the European Union’s center-right European People’s Party, now expected to come in first in the European Parliament election scheduled on June 6-9th, is calling for the EU’s own nuclear “deterrent”—arguing that the US-stationed nuclear weapons in five NATO states, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherland, and Turkey, may be inadequate protection for Europe’s security should Trump, that great friend of Russia, be elected! There is a total disconnect from reality in the western world. It is driven by what has been described as an expansion of the warning of former General Eisenhower, commander of US World War II forces that worked with Russia to defeat the Nazi onslaught, which happened to kill the astounding number of 27 million Russians, in his outgoing presidential address.

Europe’s Shift To The Right Must Be Countered With Mass Mobilization

The composition of the new European Parliament will more or less trace the outgoing one. Much ado about nothing? Not really. It’s not just a question of how many votes and seats you get—the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) increased their share by 10 seats, and the ultra-right parties Identity and Democracy and European Conservatives and Reformists by 13—but also where and how. The ultra-right is the leading force in two key countries such as France and Italy, where it won around 30% of votes (40% if we add the votes of Zemmours Reconquuête in France and Salvinis Lega in Italy).

Far-Right Surge In Elections Shakes Up European Parliament

The European Union woke up to a grim reality, albeit with few surprises, after the European Parliament elections concluded on Sunday, June 9. As predicted by polls, far-right parties emerged gleeful. According to preliminary results, combined, the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Identity and Democracy (ID) groups secured only four fewer seats than the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the second-largest group in parliament. Including mandates won by unaffiliated parties close to ECR and ID, the far-right easily overtakes the center. The conservative European People’s Party (EPP) received 186 of the 720 seats, and remains the largest group in parliament.

How Europe Outsourced Border Enforcement To Africa

When Cornelia Ernst and her delegation arrived at the Rosso border station on a scorching February day, it wasn’t the bustling artisanal marketplace, the thick smog from trucks waiting to cross, or the vibrantly painted pirogues bobbing in the Senegal River that caught their eye. It was the slender black briefcase on the table before the station chief. When the official unlatched the hard plastic carrier, proudly unveiling dozens of cables meticulously arranged beside a touchscreen tablet, soft gasps filled the room.

European Farmers Shun Anti-Green Deal Protest In Brussels

Europe’s largest farming unions representing millions of agricultural workers have rejected calls to join next week’s protest against EU green reforms, DeSmog can reveal. Smaller groups have also shunned the demo – some wanting to avoid the prospect of violence, others claiming they didn’t know it was happening. Preparations for the June 4 demo have been ramping up ahead of the start of the EU elections next Thursday, with protesters set to gather in Brussels days before European citizens head to the polls. The hardline Dutch group Farmers Defence Force (FDF) has urged farmer “warriors” to attend the demo, with its spokesperson claiming: “we are defending the rights of farmers and the standards of the European Union as it’s supposed to be”.

Revealed: Far-Right Links Of Polish Farmer Hunger Strikers

An obscure far-right linked farmers group has risen to prominence in Poland after it was championed by populist politicians ahead of the EU elections, DeSmog can reveal. Orka, a new farmers’ movement that materialised earlier this month, entered Warsaw’s parliament building on May 9 to protest against EU climate plans and Ukrainian food imports. Protesters suspended a 10-day hunger strike last week after winning the attention of Polish President Andrzej Duda, who invited them to talks, and reportedly offered one member a role on his council for agriculture. The protest group was accompanied by the far-right Confederation Party’s Marta Chech, who is running as a candidate in the June 6-9 EU ballot.

Top EU Official Accused At ICC Of ‘Complicity’ In Gaza Genocide

The Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI) has submitted a request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for complicity in Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip. A communication submitted by GIPRI on 22 May details “through facts and evidence, that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the current president of the European Commission … is complicit in a number of violations of international humanitarian law, amounting to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC, committed by the Israeli armed forces against Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), including the Gaza Strip.”

European Campuses Erupt In Protest Over Gaza Genocide

More European college campuses have erupted in protest over Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, as the massive pro-Palestine movement at US universities continues to inspire students worldwide. According to a police statement, 169 people were detained on Monday evening and early Tuesday at the University of Amsterdam. Clashes with police and arrests have taken place as campuses in the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Austria broke out this week. Hundreds of protesters resumed a demonstration at the University of Amsterdam on the evening of 7 May, a day after Dutch riot police stormed the protest site and violently cleared out their encampment.

Sustainable Food Systems: Feeding Ourselves Across Europe

Brussels is currently not the most hopeful place for those wishing to see EU food systems in a fair, ecological transition. But hope is on the ground. Not waiting for the impetus to come from above, many communities, food policy councils, solidarity farming initiatives, food cooperatives, as well as rural and urban municipalities have already established their own democratic, economic and social frameworks in order to create sustainable food systems. At Feeding Ourselves 2024, a roundtable on Bottom-Up Approaches to Sustainable Food Systems was a chance to connect partners of two ARC2020 projects, Rural Resilience in France and Rural Europe Takes Action – Germany* with kindred spirits in Ireland.

Greece Rocked By Massive Protests Over NATO And EU’s Warmongering

On Sunday 21 April massive anti-imperialist events took place all over Greece. They were protesting against Greece’s involvement in US-NATO-EU militarism and the ongoing bloodshed of the Palestinian people. Thanasis Paphilis, secretary general of the World Peace Council, spoke at the event and noted: We are here today, outside the Ministry of National Defence, at the end of the 41st Marathon March to condemn Greece’s involvement in the murderous US-NATO plans. To demand the closure and removal of the US-NATO-EU bases and barracks that have turned our country into a military base and our people into a target for retaliation. To return here and now the frigate ‘HYDRA’ and the Armed Forces personnel from the Red Sea.

The European Court of Human Right’s First Climate Ruling

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has today ruled that insufficient action to tackle climate change is a violation of human rights. In a historic judgement, the court ruled that Switzerland’s failure to do enough to cut its greenhouse gas emissions breached the rights to respect for family and private life of some of its most vulnerable citizens. It is the first time this court, which is responsible for interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty signed by all members of the Council of Europe (including the UK), has ruled on a climate change-related matter.

Farmers’ Protests Challenging EU Policies Spread To Eastern Europe

Farmers and their unions in Eastern and Central Europe, are mobilizing in large numbers against growing economic distress. They have expressed their rejection of provisions in the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Green Deal, and against the high cost of production and low incomes, import of tariff-free grains from Ukraine war efforts, and exhaustive bureaucratic procedures in farm-related laws and regulations. Farmers affiliated with the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic (AKCR), Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food Industry, unions in Poland, and many others participated in rallies and road blocks on February 22, demanding concrete policy measures from their respective governments and the European Union (EU) in solving their grievances.

‘Western Dominance Has Ended’, EU Foreign-Policy Chief Admits

Europe’s top diplomat has acknowledged that the “era of Western dominance has indeed definitively ended”. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, wrote this in a blog post on the official website of the EU’s diplomatic service on February 25. “If the current global geopolitical tensions continue to evolve in the direction of ‘the West against the Rest’, Europe’s future risks to be bleak”, he warned. The wars in Ukraine and Gaza, along with the anti-colonial uprisings in Africa’s Sahel region, have “significantly increased this risk” of Europe becoming geopolitically irrelevant, Borrell said, lamenting that “Russia has managed to take advantage of the situation”.
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