Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy

outlines his "ambitious and shared programme" 

Paolo Gentiloni VIDEO  ©EP  European Union  

RELEVANT: Gentiloni declared his commitment to the delivery of the European unemployment insurance scheme in a move which might have also positive impact on Italy's domestic politics where coalition partners 5StarM (also in Brussels) are promoting similar measures of social welfare.

Brussels, 3 Oct. 2019 - In a recently renewed EU Parliament where political alliances and mutual support are essential to be effective former Italian Prime Minister, and previously Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni (Italian Democratic Part / S&D Group) outlined his longstanding Parliamentary experience as starting point addressing commissioners:

"I have almost 20 years of parliamentary experience as a member of Parliament, as the chairman of a committee, Minister, Prime Minister and during that time I have learnt something fundamental: it's important to hold dialogue and debate with elected representatives and always answer their questions. Today's hearing is the earliest chance to do that and if I'm confirmed as commissioner many other chances will follow".
 

EP President David-Maria Sassoli Photo ©EP  European Union  

"European People's Party, S&D group, Renew Europe, the Greens and GUE/NGL have decided to table a resolution in the plenary next week"

EP President David-Maria Sassoli Photo ©EP  European Union  

"The resolution stresses a very clear message: You cannot have an agreement without the backstop."

EP President David-Maria Sassoli Photo ©EP  European Union  

"On our side we are ready to get back to the original proposal formulated by the EU that backstop is valid only in Northern Ireland. This is an act of trust in the dialogue and negotiations". 

Brussels, 12 Sept. 2019 - You know - said EP president David Sassoli to journalists - that we discuss everything, we argue over everything, but with regards to Brexit we have a unified position and the European Parliament wants to re-state this unity adding updated considerations". 

EU President Sassoli: "No agreement without backstop". EU anyway ''open to an extension'' 

Photo  Copyright © EP European Union  Parliament

Brussels - While restating the priority of the Transatlantic alliance, Ursula von der Leyen outlined what EU new course of foreign policy would be.

I believe Europe should have a stronger and more united voice in the world and it needs to act fast. That’s why we should have the courage to take foreign policy decisions by qualified majority and to stand united behind them. The cornerstone of our collective defence will always be NATO. We will stay transatlantic, and we have to become more European, that’s why we created the European defence community. Our work for a European Community of security and defence is a comprehensive security. Stabilisation always comes with diplomacy reconciliation and reconstruction”

Photo  Copyright © EP European Union  Parliament

Ursula von der Leyen speaks for a Commission
closer to the Parliament 

Rome 3 July - “It will be a legislature for a Europe able to invest on social dimension; citizens are asking us to be active on politics developing jobs and investments. Our young are often forgot. We need institution more close to the needs of our people, our citizens and European citizens”. Soon after his election as new European Parliament president David Sassoli answers questions from Italian journalists keen to highlight how Italian Democratic Party, S&D group, is not in power in Italy “I hope Italians are happy today” he answers smiling in a optimistic call to unify a politically divided and conflicting country fighting with the EU over immigration policies and debt and concerned by and increasingly infighting coalition government.

KEY SENTENCES OF THE SPEECH:  
 

"The European Union is not just a mistake in the course of history. I am the son of a man who in his twenties fought against other Europeans and of a mother who in her twenties had to flee her home and find refuge with others families. And I am sure this is the story of many of your families"


“Our history is written on sufferance, on the blood of young British exterminated on the Normandy’s shores”.


"Nobody can be condemned for holding a particular political or religious or philosophical persuasion. Young people have to be able to travel and study and fall in love without any restriction".

"We mustn't allow any European to be humiliated or squeezed out of society because of their sexual orientation".

"Within Europe in one way or another Social cover is part of our identity our economic model our social market economy needs to have fresh life breathed into it. Our economic rules must bring together growth with social protection and respect to the environment. We need appropriate instruments to fight poverty and hold out prospects for our young people".

EP President David-Maria Sassoli Photo ©EP  European Union  

David Sassoli elected President of the European Parliament with 345 votes out of 667 at the second round after a shift of 20 votes previously spread among Germn Ska KELLER (Greens/EFA) Spanish Sira REGO (GUE/NGL) and Czech Jan ZAHRADIL (ECR)

EP President David-Maria Sassoli Photo ©EP  European Union  

New EU Parliament president Sassoli: “Our history is written on sufferance, on the blood of young British exterminated on Normandy’s shores”.

Brussels, 25 April - The European Parliament’s Spring 2019 Eurobarometer, measuring public attitudes to the EU three months ahead of the European elections in May, reveals that despite challenges and EU-scepticism, 68% of EU population support membership and think their own country benefited from being part of the Union (the highest level recorded since 1983).


Citizens’ feelings of uncertainty, partly due to the challenges experienced within the EU over the past years, have changed, as seen in the 27% of Europeans now considering that the EU is ‘neither a good thing nor a bad thing’, with an increase registered in 19 countries.
 

With regards to the voting intention to the upcoming elections in May the main reason to vote for 44% of Europeans is because ‘it is their duty’ as a citizen. Respondents to the survey said also among other reasons, would vote because they usually vote in political elections and because they feel they are citizens of the European Union. Equally important voting drivers are that respondents feel they can change things by voting in the European Parliament elections and because they want to support the European Union or a political party.

Citizens’ campaign priorities have further evolved over the past six-month period. Economy and growth (50%) and youth unemployment (49%) now top the agenda, followed by immigration (44%) and climate change (43%), whilst tackling terrorism moves down to fifth place with 41%.

Concern over Eurosceptic parties: 61% of Europeans see the rise of protest parties as a matter of concern; Sweden with 75% of people concerned is first, followed by Finland (73%), Germany (71%) Belgium (70%), Ireland (69%), Portugal and France (both 68%). UK with 23% registered low numbers of negativeness towards protest parties.


The the survey was carried out by Kantar from 19 February to 4 March 2019 among 27.973 Europeans, drawn as a representative sample from the general population aged 15 or over. Data from UK has being shown in addition.

KEY FIGURE:

41% think the role of EU Parliament stayed the same over the last years; but 54% would like it to play a more important role. 


Not only most of the people who believe that Parliament’s role had already been strengthened over the past years still do call for an even more powerful institution in the future, also a majority of those who did not see such a change in the past would like MEPs to have more power.

Eurobarometer: 68% citizens positive on membership. 50% want
EU Parliament to play a stronger role

Brussels, 28, Feb 2019 - The electoral campaigns for the European elections  are going to start and the EU Commission is raising concerns about fake news and misinformation related to the elections in particular on online platforms.  

"We urge Facebook, Google and Twitter to do more across all Member States to help ensure the integrity of the European Parliament elections in May 2019" reads the statement issued by the Commission stressing platforms have to "strengthen their cooperation with fact-checkers and academic researchers to detect disinformation campaigns and make fact-checked content more visible and widespread".
  
The multiplatform global search engine Google and the two giant social media Facebook and Twitter are signatories of the 'Code of Practice against disinformation' and have to report monthly on their actions ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019.


But, so far, not much progress has been done in monitoring and reporting on progress on the scrutiny of adverts placement, transparency of political advertising, closure of fake accounts.

Photo / Copyright © EU Parliament 2018 

Photo/ Copyright © TalkEurope.org 2019 

KEY POINTS:

The monitoring of the Code of Practice is part of the Action Plan against disinformation adopted by the European Union on December 2018 to build up capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and EU institutions to proactively address the threats posed by disinformation.

Commission asks online global giants more progress on transparency in view of EU elections 

European Fund for Transition: new name, stronger solidarity, wider reach out to workers damaged by globalisation digitisation and automation

Brussels - The first reading in Strasbourg rebranded the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: now ‘Transition’ is the key word narrowing the focus on workers, their transition after losing job and finding a new one or opening a new company. 
 

The fund places EU public funds in areas where people are losing their jobs due to globalisation economy: for instance multinationals moving manufacturing plants in Asia where work is cheaper, or automation and digitisation replacing many sectors and phases production chain.

Video Copyright © EP European Union  Parliament

VIDEO Son Simon MEP, UK - Labour Pary (S&D)
 

Brexit - "In a constituency like West Midlands where Jaguar-Land Rover announced 4.500 job losses we will never profit from this fund not now, not ever".

Towards a EU Social Fund Plus inclusive of health and social services

Video Copyright © EP European Union  Parliament

Verónica LOPE FONTAGNÉ; Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats); Member; Spain Partido Popular

Brussels, 19 January - Facilitation of access to funds is key to the effectiveness of the EU Social Fund Plus. According to figures issued by the Commission, 26.4% of EU population aged 0 to 17, are at risk of poverty and social exclusion (a total of 24.8 million children in the Union were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2016, Eurostat). In Romania this average doubles: nearly half, 49.2%, of the children are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, the highest percentage among EU Member States. Although youth unemployment rate has decreased from a peak of 24% in 2013 (and of over 50% in some Member States) to 15.1% in May 2018, it remains too high and is more than twice the general unemployment rate. Similarly, the percentage of young people aged between 15 and 29 not in employment, education or training (NEETs) remains very high, standing at 13.4% in 2017.

"These levels are unacceptable", said 
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs Rapporteur Verónica Lope Fontagné, who introduced the proposal for a regulation of the EU Parliament and of Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).

MEPs voted a number of amendments addressing the need of social protections such as health and social services.

Video Copyright © EP European Union  Parliament

Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility

Five award winning communities bring thousands of EU citizens and businesses online, faster and cheaper

Brussels, 20 January - The winners of the European Broadband Awards 2018 were announced at the special Award Ceremony in Brussels. The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and the Commissioner for Regional Development Corina Creţu awarded five project winners in different categories focusing on innovative models of financing, cost reduction, territorial cohesion, socio-economic impact and competition.

France, Britain, Poland, Sweden and Denmark gets the medals for the best projects meeting the five categories of the Awards:  Innovative models of financing, business and investment; Cost reduction and co-investment in a future proof infrastructure; Territorial cohesion in rural and remote areas; Socio-economic impact and affordability; Openness and competition.

The Prize is vital part of DG Connect 'Broadband Europe',  strategy and policy taken within the Digital Single Market initiative, through which EU Commission promotes actions to turn Europe into a Gigabit Society by 2025.

Copyright © TalkEurope.org 2019 

Copyright © TalkEurope.org 2019 

Copyright © TalkEurope.org 2019 

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