After the elections what are the prospects for the European Union?

Whilst at the height of the euro crisis some forecast the disappearance of the single European currency, and even quite simply the collapse of Europe, what do things look like now just as the end of the crisis now seems to be turning into a reality? Europeans are particularly concerned about the future. A great majority of them believe that the lives of the young generation will be more difficult than theirs has been. Europe must therefore prepare to rise to the major challenges of tomorrow. How? – by promoting all of its existing assets and especially by improving its weak points. Several things might influence the way Europeans see the future positively: improvements in the economic situation first and foremost, also changes that are due to be made to the European institutions in the follow-up to the last election.

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What should Brussels change? How can the functioning of the European institutions be improved rapidly?

How can the way the European institutions function be improved rapidly? This is the question that the Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani tries to answer. This paper is based on the belief that European integration is as relevant as ever but that the way it functions has to be revised; therefore it has to be more specific: without changing the treaties, how can the way the common institutions are run be improved, rapidly and in a way that will fulfil most expectations which are multiple and diverse that are now being expressed by the public about “Brussels” – the name which has now become pejorative, easy to wield and unclear? It only requires the personal commitment of the future President of the Commission, of the new Parliament as far as it is concerned and of the Member States in terms of the Council. The European Council on 26th and 27th June 2914 in its quest for renewed impetus might, in line with its vocation, be the trigger and lead to new perspectives.

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Who will the Commission’s next president be? A multiple-choice question

The designation of the president of the European Commission requires a joint agreement on the part of the European Parliament and the European Council, which rests neither on the “Westphalia model” (whereby governments alone make the decision) nor on the “Westminster model” (whereby the president belongs to the party ranking first at the European elections). An analysis of the appointments made since 1979 allows us to identify the four main criteria likely to prevail during the negotiations currently getting under way.

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The European People’s Party has a slight lead just one week before the European elections

382 million citizens from 28 EU Member States are being called to ballot between 22nd and 25th May next to elect the 751 members of the European Parliament. The Dutch and the British will be voting on 22nd May; the Irish on 23rd, the Latvians, Slovakians and the Maltese on 24th, The Czechs on 23rd and 24th, and the Italians on 24th and 25th. The Europeans in the other 20 Member States will vote on 25th May.

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