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After last year’s European elections, there was an informal agreement between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that Verhofstadt should be allowed to chair the conference on the Future of Europe.

EU Memberstates do not want Guy Verhofstadt

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, October 14, 2020

For Guy Verhofstadt to chair the conference on the Future of Europe is a red line for a group of member states

"Did common sense finally break through on the EU side?"

Merkel hints at room for manoeuvre in final Brexit talks

By: N. Peter Kramer | Tuesday, October 6, 2020

In a videoconference call on Saturday (3 October) UK MP Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed ‘on the importance of finding an agreement, if at all possible, as a strong basis for a strategic EU-UK relationship in the future’

"In the original title of Margaritis Schinas’ function, Von der Leyen called it quite clearly ‘protection of our European way of life’, however, under pressure from the left in the European Parliament, she changed ‘protection’ in ‘promoting‘."

Is ‘more EU’ also a solution for the immigration issue?

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, September 30, 2020

According to President Ursula von der Leyen, ‘more EU’ is the panacea for a lot of maladies of the European Union

"Von der Leyen put forward a plan to establish a European Health Care Union. But health care was and still is a policy area for the member states themselves. Who believes they will give the commission the authority to take the lead?"

State of the Union: Von der Leyen’s europhile dreams

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, September 23, 2020

On September 16, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held her first ‘State of the Union’ before the European Parliament in Brussels

‘Chinese people will not accept an instructor on human rights and oppose double standards’, Xi was quoted as saying during the summit.

EU – China Summit : Merkel – Von der Leyen – Michel vs Xi

By: N. Peter Kramer | Tuesday, September 15, 2020

September 14. While the initial summit lost its official in-person character due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 3 EU leaders and the Chinese leader attended a virtual meeting via videoconference

‘The risk of a no-deal is increasing, and that’s not a bad thing’, wrote the Financial Times’ Europe commentator, Wolfgang Munchau last week.

‘The risk of a no-deal Brexit is increasing, and that’s not a bad thing’ for the UK

By: N. Peter Kramer | Monday, September 7, 2020

The UK and the EU must reach an agreement on their future relationship by the end of October, otherwise a hard Brexit will be a fact on January

Negotiations will soon start up on the historical July agreement by EU leadership on a €1.82 trillion multi-annual budget (2021-2027) and the Recovery Fund to support member states as they repair the economic damage caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The war between the European institutions has been kicked off

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, September 2, 2020

This week, after a long hot holiday, members of the European Parliament travelled back to their palace in Brussels

"Barnier expects that a no-deal will hurt the UK more than it hurts the EU. Probably he is right, but…"

Barnier’s Brexit dictat

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The seventh formal round of post-Brexit relationship talks ended up last week with the familiar stalemate

"EU competition enforcers have been investigating Facebook for practices related to the use of data in apps since last year, as well as reviewing how the company operates its online marketplace."

Does Vestager overplay her hand again?

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The EU General Court overturned the landmark 2016 decision by EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager that Ireland should claw back €13 billion in unpaid taxes plus interest from Apple

The question is, shall the ‘gains’ of the so called five frugal member states last? Or will appear at the end of the battle with the EP, that all the Council efforts and long hours were for nothing?

Will the ‘Historical Deal’ survive in the European Parliament?

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, July 22, 2020

After five days of intense discussions, the European Council, which brought together the Heads of State and Government of the 27 member states, reached an agreement on the next long-term EU budget

‘They should not count on me as an ally in keeping EU spending low’, Merkel said.

The Council of Angela Merkel’s U-turn

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, July 15, 2020

We are getting closer to the summit that will kick off in Brussels on Friday and could last till Sunday. The tensions are mounting. The gloves are off

"Von der Leyen has till now completely stayed out of her party family’s debates. For instance about whether Hungary’s Fidesz still has a place in the EPP."

European Commission President Von der Leyen’s faux pas

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, July 8, 2020

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen appeared last week in a campaign video for Croatia’s HDZ, member of the European Peoples Party (EPP)

The French Greens (les Ecologistes) became the big winners, seizing 4 of the 10 biggest cities in the country, Marseille, Lyon, Strasbourg and Bordeaux.

Emmanuel Macron’s black Sunday

By: N. Peter Kramer | Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Last Monday French President Macron discovered that being a European leader is much more comfortable than running a country

The Commission President called China a ‘systemic rival’ of the EU, meaning that ‘there are two very different systems, very different views on values’.

European Commission top disconnected on China

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, June 24, 2020

It appears that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell have different views on China

"The current US military presence is based on a reality that no longer exists. Far from being the weak and vulnerable region it was in the fifties and early sixties of the last century, today Europe is one of the most wealthy and sophisticated regions in the world."

Europe’s NATO members must pay more for their defense and security

By: N. Peter Kramer | Tuesday, June 16, 2020

President Trump’s decision to withdraw 10.000 US troops from Germany perplexed the European NATO allies

"It is clear, Merkel and Macron have finally started to feel more uncomfortable with China. The question is whether they can reconcile their reflexes and interests with those of India, Japan, Australia, the US and other democratic countries."

After corona, Merkel and Macron finally critical on China

By: N. Peter Kramer | Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Germany will be the rotating President of the European Union in the second half of this year. Merkel had already put China at the top of the agenda

Some diplomats said the effort to investigate civil servants for sharing information with national governments and branding those disclosures as ‘leaks’, reflect a continuing struggle by Von der Leyen, a former German defense minister, and her inner circle including several advisers she brought in from Berlin, to adept to the ways it works in Brussels.

Von der Leyen’s hunt for ‘leakers’ to the member-states

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Politico let know, that, according to EU officials with direct knowledge of the investigations, European Commission officials are hunting for leakers

The EU’s decision not to use its leverage as the self-declared world’s biggest trade bloc comes in stark contrast to the US, which is threatening trade measures if Beijing proceeds with imposing the national security law in Hong Kong.

Australia, Canada, UK, US clash with China; EU bows for the third time

By: N. Peter Kramer | Monday, June 1, 2020

‘Signatories to this statement reiterate deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong….to impose the new national security law on Hong Kong lies in direct conflict with its international obligations under the principles of the legally-binding, UN registered, Sino-British Joint Declaration’

«Europhiles hope that the fund will address Italy’s lurch into Euroscepticism. But will the impact be enough to persuade Italy to stop breaking EU ranks on China?»

Is Italy playing on two sides? China and the EU?

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

‘An Italian poll sees China as the most friendly foreign country, followed by Russia. Germany is considered the least friendly foreign power, followed by France

For Germans, the constitutional court is the most respected institution in the country, together with the Bundesbank, the German central bank. For the EU to humble the most important pillar of Germany’s post-war stability would invite a public backlash.

The double standards of the European Commission

By: N. Peter Kramer | Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Europhiles and other ardent supporters of the EU have reacted with horror and disbelief at the ruling of the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe that the European Central Bank’s bond buying programme failed a ‘proportionality test’ by not taking into account its broad economic effect

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EU Actually

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N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

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