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European Parliament leadership: a center-right case

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“Italian conservative Antonio Tajani is the new president of the European Parliament. He managed to beat his competitor, Gianni Pittella, in a final run-off vote by 351 votes to 282”. This is what the news report at the 17th of January 2017, right after the    election outcome. The European Parliament has a new President, the profile of whom is worth investigating.

This historic victory brought the center-right on top of the EU law-making body, the European Parliament. The election of Mr. Tajani gives his European group, the European People’s Party, control of the three main EU institutions – the European Commission, Council and Parliament. With more legislative clout, the parliament has an ever bigger impact on EU decision-making. In a very crucial period, facing the Brexit, the refugee crisis, security, bank and energy affairs, as well as determining the EU budget and other capital market issues, Brussels is supposed to enact very sensitive laws. Given this tough situation in Europe, the center-right cleavage has the support of the Liberals and Democrats by forming a “coalition of ideas”, as Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the ALDE group stated. There is an urgent need in pro-European cooperation, especially to function as a mound against the populist and nationalist forces in the Parliament. For this reason, the pact between the EU  Christian Democrats and Liberals also call for “new, ambitious trade agreements,” a deepening of the European single market, improved governance of the 19-nation euro, Europe’s emissions-trading system development in order to fight climate change, and security and defense initiatives. In terms of security, it is agreed to reinforce EU police cooperation by establishing a new committee. Specifically on Brexit, the EU Parliament will have the final say on whether to approve a deal with the UK, under a center right presidency. After all, it is the first time in more than 10 years that an EPP-liberal partnership sidelined the S&D in the Parliament.

Center- right records victory in elections owing to its representative, a former spokesman for Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner, Mr. Antonio Tajani. He has already enjoyed in the past a long and highly lucrative career in Italian and European politics. He was one of the founding members of “Forza Italia”, a  liberal-conservative, centre-right party best known for producing the Italian President Silvio Berlusconi. Since 1994, the new elected President has been nominated as an Member of the European Parliament 4 times and now will head the EU Institution for the next 2 ½ years. After having served as EU Commissioner for transport and industry/entrepreneurship, his reputation was damaged after he was involved in a scandal with the Volkswagen, but still other initiatives, like the “Horizon 2020” make up his profile. Among Tajani’s priorities are low carbon technologies, climate and the circular economy, as well as new digital and data technologies, research and innovation with money from European regional funds as well as the European Fund for Strategic Investment. The fact that his election came on the day Theresa May outlined her plans for Britain to leave the European Union, Mr. Tajani could not neglect to refer to a “very balanced solution” by “defending the rights of the Europe” and by thinking that “in the future the UK will be an important partner”. A moderate approach on Brexit can assure a soft divorce, after Theresa May triggers Article 50. On economic affairs, Mr. Tajani advocates youth employment aiming to reduce public debt, while on social affairs, he seems to be a strong supporter of gender equality. But, in general, what really matters for Antonio Tajani, is his commitment to represent everyone in the Parliament by putting forward the views of the Parliament to the Council, because, as he stated, he has no certain political agenda. Parliament is the one to pass or amend laws within the Union. Speaking after the results, Tajani dedicated his success to the victims of the 2016 earthquake in Italy and called on unity in Europe.

The European Parliament has chosen its representative within the EU and internationally. Antonio Tajani is undoubtedly a political personality equipped with experience and knowledge and thus his presidency is going to be effective for the European Union. Or at least we hope so, given that the relations between center-right and center-left in the European Parliament have been destabilized, creating obstacles in the compromise of the decision-making process.

S.Christofyllidis

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I am proud to be European because…

 

…it enables me to have a broader identity and belong to an enlarged world.

…Europe in recent history has undergone 2 World Wars and finally stood up. And it’s still enlarging and integrating.

…it gives me the opportunity to travel all around Europe using only my ID.

..I can visit, work (with equal access to the EU Civil Service), live with no restrictions, while I can use (in most cases) the same currency, the euro. Of course, I am given the chance to experience Europe through studying as well.

Living for a long period of time in a new environment with a mix of culture, broadens my horizons, makes me a better and more capable personality with stronger capacity and clearer goals.

…product exchange is much easier and thus I can buy things as well as services easier and in a lower price. Taxes are lower if you are associating with other countries.

…in case of emergency, I can use for medically, state-provided healthcare my special European Health Insurance Card in any of the 28 (at least for now) Member States, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Yes, I feel safe in the European Union as long as I possess this card.

…consular and diplomatic authorities of each country can protect me when I am abroad.

…the European Omdudsman is working for me as well. Provided that the European Union Institutions or other EU bodies might in some cases mistreat me owing to poor administration, I can submit a report and let this body investigate my case.

…we are moving science ahead by making progressive steps. Real technological breakthroughs would have never been possible if European scientists were not collaborating.

…my voice is heard when it comes to the nomination of  the delegation of Europe. The European Parliament consists of politicians that me, you and every European citizen is voting for. Let alone that everyone is able to express his or her opinion to the European Commission, aiming to urge the institution submit a legislative proposal according to our interests.

…I manage to have access to official EU documents of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council, letting me know about all kinds of public policy affairs. Transparency in all meetings and decisions of the EU bodies assure me of the validity of the procedures as well as the results.

…my rights are definitely protected by the Court of Justice, which encompasses the judiciary.

…democracy, equal opportunities for all, meritocracy, transparency, multiculturalism, solidarity, liberty, the rule of law and respect for the human rights, pluralism, tolerance and justice are values of the European Union. They are a stable basis, a common ground, according to which policies and political decisions (should) start.

…when it comes to global challenges and threats, even if it sounds weird, I am feeling that the European Union is going to tackle with them. The direction of the Union is clear, so irrespective of the possible obstacles, one or the other way, sooner or later, it guarantees success.

For the time being, the stability of the EU is shaken, but I know it’s the right time to prove its cohesion. Recent developments urge Europe to respond and prove its readiness. The only one the EU has to compete with, is itself.

…if I want to find information concerning the EU and my rights,”Your Europe” section and Europa, as a whole, is the key!

S.Christofyllidis

Welcome letter

Hello and welcome to my blog !

It’s about time to introduce myself, right? I promise not to say a lot, I’ll keep it as brief as possible…. (or at least I’ll try)

So…
My name is Symeon Christofyllidis, but everyone calls me “Makis” (so if you want us to be friends, call me Makis, please).
I am from Greece and my hometown is the beautiful, historical Athens.
I have a BSc in Political Science and Public Administration of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
At this time, I am pursuing my MSc in  Political Marketing of Rome Business School.

I speak 3 languages fluently (English, French, German) and I am learning Italian as well.

I have worked as an Intern for several times at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens as well as in political offices. No, I’m not short of the political elite you want to kick and please wish me never to become!

If I had to describe myself in a few words, I would use only one:
European!

Hope this is enough for you to know about me and decide if you want to go this journey together!

That was all!

Greetings,

S.Christofyllidis