State of the Union: family feuds, eurosceptic wave and generation climate

State of the Union: family feuds, eurosceptic wave and generation climate
By Stefan Grobe, Joanna Gill, Elena Cavallone
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The European Parliament's biggest political force, the EPP group, took a double hit: latest election poll projections seem them taking a dive, and then political infighting threatens to divide them. It comes as eurosceptic groups are rising, but this week we met some young anti-populists in Brussels


The European election is three months away, and the parties have started their campaigns.

The biggest one, the European Peoples' Party, has opened a new front – attacking its own members.

How else would you describe Hungary's Viktor Orban's peddling worldwide conspiracy theories with a poster showing Jean-Claude Juncker alongside George Soros.

Again, we're talking about members of the same political family.

Listening to the European People's Party, the election is all about values that they no longer agree on.

It's likely that the party will pay a heavy price for that, as the first Europe-wide poll this week suggested heavy losses for the Christian Democrats.

Orban and Juncker - the way they were

But the election campaign is also about newcomers.

We met some of them, true Europeans, whose party name suggest that they would like to electrify folks in order the build a common future.

Bad politics brought us were we are and it wasn’t only Brexit: for example I am French and there was the rise of Marine le Pen in France so it was time actually to act and change this. And having an Italian a German and a French we realized very quickly that we had similar problems and that together we could also be active in politics as one and try to solve them.
Colombe Cahen-Salvador
Co-founder of VOLT party

Week in Numbers

30 is the percentage the EU has agreed to reduce co2 emissions from new trucks and busses by 2030.

The EU currently has no limits on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, and trucks account for almost one quarter of the bloc’s transport-related emissions.

25,000 is the number of people who rallied in Bratislava in memory of murdered Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak. He had been investigating alleged corruption linked to Italian organised crime - a story which would, after his death, bring down the government.

580 million euros is the estimated rent bill for the European Medicines Agency. It lost its bid to cancel its 25-year lease on its head office in London's Canary Wharf, since it relocated to Amsterdam this year due to Brexit.

Look Ahead

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un come together in Hanoi.

It is their second summit following a highly mediatized event in Singapore last year.

In London, also on Wednesday, an increasingly fractured House of Commons is slated to vote – once again – on Brexit.

Billed as a meaningful vote, it has the potential to take the Brexit process out of the government's hands.

And finally the EU Commission is expected to releases its budget reports for every member state.


That will likely put Italy in the doghouse again, as the Commission believes that the country's bad numbers are a „contagion risk“ for the rest of the euro zone.

Last word

This week the last word goes to a 16-year-old girl, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

She gave politicians an earful while staying calm, focused and polite – that's something we can't say about every politician.

"All that will remain from our politicians' legacy will be the greatest failure of human history. And they will be remembered as the greatest villains of all time, because they have chosen not to listen and not to act."
Greta Thunberg
Swedish climate activist
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