The European Gender Equality Strategy
On 5 March the European Commission unveiled the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 setting out actions across all policy areas aimed at achieving gender equality in the EU. The Strategy’s key objectives include ending gender-based violence and stereotypes; ensuring equal participation and opportunities in the labour market, including equal pay; and achieving gender balance in decision-making and politics.
The Communication was presented by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourová and Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli. The latter will lead the Commission’s work in integrating a gender perspective in all EU policies and major initiatives, with the support of the newly created Task-Force on Equality.
On the same day, the Commission opened a public consultation on the pay transparency initiative, aimed at introducing binding pay transparency measures. The consultation will feed into an impact assessment accompanying the future proposal, expected by the fourth quarter of 2020.
Download NOVE’s note to find out more about the actions foreseen by the Commission to achieve gender equality in the EU.
NOVE analysis: CDU elections and political shifts in Germany
Following the effective resignation of Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of the governing Christian Democratic Union, internal party elections for a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel have been scheduled for 25 April in Berlin.
NOVE has analysed the importance of this transition in the context of German national politics, its impact on dynamics within the EPP political family and on the upcoming Council Presidency. In this note, we also address the potential for a feedback loop between Brussels and Berlin and identify some key actors in that respect in the coming period.
The change of government in Slovakia and its reflection in Brussels
On Saturday 29 February, Slovakia held their general election where corruption was the main issue, inspiring two-thirds of eligible voters to cast ballots. Following the eight-year mandate of centre-left SMER-SD (S&D), under Prime Ministers Robert Fico and Peter Pellegrini, in coalition with right-wing and far-right parties, there will be a change of government in Bratislava.
The most stunning outcome of the election is that nearly 30% of cast votes went to parties and coalitions which failed to pass the threshold of 5% for parties and 7% for coalitions, meaning that those who made it to the Parliament benefited from substantial redistribution of seats.
The second, arguably more alarming outcome of the election, is that a quarter of all the votes went to far-right, nationalist and right-wing populist parties.
The results show the coalition led by OLANO as the clear winner of the election with a quarter of the votes and 53 out of 150 seats in the Parliament. The party’s leader, Igor Matovič, is expected to become the next Prime Minister, possibly in a minority government with the support of ECR member SaS (Freedom and Solidarity), and For the People party, of the former President Andrej Kiska.
This consolidates the EPP’s stronghold in Central Europe once again. OLANO is presumed to join the EPP party, meaning that its only MEP, Peter Pollák, could see a much more prominent role in the rest of the mandate.
Following the defeat of the EPP-led government in Ireland, which is likely to be replaced by an ALDE/RE government, and the EPP-ALDE coalition agreed in Slovenia after the resignation of their liberal (LMS, RE) Prime Minister Marijan Sarec, the situation in the European Council will likely be: EPP 11 [DE, RO, GR, AT, HU, SK, HR, BG, CY, SI, LV], ALDE/RE 7 [FR, NL, BE, LU, CZ, IE, EE] PES/S&D 6 [ES, PT, MT, SE, FI, DK], ECR 1 [PL] with 2 independents [IT, LT].
NOVE Analysis: the post-Brexit European Parliament
Three and a half years after the Brexit referendum, the United Kingdom officially left the EU on 31 January at midnight. The occasion was unceremonious and sombre in the Brussels institutions [bar the Brexit party’s flag-waving] and unsurprisingly polarising across the Channel, with a tartan of mourning wakes and celebrations. As a consequence, the face of our continent and our Union have been profoundly changed. And with that, so were the institutions – none more than the European Parliament.
The note describes the post-Brexit numerical changes to delegations and committees and analyses the impact on internal dynamics in the EP’s political groups, as well as the overall political balance in the Parliament. Finally, it presents the new 27 MEPs by political group.
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NOVE’s Bubbling Up – What will Europe look like in 2050?
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