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Europe in Review 2014

  • Text
  • Terrorism
  • Cameron
  • Farage
  • Ttip
  • Romania
  • Economy
  • Ukraine
  • Ukraine
  • Catalonia
  • Scotland
  • Luxleaks
  • Spitzenkandidaten
  • European
  • Juncker
  • Parliament
  • Euobserver
  • Russia
  • Brussels
  • Democracy
  • Elections
EUobserver, in its second annual review, looks back at the main events of 2014: Russia's annexation of Ukraine; the selection of the EU's new top cadre; separatism in Europe and more.

The next EU elections

The next EU elections will be held in 2019 - political groups are likely to put more time, energy and money into choosing and promoting their commission president candidates ahead of the ballot. Photo: EUobserver The Spitzenkandidaten Coup The year 2014 shall go down as the moment the European Parliament snatched away the right to nominate a European Commission president from national governments. By Honor Mahony For followers of European politics, 2014 marked the sliding of “spitzenkandidat” into the general lexicon. Translated literally from German, its apparently innocuous meaning is “top candidate”. But it came to symbolise a major power dispute between the European Parliament and member states. It was a battle that national governments woke up to too late and then lost. The drawn-out power struggle saw the term adopted wholesale into English-language reporting from Brussels. Two men - two Germans, as it happens - were chiefly responsible for it getting to the battle stage in the first place. One was Klaus Welle, secretary general of the European Parliament. The other was Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament. Both worked to stretch to the widest limit the key - and, crucially, loose - wording in the EU treaty on choosing the next European Commission president. The new rules – saying the commission president should be chosen “taking into account” the European election results - were to be applied for the first time in the May EU elections. But while member states read the article and assumed a happy continuation of the practice of yesteryear - a behind-closed-doors 18 ––––– Europe in review 2014 Europe in review 2014 ––––– 19

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