BridgeEurope sat down with Ralph Sina and Holger Beckmann of the ARD Broadcasting Centre in Brussels in the week preceding the 2019 European Elections to talk about the elections and the challenges ahead for the next European Parliament and the European Union as a whole. Ralph Sina is a renowned German journalist who served as a correspondent in Nairobi and Washington D.C. and is currently the Brussels Bureau Chief for the ARD, one of two major public-service news outlets in Germany. Holger Beckmann has a background in economics and currently reports alongside Ralph Sina on the European Union and politics in Brussels.
Since its foundation in 1976, Alde is together with its youth organisation LYMEC (nowadays: European Liberal Youth) the liberal voice in Europe. Initially, it was a merger between nine parties from Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium (3). After changing its party name several times, it finally adopted “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe” as its official name in 2012. In 2004, the Liberals wanted to strengthen their position in the European Parliament and subsequently merged with the Centrists from the European Democratic Party, with whom they entered into the European parliament for the first time after the elections in the same year. They are the 4thlargest party, currently holding 69 seats in the parliament.
The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D group) is the political party group in the European Parliament (EP) of the Party of European Socialists (PES). The then-called Socialist Group was founded on 29th June 1953 in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community and is the second-oldest European political party group. The Socialist Group consisted primarily of deputies from social-democratic groups and constituted thus the principal political force of the centre-left.
Between 23 and 26 May 2019 approximately 350 Million voters are eligible to vote for the next European Parliament, making it the largest transnational election on the globe. Sluggish growth, climate change and international trade conflicts are only some of the reasons why the stakes in this year’s elections are particularly high. At the same time, there is a fierce debate about the EU’s future, whose supranational powers are far from unchallenged. In the run-up to the elections, BridgeEurope presents the most important party groups, candidates and policy platforms. We also look at some of the decisive issues that Europe faces today and how they shape the parties’ campaigns, their electoral prospects and the future of the Union more broadly.
By late Monday evening, as around 400 firefighters battled against the raging flames in Paris’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral, the world had turned its eye on the terrible damage inflicted on French and, indeed, global cultural heritage. What followed was an astonishing frenzy of world leaders showing compassion and news outlets making the most of the video footage they could get their hands on. At the same time, Monday night also saw the mushrooming of countless conspiracy theories about the cause of the fire.
"An endeavour to appease hardliners within the conservative party has turned into a national political impasse with many risks and few viable solutions" writes our Research department on the issue of Brexit. But what were the steps that led to this politically defining moment that we are in? BridgeEurope walks you through the background of the 2016 referendum and some of the instructive information on fake news and campaign finances that recently surfaced as the EU agreed to grant the UK government an extension until 31 October. Share with us your view of the reasons behind Brexit in the comment section.