What Europe talks about

Dis­cus­sions in Europe are often simi­lar. Yet, we don’t reco­gnize it, as we are not part of the dis­course in all Mem­ber Sta­tes. So, what does Europe talk about? Here is a sam­ple over­view of dis­cus­sions in some main European media. 

France

  • A European per­spec­tive for the sta­tes of the Wes­tern Bal­kan: Le Soir wri­tes about the sum­mit in Sofia, which seeks to estab­lish a European per­spec­tive for the Wes­tern Bal­kans. While Com­mis­sion Pre­si­dent Juncker clearly advo­ca­tes the move, French Pre­si­dent Macron calls for “no laxity, no hip­ocrisy.”
  • Europe’s fears of Italy’s new government: The coali­tion bet­ween League and Five Stars Move­ment could vio­late not only poli­ti­cal cul­ture, but also the bud­ge­t­ary rules in Europe and hence wea­ken its eco­nomy (and chan­ces for reform).
  • Europe is aging: Also because of this demo­gra­phic deve­lop­ment we need to take a fresh look at pen­sion sys­tems. Le Monde takes a look at Sweden’s example.

Poland

  • At the European sum­mit mee­ting in Sofia, (Polish) European Coun­cil Pre­si­dent Donald Tusk cri­ti­ci­zes the “unpre­dic­ta­bi­lity of Europe’s clo­sest ally, the US” under Donald Trump.
  • The European Par­li­a­ment calls for the European Union-wide ban on ani­mal tes­ting for cos­me­tics to be exten­ded to a world­wide ban.
  • The Soros foun­da­tion is to leave Hun­gary. Die Soros-Stif­tung wird Ungarn ver­las­sen. Pre­viously, such invol­un­tary relo­ca­tion of activi­ties only were con­ceiva­ble in regimes such as Rus­sia or usbe­ki­stan, accord­ing to Gaceta Wybor­cza.

Italy

  • At the sum­mit if the European People’s party before the Sofia sum­mit (before European sum­mits always also the natio­nal party lea­ders meet in their European poli­ti­cal fami­lies, inclu­ding oppo­si­tion party lea­ders) Ber­lus­coni sta­tes a “European preoc­cupa­tion” about the new Ita­lian government.
  • Cor­riere della Sera reports of a mee­ting in Assissi, where Angela Mer­kel recei­ved the “lamp of St. Fran­cis”, and where she remin­ded that “in order to achieve the European inte­gra­tion as a pro­ject of une­qua­led peace, we need to be able to look bey­ond our bounda­ries.” She refrai­ned from com­men­ting on the elec­tions in Italy, but met with Paolo Gen­ti­loni on this occa­sion.

Already from these three coun­tries, we see three trends in the news:

First, all talk about the sum­mit mee­ting in Sofia in dif­fe­rent aspects, where lea­ders will again set para­me­ters for the EU’s direc­tion in the next mon­ths regar­ding deepe­ning and wide­ning.

Second, elec­tions in other coun­tries are a big topic, in this case in Italy. Hence the domestic deve­lop­ments and chan­ges in one coun­try do have a direct impact on the poli­cies of all other coun­tries in the European Union.

Third, media looks clo­sely at what is hap­pe­ning in other European sta­tes: This is for example the case bet­ween Poland and Hun­gary when tal­king about the fate of the Soros foun­da­tion, but it is also the case with visits and spee­ches like that of Angela Mer­kel in Assissi. Hence we fol­low the lines of poli­tics in our fel­low coun­tries also bey­ond the big lines of elec­tions.

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