The newspaper provides both daily reports and in-depth coverage on international affairs related to the European Union (EU). It is regarded as one of the first English language media outlets dedicated to the reporting of EU affairs, since joined by The Brussels Times, EURACTIV and Politico Europe.
Kirk has described the role EUobsever plays as a pan-European online news medium as becoming "increasingly more vital to public debate and democracy", in proportion to the "increasing number of important decisions [that] are made at the European level”.
In a 2008 poll of 100 Brussels-based journalists by APCO, one third claimed to use the publication as their source for EU news, making it, at the time, the "second most influential" media outlet reporting on EU affairs behind the Financial Times. Also, in a 2016 media survey, conducted by ComRes and Burson-Marsteller on ‘What Influences the Influencers’, it was found that EUobserver tended to be the preferred source of news for EU officials.
Since EUobserver is an online medium, with the exception of its quarterly magazine editions, it relies on a growing social media following on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which the company claims has risen to around 280,000 overall followers as of 2017.
EUobserver provides an extremely useful report on daily issues concerning the EU.
Every newspaper stand in Europe provides English-language newspapers and magazines, yet none of them are produced on the European Continent expressly with the intention of reaching a Continental European audience. Rather, newspapers such as the International Tribute or magazines such as Time or Newsweek are intended for a readership of English native speakers abroad and an international elite of non-native speakers. Thus, we cannot really group these under the heading of ‘English in European media’. The only first development in this direction is, to the author’s knowledge, the online news magazine EU Observer, which presents EU-related news to a European audience in English.
One of the factors that restrict advocacy think tanks in the EU from emerging is the lack of widely read European media, not disregarding Politico.eu, EUobsever, and EurActiv.
A European public sphere can be imagined in two ways. The first is a pan-European public sphere, carried by pan European media, available across the entire EU territory. Some of these exist today (Arte, Euronews, European Voice, EUobsever, …), but reach a very limited audience […] A problem for the rise of such European media is obviously the absence of a common language in the EU as English cannot (yet) be considered the lingua franca of all its social classes and geographical areas.
Of these media the Financial Times has a stable position as the leading news source […] The second most influential media among journalists is EUObsever, a Brussels-based online news source. A third of correspondents said they got their EU news from the EUObsever in the APCO poll, while 53 per cent said they read news on the site at least once a week, according to the ComRes ZN survey.
A consultative referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was held in the Netherlands on 1 June 2005 to decide whether the government should ratify the proposed Constitution of the European Union. The result was a "No"-vote.
The vote was the first national referendum for over two hundred years, and was not binding on the government, meaning that despite the electorate rejecting the Constitution it could theoretically still be ratified by the States-General. The government did say, however, that it would abide by a decisive result, provided turnout exceeded 30%. Official results say that 61.6% of voters rejected the Constitution, on a turnout of 63.3%.
The question put to voters was:
Bent u voor of tegen instemming door Nederland met het Verdrag tot vaststelling van een grondwet voor Europa?
"Are you For or Against approval by the Netherlands of the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe?"The possible answers were voor (For), tegen (Against). At some polling stations in the larger cities it was also possible to cast a blank ballot. The latter did not count for the result, but allowed voters to make an affirmative abstention.
The referendum came just three days after the French referendum on the Constitution resulted in its rejection. Because all EU member states needed to ratify the treaty for it to take effect, some regarded the Dutch referendum as irrelevant. However, Dutch campaigners for a "Yes" vote appealed to the electorate to avoid damaging the Netherlands' standing in Europe in the way that the French result was perceived, in some quarters, to have weakened the position of France. Before the plebiscite, many "No" campaigners expressed the view that French rejection of the treaty would encourage Dutch voters to follow suit. A second "No" vote in a referendum in one of the founding countries of the project of European integration was widely regarded as having the power to "kill off" the treaty. Opinion polls in the days leading up to the referendum gave the "No" campaign a clear lead.2009 European Parliament election
Elections to the European Parliament were held in the 27 member states of the European Union (EU) between 4 and 7 June 2009. A total of 736 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were elected to represent some 500 million Europeans, making these the biggest trans-national elections in history. An additional 18 observers ("virtual MEPs") were (supposed to be) pre-elected.
The majority of MEPs were elected on Sunday 7 June, but because of traditional polling days varying from country to country according to local custom, some countries held their elections in the three preceding days:
Thursday 4 June: United Kingdom (including Gibraltar), Netherlands (including Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles)
Friday 5 June: Ireland, Czech Republic (day 1)
Saturday 6 June: Cyprus, France (for part of Outre-mer), Italy (day 1), Latvia, Malta, Slovakia, Czech Republic (day 2)
Sunday 7 June: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy (day 2), Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, SwedenIn seven EU member-states, other votes occurred alongside the elections to the European Parliament: a general election in Luxembourg; local government elections in Latvia, part of the United Kingdom, parts of Germany, Italy, Malta, and Ireland (as well as two by-elections in Dublin South and Dublin Central); regional elections in Belgium; and a referendum on reforming the monarchical rules of succession in Denmark that would give women the same rights through equal primogeniture.
This was the first European Parliament election that Bulgaria and Romania participated in at the same time as the other member states. When they joined the EU in 2007, they held elections for MEPs outside the normal electoral calendar.2014 European Parliament election
From 22 to 25 May 2014, elections to the European Parliament were held in the European Union.
It was the 8th parliamentary election since the first direct elections in 1979, and the first in which the European political parties fielded candidates for President of the Commission. The candidates, sometimes referred to by the German term Spitzenkandidaten (English: top candidates), were Jean-Claude Juncker for the European People's Party, Martin Schulz for the Party of European Socialists, Guy Verhofstadt for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Ska Keller and José Bové jointly for the European Green Party and Alexis Tsipras for the Party of the European Left. The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists and the European Alliance for Freedom declined to nominate candidates.
While the European People's Party lost ground to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, it remained the largest faction in the new parliament, implying that Juncker may assume the presidency provided that he is elected by a qualified majority of the European Council as well as a simple majority in the new parliament. Additionally, left-wing, Eurosceptic, and nationalist parties gained ground at the expense of federalist groups.Bleri Lleshi
Blerim Gjonpalaj, better known by his pen name Bleri Lleshi is an Albanian philosopher and public speaker . He is an activist, dj, and author based in Brussels. His research focuses on topics such as inequality, neoliberalism, youth, migration, identities, and extremism.Lleshi was born in 1981 in Albania. He writes for various Belgian media such as De Morgen and MO*, but also English ones such as EUObserver and The Brussels Times.Lleshi has participated in conferences, debates, and media such as Euronews, BBC, Channel4, etc. In 2014, he was considered as one of the most influential immigrants in Belgium. In December 2018 he was named ambassador of peace for 2018 by Pax Christi. Lleshi is lecturer at UCLL in Leuven.Cyprus–Palestine relations
The relationship between Palestine and Cyprus is characterized by close friendship and political alliance. Both countries were British colonies. Cyprus recognized the State of Palestine immediately after its declaration. Palestine has an embassy in Nicosia and Cyprus has a representative office in Ramallah.EURACTIV
EURACTIV is a European media platform specialising in the online publication of articles focusing on European policymaking, founded in 1999 by Christophe Leclercq. It is present across 12 EU capitals.Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD or EFD2) is a populist Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. The EFDD group is a continuation for the Eighth European Parliament of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group that existed during the Seventh European Parliament, with significant changes to group membership.
In 2017, it was one of the seven political groups of the parliament. This group is opposed to European integration. 24 out of its 47 MEPs were from the United Kingdom, representing the UK Independence Party. Until January 2017, the group had two co-presidents: Nigel Farage; an independent, and David Borrelli; from the Five Star Movement. However, David Borrelli had to resign the co-presidency after a failed attempt of the Five Star Movements MEPs to change to the ALDE group.European Conservatives
The European Conservative Group was a Conservative political group in the European Parliament between 1973 and 1979.European Union and the United Nations
The European Union (EU) has had permanent observer status at the United Nations (UN) since 1974, and has had enhanced participation rights since 2011. The EU itself does not have voting rights but it is represented alongside its 28 members, two of which (France and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the Security Council.Five Star Movement
The Five Star Movement (Italian: Movimento 5 Stelle [moviˈmento ˈtʃiŋkwe ˈstelle], M5S) is a political party in Italy. The M5S was founded on 4 October 2009 by Beppe Grillo, a comedian and blogger, and Gianroberto Casaleggio, a web strategist. After Casaleggio's death in April 2016, Grillo appointed a directorate composed of five leading MPs (Alessandro Di Battista, Luigi Di Maio, Roberto Fico, Carla Ruocco and Carlo Sibilia), which lasted until the following October when he dissolved it and proclaimed himself the "political head" of the M5S. Grillo is also formally president of the association named the Five Star Movement; his nephew, Enrico Grillo, serves as vice president; and his accountant, Enrico Maria Nadasi, as secretary. Davide Casaleggio, Gianroberto's son, has an increasingly important albeit unofficial role.The M5S is variously considered populist, anti-establishment, environmentalist, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic. The party has also been described as New Right and described by some as being right-wing due to its anti-immigration stance despite its promotion of policies usually advocated by the Italian left-wing, such as citizen's income and green-inspired policies. Grillo himself once provocatively referred to the movement as "populist". Its members stress that the M5S is not a party but a "movement", and it may not be included in the traditional left–right paradigm. The "five stars" are a reference to five key issues for the party: public water, sustainable transport, sustainable development, right to Internet access, and environmentalism. The party also advocates e-democracy, direct democracy, the principle of "zero-cost politics", degrowth and nonviolence.In the 2013 general election, the M5S won the most votes of all parties (excluding votes from Italians abroad) for the Chamber of Deputies. However, its deputies only held 109 of 630 positions as M5S refused to join a coalition. Since the 2014 European Parliament election, the M5S has been part of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the European Parliament, along with the UK Independence Party and minor right-wing parties. In January 2017, M5S members voted in favor of Grillo's proposal to join the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group, but the party was eventually refused, and M5S continues to be part of the EFDD group.
In 2016, two party members, Virginia Raggi and Chiara Appendino, were elected mayors of Rome and Turin, respectively. On 21–22 September 2017, the Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies Luigi Di Maio was elected with 82% of votes in an online primary election as candidate to the premiership and "political head" of the movement, replacing Grillo as leader of the M5S, but not as the M5S's "guarantor". In January 2018, Grillo separated his own blog from the movement, which was used in the previous years as an M5S online newspaper and the main propaganda tool.In the 2018 general election, the M5S became the largest individual party in the Italian Parliament and entered government.Future enlargement of the European Union
There are five recognised candidates for future membership of the European Union: Turkey (applied on 14 April 1987), North Macedonia (applied on 22 March 2004 as "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"), Montenegro (applied in 2008), Albania (applied in 2009), and Serbia (applied in 2009). All except Albania and North Macedonia have started accession negotiations. Kosovo, whose independence is not recognised by five EU member states, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are recognised as potential candidates for membership by the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina has formally submitted an application for membership, while Kosovo has a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, which generally precedes the lodging of membership application. In July 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker announced that the EU has no plans to expand before 2019 while Serbia and Montenegro, the most advanced candidates, are expected to join before 2025. While the others are progressing, Turkish talks are at an effective standstill.The accession criteria are included in the Copenhagen criteria, agreed in 1993, and the Treaty of Maastricht (Article 49). Article 49 of the Maastricht Treaty (as amended) says that any "European state" that respects the "principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law", may apply to join the EU. Whether a country is European or not is subject to political assessment by the EU institutions.Past enlargement since the foundation of the European Union (EU) as the European Economic Community by the Inner Six states in 1958 has brought total membership of the EU to twenty-eight.
The three major western European countries that are not EU members, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland, have all submitted membership applications in the past, but subsequently froze them. They do however, along with Liechtenstein, participate in the EU Single Market as well as the Schengen Area, which makes them closely aligned with the EU. According to an Eastern Partnership strategy, the EU is unlikely to invite any more of its post-Soviet neighbours to join the bloc before 2020. However, in 2014 the EU signed Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, and the European Parliament passed a resolution recognising the "European perspective" of all three countries.Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourgish: [ʒɑ̃ːkloːt ˈjuŋkɐ]; born 9 December 1954) is a Luxembourgish politician serving as President of the European Commission since 2014. From 1995 to 2013 he served as the 23rd Prime Minister of Luxembourg; from 1989 to 2009 he was also Minister for Finances.
By the time he left office, he was the longest-serving head of any national government in the EU, and one of the longest-serving democratically elected leaders in the world, his tenure encompassing the height of the European financial and sovereign debt crisis. From 2005 to 2013, Juncker served as the first permanent President of the Eurogroup.
In 2014, the European People's Party (EPP) had Juncker as its lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, for the Presidency of the Commission in the 2014 elections. This marked the first time that the Spitzenkandidat process was employed. Juncker is the first President that prior to the election has campaigned as a candidate for the position, a process introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon. The EPP won 220 out of 751 seats in the Parliament. On 27 June 2014, the European Council officially nominated Juncker for the position, and on 15 July 2014, the European Parliament elected him with a majority of 422 votes from a total of 729 cast. He succeeded José Manuel Barroso as President on 1 November 2014. Juncker stated that his priorities would be the creation of a digital single market, the development of an EU Energy Union, the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade Agreement, the continued reform of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union—with the social dimension in mind—and a "targeted fiscal capacity" for the Eurozone, as well as to negotiate a new deal with Britain.Joint European Union Intelligence School
The Joint European Union Intelligence School (JEIS) is a project of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) that was announced in November 2018. The project will be led by Cyprus and Greece. The school will provide education and training in intelligence disciplines, among other things, to EU member states intelligence personnel, and develop new hardware, including drones and electronic warfare technology.Military Mobility
Military Mobility is one of the initial projects launched under the European Union's (EU) Permanent Structured Cooperation in Defence (PESCO) facility. It is commonly termed a "Military Schengen" as it is inspired by the EU's Schengen Area, but designated to aid the free movement of military units and assets throughout Europe via removal of bureaucratic barriers and improvement of infrastructure.Military Planning and Conduct Capability
The Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC) is a permanent operational headquarters (OHQ) at the military strategic level for military operations of up to 2500 troops (i.e. the size of one battle group) deployed as part of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) of the European Union (EU) by the end of 2020. Since its inception in 2017, the MPCC has commanded three non-executive training missions in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic.
The MPCC is part of the EU Military Staff (EUMS), a directorate-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and the Director General of the EUMS also serves as Director of the MPCC - exercising command and control over the operations.
Through the Joint Support Coordination Cell (JSCC), the MPCC cooperates with its civilian counterpart, the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC).Ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon
The ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon was officially completed by all member states of the European Union on 13 November 2009 when the Czech Republic deposited its instrument of ratification with the Italian government. The Lisbon Treaty came into force on the first day of the month following the deposition of the last instrument of ratification with the government of Italy, which was 1 December 2009.Most states ratified the treaty in parliamentary processes. The Republic of Ireland was the only member state to hold a referendum on the subject. In a first vote held on 12 June 2008 (the first Lisbon referendum) the treaty was rejected; however a second vote was held on 2 October 2009 (the second Lisbon referendum) and the treaty was approved.Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
The city of Strasbourg (France) is the official seat of the European Parliament. The institution is legally bound to meet there twelve sessions a year lasting about four days each. Other work takes place in Brussels and Luxembourg City (see Location of European Union institutions for more information). Also all votes of the European Parliament must take place in Strasbourg. "Additional" sessions and committees take place in Brussels. Although de facto a majority of the Parliament's work is now geared to its Brussels site, it is legally bound to keep Strasbourg as its official home.
The Parliament's five buildings, all named after distinguished European politicians, are located in the Quartier Européen (European Quarter) of the city, which it shares with other European organisations which are separate from the European Union's. Previously the Parliament used to share the same assembly room as the Council of Europe. Today, the principal building is the Louise Weiss building, inaugurated in 1999.Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon
The signing of the Treaty of Lisbon took place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 13 December 2007. The Government of Portugal, by virtue of holding Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the time, arranged a ceremony inside the 15th-century Jerónimos Monastery, the same place Portugal's treaty of accession to the European Union (EU) had been signed in 1985. Representatives from the 27 EU member states were present, and signed the Treaty as plenipotentiaries, marking the end of negotiations that began in 2001. In addition, for the first time an EU treaty was also signed by the presidents of the three main EU institutions. After the main ceremony, the heads of state and government took a ride on a decorated Lisbon tram together, symbolising the brotherhood of European countries on the path of European integration.Vlaams Belang
Vlaams Belang (VB; Dutch for "Flemish Interest") is a right-wing populist and Flemish nationalist political party in the Flemish Region and Brussels of Belgium.
Vlaams Belang is a reconfigured version of Vlaams Blok, which dissolved after a trial in 2004 condemned the party for racism. The Vlaams Blok then refounded itself as Vlaams Belang, with some changes to the more controversial portions of its statute. It has since sought to change its image from a radical to a more conservative party, and has distanced itself from some of its former programs. Nonetheless, most other parties have continued the cordon sanitaire which was originally agreed on against the former party, effectively blocking the Vlaams Belang from taking part in government at any level. Additionally, attempts on cutting public subsidies specifically for the party were made through the Belgian draining law.