Léalo en Español
ONE MONTH BEFORE the elections to the European Parliament, Spain has voted massively to pro-European parties in its General Elections. Read from the capitals of the continent, the results of this Sunday will partly dispel the fear of an anti-European wave crossing the block on May 26. The far-right party Vox has turned out to be a paper tiger, as indicated by its irruption with less force than what was anticipated. PSOE, Ciudadanos and PP, the three pro-European mainstream forces in Spain, receive 60% of the votes together. The clear popular support for the PSOE of PM Pedro Sánchez rejects the dire predictions about the European Social Democratic parties. Portugal before, and now Spain, show the way to their peers in the rest of the European Union. In addition, the result of Sunday’s Elections in Spain is in line with the most recent analyzes of the European electoral landscape before May 26. The European Council of Foreign Relations has just published a projection that draws a more fragmented European Parliament, yes, and also with a greater representation of right-wing populist parties, but not at all ungovernable. The partition will no longer revolve as much on the traditional left-right axis as on the new European-anti-Europeanism axis. If the mainstream forces take this perspective into account, the agreement to elect the next president of the Commission and promote the European project will be added. In Brussels and in the European chancelleries, they will have slept a little better after the festive General Election night in Spain.
Who will preside over the Commission? The Politico Europe newspaper hosts the first spitzenkandidaten debate on the campaign to the European Parliament elections on May 26. It is held this Monday in Maastricht, at 7:00 pm (CEST time). They broadcast it over the Internet in video streaming, and channel the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #MaastrichtDebate.
Move better. The largest European Conference on Transport R & D is held in Helsinki until this Tuesday. The Transport Research Arena brings together experts and innovators from around the world to «Rethink transport towards a clean and inclusive mobility». Conversation about the conference with the tag # TRA2020 on Twitter.
Study and do science in the islands. The International Network of Universities in Islands meets in the Canary Islands on Monday, hosted by the Universities of La Laguna and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. They address sustainability, tourism, the blue economy, languages or internationalization, among other issues on their specific agenda. RETI was formed in 2009 by 24 island universities around the world. The RUP-area regions are represented in the Network by the universities of the Antilles, La Réunion, Guayana, Madeira, Azores and the two public universities of the Canary Islands.
Safer species. The island ecosystems pose specific challenges to the conservation of the species. Ponta Delgada, in the Azores, hosts a two-day conference on conservation strategies in island environments. Eight LIFE projects – the European wildlife conservation and science program – share their experiences.
Macron in autumn. The French president postponed the trip to Mayotte and La Reunion that he had announced for June due to a «tight schedule». The context of the visit is the protests of the yellow jackets in the overseas territories and, in the case of Mayotte, the population’s discomfort due to migratory pressure from the Comoros. President Macron has just announced the conclusions of the Great National Debate launched in January, in response to the demonstrations and episodes of street violence that are reproduced in the Hexagon and the overseas territories since the end of 2018.
Martinique empties. The number of inhabitants continues to decrease at a rate of 10 fewer inhabitants per day, during the last ten years. The overseas minister, Anick Girardin, visiting the island, has been questioned about the demographic challenge.
Financial troubles in Guadeloupe. The Regional Accounts Chamber warns of a «abysmal deficit» of 58 million euros in the municipality of Pointe-à-Pitre, the capital of the island.
The gold of French Guiana. The border with Suriname is a source of tension due to the activity of gold prospectors. In March, the destruction of an illegal camp by French soldiers led to a diplomatic clash. The background is the control of the gold deposits located in the Amazonian enclave. Paris authorized, and then revoked, the Montaña de Oro project, a large open-pit operation in Guyana, granted for ten years to a Russian-Canadian consortium. The protests of environmental groups and the Amerindian communities forced to turn back.
From the lab to the market. The European Commission has selected 13 innovation projects in the prototyping phase, which it will support with 33.1 million euros to accelerate its arrival in the market. The chosen projects bring together 54 partners from 17 countries. The solutions cover a variety of industries, ranging from the application of artificial intelligence and the blockchain to self-consumption of energy, laser technology for heart surgery or new windows with integrated photovoltaic panels.
«The next European Parliament will have a delicate balance between the block on the left made up of socialists and greens, the European People’s Party and the anti-European parties. Regardless of whether the United Kingdom participates in the May Elections, anti-European parties will likely become the second largest group in parliament, reaching approximately 35 percent of seats. This encourages cooperation between pro-European forces beyond the ideological confines of traditional political groups. The centrist group of ALDE and La Republica en Marcha will potentially play a decisive role as kingmakers. »
«Kingmakers of the mainstream: predictions for the European Parliament election», in the European Council on Foreign Relations, April 23, 2019.
See you soon!