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FRIDAY RECAP: what you may have missed during the week - 29/11


Ursula von der Leyen, présidente de la Commission européenne, lors de son discours devant les parlementaires européens ce mercredi à Strasbourg. F. Florin, AFP.

EUROPEAN UNION - PARLIAMENT APPROVES COMMISSION


After unprecedented wrangling over Commissioner-designates, incoming president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and her 27-strong team were given approval with a comfortable parliamentary majority (461 favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions) on 27 November. Addressing MEPs, Ms. von der Leyen pledged that the EU will strive to lead the combat against climate change, become an innovation and digital powerhouse and develop a robust social market economy. On December 1, the new Commission will take office, despite the legal challenges it could face due to the absence of a UK representative.


UNION EUROPÉENNE - LE PARLEMENT APPROUVE LE BUDGET POUR 2020


Le 25 novembre, le Parlement européen a largement validé (543 voix pour, 136 contre, 23 abstentions) le budget de l’UE pour l’année 2020. D’un montant de près de 170 milliards d’euros, il sera en hausse de 1,5% par rapport à 2019. Le 18 novembre dernier, au terme de trois semaines d’âpres négociations, le Parlement obtenait des États membres une augmentation de 850 millions d’euros par rapport à la proposition de la Commission afin de financer davantage la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique, la recherche et le programme Erasmus+. Le cadre financier pluriannuel 2021-2027, sur lequel planent des incertitudes liées au Brexit, est toujours en cours de discussion.


ROMANIA - PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS HERALD AN ALL-LIBERAL LEADERSHIP


« Modern Romania, European Romania, normal Romania ». In his victory speech on November 24, Klaus Iohannis, Romania’s newly-elected pro-EU president, was beaming. He easily defeated Social Democrat Viorica Dăncilă, who had been ousted as the country’s prime minister a fortnight ago in a parliamentary confidence vote and replaced by Iohannis’s liberal ally, Ludovic Orban. A Iohannis-Orban leadership presages stability and coherence for Romanian politics, especially as the previous left-wing populist government succumbed to corruption claims and controversial judicial reforms. Romania will now have to address ballooning public spending and deficit, waning investor confidence and rule of law concerns ahead of next year’s local and general elections, which could prove another political game-changer.


LE PETIT POINT BREXIT - LE FOSSÉ SE CREUSE ENTRE CONSERVATEURS ET TRAVAILLISTES


Two weeks out from the UK’s general elections, a YouGov poll gives the Tories 359 MPs in the Commons. Boris Johnson would thus win a substantial parliamentary majority - the Conservatives’ largest in more than three decades - as well as a clear pro-Brexit platform. Johnson is adamant that the UK will leave the UK by 31 January 2020. Elsewhere, the Labour Party, led by a disturbingly neutral Jeremy Corbyn, is falling sharply in the polls while the anti-Brexit Lib Dems struggle to make headway.

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