What about Abstention Rates in the Polls for #EP2014 Elections?

Following the methodology of opinion polls prepared and launched in national and European level, it comes to our great surprise that while the projection of seats and the relevant rates for the European parties resemble, there are no concrete statistics for the part of the electorate that has either decided -for the moment- to abstain in the forthcoming elections or has not decided yet what party to vote for. We are not in the position to clear out what is the intention behind this methodological gap, but it is certain that this discrepancy engenders a number of grounded concerns over the final outcome of the elections on May, and above all, over the final abstention rate, especially for the younger generation.

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Tumbling EU: The Lack of Risk-Assessment Towards Anti-EU Forces

There is a growing concern from both independent and politically-dependent media that the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament on May will be stigmatized by the increase of anti-EU political forces. The rationale behind these concerns, while being clearly advocated, lacks significant understanding of the problem per se: Why the EU citizens are willing to question the European establishment by supporting eurosceptic forces?

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EU Personal Data Protection Reform: Was This Necessary?

On 12.3.2014 the European Parliament (EP) Plenary Session adopted stricter rules upon the protection of personal data. The reform comes to address a string of obsolete rules dated back to the 1995 Directive regarding the protection of personal data on commercial transactions and on the web, leaving though some space for further considerations.

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Russia’s Geopolitical Assertiveness in Ukraine

The sovereign crisis in Ukraine has unfolded a series of retrospectives dealing with Russia’s geopolitical sphere of influence in the inner heart of Eurasia’s chessboard. In the meantime, and as unrest in Crimea deepens, EU leaders adopted a string of “sanctions” against Russia, with the most striking amongst them the cancellation of the EU-Russia Summit. In this respect, it is really vital for the EU to understand Russia’s strategic standpoint and try to reconsider its rush for taking measures against Kremlin, that in practice have no direct and essential effect.

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The Ukrainian Crisis is NOT an EU Crisis

The dramatic developments in Ukraine unveil some deep-rooted sovereign issues for this big and historic country. The fall of Yanukovich, while serving the demands of the majority of the people, was not properly prepared to address the issue of post-leadership crisis. None of the involving parts of the opposition have prepared the “next page” and atrocities were kept going during the following days. The military standoff and the economic shock Ukraine is faced with should be primarily considered as the side-effect of a paramount geostrategic game: that of bringing Ukraine in the center of power politics in the eastern part of Eurasia’s heartland.

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Lessons from the Swiss Referendum on Immigration for the EU

On Sunday 9 February, the Swiss people were called to vote upon restrictions on free movement of EU citizens in Switzerland seeking job opportunities. The referendum was intitiated by UDC and was passed by majority (50,4%), therefore turning a new page on EU-Switzerland bilateral relations. Is this a positive or a negative development after all?

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The Ukrainian Conundrum

Ukraine is torn into two parts: the one being strongly opposed to President Yanukovych’s pro-Russian statemanship; the other being silent or at least less opposed to closer partnership with Russia. The first and most ardent part is massively demonstrating in the streets of Kyiv and other major cities, pressing the Presidency to shift roles or resign. Above all, it lies the risk of a bloody partition if  Mr. Yanukovych decides to remain standstill and ignore what is happening in the western parts of his country.

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The Geneva Accord On Iran: What The European Union Has Gained So Far?

On January 20 the European Union is going to implement all sanctions relief for Iran, including bans on insuring and transporting Iranian oil, petrochemicals, gold, and other precious metals. The lifting of bans will last for six months, and within this timeframe the Iranian government is expected to start decreasing and eliminating uranium enrichment of its nuclear program.

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Who believes that Greece will exit the crisis?

Yesterday the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Antonis Samaras inaugurated the beginning of the Greek Presidency in the Council of the European Union, the rotating Presidency that every member-state assumes each semester. All statements stemming from the Greek PM were ending with the same phrase: “Greece will exit the crisis in 2014. We do have hopes that in the second semester Greece will achieve to seek financing from the markets”. How far is this expectation from reality?

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Memories That Count In Voting

Despite frequent references over EU’s ageing population, European Commission’s Youth Report for 2012 brings some useful information. According to the data, in January 2011 around 95.2 million young people aged between 15-29 lived in the EU-27. The acceding country of Croatia as well as the five candidate member-states from Eastern Balkans are expected to add some 22 million more to this figure, thus importantly increasing the overall rate. In an EU of 500 million people, we believe that more of the one fifth of the population being considered as youth is not something to let by.

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