Could İhsanoğlu challenge Erdoğan?

In August 10, Turkey holds its presidential election. This is the first time in the political history of the country that the President is going to be elected directly by the electorate, and not through the internal vote of the Parliament. Meantime, this election brings something new in the political landscape of Turkey: the candidacy of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, endorsed by five opposition parties, to compete Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Is he going to challenge Turkey’s PM with success or is İhsanoğlu candidacy the critical element of a wider project?

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#respectmyvote: One President, Many Political Messages

The election of Jean-Claude Junker as President of the European Commission -unless he is not ratified by the European Parliament on November 1st-  is literally a win of democracy for the European Union (EU). Mr Junker was the candidate with EPP and as long as his party won in the elections for the European Parliament, he physically comes into power. This was also the reason why candidates were selected for the first time in the EU history to run the presidential campaign and be nominated for the highest position in the European institutional system. We can definitely agree that Junker did not win the impressions, unlike Guy Verhofstadt for instance, or that he did not have any freshness in his speech, but this is history now.

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The Greek Presidency in the Council of the European Union: Assessment Report

Bridging Europe has conducted an independent assessment report on the deeds and performance of the Greek Presidency in the Council of the European Union for the first semester of 2014. In the 19-page informative paper, the research team of Bridging Europe, focused on the special project of the organization (Hellenic Presidency in the CEU), has enriched the core analysis with facts and figures for all policy sections entailed in the priority programme of the Presidency.

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#respectmyvote: Should Junker be the next President of the EU Commission?

Discussions behind the doors have been set on fire regarding the position of the next President of the EU Commission. This process was believed to belong to the past, being the norm for decades in the Council of the European Union. In other words, until this latest campaign, which was the first electoral race for the Head of the Commission since the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the political figure to represent the European Union globally and executing the powers assigned by the EU Commission was decided on the grounds of what the most powerful leaders of the EU wanted: a mild President? a powerful President? an accommodating figure? In all cases, the voice of the European citizens was never heard. What about now?

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The new political landscape in Greece after #EP2014

After the local and municipal elections in Greece, that coincided with European Parliament Elections on May 2014, a new political landscape has been formed. For the country that has been struggling the most among EU28, the re-balancing of political powers and their effect in the midst of economic recession can only provide positive signs for the years to come. The most striking conclusion that we can make in advance, is that the next government -whenever this might occur- will be formed under a broader coalition alliance with more than two parties participating. The major differences from 2012 national elections, when New Democracy, PASOK, and Democratic Left formed a coalition government, is that this time the core line of the government will be stemming from the Left, and that ideological fragmentation, that used to be so destructive for politics in Greece, seems to be soon abandoned and replaced by a spirit of mutual understanding.

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#EP2014: Interview with Ms Eva Kaili, Candidate MEP with PES

Ms Eva Kaili is President of the Research Centre for Equality and Equal Chances of the Greek Ministry of Interior, former Deputy of the Greek Parliament (2007-12) with PASOK, PhD candidate in International Political Economy in Piraeus University, journalist, architect, communication and IR consultant. Ms Kaili is vigorously involved in social action, most notably for the support of young people, environmental awareness, and against women trafficking. Ms Kaili is candidate MEP with the alliance “Olive Tree – Democratic Alignment” in Greece, endorsed by the Party of European Socialists (PES).

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#EP2014: Interview with Mrs Photini Tomai, Candidate MEP with EPP

Mrs Photini Tomai is Director of the Service of Diplomatic and Historical Archives of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under her administration, and with close cooperation with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the work of documenting the properties of the Greek communities in Turkey has been efficiently finalized. Mrs Tomai has been National Delegate of Greece in three international organizations and written extensively for the restitution of the victims of Nazism and the Holocaust, amongst other crucial topics of Greek, European, and global concern. Mrs Tomai is candidate MEP with New Democracy (ND – EPP political group) in Greece.

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#EP2014: Interview with Anna Stamou, Candidate MEP with European Greens

Anna Stamou is Responsible for Marketing and Public Relations to the Muslim Association of Greece,  Coordinator of the Organization’s communication contacts with media, organization of meetings , events , gatherings , and social activities. She is also Director of the cultural center IBN SINA Avicenna Athens, and activist for Palestine, having participated in the ”Ship to Gaza”.

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The Le Pen Phenomenon: A Protest Vote or A Vote of Support?

Marine Le Pen is the leader of Front National (FN) in France, daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the undisputed founder and head of the party from 1972 until his resignation in 2011. A lot has been written and said for the poweful and dunamyc leadership of Marine Le Pen, and certainly not out of the blue. Marine Le Pen is the political figure that has achieved to solidify and preserve the deeds of his father, and henceforth of his party, having achieved the party’s best-ever result in a presidential election, gaining 17,9% in 2012.  In municipal elections on March 2014, FN went a step further, having conceded 12 out of 42 mayoralties.

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Towards #EP2014: Who, What, Where

With less than 20 days remaining for the European Parliament Elections, it is vital to outline the proposals of the political groups, as well as the performance of the candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission. The newly established think-tank, Bridging Europe, based in Athens, Greece (to which I have the honor to preside) has dedicated one of its project to the enrichment of dialogue over the debating issues towards the European Elections on May 2014, launching lately a series of infographics in order to increase the awareness of EU citizens regarding the elections.

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