Steve Bannon thought his offer to help nationalist, populist parties competing in the 2019 European elections would be irresistible. “I think we will get them all onboard,” he told the Guardian in July, shortly before his Brussels-based initiative, the Movement, was launched. But research by the Guardian has shown that electoral law prevents the former Donald Trump strategist from providing polling services or other campaign support in most of the countries in which he wants to operate. Bannon’s organisation is completely barred or prevented from doing any meaningful work in nine of 13 countries on his target list, according to checks with electoral bodies and relevant ministries. Only four EU countries could be part of the Bannon experiment: Italy, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. Foreign organisations are barred from contributing to political parties in France, Belgium, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland. In Germany and Austria, contributions … [Read more...] about Bannon’s Europe plan: a look at the law in his 13 targeted countries
Germany vs netherlands
During a break in a working day recently, Rainer Maring decided on impulse to take his apprentice for a mini history lesson. The pair of German painters and decorators got in the company van at lunchtime and took their ham sandwiches across the river Mosel from Germany to Luxembourg, into the vine-clad village of Schengen. You cross the bridge from Germany into Luxembourg, turn left, and 300 metres on you’re in France – three countries in about three minutes, and not a police officer in sight. In 1985, ministers from five governments met here to launch a bold experiment in border-free travel. Cars and lorries with green dot stickers on their windshields could roam the five countries – the same three plus Belgium and the Netherlands – without passports. The ID-free travel zone became fully fledged in 1995 and kept growing. And the village acquired unexpected pride and renown as the birthplace of a free travel regime that now embraces 26 countries from Iceland to … [Read more...] about Is the Schengen dream of Europe without borders becoming a thing of the past?
When Emmanuel Macron walked across the courtyard of the Louvre on Sunday evening to the rousing finale of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the EU anthem, few doubted it was a win not only for his untested political movement, but for the European project too. After the recent defeat of the far right in Austria and disappointment for the rabble-rousing populist Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Brussels hailed the Macron victory as a sign of faith in European unity. Martin Selmayr, chief of staff to the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, tweeted: Selmayr did not mention the final: German elections in September, where the prospects of a fourth term for Angela Merkel were bolstered on Sunday night, after her CDU party unexpectedly trounced its junior coalition partner the SPD in a regional contest. But the French presidential runoff was the most existential threat for the EU – a quasi referendum on the 60-year-old integration project. Macron won on a platform that … [Read more...] about Macron victory gives Brussels confidence boost over EU’s future