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EU Affairs

Overcoming the Migration Deadlock: What Can the New EU Migration Pact Achieve?

The mood was tense when Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson appeared before the press on Wednesday 23 September with their migration pact. “Nobody will be satisfied,” predicted the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, foreseeing reactions to the more than 300-page proposals, even before the Visegrád heads of government, as expected, began their chorus of critics on Friday.

While human rights and migrant organisations in particular widely criticised the pact, as in their opinion it was too much focused on restrictive migration prevention, not only Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, but also Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz signalled that they would not easily agree on the proposals.

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EU Affairs

[Update] Team Lineup in Brussels – Ursula von der Leyen Presents New Commission

“Nothing is decided until everything is decided”, is a common motto in European Brussels. The new Commission is already casting its shadows, even if the handover of the Commission baton will not officially take place until the end of October. That is how long the old EU Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker will remain in office. Nevertheless, the new team is already in the starting blocks, led by the designated Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Will she be able to keep her promise of parity and who was nominated by Europe’s Liberals?

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EU Affairs

The EU Summer of 2019: A Commission is Built

At the close of July and throughout August, political Brussels usually aestivates. Not so this year. Both, in the Berlaymont building and across EU capitals, officials are working on staff decisions and work programmes for the upcoming five years.