Newsflash from European Movement int April 25 2016

By 04/30/2016April 25th, 2020No Comments

Enlargement: Pro-EU ticket receives landslide support in Serbian elections

According to preliminary results, the ruling Serbian Progressive Party won 51% of votes at the parliamentary elections on Sunday giving Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić the green light to pursue a pro-EU political course. Vučić has only been Prime Minister since 2014 but called these snap elections to have a strong mandate for potentially hard and unpopular reforms necessary to become an EU Member State. Serbia formally started the first stages of EU membership talks in December but faces some significant hurdles, including Croatian opposition. The EU has also stated that there will be no enlargement of the bloc until 2020. Lastly, the election also saw the return of the far-right, anti-EU Radical party with about 7% of the vote, clearing the 5% threshold to enter parliament.

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First round of Austrian presidential elections sees rise of far-right party

The first round of the Austrian presidential elections saw the candidates of the two governing parties knocked-out of the running for President. Nortbert Hofer of the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) came a clear first with 36% of the vote, according to preliminary results. His likely opponent in the May 22presidential elections will be Alexander van der Bellen, backed by the Greens,  who came second with 20% of the vote. The hope is that anti-FPO Austria will join forces and back van der Bellen, as happened in the French regional election last November. Chancellor Werner Faymann’s Social Democrats and their centre-right caltiion partners the People’s Party both only garnered 11% of the vote. The president is largely a symbolic role but technically has the power to dissolve and reject a government.

Austria’s rightward tendencies were also captured in a study that showed that 75% of Austrians support more border controls. These results will be used by the new Austrian Interior Minister as he goes to South Tyrol to put pressure on Rome an Brussels to increase border controls in the Brenner pass.