What EU issues are at stake in 2014?

Euranet, 08.01.2014

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With a little more than four months to go before the EU election, what issues will MEPs focus on during the election campaign?

Euro deputies may just be getting back to work after the Christmas break, but thoughts are already on the upcoming European elections in May. Financial concerns and austerity are expected to dominate the campaign, but the ongoing crisis in the eurozone will also bring issues such as migration, unemployment and inequality among EU member states to the forefront.

Janis Emmanouilidis, director of studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, thinks there is a good chance that anti-EU parties will be able to attract plenty of attention from voters, especially in those countries hardest hit by the crisis. “I think that parties which are either anti-EU, anti-euro, anti-immigration, anti-establishment and anti-elite will be able to attract a lot of attention and also be able to attract a lot of voters to vote for them. The question is, are these anti-forces going to form a coherent block or not?” [...]

Emmanouilidis added that other controversial issues, such as data protection and defence policy, could be part of the debate leading up to the vote, but it’s too early now to predict how the campaign will progress.

“It could be that you have certain issues which you don’t even think about these days, neither at the European level or the national level, which in the end will be the dominating issues in the final phase of the campaign,” he said. “It’s the one or two months ahead of the European election which will be the deciding ones.”

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