Debunking claims that the French president is the head of the EU
01 May 2022 | 7:11 am
In one of the final televised debates before the first round of the French presidential election, the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon claimed that if he were elected, he would become the head of the European Union for six months. FRANCE 24's Georgina Robertson and Sophie Samaille look at what it actually means to be at the helm of the Presidency of the Council of the EU and how long the French presidency will last.
The European Commission has recommended candidate status for Ukraine. Just over three months after being invaded by Russia, Kyiv has cleared the first hurdle on the road to membership.
Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief has called for Russia to end its blockade of Ukrainian ports. His comments come ahead of a meeting of the bloc's 27 foreign ministers.
French politics continues to dominate the papers as Emmanuel Macron desperately seeks an alliance to secure a parliamentary majority. The US Senate finds bipartisan support for new gun possession laws for the first time in 30 years. Organisers of the Miss France beauty pageant introduce radical new changes to shake up the contest. Finally, a man escapes his kidnappers by driving erratically on a highway in order to be stopped by authorities.
Colombians have elected a new president. Gustavo Petro, 62, is set to become the first leftist in the country's top job. The former rebel of the now defunct M-19 movement beat millionaire businessman Rodolfo Hernandez in Sunday's election. Petro will take the oath of office in August, replacing the deeply unpopular Ivan Duque. For analysis, we speak to Gerard Martin, a political sociologist based in Medellin, Colombia.
EU leaders are in Brussels to discuss the membership bids of Ukraine and Moldova. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has voted heavily in favor of the two countries' getting candidate status.
The European Union should change the way it does business with Africa to redress imbalances left over in part from the colonial era, EU lawmakers have said.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine four months ago, the cost of living crisis has become a global issue. Prices have gone up around the world. In Europe, the countries that use the euro saw an average of 8.1 percent inflation in May. Pressure on prices, combined with stuttering economic growth, has sparked fears of a recession. These concerns could still come into play regarding the EU's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this programme, we're joined by two MEPs to discuss how the EU should balance sanctions against Russia with the risk of recession.
This week on Talking Europe we take a look at some of the other countries, aside from Ukraine, that are knocking on the EU's door to join the bloc. EU leaders held a summit on Thursday with the Western Balkan states to discuss their accession process. For Albania, that started back in 2008 and still hasn't advanced to the negotiations stage. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke to FRANCE 24’s Luke Brown on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans leaders' meeting in Brussels.
Ecuador's president has accused Indigenous protesters of attempting a coup. Clashes between protesters and security forces have left six people dead, and six of the country's 24 provinces are under a state of emergency.
Although EU candidacy for Ukraine and Moldova has been hailed as historic, frustrations among other candidates years into their own membership bids should serve as a reminder that the path ahead won't be easy.
Protests led by Indigenous groups have continued for nearly two weeks, as parliament begins a no-confidence vote against President Guillermo Lasso. The state of emergency imposed in some parts has been repealed.
The European Commission is set to present its strategy for a united effort to ensure gas supplies for the coming winter. Meanwhile, the European Council has adopted a plan to ensure gas storage capacity is filled.
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