European Parliament

European cash 'jackpot' that could boost Marine Le Pen's bid for French presidency

France — Analysis

After her party's successes in the recent European elections, the leader of the far-right Front National is striving to form her own multi-national political group at the European Parliament. The official reason is that such a grouping will strengthen the FN president’s political clout in the parliament. But as Ludovic Lamant and Marine Turchi report, there is another reason for setting up the group – and that is to enable the FN to get its hands on several million euros a year in EU funds. Thus this most eurosceptic of French politicians might end up using EU money to help support her attempt to win the French presidency in 2017.

French far-right leader trying to form European group

International — Link

Marine Le Pen is allied to the far-right from four other countries, but must find two more national partners to form parliamentary group.

European elections special: where the candidates to head the EU Commission stand on the controversial transatlantic trade treaty

International — Interview

The free trade treaty currently being hammered out between the European Union and the United States is a major issue in this week’s elections of members of the European Parliament, which in France will be held on Sunday. For this year also sees the departure of EU Commission president José Manuel Barroso, and for the first time the new head of this key EU body will be appointed from the political grouping that does best in this week’s continent-wide elections. Here, Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant questions all of the parties’ declared candidates for the post of Commission president - Martin Schulz, Guy Verhofstadt, Alexis Tsipras, José Bové and Jean-Claude Juncker – and hears their conflicting views on the transatlantic free trade deal.

European Right's 'disastrous' choice of Jean-Claude Juncker as Euro election head

International — Analysis

The former Luxembourg prime minister has just been voted by Europe's mainstream right-wing parties to be their lead candidate ahead of May's European elections. Under new EU rules now in place this means the veteran politician could well become the president of the European Commission later this year. But for many observers Jean-Claude Juncker is indelibly linked to a dated vision of Europe that belongs to the last century. And as Dan Israel and Ludovic Lamant report, he is also closely identified with the financial secrecy of his native country.

'It was child's play': how a hacker broke into MEPs' secret email accounts

International — Investigation

A hacker using elementary computer equipment and what he described as “a few bits of knowledge that everyone is capable of finding on the internet” has succeeded in accessing confidential emails and personal files of Members of the European Parliament, their assistants and even the institution’s IT experts, Mediapart can reveal. The operation was, he said, mounted as a demonstration of the vulnerability of security at both the parliament in Strasbourg and also among many national administrations which use software, notably that of Microsoft, that experts have for years warned is exposed to espionage manipulations through fundamental - and what some suggest are possibly deliberate - flaws. While the scandal of mass surveillance employed by the US National Security Agency continues to unfold, Jérôme Hourdeaux reports on how major public institutions like the European Parliament continue to expose themselves to almost mundane intrusion of confidential data.

MEPs want renegotiation of EU budget deal

International — Link

The European Parliament has demanded further negotiations on the EU's multi-year budget, after national leaders agreed to a cut of 3.3%.

Euro MPs on war footing over EU budget

Europe

This Wednesday members of the European Parliament will gather in Strasbourg to vote on the austerity budget that was negotiated by the 27 EU member states last month. According to their public utterances the Euro MPs are set to reject it decisively, triggering a bruising series of negotiations between the powers-that-be in Brussels. But will enough members be won over by domestic pressures to put the no vote in jeopardy? As Ludovic Lamant reports, just one year before the next European elections, this is a crucial test of authority for a group of politicians who often struggle to make their voice heard.

French prosecutors seek to have Le Pen stripped of immunity

France — Link

Officials want the European Parliament to strip National Front leader of MEP's immunity with a view to pursuing her over a remark about Muslims.