European Union: The “Birthday” of the European Union is considered May 9, 1950. Annually, May 9 is celebrated as Europe Day. The first agreement establishing the European Economic Community was signed in 1957 between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It is not only an economic union, but the single market with no borders for trade, with the single euro currency used by 19 member states of the Eurozone. Furthermore, it is the political union with own parliament and other institutions.
Frexit: is a common name for a hypothetical French withdrawal from the European Union. Front National leader Marine Le Pen promised a French referendum on EU membership if she were to win the 2017 presidential election.
Brexit: (Thursday, 23 June 2016) is a commonly used term for the United Kingdom’s planned withdrawal from the European Union. Following the 2016 referendum vote to leave, the UK government started the withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, putting the UK on course to leave by April 2019.
The terms of withdrawal have not yet been negotiated and the UK remains a full member of the European Union. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister has announced 12 negotiating objectives and confirmed that the UK government would not seek permanent single market membership. She has promised a Great Repeal Bill to repeal the European Communities Act and incorporate existing EU laws into UK domestic law.
The UK joined the European Communities (EC), the EU’s predecessor, in 1973, confirming its membership in a 1975 referendum. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the European Economic Community (EEC) was advocated mainly by Labour Party and trade union figures. From the 1990s, withdrawal from the EU was advocated mainly by the newly founded Referendum Party, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and by an increasing number of Conservatives.
François Hollande is the 24th president of France, and a member of the Socialist Party. He succeeded Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. François Hollande was born in Rouen, France in 1954. He attended a series of elite French schools and joined the Socialist Party in 1979. First elected to the Ussel town council, he went on to win a National Assembly seat in 1988. He was made chair of the Socialist Party and announced a bid for the presidency in 2011, and beat incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy to become France’s 24th president in 2012.
After the Referendum on the Reduction of the Mandate of the President of the French Republic, 2000, the length of the term was reduced to five years from the previous seven.
The first round of the 2017 French presidential election was held on 23 April 2017. As no candidate won a majority, a run-off election between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! And Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), will be held on 7 May 2017.
Brief about Emmanuel Macron born 21 December 1977) is a French politician, senior civil servant, and former investment banker. Born in Amiens, he studied Philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, completed a Master’s of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, and graduated from the École national administration (ENA) in 2004. He worked as an Inspector of Finances in the Inspectorate General of Finances (IGF) and then became an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.
A member of the Socialist Party (PS) from 2006 to 2009, Macron was appointed as deputy secretary-general under François Hollande’s first government in 2012. He was appointed Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in 2014 under the Second Valls Government, where he pushed through business-friendly reforms. He resigned in August 2016 to launch a bid in the 2017 presidential election. In November 2016, Macron declared that he would run in the election under the banner of En Marche a centrist political movement he founded in April 2016. He qualified for the runoff after the first round of the election on 23 April 2017.
En Marche Election Manifesto:
Macron last week outlined a broad economic plan mixing tax cuts, a reduction in government jobs and higher investments, but is accused by critics of having failed to tackle feeble growth and high unemployment while he was Hollande’s economy minister. He pledged to set up a 10 billion euro ($10.52 billion) fund to promote industrial and research projects, to be financed by selling down shares in companies where the state owns a minority stake and by dividends from state-owned shares.
He did not name any of the companies whose shares might be sold. Candidates on the left oppose privatisations.
Pensions, Allowances, taxes
Macron said he wanted to smooth out big differences between the pensions of government and private sector employees, while keeping the pension age at 62. Fillon would raise the pension age to 65. Le Pen would cut it to 60.
That would mean reforming the generous pensions of big state-owned companies such as utility EDF and railway SNCF, whose unions have fiercely defended their privileges.
But Macron was undeterred by the possibility of labour conflict. “Strikes and blockage are not inevitable,” he said. “The big strikes of the last 20 years were the result of reforms carried out by governments with no clear mandate to pursue them.”
Plans to reform labour regulations, unemployment insurance and vocational training systems, broadly pleased employers but could be another point of contention with unions which currently co-manage them.
“It goes in the right direction, broadly speaking,” the head of the Medef group of big employers, Pierre Gattaz, told reporters. “But the devil’s in the details.”
Appealing more to left-wing voters, Macron said he would raise disability and old-age allowances by 100 euros a month and penalize employers who used too many short-term contracts.
Companies which hired people from 200 designated poor neighborhoods would receive a 15,000 euro bonus over three years, he said.
He would also reduce the number of subjects taken in the baccalaureate, a pre-university exam created by Napoleon that has become a rite of passage for generations of French people but costs up to 1.5 billion euros to organize every year.
To speed up decision-making, Macron said he would cut the number of lawmakers in parliament by a third and reduce by at least a quarter the number of provincial “departments”.
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