Issue 528 | 18 January 2021

Welcome back and a happy new year to all our readers from The Parliament Magazine team.

In our first feature, we look at the priorities of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Sharing their views on what to expect as Lisbon takes the EU’s helm are Portuguese MEPs Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D), Maria Da Graça Carvalho (EPP), Maria-Manuel Leitão Marques (S&D), Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), Sara Cerdas (S&D), Nuno Melo (EPP), Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA) and Sandra Pereira (GUE/ NGL).

In our second feature, we scrutinise the UK’s decision to withdraw from one of the EU’s flagship programmes - Erasmus – and replace it with its own ‘global’ version – entitled ‘Turing’. Featuring Erasmus+ rapporteur Milan Zver (SL, EPP), European Parliament Vice-President Dita Charanzová (CZ, RE), Professor of Law and Deputy Head at the University of Strathclyde Law School, Paul James Cardwell, and one of Erasmus’ forefathers, former European Commission Director for Education, Training and Youth, Hywel Ceri Jones.

Elsewhere, Martin Banks reports on the EU’s vaccine roll-out and speaks to Renew Europe deputy Vlad Gheorghe (RO) about the benefits that a common European approach could bring. Presidents of the European Movement International, Eva Maydell (BG, EPP), and of the Union of European Federalists (UEF), Sandro Gozi (FR, RE), share their thoughts as the EU looks to restart discussions on the Future of Europe. Meanwhile, Finnish MEPs Henna Virkkunen (EPP), Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D), Elsi Katainen (RE) and Ville Niinistö (Greens/EFA) explain how this year’s European Green Capital - the Finnish city of Lahti - can help inspire cities across Europe to be ambitious in their plans for transitioning to climate neutrality.

Also inside, the Chair of Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Juan Fernando López Aguilar (ES, S&D), draws attention to the lesser known migration crisis taking place on the Canary Islands,  Alexandr Vondra (ECR, CZ) weighs in on the Strasbourg single seat debate, while Secretary General of New Europeans, Roger Casale, delivers a eulogy for the UK’s loss of the right to freedom of movement within the EU.

Answering our five questions this issue is Czech Greens/EFA deputy Markéta Gregorová.