The EU Socialists and Democrats said on Wednesday (18 October) that they have to keep their distance from right-wing parties and be the basis for an alliance with progressive forces in order to counter growing extremism in Europe.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Wednesday (3 February) called parliamentary elections for 26 February in a small poll that could see disillusioned voters turn away from established parties to back political mavericks.
Europe is going through one of the worst economic and financial crisis in decades and governments across the continent have implemented tough austerity measures. In Spain, where cutbacks have been particularly tough, the government recently decided to reduce the budget for development aid by 80%.
A day before Europe Day (9 May), held yearly to celebrate the peace and unity in Europe, 3,500 staff of the European institutions held a strike against budgets cuts that may see their salaries cut by 60% over the next 15 years.
Brussels has warned Portugal to stick to the bailout austerity measures agreed in 2011 or risk losing further financial hep.
The warning came following a decision by the Portuguese constitutional court to reject a set of unpopular public spending cuts aimed at reducing the country's deficit.
In a televised speech on Sunday, Portugal's prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho described the country's economic situation as a 'national emergency' and pled to follow the terms agreed with international lenders.