State of the Union: End of the mandate, enlargement and revolution

State of the Union: End of the mandate, enlargement and revolution

Over the past five years, the European Parliament shaped much of the legislation that have had a direct impact on the lives of 450 million Europeans. The last plenary session before June's European elections saw a marathon of votes, with no less than 89 legislative texts and seven resolutions, in four days.

At the opening of the session, President Roberta Metsola summarized her assessment of the mandate: "We have listened, we have learnt, we have broken the bubbles of Brussels and Strasbourg to engage and reach people in all member states. We have worked hard to ensure that this house is more efficient, more effective and fit for purpose, we have made it more open and more independent".

However, this last plenary session was marked by more allegations of foreign interference, following the so-called "Qatargate" and "Russiagate" scandals. On the first day, "Chinagate" broke out, following police allegations that an aide to a far-right German MEP could be spying for China.

We usually recap in this programme what stood out most on the European political agenda over the previous week, but this time we chose to also focus on an event from next week: the celebration, on May 1st, of the 20th anniversary of the so-called "big bang" enlargement of the EU, in which the bloc went from 15 to 25 member states.

Former Hungarian European Commissioner Lászlo Andor, now Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, was our guest to discuss it.

"Twenty years is a short time in history, but I think we can already say that the experience was very positive for the countries that entered the European Union. If you want to summarize in a few words, what that meant was stability and prosperity. Most of these countries recorded very dynamic economic growth, which in the long term could lead to sustainable convergence with Western European countries", he explained.

(Watch the full interview in the video player above)