David O'Leary

EU political communications and public affairs specialist

Location icon Belgium

Welcome to my clippings.me site.

Here you will find a series of my blogposts, articles, media clippings and videos - principally related to Burson-Marsteller's Europe Decides project.


Interviews and media quotes

EU top jobs puzzle, more time to scratch heads

Television interview on contenders for the European Union's top jobs. Written article also available at http://www.euronews.com/2014/07/17/eu-top-jobs-puzzle-more-time-to-scratch-heads/

Jyllands-Posten (Denmark)
Ny udenrigschef får vanskelig post

Quote in online article on the choice of a new foreign affairs chief for the European Union. In Danish.

Le Pen looks for allies to form European Parliament bloc

Television interview on negotiations to form a far-right group in the European Parliament. Written article also available at http://www.euronews.com/2014/05/28/le-pen-looks-for-allies-to-form-european-parliament-bloc/

RTÉ Radio 1 (Ireland)
RTE Drivetime: Enda for Europe?

Radio interview on Enda Kenny's chances of becoming President of the European Commission or President of the European Council in 2014.

Irish Independent
Kenny tipped for plum job as head of the EU

Quote in newspaper and online article on Enda Kenny's chances of becoming President of the European Commission or President of the European Council in 2014.

Articles, blogposts and videos

Europe Decides
A big six weeks for Britain... and Europe

Today, the 55th parliament of the United Kingdom will be 'prorogued' - a suspension of proceedings (to be followed by dissolution), involving red robes and ermine, royal 'inconvenience', slammed doors, ceremonial hat-doffing, and royal assent in Norman French. In Britain, some things stay - perhaps reassuringly - constant.

Europe Decides
Review of the Year: 15 key dates in Europe's Year of Change

That was the year that was... Check out our Review of the Year with the fifteen key images and events from Europe's Year of Change, including the party congresses, the European Parliament elections, the drama of the Commission presidential nomination and election, the selection of a new College of Commissioners, and the election of a new President of the European Council.

Europe Decides
A trio of troubles in Tusk's in-tray

The final piece of Europe's jigsaw is almost in place. On Monday, Donald Tusk (pictured above) - elected by the national leaders at the end of August, becomes President of the European Council. But what faces the former Polish prime minister when he arrives in his new office on Monday?

Magazines for Europe - EMMA Magazine 2014-2015
A new dawn for Europe?

(pp 172-177) Article in European Magazine Media Association publication looking ahead to the long-term impact of changes in the European institutions.

Europe Decides
A five-point guide to the EU top jobs puzzle

Here's our five-point guide to Saturday's meeting and what it means - and have your say on one of the key issues of the summer by voting in our poll. After the failure to agree on the top jobs at the last summit in July, European Union leaders are under pressure to reach an accord.

Europe Decides
Herman's checklist: finding a balance for the EU's top jobs

A big week, and a careful balancing act Centre-right leaders hold a numerical advantage in the European Council, and in the European Parliament, strengthening their negotiating hand in the discussions over the top jobs. The European People's Party has already said that it wants the European Council presidency - the other top-tier job along with the Commission presidency - and wants the Eurogroup presidency, too.

Europe Decides
Building a new Commission - the runners and riders for the next College

With the choice of a President of the European Commission still up in the air, we are a long way off knowing the full team that will occupy the upper floors of the Berlaymont for the next five years. Nevertheless, national governments are already putting forward their proposed nominees to sit in the new College.

Europe Decides
Five days on from the election: five reflections on the Commission presidency

That was the week that was: an odd few days where the European People's Party won the European Parliament elections, but was also the biggest loser; and where Socialists in the Parliament backed the EPP lead candidate for the European Commission presidency, only for some centre-right leaders to apply the brakes in the European Council.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: EPP to remain largest party in new European Parliament

The Group of the European People's Party will be the largest formation in the new European Parliament according to the final PollWatch 2014 prediction. With voting due to begin in less than 48 hours, PollWatch 2014, a project developed by VoteWatch Europe in partnership with Burson-Marsteller and Europe Decides, puts the centre-right group on 217 seats, taking just under 29 per cent of the seats in the new European Parliament.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: gap at top narrows while Greens drop to seventh

Click the slices to see the group names, predicted number of MEPs and share of total representation in the Parliament However, the future looks less bright for the Greens / European Free Alliance Group, which is set to win 38 seats (including those from the N-VA), putting it in seventh place out of the seven existing groups.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: EPP extends lead as smaller groups scramble for seats

Click the slices to see the group names, predicted number of MEPs and share of total representation in the Parliament The ECR Group is forecast to win members from only six member states - one below the required threshold - but could well pick up new members from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) or Belgium's New Flemish Alliance (N-VA).

Europe Decides
Different states of independence

One of the quirky sub-plots of this year's European Parliament elections is that the success of one 'independence' movement could inadvertently boost the prospects of another. Scotland's independence referendum is just a few months away. The polls are tight: a recent poll says that 42% of Scots would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom, while 39% would support independence.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: EPP maintains lead as campaign enters final month

As the countdown to the European Parliament elections enters its final month, the centre-right Group of the European People's Party maintains its lead over the centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group. The EPP is on 217 seats, nine ahead of the Socialists, in the latest forecast by PollWatch 2014, a project developed by VoteWatch Europe in partnership with Burson-Marsteller and Europe Decides.

Europe Decides
The first head-to-head: much ado about very little

A little bit of European political history was made yesterday, with the first televised head-to-head debate between candidates for the European Commission presidency. The first debate between Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz - the lead candidates for the European People's Party and the Party of European Socialists - took place in Brussels and was broadcast live on France 24, with a replay later that evening on Radio France International.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: a dead heat between Left and Right as campaign hots up

The gap between the centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group and the centre-right Group of the European People's Party has disappeared in the latest PollWatch 2014 prediction. The Socialists - who led in the first three predictions - are now on 212 seats in the European Parliament, equal with a resurgent EPP in the latest forecast by PollWatch 2014, a project developed by VoteWatch Europe in partnership with Burson-Marsteller and Europe Decides.

Europe Decides
50 days to go, 50 things to know about Europe's year of change

All the main European political parties have chosen their lead candidates for the campaign and the people they will back for the Commission presidency. Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, and Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, head the campaigns for the European People's Party and the Party of European Socialists respectively.

Europe’s Moment of Truth

(pp 60-64) Article in Spring 2014 edition looking ahead to the European Parliament elections. Also available at revolve.media/europes-moment-of-truth

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: Socialists and EPP neck-and-neck in latest prediction

The centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group and the centre-right Group of the European People's Party are neck-and-neck in the race to become the biggest political group in the next European Parliament, according to the latest PollWatch 2014 prediction.

Europe Decides
Moving the goalposts: what will be the impact of electoral rule changes?

(with Sofia Tzortzi, Julia Riss, Christian Thams) With less than 100 days to go to the European Parliament elections, Greece, Bulgaria and Germany are making changes to the rules governing the choice of candidates. What are the changes and what will they mean?

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014 launch - 19 February 2014

Videos I made of the launch of PollWatch 2014. Simon Hix and Matina Stevis discuss the European elections and predictions of the results.

Europe Decides
PollWatch 2014: first predictions put Socialists in the lead

Go to pollwatch2014.eu Download a PDF of data from the study The centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group is set to be the biggest political formation in the next European Parliament according to the first PollWatch 2014 predictions.

Europe Decides
Northern Lights and rising stars heading for Brussels

(with Anna Ranki) For some countries, nominees to the European Commission often emerge as a result of national problem-solving exercises - focusing on who needs to be removed from the national political arena without their pride being damaged, who needs to be compensated for poor treatment in the past, or whose departure causes the fewest ripples.

Europe Decides
The mother of all elections - the mother of all headaches?

(with Jean-Charles Seghers) In Belgium, nothing is simple when it comes to politics - and in May 2014, that statement will be truer than ever. Not only will Belgium hold its European Parliament election on 25 May, it will also hold elections to the powerful regions and the federal parliament on the same day.

Europe Decides
Countdown to Dublin: who will be the EPP candidate?

In 50 days' time, the European People's Party will open its electoral congress in Dublin and select its common lead candidate for the European Parliament elections. While the Socialists, Liberals, Greens and Left have all selected their lead candidates for the position of President of the European Commission (or at least have a selection process ongoing), the field for the EPP nomination is wide open.

Europe Decides
Cameron's choice: five things to consider in picking the next UK Commission nominee

(with David Earnshaw) Next summer, David Cameron faces a tough decision: who to choose as the United Kingdom's next nominee to the European Commission. The opinion polls suggest that the choice will follow a defeat for the Conservatives - possibly into third place, behind the UK Independence Party (Ukip) and the Labour Party - in the European Parliament elections.

Europe Decides
Europe Decides After Hours - 4 December 2013

Video I made of the Europe Decides event 'What's happening in the EU in 2014 - and will it make a difference?' Luke Baker of Reuters, Jenny de Nijs of League of Young Voters Europe, David Earnshaw of Burson-Marsteller Brussels and Johannes Hillje of the European Greens debate the issues.

Europe Decides
Party games: the Parliament and its post-election musical chairs

Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, a Paris-based think-tank, has recently published a must-read policy paper in which it predicts that the centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group (S&D) will oust the centre-right European People's Party Group (EPP) as the largest group in the new Parliament.

Europe Decides
Le Pen's rise: shockwaves in France and Europe?

(with Marie Trancart) Rightly or wrongly, France - like most European Union member countries - does not tend to get very excited about the European Parliament elections. However, the 2014 vote will be different. Not only do the elections take place soon after what should be keenly-contested local polls, they are also seen as a potential milestone in the rise of the National Front (FN).

Europe Decides
Mr President, the candidate?

It's official: Martin Schulz, the current President of the European Parliament, is the only nominee to be the common candidate of the Party of European Socialists (PES) at the next European Parliament elections. A year from now, he could be President of the European Commission.

Policy Periscope
The Eurozone's "West Lothian Question"?

While the talk of Westminster is the debate on a referendum on the EU, a 33-year-old British constitutional conundrum is finding a new parallel at EU level.

Burson·Marsteller Blog
Almost there

The European Union's Lisbon Treaty is an awkward-looking animal - the proverbial 'camel' that emerges from discussion by committee. Formed out of the discarded limbs of the Union's more elegant, but doomed constitutional treaty, this animal is not pretty, but was built to serve a vital function - improving efficiency and democracy in the EU.

Burson·Marsteller Blog
First reflections on the European elections

The weeks of campaigning are over, and Europe has spoken (or at least the four in ten people who turned out to vote - a record low turnout). Across the European Union's 27 member states, votes were being counted on Sunday night as people chose the 736 Members of the European Parliament that will represent them for the next five years.

Burson·Marsteller Blog
Gordon Brown: Comeback Kid?

At the end of August, I blogged about Gordon Brown, "Britain's beleaguered prime minister", who was on the brink of falling to an internal coup, and heading to certain defeat at the next general election. What a difference a few weeks make.

Burson·Marsteller Blog
Sun, sea, sand and sedition

August is normally a quieter time for Europe's leaders, but not so this year. With the Olympics and Georgia on their minds, it has been a busier-than-usual month for many - not least Britain's beleaguered prime minister, Gordon Brown, who has a further preoccupation - a challenge from one his most senior ministers.

Media coverage of Europe Decides

Facebook icon Twitter icon Linkedin icon Youtube icon Flickr icon