Fidesz, a centre-right party, on Sunday (25 April) secured a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament after a second round of voting. Viktor Orbán, Fidesz’s leader, is set to become the new prime minister. The victory ends eight years of Socialist rule. Fidesz won 263 of the 386 seats, the Socialists won 59 seats and Jobbik, a new far-right party, 47.
Heinz Fischer, a Social Democrat, was on Sunday re-elected as Austria’s president with 78.9% of the vote. His main challenger for the largely ceremonial post, Barbara Rosenkranz of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), received 15.6%. The turnout – 49% – was the lowest in an Austrian presidential election.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the former prime minister of Poland, announced on Monday (26 April) that he would seek to succeed his twin brother Lech, who was killed in a plane crash on 10 April, as Poland’s president. He will face acting President Bronislaw Komorowski, the frontrunner, in a poll on 20 June.
The European Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety committee on Tuesday (27 April) voted overwhelmingly that a draft European Commission proposal on combating counterfeit medicines should be extended to cover the internet and oblige member states to set criminal sanctions for counterfeiters. The full Parliament will vote on the proposal in June.
The Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee on Tuesday approved a Commission proposal to extend the transition period for the introduction of the second generation of the Schengen Information System (SIS II). The system, which is years behind schedule, is now expected to go live by the end of 2011. SIS II will give guards on the EU’s external borders access to data such as fingerprints. A plenary vote will be held in May.
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