European politics

A democracy deficit plagues the US and the European Union

The European Union and the United States suffer from democracy deficits. Modern democracy is realised in regularly elected legislative bodies that, though small enough to house in a parliamentary building, are large enough to reflect the interests of an entire people. David V Johnson writes that by ratio of representatives to population, the US and the EU have among the least […]

Euroscepticism has taken hold across the EU – but it has many different roots

Euroscepticism – defined as outright or defined opposition to the European project – is becoming a mainstream, contested phenomenon, writes Simona Guerra. The EU has been challenged by the Greek referendum in July 2015, the refugee crisis and Brexit. Euroscepticism is no longer the exclusive province of ‘peripheral’ parties like Ukip or the fringes of society. How did a previously sidelined […]

Should the UK seek association with or membership of EFTA?

Amid the uncertainty of the Brexit process, one way to address the challenge of securing a degree of continuity in retaining preferential market access beyond the EU would be for the UK to become a member or associate of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Cenni Najy (University of Geneva) and David Phinnemore (Queen’s University Belfast) ask whether the UK after Brexit […]

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    A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron

A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron

The prospects for ‘frictionless’ and ‘invisible’ solutions for the Irish border after Brexit are limited. Dr Katy Hayward (Queen’s University Belfast) outlines a ‘practical’ summary of the difference that would be made by a ‘hard’ Brexit to the movement of goods across the Irish border. 

Michel Barnier’s dismissal of the notion of ‘frictionless’ trade between the UK and EU after Brexit […]

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    Significant concessions to the UK in any Brexit deal are increasingly unlikely

Significant concessions to the UK in any Brexit deal are increasingly unlikely

Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union formally began on 19 June, but it is still unclear what impact the unexpected result of the UK’s general election will have on the process. Julian M Hoerner indicates that from the EU’s perspective, little has changed following the election as the EU had already decided on its negotiating position in advance. However, […]

‘Bloody difficult’ Britain has already blown its chances of a good deal from the EU27

The run-up to the Brexit negotiations has been disastrous for the UK, writes former negotiator Steve Bullock. It has hectored and insulted the EU27’s intelligence and undermined its own credibility. The chances of securing a good deal in the time left are minimal: approaching extremely complex negotiations, Britain chose to be ‘bloody difficult’.

Being “tough” and being “difficult” are not […]

EU Common Fisheries Policy is bound for a Brexit shake-up

Under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, each Member State decides how to allocate its national fishing quota to its fishing fleet. Griffin Carpenter and Richard Kleinjans explain that many issues in fisheries policy are the result of these decisions around access and distribution, and there are ripe opportunities for reform.

Policy on fishing limits can be thought of in two parts: […]

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    Calling all millennials: share your ideas and help to shape Brexit

Calling all millennials: share your ideas and help to shape Brexit

Generation Brexit is a crowdsourced project aimed at inspiring millennials in Britain and the EU to help shape Brexit negotiations and the future of UK-EU relations. As Michael Cottakis and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz explain, it draws on the success of the 1989 Generation Initiative in order to catalyse millennials’ political engagement.

Generation Brexit is a partnership with the 1989 Generation Initiative, an open […]

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    The OECD could replace the EU as a driver of UK public policy after Brexit

The OECD could replace the EU as a driver of UK public policy after Brexit

The EU has had a major role in shaping UK public policy since the country’s accession in 1973. Janice Morphet writes that with this influence set to end following Brexit, it is an open question as to how policy will be shaped in the UK in the years to come. She suggests that a different international organisation, the OECD, […]

A mountain to climb: the looming problem of the Northern Irish border

For all practical purposes, writes Filippo Biondi, the border between Eire and Northern Ireland has disappeared. Thirty thousand people cross the 500km line each day just in order to go to work. So what will happen when it becomes the land border between the EU and the UK? He analyses the Democratic Unionist Party’s priorities and looks at possible […]