European politics

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How does the European Union shape and hone its identity? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) decipher the ways in which the EU’s discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of integration. They show that two values dominated the Union’s treaty texts – ‘democracy’ and ‘market economy’. However, since the 1990s, new values have penetrated the […]

Book Review: The European Union in Crisis

Tim Oliver (LSE Ideas) reviews The European Union in Crisis. He writes that this latest contribution dealing with the multi-dimensional nature of EU’s crisis offers a solid starting point to understanding a Union which over the past few years has been tested as it has never been before.

Politics is so often the routine of dealing with day-to-day emergencies that we […]

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    Softening a hard border: lessons from North America for post-Brexit Ireland

Softening a hard border: lessons from North America for post-Brexit Ireland

There are ample lessons from the Canada-US border for post-Brexit Ireland, write Laurie Tannous (University of Windsor) and Katy Hayward (Queen’s University Belfast). For example, a ‘hard’ border need not mean the end of economic integration of Ireland. Yet building a smooth functioning border is a comprehensive undertaking, and some friction will be inevitable.

On a recent visit to the United States […]

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    Bureaucracy may be the solution, rather than the problem, for issues of European governance

Bureaucracy may be the solution, rather than the problem, for issues of European governance

The European Union is often criticised from the perspective that it has created a layer of bureaucracy or ‘red tape’ which has a damaging effect on European governance. Martin Lodge and Kai Wegrich write that while it is particularly common for political parties to make these arguments in the run up to European elections, legitimate and effective administration is […]

How the EU elite publicises its high-profile work and stays silent about the rest

The EU policy process is often criticised for being distant from its citizens. Part of this criticism is rooted in a lack of media coverage of EU legislative decision-making, says Iskander De Bruycker. Drawing on a recent study, he illustrates that the extent to which politicians in Brussels address citizens’ interests in the media over a particular piece of legislation […]

Book review: Shifting Baselines of Europe

Shifting Baselines of Europe: New Perspectives beyond Neoliberalism and Nationalism, writes reviewer Antje Scharenberg, makes the case that alternative political models for Europe are already emerging. One of its most compelling empirical examples is a network of ‘rebel cities’ like Barcelona, Messina and Naples, which transform institutional politics through participatory democracy on the local level.

“The house of Europe,” wrote the German sociologist Ulrich […]

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    There’s no such thing as ‘associate membership’ of Euratom

There’s no such thing as ‘associate membership’ of Euratom

The UK’s Article 50 letter which triggered its exit from the European Union also indicated that the country would be leaving the European nuclear regulator Euratom following Brexit. However, several MPs, including some prominent leave campaigners, have criticised this position, arguing instead for the UK to have some form of associate membership of Euratom after it leaves the EU. […]

If Britain doesn’t pay the Brexit divorce bill, her ex-partners will have to

Walking away from the EU without paying a ‘divorce bill’ – or only a small one – would have major consequences for the remaining member states, because they would be forced to make up the shortfall for EU projects until 2021. That would leave the UK short of goodwill, writes Michiel Scheffer, a regional minister in the Netherlands, and […]

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    Europe’s legitimacy crisis isn’t just about identity, it’s about institutions

Europe’s legitimacy crisis isn’t just about identity, it’s about institutions

The UK’s decision to vote for Brexit has been viewed by many observers as proof that the European Union suffers from a deep crisis of legitimacy. As Matt Wood highlights, this crisis is often conceived of in identity terms, with a large number of EU citizens no longer feeling ‘European’ or identifying with the goals of European integration. However, he […]

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    Book Review: On Extremism and Democracy in Europe by Cas Mudde

Book Review: On Extremism and Democracy in Europe by Cas Mudde

In On Extremism and Democracy in Europe, Cas Mudde presents a number of essays reflecting on the far right, populism, Euroscepticism and the state of liberal democracy today. Challenging prevailing fears, particularly those promoted in the mainstream media, this book offers a reliable and approachable analysis of contemporary European politics that will be of use to those trying to […]