European politics

Brexit has blown open the unreconciled divisions in Northern Ireland

The British and Irish governments have long tried to keep a lid on the tensions in Northern Ireland. But Brexit, argues Duncan Morrow (Ulster University) has exposed the weaknesses of the Good Friday and St Andrew’s Agreements – deals that never required each side to give up their aims of ruling Northern Ireland alone. Now these unreconciled political narratives […]

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    Germany’s Brexit moment: What happens now following the collapse of coalition talks?

Germany’s Brexit moment: What happens now following the collapse of coalition talks?

Coalition talks in Germany between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens have collapsed, with the FDP withdrawing from the discussions after four weeks of negotiations. Julian Göpffarth assesses why the FDP chose to quit the process and what is likely to happen now.

This morning, Berlin woke up in shock. Most observers anticipated that the so-called Jamaica coalition negotiations […]

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    ‘You’ll hate it’: why the Norway option amounts to self-inflicted subservience to the EU

‘You’ll hate it’: why the Norway option amounts to self-inflicted subservience to the EU

Why did David Cameron decline ‘the Norway option’, and why did the Norwegian prime minister warn Britain against Brexit, saying ‘You’ll hate it’? Erik O Eriksen (University of Oslo) argues that for the UK, the so-called Norway option of EEA membership would amount to self-inflicted subservience to the EU. Norwegians have traded any say in EU rules for all-important access to the Single […]

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    There are few good solutions from a divided Cyprus for Northern Ireland

There are few good solutions from a divided Cyprus for Northern Ireland

The Good Friday agreement put to rest age-old conflicts in Ireland. It also offered hope that the reunification of Cyprus might be possible within the European Union. But lately, as Stavros Zenios writes, the “Green Line” that divides the easternmost island of the EU is viewed as a template for a soft border at the westernmost island of the Union after […]

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    Britain has most often taken positions against the majority in the Council of the European Union

Britain has most often taken positions against the majority in the Council of the European Union

Numerous studies have tried to measure the relative bargaining power that each EU member state has when making decisions in the Council of the European Union. But as Klaas Staal (Karlstad University) writes, the extent to which a state’s preferences match those of other member states can be just as important as its bargaining power. Drawing on data from a […]

‘Swallow the lot, and swallow it now’: Britain is, and was, deluded about its negotiating power with the EU

Britain is making the same mistake about the EU now as Harold Macmillan did about the European Community in the 1960s, writes Piers Ludlow (LSE). Personal appeals to Général de Gaulle proved fruitless. The EU27 are unbending – not because they bear ill-will towards the British for voting to leave, but because the nature of the EU demands internal […]

Why it’s not so simple to make the EU simpler

The EU’s institutional architecture is often regarded as being too complex for citizens to properly engage with, and both Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron have recently proposed some form of simplification such as merging the President of the European Commission with the President of the European Council, or reducing the size of the European Commission. Dimiter Toshkov argues that […]

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    The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit

The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit

The language of ‘flexible and imaginative’ solutions is unique to the Irish dimension of Brexit, writes David Phinnemore (Queen’s University Belfast). Furthermore, he argues that at the heart of the commitment of all parties involved in the exit negotiations is the desire to ensure that Brexit does not in any way undermine the Northern Ireland peace process. He outlines what a range of […]

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    Globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

Globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

Several recent European elections, as well as the UK’s referendum on Brexit, have produced a clear split in voting choices between citizens with different levels of education. Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille argue that a new political cleavage in Europe has emerged between citizens with high levels of education and those with lower levels of educational attainment, with the […]

EU immigration benefits the welfare state in Denmark

The problem of ‘welfare tourism’ has been raised by several politicians across Europe, with some arguing that immigration from other EU countries can create a burden for welfare systems. Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen and Gabriel Pons Rotger present results from a recent study of the impact EU immigration has had on welfare spending in Denmark. They find that between 2002 […]