current-affairs

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    Eastern Partnership summit: Moldova’s difficult path toward European integration

Eastern Partnership summit: Moldova’s difficult path toward European integration

On 24 November, leaders from the EU’s member states and the six Eastern partner countries will gather in Brussels for the 2017 Eastern Partnership summit. Alexandru Damian writes on Moldova, noting that although the country has sought to develop close ties with the EU, the current political situation is threatening to derail its progress.

In the leadup to the 2017 […]

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Five lessons from the mayoral run-off elections in Kosovo

Mayoral run-off elections were held in Kosovo on 19 November, with voters going to the polls in 19 municipalities. Blerim Vela gives an overview of the results and highlights five key lessons from the contests that provide an insight into how politics functions in Kosovo.

On 19 November, voters in 19 municipalities in Kosovo voted in mayoral run-off elections. The […]

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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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    The EU tells a good story about itself, but its Asian partners may not be hearing it

The EU tells a good story about itself, but its Asian partners may not be hearing it

How do countries in Asia view the European Union? Drawing on a new study, Ben O’Loughlin, Natalia Chaban and Alister Miskimmon show that Asian elites see the EU as an important partner, but do not buy into the EU’s own narrative that Europe is a peaceful continent whose ability to overcome war offers a model for others.

The European Union […]

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    Economists used to think that it doesn’t matter whom you tax, but it does

Economists used to think that it doesn’t matter whom you tax, but it does

Workers typically have to pay taxes on their salary, while employers often add additional tax contributions for their employees. But does it matter how this division of taxation is distributed, or do workers and employers only care about net wages/costs after tax? Matthias Weber and Arthur Schram write that this division actually matters a great deal and can affect employees’ sense of well-being, willingness to work and […]

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    Weak but stable: The future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership ahead of the 2017 summit

Weak but stable: The future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership ahead of the 2017 summit

On 24 November, leaders from the EU’s member states and the six Eastern partner countries will gather in Brussels for the 2017 Eastern Partnership summit. Max Fras previews the summit and assesses what the future might hold for the Eastern Partnership given the delicate situation between the EU and some of its Eastern neighbours.

The upcoming Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit […]

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    Social summit preview: Can the European Pillar of Social Rights deliver on its promises?

Social summit preview: Can the European Pillar of Social Rights deliver on its promises?

A special ‘Social Summit’ is due to be held in Gothenburg on 17 November, where details of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are expected to be announced. Ahead of the summit, Zane Rasnača suggests a few ways in which the EPSR could move beyond soft law to become something more hard-hitting and effective.

The events surrounding the European Pillar […]

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    The Catalan crisis reflects the failure of Spanish federalism

The Catalan crisis reflects the failure of Spanish federalism

Catalonia is set to hold regional elections on 21 December, but it is far from clear how the stand-off over Catalan independence will develop following the vote. Joan Costa-Font argues that the rise in support for independence in Catalonia reflects the failure of attempts to construct a federal Spanish state, and that the EU should think carefully about developing […]

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    Article 50 does allow Britain to negotiate a transitional period

Article 50 does allow Britain to negotiate a transitional period

Theresa May intends to negotiate a transitional period after March 2019, during which people, businesses and services would have time to adapt to Brexit while the current regulatory framework is maintained. But it is still unclear how Britain will do this. Federico Ortino and Holger Hestermeyer argue that as far as the legal picture is concerned, Article 50 does allow the UK to postpone the […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

A special ‘Social Summit’ is due to be held in Gothenburg on 17 November, where details of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are expected to be announced. Philippe Pochet of the European Trade Union Institute has some advice for the European Union as it mounts one of its periodic attempts to recast its Social Union. He urges the EU to rebalance […]

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    COP23: Introducing a new toolkit to help support the Paris Agreement

COP23: Introducing a new toolkit to help support the Paris Agreement

From 6-17 November, representatives from around the world are meeting in Bonn to discuss climate change at the 23rd ‘conference of the parties’ (COP23) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Steven Malby introduces a new Law and Climate Change Toolkit developed as a global resource for legal policy makers responsible for climate change policies.

Credit: Jondaar_1 (CC BY […]

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    How EU member states have tried (and failed) to reach agreement on GMOs – and what it could mean for EU decision-making

How EU member states have tried (and failed) to reach agreement on GMOs – and what it could mean for EU decision-making

The regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a controversial topic across the EU, and member states have repeatedly failed to reach decisions on the issue. This deadlock led in part to a proposal by the European Commission in February 2017 to fundamentally change the EU’s comitology procedure, with new rules being established for votes in the Council of […]

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Will Christmas come early in the Brexit negotiations?

Michel Barnier has indicated that the UK has two weeks left to make concessions if the Brexit negotiations are to advance to the next stage at the December European Council meeting. Simon Usherwood writes that the next fortnight is set to be critical in determining whether the UK and EU are ready to make progress in settling their evolving relationship.

Michel Barnier, Credit: EU Council Eurozone […]

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    The internal contradictions of the Brexit project are unbridgeable

The internal contradictions of the Brexit project are unbridgeable

In his recent testimony to the House of Lords, Sir Ivan Rogers criticised as premature and ill-prepared the Prime Minister’s triggering last March of Article 50. Brendan Donnelly argues that this is unfair to Theresa May. No different date for the beginning of the Brexit negotiations could or would have rendered them any less painful for the British participants. And […]

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    Changing policies, changing minds: Using public policy to transform gender stereotypes

Changing policies, changing minds: Using public policy to transform gender stereotypes

Efforts to promote gender equality often focus on the workplace and the pay gap between men and women, but as Valerie Frey and Francesca Borgonovi write, gender stereotypes can also perpetuate inequality at home. They highlight imbalances in care-giving and housework between men and women, and suggest that priority should be given to policy initiatives, such as paternity leave […]

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    Why the left loses: Explaining the decline of centre-left parties

Why the left loses: Explaining the decline of centre-left parties

Are centre-left parties across Europe facing a future of decline? Drawing on a new book, Rob Manwaring and Paul Kennedy argue that an essential element in any robust democracy is an effective centre-left. However, centre-left parties now face a number of major challenges, from the rise of new parties, to the erosion of their traditional support bases, and only […]

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    The reluctant role model: Why Britain (usually) obeys the European Court of Human Rights

The reluctant role model: Why Britain (usually) obeys the European Court of Human Rights

Despite often complaining about the existence of the European Court of Human Rights, the UK has one of the strongest compliance records in the Court’s 47-country system. Zoë Jay explains how the UK’s conceptions of human rights protection shape its willingness to comply with the Court’s rulings.

European Court of Human Rights, Credit: Emiliano (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
To say the United […]

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    Will the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia lead to wholesale institutional reform in Malta?

Will the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia lead to wholesale institutional reform in Malta?

Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a car bomb attack in Malta on 16 October. Her death prompted widespread international condemnation and has refocused attention on the need for institutional reforms within Malta to protect the rule of law and freedom of the press. Roderick Pace writes that with the recent Paradise Papers leak also portraying off-shore financial […]

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    The Brexit vote has caused a significant rise in UK prices, especially food

The Brexit vote has caused a significant rise in UK prices, especially food

Since Britain’s EU referendum, UK inflation has risen faster than that of the Eurozone. Price rises have varied across sectors, but as Josh De Lyon, Swati Dhingra, and Stephen Machin show, the rise in the growth rate of food prices has been particularly pronounced. As a result, real wage growth in the UK has again turned negative. 

The pattern of significantly higher price inflation […]

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    A tale of changing destinies: Why the Catalans are pushing for independence rather than the Basques

A tale of changing destinies: Why the Catalans are pushing for independence rather than the Basques

While all eyes are currently on Catalonia, it was the Basque Country that first sought a degree of sovereignty from Spain over a decade ago, when then Basque President, Juan José Ibarretxe, proposed redefining the Basque relationship with Spain as one of ‘free association’. But why did Madrid’s refusal of Ibarretxe’s proposals result in a return to moderation, whereas […]

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