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    A paler shade of grey? It is hard to see how any in-between version of Brexit can prevail

A paler shade of grey? It is hard to see how any in-between version of Brexit can prevail

A simple metaphor captures the dilemmas around Brexit: some want white, others want black. To state the blindingly obvious, the two are mutually exclusive. In this post, Iain Begg considers the two logically coherent positions on EU membership. It is hard to see how any in-between solution – any shade of grey – can prevail. 

Leaving the EU means, well, Brexit […]

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    Lessons from South Korea: What would a hard Brexit mean for British manufacturers?

Lessons from South Korea: What would a hard Brexit mean for British manufacturers?

The UK government has proposed maintaining a ‘common rulebook’ with the European Union following Brexit, which would in principle prevent non-tariff trade barriers from developing. But if this proposal fails and the UK leaves without a deal, how would British manufacturers be affected? Robert Basedow draws lessons from the South Korean car industry, noting that manufacturers based outside of […]

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    How is the conflict over judicial reforms affecting Polish politics?

How is the conflict over judicial reforms affecting Polish politics?

Controversy surrounding the Polish government’s judicial reform programme has undermined its strategy of pivoting to the centre in the run-up to the country’s next parliamentary and presidential elections. But as Aleks Szczerbiak writes, in spite of misgivings about the reforms, the ruling party is in tune with Poles on the social and economic issues they care most about, and the opposition has so far […]

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    Leadership is about character, courage and empathy: Alexis Tsipras has failed on all fronts during the Greek fires

Leadership is about character, courage and empathy: Alexis Tsipras has failed on all fronts during the Greek fires

At least 91 people have been killed in wildfires in Greece, with the Greek government, led by Alexis Tsipras, facing criticism over its handling of the disaster. George Kassimeris argues that the response from Tsipras constituted a failure of political leadership, and it is difficult to see how he will be able to re-establish his reputation and the reputation […]

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    Brexit’s epicentre: London’s financial services sector and its place in the UK economy

Brexit’s epicentre: London’s financial services sector and its place in the UK economy

Developments in London’s financial district help us understand the precise form that Brexit will take, argues Sarah Hall. She explains why London is distinct to the rest of the UK and writes that, as companies threaten to move to other European cities in anticipation of a ‘no deal’, the government’s decision making is still not reflecting the City’s strategic […]

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    Should the rest of the EU follow Austria in reducing the voting age to 16?

Should the rest of the EU follow Austria in reducing the voting age to 16?

For the last decade, Austria has been the only country in the EU that allows voting at the age of 16 at all political levels. Paul Schmidt assesses whether this could offer a future model for the EU, and the possible lessons that can be learned from the Austrian experience.

With the next elections to the European Parliament around the […]

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    Frans Timmermans’ subsidiarity proposals do not go far enough to address the EU’s democratic deficit

Frans Timmermans’ subsidiarity proposals do not go far enough to address the EU’s democratic deficit

The EU’s principle of ‘subsidiarity’ states that only actions which cannot be effectively achieved at the national level and can be better achieved at the EU level should be exercised by the EU. Davor Jancic assesses the report published on 10 July 2018 by a European Commission ‘Taskforce on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently’. He argues that […]

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    Sustaining the rule of law in the Irish border region will depend on institutional co-operation

Sustaining the rule of law in the Irish border region will depend on institutional co-operation

The British government’s White Paper has been portrayed as an important step towards avoiding a ‘hard’ border in Ireland. However, as Jan van Zyl Smit writes, sustaining the rule of law in the Irish border region will depend on institutional co-operation.

By proposing a free trade area in goods with the EU, the UK Government White Paper published on Thursday 12 July 2018 has taken […]

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    Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

Moldova’s political crisis is calling the country’s commitment to European integration into question

The EU has voiced criticism of Moldova following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to invalidate recent mayoral elections in Chisinau. Alexandru Damian explains that with parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year, there is concern in the West at the direction the current government is taking, and the possibility of the pro-Russian Party of Socialists winning power.

EU-Moldova […]

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Brexit: Time for a moratorium?

The UK is set to leave the EU in March next year, but many of the key issues remain unresolved and there is now perceived to be a very real prospect of the country leaving without a deal in place. For Helmut K Anheier, the answer is not a second referendum given another vote would do little to resolve the […]

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    Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

What constitutes British identity? In this blog, Ulrike G. Theuerkauf explains the relevance of “British values” in discussions about the further political, economic and social development of the UK after Brexit, and the manner in which “Britishness” is invoked as a concept of inclusion or exclusion in society.

Brexit is something of a boom industry. Even before it has officially happened, […]

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    Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]

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    Does Merkel’s coalition spat prefigure a change in the German party system?

Does Merkel’s coalition spat prefigure a change in the German party system?

The alliance between Angela Merkel’s CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, has come under strain over the German government’s immigration policies. Ben Margulies writes that while most of the coverage of the CDU-CSU dispute has focused on what it means for Merkel’s government, it provides some insights into the potential future trajectory of the German party system.

Credit: […]

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    The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

A German court has ruled that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont can be extradited to Spain on charges of misusing public funds, but not on a charge of rebellion, which carries a more severe punishment. As Auke Willems explains, the net result is a situation with no clear winners: Spain cannot prosecute Puigdemont on charges of rebellion; Puigdemont has […]

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    The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The ECB recently announced that its quantitative easing programme will stop at the end of 2018. Corrado Macchiarelli and Mara Monti write that the way this decision is managed will be crucial for avoiding potential market disruptions in the eurozone. However, the key long-term concern will be achieving political consensus in the coming years given the challenge posed by […]

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    Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Many of the protests that took place against Donald Trump during his visit to the UK focused on his policies toward refugees. Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird and Patrycja Rozbicka argue that while the protesters were right to voice opposition to Trump’s policies, the treatment of refugees at Europe’s borders is just as worthy of criticism.

Donald Trump arrived in […]

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    Brexit’s institutional irony: How the EU has successfully outflanked the UK

Brexit’s institutional irony: How the EU has successfully outflanked the UK

The EU has been popularly derided as ineffectual, but it has shown remarkable co-ordination and unity in its Brexit negotiations with the UK. Dermot Hodson and John Peterson explain how Michel Barnier has outflanked the UK, with both the Commission and the Council presenting a united front.

Before British voters went to the polls in June 2016, the institutions of the European Union […]

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    Turkey’s missing swing voters: Understanding the results of the 2018 Turkish elections

Turkey’s missing swing voters: Understanding the results of the 2018 Turkish elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured victory in legislative and presidential elections on 24 June. The vote ensured that Erdogan can now govern the country using new executive powers which were approved in a referendum in 2017. Sevinç Bermek and Ledün Çevik write that although there were no radical shifts in support from the last legislative elections in 2015, […]

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    The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

In a customs union, goods cross borders seamlessly, but in a free trade agreement, border checks are needed to ensure conformity with rules of origin. Paola Conconi explains why a customs union is key for multinationals wishing to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Some members of Theresa May’s cabinet are pushing for a ‘soft’ Brexit, which would allow the UK to remain […]

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    The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

The UAE’s presence in the Balkans: Commercial interest, geopolitical calculations, or a meeting point between ‘sultanism’ and authoritarianism?

In recent years, the United Arab Emirates has been increasingly active as an investment partner in the Western Balkans. Tena Prelec traces the involvement of the UAE in the region, and examines how western actors have responded to its presence. Given the limited geopolitical significance of the country’s involvement, there is little justification for concerns about the UAE ‘taking up […]

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