EU Politics

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    An electric fence? Assessing the impact of Brexit on the Single Electricity Market in Ireland

An electric fence? Assessing the impact of Brexit on the Single Electricity Market in Ireland

A great deal of attention during the Brexit negotiations has been focused on the issue of the Irish border. However, as Meabh Cormacain writes, Brexit also has important implications for Northern Ireland’s participation in the Single Electricity Market that currently exists across the island of Ireland. She highlights that despite widespread agreement on the importance of the Single Electricity […]

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    Two wrongs make a right: Why the trans-Atlantic antitrust rift is necessary in the global economy

Two wrongs make a right: Why the trans-Atlantic antitrust rift is necessary in the global economy

The European Union and the United States have pursued notably different approaches to applying antitrust laws, which seek to maintain competition between businesses. While the EU has issued large fines to companies like Google, the United States has been far less willing to intervene. Konstantinos Stylianou argues that although a great deal of frustration has been expressed about this schism between […]

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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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    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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How the European Union falls apart

The European Union has come under intense pressure from the Eurozone crisis, the migration crisis, and Brexit, but is it at serious risk of falling apart? And if so, how would this disintegration take place? Drawing on his latest book, Hans Vollaard explains that rather than experiencing a sudden collapse, the EU might instead suffer a slow decline driven […]

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    Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument through which the EU provides development aid to African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. However, there has been a long-running debate over whether the EDF should be formally integrated into the EU budget, or whether it should remain a separate fund financed by direct contributions from the EU’s member states. Johanne […]

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    What should we expect from Austria’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union?

What should we expect from Austria’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union?

On 1 July, Austria will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time. As Paul Schmidt notes, since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009, the role of the presidency has fundamentally changed. He assesses how much room for manoeuvre this leaves to make a difference, and what […]

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Tackling non-performing loans in the euro area

A European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) has been proposed as part of efforts to complete the European Banking Union, but some actors have raised concerns about the implications of banks with non-performing loans entering the EDIS. Presenting findings from a recent study, Markus Demary writes that some banks are not yet ready for a European Deposit Insurance Scheme and that vast amounts of money will […]

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Can the Eurozone be more democratic?

How the Eurozone will be governed in the future is a matter of much debate and is expected to form a key part of the European Council meeting on 28-29 June. Kevin Featherstone argues that the debate is neglecting a key set of questions: how can its governance be made more democratic and accountable? The answers to these questions will […]

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    Will it pay to be large in the EU steel industry? The answer may not be straightforward

Will it pay to be large in the EU steel industry? The answer may not be straightforward

The EU steel industry faces major challenges in the shape of rising prices for raw materials, fierce competition from international producers, and global overcapacity. Niccolò Pisani and Emilio Riva explain that the reaction to these problems has often been to advocate increased market concentration. However, the disruptive influence of artificial intelligence and growing anti-globalisation sentiment, epitomised by Donald Trump’s decision to impose a […]

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    We need to talk (more) about deliberative democracy in the EU

We need to talk (more) about deliberative democracy in the EU

Criticism of the EU’s ‘democratic deficit’ has become increasingly prominent since the financial crisis. Firat Cengiz writes that democracy in the EU would benefit from methods allowing citizens to participate more directly in policymaking. She argues for a form of deliberative democracy to be implemented at the European level and provides some practical suggestions for how this could be […]

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Colliding worlds: Donald Trump and the European Union

Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU states has raised fears of a trade war developing. Michael Cottakis writes that the dispute not only reflects a difference in approaches to trade, but a clash of two world views. He argues that a rupture between the EU and the US would represent a death knell for […]

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We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians […]

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    Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank was established 20 years ago today on 1 June 1998. To mark the anniversary, we asked five academics to give their views on the lessons learned from two decades of the ECB, and their predictions on what might lie in store for both the ECB and the euro over the next 20 years.

Paul De […]

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The death of ‘business as usual’ in the EU

European integration was once thought of as a largely technocratic process built around consensus, but the last decade has seen the work of the EU’s institutions become heavily politicised. Presenting evidence from a new study, Reinout van der Veer highlights just how pervasive the effect of this politicisation has been.

Our post-Brexit era makes it hard to imagine that there […]

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    IMF ‘doves’ versus German ‘hawks’? The Fund and Europe’s politics of austerity

IMF ‘doves’ versus German ‘hawks’? The Fund and Europe’s politics of austerity

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a major role in promoting ‘sound’ economic policies. But as Ben Clift writes, there have been important evolutions in the IMF’s economic ideas since the global financial and Eurozone crises. The IMF is now often at odds with some European leaders over key issues, undermining the notion that economic policy can be viewed […]

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    Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Do European governments call referendums on EU matters because contextual circumstances make them ‘politically obligatory’ or because ruling politicians believe they are the ‘appropriate’ decision-making mechanism? Aude Bicquelet-Lock and Helen Addison argue that, contrary to these suggested reasons, politicians have the freedom to choose whether and when to use referendums strategically to achieve their domestic and European policy objectives.

Posters […]

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    Book Review: Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU by Richard Youngs

Book Review: Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU by Richard Youngs

In Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU, Richard Youngs looks at the issue of democracy in Europe, identifying a crisis rooted in alienation from the prevailing model of integration and proposing new initiatives for democratic participation by citizens. While the book largely focuses on democracy on the supra-national level, which may overlook the need for improvement both nationally and sub-nationally, this […]

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    Eurorealist or Eurosceptic? Assessing the future of the European Conservatives and Reformists after 2019

Eurorealist or Eurosceptic? Assessing the future of the European Conservatives and Reformists after 2019

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are currently the third-largest group in the European Parliament, but with Brexit set to deprive the group of one of its largest members – the UK’s Conservative Party – there is uncertainty about the ECR’s future trajectory. Martin Steven writes that despite Brexit, there is every indication the ECR will continue after the […]

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