EU Politics

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    What Germany’s grand coalition means for European defence and security

What Germany’s grand coalition means for European defence and security

Following months of coalition negotiations, a new German government has finally taken office. But what does the new government mean for the EU? Alessandra Pozzi Rocco writes that with her next term in power now secured, Merkel has the chance to craft EU history further, notably by forging ahead on common defence and security.

Credit: European Council President (CC BY-NC-ND […]

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    Instead of asking whether we need self-driving vehicles, why not ask whether we need cars at all?

Instead of asking whether we need self-driving vehicles, why not ask whether we need cars at all?

Self-driving cars are expected to provide a number of potential benefits, such as reducing road deaths, but the technology is still in its infancy and important questions remain over how policymakers should regulate their use. Robert Braun argues that when thinking about autonomous cars we should not ask questions simply about autonomous technology, but rather about the car itself. […]

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Greece’s clean exit: Politics vs economics

There seems to be a strong convergence of interests between the Greek government, the European Commission and Eurozone Member States (and the IMF): they all want a clean exit from the Third Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. Lorenzo Codogno explains that political motivations may well collide with the need to reduce risks and favour a smooth and successful return […]

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No longer a mancession: Getting Italian women out to work

Less than half of all working-age Italian women are in employment, with only South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Portugal and Turkey having a worse gender balance among OECD countries. Alessia Forti examines the obstacles that prevent women from entering the workforce in Italy and what can be done to redress the balance.

When the global economic crisis bit deep after 2008, […]

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The troubling transformation of the EU

Several leading European politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have recently spoken on the need to pursue an ambitious EU reform agenda. Hans Kundnani writes that the EU has already undergone a substantial transformation over the last decade, but that the trajectory of these changes should give cause for concern. He identifies the shift toward a more ‘German Europe’, […]

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Czech attitudes toward Europe: How likely is a Czexit?

The president and prime minister of the Czech Republic are both Eurosceptics, and there has been speculation that the country might follow the UK out of the EU. But, argues Benjamin Whitlock, this overlooks a long history of cultivating a ‘European’ Czech identity, in which the country and its predecessors are placed firmly in a European intellectual tradition. This contrasts […]

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The EU’s current problems are largely of its own making

European integration used to be a jewel in the liberal crown. Integration was not only seen as a quintessential liberal project, but also as a tool for spreading liberal values in Europe and beyond. How can we explain the dramatic decline in support for the Union? In an extract from his new book, Counter-Revolution, Jan Zielonka explores some of […]

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    Don’t put the blame on me: How different countries blamed different actors for the Eurozone crisis

Don’t put the blame on me: How different countries blamed different actors for the Eurozone crisis

Eight years since the Eurozone crisis began, there is still no agreement on a comprehensive set of reforms to the governance of the Eurozone. But why has such agreement been so hard to reach? Henrik Müller, Giuseppe Porcaro and Gerret von Nordheim suggest that part of the reason lies in the different narratives that have been expressed in each […]

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    Rethinking the governance of economic and monetary union: Should rules continue to rule?

Rethinking the governance of economic and monetary union: Should rules continue to rule?

Although the EU economy has returned to a period of stable growth since the Eurozone crisis, several key issues in the governance of economic and monetary union remain unresolved. Drawing on results from the Firstrun project, Iain Begg provides an overview of current concerns and outlines five recommendations to help further the debate.

The turbulent times of the last decade […]

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    Iceland alone and Latvia captured: The role of Sweden in the Icelandic and Latvian financial crises

Iceland alone and Latvia captured: The role of Sweden in the Icelandic and Latvian financial crises

Both Iceland and Latvia were severely hit by the late 2000s financial crisis. However, as Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson writes, Sweden did not suffer as serious a crisis despite its extensive banking interconnections in other Nordic and Baltic countries. He argues that Sweden effectively managed to ‘export’ its crisis to other states, and that given the continued vulnerability of the […]

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    It’s time for the EU to adapt its conflict prevention policy to climate change

It’s time for the EU to adapt its conflict prevention policy to climate change

In 2017, UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the international community to rethink its approach to peace and security, noting that more time and resources are spent responding to crises than preventing them. Constantin Gouvy highlights the role of climate change in exacerbating the factors that fuel conflicts, from competition for resources and sectarian divides to poor governance.

Credit: Max Pixel (CC0 Public Domain)
Over the […]

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    Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

The problems with forming a government after the 2017 German federal election have provided an opportunity for French President Emmanuel Macron to take the lead in outlining ambitious reforms for the European Union. Paul Schmidt assesses where Franco-German cooperation now stands, and how the next German government can continue to shape the direction of European integration.

Credit: European Council (CC […]

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    Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

While Brexit negotiations are beginning to progress, the European Parliament is preparing to vote on the possible reallocation of seats following the UK’s departure. With many of the current proposals reflecting Member States’ concerns about losing seats, Robert Kalcik, Nicolas Moes and Guntram B Woolf advocate for options that could better achieve equality of representation even within the constraints […]

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    The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

Does the European Parliament adequately represent the views of European citizens? Drawing on a recent study, Miriam Sorace illustrates that while the Parliament is often criticised for being too distant from its voters, it is far more representative of the views of voters than commonly thought. Nevertheless, a lack of information about European election campaigns, as well as a […]

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    Avoiding a nuclear meltdown: How we might resolve the Euratom question

Avoiding a nuclear meltdown: How we might resolve the Euratom question

David Davis has stated that although there is no ‘systematic impact assessment’ of Britain leaving the European Union, the UK government has produced a ‘sectoral analysis’ of several industries. Joshua McMullan writes that one sector where it would be wise to examine the impact of leaving without any negotiated arrangement would be the nuclear power industry as the UK leaves Euratom. […]

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    The macroeconomic consensus underpinning EMU is shifting. Could it pave the way for a completion of the Eurozone?

The macroeconomic consensus underpinning EMU is shifting. Could it pave the way for a completion of the Eurozone?

The Eurozone crisis prompted many observers to conclude that the Eurozone requires a banking and fiscal union to be considered ‘complete’. But realising these aims remains politically difficult and it is far from clear how agreement can be reached on the way forward. Sebastian Diessner argues that 2017 saw the first signs of a potential consensus emerging based on the […]

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    Britain’s insistence on impact assessments helped wrap Brussels in red tape

Britain’s insistence on impact assessments helped wrap Brussels in red tape

The much-anticipated Brexit impact assessments are rather less detailed than many expected them to be. Chris Kendall contrasts the Brexit secretary’s admission that he is ‘not a fan’ of them with the stringent approach the European Commission now takes to financial accountability. Indeed, it was the UK’s insistence on thorough impact assessments that helped to create a culture of propriety in Brussels. 

On […]

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    The pitfalls of pursuing economic resilience in the Eurozone

The pitfalls of pursuing economic resilience in the Eurozone

With the fallout from the Eurozone crisis still fresh in the minds of European leaders, several figures have emphasised the need to make Eurozone economies more ‘resilient’ to future economic shocks. But what does this mean in practice? Sotiria Theodoropoulou writes that focusing on economic resilience may offer a way forward for future reforms, but there is a danger […]

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    A fourth pillar for Europe’s banking union? The case for a pan-European asset management company in the Eurozone

A fourth pillar for Europe’s banking union? The case for a pan-European asset management company in the Eurozone

Although progress has been made in establishing a European banking union, the large stock of non-performing loans in the Eurozone banking sector still presents a major problem. Helen Louri writes that in addition to the ‘three pillars’ of the banking union that are already on the table – the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), Single Resolution Mechanism, and a European […]

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    The future of EU trade negotiations: What has been learned from CETA and TTIP?

The future of EU trade negotiations: What has been learned from CETA and TTIP?

What lessons have been drawn by the EU from the CETA and TTIP trade negotiations? Johan Adriaensen argues that the trade package contained in Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech presented a coherent vision for how EU trade negotiations could move forward, with avenues for discontent at future agreements to be channelled through representative institutions. However, implementing these […]

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