EU Politics

Italy’s struggle with the euro straitjacket

Paolo Gentiloni took over from Matteo Renzi as Italian Prime Minister in December, but the country’s politics remain volatile amid infighting within Renzi’s Democratic Party and calls from the Five Star Movement for a referendum on Italy leaving the euro. Miguel Otero-Iglesias highlights the widespread anger some voters feel toward the EU and Germany, but suggests that even if Grillo […]

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    Upwards convergence: Why wage growth should be a priority for central and eastern Europe

Upwards convergence: Why wage growth should be a priority for central and eastern Europe

Wages vary significantly across European countries, but would increasing wages to create more convergence in pay levels have a damaging impact on competitiveness? Drawing on the examples of the Czech Republic, Germany and Romania, Martin Myant argues that there is scope for raising wages in central and eastern European countries to draw closer to western European levels without generating […]

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    What is new and what is nationalist about Europe’s ‘new nationalism’?

What is new and what is nationalist about Europe’s ‘new nationalism’?

The success of several new parties with a broadly nationalist agenda has prompted some authors to speak of the rise of a ‘new nationalism’ in European politics. But what is new and what is nationalist about Europe’s ‘new nationalism’? Daphne Halikiopoulou argues that while the rhetoric of these parties is indeed centred on nationalism, the drivers of support are […]

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    What French philosophy can tell us about the EU, nationhood, and the decline of social democracy

What French philosophy can tell us about the EU, nationhood, and the decline of social democracy

French philosophers have written widely on contemporary European problems, but their work has often had limited impact in the English-speaking world. Tom Angier highlights the contribution of Pierre Manent in capturing the challenges at the heart of the integration process, as well as the need for social democrats to rehabilitate and reinvigorate the idea of nationhood if they are […]

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    Italy’s migration crisis is a clear threat to European unity

Italy’s migration crisis is a clear threat to European unity

While the migration crisis has eased in other EU countries such as Greece, Italy’s coastline remains an entrance point for irregular migration. Roland Benedikter and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski track Italy’s attempts to deal with the problem. They argue that the absence of solidarity from the rest of the EU is fostering Euroscepticism and that it would be in the […]

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    Europe’s centre-left risks irrelevance if it can’t respond to the populist challenge

Europe’s centre-left risks irrelevance if it can’t respond to the populist challenge

Several of Europe’s centre-left parties have suffered disappointing election results since the financial crisis, but is this slide in support permanent or can they arrest their decline? Sheri Berman writes that with the rise of new parties on the populist right, the centre-left risks sliding into irrelevance unless it can respond with viable and attractive solutions to contemporary problems.

Leaders […]

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    The election of Antonio Tajani as EP President: A backroom deal that creates clarity

The election of Antonio Tajani as EP President: A backroom deal that creates clarity

On 17 January, Antonio Tajani took over as the new President of the European Parliament. Christophe Crombez argues that while Tajani’s election has been portrayed by some observers as another EU backroom deal, the developments that led to his appointment lay the groundwork for more clearly defined policy choices to be presented to voters at the 2019 European Parliament […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights: What is being proposed and the challenges ahead

The European Pillar of Social Rights: What is being proposed and the challenges ahead

In spring 2016, the European Commission outlined some core principles for the creation of a new European Pillar of Social Rights. Zane Rasnača assesses what we know about the framework so far and some of the challenges that lie ahead in putting it into practice.

For those working on social policy and labour matters in the EU, the ‘European Pillar […]

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    Is Italy’s recent support to its banks the start of a new wave of public intervention in the EU?

Is Italy’s recent support to its banks the start of a new wave of public intervention in the EU?

The banking crisis in Europe has three distinct legs according to Lorenzo Codogno and Mara Monti. The first leg was purely financial contagion from the sub-prime crisis in the US to toxic assets held in bank portfolios in Europe, while the second wave was equally intense, amid the negative feedback loop between banks and sovereigns. The third wave is […]

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    Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

On 9 January, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe rejected a request from Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) to join the group in the European Parliament. Daniele Albertazzi states that although the incident constituted an embarrassment for the M5S at the European level, a far more pressing priority for the party will be to ensure it can […]

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Look ahead to 2017: A potential Cyprus settlement?

To mark the end of the year, we’ve asked our contributors to preview some of the possible stories of 2017. In this contribution, James Ker-Lindsay writes on the potential for a settlement to be agreed in Cyprus by the summer.

After a turbulent 2016, Cyprus may prove to be an early bright spot in 2017. For the past two years, […]

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Experts react: EU Enlargement and EU progress reports 2016

What does the future hold for EU Enlargement? Our contributors reflect on this year’s European Commission reports on the progress achieved by EU candidate and potential candidate countries, framing it within the wider political and economic context of each country. (If you are interested in how this compares to last year’s reports, the 2015 expert reactions are available here).

Eli […]

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    Thursday’s European Council demonstrated the UK’s isolation in Brussels

Thursday’s European Council demonstrated the UK’s isolation in Brussels

On 15 December, Theresa May travelled to Brussels for a European Council meeting. Simon Usherwood writes that although Brexit was briefly discussed, the meeting highlighted the extent to which the rest of the EU have moved on from treating the UK as an equal partner, and that the flipside of taking back control from the EU is that the […]

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    Stop the drama: Italy’s referendum outcome will not lead to the break-up of the EU

Stop the drama: Italy’s referendum outcome will not lead to the break-up of the EU

In the aftermath of Italy’s referendum and of Matteo Renzi’s resignation, a new government has taken office in Italy, led by former FM Paolo Gentiloni. What does the future hold for Italy and for the EU? Reflecting on media coverage of the referendum, Daniele Albertazzi takes issue with the hyperbole that has characterised much of the commentary, arguing that in spite of […]

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    Trump’s election victory offers a clear opportunity for EU defence policy

Trump’s election victory offers a clear opportunity for EU defence policy

Several commentators in Europe have raised concerns that Donald Trump’s presidential election victory could undermine NATO and damage European security and defence. Antonio Calcara writes that while these concerns may be valid, Trump’s election also presents a key opportunity to strengthen EU defence policy. He argues that this should be achieved not through large-scale political integration, but instead by […]

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How far should we push globalisation?

From Brexit to the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, it has become common to speak of citizens turning against globalisation. But does popular opposition to globalisation justify rolling back on processes aimed at facilitating free trade? Paul De Grauwe argues that free trade has generated substantial benefits for a large number of people across the world, but at present […]

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    European Works Councils: An experiment in workplace democracy which remains more relevant than ever

European Works Councils: An experiment in workplace democracy which remains more relevant than ever

Many businesses operate across a number of different European countries, but the multinational nature of these businesses can make it difficult for workers to be adequately represented in company decision-making. As a way to alleviate this problem, so called European Works Councils have been created to enable workers’ representatives to play a role in managerial decisions at the European […]

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    Austrian Euroscepticism has grown markedly, but voters still show little support for leaving the EU

Austrian Euroscepticism has grown markedly, but voters still show little support for leaving the EU

Austria is often cited as an EU state that could potentially follow the UK in holding a referendum on EU membership, but how have attitudes toward the EU changed in the country over recent years? Paul Schmidt states that while there remains a consistent majority among Austrian citizens for staying in the EU, criticism of European policymaking has increased […]

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    South Tyrol’s Autonomy Convention is not a breakthrough for participatory democracy – but it shows how power-sharing can transform conflicts

South Tyrol’s Autonomy Convention is not a breakthrough for participatory democracy – but it shows how power-sharing can transform conflicts

The province of South Tyrol experienced violent unrest in the post-war period, before being granted autonomous status within Italy in 1972. As Stephen J. Larin and Marc Röggla note, the province is currently debating the revision of its 1972 agreement by holding an ‘Autonomy Convention’. They argue that although the ability of citizens to participate in this process has been […]

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    The victory of abortion rights protesters in Poland is likely to be short lived

The victory of abortion rights protesters in Poland is likely to be short lived

A proposal to increase restrictions on abortion in Poland generated several large protests across the country in early October, with the proposal ultimately being voted down in parliament. Magdalena Mikulak argues that despite the apparent victory of the protesters, it remains likely that the government will nevertheless push for new restrictions on abortion.

On 3 October, more than 100,000 people […]

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