EU Politics

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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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    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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Europe’s Banking Union: What progress has been made?

The creation of a European Banking Union was seen as one of the key responses to the Eurozone crisis. But despite being agreed in 2012, the banking union remains incomplete. Tobias Tesche assesses the progress that has been made so far, writing that the banking union has so far failed to deliver on its promises.

Frankfurt skyline, Credit: Frank Friedrichs […]

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Why it’s not so simple to make the EU simpler

The EU’s institutional architecture is often regarded as being too complex for citizens to properly engage with, and both Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron have recently proposed some form of simplification such as merging the President of the European Commission with the President of the European Council, or reducing the size of the European Commission. Dimiter Toshkov argues that […]

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What a Jamaica coalition could mean for Eurozone reform

Negotiations are continuing between German parties over the formation of the country’s next government. While there has been speculation that talks could drag on as late as next year, the most likely outcome remains a ‘Jamaica coalition’ between Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the liberal FDP, and the Greens. John Ryan outlines why a Jamaica coalition could make Eurozone reform less […]

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    Assessing the EU’s role in the struggle for gender equality

Assessing the EU’s role in the struggle for gender equality

The EU is committed to promoting gender equality across the world, but how effective are these efforts in non-EU countries? Presenting evidence from a new study of public opinion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Douglas Page illustrates that the EU’s attempts to promote gender equality can have a potentially polarising effect on public opinion. He writes that the best strategy […]

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    Assessing the impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme on SMEs

Assessing the impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme on SMEs

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council is due to hold a policy meeting on 26 October, with many observers anticipating there could be a change to the ECB’s monetary stimulus programme. Corrado Macchiarelli, Mara Monti and Andrea Vedolin examine some of the measures that should be considered as the ECB looks to respond to changing conditions in the euro […]

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    Juncker’s State of the Union: Where now for multispeed Europe?

Juncker’s State of the Union: Where now for multispeed Europe?

In his annual State of the Union speech, delivered on 13 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker voiced criticism of the principle of ‘multispeed Europe’, under which some countries within the EU engage in integration at a faster pace than others. Pol Morillas argues that while it is reasonable for the Commission to try and avoid any kind of […]

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    A third way? Why Poland needs an alternative to right-wing populism and western liberalism

A third way? Why Poland needs an alternative to right-wing populism and western liberalism

The Polish government has endured a tense relationship with the EU’s institutions since coming to power in 2015, yet the ruling Law and Justice party still maintains a comfortable lead in recent opinion polls. Kasia Narkowicz argues that deficiencies in both the government and the opposition mean there is a need to foster a third space in Poland: one […]

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    How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

The European Union has always sought to portray itself as having a distinct identity built on a set of values. But how is this identity constructed through the EU’s treaties? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav decipher the ways in which the EU’s discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of European integration. They show that two values have traditionally dominated the […]

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Should the EU be concerned about a possible ‘Polexit’?

The Polish government has come into conflict with the EU’s institutions on several fronts, notably over judicial reforms and the relocation of refugees during the migration crisis. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that although opponents of the government accuse it of undermining the country’s ties with the EU, its supporters argue that the ruling party is committed to defending national interests […]

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    Why a basic income alone will not be a panacea to social insecurity

Why a basic income alone will not be a panacea to social insecurity

At the start of this year, Finland began a trial of a ‘universal basic income’ system, under which 2,000 individuals who were receiving welfare were selected to receive a guaranteed monthly income of 560 euros over the next two years. But can basic income systems really address problems of social insecurity? Neil Warner, Frederick Harry Pitts, and Lorena Lombardozzi explain […]

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    Macron gambles on reducing unemployment through greater flexibility for employers

Macron gambles on reducing unemployment through greater flexibility for employers

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to reform France’s labour market regulations, but his proposals have been met with opposition from some political figures and trade unions. Nick Parsons explains that against the backdrop of falling popularity, Macron is essentially gambling that by giving employers greater flexibility, he can push down the country’s unemployment rate.

Credit: European Council (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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    Four lessons that Italy’s experience with populism can provide for the rest of Europe

Four lessons that Italy’s experience with populism can provide for the rest of Europe

While the rise of populism in Europe is often viewed as a recent phenomenon, Italy’s experience with populist parties stretches back several decades. Giuliano Bobba draws on developments in Italy to isolate four key implications that populist parties can have for democracy. He argues that although the nature of populism might differ from party to party, populist politicians should […]

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    The Brexit talks aren’t just about power, they’re about legitimacy – and the UK urgently needs a vision for the future

The Brexit talks aren’t just about power, they’re about legitimacy – and the UK urgently needs a vision for the future

Coverage of the Brexit negotiations often focuses on the relative bargaining power of the UK and the EU as they seek to reach a new agreement following Britain’s withdrawal. Andrew Glencross highlights that although bargaining power is central to the negotiations, power is a function of legitimacy, and if the UK is to reach a genuinely good Brexit deal it will have […]

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    The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

The EU isn’t protectionist – it’s one of the most open economies in the world

US President Donald Trump recently criticised the EU for being protectionist, and several political figures in the UK have suggested that Brexit will allow the country to remove protectionist tariffs and regulations to boost trade. But how accurate is this claim in reality? Using data on various aspects of trade, Mark Manger and Atom Vayalinkal argue that the EU […]

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    Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

Turkey-EU accession talks: Sadly, the status quo is the best we have

In a non-binding vote on 6 July, the European Parliament called for the suspension of EU accession talks with Turkey if it fully implements proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers. Dimitar Bechev states that the reality is Turkey’s membership talks have already failed, but the EU’s best strategy is nevertheless to preserve the status […]

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    How business lobbyists thrive in the EU’s depoliticised media world

How business lobbyists thrive in the EU’s depoliticised media world

The EU policy process is often criticised for being distant from its citizens. As Iskander De Bruycker writes, part of this criticism is rooted in a lack of media coverage of EU legislative decision-making. Drawing on a recent study, he illustrates that the extent to which politicians in Brussels address citizens’ interests in the media over a particular piece […]

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Five views: Is populism really a threat to democracy?

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election, the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and the rise of anti-establishment parties across Europe have prompted discussions over the role of ‘populism’ in modern politics. But is populism really a threat to democracy or is the term simply used by mainstream politicians to dismiss the legitimate concerns of citizens? […]

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