EU Politics

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    Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

The British government prizes the creative industries as a key part of the UK’s industrial strategy. Yet some of them depend on the Digital Single Market, which is jeopardised by Brexit. Alison Harcourt explains how sectors like broadcasting, online financial services and online gaming could be affected.

A key component of the EU’s Single Market is its Digital Single Market (DSM), […]

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    The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The so called ‘capital key’ used by the European Central Bank is due to be reviewed. Sebastian Diessner explains that while in the past this has been viewed as a largely technical process, this time around the issue will have heightened political significance for two reasons in particular: the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU, and the current stand-off […]

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    Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany has generally been credited with exercising a large degree of influence over the EU’s response to the euro crisis. But how accurate is this narrative in reality? Drawing on a new co-authored study focusing on key Eurozone reform proposals, Magnus Lundgren explains that the average negotiation success of states was surprisingly balanced. While the economic woes of the […]

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Italy rues the rules

On 21 November, the European Commission formally objected to Italy’s draft budget for 2019. But the Italian government refuses to compromise. Iain Begg explores what this stand-off might mean for the governance of the Eurozone.

The contest between the Italian government and the European Commission over the former’s budget plans for 2019 has highlighted an enduring problem in EU economic […]

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    Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Italy’s government and the European Commission continue to be locked in a standoff over the Italian budget. Corrado Macchiarelli writes that while the budget plan is badly designed and must be addressed, there is also clearly a need for euro area reforms and more mutual recognition. Ultimately the Economic and Monetary Union is facing a political problem and the […]

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    Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Both Greece and Ireland suffered substantially during the Eurozone crisis, but as Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes and Ana Lara Gómez write, the two countries’ treatment by the ‘Troika’ of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission was strikingly different. Drawing on new research, they explain that much of this stemmed from ideological reasons rather than economics: a far […]

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Germany’s non-rebalancing of its mercantilist model

In a recent blog article, Donato Di Carlo argued that Germany has ‘quietly rebalanced’ its economy since the Eurozone crisis began. Patrick Kaczmarczyk presents a different take on the topic, writing that when German policy is viewed from a more long-term perspective, there has been little in the way of meaningful rebalancing. He states that without necessary adjustments being […]

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    Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Party competition in the European Parliament has changed substantially in the aftermath of the Eurozone and migration crises. While the parliament was once characterised by a split between parties on the left and right, parties are also now sharply divided over their policies on immigration and European integration. Drawing on new research, Alexia Katsanidou and Zoe Lefkofridi illustrate how […]

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    From ‘Vincolo Esterno’ to ‘Nemico Esterno’: The disturbing new demonisation of the EU

From ‘Vincolo Esterno’ to ‘Nemico Esterno’: The disturbing new demonisation of the EU

The dispute between Italy and the European Commission over the Italian budget for 2019 illustrates a shift in how member states treat the obligations of EU membership. Iain Begg and Kevin Featherstone argue that instead of using pressure from Brussels to justify difficult policy measures, countries are now picking fights with the EU to boost their domestic political standing, thereby […]

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    The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is intended to provide finance and expertise for investment projects that further EU policy objectives. But as Daniel Mertens and Matthias Thiemann explain, a steady expansion of the bank’s operations over the last two decades has prompted greater political debate over its governance and activities. They highlight three recent developments that underline this politicisation […]

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    A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

Hungary is currently a net recipient of EU structural and cohesion funds, but as Anna Számely writes, the country’s recent record on key measures of development has been underwhelming. She identifies seven blockages in the chain of EU funding in Hungary that are presently acting as obstacles to effective investment.

As the EU’s next seven-year budget is negotiated for the […]

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    A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

The difficult process of negotiating the EU’s next seven-year budget covering the years 2021-27 is already under way. However, as Dimitar Lilkov writes, the negotiations may well prove more contentious than ever due to a proposal to allow the European Commission to suspend EU funding for states that threaten the rule of law.

Negotiating the next seven-year budget of the […]

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Explaining participation bias in EU online consultations

Consulting individuals and groups who might be affected by a new policy is one of the cornerstones of democratic decision-making. However, such consultations can often suffer from a participation bias if actors require large levels of funding or expertise to play an active role in the process. Drawing on evidence from a new study, Maiken Røed and Vibeke Wøien […]

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    The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Angelos Chryssogelos argues that although the vote has frequently been explained with reference to the internal politics of the European People’s Party, the issue said more about the shortcomings of the EU’s instruments for safeguarding liberal democracy.

Credit: © European Union 2018 […]

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Why did the EPP vote against Orbán?

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Fabio Wolkenstein explains that the European People’s Party (EPP) has faced a difficult balancing act in relation to Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party, with many EPP members critical of Fidesz, but the EPP itself relying on Fidesz MEPs for support […]

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    Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

A common criticism of Germany in the post-crisis period has been that its economy is unbalanced, with the country’s reluctance to increase public spending or reduce its large current account surplus being cited as problems for other Eurozone economies. Donato Di Carlo argues that this narrative entirely overlooks the extent to which the German economy has already gone through […]

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    EU investors vs EU states: Understanding the international arbitration of investment disputes in Europe

EU investors vs EU states: Understanding the international arbitration of investment disputes in Europe

The international arbitration of disputes between investors and states has been a controversial issue in Europe, notably in relation to trade deals such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But as Julian Donaubauer and Peter Nunnenkamp write, many commonly held beliefs about investor-state dispute settlements are potentially misguided: European investors appear to be more litigious than […]

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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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