EU Politics

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    Has the Western Balkans 6 process become a ‘surrogate for the real thing’?

Has the Western Balkans 6 process become a ‘surrogate for the real thing’?

On 12 July, EU leaders met with Prime Ministers of Balkan countries in the Italian city of Trieste. Tena Prelec gives a first-hand account, writing that the ‘Western Balkans 6’ (WB6) initiative – or ‘Berlin Process’ – has had the laudable effect of keeping some attention on the Western Balkans in years when the EU enlargement process was paused, […]

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    How structural reforms and European integration can help aid the convergence of Western Balkan states with the EU

How structural reforms and European integration can help aid the convergence of Western Balkan states with the EU

Six states in the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – have aspirations to join the European Union. These six states have implemented policies aimed at developing convergence with the EU in terms of their political systems, their economies, and their compatibility with EU law (the acquis communautaire). Fatmir Besimi presents a comprehensive […]

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    It’s education, stupid: How globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

It’s education, stupid: How globalisation has made education the new political cleavage in Europe

Several recent European elections, as well as the UK’s referendum on Brexit, have produced a clear split in voting choices between citizens with different levels of education. Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille argue that a new political cleavage in Europe has emerged between citizens with high levels of education and those with lower levels of educational attainment, with the […]

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    Free abortions in England will not remove the fundamental injustice Northern Irish women suffer

Free abortions in England will not remove the fundamental injustice Northern Irish women suffer

The government’s decision to finally allow Northern Irish women to have free NHS abortions in England is to be welcomed, writes Jennifer Thomson. Yet the move does not remove the more fundamental injustice of their situation, as it does not place these women on an equal footing with their English, Scottish and Welsh counterparts.
An announcement by Justine Greening, Minister […]

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    Europe’s legitimacy crisis isn’t just about identity, it’s about institutions

Europe’s legitimacy crisis isn’t just about identity, it’s about institutions

The UK’s decision to vote for Brexit has been viewed by many observers as proof that the European Union suffers from a deep crisis of legitimacy. As Matt Wood highlights, this crisis is often conceived of in identity terms, with a large number of EU citizens no longer feeling ‘European’ or identifying with the goals of European integration. However, he […]

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Reflecting on how to run €MU more effectively

The European Commission published a reflection paper at the end of May on deepening economic and monetary union. Iain Begg assesses the strategy for reform put forward, writing that the paper is relatively guarded and does not convey an explicit trajectory for the next stages of development of EMU governance. He argues that unless and until there is a […]

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    Italy versus Spain: Two measures for solving the same banking problem

Italy versus Spain: Two measures for solving the same banking problem

On 24 June, the Italian government announced that it would intervene in two banks, Veneto Banca and Banca Popolare di Vicenza. Both banks were to be wound down with each bank’s good assets being sold to the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group. Mara Monti compares the affair with the case of Spain’s Banco Popular, which was saved from collapse just a […]

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    Forget the record fine: The real impact of the Commission’s Google decision will be its effect on competition law

Forget the record fine: The real impact of the Commission’s Google decision will be its effect on competition law

On 27 June, the European Commission ruled that Google has been abusing its position by placing its own shopping comparison service at the top of search result pages. Carlos Arrebola highlights that although the record fine imposed on Google (2.42 billion euros) has dominated the media coverage of the case, the decision is far more important for its impact on […]

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    Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union: What the Commission missed in its reflection paper

Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union: What the Commission missed in its reflection paper

The European Commission published a reflection paper at the end of May on deepening economic and monetary union. Enrico Marelli and Marcello Signorelli present an analysis of the Commission’s proposals and respond to some of the paper’s key weaknesses in laying out a path for future reforms.

The European Commission’s recent reflection paper on deepening economic and monetary union raises several key […]

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    Beyond Brexit: How the OECD could replace the EU as a driver of UK public policy

Beyond Brexit: How the OECD could replace the EU as a driver of UK public policy

The EU has had a major role in shaping UK public policy since the country’s accession in 1973. Janice Morphet writes that with this influence set to end following Brexit, it is an open question as to how policy will be shaped in the UK in the years to come. She suggests that a different international organisation, the OECD, […]

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    Seizing the moment for euro area reform: A three-step action plan

Seizing the moment for euro area reform: A three-step action plan

On 31 May, the European Commission published a reflection paper on the deepening of the economic and monetary union. Henrik Enderlein, Enrico Letta and Aart De Geus outline proposals that they believe should have been contained in the paper. Their plan includes three key building blocks for a lasting and workable reform: a first aid kit, a structural reform […]

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    The European ideal has sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean with the migrants it rejects

The European ideal has sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean with the migrants it rejects

The EU prizes the freedom of movement its citizens enjoy. Yet this depends on securing ‘Fortress Europe’ against non-Europeans – including the thousands who drown trying to cross the Mediterranean. Claire Sutherland asks how the Union can tolerate squalid migrant camps that are, in the words of its own migration commissioner, ‘an insult to our values and civilisation’.

Credits: Rodrigo […]

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    Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

One of Emmanuel Macron’s first acts as French President was to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Julian Göpffarth writes that Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen was welcomed by both of Germany’s mainstream parties, albeit in different ways. But behind the warm words, his ambitious proposals for the Eurozone are bound to generate concerns among German politicians and both […]

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    The ‘last chance for social Europe’: The European Pillar of Social Rights can only work if integrated into the EU’s existing policies

The ‘last chance for social Europe’: The European Pillar of Social Rights can only work if integrated into the EU’s existing policies

The European Commission published its proposals for the creation of a European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) at the end of April. Eleanor Brooks writes that it will be crucial to ‘mainstream’ the EPSR by integrating it into the EU’s existing policies, while civil society organisations will need to be afforded a strong role in the Pillar’s implementation if it […]

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Why populism is a threat to electoral integrity

Following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, a great deal of political commentary has focused on the rise of populism and its possible impact on Western democracies. Pippa Norris argues that populism heightens the risk of electoral malpractice in three distinct ways: by damaging public trust in democracy, by undermining international standards of electoral integrity, and by […]

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Eurovision 2017 was remarkable for its lack of politics

The build up to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest was overshadowed by a dispute between Russia and Ukraine which resulted in Russia withdrawing from the event. Catherine Baker writes that despite this dispute, the show itself was largely free from the kind of political controversy that has emerged in previous years.

Credit: Федя Кузнецов (CC BY SA 4.0)
Eurovision 2017 was a […]

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Is this the end of the populist surge?

Following the UK’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President, 2017 was billed as a year in which mainstream parties in the Netherlands, France and Germany could be overtaken by populist challengers in the shape of Geert Wilders’ PVV, Marine Le Pen’s Front National, and the AfD in Germany. Abel Bojar asks whether the PVV’s failure in […]

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Historical amnesia is undermining European democracy

Survey evidence suggests there is growing nostalgia toward former authoritarian regimes in a number of European countries. Diego Rubio writes that a degree of historical amnesia is now apparent in European societies, with those individuals who are too young to remember the authoritarian regimes of the past showing more openness toward the creation of authoritarian-like regimes today. He argues […]

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Fishing quotas in Europe: Who gets the right to fish?

Under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, each Member State decides how to allocate its national fishing quota to its fishing fleet. Griffin Carpenter and Richard Kleinjans explain that many issues in fisheries policy are the result of these decisions around access and distribution, and there are ripe opportunities for reform.

Policy on fishing limits can be thought of in two parts: […]

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    Violence in the Macedonian parliament: What happened and how should the EU respond?

Violence in the Macedonian parliament: What happened and how should the EU respond?

Macedonia’s opposition leader, Zoran Zaev, was among a number of people injured after protesters stormed the country’s parliament building on 27 April and attacked MPs. Misha Popovikj argues that the violence, which emerged after Zaev attempted to form a new coalition that would have excluded the incumbent VMRO-DPMNE party, should be the final straw for the international community and […]

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