EU Politics

Colliding worlds: Donald Trump and the European Union

Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU states has raised fears of a trade war developing. Michael Cottakis writes that the dispute not only reflects a difference in approaches to trade, but a clash of two world views. He argues that a rupture between the EU and the US would represent a death knell for […]

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We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians […]

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    Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank was established 20 years ago today on 1 June 1998. To mark the anniversary, we asked five academics to give their views on the lessons learned from two decades of the ECB, and their predictions on what might lie in store for both the ECB and the euro over the next 20 years.

Paul De […]

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The death of ‘business as usual’ in the EU

European integration was once thought of as a largely technocratic process built around consensus, but the last decade has seen the work of the EU’s institutions become heavily politicised. Presenting evidence from a new study, Reinout van der Veer highlights just how pervasive the effect of this politicisation has been.

Our post-Brexit era makes it hard to imagine that there […]

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    IMF ‘doves’ versus German ‘hawks’? The Fund and Europe’s politics of austerity

IMF ‘doves’ versus German ‘hawks’? The Fund and Europe’s politics of austerity

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a major role in promoting ‘sound’ economic policies. But as Ben Clift writes, there have been important evolutions in the IMF’s economic ideas since the global financial and Eurozone crises. The IMF is now often at odds with some European leaders over key issues, undermining the notion that economic policy can be viewed […]

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    Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Do European governments call referendums on EU matters because contextual circumstances make them ‘politically obligatory’ or because ruling politicians believe they are the ‘appropriate’ decision-making mechanism? Aude Bicquelet-Lock and Helen Addison argue that, contrary to these suggested reasons, politicians have the freedom to choose whether and when to use referendums strategically to achieve their domestic and European policy objectives.

Posters […]

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    Book Review: Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU by Richard Youngs

Book Review: Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU by Richard Youngs

In Europe Reset: New Directions for the EU, Richard Youngs looks at the issue of democracy in Europe, identifying a crisis rooted in alienation from the prevailing model of integration and proposing new initiatives for democratic participation by citizens. While the book largely focuses on democracy on the supra-national level, which may overlook the need for improvement both nationally and sub-nationally, this […]

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    Eurorealist or Eurosceptic? Assessing the future of the European Conservatives and Reformists after 2019

Eurorealist or Eurosceptic? Assessing the future of the European Conservatives and Reformists after 2019

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) are currently the third-largest group in the European Parliament, but with Brexit set to deprive the group of one of its largest members – the UK’s Conservative Party – there is uncertainty about the ECR’s future trajectory. Martin Steven writes that despite Brexit, there is every indication the ECR will continue after the […]

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    What the European Commission’s 2018 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

What the European Commission’s 2018 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

The European Commission recently published its annual reports on six EU candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans. Blerim Vela examines what the reports had to say about national parliaments in the region. He notes that several of the parliaments have experienced opposition boycotts and disruption in recent years, underlining the challenges associated with ensuring parliamentary procedures […]

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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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