EU Politics

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    Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Several politicians across Europe have voiced concern about academic freedom in Hungary following the passing of legislation that threatens the country’s Central European University. But do the EU’s institutions have any authority to act over the affair? Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon argue that a university coming under attack in an EU member state marks a critical moment, and […]

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    The European Union has an obligation to protect civil society in Hungary

The European Union has an obligation to protect civil society in Hungary

New rules affecting the Central European University in Budapest have been criticised by several prominent figures in the EU and United States. Andrea Fumarola writes that the actions of the Hungarian government have been motivated in part by a desire to solidify their support base ahead of elections in 2018, and that the EU has an obligation to make its […]

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    Losing the Central European University would be a tragedy for Hungarian public life

Losing the Central European University would be a tragedy for Hungarian public life

Protests took place in Hungary on 9 April in support of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, which is under threat of closure due to new rules passed by the Hungarian Parliament. Michael Stewart argues that the government’s actions reflect Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s personal and ideological antipathy toward CEU’s founder, George Soros, and that the closure of […]

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    Finally, some good economic news from the Eurozone – but will it last?

Finally, some good economic news from the Eurozone – but will it last?

Eurostat figures released at the start of April show the Eurozone unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level for almost eight years. Harald Sander writes that there are now some solid grounds for optimism about the Eurozone economy, but that after nine years of economic struggles, a great deal more needs to be done to redress the damage from […]

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    The European Citizens’ Initiative is five years old – and it has been no step forward for EU democracy

The European Citizens’ Initiative is five years old – and it has been no step forward for EU democracy

Despite the high hopes of its proponents, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has not alleviated the “democratic deficit” of the European Union, writes Manès Weisskircher. He highlights that even the three campaigns that managed to collect the required one million signatures could not reach their political goals, with the European Commission deciding against further legislative action. He argues that […]

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    The EU at 60: Why there is hope the future will be brighter than many expect

The EU at 60: Why there is hope the future will be brighter than many expect

The European Union is marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which was signed on 25 March 1957. But given the UK’s decision to leave the EU and rising scepticism in many European countries, is there a bleak future for the integration process? Roland Benedikter and Ireneusz Pawel Karolewski argue that the EU is in a significantly […]

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    The Troika gave Ireland more autonomy over social security cuts than is commonly recognised

The Troika gave Ireland more autonomy over social security cuts than is commonly recognised

The so called ‘Troika’ of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund was frequently criticised during the Eurozone crisis on the basis that it had imposed austerity on countries requiring a bailout. But how accurate was this picture in reality? Drawing on new research in Ireland, Rod Hick writes that the nature of Troika supervision […]

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    The High Representative’s ‘double hat’: How Mogherini and Ashton have differed in their links with the Commission

The High Representative’s ‘double hat’: How Mogherini and Ashton have differed in their links with the Commission

Federica Mogherini took over from Catherine Ashton as the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in November 2014. But how have the two High Representatives differed in their approach? Based on a quantitative analysis of both of their speeches and statements, Nicolai von Ondarza and Ronja Scheler illustrate that Mogherini has been much […]

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    The EU’s new white paper underlines why Europe needs to be more open to its citizens

The EU’s new white paper underlines why Europe needs to be more open to its citizens

At the start of March, the European Commission published a white paper ‘On the Future of Europe’. Vivien Schmidt and Matt Wood assess the Commission’s proposals, arguing that while the paper’s focus on differentiated integration is pragmatically useful under the current circumstances, this strategy could exacerbate distrust in the EU if it is not accompanied by greater accountability and […]

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    The Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe – a case of what might have been…

The Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe – a case of what might have been…

The European Commission has published a ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’ ahead of the Rome Summit schedule for 25 March. According to Iain Begg, the main contribution of the paper may be to push the EU27 to accept the reality of an EU without the UK, but in doing so it sets out scenarios that, had they been […]

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    What conspiracy theories can tell us about politics in Greece

What conspiracy theories can tell us about politics in Greece

Conspiracy theories are a feature of political discourse in many countries across Europe, but what do they tell us about the nature of European politics? Alexis Papazoglou writes on the case of Greece, reasoning that conspiracy theories flourish where there is a lack of trust in politicians, and that the growth of populist politics is potentially pushing citizens toward […]

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    Assessing the EU’s global climate change leadership: From Copenhagen to the Paris agreement

Assessing the EU’s global climate change leadership: From Copenhagen to the Paris agreement

The EU has attempted to take a leading role in climate negotiations, but how effective has it been in shaping agreements? Charles F. Parker and Christer Karlsson present survey evidence from eight climate summits leading up to the Paris agreement in 2015. They highlight that although the EU’s perception of itself as a world leader was not shared to […]

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Italexit is not a solution for Italy’s problems

Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement riding high in the polls in Italy has led to speculation over the prospect of the country leaving the euro. Lorenzo Codogno and Giampaolo Galli argue that an ‘Italexit’ would be a catastrophic scenario, with incommensurable economic, social, and political costs lasting for many years. They note that redenomination, and a likely default on debt […]

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Don’t give up on Europe as an investment destination

Politically, the year 2017 looks like a minefield for Europe. Economically, however, the situation is much more promising: growth and inflation continue to accelerate and in the latest indices of economic surprises Europe has been faring better than the US, writes Alberto Gallo. ECB stimulus is starting to work, unemployment is slowly falling and consumer confidence is rising.

“Europe is […]

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    Is EU free movement a curse or a blessing? The case of Austria

Is EU free movement a curse or a blessing? The case of Austria

Austria’s government has recently raised the prospect of altering employment rules to ensure workers already in the country are given priority for new jobs over workers in other EU states. Paul Schmidt writes that while immigration to Austria has risen rapidly over the last decade, the country still benefits from free movement, and increasing economic convergence within the EU […]

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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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