EU Politics

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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    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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