EU Politics

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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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    Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

The problems with forming a government after the 2017 German federal election have provided an opportunity for French President Emmanuel Macron to take the lead in outlining ambitious reforms for the European Union. Paul Schmidt assesses where Franco-German cooperation now stands, and how the next German government can continue to shape the direction of European integration.

Credit: European Council (CC […]

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    Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

While Brexit negotiations are beginning to progress, the European Parliament is preparing to vote on the possible reallocation of seats following the UK’s departure. With many of the current proposals reflecting Member States’ concerns about losing seats, Robert Kalcik, Nicolas Moes and Guntram B Woolf advocate for options that could better achieve equality of representation even within the constraints […]

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    The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

The European Parliament is more representative of European citizens than we give it credit for

Does the European Parliament adequately represent the views of European citizens? Drawing on a recent study, Miriam Sorace illustrates that while the Parliament is often criticised for being too distant from its voters, it is far more representative of the views of voters than commonly thought. Nevertheless, a lack of information about European election campaigns, as well as a […]

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    Avoiding a nuclear meltdown: How we might resolve the Euratom question

Avoiding a nuclear meltdown: How we might resolve the Euratom question

David Davis has stated that although there is no ‘systematic impact assessment’ of Britain leaving the European Union, the UK government has produced a ‘sectoral analysis’ of several industries. Joshua McMullan writes that one sector where it would be wise to examine the impact of leaving without any negotiated arrangement would be the nuclear power industry as the UK leaves Euratom. […]

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    The macroeconomic consensus underpinning EMU is shifting. Could it pave the way for a completion of the Eurozone?

The macroeconomic consensus underpinning EMU is shifting. Could it pave the way for a completion of the Eurozone?

The Eurozone crisis prompted many observers to conclude that the Eurozone requires a banking and fiscal union to be considered ‘complete’. But realising these aims remains politically difficult and it is far from clear how agreement can be reached on the way forward. Sebastian Diessner argues that 2017 saw the first signs of a potential consensus emerging based on the […]

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    Britain’s insistence on impact assessments helped wrap Brussels in red tape

Britain’s insistence on impact assessments helped wrap Brussels in red tape

The much-anticipated Brexit impact assessments are rather less detailed than many expected them to be. Chris Kendall contrasts the Brexit secretary’s admission that he is ‘not a fan’ of them with the stringent approach the European Commission now takes to financial accountability. Indeed, it was the UK’s insistence on thorough impact assessments that helped to create a culture of propriety in Brussels. 

On […]

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    The pitfalls of pursuing economic resilience in the Eurozone

The pitfalls of pursuing economic resilience in the Eurozone

With the fallout from the Eurozone crisis still fresh in the minds of European leaders, several figures have emphasised the need to make Eurozone economies more ‘resilient’ to future economic shocks. But what does this mean in practice? Sotiria Theodoropoulou writes that focusing on economic resilience may offer a way forward for future reforms, but there is a danger […]

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    A fourth pillar for Europe’s banking union? The case for a pan-European asset management company in the Eurozone

A fourth pillar for Europe’s banking union? The case for a pan-European asset management company in the Eurozone

Although progress has been made in establishing a European banking union, the large stock of non-performing loans in the Eurozone banking sector still presents a major problem. Helen Louri writes that in addition to the ‘three pillars’ of the banking union that are already on the table – the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), Single Resolution Mechanism, and a European […]

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    The future of EU trade negotiations: What has been learned from CETA and TTIP?

The future of EU trade negotiations: What has been learned from CETA and TTIP?

What lessons have been drawn by the EU from the CETA and TTIP trade negotiations? Johan Adriaensen argues that the trade package contained in Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech presented a coherent vision for how EU trade negotiations could move forward, with avenues for discontent at future agreements to be channelled through representative institutions. However, implementing these […]

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    Social summit preview: Can the European Pillar of Social Rights deliver on its promises?

Social summit preview: Can the European Pillar of Social Rights deliver on its promises?

A special ‘Social Summit’ is due to be held in Gothenburg on 17 November, where details of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are expected to be announced. Ahead of the summit, Zane Rasnača suggests a few ways in which the EPSR could move beyond soft law to become something more hard-hitting and effective.

The events surrounding the European Pillar […]

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    The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

The European Pillar of Social Rights in historical perspective

A special ‘Social Summit’ is due to be held in Gothenburg on 17 November, where details of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) are expected to be announced. Philippe Pochet of the European Trade Union Institute has some advice for the European Union as it mounts one of its periodic attempts to recast its Social Union. He urges the EU to rebalance […]

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    COP23: Introducing a new toolkit to help support the Paris Agreement

COP23: Introducing a new toolkit to help support the Paris Agreement

From 6-17 November, representatives from around the world are meeting in Bonn to discuss climate change at the 23rd ‘conference of the parties’ (COP23) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Steven Malby introduces a new Law and Climate Change Toolkit developed as a global resource for legal policy makers responsible for climate change policies.

Credit: Jondaar_1 (CC BY […]

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    Changing policies, changing minds: Using public policy to transform gender stereotypes

Changing policies, changing minds: Using public policy to transform gender stereotypes

Efforts to promote gender equality often focus on the workplace and the pay gap between men and women, but as Valerie Frey and Francesca Borgonovi write, gender stereotypes can also perpetuate inequality at home. They highlight imbalances in care-giving and housework between men and women, and suggest that priority should be given to policy initiatives, such as paternity leave […]

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Europe’s Banking Union: What progress has been made?

The creation of a European Banking Union was seen as one of the key responses to the Eurozone crisis. But despite being agreed in 2012, the banking union remains incomplete. Tobias Tesche assesses the progress that has been made so far, writing that the banking union has so far failed to deliver on its promises.

Frankfurt skyline, Credit: Frank Friedrichs […]

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Why it’s not so simple to make the EU simpler

The EU’s institutional architecture is often regarded as being too complex for citizens to properly engage with, and both Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron have recently proposed some form of simplification such as merging the President of the European Commission with the President of the European Council, or reducing the size of the European Commission. Dimiter Toshkov argues that […]

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What a Jamaica coalition could mean for Eurozone reform

Negotiations are continuing between German parties over the formation of the country’s next government. While there has been speculation that talks could drag on as late as next year, the most likely outcome remains a ‘Jamaica coalition’ between Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the liberal FDP, and the Greens. John Ryan outlines why a Jamaica coalition could make Eurozone reform less […]

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    Assessing the EU’s role in the struggle for gender equality

Assessing the EU’s role in the struggle for gender equality

The EU is committed to promoting gender equality across the world, but how effective are these efforts in non-EU countries? Presenting evidence from a new study of public opinion in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Douglas Page illustrates that the EU’s attempts to promote gender equality can have a potentially polarising effect on public opinion. He writes that the best strategy […]

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