Chris Gilson and Stuart A Brown take a look at the week in Brussels blogging.
The EU Centre
The European Commission is currently running a public consultation on EU citizenship. Writing in relation to problems EU citizens may have travelling within the EU, Blogactiv.eu highlights some of the particular issues faced by same-sex couples. The article argues that because some countries, such as Poland, do not recognise same-sex couples as family members, there can, in practice, be limitations on their freedom of movement. Leire Ariz Sarasketa at Europe and Me takes an alternative slant on the citizenship theme by examining the nature of European identity and the potential for the EU to develop a sense of “European-ness” in its citizens.
Wyn Grant at Common Agricultural Policy looks at the complexity of the CAP in the lead up to its planned reform in 2014. MEPs tabled over 7,400 amendments to the proposed reform prior to going on holiday for the summer.
EU Foreign policy and the European neighbourhood
European Geostrategy has an interview with Daniel Keohane, head of strategic affairs at FRIDE, on European military power: “The last three years has seen a real downgrading of European Union defence policy, to the sad extent that it has almost disappeared as a policy option for European Union external action.”
At Blogactiv.eu, Europe of Human Rights looks at Russia’s ‘democratic regression’, and wonders if Europe should be willing to have such a neighbour in such close proximity.
The Euro Crisis
Open Europe assesses possible implications of the proposed European banking union on the UK. Although the proposal would benefit the UK in the sense that it might help alleviate the Eurozone crisis, the main risk in this reading is that the system has the potential to spill over into the running of the single market. The UK will need to be ‘creative’ if it wants to effectively defend its interests.
Jesus Gonzalez at blogactiv.eu has a slightly different take on the Eurozone crisis, arguing that what Europe is really facing is a chronic lack of ideas. While politicians pursue tried and tested responses, he argues, the weakening of democracy has closed off the path for new ideas to emerge from wider society. Meanwhile, Protesilaos Stavrou makes the case against the seemingly common view that the Euro is irreversible. Au Café de l’Europe, though, reckons that if countries such as Greece were to leave the Euro, then there would be severe economic and political costs for the remaining members, who would have to cope with falling exports as the Euro appreciated.
In a week where Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for ‘breathing space’ in meeting its reform targets, Blogactiv.eu’s Dimitris Rapidis looks at rumours that the Greek government and Brussels may be secretly preparing for a Euro-exit (Lost in EUrope reckons that Greece may be kicked out of the Euro come the autumn). Also commenting at Blogactiv.eu, Financialguy reckons that given the precarious nature of the Greek economy and the risks involved with investing, its current bond rate of 4.43 per cent is incredibly cheap, and that 40 per cent might be a more apt rate.
Craig Willy writes on the reaction to France’s first budget since the election of François Hollande as President. He argues that criticism of Hollande’s plan to increase taxation, rather than reduce public spending, is misguided: “So far, Hollande has invented “austerity for the rich,” and Western oligarchies beyond French borders are terrified that it might spread to them too.”
Bankwatch at Blogacvtiv.eu looks at potential corruption on the part of Slovenian business partners of Alstom that were also members of the commission to procure a new power plant in that country.
According to Croatia, the war and the future, that country’s President, Ivo Josipovic has no strategy to integrate Croatian Serbs into Croatian citizenship, and any of his present actions are simply designed to garner day-to-day headlines.
On Tuesday, Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled that the 29 July national referendum on the impeachment of President Traian Basescu had not had a great enough turnout to be binding. Monica Macovei says that now the ruling parties must recognise this, and ‘restore the rule of law’. Meanwhile, Rhein on Energy and Climate at Blogactiv.eu says that Romania must remain under EU surveillance to ensure its government complies with basic constitutional rights.
Lost in EUrope looks at the launch this week of the German ‘I want Europe’ campaign.
Open Europe looks at ahead to elections in the Netherlands in September.
Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.
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