The EUROPP team take a look at the week in Brussels blogging

The EU centre and the crisis

On Tuesday, the Scottish government published its ‘White Paper’ on independence from the UK. With respect to an independent Scotland’s EU membership, Open Europe highlight some of the key issues that might be at stake, such as whether Scotland would continue to receive a rebate on its budget contributions. Stephen Tierney at the Future of the UK and Scotland blog also has an analysis of the White Paper’s policy on EU membership.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and UK Prime Minister David Cameron (Credit: Scottish Government, CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Elsewhere, Michel Rocard at Project Syndicate has an assessment of the French economy in light of the country’s credit rating being cut to AA by Standard & Poor’s earlier this month. Martin Feldstein, also takes issue with recent statements that Greece could post a balanced budget for 2013 as a whole.

Across Europe

This week saw former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi expelled from the Italian Senate following his conviction in a tax case in August. Charlemagne’s notebook writes that while Berlusconi may have been removed from parliament, it will take more than his expulsion to remove him from Italian politics. James Walston takes a similar view, labelling the situation Berlusconi’s ‘endless end game’ and noting that ‘even when it’s over, it won’t be over’.

Meanwhile, Lucy Kimbell writes at Policy Network on ‘innovative design-based’ approaches to public service management. This comes after the UK Cabinet Office put forward the idea of a ‘policy lab’ to help design public services.

The European neighbourhood

This week’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius ended without Ukraine signing an association agreement with the EU, following pressure from Russia. Eurosearch has an overview of the issue, alongside links to initial coverage at the end of the summit.

Elsewhere the Strategic Europe blog argues that the situation should not be seen as an EU foreign policy failure. They write that Russia’s intervention has demonstrated that ‘the only way it can succeed in its neighbourhood is not through the attractiveness of what it has to offer, but through blackmail and coercion’.

The other major story of the week was the E3+3 (the United Nations Security Council members plus Germany) agreement with Iran over nuclear weapons. The European Council on Foreign Relations has a detailed look at the implications of the agreement, including the future hurdles that will need to be overcome to build on the negotiations.

And finally…

For any tourists or Londoners with an interest in Europe, euonym.eu has compiled a map of European points of interest in London.

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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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