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

The EU centre and the crisis

Following the coalition agreement negotiated between the CDU/CSU and the SPD in Germany, the European Council on Foreign Relations provides an overview of what the agreement might mean for the rest of the Eurozone. Julian Priestley also writes at Policy Network on the agreement, arguing that it is the first step in a rebalancing of the European economy.

Ukraine protest

Credit: Ryan Anderson (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Open Europe discuss a recent cross-border poll on attitudes toward the EU in France, Germany, Poland, and the UK. They write that the UK is unique among these countries in that a majority of citizens do not view their country as being European.

Elsewhere, Caspar van den Berg at eurosearch compares the lack of a common identity among EU citizens with the situation in the United States. He argues that the US is far more regionally-oriented than is commonly recognised, and that strong national identities in Europe do not necessarily preclude support for European integration.

Across Europe

Charlemagne’s notebook has a discussion of changing attitudes toward prostitution in France, following a recent law that has been passed to make it a crime for individuals to pay for sex.

In the midst of ongoing coalition talks among Czech political parties, Jan Hornat at Open Democracy comments on the role of Andrej Babis, the second richest man in the country and leader of the ANO party, and his potential bid for the position of Minister of Finance.

Elsewhere, Simon Wren-Lewis at Mainly Macro uses the Netherland’s recent downgrade by S&P as a starting point for a comment on the vicious circle of austerity measures and their effects on growth and unemployment. He concludes that politicians in Europe need to simultaneously break free from the austerity trap.

The European neighbourhood

Last week, Ukraine opted against signing an association agreement with the EU, following pressure from Russia. Judy Dempsey at the Strategic Europe blog writes that the EU should not give up hope of bringing Ukraine back to the table, as pro-EU protests in Ukraine have demonstrated the depth of feeling among Ukrainian citizens.

The Monkey Cage follows the protests in Kiev and maps protestors’ use of facebook and twitter. Looking at the relationship between social media and protest, they confirm the use of social media as an important strategic tool, which at the same time attracts new users to online communication platforms.

Looking back at the deal reached in November between Iran and the E3+3 powers (UK, France, Germany, the US, Russia, and China), Alexander Kouttab at the European Council on Foreign Relations considers the agreement’s implications for Turkish foreign policy.

And finally…

We are invited to a real-time simulation that could shape the UK’s European future! Open Europe will be hosting a ‘war game’ in London on Wednesday 11 December, framed around the renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership.

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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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