EU Politics

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    Political conflicts in the ECB: How national battles play out behind closed doors

Political conflicts in the ECB: How national battles play out behind closed doors

The European Central Bank has traditionally presented itself as pursuing a ‘consensual’ approach in which members of the Governing Council work together to reach decisions. Yet as Manuela Moschella explains, this does not mean the institution has been free from conflict behind closed doors. Drawing on a new study, she illustrates some of the key factors that drive disagreements […]

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    How advertising on social media can help boost support for European integration

How advertising on social media can help boost support for European integration

The European Parliament has produced a series of videos to inform European citizens about the benefits of European integration. But do campaigns like this have a real impact on public support? Enrique Hernández and Roberto Pannico present findings from a new study which showed two of the videos to citizens in Spain. They found that participants who watched the […]

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What are the prospects for the European Green Deal?

At the end of 2019, the European Commission announced a ‘Green Deal’ for Europe. Marco Siddi assesses the progress that has been made so far and highlights some of the potential legal, economic and policy challenges the Green Deal will have to overcome to be successful.

While Europe loosens Covid-19-related restrictions, the European Commission has stated that the post-pandemic recovery […]

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    The EU’s Green Deal may not be enough to reach the Paris climate goals

The EU’s Green Deal may not be enough to reach the Paris climate goals

At the end of 2019, the European Commission announced a ‘Green Deal’ for Europe. Vanessa Buth argues that the current strategy is unlikely to be enough to reach the goals set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.

The EU’s Green Deal, which was proposed by the European Commission in December 2019, is a roadmap for how to reach the newly […]

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The Eurogroup: No longer ‘jobs for the boys’?

The Eurogroup is due to appoint a new President, with Spanish finance minister Nadia Calviño viewed as the favourite to take over from outgoing President Mário Centeno. Iain Begg explains that if Calviño is successful, it would be a notable step for gender equality. However, the decision will also be a litmus test for the direction the EU takes […]

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Germany’s heavy burden

Germany will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union today. Nele Marianne Ewers-Peters writes that the country will face the unenviable task of attempting to chart a path of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, while also addressing the numerous other issues and commitments confronting the EU’s member states.

As Germany takes over the presidency of the […]

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    Book Review: re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe by Floris de Witte

Book Review: re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe by Floris de Witte

In re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe, Floris de Witte sets out a vision for another Europe, one that breaks with the purely technocratic management of European affairs, one that listens to its public and is sensitive to its younger generation. While questioning whether EU leaders would accept such radical change, Simeon Mitropolitski welcomes the call to reform the European Union through cherishing […]

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    How European integration affects blame games in national politics

How European integration affects blame games in national politics

When things go wrong, governments frequently attempt to deflect the blame by shifting it onto other actors, such as previous administrations. However, as Tim Heinkelmann-Wild, Lisa Kriegmair and Berthold Rittberger write, European integration has provided governments with additional opportunities for blame avoidance, such as criticising the EU’s institutions or other EU member states. Drawing on a new study, they […]

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    Book Review: The State of the European Union: Fault Lines in European Integration edited by Stefanie Wöhl, Elisabeth Springler, Martin Pachel and Bernhard Zeilinger

Book Review: The State of the European Union: Fault Lines in European Integration edited by Stefanie Wöhl, Elisabeth Springler, Martin Pachel and Bernhard Zeilinger

In The State of the European Union: Fault Lines in European Integration, Stefanie Wöhl, Elisabeth Springler, Martin Pachel and Bernhard Zeilinger offer a new collection analysing European integration after the 2008 financial crisis, providing a critique of European economic reforms and insight for progressive European policies. The volume adds new voices and viewpoints to European Studies, enriching and pluralising the debate, writes Vanessa Bilancetti.
The State of the […]

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    Next Generation EU (NGE): The Commission’s Covid-19 recovery package

Next Generation EU (NGE): The Commission’s Covid-19 recovery package

The European Commission has proposed a €750 billion package of grants and loans to aid the EU’s recovery from Covid-19. Iain Begg explains that much will now depend on whether the proposal can secure the backing of the so called ‘Frugal Four’ of Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.

‘Solidarity is back’, according to Manfred Weber (leader of the […]

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    The EU’s southern member states have set the stage for European debt mutualisation

The EU’s southern member states have set the stage for European debt mutualisation

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to renewed calls for debt mutualisation in the Eurozone. Luuk Molthof writes that while it seemed inconceivable member states would commit to genuine debt sharing prior to the crisis, the pandemic has proven to be a game-changer. He argues Italy and Spain have successfully portrayed northern member states as lacking in European solidarity, framing […]

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Who said that Germans have no sense of irony?

On 5 May, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that the European Central Bank’s Public Asset Purchasing Programme could be incompatible with the German Constitution. Waltraud Schelkle writes there is a deep sense of irony in the ruling: the German Court questions the legal foundations of the ECB’s independence but is actually prevented from succeeding by the constitutional fortifications of the ECB’s […]

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    Can greater central bank accountability defuse the conflict between the Bundesverfassungsgericht and the European Central Bank?

Can greater central bank accountability defuse the conflict between the Bundesverfassungsgericht and the European Central Bank?

Germany’s constitutional court recently ruled that asset purchases conducted by the European Central Bank could be incompatible with the German constitution. As Sebastian Diessner explains, the subsequent rift has prompted calls for greater accountability in ECB decision-making, potentially with representatives from Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, being obliged to explain ECB decisions in the Bundestag. He writes that while there […]

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Why inflation is not lurking in the shadows

In a recent op-ed in the FT, economist Stephen Roach suggested a future of stagflation as a combined result of the increasing brittleness of supply chains and the pent-up consumer demand caused by the lockdown. But he is wrong, Bob Hancké suggests. The real world is considerably more complicated.

A few days ago, Stephen Roach, erstwhile of JP Morgan, author […]

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Covid-19: Should EU states share the economic burden?

The Italian economy has been left in a particularly vulnerable position by the Covid-19 outbreak. Jasper Doomen examines how the EU could attempt to share the economic burden of the crisis. He argues that while there are grounds for some form of solidarity, attempts to bring the member states together could equally end up pushing them further apart.

One of […]

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Covid-19: The struggle to agree an EU response

On 23 April, EU leaders directed the European Commission to draft a proposal for an economic rescue plan to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Iain Begg writes that while the EU is shifting towards a more extensive response to the economic crisis, national sensitivities continue to constrain its ability to act and some will have to concede […]

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    Now it’s the turn of EU leaders to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save Europe – or it won’t be enough

Now it’s the turn of EU leaders to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save Europe – or it won’t be enough

The European Council will hold a video conference on the Covid-19 outbreak later today. Sebastian Diessner, Erik Jones and Corrado Macchiarelli write that with European economies under unprecedented strain, it is now time for EU leaders to commit to doing whatever it takes to forestall the crisis.

Everyone is waiting for the ‘whatever it takes’ moment that is going to […]

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    A rift that never healed: How old divisions are undermining the Eurozone’s future

A rift that never healed: How old divisions are undermining the Eurozone’s future

Europe’s political leaders are deeply divided over how to manage the economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak. Dimitris Katsikas writes that without a sizeable common funding mechanism, the danger is that European economies will be on very different fiscal and macroeconomic trajectories once the health crisis is over. However, the correction of these imbalances would come at a high […]

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    Coronabonds are a pragmatic response to a crisis – and are not about cross-EU transfers or solidarity

Coronabonds are a pragmatic response to a crisis – and are not about cross-EU transfers or solidarity

Common debt instruments created by the European Union, of which coronabonds are currently the most urgent and salient example, evoke in some countries the fear that the Eurozone may be heading towards a ‘transfer union’. Some advocates also misleadingly justify these innovations by an appeal to European ‘solidarity’. Yet, in practice, Michael Paetz and Patrick Kaczmarczyk argue that such […]

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    The crisis trap: Why the EU must not sideline democracy as it tackles coronavirus

The crisis trap: Why the EU must not sideline democracy as it tackles coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis calls for a major policy response from European governments, but should we be cautious about where these actions might lead? Jonathan White explains that while crises are typically when the need for action can seem strongest, it is exactly in such moments that new initiatives should be viewed with caution, since the means and the ends […]

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