EU Politics

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    France-Italy: Behind the crisis lies a deeper rift over Europe

France-Italy: Behind the crisis lies a deeper rift over Europe

A diplomatic row has developed between France and Italy over recent months, with tensions being raised significantly by the decision of Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Five Star Movement, to meet with representatives of the French ‘Gilets Jaunes’ protest movement. Simon Toubeau explains that at the heart of the conflict lie two radically […]

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    Why the European Parliament’s campaign to increase voter turnout could do more harm than good

Why the European Parliament’s campaign to increase voter turnout could do more harm than good

Ahead of the 2019 European elections in May, the European Parliament has launched a campaign to increase voter turnout. Nils Napierala argues that while this is clearly needed given the low turnout at the last elections in 2014, the campaign runs the risk of fuelling Eurosceptic sentiments by focusing too much on the EU’s successes and not on the […]

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    France and Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit – but they won’t go unchallenged

France and Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit – but they won’t go unchallenged

How will Brexit affect the delicate balance of power in the EU? Ulrich Krotz and Joachim Schild argue that it will boost Franco-German power – but this will not go unchallenged by other EU members, especially the Visegrád bloc and the newly assertive Hanseatic League.

The effects of Brexit will be felt beyond the United Kingdom. The unprecedented exit of a key member state […]

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Enlargement and exit: The origins of Article 50

While it is sometimes compared to a federal superstate, the European Union is different from most federations in that it contains an exit clause: Article 50, which lays out the procedure under which the United Kingdom is currently seeking to withdraw from the EU. But how did Article 50 come to be? Based on a new study, Martijn Huysmans […]

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    France and Germany control the agenda and broker compromises, but they do not dictate Eurozone reforms

France and Germany control the agenda and broker compromises, but they do not dictate Eurozone reforms

The Franco-German relationship is often viewed as one of the key drivers of EU decision-making. But what impact does cooperation between France and Germany actually have on EU politics? Based on a new study of Economic and Monetary Union reforms negotiated between 2010 and 2015, Hanno Degner illustrates that the two countries exert influence by controlling the agenda and […]

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    Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

The British government prizes the creative industries as a key part of the UK’s industrial strategy. Yet some of them depend on the Digital Single Market, which is jeopardised by Brexit. Alison Harcourt explains how sectors like broadcasting, online financial services and online gaming could be affected.

A key component of the EU’s Single Market is its Digital Single Market (DSM), […]

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    The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The so called ‘capital key’ used by the European Central Bank is due to be reviewed. Sebastian Diessner explains that while in the past this has been viewed as a largely technical process, this time around the issue will have heightened political significance for two reasons in particular: the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU, and the current stand-off […]

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    Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany has generally been credited with exercising a large degree of influence over the EU’s response to the euro crisis. But how accurate is this narrative in reality? Drawing on a new co-authored study focusing on key Eurozone reform proposals, Magnus Lundgren explains that the average negotiation success of states was surprisingly balanced. While the economic woes of the […]

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Italy rues the rules

On 21 November, the European Commission formally objected to Italy’s draft budget for 2019. But the Italian government refuses to compromise. Iain Begg explores what this stand-off might mean for the governance of the Eurozone.

The contest between the Italian government and the European Commission over the former’s budget plans for 2019 has highlighted an enduring problem in EU economic […]

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    Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Italy’s government and the European Commission continue to be locked in a standoff over the Italian budget. Corrado Macchiarelli writes that while the budget plan is badly designed and must be addressed, there is also clearly a need for euro area reforms and more mutual recognition. Ultimately the Economic and Monetary Union is facing a political problem and the […]

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    Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Both Greece and Ireland suffered substantially during the Eurozone crisis, but as Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes and Ana Lara Gómez write, the two countries’ treatment by the ‘Troika’ of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission was strikingly different. Drawing on new research, they explain that much of this stemmed from ideological reasons rather than economics: a far […]

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Germany’s non-rebalancing of its mercantilist model

In a recent blog article, Donato Di Carlo argued that Germany has ‘quietly rebalanced’ its economy since the Eurozone crisis began. Patrick Kaczmarczyk presents a different take on the topic, writing that when German policy is viewed from a more long-term perspective, there has been little in the way of meaningful rebalancing. He states that without necessary adjustments being […]

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    Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Party competition in the European Parliament has changed substantially in the aftermath of the Eurozone and migration crises. While the parliament was once characterised by a split between parties on the left and right, parties are also now sharply divided over their policies on immigration and European integration. Drawing on new research, Alexia Katsanidou and Zoe Lefkofridi illustrate how […]

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    From ‘Vincolo Esterno’ to ‘Nemico Esterno’: The disturbing new demonisation of the EU

From ‘Vincolo Esterno’ to ‘Nemico Esterno’: The disturbing new demonisation of the EU

The dispute between Italy and the European Commission over the Italian budget for 2019 illustrates a shift in how member states treat the obligations of EU membership. Iain Begg and Kevin Featherstone argue that instead of using pressure from Brussels to justify difficult policy measures, countries are now picking fights with the EU to boost their domestic political standing, thereby […]

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    The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank is becoming increasingly politicised

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is intended to provide finance and expertise for investment projects that further EU policy objectives. But as Daniel Mertens and Matthias Thiemann explain, a steady expansion of the bank’s operations over the last two decades has prompted greater political debate over its governance and activities. They highlight three recent developments that underline this politicisation […]

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    A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

Hungary is currently a net recipient of EU structural and cohesion funds, but as Anna Számely writes, the country’s recent record on key measures of development has been underwhelming. She identifies seven blockages in the chain of EU funding in Hungary that are presently acting as obstacles to effective investment.

As the EU’s next seven-year budget is negotiated for the […]

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    A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

The difficult process of negotiating the EU’s next seven-year budget covering the years 2021-27 is already under way. However, as Dimitar Lilkov writes, the negotiations may well prove more contentious than ever due to a proposal to allow the European Commission to suspend EU funding for states that threaten the rule of law.

Negotiating the next seven-year budget of the […]

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Explaining participation bias in EU online consultations

Consulting individuals and groups who might be affected by a new policy is one of the cornerstones of democratic decision-making. However, such consultations can often suffer from a participation bias if actors require large levels of funding or expertise to play an active role in the process. Drawing on evidence from a new study, Maiken Røed and Vibeke Wøien […]

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    The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Angelos Chryssogelos argues that although the vote has frequently been explained with reference to the internal politics of the European People’s Party, the issue said more about the shortcomings of the EU’s instruments for safeguarding liberal democracy.

Credit: © European Union 2018 […]

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Why did the EPP vote against Orbán?

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Fabio Wolkenstein explains that the European People’s Party (EPP) has faced a difficult balancing act in relation to Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party, with many EPP members critical of Fidesz, but the EPP itself relying on Fidesz MEPs for support […]

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