EU Politics

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    Lessons from Article 50: Why exit clauses should include penalties for the seceding state

Lessons from Article 50: Why exit clauses should include penalties for the seceding state

If Article 50 enabled Brexit, does this mean that exit clauses make secessions from a political union more likely? Drawing on a new study, Martijn Huysmans and Christophe Crombez demonstrate that exit clauses which incorporate penalties for the seceding state can lead to more efficient exit decisions. They argue that further research into exit clauses might help enable efficient […]

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    The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

An investigation published by the New York Times has raised concerns about the misuse of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding in several states in Central and Eastern Europe. Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni and Philip Schnattinger argue that although the report should be welcomed, it provided a misleading impression of the wider issues with land distribution in post-communist Europe. The misuse of […]

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    Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

The amount of legislation a political system produces is an important indicator of its performance. Yet as Dimiter Toshkov explains, when it comes to the adoption of new legislation, the last European Parliament and Commission were among the least productive in recent history. He argues that a less political and more pragmatic Commission may be more successful in finding […]

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    Why differentiated integration and disintegration will shape post-Brexit Europe

Why differentiated integration and disintegration will shape post-Brexit Europe

Brexit promises not only to have a major impact on British politics, but also on the nature of European integration. Drawing on a new book, Jarle Trondal, Stefan Gänzle and Benjamin Leruth explain why processes of differentiated integration and disintegration could play a greater role in the EU following Brexit.

The United Kingdom is set to become the first member […]

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    Post-crisis banking in the euro area and Greece: How can a pan-European banking sector be created?

Post-crisis banking in the euro area and Greece: How can a pan-European banking sector be created?

Banks in the euro area have stabilised since the financial crisis, but as Eleni Louri-Dendrinou and Petros Migiakis write, their profitability has not improved to the degree experienced in other countries such as the Nordics or the United States. With the post-crisis macro-economic environment now deteriorating, they argue it is vital policymakers focus on the creation of a genuine […]

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    The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

Euroland or Neverland? Lorenzo Codogno argues that constrained monetary policy calls for a greater role for fiscal policy in supporting the Eurozone economy, as former ECB President Mario Draghi recently suggested. Yet of the three potential routes that could be taken in this regard, none seem destined to be implemented. Leaving aside structural issues, which may well prolong current […]

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The danger of personalised power in the EU

The EU has frequently been caricatured as a ‘faceless bureaucracy’, where rules and procedures take precedence over powerful personalities. Yet this depersonalisation of power has recently been challenged by the emergence of some visible, decisive figures. Jonathan White argues that while this may be seen as a welcome improvement by some observers, when power is located in a small, […]

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    What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde will officially take over from Mario Draghi as the new President of the European Central Bank today. Sebastian Diessner explains that while Lagarde is widely expected to pursue similar policies to her predecessor, the politics surrounding her presidency may play out very differently.

The Eurozone’s monetary policy has become more contested and politically salient than almost ever before. In […]

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    Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

The EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will come into force in 2021, aims to restrict the trade of minerals that are mined via forced labour and used to finance armed conflicts. As Dirk-Jan Koch and Olga Burlyuk explain, the EU attempted to learn from the mistakes of earlier legislation in the United States that had sought to tackle the […]

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    Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

As a large currency union, the euro area sits between the two extremes of the US – with its high labour mobility and fully fledged federal fiscal union – and China – with its low labour mobility and central fiscal capacity. Corrado Macchiarelli and Fotis Mitropoulos write that while the US is normally regarded as a benchmark for integration […]

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A new take on ‘whatever it takes’?

Outgoing ECB President Mario Draghi recently expressed support for a closer fiscal union in the Eurozone, including cross-border fiscal transfers. As Iain Begg writes, these statements have reinvigorated the debate between advocates for risk sharing and proponents of risk reduction. Draghi’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, has defended Draghi and his proposals against criticism from other former central bankers, but resistance […]

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    Why the EU should open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia

Why the EU should open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia

The EU is expected to make a decision this week on whether to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. Frank Schimmelfennig and Ulrich Sedelmeier explain that EU enlargement policy has suffered from diminished credibility, both in terms of the EU’s promise of membership and its willingness to implement sanctions for non-compliance. The decision over Albania and North […]

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    Christine Lagarde is not a progressive choice for ECB president

Christine Lagarde is not a progressive choice for ECB president

Christine Lagarde, the former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, is expected to take over from Mario Draghi as the next President of the European Central Bank. David Hollanders argues that although Lagarde has been viewed by some observers as a progressive choice, there is little reason to believe she will produce a meaningful shift in the ECB’s […]

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    Bulgaria highlights the difficulties that lie ahead for Laura Kovesi as the EU’s chief prosecutor

Bulgaria highlights the difficulties that lie ahead for Laura Kovesi as the EU’s chief prosecutor

Laura Codruta Kovesi, the former chief prosecutor of Romania’s National Anticorruption Directorate, is expected to be approved as the new head of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. Iveta Cherneva argues that the lack of media freedom in countries like Bulgaria will make it exceptionally difficult for Kovesi to uncover crimes involving EU funding.

When the news hit that Laura Kovesi […]

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    Understanding the two faces of solidarity in the Eurozone and migration crises

Understanding the two faces of solidarity in the Eurozone and migration crises

The principle of ‘solidarity’ was a key feature of debates during the Eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, but the way in which the term was used differed in both cases. Drawing on a new study, Stefan Wallaschek explains that while the concept of solidarity is often assumed to be owned by actors on the left of the political […]

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    Can the liberals become the new pivotal political family of EU politics?

Can the liberals become the new pivotal political family of EU politics?

Ursula von der Leyen recently unveiled her proposed candidates for the next European Commission. Angelos Chryssogelos explains that one of the less observed features of the list was the empowerment of liberal politicians, continuing a trend toward a stronger liberal presence in EU decision-making. However, for the liberals to take on a central role in EU politics, they will need […]

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    Why trust in EU civil protection depends on trust in national institutions

Why trust in EU civil protection depends on trust in national institutions

A number of high profile crises and disasters have spurred the EU to expand its role in the field of civil protection. But little is known about whether national civil protection officials trust the EU institutions they work with and what the determinants of their views are. Drawing on a new study, Thomas Persson, Charles F. Parker and Sten […]

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    How policy complexity affects the duration of legislative negotiations in the EU

How policy complexity affects the duration of legislative negotiations in the EU

It is often argued that EU legislation would benefit from becoming simpler. But how does the complexity of a legislative proposal affect the negotiations over whether it enters into EU law? Drawing on a new study, Steffen Hurka and Maximilian Haag explain that different types of policy complexity influence the duration of the decision-making process in the European Union […]

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    The effect of public attitudes toward the EU on the European Commission’s policy activity

The effect of public attitudes toward the EU on the European Commission’s policy activity

The role of the European Commission in the EU’s policy process is often cited by Eurosceptic actors as one of the main problems with EU democracy. But how responsive is the Commission to the views of European citizens? Presenting findings from a new study, Christopher J. Williams and Shaun Bevan find evidence that the Commission is likely to increase […]

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Which courts are driving legal integration in Europe?

It has long been believed that judges at the lower echelons of the judiciary are the drivers of legal integration in Europe. Yet, drawing on a new study, Arthur Dyevre and Monika Glavina show that this is not what the data says. Analysing the entirety of preliminary references submitted by domestic courts from 1961 to 2017, they demonstrate that […]

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