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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
A common criticism of Germany in the post-crisis period has been that its economy is unbalanced, with the country’s reluctance to increase public spending or reduce its large current account surplus being cited as problems for other Eurozone economies. Donato Di Carlo argues that this narrative entirely overlooks the extent to which the German economy has already gone through […]
EU investors vs EU states: Understanding the international arbitration of investment disputes in Europe
The international arbitration of disputes between investors and states has been a controversial issue in Europe, notably in relation to trade deals such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). But as Julian Donaubauer and Peter Nunnenkamp write, many commonly held beliefs about investor-state dispute settlements are potentially misguided: European investors appear to be more litigious than […]
A great deal of attention during the Brexit negotiations has been focused on the issue of the Irish border. However, as Meabh Cormacain writes, Brexit also has important implications for Northern Ireland’s participation in the Single Electricity Market that currently exists across the island of Ireland. She highlights that despite widespread agreement on the importance of the Single Electricity […]
The European Union and the United States have pursued notably different approaches to applying antitrust laws, which seek to maintain competition between businesses. While the EU has issued large fines to companies like Google, the United States has been far less willing to intervene. Konstantinos Stylianou argues that although a great deal of frustration has been expressed about this schism between […]
Frans Timmermans’ subsidiarity proposals do not go far enough to address the EU’s democratic deficit
The EU’s principle of ‘subsidiarity’ states that only actions which cannot be effectively achieved at the national level and can be better achieved at the EU level should be exercised by the EU. Davor Jancic assesses the report published on 10 July 2018 by a European Commission ‘Taskforce on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and Doing Less More Efficiently’. He argues that […]
The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?
A German court has ruled that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont can be extradited to Spain on charges of misusing public funds, but not on a charge of rebellion, which carries a more severe punishment. As Auke Willems explains, the net result is a situation with no clear winners: Spain cannot prosecute Puigdemont on charges of rebellion; Puigdemont has […]
The ECB recently announced that its quantitative easing programme will stop at the end of 2018. Corrado Macchiarelli and Mara Monti write that the way this decision is managed will be crucial for avoiding potential market disruptions in the eurozone. However, the key long-term concern will be achieving political consensus in the coming years given the challenge posed by […]
The European Union has come under intense pressure from the Eurozone crisis, the migration crisis, and Brexit, but is it at serious risk of falling apart? And if so, how would this disintegration take place? Drawing on his latest book, Hans Vollaard explains that rather than experiencing a sudden collapse, the EU might instead suffer a slow decline driven […]
The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument through which the EU provides development aid to African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. However, there has been a long-running debate over whether the EDF should be formally integrated into the EU budget, or whether it should remain a separate fund financed by direct contributions from the EU’s member states. Johanne […]
On 1 July, Austria will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time. As Paul Schmidt notes, since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009, the role of the presidency has fundamentally changed. He assesses how much room for manoeuvre this leaves to make a difference, and what […]
A European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) has been proposed as part of efforts to complete the European Banking Union, but some actors have raised concerns about the implications of banks with non-performing loans entering the EDIS. Presenting findings from a recent study, Markus Demary writes that some banks are not yet ready for a European Deposit Insurance Scheme and that vast amounts of money will […]
How the Eurozone will be governed in the future is a matter of much debate and is expected to form a key part of the European Council meeting on 28-29 June. Kevin Featherstone argues that the debate is neglecting a key set of questions: how can its governance be made more democratic and accountable? The answers to these questions will […]
The EU steel industry faces major challenges in the shape of rising prices for raw materials, fierce competition from international producers, and global overcapacity. Niccolò Pisani and Emilio Riva explain that the reaction to these problems has often been to advocate increased market concentration. However, the disruptive influence of artificial intelligence and growing anti-globalisation sentiment, epitomised by Donald Trump’s decision to impose a […]
Criticism of the EU’s ‘democratic deficit’ has become increasingly prominent since the financial crisis. Firat Cengiz writes that democracy in the EU would benefit from methods allowing citizens to participate more directly in policymaking. She argues for a form of deliberative democracy to be implemented at the European level and provides some practical suggestions for how this could be […]