• Brexit and the single market: Norway or No way

    Brexit and the single market: Norway or No way0

    After recent declarations by Theresa May and David Davis, the UK’s conservative government seems to be convinced that a “hard” Brexit is the best option for the country. Discussions with the EU over the UK’s participation in the single market seem to have been halted and the Norwegian European model rejected. This is terrible news for UK trade and especially for the services sector which is the UK’s most important trading sector, with a trade surplus equating to 5% of the national income (about $138 billion).

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  • Brexit: a matter of identity politics?

    Brexit: a matter of identity politics?0

    Although European leaders plan to relaunch European integration in the post-Brexit era, the European discourse over the Irish border shows that economic rhetoric prevails over political discourse. This brings us back to the ever-existing contradiction between the EU’s rhetorical objectives and its material interests.

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  • The ‘Berlin Promise’ – Dashed expectations must not spell defeat in the Western Balkans

    The ‘Berlin Promise’ – Dashed expectations must not spell defeat in the Western Balkans0

    The countries of the Western Balkans are facing numerous socioeconomic challenges, such as a dramatic deterioration in democratic governance, slow rates of growth and high unemployment. Despite the fact that full membership for the Western Balkans countries is unquestionably a long way off, EU approximation represents hope for reforms to prevent the region from fading into oblivion and insecurity. This approximation could best be secured in the framework of the Berlin Process.

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  • Changing everything so that nothing changes? The future of UK seats in the EP

    Changing everything so that nothing changes? The future of UK seats in the EP0

    As the 2019 elections get closer, the future allocation of 73 UK seats in the European Parliament remains an unsolved conundrum. The long-debated proposal of substituting them with a pan-European list of candidates from European Political parties is welcomed with enthusiasm by the Brussels establishment. However, little attention is often devoted to its indirect consequences if not well thought through: more power to bigger Member States, whose candidates would emerge as privileged, and institutional deadlock, as a unanimity of Member States is required to agree according to the rules on Treaty Change.

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  • Realpolitik still determines EU responses to Rule of Law threats. Here is why.

    Realpolitik still determines EU responses to Rule of Law threats. Here is why.0

    A decisive action against Poland and Hungary for violating the Rule of Law has been vocally called by many in Brussels and beyond. However, EU Institutions have failed to take effective action against their infants terribles so far. This can be explained by Member States’ reluctance to accept EU intrusion in national constitutional matters and by the Commission’s unwillingness to create tensions with national public opinions.

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  • Time to scrap the cap – modernizing the EU budget

    Time to scrap the cap – modernizing the EU budget0

    The current structure of the budget of the European Union is not adequate to deal with the challenges Europe is facing today, which range from unemployment to terrorism and migration management. The expected budget shortfall after Brexit, however, can spur pressures to reform. At a time when the EU project needs to restore trust and legitimacy, I recommend that spending be focused in view of Europe’s greatest concerns, cutting back on current farm funding.

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