Defense and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU

As the Irish European Council presidency draws to a close, all eyes are on the big ticket items the Irish Government pledged to address: substantive progress on economic governance and banking union; jobs, growth and the single market; the MAFF; EU-US free trade; fisheries and agriculture reform and a host of others. Somewhat overlooked has ...

EU’s rich north benefits from the Eurocrisis

Various studies confirm that public and even official debate about "bailouts" has been badly mis-framed as a question of whether the better-off northern member states are willing to contribute their taxpayers' money to aid their struggling Eurozone partners. In fact, as reported today by Reuters, the richer countries have benefitted massively from the huge decline in ...

Enough is enough — it’s time to sanction Hungary

The challenge of managing the EU's on-going economic crisis has distracted the Union from worrisome political developments within some of its member states. The worst offender here is Hungary, where the government has initiated legislative and constitutional changes and used political rhetoric and symbolic actions that are clearly incompatible with its obligations as an EU member to ...

The Europeanization of Military Training and Education

This guest post by Dr. Tamir Libel, currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the UCD Centre for War Studies, reports on research he conducted as a Marie Curie Fellow at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations in 2012-2013: In the aftermath of the Cold War, European militaries have drastically transformed national systems of officer education. ...

Home truths about the Euro crisis

Jean-Claude Juncker said some remarkably candid things to the European parliament yesterday. His role as the chair of the Eurozone group of countries has given him limited scope to speak freely to date. Indeed he’s someone who is quoted as saying 'I’m for secret, dark debates'. Now that he’s about to step down, he’s made some ...

Another German problem?

Europe's 'German problem' may not be simply about how to channel its preeminent power in directions that ensure the vitality and cohesion of the Union (see my recent post), but also about the political style of its leader, suggests Dan O'Brien in his commentary in today's Irish Times.

Does the EU have a German problem?

For many decades, geostrategists commented that Germany was too big to live comfortably with its neighbours but too small to control them. After the Second World War, though, and especially after the creation of the EU and NATO, it appeared that Germany had adjusted its identity, its ambitions and its behaviour to the new reality ...