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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Another look at ‘Europe’s New Fascists’

This recent story from The New York Times offers several chilling illustrations of the growing threat that extremist groups pose to democracy and human rights in Europe. As I have written in earlier posts, the protracted nature of the current economic crisis inevitably broadens and deepens public support for extremist agendas. The answer is not ...

The full Monti

Aidan Regan at the EUI has a fascinating account of Mario Monti's thoughts on a range of European issues here. Monti is particularly keen on increasing the capacity for effective decision-making at European level, and indeed the slow-motion political response to the crisis in the Eurozone has revealed how badly this is needed. Monti wants ...

Victory for Europe? Not yet

Over the last few weeks, various commentators described the multiple events of 12 September (yesterday) as the EU's D-Day, a make-or-break final assault on the Eurozone crisis. One day on, things do seem to have gone quite well for EU stability: the ECB has announced an unlimited programme to buy bonds of Eurozone states (albeit with ...