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 ...

Austerity in the Eurozone periphery

The latest issue of the online journal Intereconomics features articles about Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Aidan Regan and I wrote the article on Ireland. As we know well here in Ireland, they're an oddly-sorted bunch, because each faces a rather different set of domestic policy challenges. Each also has problems that need to be addressed in ...

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 ...

Merkel Hysteria

If a case study was needed on how NOT to conduct EU negotiations, the October EU summit provides it. It has long been the bane of EU politics that the carefully crafted, finely balanced and nuanced written conclusions of an EU summit can be blown out of the water by a President or Prime Minister ...

Some political consequences of the referendum

by Agustin Ruiz Robledo, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Granada (Spain) and Visiting Scholar at the UCD School of Law 2011-12 The pace of politics and life in the twenty-first century is so fast that the referendum of May 31 seems to have been held a year ago and is no longer an ...

Europe’s North Col: A New European Union Treaty?

Whatever medium or longer terms plans Chancellor Merkel has for the European Union, we are undoubtedly embarked on yet another treaty-reform journey. The immediate eurozone emergency may or may not require treaty change (one can only imagine that the Council legal services are engaged in a desperate battle to avoid that) but the dye has ...

Fear vs. Anger?

What Ireland and Europe need now is a real debate between alternative visions of economic recovery and sustainable growth that are positive, realistic and clear with regard to what needs to be done at national and European levels. Instead, the Irish debate on the Fiscal Treaty is consistently framed (see two MEPS in this clip) as a ...