Getting beyond Europe’s spend more / spend less debate

The debate over paths to economic recovery in Europe is often presented as a choice between austerity and stimulus. Less often heard in this debate is the range of options related to labour market reform. There are many ways that European states could reform their labour markets in an effort to promote sustainable growth, withContinue reading “Getting beyond Europe’s spend more / spend less debate”

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 longerContinue reading “Some political consequences of the referendum”

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 hasContinue reading “Europe’s North Col: A New European Union Treaty?”

The morning after

Regardless of one’s views on the fiscal treaty, this post-referendum analysis by my UCD colleague Andy Storey is a sobering reminder that a treaty focused on government debt is unlikely to resolve a crisis sparked principally by irresponsible lending and borrowing by private banks. On the other hand, bond markets (and German taxpayers & parliamentarians)Continue reading “The morning after”

Fear, Anger and Resignation: It’s Nearly Referendum Day

Before the conventional wisdom sets in stone, a few thoughts on the referendum campaign. First, win or lose, this looks to have been a good campaign for the left of the ‘no’ side. The profile of key Sinn Fein and ULA spokespeople will have been raised significantly as will their political credibility in key sectorsContinue reading “Fear, Anger and Resignation: It’s Nearly Referendum Day”

The fiscal treaty and the EU’s social bargain

Patrick Kinsella argues in today’s Irish Times that opposing the fiscal treaty is not equivalent to opposing the EU. In fact, his critique of the treaty is based on the argument that its narrow focus on budget discipline contradicts the de facto bargain between capital and labour that has guided European integration since the 1950s,Continue reading “The fiscal treaty and the EU’s social bargain”

Treaty threatens to widen democratic deficit in EU

In this opinion piece for the Irish Times, I argue that the Fiscal Treaty will exacerbate the existing democratic deficit which characterises European Union politics. The EU already has a significant problem with its ‘image’ in many member states and Eurobarometer polls demonstrate that support for the integration process has fallen as the economic crisis hasContinue reading “Treaty threatens to widen democratic deficit in EU”

Is this the Euro’s make-or-break moment?

This analysis (by NUI Galway economist Alan Ahearne) of what the Greek crisis means for Europe reminds one of the heady days in winter 2011 when Angela Merkl declared her readiness to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the Euro. Ahearne makes a strong argument that saving the Euro will now require politically heroic stepsContinue reading “Is this the Euro’s make-or-break moment?”

Is the response to the crisis simply stupid?

Much current discussion of the euro crisis focuses on the seeming irrationality or incompetence of decision makers.  For example, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliot says that “there is a failure or an unwillingness to grasp a basic truth about the single currency: it doesn’t work”.  While this may be true to a certain extent, oneContinue reading “Is the response to the crisis simply stupid?”

Fiscal treaty referendum is still wide open

The latest poll results, reported in today’s Irish Times, show that the outcome of the May 31 referendum is still wide open: many voters are still undecided and given the degree of anti-austerity anger in the country, this could easily upset the 60:40 split in favour of the treaty among those who have decided howContinue reading “Fiscal treaty referendum is still wide open”