Why have EU trilogues become so contentious?

By Ruairi Doyle ‘Trilogue’ is the name given to informal meetings which take place between representatives of the Parliament, Commission, and Council. The aim of these meetings, as defined in Lelieveldt and Princen’s The Politics of the European Union, is“to identify points of agreement and differences, and find a compromise on a legislative text” (LelieveldtContinue reading “Why have EU trilogues become so contentious?”

The State of EU Foreign Policy Scholarship

EU foreign policy scholarship has made an undoubted contribution to our understanding of politics at the global level. First, it has added to our understanding of what EU membership means for member states. The complex and reciprocal relationship between national political systems and a developing European-level polity poses many challenging questions to comparative politics andContinue reading “The State of EU Foreign Policy Scholarship”

Themes in the study of Ireland and European Union membership

The following is the introductory summary of a forthcoming article in the EU Politics and Comparative Regional Integration series for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics on “Ireland and the European Union”. This series is designed to be a dynamic, on-line source for researchers, teachers, and students throughout the world. Articles are expected to provideContinue reading “Themes in the study of Ireland and European Union membership”

A smart or a bold move: how Merkel dealt with the refugee crisis

Ying Zang is a Master of Public Policy student in UCD. This blog was written for POL40160 Comparative Public Policy. The best blogs from this module were selected to enable talented graduate students in UCD to contribute to ongoing debates about contemporary policy issues affecting European societies.  Ever since the Syrian refugee crisis erupted in the summer ofContinue reading “A smart or a bold move: how Merkel dealt with the refugee crisis”

Lessons for the Ukraine crisis from a British television comedy

A 28-year old British television comedy brings us salient lessons for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. In it, a British Prime Minister is teasing out the implications of nuclear deterrence with his central European-accented scientific advisor. The adviser is pressing the newly installed Prime Minister to clarify the precise circumstances under which he will beContinue reading “Lessons for the Ukraine crisis from a British television comedy”

Transparency in the Council of the European Union has increased over the last decade, but only for the least controversial negotiations

The Laeken Declaration states that: “[T]he European project . . . derives its legitimacy from democratic, transparent and efficient institutions.” Negotiations aimed at revising EU transparency legislation (Regulation 1049/2001) began in 2008, but since December 2012 are at an impasse. These negotiations are important because the outcome will govern how the public can access records relatingContinue reading “Transparency in the Council of the European Union has increased over the last decade, but only for the least controversial negotiations”

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 toContinue reading “Enough is enough — it’s time to sanction Hungary”

Will the Irish EU presidency get serious about political extremism in Europe?

We’ve all heard of Silvio Berlusconi’s recent praise for Benito Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day. But he’s not alone. The European Commission observes that political parties across Europe are seeking to win voters from extremist movements by borrowing their hate-filled language and imagery. And we know that these movements are growing. Have a look atContinue reading “Will the Irish EU presidency get serious about political extremism in Europe?”

Back to the future, again: Jews as a “national security risk”

Is this 2012 or 1932? As reported by CNBC, the leader of Hungary’s third largest party has just used a televised session of parliament to call on the government to compile a list of all Jews in the country because, he says, they pose a “national security risk.” Does this sound familiar? Even today, respect for the most basicContinue reading “Back to the future, again: Jews as a “national security risk””

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 notContinue reading “Another look at ‘Europe’s New Fascists’”