02.04.2020  | Iordan Bărbulescu & Dragoș Ioniță

The Prespa Agreement, signed in June 2018, as well as the repeated delay of the European Council’s decision to start EU accession negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia, had a far-reaching effect on EU enlargement policy, as it was known until the end of 2019. In the context of the current crisis of European solidarity, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent reform of the enlargement policy, as well as the decision taken by the representatives of the Member States at the end of last week regarding the European path of the two candidate states give a fresh breath to both the enlargement process and the hopes of politicians and representatives of civil society at local level. What implications will this decision have and what are the next steps that need to be taken in order to accelerate the process of European integration of the Western Balkans?

26.03.2020  | Roy Cobby Avaria

The now confirmed Brexit process is the first serious political challenge to the EU’s project of an “ever closer union” in decades. However, in the long term, European Union governance bodies must start addressing some of the challenges that led to Brexit in the first place. Now, the coronavirus crisis is also presenting a challenge to the continent’s economic foundations.

27.01.2019  |  Luis Bouza

In less than one month the European Council, European Parliament and European Commission have adopted conclusions, resolutions and communications on the convening of a “Future of Europe” conference. This comparison is fully justified as the inter-institutional dynamics of the convening of the conference start to resemble it, but there are important differences as to the political context.

09.12.2019  |  Marta Domínguez

Tomorrow, 10th of December of 2019, two of the remaining three judges of the Appellate Body of the WTO will retire, and the body will cease to be operational. Considered the ‘crown jewel’ of the organisation, many see this as the blow that will make the WTO terminal. The implications for the international system (and multilateralism more broadly) are evident. The European Union will have hard choices to make; as of yet it has focused on defending the WTO while simultaneously establishing numerous bilateral deals to protect commercial relations. Beyond the politics, the WTO (and GATT before it) allowed trade to thrive in recent decades, resulting in wide-ranging welfare gains which deserve to be highlighted.

30.11.2019  | Ramona Coman

Beside the situation in Poland and Hungary, the Council reviewed the evaluation of the rule of law dialogue it established in 2014. The annual rule of law dialogue was on the agenda of the General Affairs Council on 19 November 2019.

29.11.2019  |  Ramona Coman

When the Treaties establishing the European Communities were signed in the 1950s, the political elites of the time were more concerned with peace and freedom in Europe, while democracy promotion was the purview and primary purpose of the Council of Europe. Over the last decades, transformations in Poland, Hungary and Romania have put the question of European values on the EU agenda. The changes made to the judicial systems in these countries have brought some researchers to believe that the EU is facing an existential crisis, with “far-reaching implications for the European project because without common values, there are fewer reasons for the EU to exist” (Pech and Scheppele 2017: 8).

22.11.2019  |  Alvaro Oleart

European values have recently sparked a lot of discussion, mainly due to the rise of  ‘illiberal regimes’ within the EU. The hegemony of Viktor Orbán in Hungary and Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland has led many actors to question the EU’s state of democracy and rule of law, two foundational values of the European project. At the same time, several ‘pro-European’ actors sich Macron or Commission president-elect Ursula Von der Leyen emphasise repeatedly an unapologetic defence of ‘European values’.

20.11.19  |  Paul Gabriel Sandu

Thirty years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the European Union is once more confronted with the rebirth of nationalism and right-wing populism. Is there anything we can learn from the historic event that took place thirty years ago for the events that are unfolding in Europe today? What is its significance for the present generations? My contention is that the European Project needs to be fundamentally rethought.

07.11.2019  |  Susana Aguilar and Andrés Santana

Little is known as well about why some people perceive higher or lower costs of voting than others. To cut a long story short, voting is a rather puzzling activity and there is a gap in the literature as to what are the determinants of the costs of voting at the individual level.

04.11.2019  |  Sonia de Gregorio

The concentration of poverty in vulnerable urban neighbourhoods stands today as one of the main challenges of the European Union (EU). The urban dimension of poverty is one of the factors preventing progress towards economic, social and territorial cohesion, which requires decisive action by the EU institutions and the member states in line with the objectives of the Cohesion Policy

24.10.2019  |  Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă & Dragoș Ioniță

After the publication of the latest Enlargement Package on 29th of May this year by the European Commission, it was high time for the EU Member States to transform the findings into a coherent political position, awaited especially by Tirana and Skopje – the opening of their accession negotiations. High expectations came especially from Paris, The Hague and Copenhagen, as political elites from these capitals have emphasized their very reserved position on the enlargement process, each for different reasons. The last Council meeting that took place between 17th and 18th of October in Brussels brought bad news – no unanimity was reached and opening of negotiations was rejected.

07.10.2019  Luis Bouza

Urban mobility is already a hot topic in Spanish local politics. As young people demonstrate against climate change and population concentrates more and more in a few big cities conflicts arise over the usage of the public space for movement.

Photo Credit RdA Suisse

11.07.2019  |  Álvaro Oleart

Three years after the 2016 Brexit referendum, the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn has officially situated itself in support of a second referendum under any circumstances, in which they will campaign for Remain against either No Deal or a Tory deal. This is a big step, and its consequences are two-fold.

10.07.2019  |  Piotr Zagórski

After EU top jobs nominations: PiS left with nothing and Central and Eastern Europe without representation. This time also the European Union itself lost. Such is the succe

20.06.19  | Luis Bouza

How can we read the results of the EP election 2019, three weeks after Europeans went to vote? This has been the question that the roundtable with Elena García Guitián, Luciano Morganti, Hans-Jörg Trenz, Niilo Kauppi, Claudia Wiesner and José Fernández Albertos organised by OpenEUdebate at the 26th International Conference of Europeanists in Madrid. I have taken the liberty to summarise the discussion so all responsibility for inaccuracies is mine.

07.06.2019  |  Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă & Dragoș Ioniță

While the results of the elections to the European Parliament offer encouraging signs for the countries in the Balkans, the Commission’s latest Enlargement Package launched later last week tones down the expectations – at least for some of the countries expecting positive messages. The outline presented by the Commission highlights three categories of states: the ‘frontrunners’ (Serbia and Montenegro), the ’hopefuls’ (Albania and North Macedonia) and the ‘potential candidates’ (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo).

31.05.2019  |  Andrés Santana & José Rama

The increasing electoral support for populist parties, both left and right, has arisen concern regarding the upcoming 2019 European elections. The battle has diverted attention from the competition between populist parties of different ideological colours.

27.05.2019  | Luis Bouza

The manufacture of what we call «European election results» is the product of an interpretive struggle that starts on the election night. This narrative struggle will focus on different issues, but a first big news is that the campaign has been significant for each of them.

23.05.2019  |  Johannes Amann

A weekend in May and an island of Spain. No more than that was required to cause a political scandal which may yet amount to a seismic shift in the political landscape of Austria. When Der Spiegel and the Süddeutsche Zeitung released the video late on Friday afternoon, few would have predicted the magnitude of the outcry that would follow.

21.05.2019 |  Taru Haapala

As the European Parliament elections are approaching, we are seeing the introduction of special features not found as such in any national parliamentary elections. More than previously, there are platforms and debates for the presentation of the leading candidates, or Spitzenkandidaten, to the position of European Commission president.

17.05.2019 |  Álvaro Oleart

The paradox among the GUE-NGL group stems from the fact that they often criticise the EU for not doing more to reduce inequality and poverty, for not protecting enough public services and workers, or for not fighting climate change ambitiously enough

10.05.2019  |  María Sáenz de Buruaga

The rise of platform economy is having a significant impact on job creation all across Europe. However, given the strong association between platform work and precarity, new challenges are arising when it comes to ensure basic social protections.

03.05.2019  |  Carolina Plaza Colodro

Last April 8, Matteo Salvini officially revealed the intentions of the far right for the upcoming European elections. The Italian politician no longer wants to leave the euro or to end the integration project but to change Europe from within. His main ambition is to increase the influence of the Eurosceptic bloc in Brussels to introduce reforms that return powers to national governments.

04.12.2019   |   Sofía de Haro & Luis Bouza

The EPP manifesto is also telling of the dilemmas of the party and party family. Should it strengthen its discourse on migration and identity in order to compete with right-wing populists? Or could that further reinforce its competitors on its right? To the centre, does it have incentives to cooperate with Macron and new liberal forces?

05.04.2019  |  Eduard Redondo & Luis Bouza

The Socialists explicitly reject the status quo and warn that its maintenance is dangerous for the future of the EU. Instead, they propose a new social contract for Europe as a way to change both the course of austerity policies and the narrative of the new populist and eurosceptic parties.

29.03.2019   |  Prof. Dr. Claudia Wiesner

There has been a response from the governing Christian Democrat Union (CDU) to Enmanuel Macron´s proposals for reform of the European Union. The AKK’s ones represent what can be termed a very German perspective: they aim at strengthening the EU in its international and geopolitical role, but not in social and economic policy.


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