BLOG – European Union Politics

What lies ahead for the new European Commission: Brexit and beyond

Joelle Grogan (Middlesex University) Brexit is the ‘shock’ that united Europe according to the President-elect of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (VDL). There’s certainly an element of truth to this. Despite some occasional signs of disagreement, the EU-27 have given every show of maintaining a unified position in all stages of the Brexit process…
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“With or without you”: a new Commission with or without the UK?

Natassa Athanasiadou (Maastricht University) When the European Council, on 29 October 2019, decided to extend the withdrawal negotiation period until the 31st of January 2020, it became clear that this extension would bear implications also for the composition of the new Commission. Indeed, in recital 11 of the European Council’s decision, it is explicitly mentioned…
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The Achilles Heel(s) of the EU and UK Criminal Justice System in the Brexit saga

Francesco Rossi (University of Ferrara) Introduction The entrance of the United Kingdom into the European Community pursuant to the European Community Act (1972) started a process of Europeanisation of UK law. The UK legal system has undergone profound transformations from the outside, but it has also driven the development of EU law by exporting strategies…
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What To Expect (From the EU Council) When You Are Expecting A Brexit Deal

What To Expect (From the EU Council) When You Are Expecting A Brexit Deal   Nikos Skoutaris (University of East Anglia) The ardent proponents of Brexit have long argued that a Brexit deal would only be done at the very last minute. According to that mythology, during the final European Council, a panic-driven EU would…
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Could the European Council grant the UK a new extension?

Could the European Council grant the UK a new extension?     Thibaud Harrois (Sorbonne Nouvelle) In early September 2019, a few weeks after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, French Foreign Secretary Jean-Yves Le Drian explained France was not favourable to postponing Britain’s departure from the European Union beyond the October 31st deadline. “We won’t start…
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Some Consequences of a Brexit for EU Decentralised Agencies

Merijn Chamon (Maastricht University)   This blogpost expands on two of the consequences that a Brexit may have or has already had for the EU’s Decentralised Agencies. Relocation While the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has not been carried through yet, the UK’s notification of its intent to withdraw from the EU (pursuant to Article…
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The Politics of Blame in the UK’s Relationship with the EU

Paul Copeland (Queen Mary University London)    During the 2016 UK referendum campaign on UK membership of the EU the slogan ‘take back control’ became the dominant message of Vote Leave. ‘Take back control’ is arguably one of the most successful electoral slogans since New Labour’s 1997 electoral manifesto ‘because Britain deserves better’. While ‘taking…
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Growing Momentum for a Deal

Growing Momentum for a Deal     Jennifer Powers (Alternative Arrangements Commission Technical Panel) Harold Wilson’s observation that ‘a week is a long time in politics’ needs updating for our Brexit times. After three long years of dithering and months of paralysis, the prospect of a deal has risen sharply overnight following the publication of…
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The New European Commission and the Future of the EU  

The new European Commission and the future of the EU     Patrick Bijsmans (Maastricht University) It already seems ages ago that we had the kick-off of the European election campaign here in Maastricht on 29 April. The Maastricht Debate, as it was called, brought together the Spitzenkandidaten of five of the European party groups.…
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An Historical Perspective on Brexit: Six Theories

An Historical Perspective on Brexit: Six Theories     Gilles Grin (Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe and University of Lausanne) The United Kingdom and the European Union are just weeks ahead of the 31 October 2019 deadline when Brexit is supposed to happen. The future is yet to be written but it may be interesting…
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The Italian political crisis: a new government or snap elections?

The Italian political crisis: a new government or snap elections? Gianfranco Pasquino (University of Bologna) Governmental instability in Italy has never meant democratic instability. Governments have come and gone, on average every 15-17 months within a democratic framework rarely challenged except in a minority of cases. The Italian Constitution has always been successful in guiding…
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Political polarization in Spain and the election of the Prime Minister

Political polarization in Spain and the election of the Prime Minister  Leonardo Álvarez Álvarez (University of Oviedo) The approval of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 was a consequence of a broad consensus between different political forces. However, Spain’s current difficulties electing a Prime Minister following the elections held on the 28th of April 2019 appear…
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Self-Rule in the 21st century: How UK Citizens Lose Influence Through Brexit

Self-Rule in the 21st century: How UK Citizens Lose Influence Through Brexit  Christina Eckes (University of Amsterdam) ‘Take back control’ was the slogan of the vote leave campaign in the Brexit Referendum that was, at its heart, driven by concerns over self-rule for UK citizens. Theresa May’s famous Brexit speech painted an image of ‘a…
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New Leaders and Old Problems: Brexit and the Rule of Law Crisis

New Leaders and Old Problems: Brexit and the Rule of Law Crisis R. Daniel Kelemen (Rutgers University) The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson are very different sorts of leaders, but they do have a few things in common. For…
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Brexit’s Implications for UK-EU Relations in Justice and Home Affairs

Brexit’s Implications for UK-EU Relations in Justice and Home Affairs Christine Andreeva (Dublin City University)  The EU’s Area of Freedom Security and Justice (AFSJ; also referred to as Justice and Home Affairs – JHA) has a very specific mandate as compared to other EU policy areas. Officially a shared competence since the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, the…
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Von der Leyen’s Paper-Thin Election: Will She Keep her Promises?

Von der Leyen’s Paper-Thin Election: Will She Keep her Promises? Giovanni Zaccaroni  (DCU Brexit Institute) The election of the President of the European Commission is the topical moment of the EU’s political life. The new Commission, in the aftermath of the May 2019 European elections, is expected to start its mandate in November 2019, at…
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As Brexit Advances, Grexit Recedes: The Greek Elections and the New Normal

As Brexit Advances, Grexit Recedes: The Greek Elections and the New Normal Angelos Angelou  (LSE  European Institute) One would be in for a surprise looking at the press coverage that Greece received after its recent elections on 7 July. The outside observer will find himself looking at two entirely different narratives. On the one hand,…
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Not United, but Linked in Negotiations with the EU: Switzerland and the UK

Not United, but Linked in Negotiations with the EU: Switzerland and the UK Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (DCU Brexit Institute) Since its decision not to join the EEA in 1992, Switzerland has been continuously negotiating with the EU on various aspects of cooperation, participation and integration. Most recent negotiations about an institutional framework to some of the…
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The New EU Top Jobs and the Future of Europe

The New EU Top Jobs and the Future of Europe Federico Fabbrini  (DCU Brexit Institute) Les jeux sont fait. After extensive wrangling and negotiations, the heads of state and government of the EU member states found a magical compromise to identify the leaders of the top jobs for the EU’s next institutional cycle. As announced…
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Switzerland-EU Bilateralism: From Pragmatism to Mutual Frustration

Switzerland-EU Bilateralism: From Pragmatism to Mutual Frustration Cenni Najy  (University of Geneva) Switzerland’s European integration trajectory has been unique and very puzzling to most observers. Switzerland is indeed a particular case. It is the only country of Western Europe not to have joined the EU or the multilateral association offered by the European Economic Area…
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Brexit, Spain and British Gibraltar

Brexit, Spain and British Gibraltar Gerry O’Reilly (Dublin City University)   Brexit has been closely followed by UK and EU citizens alike in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar (area: 6.8 sq. km.) and its Spanish hinterlands – Campo de Gibraltar in Andalucía. For people there, as in Dundalk, Newry, Derry/Londonderry and Ireland, an immediate…
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Brexit, the Euro Summit, and Eurozone Governance Reform

Brexit, the Euro Summit, and Eurozone Governance Reform Ian Cooper (DCU Brexit Institute) Last week’s summit of EU leaders was actually two separate meetings. On Thursday there was a meeting of the European Council, the heads of state and government of all 28 EU member states, which defines the political direction of the EU as…
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The Spitzenkandidaten Process: Requiem for a Misguided Eurodream?

The Spitzenkandidaten Process: Requiem for a Misguided Eurodream?  R. Daniel Kelemen (Rutgers University)   According to its proponents, the Spitzenkandidaten process was supposed to help democratize the EU. So far, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. While there is evidence the Spitzenkandidaten process has had some beneficial effects for EU democracy, it has also had unexpected, negative consequences.…
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Event Report: ‘Which Brexit After the European Elections?’

Event Report: ‘Which Brexit After the European Elections?’ Tom McDonald (DCU Brexit Institute) The Gallery Room at the Helix, Dublin City University (DCU) was bustling on 14th June 2019 at the DCU Brexit Institute seminar event ‘Which Brexit After European Parliament Elections?’. The event was divided into two parts: a keynote speech by Dr. Mark Speich…
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Facing the Rights and Equality Crisis: Achieving a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit

Facing the Rights and Equality Crisis: Achieving a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit Anne Smith (Ulster University) and Colin Harvey (Queen’s University Belfast)   Brexit is giving rise to anxiety about a ‘major constitutional change’ that is creating ‘constitutional uncertainty’, but it has also resulted in a ‘constitutional moment’…
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European Elections: A European Perspective – Deadlock or a New Beginning?  

European Elections: A European Perspective – Deadlock or a New Beginning?   Matteo Scotto (German-Italian Centre for European Excellence Villa Vigoni)   After months of harsh political campaigning in Europe, the elections for the European Parliament are finally behind us. Henceforth, the European Union will have to deal with one relevant novelty in the next five years:…
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European elections – The Italian perspective: Italian populist nationalism changes but remains in charge

European elections – The Italian perspective: Italian populist nationalism changes but remains in charge Francesco Clementi (University of Perugia) On Sunday 26th May 2019, Italian voters have voted to elect the new Italian representatives to the European Parliament. Before commenting on the results and their effects, three main elements can be useful to understand the…
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European Elections – the UK Perspective. Brexit and the Unsettling of the Two-Party System

European Elections – the UK Perspective. Brexit and the Unsettling of the Two-Party System Edoardo Bressanelli (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies)   If the British political situation could be summarised with a slogan, this would be “once upon a time: the Westminster system”. That is, a political system characterised by stable governments, strong and authoritative prime…
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European elections, European values, and Brexit

European elections, European values, and Brexit Sébastien Platon (Bordeaux University)   The results of the recent European elections have shown a massive reshuffling of the European political landscape. The two European parties which have dominated the European Parliament for decades, the European People’s Party (EPP, centre-right) and the Socialists & Democrats (S&D, centre-left) suffered a…
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European Elections: The Silence of the Lambs and the Dangerous Political Resignation – The Portuguese Perspective

European Elections: The Silence of the Lambs and the Dangerous Political Resignation – The Portuguese Perspective Catarina Santos Botelho (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)   A week after 2019 European Parliamentary (EP) elections, there are several reflections worth considering. To begin with, the two traditional blocs – centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Socialists and…
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May Day: Brexit & the Future of Europe

May Day: Brexit & the Future of Europe Federico Fabbrini (Director, DCU Brexit Institute) On 23 May 2019 – exactly 35 months after the British people voted to leave the European Union (EU) – the United Kingdom (UK), against all expectations, held elections for the European Parliament (EP). On 24 May 2019, Theresa May announced…
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Event Report: ‘Brexit and the European Parliament Elections 2019’

Event Report: ‘Brexit and the European Parliament Elections 2019’ Tom McDonald (DCU Brexit Institute) The conference room at Europe House in Dublin city center was full on 16th of May when the DCU Brexit Institute hosted a seminar event on “Brexit & European Elections 2019”. The event was divided into two parts that included: presentations…
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European Parliament elections in times of (delayed) Brexit

European Parliament elections in times of (delayed) Brexit Patrick Bijsmans (Maastricht University)   At the time of writing, we are nearing the third anniversary of the Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016. While a cause for celebration or a grave feeling of loss, depending on where you stand on the issue, it almost feels like nothing…
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The Ireland-European Election Conundrum

The Ireland/European Election Conundrum Gary Murphy (Dublin City University)   Ever since Ireland first held contested elections to the European Parliament in 1979 conventional political wisdom has suggested that attitudes to the incumbent government or to the candidates on offer have shaped such elections in Ireland. Sentiment about the EU itself has had little impact…
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European Parliament Elections 2019 and the European demos in the midst of difficult challenges

European Parliament Elections 2019 and the European demos in the midst of difficult challenges Anastasia Deligiaouri (Dublin City University) The European Parliament (EP) is the only institution in the EU, which enjoys a direct election procedure from European citizens. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are both inherent and well embedded in its structure and give the EP its…
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The Composition of the 2019-24 EU Parliament – Challenges in Light of Brexit

The Composition of the 2019-24 EU Parliament – Challenges in Light of Brexit Rebecca Schmidt (Dublin City University) The decision by the European Council to grant a further extension under Article 50 (3) TEU to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will impact the EU Parliament in unprecedented ways. One crucial factor for this impact…
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Brexit: the 2019 General Elections in Spain and British Gibraltar

Brexit: the 2019 General Elections in Spain and British Gibraltar Gerry O’Reilly (Dublin City University) For months, commentators in Spain and abroad closely monitored the growing influence of populist and right-wing parties in Spain in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections. Similarly, events were closely watched by UK and EU citizens alike in the…
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Years Into the Brexit Process, the UK Still Faces Fundamental Choices for its Future Relationship with the EU

Years Into the Brexit Process, the UK Still Faces Fundamental Choices for its Future Relationship with the EU Pervez Ghauri (University of Birmingham) and Ursula Ott (Nottingham Trent University) Pervez Ghauri and Ursula Ott in their paper “Brexit negotiations: from negotiation space to agreement zones” use bargaining theory models of rational behavior and the negotiation…
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Ad Kalendas Graecas? The Future of Brexit and Its Consequences for the EU

Ad Kalendas Graecas? The Future of Brexit and Its Consequences for the EU Federico Fabbrini (DCU Brexit Institute) On 10 April 2019 the European Council unanimously accepted a second request by Prime Minister Theresa May to further postpone the withdrawal date of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Almost three years since…
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Thirty-Four Months On: What Next For BREXIT?

Thirty-Four Months On: What Next For BREXIT? Tom Frost (University of Sussex) On 10 April, an emergency meeting of the European Council was convened to discuss the latest developments on Brexit. On 5 April, the Prime Minister wrote to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, asking for a further extension to the Article 50…
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Event Report: High – Level Policy Dialogue, 4 April 2019

Event Report: High – Level Policy Dialogue, 4 April 2019 Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (DCU Brexit Institute) On 4 April 2019, Grant Thornton hosted the High-Level Policy Dialogue between Georgios Papacostantinou (EUI School of Transnational Governance, former Finance Minister of Greece) and Denis MacShane (former Europe Minister of the UK), organised by the DCU Brexit Institute. Given the…
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All-Island Customs Union: No Cure-All for the Irish Border Neither

All-Island Customs Union: No Cure-All for the Irish Border Neither  Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (DCU Brexit Institute) The “All-Ireland Common No-Custom Area” as suggested by Giorgio Sacerdoti and Paola Mariani on this Blog yesterday has its merits: it liberates the UK from the need to remain in a Customs Union with the EU in order to avoid a…
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An alternative to the Irish Backstop? An “All-Ireland Common No-Custom Area” as a Frontier Traffic Area under Art. XXIV GATT for products originating in the island

Giorgio Sacerdoti & Paola Mariani (Bocconi University) This article is a proposal which will be discussed in future blogs. (a) The situation envisaged under the Backstop. Let us first recall the terms of the issue. During the transition period (which will last until, at the latest, December 2022), the UK government will negotiate other future…
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Brexit in the Spirit of the Treaties

Brexit in the Spirit of the Treaties Ton van den Brink (University of Utrecht) A new phase of Brexit uncertainty has started now that the British Prime Minister has asked for an extension of Article 50. Uncertainty on whether the EU will agree on the length of the extension, on how it will be used…
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The EU Should Insist on a Long Extension of Article 50

The EU Should Insist on a Long Extension of Article 50 Nicolai von Ondarza (SWP) After the renewed rejection of Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and the symbolic rejection of a No-Deal-Brexit, the question of the extension of the exit process is now the main focus of the Brexit drama. On Wednesday, 20 March, Theresa May…
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A Week is a Very Long Time in Brexitland

A Week is a Very Long Time in Brexitland Alan S. Reid (Sheffield Hallam University) Brexit continues to surprise, dismay and amaze in equal measure. Like any good soap opera, a good cliff-hanger ending is required at the end of every episode of Brexitland 2019. This week and last week were no different, producing notable…
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Fog In Channel – The Continent is Confused

Fog in Channel – The Continent is Confused Pietro Manzini (University of Bologna) Perhaps the famous headline ‘Fog in Channel – the Continent is cut off’ is a fake, but certainly in these days of Brexit the Channel is full of fog and the Continent – from where I write – is very confused. With…
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The ‘European Renewal’ of French President Emmanuel Macron

The ‘European Renewal’ of French President Emmanuel Macron Chloé Papazian (Dublin City University) On 4 March 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron wrote an opinion article for a ‘European renewal’ addressed directly to the citizens of Europe which was published in several European newspapers yesterday. One year and an half after his speech at the University…
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UK and EU Intelligence Communities in an Age of Durable Disorder After Brexit

UK and EU Intelligence Communities in an Age of Durable Disorder After Brexit Giangiuseppe Pili (Dublin City University) Brexit is a major challenge for the present and future security policy of both the UK and the EU. Indeed, all the different possible scenarios show that Brexit will pose several issues inside the current security environment.…
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The Show Must Go On: Understanding the Brexit Theatre

The Show Must Go On: Understanding the Brexit Theatre Federico Fabbrini (Director, DCU Brexit Institute) Thirty Days. This is what’s left before the default exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). But the fans of the Brexit show have by now got used to coups de theatre – and more may…
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Brexit and the UK’s Self-Exile from Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny of Europol

Brexit and the UK’s Self-Exile from Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny of Europol Ian Cooper (DCU Brexit Institute) Today in the Romanian Parliament, there is a meeting of a body tasked with the democratic oversight of Europol, the EU Agency for Police Cooperation. It is called the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG), and it includes representatives from both the…
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The Affective Understanding of Post-Brexit European Integration

The Affective Understanding of Post-Brexit European Integration Simona Guerra (University of Leicester) Theofanis Exadaktylos (University of Surrey) Roberta Guerrina (University of Surrey) Euroscepticism as a subject of research has taken a new turn following the 2016 British referendum to leave the European Union (EU) in terms of blame attribution and political polarization. Chris Flood had already…
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Emerging Post-Brexit Relations of Switzerland with the EU and the UK: New Year, New Treaties?

Emerging Post-Brexit Relations of Switzerland with the EU and the UK: New Year, New Treaties? Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (University of Lucerne) In its relations with Europe, Switzerland relies on more than 120 treaties regulating partial integration and sectoral market access in the EU and in the EFTA. The centrepiece of market access and partial integration treaties, the so-called…
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The Future of UK-EU Development Cooperation After Brexit: Finding a New Point of Departure

The Future of UK-EU Development Cooperation After Brexit: Finding a New Point of Departure Emmanuel De Groof and Andrew Sherriff  (European Centre for Development Policy Management – ECDPM) On Tuesday 15 January, the draft withdrawal agreement – the result of 18 months of intense negotiations between British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the European Union…
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Article 50 After Brexit: Reforming Withdrawal and Opt-Outs from the EU

Article 50 After Brexit: Reforming Withdrawal and Opt-Outs from the EU Oliver Garner (European University Institute) On 15thJanuary 2019, the House of Commons is scheduled to finally hold the ‘meaningful vote’ on whether to adopt or reject the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. Despite the prevarication of the Prime Minister in delaying the vote that was originally scheduled…
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The ECJ Confirms that Article 50 Notification can be Unilaterally Revoked

Case C-621/18, Wightman v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union: The European Court of Justice confirms that Article 50 notification can be unilaterally revoked Oliver Garner (European University Institute) Introduction On 10 December 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivered its judgment in the Wightman case on the revocation of a notification of…
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Defence, Security and Brexit: Ireland’s Dilemma

Defence, Security and Brexit: Ireland’s Dilemma Kenneth McDonagh (Dublin City University) EU security and defence cooperation has always existed in something of a quantum state – we can know where we are or how fast we’re moving but not both at the same time. In recent weeks both Emmanuel Macronand Angela Merkel have called for versions…
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The Brexit Deal and the UK-EU Security Relationship

The Brexit Deal and the UK-EU Security Relationship: Insights from the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration Helena Farrand Carrapico (Aston University) On the 29th of March 2019, the cooperation mechanisms and instruments of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) will cease to apply, in their current format, to the United Kingdom (UK), following…
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The Brexit Deal and Gibraltar

The Brexit Deal and Gibraltar Maria Mut Bosque (International University of Catalonia) On the 25th of November 2018, the EU-27 leaders endorsed the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. These texts now need to be passed by the other EU Institutions in…
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The Art of the Deal: The European Council and Brexit

The Art of the Deal: the European Council and Brexit Federico Fabbrini (Professor of European Law & Director of DCU Brexit Institute) On Sunday 25 November 2018 the European Council approved the Brexit deal, giving its blessing to the draft international treaty regulating the orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU and to the connected…
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The Brexit Deal: The Final Steps to Its Approval

The Brexit Deal: The Final Steps to Its Approval Ian Cooper (DCU Brexit Institute) This morning, Donald Tusk announced that the EU and the UK have reached an agreement on a 26-page Political Declaration on the framework for a future EU-UK relationship. Together with the 585-page draft Withdrawal Agreement, this is the long-awaited Brexit Deal.…
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The Brexit Deal

The Brexit Deal Federico Fabbrini (Director of the DCU Brexit Institute) Yesterday evening, Wednesday 14 November 2018, the United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement on the terms of an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The Brexit deal, which includes the full text of a withdrawal treaty as well as…
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We Need to Talk About Brexit and Aviation

Upcoming Event: Brexit and Aviation, November 15. Full details here. Barry McMullin (DCU School of Electronic Engineering) I recently received an invitation from the DCU Brexit Institute to its event to be held today on the subject of Brexit and Aviation. It seems like an important and timely topic, with an excellent line up of expert and…
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Brexit and Aviation: The Fate of the Emissions Trading Scheme

Upcoming Event: Brexit and Aviation, November 15. Full details here. Andrew Murphy (Transport & Environment) In the jumble of issues that Brexit touches on, aviation is one that manages to regularly make headlines. From concerns about British manufacturing jobs in the sector, to allegations that Ireland is threatening access, to the risk posed to British holiday makers, aviation…
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Merkel’s Slow Exit, Ireland and Brexit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down from her party’s leadership: Will her country’s Brexit position soften? Aaron Burnett (Emerging Voices Group, IIEA) Less than two weeks before announcing she would not campaign again to lead Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Chancellor Merkel appeared before the Bundestag to outline the Brexit position her government would…
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After a No-Deal Brexit, Would the UK Remain in the EEA by Default?

After a No-Deal Brexit, Would the UK Remain in the EEA by Default? Yuliya Kaspiarovich (University of Geneva) and Nicolas Levrat (University of Geneva) Brexit is a journey on uncharted waters. Diplomats, political scientists, economists and legal scholars have neither precedent nor theoretical framework to appraise and analyse the situation. If art. 50 TEU (Treaty on European Union)…
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Politics, Not Interests, Will Shape the UK-EU Security Relationship

Politics, Not Interests, Will Shape the UK-EU Security Relationship Benjamin Martill (London School of Economics) Monika Sus (Hertie School of Governance)   The Easy Question? It was once thought that managing the security and defence aspects of Brexit would be easy. The intergovernmental nature of EU security and defence policy has always meant that the…
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Some Reflections on the Current UK and EU Positions on Brexit

Some Reflections on the Current UK and EU Positions on Brexit Chloé Papazian (DCU Brexit Institute) On 20 September 2018, Mr David Lidington, the UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, who is the de facto No 2 in the UK Government’s “chain of command” after Prime Minister Theresa May, visited the DCU Brexit Institute. The Minister…
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Scrutinizing Brexit in Europe’s Parliaments

Scrutinizing Brexit in Europe’s Parliaments Katharina Meissner (Institute for European Integration Research, Vienna) In a recent blog post, Ian Cooper discussed the consequences of Brexit on inter-parliamentary relations in the EU. Yet, we know little about the involvement of national parliaments in the actual Brexit talks. In fact, the intensity of parliamentary scrutiny activities varies…
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Event Report: Brexit by Design or by Default?

Event Report: Brexit: By Design or By Default? Assessing the State of the Withdrawal Process Chloé Papazian (DCU Brexit Institute) On 6 September 2018, the Brexit Institute organized the kick-off event of the academic year assessing the state of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The event featured an opening debate by Members…
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History and Brexit

What does the Eden Plan tell about Brexit? Andreja Pegan (DCU Brexit Institute, Dublin) While negotiations between the UK and the European Union (EU) on the withdrawal, transition and future relations are nearing a close, it is time to think about how the UK will behave towards the EU after Brexit. Given the EU’s market, and…
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The German Bundestag and Brexit

The German Bundestag and Brexit: Defending Stability or Calling for Change? Frank Wendler (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main) The political debate on Brexit in Germany highlights two major questions: First, how to define the EU’s stance on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and its future relationship with Europe; and second, how to identify reasons for…
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The Oireachtas and Brexit

The Oireachtas and Brexit Gavin Barrett (University College Dublin) The Irish parliament has not traditionally been numbered among the stronger parliaments in Europe in exacting accountability in relation to European affairs, either in terms of its institutional strength or its activity level. However, it has over time undergone periodic reform, in particular at the time…
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The Military Dimension of Brexit: A No-Deal on Defence?

The Military Dimension of Brexit: A No-Deal on Defence? Lee D. Turpin (Lancaster University) Whilst much discussion of Brexit negotiations has focused on the economic interests at stake for both sides, future UK-EU relations on military matters remain perhaps too often overlooked. As this blog post makes clear, it is important not be complacent regarding the…
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The Parliamentary Dimension of Brexit

The Parliamentary Dimension of Brexit Ian Cooper (Dublin City University) The next event at the DCU Brexit Institute will feature numerous parliamentarians from across the EU. This is an opportune moment to consider the parliamentary dimension of Brexit. Brexit has been largely an executive-driven process, in essence a prolonged negotiation between the UK government and…
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Five Reasons the May-Macron Meeting Won’t Change the French Position on Brexit

Five Reasons the May-Macron Meeting Won’t Change the French Position on Brexit Benjamin Leruth (University of Canberra) Last Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Theresa May at his summer residence in Bormes-Les-Mimosas. These talks were informal (Michel Barnier is and remains Chief Negotiator for the European Union), though it suggests a change in May’s strategy…
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Preparedness and Contingency: The Commission Starts to Plan for a No-Deal Brexit

Preparedness and Contingency: The Commission Starts to Plan for a No-Deal Brexit Salvador Llaudes (Elcano Royal Institute) Chequers was supposed to be a turning point in the Brexit negotiations. It has indeed been so, although not in a completely successful way for the British Government. Since then, the political situation in the UK has reached…
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The White Paper’s Answer to the ‘Brexit Trilemma’ (Part II)

The White Paper’s Answer to the ‘Brexit Trilemma’ (Part II) Chloé Papazian (European University Institute/ Dublin City University) The previous blog on this issue argued that the UK Government’s White Paper published on 12 July 2018 reflects a fundamental trilemma that the UK faces with respect to its future relationship with the EU and its trade…
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The White Paper’s Answer to the ‘Brexit Trilemma’ (Part I)

The White Paper’s Answer to the ‘Brexit Trilemma’ (Part I) Chloé Papazian (European University Institute/ Dublin City University)   On 12 July 2018, the UK Government issued its long-awaited White Paper setting out its proposals for the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The Government dedicates a large portion of the…
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The Seven Circles of Brexit

The Seven Circles of Brexit Ian Cooper (DCU Brexit Institute) Last Friday, it seemed as though Theresa May had secured her full cabinet’s agreement on a common negotiating position that would set the UK on a glidepath towards a soft Brexit. Days later this “Chequers agreement” was thrown into doubt by the resignation of her…
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The “Known Unknowns” of Brexit

The “Known Unknowns” of Brexit A Flowchart Chronicle of a Mess Foretold Glyn Morgan (Collegio Carlo Alberto, Torino, and Maxwell School, Syracuse University) Teaching a class last year on Brexit to American students, I discovered that—like impatient readers of a “Whodunnit”—they wanted to know how it would all turn out. “Too early to say,” I’d…
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Brexit, Ireland and the June European Council

Brexit, Ireland and the June European Council Federico Fabbrini Today and tomorrow, 28 and 29 June 2018, the European Council – the body grouping the heads of state and government of the EU member states, together with the President of the European Commission – was due to have a major meeting on Brexit. The meeting…
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SLOVENEXIT? Brexit and the Slovenian Elections

SLOVENEXIT? Brexit and the Slovenian Elections Andreja Pegan (DCU Brexit Institute) What elements of “Brexit” can we find in the latest elections in Europe held in Slovenia on 3 June 2018? Two issues that came to the fore in Slovenia were migration and healthcare. As was the case for UK voters in the Brexit referendum,…
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Norway’s EU Lessons — How Transferable Are They to the UK?

Norway’s EU lessons – How Transferable Are They to the UK? John Erik Fossum (ARENA, University of Oslo) Hans Petter Graver (Department of Private Law, University of Oslo) The purpose of this short blog entry is to consider the transferability to the UK of some of the lessons from Norway’s EU experience, as these were…
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The Institutional Consequences of a Hard Brexit – Key Findings

The Institutional Consequences of a Hard Brexit – Key Findings by Federico Fabbrini (Dublin City University) The European Parliament’s Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) recently asked Prof. Federico Fabbrini, Director of the DCU Brexit Institute, to write an in-depth report on the Institutional Consequences of a Hard Brexit. The report has just been published and…
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Brexit, the OECD and Financial Markets

Upcoming Event: Brexit and Financial Services, 12 April 2018. Ticking Clocks and Financial Markets: Brexit and the OECD’s 2017 Economic Forecast Michael Breen (Dublin City University) Elliott Doak (Kroll Rating Agency) The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warns that the clock is ticking. Soon we will learn more about the UK’s future relationship with the…
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On Brexit, the EU’s Demand for a Short Transition is Short-Sighted

On Brexit, the EU’s Demand for a Short Transition is Short-Sighted by Ian Cooper* (DCU Brexit Institute) Tomorrow marks the exact halfway point in the two-year period between the UK’s triggering of Article 50 and “Brexit day” – 29 March 2019. Time is running short, which raises the question: Is the EU taking the right…
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The European Council Confronts the Post-Brexit Future

The European Council Confronts the Post-Brexit Future by Andrew Duff The European Council (22-23 March) has to assess the strategic impact of Brexit on the future of Europe. Although the heads of government have followed the Brexit saga with regret turning to alarm, it is the Commission’s Task Force 50 under Michel Barnier that has…
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The European Parliament and Brexit (Part II)

The European Parliament and Brexit (Part II) by Francis Jacobs (formerly European Parliament staff) Brexit has important potential implications for the European Parliament, reducing its size, altering the composition of its political groups and its overall political balance, and posing questions about the ongoing role of both British MEPs and British staff members within the Parliament.…
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The European Parliament and Brexit (Part I)

The European Parliament and Brexit (Part I) by Francis Jacobs (formerly European Parliament staff) Brexit has important potential implications for the European Parliament, reducing its size, altering the composition of its political groups and its overall political balance, and posing questions about the ongoing role of both British MEPs and British staff members within the Parliament.…
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The Italian Five Star Movement and Brexit Britain: From Love to Friendship

On February 15, 2018, the DCU Brexit Institute held an event on “Brexit, Climate and Energy Policy” organised in partnership with the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and the Political Studies Association of Ireland. The event was hosted by Arthur Cox.

Opening Keynote Speech by Enrico Letta (former Italian Prime Minister and Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po Paris)

Enrico Letta spoke about Brexit being one of the most important challenges of our times, even though, as he reminded the audience, it is not as important in France and Italy as it is in Ireland. Before continuing, he gave warning that the topic is complicated and he cannot see a happy end of Brexit. The Union risks and will lose most in the area of energy and climate. In these topics the UK had a big leading role and therefore losing the UK is a loss for the EU.

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Event “Brexit, Climate and Energy Policy”

On February 15, 2018, the DCU Brexit Institute held an event on “Brexit, Climate and Energy Policy” organised in partnership with the Irish Environmental Protection Agency and the Political Studies Association of Ireland. The event was hosted by Arthur Cox.

Opening Keynote Speech by Enrico Letta (former Italian Prime Minister and Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po Paris)

Enrico Letta spoke about Brexit being one of the most important challenges of our times, even though, as he reminded the audience, it is not as important in France and Italy as it is in Ireland. Before continuing, he gave warning that the topic is complicated and he cannot see a happy end of Brexit. The Union risks and will lose most in the area of energy and climate. In these topics the UK had a big leading role and therefore losing the UK is a loss for the EU.

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What will Brexit mean for climate change?

Opinion: Brexit is causing deep uncertainty across a range of policy spheres so what will it mean for Europe’s efforts to combat climate change?

The scale of the decarbonisation challenge facing the world is nothing short of daunting. According to the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017, climate change policy pledges made by governments around the world cumulatively amount to only approximately one-third of what is required to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius, a key danger threshold set by climate scientists.

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Inaugural Event “Brexit, Ireland and the Future of Europe”

On January 25, 2018, the DCU Brexit Institute held its Inaugural event on “Brexit, Ireland and the Future of Europe”, organised in partnership with European Movement Ireland and Dublin City University. The event was opened by a Keynote Address by his Excellency Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, followed by keynote speeches by Hillary Benn, Chairman of the UK House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU, and Herman Van Rompuy, first President of the European Council. After a panel of academics and representatives of civil society, the event will be concluded by a final Keynote Address by Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Public Procurement and Brexit: The Risk to Ireland

Public procurement refers to the purchase of goods, works and services by the public sector (and organizations funded in the main through public monies).

In Ireland, as undoubtedly in many other countries, interest in public procurement appears to be inversely related to the fortunes of the economy. In times of economic prosperity the procurement of goods and services by public sector organizations has tended not to be a primary consideration for politicians, policy makers or industry representative groups. However, in recent years public procurement has moved center stage for both the public and private sectors of the economy. For central government, the strategic management of procurement across the public sector has assumed priority status. Expenditure by public sector organizations on a range of goods and services is coming under increasing scrutiny with a view to realizing cost savings.

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Workshop on Moving on? from Divorce to Future EU – UK Relations

On 7 December 2017 the DCU Brexit Institute organised, in partnership with Ibec, a workshop on “Moving on? From the Divorce to Future EU – UK Relations”. This was a general survey of the first phase of the Brexit talks, concluding a series of workshops addressing the three key issues which had to be addressed before moving on to the second phase. (As it happens, on 8 December, the morning after the workshop, it was revealed that an agreement had been reached that apparently signalled sufficient progress to allow the talks to move on to Phase 2.)  

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Sufficient Progress? Ireland’s Brexit Conundrum

Next week, on 14-15 December 2017 the European Council is set to decide whether sufficient progress has been made in the negotiations on the UK withdrawal from the EU to begin a discussion on the terms of the future relations between the UK and the EU. As is well known, the European Council concluded in October 2017 that, given the uncertainties of the UK Government, not enough progress had taken place by then in the negotiations and that therefore the beginning of phase 2 in the Brexit talks had to be postponed.

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Workshop on Brexit, the Financial Settlement and the Future of EU Finances

On November 23, the DCU Brexit Institute organized a workshop on the subject, “Brexit, the Financial Settlement and the Future of EU Finances.”
This was the third in a series of workshops addressing the three key issues of the first stage of the Brexit talks.  The previous two workshops were concerned with citizens’ rights (October 6) and the Irish border question (October 26).  

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The Brexit ‘Divorce Bill’ and the Future of EU Finances: the financial background

The question of the financial settlement is looming large over the Brexit negotiations. At its December summit, the European Council must decide whether ‘sufficient progress’ has been made on this question (along with citizens’ rights and the Irish border) in order to proceed to the next stage of the Brexit talks. Here is a short introduction to the UK’s contribution to EU finances, the likely effect of Brexit and the possible contours of the ‘divorce bill’.

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Brexit and the Harmonisation of Corporate Tax

On the 4th October 2017, the European Commission referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for failing to collect tax debts from Apple, following a Commission decision deeming the tax reliefs provided amounted to a breach of EU Competition Law. Ireland allowed Apple to pay between 0.05% and 2% in tax from 2003 to 2014, which, according to the Commission, amounted to up to €13 billion in illegal state aid. Luxembourg was also referred to the ECJ, after giving Amazon €250 million in tax breaks was also deemed to be illegal state aid. Neither country collected the debt, resulting in the recent referrals, and Ireland has appealed the decision to the ECJ.

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Workshop on Brexit, the Border and the Internal Market

The DCU Brexit Institute hosted an event on “Brexit, the Border and the Internal Market” on 26 October 2017, supported by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. The event addressed the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is arguably the most sensitive of the three items in the withdrawal negotiations, and considered also questions concerning the access by the UK to the EU internal market post Brexit.

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Two of a kind? Similarities and differences between Brexit and secession processes

TThe processes initiated by the UK government to withdraw from the EU and the search for separation from their original states of Catalan and, to a certain extent, Scottish secessionists, possess several similarities.

Firstly, both show a similar degree of dissatisfaction with accommodation within multilevel polities or multilevel governance. In fact, both show the limitations of the policies of accommodation within these multilevel polities. The UK had obtained partial derogations of the EU acquis (starting with the European Social Charter and continuing with all other treaties since then).  Regions (either Catalonia or Scotland) has also seen their devolved powers increased significantly in the last decades. Yet, in neither of these two cases were these mechanisms for accommodation of their differences enough to contain the desire for a total exit from the polity.

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Brexit and the Future of Europe

In 2016, some would claim that the European Union was doomed. The UK vote for Brexit was seen as the trigger for others to follow, in particular those where national elections were due to be held and where anti-EU populists were perceived to be gaining ground.

Reality proved them wrong.

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Workshop on Brexit, Citizens Rights and their Protection

The DCU Brexit Institute hosted an event on “Brexit, Citizens Rights and their Protection” on 5 October 2017, which was organised jointly with the European Parliament Representation in Dublin. The event addressed one of the three main issues which are currently being negotiated between the United Kingdom and the European Union: the rights of EU citizens in the UK and those of the UK citizens in the EU after the withdrawal.

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Everything you wanted to know about Brexit and citizenship…but were afraid to ask

Exactly one year ago, Prime Minister Theresa May expatiated on the subject of citizens’ rights in the post-Brexit EU and UK, memorably telling the Conservative Party Annual Conference that “if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means.” Taken in the context of a conference dominated by the decision of the British public to leave the European Union, the audience was left with no doubt that Brexit would represent a re-casting of citizens’ rights, a re-assertion of the exclusivity of United Kingdom citizenship, and a rejection of the creeping internationalism of citizenship that the EU was seen to represent, though the form this transformation would take was still a matter of some conjecture.

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What are the Best Brexit Podcasts? A Listener’s Guide

If you want to keep up with Brexit news, but find you have limited reading time, try listening to podcasts.

There are already a number of podcasts exclusively devoted to Brexit. The oldest (A Diet of Brussels, with 200+ episodes) has been around since May 8, 2015, the day after David Cameron’s Conservatives won a parliamentary majority, the event which made it inevitable that there would be a referendum on Brexit. Many more sprang up after the referendum, and they have chronicled the various twists in the Brexit story – the triggering of Article 50, the subsequent UK election and the resulting hung parliament, and the ongoing negotiations with the EU.

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Brexit, Citizenship and the Court of Justice: Explaining the EU’s position

On 20 July 2017 it became clear that the European Commission and in particular its chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, is becoming frustrated with the United Kingdom and its lack of preparation. In order to make progress, both sides need to know the positions and proposals of the other. The EU has done this, through various policy papers, it’s now the UK’s turn, seemed to be the implication. In the joint press conference Michel Barnier called for clarification on the UK’s understanding of its financial obligations in any separation agreement and how it may be calculated. Without this, there is, Barnier implied, little point in continuing to discuss on this issue. The so-called ‘Brexit Bill’ was the issue in need of clarification most stressed by Barnier but he also flagged to the lack of detail on Northern Ireland and the Common Travel Area and the issue of disentangling current legal arrangements.

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