BLOG – European Union Politics

The European Parliament to halt Hungary’s state-sponsored discrimination

Renáta Uitz (Central European University) The European Parliament adopted a resolution on July 8, 2021 in response to the Hungarian law that, among others, prohibits the propaganda of homosexuality in media and in education. The new law received considerable attention in Europe, triggering condemnation from both European constitutional actors and several national governments. The Parliament…
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An Evolutionary Explanation of the Next Generation EU Plan

Carlo Garbarino (Bocconi University) The funds of the Next Generation EU plan (“NGEU”), amounting to EUR 750 billion and financed through a debt issue, are now being made available to Member States. The European Council of 17-21 July 2020 had endorsed the agreement of national governments and stated that the Commission shall be empowered in…
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The opportunity of the Slovenian Presidency to the Council of the European Union

Andreja Pegan (Northumbria University/ University of Ljubljana) The EU Slovenian Presidency under the Orban-friendly Janez Jansa is here. That we would see a Jansa led presidency was far from obvious in the preceding months, as the opposition attempted several times to take the helm and form a new government. Despite Jansa’s weak political position with…
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A homophobic law in the EU – What next?

Rita Béres-Deák (Central European University) On June 15th, 2021, the Hungarian Parliament passed the so-called ‘Paedophilia Act’, which bans the ’promotion and portrayal’ of homosexuality and transgender identity to minors, including in education, advertising and the media. Such a law is unprecedented in the EU and runs counter to several EU principles and international human…
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Next Generation EU: Time to Give the EU Fiscal Power

Ubaldo Villani-Lubelli (University of Salento) The Covid-19 pandemic has opened up major challenges concerning the future political and institutional organisation of the European Union. Among the numerous measures taken by the European Union to counter the economic and social effects of Covid-19, two in particular symbolise a line of conflict between the Member States: the…
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The OECD, EU and United States at the Crucible of Global Taxation

Carlo Garbarino (Bocconi University) An initial agreement by the G-7 finance ministers has been reached in London which satisfies a U.S. demand for a minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent on foreign earnings and paves the way for levies on multinationals in countries other than those where they are headquartered. This is…
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A Federal European Public Prosecution Authority – From Vision to Reality?

Jacob Öberg (Örebro University) The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), which has just commenced its operation (EPPO Press Release), is a milestone for EU integration (Öberg, 2021). The fashioning of the EPPO has nonetheless been a contested process, encumbered by very complex political negotiations in the midst of a battleground between intergovernmental and supranational visions…
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EU-Swiss Relations – Moving in on their Tipping Point

Charlotte Sieber-Gasser (University of Lucerne) The Swiss government announced on 26th of May 2021 the decision not to sign the institutional framework agreement between the EU and Switzerland due to «remaining substantial differences on key aspects of the agreement». The decision marks the preliminary end to seven years of negotiations over the modernisation of the…
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Saving the BVerfG from itself: the Commission infringement proceedings against Germany and its significance

Federico Fabbrini (DCU Brexit Institute) On 9 June 2021, the European Commission announced that it has started infringement proceedings against Germany in response to the ruling by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVerfG) of 5 May 2020 regarding the European Central Bank (ECB) Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP). As it is well known, in this ruling Germany’s Federal…
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The Weiss/PSPP story: Being disproportional with proportionality?

Marcus Klamert (University of Graz) On 5 May 2020, the Second Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court (hereafter “the FCC”) handed down a judgment in a constitutional challenge against the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP) established by the ECB (“PSPP Judgement”). The FCC declared ECB decisions as well as the ECJ judgment in Weiss…
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Best of Frenemies: The EU-UK Foreign Policy Relationship after Brexit

Richard G. Whitman (University of Kent) The decision by the UK Government not to negotiate on formal terms for an EU-UK foreign, security and defence policy relationship means that the relationship in these areas is progressing on the basis of learning-by-doing. This, of course, does not mean that there is the absence of any relationship.…
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Next Generation EU and the German Federal Constitutional Court – The decision on preliminary injunctions of 15 April 2021

Mattias Wendel (Leipzig University) First things first: the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht – BVerfG) has cleared the way for Germany’s participation in Next Generation EU (NGEU). In its decision of 15 April 2021, published on 21 April 2021, the Court’s Second Senate rejected an application for preliminary injunctions challenging the domestic statute approving the ratification…
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Suing AstraZeneca

Gavin Barrett (University College Dublin) Quietly rumbling away in the background of the Covid-19 crisis are legal proceedings. The European Commission initiated litigation against AstraZeneca in a Brussels courtroom on 28 April. Bringing AstraZeneca to court was backed by all 27 EU states even if some initially vacillated, perhaps fearing that it might induce further…
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Scotland and Europe after the Elections

Kirsty Hughes (Scottish Centre on European Relations) The Scottish elections resulted in a fifteen seat majority for the Scottish National Party and Scottish Greens – with both parties committed to having another independence referendum and to independence in the European Union. Yet Boris Johnson has continued to insist that there should be no discussion of…
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The future of Social Europe without the UK

Paul Copeland (Queen Mary University of London) The EU has a relatively limited competence in employment and social policy, but over the last three decades has managed to harmonise policy in certain key areas, such as health and safety, working conditions, and equal treatment of men and women in the labour market. Progress in reaching…
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The Scottish Election. Does it decide anything?

Michael Keating (University of Aberdeen) The results of the Scottish election confirm that Scotland remains divided down the middle on the question of independence. While the Scottish National Party fell just short of an absolute majority, pro-independence parties (SNP and Greens) won 72 of the 129 seats, with 49 per cent of the vote in…
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Going Forward on Criminal Justice Cooperation post-Brexit

Amanda Kramer (Queen’s University Belfast) and Rachael Dickson (University of Birmingham) Amongst other factors, criminal justice cooperation between EU Member States developed in response to the changing cross-border nature of crime, opening of internal EU borders, and increasing recognition of the value of trading expertise and training. Recognising this value, the UK has (at times…
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Brexit and EU Enlargement Policy

Gëzim Visoka (Dublin City University) The EU’s enlargement policy has been one of the central pillars in managing the relations with surrounding neighbours and a powerful stimulus for extending democratic and economic reforms in countries who currently aspire to join the EU or have a potential perspective in the future. For over a decade, the…
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The Impact of Brexit on the European Single Financial Market

Sven Van Kerckhoven (Brussels School of Governance, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) Brexit has far-reaching consequences for the European single market for financial transactions. In particular in this field, the United Kingdom has had a strong influence as the City of London has acted as the financial hub in Europe for several decades. London was the first…
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Green Light from Karlsruhe: Obstacles to Next Generation EU Removed

Gian Luigi Tosato (Sapienza University) We can now breathe a sigh of relief. The German Constitutional Court promptly delivered its ruling in the desirable way. The urgent appeal – which we had written about in a previous analysis – was rejected, the block to the approval of the EU Own Resources Decision was thus removed…
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Giving Substance to “An Economy that Works for the People”

Christine Neuhold and Fèlix Ruiz Cabré (Maastricht University) In 2019, the then candidate for European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, presented her political guidelines for the European executive for the upcoming five years. These guidelines contain six so called ‘headline ambitions.’ These spanned from a European Green Deal, to a ‘Europe fit for the…
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The New EU Fiscal Policy

Michael Breen (Dublin City University) The European Commission is going to borrow nearly 700 billion euro to boost the recovery in Europe through NextGenerationEU, a temporary instrument that will open the door to private capital markets for the first time. This is an important step for the European Union because it helps to address a…
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The Procurement of EU Covid-19 Medical Supplies: Rights and Wrongs of the Joint Procurement Agreements versus Advanced Purchase Agreements

Emma McEvoy and Delia Ferri (Maynooth University) Last month we witnessed the escalation of the EU-UK row over vaccine supplies, namely regarding the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccines, which was discussed by Glencross in this blog. The tipping point of the row occurred when the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, suggested that the…
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Border Carbon Adjustments – The EU Parliament Resolution

Goran Dominioni (Dublin City University) The European Parliament has adopted a resolution for a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) to guide the Commission in formulating a proposal in the second quarter of 2021. This blog discusses the essential features of this resolution and argues that the EU Parliament is right in stressing that the design…
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The Northern Ireland Protocol and the Future of the Union

Eileen Connolly and John Doyle (Dublin City University) In our recent working paper on the future relationship between the UK and the EU we argued that the deep divisions in Northern Ireland on its constitutional status will make the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement a constant source of EU-UK friction, even if the…
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Bulgaria’s 4 April Parliamentary Election: The End of Borissov’s Rule?

John O’ Brennan (Maynooth University) Sunday’s parliamentary election in Bulgaria took place against a backdrop of a renewed Covid crisis, the ‘third wave’ of which has produced very high levels of infection and death, and in the wake of sustained protests since last summer against the incumbent government, led by Boiko Borissov and his centre-Right…
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Brexit, Market Adjustment and the Irish Sea

Gerard McCann (St Mary’s University College) John Maynard Keynes observantly noted of European realignment coming out of the Great War, that: “When the final result is expected to be a compromise, it is often prudent to start from an extreme position”. Brandon Lewis, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, opened the UK Government’s new round…
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The UK-EU Vaccine Spat is an Intra-EU Tussle not an Act of Brexit-Induced Spite

Andrew Glencross (Aston University) The rollout of a variety of effective vaccines against COVID-19 is an incredible scientific success story, but one that is currently overshadowed by an unseemly EU-UK spat over the distribution of this precious resource. In the prelude to the recent European Council summit, it emerged that the EU had exported 21…
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What do the elections tell us about Dutch EU policy?

Rem Korteweg (Clingendael Institute) At first sight, not much will change after last week’s elections in the Netherlands. Mark Rutte’s VVD won the most votes, guaranteeing his fourth consecutive term as the country’s prime minister. It will make Rutte the longest-serving prime minister in the Netherlands, and the longest-serving head of government in the EU,…
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Human Rights and Equality Provisions under the Northern Ireland Protocol

Colin Murray and Clare Rice (Newcastle University) Although much of the focus on the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland has been directed towards trade, its arrangements extends far beyond these issues. We examine the human rights and equality provisions contained in Article 2 of the Protocol, and consider the implications of these for…
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Northern Ireland, Brexit & Jumping Scales

Aoife O’Donoghue (Durham University) and Sylvia de Mars (Newcastle University) Many outside the Brexit bubble probably wonder why we are still talking about it. Those dissatisfied with the Brexit ‘agreements’ probably place the blame for all lasting issues squarely on Northern Ireland’s shoulders – though who specifically to point the finger at, for most, remains…
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Welcome to the Magic World of International Law

Paola Mariani (Bocconi University) The United Kingdom left the European Union at midnight on 31 January 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. But due to the transition period expired last 31 December 2020, only now we can start to understand the real meaning of Brexit. The same can be said for the Protocol…
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Could the European Parliament Kill Off the Brexit Deal?

Francis Jacobs (formerly European Parliament staff) The role of the European Parliament  in the adoption of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Agreement on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK may have been reached by the two negotiating teams on 24 December 2020, but it will only be final if and when…
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Conferencing about the Future of Europe

Matej Avbelj (New University, Ljubljana) The long awaited Conference on the Future of the Europe is scheduled to finally take off on 9 May in Strasbourg.  The just adopted Joint declaration, prepared by the Portuguese presidency, fleshes out the concept, mandate, organisation and goals of the Conference. As is well known, the political expectations with…
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The Conference on the Future of Europe: Relaunching the EU after Brexit and Covid-19

Federico Fabbrini (DCU Brexit Institute) Today, 10 March 2021, the Presidents of the three main institutions of the European Union (EU) – the Commission, Parliament and Council – will formally approve a Joint Declaration launching the Conference on the Future of Europe. This news – which in the past days was somehow overshadowed, particularly in…
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Italy Under Mario Draghi, Guarantor and Builder in Europe

Flavio Brugnoli (Centro Studi sul Federalismo) The distinguishing characteristic of the government led by Mario Draghi leaves no room for doubt: it is an executive – as he emphasised in his programmatic speech to the Senate – born “in the wake of our country’s membership, as a founding member, of the European Union, and as…
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Cross-Border Data Protection After Brexit

Edoardo Celeste (DCU) From a data protection perspective, Brexit manifestly represents a step backwards for the UK. The UK is leaving a space where personal data has freely circulated since 1995, where companies are subject to uniform rules and where national data protection authorities cooperate in a coordinated manner. Brexit has increased the level of complexity of data protection law by…
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Britain’s Nordic Allies Confront the Brave New World of Post-Brexit Europe

Daniel F. Schulz (University of Agder) It has finally happened. After more than four years of transition with numerous missed deadlines and extensions, the United Kingdom’s exit from the Single Market clearly marks the beginning of a new era – not only for the UK itself, but for its closest allies within the European Union…
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After Brexit: UK Citizens Living in Europe

Orsolya Farkas (Free University of Bolzano/Bozen) It has been clear since the very beginning that Brexit would fundamentally change the legal status of the approx. 1.2 million UK citizens living in Europe, and that those who are planning to move will find themselves in a new situation. But it was less expected that uncertainty –…
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Immigration, Free Movement and Brexit

Jonathan Portes (Kings College London and UK in a Changing Europe) Immigration was a major factor – perhaps the major factor – in the Brexit vote. Over the past two decades, migration from the EU has boosted UK growth, helped address skill and labour shortages, and benefited the public finances. It also led to rapid…
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Brexit ‘not done’ for Data Protection

Karen Mc Cullagh (University of East Anglia) The current Prime Minister of the UK, Mr Boris Johnson, was infamously elected to “get Brexit done,” and he claimed to have achieved this goal when the European Union and United Kingdom agreed upon the terms of the historic EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “Trade Agreement”) on 24th…
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New Year, But the Brexit Story is Not Over

Federico Fabbrini (DCU Brexit Institute) Since 1st January 2021, the United Kingdom (UK) has exited the European Union (EU)’s internal market and customs union, as well as its area of freedom security and justice, severing the last substantive bridge connecting it to continental Europe. While in fact the UK had formally left the EU already on…
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Last-Minute Legislating as the Brexit Deal is Concluded

Joelle Grogan (Middlesex University London) On Christmas Eve 2020, only seven days before the end of the transition period and a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on 31 December 2020, negotiators concluded a Draft Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and the EU. On any scale of negotiation for an international agreement, particularly one of this…
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Why the EU Avoided the Cliff Edge Brexit that Many had Feared

Simon Sweeney (University of York) Prime Minister Boris Johnson achieved his aim: ‘Canada Plus’, no tariffs or quotas on merchandise trade. The Plus is continued cooperation in security, transport, and energy. The UK also stays in Euratom, the EU’s atomic energy community. These are substantial achievements for London, avoiding immediate and critical damage from no…
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Christmas’ Eve Brexit Deal

Federico Fabbrini (DCU Brexit Institute) On 24 December 2020, Christmas’ Eve, the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) have reached a deal on the framework of their future relations. The draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement brings to a close 10 months of intense negotiations – which started right after the withdrawal of…
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The Interim UK-Canada FTA: Good News for British Exporters

David Collins (City, University of London) The UK struck a new free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada over the weekend, ahead of the 31 December Brexit deadline after which the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would cease to apply to the UK, leaving it to trade with Canada under the less generous terms…
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Taking Stock of What a Joe Biden Presidency Means for Brexit Negotiations

Pieter Cleppe (PRA) The question of how the prospect of a Joe Biden Presidency will affect EU-UK negotiations has raised a lot of attention. Opinions seem to differ. Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage writes that “Joe Biden is no friend of Britain”, arguing that therefore, the UK, “is now far more likely to do…
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After the US Elections: Brexit Reality Check

Ardi Kolah (Queen’s University Belfast) As Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead negotiator, arrived by Eurostar from Brussels to continue a ‘more intensive’ round of talks with the UK Government on the shape of a potential Brexit trade deal[1], it’s time for both sides take a Brexit Reality Check. US President-Elect Joe Biden’s narrow victory over…
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Historicising the Role of the EU in the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Giada Lagana (Cardiff University) The existing literature, research, and media coverage have always tended to neglect the important role of the European Union (EU) in restoring peace in Northern Ireland. The political dimension of Northern Ireland engagement with the EU has usually been defined as ‘subtle’, because it did not visibly extend to a superficial…
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The End of the post-Brexit Transition and the Global Pharmaceutical Sector

John S. F. Wright (University of Technology Sydney) and Dimitrios Doukas (University of Manchester) The UK’s withdrawal from the European Union raises serious, and potentially crippling, governance and legal challenges in the context of the global pharmaceutical sector (Wright and Doukas 2020).  Specifically, the UK risks a loss of influence over the licensing and surveillance of…
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Post-Brexit UK Fund Regulation: Equivalence, Divergence or Convergence?

Elizabeth Howell (London School of Economics) The UK’s collective investment scheme (‘CIS’) sector is a key aspect of UK financial services. With the UK’s departure from the EU, it has also become a politically salient topic, with various Member States competing to lure business to their financial centres in light of Brexit. Brexit prompts hard…
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Rishi Sunak: Brexit Britain’s Future?

Joshua Hockley-Still (University of Exeter) As Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deadline to reach a Brexit deal passed without agreement, Britain is now less than 3 months away from leaving the European Union without a trade deal (commonly known as ‘no deal’.) Johnson’s position is clear; being considered the man to get Brexit done took him…
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Deal or No Deal? EU-UK Negotiations Have Hit the Wall, but the End is Not in Sight

Simon Sweeney (University of York) The hard ball negotiation just got harder still. The Brexit news last week was depressing but unsurprising. Depressing because ‘a deal’ would serve both sides by helping diplomatic relations, benefiting mutual security, and serving the needs of industry and jobs. It would bring a collective sigh of relief in Ireland,…
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An Unpopular View on Brexit and EU Defence 

Øyvind Svendsen (NUPI) As for now, the prospects of any formal future EU-UK relationship on security and defence is in shambles. However, leaving security and defence out of the 2020 Brexit negotiations on the future relationship may have been a wise move from the UK. Realizing that the lengthy UK process to agree on and ratify…
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The Trust Deficit and the Internal Market Bill: Challenges for a Post-Brexit Dispute Resolution Regime Between the EU and the UK

Rishi Gulati (Dublin City University) It is trite to say that the presence of an independent and impartial dispute resolution system that can amicably resolve international disputes is necessary to maintain international peace and security. In fact, the development of a relatively robust international adjudicative framework since the 1990s is one of the most remarkable…
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Backstop, Frontstop, Full Stop?

Cathal McCall (Queen’s University Belfast) Backstop The backstop became the major bone of contention in the Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (2018). It was contained in Draft Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. The Protocol decreed…
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The Rule of Law, the UK’s Advocate-General and Brexit

Alan S. Reid (Sheffield Hallam University) Introduction Brexit is unprecedented in its complexity. However, the very fact that Brexit would wreak legal uncertainty was entirely predictable. Extricating the United Kingdom from the orbit of the European Union legal space was always going to be fraught with legal minefields, given the UK’s 47-year membership of the…
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The July 21 Big Deal: Towards an Ever Closer Union

Ingolf Pernice (Humboldt University) The Special European Council of June 17-21 reached an agreement of a historic dimension: four days of negotiation produced a break-through that would have been unthinkable before the Corona crisis. Beyond the Multiannual Financial Framework the “Next Generation EU (NGEU)” was adopted. The hopeless debate on Eurobonds is over. Although called “an extraordinary recovery…
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A New Eurogroup President – Does it Matter?

George Papaconstantinou (former Finance Minister, Greece) The election of Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to succeed Portuguese Mario Centeno at the head of the Eurogroup came as a surprise. Nadia Calvino, the Spanish Finance Minister, seemed to be the odds-on favourite, and indeed was just one vote short of securing the Presidency outright in the first…
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Rule of Law in EU’s Asylum Policy in front of The ECJ

Introduction In a recent judgment, the CJEU confirmed that Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic breached European Union law (EU law) by not implementing two Council Decisions (here and here; discussed in detail here) for the relocation of asylum seekers after the European refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. In this seminal judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)…
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The Karlsruhe Judgement: More Consequences Outside the Eurozone than Inside?

Agnieszka Smolenska (EBI & EUI) On 5 May the German Constitutional Court rejected the argument brought before it by a number of German economists that the ECB’s bond purchasing programme, the PSPP, violated the notorious prohibition of monetary financing enshrined in the EU Treaty (Art. 123 TFEU). As part of the program, the ECB has purchased 2 trillion…
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Europe at 70: New Challenges Ahead

Gilles Grin (Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe and the University of Lausanne) On 9 May 2020 Europe will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration inspired by Jean Monnet. The date of this Declaration represents a landmark in European history, taking place only five years after the end of the Second World War, as…
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Beyond the Pandemic: More Integrated EU-wide Public Debt Instruments?

Albert Sanchez Graells (Bristol Law School) Beyond its terrible death toll and massive public health implications, the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures put in place to try to contain or mitigate it are bound to have severe and long-lasting economic effects. The European Union (EU) and its economic and financial governance now face very…
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The European Fintech Industry after Brexit

Pierangelo Rosati (DCU Business School) After years of discussions and negotiations, the United Kingdom (UK) finally left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. Even though this is clearly a big step for the UK and for those who voted to leave in 2016, it is more formal than substantial. In fact, most uncertainties…
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‘The Thin Ice’: Three Questions on Emergency and the Rule of Law

Francesco Rossi (University of Ferrara) ‘The crack in the ice’: what would you expect to witness in the wake of an emergency? Imagine waking up the morning after the next pandemic. What would you expect to witness? This question will recall readers of the first page of one of Bruce Ackerman’s books on restriction to…
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Covid-19: New crisis, New Existential Challenge for the EU?

Patrick Bijsmans (Maastricht University) A few months back I read Anu Bradford’s much-debated article ‘The Brussels Effect’. Her main argument: through its stringent regulations the EU has set standards for countries across the world, shaping polices on a wide range of issues, from chemicals to privacy. Bradford has elaborated on the argument in a recently…
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The Conference on the Future of Europe: Reforming the European Union?

Miriam Postiglione (Università degli Studi di Milano) As it has been announced by the Commission and the European Parliament, the Conference on the future of Europe [Ed: recently analysed by the Brexit Institute Working Paper Series here] is (was?) meant to start on Schuman day – i.e. May 9th, 2020 – which has also a…
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Keir Starmer Wins Election for Labour Leadership

Keir Starmer, until recently Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has been elected today as the successor of Jeremy Corbyn in taking up the leadership of the Labour Party. Among his rivals, Rebecca Long-Bailey received 28% of the vote, and Lisa Nandy the 16% in the final leg of the election. Sir…
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General Election 2020 – Change and the non Brexit election

Gary Murphy (Dublin City University) The last decade has been the most historic in Irish electoral life. The Irish party system, once amongst the most stable in modern Europe has been destroyed by the economic crash. That crash sundered party loyalty. The result has been large swings in the three elections since 2011. The 2011…
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Ireland, Brexit, and the 2020 General Elections

Eoin O’Malley (Dublin City University) Ireland votes on 8 February. The last Dáil (parliament) lasted almost four years, about three and a half longer than many people expected. One of the reasons for its longevity was Brexit. The government formed in 2016 after 70 days of stand-off and negotiations was a minority one that depended…
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The Future of Europe Beyond Brexit

Federico Fabbrini (Director of the DCU Brexit Institute and Principal Investigator of the BRIDGE Network) The UK is leaving the EU today. But this is not the end of Europe. The nascent Conference on the Future of Europe can chart the continent towards a bright new beginning. Today, Friday January 31st 2020, at midnight Brussels time,…
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The Difficult Dilemma of Spain’s New Government

Leonardo Álvarez Álvarez (University of Oviedo) On the 7th of January 2020, after the elections held on the 10th of November 2019, the Spanish parliament finally achieved the majority it needed in order to nominate a president.  This investiture brought an end to Pedro Sánchez’s 254 days as acting head of the government, since the…
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Back to the Future with the VDL Commission

Patrick Bijsmans (Maastricht University) Finally. Jean-Claude Juncker has bid us ‘au revoir’ via his own edition of the Politico Playbook and the new Von der Leyen Commission started earlier this month. Things didn’t go as smoothly as some had hoped, with the European Parliament blocking three of the candidate Commissioners (László Trócsányi, Hungary; Rovana Plumb,…
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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

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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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