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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

The Austerity Zombie rises from the dead

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It was naïve to believe, mid-pandemic, that austerity had been “buried” in Europe. Like a zombie, the idea has risen from the dead and still retains powerful advocates. In early June, President of the Bundestag and former German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble published an opinion piece in the Financial Times that has attracted much mockery […]

Why the Nordic states maintain differentiated foreign policies

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Nordic governments frequently broadcast their ambition to do more together on the international stage. Kristin Haugevik and Ole Jacob Sending explain why we still shouldn’t expect to see any profound increase in joint Nordic foreign policy positions and actions – and especially not when it comes to relations with greater powers. In their Vision 2030, […]

The Conference on the Future of Europe: vehicle for reform versus forum for reflection?

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The approach of the European Union’s institutions to the Conference on the Future of Europe is muddled, with risks for the outcome. The European Union after several delays opened the Conference on the Future of Europe on 9 May 2021. Its purpose, according to a March 2021 Joint Declaration from the presidents of the EU institutions, is […]

Is the grass greener on the other side? Norway’s assessment of Brexit

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Brexit may expose the special arrangements that EFTA states have to the EU. The European Union has over time developed quite a comprehensive system of affiliations with neighbouring states. Both actors in the UK and in the EU have discussed these affiliations as possible templates for how the UK and the EU could organize their […]

After the pandemic: Still Draghi vs Schäuble?

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Will Berlin finally acknowledge that economics is a social science and not theology? How to escape the pandemic? For some – the Italians Mario Draghi and Paolo Gentiloni or the French Emmanuel Macron and Thierry Breton – the pandemic has called into question the previous economic policy equilibria and so they are asking for the […]

Why the EU is a polycentric system of governance

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Elinor Ostrom provides the ideal framework to understand the European Union. Jan P. Vogler explains why. The EU is often subject to biting criticism by its opponents: political speechwriter Aram Bakshian contends that the EU has “a single giant bureaucracy and an imposed-from-above social model” and journalist Leo McKinstry suggests that it is “a federalist […]

Will the Italian economy recover?

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The Next Generation EU superfoods are on their way. Can they save a starving Italian patient? Italy entered the Covid-19 crisis enfeebled by years of anaemic growth, stagnant public and private investment, high unemployment, a heavy debt load and tendentially feverish interest rates. Hopes for its recovery were pinned on the Eurozone’s standard recipe of […]

Brexit: The cold waters between Canada and Norway

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The UK’s push for the frictionless market of the Norway option, while accepting only the obligations of the Canada option, was not viable. It was a delusion, either due to ignorance or self-deception. The UK never had the same vision of the EU as the other Member States. A main reason for the UK’s accession […]

Differentiated integration meets a divided public

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Differentiated integration is a political reality in the European Union. However, public opinion remains divided, both across countries and among individual citizens. This fact highlights important challenges for the workings of the Conference on the Future of Europe. During the recent tense and aggressive debate on the EU budget and the COVID-19 relief fund, Prime […]

Differences between national institutions condition who interacts with whom on European Administrative Networks

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The EU relies on networks of representatives from national institutions to assist in the implementation and enforcement its policies. Two recent studies show that there are multiple clusters on the welfare and healthcare networks, with implications for the effectiveness of this governance tool. Based on these studies, here the authors Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen, Reini Schrama, […]

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