EU Affairs

EU Affairs Analysis

17th January 2018

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Vision for the Future of Europe

On Wednesday, 17 January 2018, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar presented his vision for the future of Europe to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. This blog takes a look at some key issues that the Taoiseach discussed.
16th January 2018

Mario Centeno becomes Eurogroup President: What does this mean for EMU?

On Saturday, 13 January, Mario Centeno, Portugal’s Finance Minister became Eurogroup President. What will his Presidency mean for the future of the Eurozone?
12th December 2017

The Western Balkan Region – Is Accession to the EU Still a Reality?

Following a succession of political crises in several countries of the Western Balkan region, the EU has put forward a series of initiatives aimed at reconfirming the perspective of EU accession for the region.
8th December 2017

Investing in Europe’s Future

President Hoyer will illustrate the role of the EIB in fostering competitiveness through investment in Education, Technology and Strategic Infrastructure.
21st November 2017

The Future of Europe: A Spanish Perspective

In his address to the IIEA, Jorge Toledo, Spain’s Secretary of State for European Affairs, presented the Spanish vision for the future of the EU after Brexit, noting the challenges ahead and the Spanish policy priorities for the EU27.
12th November 2017

Germany in Transition

The German Federal Elections of 24 September 2017 marked a series of watersheds: the rise of the far-right AfD, which won seats in the German Parliament (Bundestag) for the first time; the beginning of the end of the Merkel era; and the probable emergence of a new so-called “Jamaica” coalition government of the conservative CDU/CSU, the market liberal Free Democratic Party, and the Green Party.
26th October 2017

The Future of European Defence Cooperation: Towards a Defence Union.

In his address, Mr Mihnea Motoc outlined the different scenarios for moving towards a European Security and Defence Union.
20th October 2017

An Estonian Presidency Outlook on the Challenges Facing the European Union

Estonia assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time on 1 July 2017 at a time of great upheaval for the European Union.

EU Affairs Publications

16th November 2017

Europe’s Problem with England

This paper by guest contributor Edmond Grace SJ contends that Britain was constitutionally incapable of fulfilling the commitment entailed by its membership of the European Union and that Brexit is the inevitable outcome of this situation. The paper makes the case that Britain is a “vehicle for the pre-eminence of England” – and that this English pre-eminence is inimical to the sharing of sovereignty on which the European project depends.

Edmond Grace SJ is a Catholic priest and Director of PeopleTalk: Citizen Juries Shaping Government, an initiative of the Jesuits in Ireland. He studied law at Trinity College Dublin and Columbia University New York and is author of ‘Democracy and Public Happiness’ (I.P.A., 2007). He lectured on law and social ethics in the National College of Ireland and, while working in Gardiner St. parish in Dublin’s north inner city, was involved in building relations between local communities and an Garda Síochána as part of the struggle against drugs and organised crime. He has also written in various journals on jurisprudential and political matters, as well as playing a prominent role in the second Lisbon Referendum campaign in 2008. He is Coordinator of the Venice Workshop on Faith and Politics which is organised by every two years for young adults from around Europe.

As an independent forum, the Institute does not express any opinions of its own. The views expressed in the article are the sole responsibility of the author

23rd June 2017

Enhancing Cooperation – German Attitudes Towards European Security and Defence Policy

This discussion paper by the Institute’s Germany Group provides a snapshot of German views on the highly pertinent topic of European security and defence policy. It reveals that the current German government has taken a very careful approach in seeking to reconcile its firm commitment to further European integration with the politically very sensitive topic of increasing military expenditure. For Germany, strategic bilateral and minilateral relationships within Europe may be key in sustaining the momentum in this policy area. Looking ahead to the German Federal Elections, which will take place on 24 September 2017, the paper also examines the views of Germany’s main opposition parties.
1st June 2017

6 Years On: Assessing the Impact of Country Specific Recommendations

The Country Specific Recommendations form a key part of the European Semester process, which guides the EU’s economic governance. This policy brief examines how the CSRs have evolved since their introduction in 2011 and analyses the implementation record of the recommendations to date, particularly in the case of Ireland. It also provides an overview of some of the obstacles, such as enforcement constraints and reform fatigue.
7th December 2016

EU Economic Governance: Guide to the Main Elements

The financial crisis led to significant constitutional, legislative and administrative changes to the European Union’s economic governance framework. These changes have strengthened economic governance, but also made it increasingly complex. This paper by the IIEA Economic Governance Group provides a comprehensive guide to the main elements of economic governance in the EU. It examines how key aspects of the governance framework are functioning and outlines how the EU’s fiscal rules have been implemented, both at an EU and Member State level, to date. The IIEA Economic Governance Group is a high level working group, which analyses the continuing reform of Europe’s economic governance architecture and publishes analytical papers detailing the implications of reforms for Ireland and Europe. The group is chaired by Michael G Tutty.
12th July 2016

The Elements of a New EU-UK Relationship

In this new paper for the IIEA, Dr. John Temple Lang discusses some of the elements of a new EU-UK relationship, that might reconcile the interests of Ireland, the EU and the UK. Dr. John Temple Lang is an Irish lawyer who spent more than twenty years in the Legal Service and the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. He returned to private practice with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in 2000, practicing primarily in EU competition law. He has published over 300 articles on legal topics and has lectured at many conferences in Europe and North America.
17th February 2016

European Recovery Project

Economic growth in the developed world has been slowing for decades. The Great Recession and the Euro crisis have further depressed Europe’s performance. In this paper, Dan O’Brien explores trends in the continent’s economic performance and suggests possible remedies. Despite the considerable uncertainties that exist around all policy options, he proposes a “Grand Bargain” to include a range of measures favoured across the political spectrum. Such a radical and wide-ranging response could push the European economy onto a higher growth trajectory.

EU Affairs Past Events

19th October 2017

Dial M for Merkel… and for Misery

At this event, John Jungclaussen argued that Angela Merkel’s victory in the German Federal Elections was never in doubt. On the international stage, German politics may seem sturdy and dependable.
6th September 2017

Brexit: The future shape of EU-UK trade relations

Mr Persson discussed the implications of the UK’s EU referendum, and the subsequent withdrawal negotiations, on the future shape of the EU-UK trade relationship.   
25th July 2017

The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power in the Era of Trump and Putin

In his keynote address, Mr Wright drew on his new book, entitled All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power, in which he claims that great power competition has returned following two decades of unprecedented cooperation between the major global players. He argued that the great powers all seek to avoid a major war with each other but will compete with all measures short of that, including cyber war, economic war, proxy war, and coercive diplomacy.
20th July 2017

Shared Mobility as a key instrument for better Quality of Urban Life

In his keynote address, Mr. Viegas discussed the main mobility-related problems affecting quality of urban life and proposed a new approach to address these challenges, taking advantage of the possibilities opened by digital connectivity. He showed how ride sharing can play a key role in addressing congestion, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, parking, car use and car ownership. He focused in particular on lessons learned on the International Transport Forum simulations that have been run in Lisbon in which buses and cars were replaced by different types of shared vehicles. Finally, he discussed the potential application of ride sharing in Dublin.
4th July 2017

Greater Security for Europeans through Closer Cooperation on EU Security and Defence

In his address, Minister Soini discussed the importance of enhanced cooperation in the area of security and defence, and what this means for the future of the EU 27. The Minister’s speech follows the publication of the European Commission’s recent White Paper and subsequent reflection paper on security and defence policy. These papers are designed to stimulate debate in the Member States on the future of the EU 27. Minister Soini’s speech is part of the Institute’s contribution to this process – a series of high level reflections by EU 27 foreign ministers.
3rd July 2017

Constitution 3.0: The Technological and Political Challenges Facing the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his keynote address, Prof. Rosen argued that in light of dizzying changes in technology, the future of global free speech and privacy is being determined not by the U.S. Supreme Court or by international courts but by lawyers at Google, Facebook, and Twitter, who decide what kind of content to leave up or take down. He addressed the question of how the U.S. Supreme Court will respond to technological change in the age of Google.  He also reflected on how the Court will maintain checks and balances and the rule of law in the face of new populist forces in the U.S. and around the globe.
26th June 2017

Brexit: Present and Future – Media Seminar

This seminar gathered key politicians, thought leaders and representatives of the media to assess the mechanics of the Brexit negotiations, the complexities of reporting and analysing the Brexit process and the expected outcomes of Brexit and their ramifications for Ireland and the EU.