EU Affairs

EU Affairs Analysis


The Institute’s EU Affairs Programme monitors policy developments and election outcomes from across EU Member States, the priorities of the rotating Presidencies of the Council of the EU and ongoing issues of concern for the European Union, such as the rule of law and the rise of populism.


17th January 2020

European Security Threats

The series aims to further debate in Ireland on defence policy with the input of leading scholars, experts and practitioners.
1min
16th January 2020

A Strong Europe in a World of Challenges: Croatian Presidency EU

On 1 January 2020, Croatia assumed the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time. This briefing examines what we can expect from the Croatian Presidency programme over the next six months, which is entitled ‘A Strong Europe in a World of Challenges’.This briefing is part of the Future of the EU27 Project, which is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
1min
8th January 2020

A Union that strives for more – whither in the digital age?

Making Europe fit for the Digital Age: a keynote address by the European Commission President von Der Leyen’s Digital Policy Counsellor
1min
20th December 2019

Strategic Challenges Facing European Democracies

Sir David Lidington, former Minister for the Cabinet Office, UK addresses the IIEA
1min
16th December 2019

Launch of the 2019 IIEA Brexit Status Report

Launch of the IIEA’s 2019 Status Report publication
1min
16th December 2019

The New Power Game in Brussels

Dr Catherine Day explores the changing power dynamics between the EU institutions in Brussels and give a strategic overview of changing power relations between the Member States.
1min
9th December 2019

“Disruptive Diplomacy” – The Macron Approach

In his keynote address, Victor Mallet argues that Macron’s “disruptive diplomacy” is more deliberate and considered than his critics acknowledge. The question is to what extent he will succeed.
1min
9th December 2019

What Next for EU Enlargement?

Professor John O’Brennan (Maynooth University) and Pat Kelly (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) discuss recent developments in the debate on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.
1min

EU Affairs Publications

25th October 2019

Angela Merkel: The Climate Chancellor?

Germany’s 2030 Climate Protection Programme was unveiled on 20 September 2019. This briefing outlines the context in which the programme was launched and how it fits into Angela Merkel’s legacy as the Climate Chancellor.
5th April 2019

Ireland and the Changing Global Foreign Direct Investment Landscape

In this paper for the IIEA, Frank Barry discusses five major developments in the external FDI landscape with a focus on their implications for the Irish economy. 
21st February 2018

Maintaining the Rule of Law in Poland: What next for the Article 7 proceedings?

On Wednesday, 20 December 2017, the European Commission proposed that the European Council adopt a decision under Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) to formally issue a warning to the Polish government regarding its repeated disregard of European Commission Rule of Law recommendations.This unprecedented proposal follows almost two years of dialogue and represents a significant escalation in the ongoing rule of law dispute. The European Commission has stated its “readiness” to reconsider its proposal should the Polish government act on the Rule of Law recommendations, but a three-month deadline has been set for Poland to take these into consideration.Considering the EU is based on shared values and the rule of law, it is feared that this ongoing dispute could threaten to undermine the fabric of the EU itself.This policy brief will examine the origin and evolution of this rule of law ‘crisis’, the next steps and the possible outcomes.
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.

EU Affairs Past Events

19th November 2019

Global Europe: Challenges and Opportunities. The View from Madrid

Dr Charles Powell, Director of the Elcano Royal Institute, discusses the EU’s role as a global actor facing challenges to the rules-based international order and increasing global uncertainty.
30th October 2019

A Future EU-China Partnership: France’s Perspective

In her keynote address, Dr de Vergeron discusses France’s strategy towards China and its commitment to renew the EU-China partnership and position Europe as a balancing pole of global power.
22nd October 2019

Implications of EU Law for National Justice Systems

Ms Banks demonstrates how EU law can affect national rules concerning the judiciary and the administration of justice at the national level. She discusses how EU law relies on the national justice systems to apply EU norms and outlines how fundamental rights embedded in cross border legislation and can have profound implications for national judicial systems.
8th October 2019

European Defence: The Challenge of Strategic Autonomy

In her keynote address, Ms Conway-Mouret, discusses her joint report on behalf of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Armed Forces Committee, which examines the multifaceted development of European defence.
25th September 2019

The Resilience of 1325: Women, Peace and Security

Rose Gottemoeller, Deputy Secretary General of NATO delivers a keynote address on Women, Peace and Security and NATO’s integrative approach to promote gender equality across the Alliance.
5th July 2019

An EU Budget for the Future – The Road Ahead

Gert-Jan Koopman discusses the European Commission’s proposal for a long-term budget that focuses on the rule of law, less red tape and budgetary agility to cope with emerging challenges.
2nd July 2019

The European Union and Central Asia: A New Partnership in Action

Ambassador Peter Burian outlines the EU vision in the new Strategy for Central Asia of building a modern, non-exclusive partnership to secure a more resilient, prosperous, rules-based economic and political space