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.


18th September 2020

Strategic cacophony or strategic autonomy? – Reflections on EU Foreign Policy

This blog seeks to evaluate the progress of EU strategic autonomy in the context of how EU Foreign Ministers addressed recent geopolitical crises at the Gymnich meeting in Berlin.
6min
16th September 2020

The State of the European Union 2020

Marking President Ursula von der Leyen’s inaugural State of the Union Address, the IIEA and the European Commission Representation in Ireland host a public webinar discussion.
2min
14th September 2020

France’s Recovery Plan: A two-fold Transition

This blog will firstly review how the pandemic has reshaped the French governmental agenda for the remaining two years of President Macron’s current Presidency. Second, it will examine the implications of the recent €100bn national recovery plan, following agreement on the EU’s recovery package.
7min
29th July 2020

The Art of Compromise: Outcome of the Special European Council of July 2020

This briefing will examine the outcome of the special European Council of 17-21 July and its significance for the EU.
1min
9th July 2020

Macron’s Health Check for European Sovereignty

This briefing outlines the French vision for European sovereignty and examines how the pandemic has prompted further discussion in Europe’s recovery post-COVID-19 on the proposal to transfer competences for health to the EU. Furthermore, it will also illustrate how the Commission’s response during the pandemic has provided a possible framework for further action on health at EU-level, although this view is not uncontested.
1min
2nd July 2020

WEBINAR: France and the Future of Innovation in Europe

Gilles Babinet will offer his perspective on the future of innovation in Europe and discuss how to develop a dynamic digital ecosystem.
1min
2nd July 2020

The Opening of Ireland’s Accession Negotiations: Fifty Years On

In this blog, Noel Fahey discusses the opening of Ireland’s EC accession negotiations in 1970, and highlights a number of issues from those early discussions that remain pertinent to this day.
9min
1st July 2020

Together for Europe’s Recovery: The Key Priorities of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU

On 1 July 2020, Germany assumed the rotating Presidency of the EU Council against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing examines what we can expect over the next six months.
1min

EU Affairs Publications

18th June 2020

The Multilateral Order Post-Covid: Expert Voices

The multilateral order as we have known it since the Second World War was already showing strains before the world was afflicted with the coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented measures taken across the world to deal with the immediate crisis have only highlighted the need for a more thoroughgoing examination of this order. In this IIEA Expert Voices publication, ten foreign policy experts share short perspectives on the question of how COVID-19 pandemic will impact different aspects of the rules-based multilateral order.
13th May 2020

Judging the Eurozone: The Role of National Courts and the European Court of Justice in adjudicating on Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

Much of the EU’s constitutional evolution from the foundation of the single currency two decades ago to the present day has centred on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). In the years following the onset of the sovereign debt and banking crises in the EU, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was regularly called into action to adjudicate on matters pertaining to EMU, with important consequences for our present moment. In this research paper, Professor Gavin Barrett of the UCD Sutherland School of Law notes that crisis-era ECJ rulings concerning general Eurozone developments necessitated rapid constitutional development of the EU’s legal and institutional frameworks. For example, the ECJ upheld the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) in Pringle and confirmed the legality of the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions programme in Gauweiler.
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

EU Affairs Past Events

5th June 2020

Sweden’s Values-Based Approach to Domestic and Foreign Policy

Minister Linde explored the Swedish response to the coronavirus pandemic, the implications of the crisis for gender equality issues, and the significance of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy.
29th May 2020

The COVID Crisis and Gender Equality

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Evelyn Regner MEP, reflected on the particular impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women and on the longer-term gender equality issues the EU will face in its recovery.
25th May 2020

The German EU Presidency: Changing Priorities in Challenging Times

Michael Roth discussed the priorities of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU and reflected on the twin goals of repairing the EU’s economy and strengthening solidarity between its Member States.
22nd May 2020

The Future of the EU Post-COVID-19: An Economic Perspective

In his address to the IIEA, Minister Donohoe reflected on some of the key economic debates the COVID crisis has engendered in Europe, and discussed the pragmatic role that Ireland can play in shaping the EU post-COVID-19.
15th May 2020

Social Policy for a Sustainable and Fair Recovery

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, explored the social impact of COVID-19, the challenges of Europe’s post-COVID recovery, and the measures being developed by the EU to protect jobs and livelihoods.
8th May 2020

The EU: Facing the Challenges of COVID-19

Minister Coveney addressed the many challenges facing the EU in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, including the response inside the Union, assistance to EU citizens abroad, the international implications of the pandemic, multilateralism, development assistance, and the negotiations with the UK.
6th May 2020

The Role of International Trade in the post COVID-19 Recovery

In his address to the IIEA, Commissioner Phil Hogan discussed the vital role of international trade in the EU’s post-COVID recovery.