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.


7th April 2020

What does COVID-19 mean for the MFF?

The COVID-19 outbreak has precipitated a global economic crisis, with the impact on Europe particularly acute. What does the the crisis mean for negotiations on the EU’s long-term budget?
8min
7th April 2020

New Moves: Opening up EU Prospects for North Macedonia and Albania

On 25 March 2020, EU Member States reached a long-awaited agreement in favour of opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.
1min
2nd April 2020

A Strong Social Europe for a Just Transition

This briefing by Tony Brown examines the key initiatives put forward by the Commission to create a more inclusive, fairer and people-centered social policy, which leaves no one behind and to emphasize the social element in Europe’s social market economy. The briefing also assesses the significance of these proposals for Ireland.This paper is part of the Future of the EU27 Project, which is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
1min
2nd April 2020

Mirroring the EU’s Strategic Agenda: The Irish Roadmap for Social Inclusion

This blog by Tony Brown examines the heightened importance given to the social dimension of the EU in the EU’s Strategic Agenda for 2019-24, a move that has been welcomed by the Irish Government. It also explores the synergies between the EU’s social policy agenda and the priorities of the Irish Government, as outlined in the Roadmap for Social Inclusion 2020-25.
6min
31st March 2020

Strategy Building for Small States in European Security and Defence

The series aims to further debate in Ireland on defence policy with the input of leading scholars, experts and practitioners.
1min
6th March 2020

Pushing the Envelope: The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027

This briefing examines how negotiations on the next long-term budget of the EU have progressed since 2018 and considers Ireland’s priorities in the decisive next phase of the process.
1min
26th February 2020

Strengthening Public Trust in the EU

In her address to the IIEA, Emily O’Reilly discusses the role of the European Ombudsman in strengthening public trust in the European Union.
1min
26th February 2020

After Semi-Hegemony? Germany in a world in flux

Hans Kundnani discusses the future of Germany’s status as the “semi-hegemon” of Europe, in light of the new reality of international politics.
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

26th February 2020

Engaging Citizens on the Future of Europe

Vice-President Šuica explores the dual themes of her mandate, Democracy and Demography, and the significance of these for the Conference on the Future of Europe.
11th February 2020

European Climate Strategy and The Green New Deal

A keynote address on the topic of the European Climate Strategy and the Green Deal.
11th February 2020

Citizens First: The New Commission’s Approach to Citizen Engagement

Director-General Ahrenkilde Hansen delivers a comprehensive overview of the new European Commission’s strengthened approach to citizen engagement.
6th February 2020

Risks and Resilience in the Financial System: A German Perspective

Claudia M. Buch discusses the vulnerabilities in the German financial system, the risks that could expose these vulnerabilities, and the resilience of the financial system.
6th February 2020

Ireland and the EU after Brexit: A View from the Green Party

In his address to the IIEA, Eamon Ryan outlines the Green Party’s view on the key challenges and priorities for Ireland in the European Union after Brexit.
6th February 2020

Ireland and the EU after Brexit: A View from Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald outlines Sinn Féin’s view on the key challenges and priorities for Ireland in the European Union after Brexit.
6th February 2020

Ireland and the EU after Brexit: A View from the Labour Party

As part of our Party Leaders’ Series, Brendan Howlin outlines the Labour Party’s view on the key challenges and priorities for Ireland in the European Union after Brexit.