The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream in Endless Europe

One person’s dream is another person’s nightmare. This oneiric truth indicates the relative meaning of dreams, yet it also invites a wake-up call. The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream volume edited by Damian Chalmers, Markus Jachtenfuchs and Christian Joerges is such a wake-up call warning fellow academics, European politicians and the general public that what used to be presented by many advocates and agents of European integration as a wonderful dream is now often experienced as a nightmare with potentially disastrous effects for European and national politics in all countries of the EU.

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Reflections on the European Project: Some Thoughts on the Agenda

One ought to be cautious to take a broad spectrum so as to avoid the temptation of narrowing down concerns to a specific set of events such as Brexit or ‘a crisis’. The process of European integration is indeed so advanced that a narrow approach could result in a biased analysis. Meanwhile, one still needs to be precise and concrete so as to induce a constructive dialogue for change.

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Comment on "The End of the Eurocrats’ Dream"

While EU scholarship still tends to narrate the Union’s history as one of successful adaptation, and the ‘euro crisis’ as something like a rite of passage, here is a book in a different mould. Singularities and turning-points are the blocks it builds with, and the present moment marks a conclusion.

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10 (pro-EU) reasons to be cheerful after Brexit

As the dust continues to swirl around the momentous Brexit referendum result a month ago (and doesn’t show any signs of settling anytime soon) I suspect many EU sympathisers will be somewhere in the middle of the various stages of the Kübler-Ross Grief cycle: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. So, somewhat incongruosly, are the ‘leavers’. Whereas there are almost as many emotions being experienced on all sides as there are potential options on what will happen next both in terms of the UK’s future relationship with the EU as well as the future of the EU itself, in this post I want to set out a number of (pro-EU) reasons – some obvious, some optimistic, others wildly speculative – to be cheerful amidst the uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.

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Conditionality through the lens of the CJEU: a “blurry” view

From the very beginning of the Eurozone crisis, conditionality progressively entered into the vocabulary and the normative sphere of the EU economic governance. At the time of the first assistance package to Greece, conditionality was just an emergency tool set in the bilateral Loan Agreements, signed by Greece and other Members States. However, after the establishment of emergency funds like the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and especially after the creation of a permanent institution, a sort of “European mirror image of the IMF” – the ESM – conditionality has become a sort of leitmotiv of the European response to the economic crisis or, even, a necessary requirement according to the ECJ.

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President Tusk’s Proposal for a New Settlement for the UK in the EU: Fueling – not Taming – EU Disintegration

The European Union is at the crossroad. On 17 February the European Council will deal with the United Kingdom’s request to renegotiate the terms of its EU membership. The British Conservative government has committed to holding a referendum on withdrawal from the EU before the end of 2017. At the same time, the British Prime […]

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Cameron’s EU reforms: political feasibility and legal implications

David Cameron, the UK’s Prime Minister, has set out his objectives for EU reforms in a speech at Chatham House on 10 November 2015 – objectives which he later clarified in a letter to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk. Cameron’s demands fall in four categories – i) safeguarding Britain’s position in the Union’s ‘variable geometry’; ii) strengthening the competitiveness of the Union’s internal market; iii) bolstering the democratic authority of the EU by strengthening the role of national parliaments in the EU’s decision-making process; and iv) ensure changes to the principles of free movement and equal treatment of Union citizens in access to welfare systems in the host state. The political feasibility and legal implications of these objectives differ quite significantly. More crucially, each of the stated objectives can be interpreted and implemented in different ways. Generally, it seems, Cameron’s success seems to depend on presenting reforms that at the same time address British domestic issues as well as strengthen the EU’s functioning.

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Greece: a constitutionalist’s two (euro)cents.

Greece is obviously at the forefront of many EU scholars’ minds over the past number of weeks. There has been an avalanche of commentary and analysis on the Greek bailout negotiations both from those with intimate knowledge of the situation and familiarity with Greek politics, the EMU and sovereign debt crises as well speculation from the sidelines from those of us more ignorant of these matters. Therefore as someone whose credibility in the debate (such as it is) is limited to the expertise of the constitutional lawyer with a good familiarity of EU law generally, I have limited my two (euro)cents on the topic to a number of (mostly factual) propositions related to the crisis for what they are worth. Most I think are obvious and (hopefully) few are contentious but I think that they are worth (re)stating in the context of the war of words and recrimination from all sides present in the debate in recent days.

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The Euro Summit deal: defeat or victory? A response to Robert Howse

Avoiding Grexit is, of course, the important achievement of the Agreement. But this counts as a success no more than surviving self-inflicted wounds: Concrete discussions on Grexit revived only in the last months and especially after the recent referendum. They are actually the product of the negotiation strategy itself. If we are looking for success then, we are left with debt relief and the new conditionality.

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The Deal on Greek Debt: Political Gamechanger for Europe, Tactical Retreat (not Surrender) by Tsipras

The conventional wisdom, delivered before anyone could really ponder the fine print of the Greek debt deal, is that Tsipras surrendered to the creditors in a humiliating defeat. His referendum and prior tenacity in negotiations proved futile,according to the predominant account that has emerged in the media and the twitter and blog worlds. Wrong on all counts. And here’s why.

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