Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: August 2021

The Treaty of Amsterdam: first steps towards a Common European Asylum System

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The entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1999 reshaped cooperation in justice and home affairs (JHA) thus marking a new phase in EU asylum and migration policymaking. A primary goal of the Treaty was to progressively establish an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). Consequently, issues related to asylum, migration and external […]

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From semester to credit hour – the historic making of academic time as a strategic resource

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Alexander Mitterle Working in academia comes with adapting to different timeframes: some universities use semesters, others quarters or terms. A course at a German university can be timed in semester weekly hours (SWS) or in credit points. In both cases they differ – with a usual time-span of 45 minutes – from the U.S. equivalent: […]

Independence of the ECB and the ECJ: from active leadership to rubber-stamping?

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The eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis proved to be one of the most challenging tasks European policy makers had to face. Political-ideological, democratic, institutional and other constraints prevented the euro area governments from putting an abrupt end to it simply by increasing integration into the fiscal area. Instead, policy makers decided to “borrow” a crisis management […]

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The jury is still out on the Economic Partnership Agreements

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The negotiations and implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union (EU) and the 79 countries forming the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) – a group of developing countries largely sharing a colonial past with EU members – were conflict-ridden from the beginning. Transforming a decades-long system of […]

Why the EU is more democratic than the UK

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Brexiters claim that the EU is run by unelected bureaucrats. It’s a laughable claim because it’s untrue. The EU is a democracy, run by elected politicians. By comparison, the UK seems more like a quasi-democracy, with unelected decision-makers and undemocratic practises that would be considered despotic compared to EU standards. Take our Parliament. It consists […]