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Last week, in her yearly State of the Union address, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appealed to the 'spirit of Maastricht' to overcome the challenges the European Union is currently facing. 30 years after the treaty that turned the Communities into a Union, however, the EU remains a largely incomplete project. And the rules that […]
This week's European Council will make crucial decisions concerning EU enlargement. The application of war-torn Ukraine – together with those of Moldova and Georgia – has been in the spotlight, shadowing the Western Balkan countries' aspirations and raising their legitimate concerns about their long-promised European perspective. The accession process of the six Western Balkan countries has […]
Russia’s war against Ukraine has disrupted energy markets and impacted the geopolitics of energy. As a consequence, oil and gas prices have reached their highest levels in a decade and have forced many countries to reshuffle their energy supplies. The war can be described as a hydrocarbon war, as the money coming from the export of fossil […]
A pervasive sense of disenfranchisement haunts rural areas all over the European Union: many people in remote places feel they are not being heard, their voices are not considered, and their specific issues never make it into the political agenda. And oftentimes, as voters, they are tempted by radical populists who promise to make their grievances […]
Europe is going through a housing crisis. Lower and middle-income families are priced out of gentrifying neighbourhoods. Homelessness is becoming endemic in most urban centres. People are dispossessed of their cities as the financial sector speculates, turning what should be a right for everyone into a financial asset. However, opportunities to revert this trend do exist. […]
Europe is undergoing its largest conflict since World War II. Ukrainian cities are shelled, hundreds of people have lost their lives and millions are fleeing their country. The European Union is called to provide quick and robust answers to the Russian aggression and Ukraine's need for support, and to readjust itself to an international order that […]
The Russian aggression has turned Ukraine into the theatre of a new tragic conflict on European soil. This crisis adds to other emergency situations that have exposed the EU’s inadequacy or unpreparedness to respond to international security challenges. Against this background, the EU and its member states need to address pressing questions concerning the future of […]
The current danger of an escalation of tension in Ukraine raises many questions for the entire European continent. Among the questions the European Union will have to answer on its own is the one of its stance towards Russia.The two authors of this debate agree very much on the need for dialogue, but differ on the […]
Years after the humanitarian emergency of 2015-16, the debate over migration is still very polarised. It continues to be instrumentalised by policymakers and is still portrayed as an emergency and a threat, even if the number of asylum seekers and migrants trying to get into the EU are just a few thousands, as those, recently, coming […]
The current decade is meant to become Europe’s Digital Decade. Yet, Europe is facing a twin transition: green and digital. If successful, this transition will radically change the face of the European economy. But whereas the goal of the green transition is clear – carbon neutrality by 2050 – this is not the case for the […]
Among the different actions taken by the European Commission in the aftermath of the pandemic, the suspension of the fiscal rules may represent a change as big and as relevant as the much more acclaimed Next Generation EU. Several governments have already hinted that they don't wish to go back to the same rules, once – in […]
Despite their expectations – however lukewarm they may have been – that relations between the US and the EU would take a more cooperative turn with Joe Biden at the helm of the American administration, European policymakers are now facing a huge disenchantment. And they must come to terms with the fact that not only their […]
At the beginning of the century, centre-left was the dominant force in the Central and Eastern European region. It was at the helm of the accession negotiations of many of the states that would join the EU in 2004 and after. Less than two decades later, the picture couldn’t be more different. Elections are bringing new […]
Facing a multitude of crises, the EU has placed strategic autonomy at the heart of its external action. The Union's quest for autonomy, which embodies its desire to enhance its capacity to act according to its own laws, interests and values in a world increasingly defined by geopolitical competition, has only been given additional credence by […]
"It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices. It’s time to build back better for People and Planet" – against the backdrop of the current COVID19-induced crisis, the motto of this year's UN #WorldEnvironmentDay couldn't have been chosen better! Indeed, while the European Union's COVID-19 Recovery Plan does have some green strings […]
The process of EU-enlargement to the Western Balkans, in spite of public statements and initiatives, is in a stalemate. This feeds frustrations and disillusionment, but also illiberal drifts and the always-brewing nationalist temptations in those countries that see the prospect of accession shifting toward an increasingly uncertain future. Against this backdrop it is high time for […]
Digital technology in the workplace is often associated with increasing precariousness of work and worsening working conditions. This is perhaps most visible in the platform economy, where online platforms control in detail how workers carry out their tasks, while the latter often lack access to social protection and collective bargaining. And yet, this is part of […]
Today's capitalism is in a deep crisis. Neither does it fulfil on its promise of generalised prosperity, nor is it environmentally sustainable. Human suffering in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis continues, with people losing their lives and others their sources of income. At the same time, stock markets seem to continue indicating healthy growth levels. […]
The path to recovery after the Covid-pandemic is paved with hopes, but also with questions. The European Union agreed on the largest ever aid and investment plan. But many ponder if, really, it will help advancing the cause of equality, sustainability and social justice for all. The sentiment of solidarity and the readiness to take part […]
One of the EU's close neighbours, Israel, is gearing up for its fourth legislative elections in less than two years. It is a long-standing economic and trade partner of the EU, but relations with it are always overshadowed by the still unsolved conflict with the Palestinians and the vanishing of any real prospects for the peace process, […]
Today is International Migrant's Day, as every 18 December since the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families on 18 December 1990. 30 years later: where does the European Union stand? It is the end of a year that will be […]
For over four months, Belarusian citizens take to the streets in droves. The protests have been triggered by what they considered a stolen presidential election. It began on 9 August, right after the election, with a massive mobilisation of young people, women, and workers. The forceful democratic uprising is a breakthrough: a moment of hope the people can […]
Today, 4 November, marks the EU’s Equal Pay Day. In the EU and the UK, women earn 16% less than men on average per hour. That's why, based on this calculation, today women in the EU symbolically start working for free compared to men. The gender pay gap can be explained by multiple causes, but undeniably […]
On 4 September 1970, exactly 50 years ago, the Socialist doctor Salvador Allende won the presidential elections in Chile. It was a victory against the backdrop of the cold war and despite heavy meddling of US state agencies and private companies. And it was the first time in Latin America that a Socialist came to power […]
A new EU Framework for Roma Integration policies is in the making – now is the time to avoid past mistakes!   The current EU Framework for Roma Integration policies runs out this year. The EC is committed to renewing it for another decade. The current one however has triggered a massive increase in Roma-related institutional activity, but little […]