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Political responsibility of Member States for sensitive EU executive action will be hard to get, but it is worth trying. On 14 February 2017, the European Commission submitted a proposal to reform the EU comitology system. It aims at enhancing the transparency and accountability of implementation of EU law in certain highly contentious policy areas,… » read more

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The Canadian Minister of International Trade, Christya Freeland, made a classic dramatic exit from the CETA negotiations on Friday 21 October. Many international trade negotiators over the years have made such somewhat staged exits in order to bring the opposite side to its senses. However, she motivated her departure in a way that has made… » read more

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Exclusion in the European Union has many different faces. It lies at the very core of identity formation, in which the self is contrasted with ‘the other’. It also has many different consequences. Constructing individuals, groups or even nations as ‘the other’ is a means to build a supposed justification for economic and social exclusion,… » read more

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The EU is no stranger to crises. It is often said, at least in academic circles, that a crisis can spur necessary further integration (known in Eurojargon as ‘deepening’). At the height of the Eurozone crisis, for example, Member States were willing to accept far-reaching reforms of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) that were… » read more

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The victory of the leave campaign, while long predicted, nonetheless came to many as a shock. The consequences of Brexit are complex and may take a decade to manifest. However, two things can already be concluded. Firstly, the consequences will be much stronger felt in the UK than the EU. Secondly, it simply seems very… » read more

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Yesterday, a challenge of conditionality did not find favour in the European Court. ‘Conditionality’ is another term for a ‘macro-economic adjustment programme’ that EU Member States have to accept when they receive financial assistance to face down financial stability threats. Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus have seen far-reaching policy prescription imposed upon them by (formally:… » read more

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  On Wednesday, 6 April, in an advisory referendum on the Dutch Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the EU and the Ukraine, Dutch voters rejected the latter by 61.1 % of votes against and 38.1 % in favor of the Act. The low turnout of 32.2%, although low, met the minimum threshold of… » read more

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Ever since the 2008 CJEU Decision in Metock ruling that non-EU migrants were allowed to live with an EU national in a host state also in cases where they had no prior lawful residence in a Member State, several Member States have expressed their concern about the presumed frequent use of free movement to regularize… » read more

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