European Union


Transitioning to Renewable Energy
Can Germany Do It Alone?
24/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
At a time when German politicians are questioning whether Germany is on the right path, it’s worth underscoring that the process of energy transition involves its entire European neighborhood.
Category Renewables, Resources and Energy, Climate and Environment, Climate & Energy Policy, European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe
Germany Reacts to EU Peace Prize
Creating Incentives, Renewing Obligations
17/10/2012 | by Hilary Bown
German politicians and analysts took a largely positive view of the Nobel Prize Committee's awarding of the 2012 Peace Prize to the European Union. Here, in their own words, they describe the significance of the European experiment from national and international perspective and extol the apt timing of the Committee's recognition.
Category European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Germany Opens Its Doors to Household Energy Consultants
Federal government supports the Energiewende through consumer-oriented measures
16/10/2012 | by Paul Hockenos
The math is simple: Nearly every study concludes that consumer-oriented energy savings measures pay off. In order to increase energy-saving measures across the country and reduce the up-front cost for individuals, Germany is subsidizing energy consultancy in private households–and considers contributing to the purchase of big-ticket appliances in order to meet its 2020 targets.
Category Climate & Energy Policy, European Union, Climate and Environment, Germany, Central Europe, Europe, Denmark, Northern Europe
The End of Germany's Sonderweg
Compromising on ESM, Merkel leads Germany down a more European path
08/10/2012 | by Andreas Rinke
For decades, Germany has been able to afford unique military and fiscal-political restraint. But all that is changing: first, Germany started participating in international military missions, and now with the European Stability Mechanism and the ECB’s growing political role, the swan song is being sung for the old Bundesbank philosophy. Of all possible times, Berlin has chosen this moment of peak economic strength to abdicate its decades-long special position.
Category European Union, German Foreign Policy, Financial Crisis, Finance, Economy and Finance, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
The Heart of a New North-South Axis?
Joint infrastructure projects reconnect the Visegrad Four
02/10/2012 | by Polish Institute of International Affairs
Central Europe's relative strength during the EU fiscal crisis may result in a necessary and beneficial compass realignment of European political and economic interests.
Category Resources and Energy, European Union, Poland, Central Europe, Europe
The Ghosts of Merkel's Past
What will Merkel's legacy be for German European policy?
28/09/2012 | by Derek Scally
Picture the scene: Berlin, 2035. In a packed theater auditorium a teary-eyed audience rises to its feet as a wizened old woman with a familiar bronze helmet of hair is wheeled onto the stage. Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is sharing an emotional, nostalgic reunion with Angela Merkel, three decades after she first took office.
Category German Foreign Policy, European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
A Union Within the Union
Is Berlin ready for more differentiation within Europe?
27/09/2012 | by Almut Möller
Talk about “multiple speeds” within Europe has been a regular part of the EU debate over the past decades. But many think that the risks of too many speeds within the European Union have often outweighed its benefits.
Category European Union, Europe
Beginning a Beautiful Franco-Polish Friendship, Maybe
Franco-Polish rapprochement could open up the Franco-German tandem
25/09/2012 | by Polish Institute of International Affairs
It's nothing short of astounding. Poland and France are warming up to each other, and it is France that has led the way. Francois Hollande visited Warsaw during his presidential campaign and met with President Bronisław Komorowski, and in July minister of foreign affairs Laurent Fabius and minister of defense Jean-Yves Le Drian had meetings with their Polish counterparts. Moreover, both the Poles and the French have set an intense bilateral agenda and are pushing to revive the Weimar Triangle format.
Category European Union, Poland, France, Western Europe, Central Europe, Europe
The Time To Act Has Come
The impetus for European security policy
18/09/2012 | by Andreas Schockenhoff, Roderich Kiesewetter
The debt crisis and efforts to save the euro are overshadowing necessary reforms to Europe’s energy policy and the further expansion of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. However, the EU’s credibility in terms of its ability to take effective action depends on the coherent coordination of monetary, energy, and security policy issues.
Category German Armed Forces, German Foreign Policy, European Union, Defence Policy, Security, CFSP/CSDP, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
Europe in the Democracy Trap
Who controls common decisions?
14/09/2012 | by Andreas Rinke
The quick expansion of EU integration—which has been brought about by the financial crisis—threatens to lead to a dead end. The eurozone has segregated itself from the Union’s overall development with ever more binding agreements. A democratic vacuum looms over the continent, and France and Great Britain are mostly to blame.
Category Political Participation, Government and Society, European Union, Europe
A Yarn That Won't Unravel
The Karlsruhe verdict does not change Germany's "poor us" posture
13/09/2012 | by Derek Scally
The Karlsruhe verdict was widely welcomed as a positive sign for the euro and Europe's future, but the doomsday reception of the judgement in Germany itself does not bode well.
Category European Union, Political Culture, Government and Society, Law & Institutions, Fiscal Policy, Economy and Finance, Germany, Central Europe, Europe
A Pacifier Made in Karlsruhe
A boon for the euro, but a bust for Germany's opposition
12/09/2012 | by Almut Möller
Karlsruhe has spoken. As most commentators expected, the highest German constitutional court followed the logic of its past EU related rulings: It is not preventing the Europeanization of Germany, but again communicates its concerns about the rights of the Bundestag and other fundamental pillars of Germany’s constitutional order. Germany again proves to be a predictable and reliable player, which is the major message for Europe and beyond.
Category Economy and Currency, European Union, Europe
The End of the Union As We Know It...
...and the beginning of something new: the debate has started
11/09/2012 | by Almut Möller
The EU is in the process of finding itself again—and the success of this endeavor is far from guaranteed. However, the fact that the debate has started, and that it is more controversial than in the past, is basically a good sign. The new Union will be forged by a new culture of debate, elections, and referenda—or it will fail.
Category European Union, Western Europe, Europe
Flirting with Beijing
While EU leaders struggle with the eurozone crisis, China focuses its attention on Germany
30/08/2012 | by Derek Scally
Chancellor Merkel, with a big delegation in tow, is on another government consultation in Beijing, the second trip to China this year. With German exports to China rising, Chinese investments in Germany growing, and Germany's European partners struggling - European nerves are unsettled by this Berlin-Beijing courtship.
Category German Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Germany, China
The British Question
Does the United Kingdom have a European future?
27/08/2012 | by Hans Kundnani
There is now a real chance the UK will leave the European Union. As the eurozone begins a process of accelerated integration and British Prime Minister David Cameron comes under increasing pressure from Euroskeptic Conservative MPs and public opinion, a moment of truth may come sooner rather than later. Crucially, the British question will also depend on choices the eurozone—and Germany in particular—make in response to the euro crisis.
Category European Union, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe
Olympics Hangover
What a hypothetical EU medal count tells us about Europe's current identity
14/08/2012 | by Steven Hill
Throughout the London Olympics, surprisingly few analysts asked the question of how the EU would perform at the games under a single team banner. This, despite discussion among Europeans over social media about the combined EU medal count being higher than any other competitor's, including the US and China's. These developments give an important snapshot as to where the European project currently stands.
Category European Union, Central Europe, Europe
A New Homer For Europe?
The Merkozy era of kisses is over
13/08/2012 | by Claire Demesmay
“Merkozy” has been history since the French presidential elections. Francois Hollande wants to steer Europe on a different course than his predecessor, whether in fiscal or economic policy. This will have an impact on Franco-German cooperation: Can a new “Homer” establish an equal partnership that can steer Europe through the crisis?
Category European Union, France, Western Europe, Europe
Is The EU The Next Romania?
The EU needs to become more flexible to promote good governance in laggards
10/08/2012 | by Roderick Parkes
The EU's overly legal and regulation-heavy approach may put it at a disadvantage when dealing with Romania, a country with a traditionally sleazy and corrupt political culture. Ironically, in order to promote good governance in Romania, the EU may need to break a few of its own rules.
Category European Union, Enlargement Process, Romania, South-East Europe, Europe
The Idiot Savant
A truly international personality requires the EU to make some fixes
24/07/2012 | by Roderick Parkes
The European External Action Service lacks a true international personality to match those of most EU member states. The fault does not lie with the Service, but rather in design flaws dating back to the Lisbon Treaty in which the EEAS was first established. It is these flaws that help member states ensure the Service cannot override their own national interests.
Category European Union, CFSP/CSDP, Western Europe, Europe
The Long Shadow of Ordoliberalism
Understanding Germany’s approach to the euro crisis
17/07/2012 | by Ulrike Guérot, Sebastian Dullien
In its attempts to rescue the euro, Germany is often seen as the odd country out. It blocks constructive solutions with its resistance to either using ECB funds or creating sufficiently large rescue mechanisms for indebted countries and banks, all while insisting on pronounced austerity. However, what is seldom understood abroad is that the German position is about more than limiting its own fiscal exposure.
Category Economy and Currency, European Union, Germany, Central Europe, Europe