European Commission

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega European solidarity for Catalonia

The EU –its institutions and member states– has supported the Spanish government in its dispute with the separatists of Catalonia. It has done so, among other reasons, in defence of its own interests, which do not include the breaking away of territories, far less if it involves flouting existing [...]

Two to tango: the unchanging complexity of Turkey-EU relations

Always business as usual? Another European Council meeting went by, with no substantial changes regarding Turkey-EU relations. Despite the very high degree of criticism that Turkey has garnered and that its relations with some Member States are at their worst ever, its EU accession framework is still in place [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega English will continue to be spoken in Brussels

English is deeply rooted in the institutions of the EU and this is not about to change, whether Brexit finally comes to pass or not. The first reason is that, even though some commentators in Spain and beyond who are irritated by Brexit, including a celebrated Spanish cartoonist, may [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Brave discourses, constructive discourses

There are various ways to try to halt the rise of xenophobic and anti-European populism. One way, clearly, is to stem the causes of their growth: helping the people who have lost out from the recent crisis and from globalisation, addressing the security and identity issues that have proliferated [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Everyone’s off to a Warsaw under scrutiny

These are matters of calendars, which are planned a long time in advance. But a NATO summit is to be held in Warsaw on 8 and 9 July, attended by Obama, who will also take part in another summit with the EU (whose European Council President, Donald Tusk, a [...]

Spain’s failure yet again to meet budget deficit target strains relations with Brussels

The conservative Popular Party (PP) government widely failed to meet the 2015 budget deficit target agreed with the European Commission (EC), leaving a daunting legacy for the next administration, whenever there is one, further eroding Spain’s credibility and straining relations with Brussels which will be asked for more time [...]

Will Spain’s political stalemate damage its economic recovery?

The Spanish economy had a good year in 2015, but it ended with an inconclusive election on 20 December that produced a fragmented parliament. Almost two months later there is still no sign of a new government, and the potential impact on the economy’s recovery after a long recession [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU’s limits in the face of Poland’s retrograde step towards illiberalism

For the first time in the history of Poland’s post-Cold War democracy a political party has managed to achieve an outright majority, albeit not sufficiently large to change the constitution. The party in question is Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS), where the person who pulls the strings, [...]
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