European Commission

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, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The disgrace of trading refugee quotas

In the days of our grandparents and greatgrandparents, the poor and unjust country that was Spain had a dual system –which also existed in some other countries, but in the Spanish case had been established at the Cortes de Cádiz, the assembly convened in that city in 1810-14 to [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Goodbye to an ever closer EU, or perhaps not?

The Maastricht Treaty (1992) enshrined a formula that was to be repeated in all subsequent basic EU documents: to move towards ‘an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe’. David Cameron wants the principle to be removed the next time the treaties are reformed and, in a reverse [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Tsipras seeks some leeway

The Tsipras’ government has soon discovered what sharing sovereignty means in the Eurozone, especially in a country being rescued by “the institutions” (we no longer call them the Troika). Many comments, especially from outside Greece (but even from Syriza’s more leftist factions) consider that the concessions made by the [...]

Investor-State Dispute Settlement and the TTIP: still a thorn in European negotiators’ sides

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, which aim to create a free trade area between the EU and the US, have been mired in many controversies since kicking off in July 2013. But arguably the most damaging to the negotiations has been the potential inclusion of investor-state [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The European Commission’s politicisation

The EU’s institutions have experienced a further tectonic shift that can enhance and at the same time disrupt the most original elements involved in the process of European integration: the Commission. In proposing Spitzenkandidaten for the presidency of the European Commission, the European Parliament and its main political families [...]

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