European Council

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU’s strange institutional renewal

Europe, the EU, is not doing as badly as is often claimed. But institutional imbalances are emerging that may trigger a crisis. The turnout for the elections to the European Parliament was 51%, eight percentage points higher than last time, halting a steady decline since 1979, thanks in part [...]

A historic battle of wills

The nomination of Ursula von der Leyen is a victory for those who act like the Austro-Hungarian Emperors of days gone by, freely designating the head of government of their choice. The extreme difficulty the European Council has faced in reaching a consensus over the EU’s new top jobs [...]

The elections to the European Parliament in perspective: three points to consider before Sunday

Spain is currently engaged in a month-long electoral marathon. The process started with the general election of 28 April and will end –at least for the moment– this coming Sunday, 26 May. There are so many issues in the country’s domestic politics that the elections to the European Parliament [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega EU: external centrifugal forces and European ‘clusters’

The EU’s problems stem not only from within but also from without. What the governments of non-member countries do has an impact on the range of ‘clusters’ into which the Union is fracturing, divisions that are already more complex than North-South, East-West or lenders-borrowers. It is not the cause, [...]

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 European prose for David Cameron: not much changes

David Cameron emerged with his spoils. But also to some extent did we. He secured a special status in the EU. But he already had that, and things have scarcely changed. In the final analysis, like Monsieur Jourdain, he has done nothing but talk in European prose, although the [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Double majority in the European Union

Technicalities can conceal an abundance of politics. One of the last provisions of the Lisbon Treaty (which had been signed in 2007 and has been applied since late 2009) came into effect on 1 November, coinciding with the changing of the guard in Brussels. The text itself had postponed [...]

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