EU

  • Bulgaria’s new government – what, if anything, has changed?

    Last week Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved the composition of the new government, following the victory of the centre-right party, GERB, at the snap elections held on 26 March 2017. Following the election, GERB’s leader, Boyko Borisov, became Prime Minister for the third time in eight years. GERB failed to secure an absolute majority at the…

  • What’s next for the EU? – The 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome

    The European Union celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on 25 March 2017. The Treaty of Rome is the bedrock of the longest period of peace the continent has ever experienced. Yet as leaders of the EU celebrate this achievement, multiple challenges lie ahead, ranging from populism, the refugee crisis, Brexit, geopolitical…

  • Dutch election snapshot: Rutte wins, fragmentation prevails

    There’s a saying in the Netherlands: “Act normal, that is crazy enough”. It seems that the Dutch who voted in yesterday’s general election felt the same way. The exciting election resulted in a record turnout (82%) and produced a clear winner: the VVD, party of current Prime Minister, Mark Rutte. Rutte’s right-of-centre VVD outperformed the…

  • Will the grass be greener on the other side of 2017? Guide to this year’s EU agriculture policy

    2017 started with the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as policymakers seek to finalise a number of regulations affecting the environmental impact of agriculture. In addition to the big overhaul and greening of the CAP, the EU aims to curtail emissions from agriculture and land-use by concluding the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) and…

  • EU TRADE: WHERE TO NOW?

    Last October, the EU signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. This occurred just days before Donald Trump won the US presidential election with a campaign frequently attacking US trade deals as hurtful to the US. Many trade advocates in Brussels and across the EU have breathed a sigh of relief that…

  • REFIT: what’s it all about?

    Everybody loves a good plumber. One who comes in, fixes a leak and leaves with a minimum of fuss. That is precisely what the European Commission’s REFIT programme is designed for: give anyone in Europe the opportunity to flag red tape in EU laws and get EU institutions to fix it. Well, that’s the theory.…

  • How much Vitamin C does the European tax system need to be healthy? The CC(C)TB saga continues

    On 25 October 2016 the European Commission proposed a redrafted version of the proposal aiming to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, by creating a single Common Corporate Tax Base, and introducing, at a later stage, a consolidation element which would allow companies to offset losses in one Member State from the profits earned in another.…

  • State of the Union – steadying the ship

    Brexit, economic sluggishness and the refugee crisis has dented the EU’s reputation over recent months both at home and abroad. These were the challenges confronting Jean-Claude Juncker – the President of the European Commission – as he contemplated his second annual ‘State of the Union’ speech, which he delivered today at the European Parliament in…

  • Brexit’s impact on financial services

    Financial services is possibly the policy area where Brexit will have the strongest impact. The City of London is the largest financial centre in Europe; many financial firms offer their services from their London base, making use of “passporting” rights granted through European legislation, which are now clearly at risk. As a result of being…

  • Will there be fireworks for privacy on Fourth of July?

    Yesterday the Article 31 Committee met to discuss the recently agreed privacy shield text, one of the last steps before the deal enters into force. Yesterday was also the day – as Commissioner Věra Jourová had expressed her wish for – the Article 31 Committee were supposed to agree by strong consent on the text…

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