EPIN Papers

1 - 30 of 42
08 December 2014

This paper, the third in a series for a CEPS project on the ‘The British Question’, is pegged on an ambitious exercise by the British government to review all the competences of the European Union on the basis of evidence submitted by independent stakeholders. The reviews considered in this paper cover the following EU policies: the single market for services, financial markets, the free movement of people, cohesion, energy, agriculture, fisheries, competition, social and employment policies, and fundamental rights.

15 September 2014

Gender balance has been a particularly salient issue in the recent process of formulating the list of designated commissioners. Jean-Claude Juncker’s success, as President-elect of the European Commission, in securing the designation of nine women as commissioners should be seen in perspective. Female representation in top EU positions remains low. This paper analyses the EP committees, finding a clear divergence in legislative influence between committees chaired by men and women.

02 June 2014

The British government has undertaken further reviews of EU policies: this second round yet again reveals the huge contradiction between the evidence collected from independent stakeholders and the arguments put forward by Eurosceptic populists.

20 May 2014

This EPIN study brings together contributions from a ​broad selection of member states ​and ​provid​es ​insightful analysis ​into the 2014 elections to the European Parliament on the ground. The report reveals the different factors that impede the development of genuine European elections and the consequences of the ballot in the member states covered by the study​, namely Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK​,​ and at EU level. 

The report finds that:

15 April 2014

Ever since Prime Minister David Cameron made his major speech on Europe on 23 January 2013, in which he argued for some kind of new deal between the UK and the EU, the rest of the EU as well as the British public have been wondering what he would actually propose in operational terms. On 15 March 2014, the Prime Minister offered at least an interim reply to these questions in an article in the Daily Telegraph newspaper. This paper extracts from the Daily Telegraph article the main ideas that the Prime Minister advances.

11 April 2014

On May 22nd to the 25th, elections to the European Parliament are taking place throughout the European Union. Following a recent EP initiative, most of the European political parties have selected top candidates for the position of Commission President, who are to lead an EU-wide campaign, with the objective of increasing citizens’ interest in the elections and reinforcing their European dimension. This paper analyses the main weaknesses in the process of selecting the lead candidates and how they are approaching the campaign.

14 February 2014

The Greek government would like to promote the idea that the country is an equal partner in the EU system of governance, despite the country's economic, political, and social implosion. This presidency is characterised by poor leadership and a lack of vision. It is being called upon to coordinate a presidential agenda without being substantially involved in its drafting; it simply mediates between European institutions.

29 October 2013

The first in a series for a CEPS-EPIN project entitled “The British Question and the Search for a Fresh European Narrative” this paper is pegged on an ambitious ongoing exercise by the British government to review all the competences of the European Union. The intention is that this should provide a basis for informed debate before the referendum on the UK remaining in the EU or not, which is scheduled for 2017.

20 November 2012

Based on interviews with diplomats from a representative cross-section of nine member states and members of the EEAS itself, the research findings of this EPIN Working Paper confirm long-standing traditions and member state perceptions of cooperation with European institutions.

21 June 2012

Germany’s problem is not so much that it is generally right about the need for fiscal discipline but that it has to learn how to be right: this is the most difficult issue to manage from a political standpoint.

This EPIN (European Policy Institutes Network) paper brings together contributions from a cross-section of EU member states and the Gallup World Poll survey on the question of how Germany is being viewed at this time of economic and political crisis.

27 January 2012

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the post-2013 period is one of the most sensitive topics presently under discussion in the European Union. Budget negotiations are always complex and divisive for the parties concerned, but an additional factor in the current round is the impact of the euro crisis, which is evident throughout the process. The reactions to the European Commission’s proposal are mixed, with some finding it excessively ambitious and others finding it lacking in reform.

26 September 2011

This paper considers the most important changes brought by the Treaty of Lisbon to the functioning of the Court of Justice of the European Union. These changes concern the internal organisation of the institution, the appointment of its members and the extension of its jurisdiction in the areas of freedom, security and justice, foreign and security policy, as well as its new power to protect fundamental rights.

The paper is written in French, prefaced by a two-page synopsis in English.

24 February 2011

This paper provides a preliminary assessment of the EU’s energy policy under the Treaty of Lisbon rules. It reviews the major and minor effects of the rules on energy (both formally and informally) and how these are perceived by the EU institutions post-Lisbon. This includes consideration of the new elements of the reformed institutional architecture in this policy area.

17 September 2010

Recent decades have witnessed a dramatic growth of internet-based communication. This phenomenon and its still partially unexplored potential have increasingly attracted the attention of a growing number of political entrepreneurs. This paper analyses to what extent it has characterised vertical communication between politicians and voters looking at a very particular group: the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

10 June 2010

With the establishment of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in 1999, the EU achieved considerable progress regarding the institutionalisation of its foreign policy. Various innovations were included in the Lisbon Treaty to address the cohesion and effectiveness problem of the EU. The renamed Common Security and Defence Policy has not found it easy to establish a common policy, however, and the strategic actorness of the CSDP has so far been mostly limited to relatively small missions.

06 April 2010

This paper argues against the view that Bulgaria’s EU accession was premature and that the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) is not delivering. The EU’s continued leverage and the efficacy of the CVM are explained in a framework that goes beyond the dual-conditionality paradigm of incentives and sanctions, and beyond the unitary players model of EU-Bulgarian relations. In this framework, the CVM is viewed as an instrument for supportive reinforcement rather than for the imposition of sanctions.

25 November 2009

The obstacles that surrounded the Czech ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty should not be understood as proof of the strength of Czech euroscepticism –in fact the opposite is true, argues Mats Braun of the Institute of International Relations in Prague. The Czech political elite are becoming more pro-European, partly as a result of the increased interaction with their European counterparts and EU officials, not least during the preparations for and the organisation of the Czech Council Presidency.

10 September 2009

The codecision procedure has grown in importance and scope since its inception in 1992. At first characterised by inter-institutional mistrust, the codecision procedure today is used to settle quick political agreements informally between the Parliament and the Council. This new negotiation culture means closer cooperation between the Parliament and the Council, but presents serious challenges for the Commission.

12 June 2009

Are European Union institutions, as they claim, really listening to citizens thanks to more ‘deliberative’ consultation tools? The European Commission and the European Parliament in particular have committed themselves to engaging in a dialogue with citizens in recent years. But to what effect? This paper notes how official policies have adopted language borrowed from the deliberative democracy school of thinking, but denounces the lack of clarity in the role assigned to deliberation with citizens in EU policy-making processes.

04 May 2009

The Barroso Commission is coming to an end. At this stage it is impossible to foresee when the end will be or if the new (old) Commission President will be (re)elected in July 2009 by the new European Parliament. Nevertheless, based on contributions of national experts in 25 EU member states, a picture emerges of a European Commission that has become politically weakened vis-à-vis the other institutions and in the Union as a whole.

31 March 2009

NATO will celebrate its 60th anniversary in April during a highly symbolic summit hosted jointly by France and Germany. In contrast to previous key summits in 1999 and 2004, today the allies have to deal with a transformed and oppositional Russia, besides a fast-evolving security environment. A few months ago, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a proposal for a new security treaty. The proposal has added a further element to the catalogue of security disputes causing relations with Washington to deteriorate, among which missile defence continues to be one of the most divisive.

05 February 2009

The success of an EU Presidency depends closely on the cooperation it achieves with other actors in the European political arena. This paper analyses the cooperation established between Slovenian public servants and diplomats and their European counterparts during their country’s term in office as Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2008. The findings are based on a survey conducted among 667 Slovenian public servants, experts and diplomats directly involved in the policy-making process during Slovenia’s Presidency.

14 October 2008

Agencies of the European Union have been developed in response to the deepening of the internal market, which caused a significant expansion of tasks in various policy areas and engendered strain on the functioning of the Commission as the engine of the integration process. But the system of European agencies is ambiguous and lacks a common framework. Instead, the system has been developed on a case by case basis, resulting in a very heterogeneous situation concerning, inter alia, European agencies’ functions, decision-making powers and structures.

24 September 2008

After the Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon in a public referendum on 12 June 2008, European Union leaders decided nevertheless to continue the ratification process, with the aim of achieving 26 ratifications by mid-October 2008. This plan failed, however, due to rising political and legal problems in a number of countries. Apart from its rejection in Ireland, the Treaty of Lisbon’s ratification is now being contested in the Constitutional Courts of Germany and the Czech Republic and it faces political challenges in the Czech Republic and Poland.

02 April 2008

Using post-enlargement Eurobarometer data, this paper explores public support for deepening and widening across the EU. In particular, it tries to answer the following questions: 1) Do citizens perceive a trade-off between deepening and widening? 2) Is there a gap between elite discourses and citizen perceptions regarding deepening and widening? 3) What fears lay behind citizens’ preferences for deepening versus widening?

03 May 2007

Turkey’s accession to the European Union is one of the most controversial and divisive topics the EU faces. Both EU governments and citizens are deeply divided on whether Turkey should become a member or not. This paper takes an in-depth look at European citizens’ attitudes towards Turkey’s accession to the EU and explains which elements are key in determining support for or opposition to Turkish membership. We use new data, derived from the new questions measuring citizens’ attitudes towards Turkey that have recently been introduced in Eurobarometer questionnaires.

29 September 2006

The authors of this new EPIN paper argue for a thorough reappraisal of flexibility as an instrument of integration and outline the conditions under which it would help the enlarged European Union to move forward. In particular, treaty-based ‘enhanced cooperation’ should be regarded as a useful tool that avoids many of the potentially disintegrating effects of purely intergovernmental approaches. In a Union of soon-to-be 27 members, enhanced cooperation could turn the idea of flexible integration from a measure of threat to a real opportunity for deeper integration.

01 May 2005

Since EPIN’s first monitoring report in January, the issue of the European Constitution has grown in relevance and visibility in many member states. Yet there continue to be important differences in how the individual aspects of the text are perceived in the various national debates. This update of EPIN’s survey on the progress and obstacles to ratification of the European Constitutional Treaty provides a snapshot of the approval processes in the different EU member states at a crucial point in time, just before the vote in France and the Netherlands.