Austrian General Election 2017 Preview

Background This Sunday 15th October, the Austrian people will head to the polls for a general election. This snap election was called in May following the resignation of vice-chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner of the centre-right People’s Party (ÖVP). The incumbent ‘grand coalition’ of the ÖVP and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPÖ), led by current Chancellor Christian Kern, had stagnated as the two parties failed to resolve disagreements regarding a number of policy issues. This, along with increasing concerns related to the … Read more

A guide to securing EU employment

How to Launch an EU Career Since our accession to the European Economic Community in 1973, numerous Irish people have forged successful careers in European affairs. Today, Ireland can be proud that it is well represented at all levels of the European Union’s institutions and agencies. The various EU bodies offer unique international careers which can make a real difference to the lives of the over 500 million EU citizens. I myself worked in European politics in Brussels for three … Read more

President Jean-Claude Juncker’s “scenario six” for the future of Europe

In March of this year, the European Commission published a White Paper on the future of Europe that laid out five possible future scenarios or paths for the European Union. In a series of previous articles published on this platform, I outlined and discussed each of these five scenarios in turn. The goal of this White Paper, according to European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, was to “launch a process in which Europe determines its own path” by fostering a cross-continent … Read more

German Federal Elections: Chancellor Merkel is a beacon of consistency in turbulent times

On 24 September, the German people will head to the polls for federal elections. Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term, with her Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) defending its position against the Social Democratic Party (SPD), led by former European Parliament President, Martin Schulz. In the 2013 elections, the CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), received a combined 42% of the vote, their best result since 1990, and subsequently formed a ‘Grand Coalition’ … Read more

EU Commission White Paper – Scenario Five

Scenario Five: Doing Much More together The final scenario is the most ambitious laid out in the white paper. By pursuing the fifth scenario, the EU27 would agree to do much more together across all policy areas. This would involve member states pooling together their resources, power and decision-making capacity, in every facet of governance. Consequently, decisions are made much faster, while their implementation is rapidly enforced. This would facilitate cooperation on a level that has not been seen before. … Read more

Scenario Four: Doing Less, More Efficiently: Overview.

Scenario Four presents a radical new modus operandi for the European Union. From this avenue, we would see the EU focus its time and resources on delivering more (and faster) in targeted policy areas, while doing less in areas which have traditionally proved to be difficult in forming consensus. In this scenario, the EU27 recognize that in order to achieve successful results on its priorities, the EU27 must work together. Therefore, the EU is able to act decisively and with … Read more

Scenario Three: Those Who Want To Do More: Overview.

Scenario three presents a more positive outlook for the future of the European Union. Through this scenario, the EU continues operating much as it does today, however, the Union avails itself of ‘coalitions of the willing’, allowing some member states to do more in specific areas. These areas include but are not limited to, monetary policy, security and social policy. This idea is not particularly novel, nor is it without precedent, a similar process has allowed member states to produce … Read more

Scenario Two: Nothing But The Single Market: Overview

Scenario two in the white paper, presents a much different picture of the future of Europe than that of scenario one (or what we recognise today). Under this scenario the EU recognises its failure to form a broad consensus on many of the critical issue facing the continent. Having found that issues such as migration, security and monetary policy, have been too divisive to form any effective policy to address the root problems, the EU decides to shift its focus. … Read more

EU White Paper – Scenario One: Carrying On

Following on from earlier introductory article, the first scenario laid out in the white paper, is one in which the EU27 continues down the path the Union is currently on. Under this plan, the EU would maintain its focus on delivering its positive reform agenda. This is supported by President Junker’s ‘New Start for Europe’ and the ‘Bratislava Declaration and Roadmap’, published in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The former, represents the continued focus by the EU on jobs and growth, … Read more

White Paper: The Future of Europe: Overview

In the last decade, Europe has faced some of its most formidable challenges in the post war era. The European Union has been shaken by a wave of terror attacks across cities in several member states and the influx of refugees, fleeing war and economic stagnation, bringing into question the notion of border controls within the EU. Furthermore, the sluggish economic recovery in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis has sowed disquiet among factions of the political spectrum, leading … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: looking at Japan

As it stands, arguably one of Ireland’s most important trading and investment partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant despite our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at France…

As it stands, arguably Ireland’s most important trading and investment partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant despite our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider … Read more

Partners Wanted: looking at Germany

As it stands, arguably Ireland’s most important trading and investment partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant despite our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at South Korea…

As it stands, Ireland’s most important trading and investment partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant despite our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market largely … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at Canada

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominant although our reliance for trade with the UK continues in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: looking at Australia

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominate although our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market largely thanks to … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: looking at Vietnam

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominate although our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market largely thanks to … Read more

Trading Partners Wanted: Looking at Georgia…

As it stands, Ireland’s largest trading partner is the United Kingdom. This has been the case since Independence although the balance has shifted greatly since Ireland entered the EEC in 1973 with the UK no longer wholly dominate although our reliance on the UK in certain sectors such as beef, timber, pork and much more. As Ireland’s reliance on the UK as a trading partner has diminished, it has been able to look to a wider market largely thanks to … Read more

Trading partners wanted, apply within…..

In the past twelve months, politics has changed the world utterly and impacted directly on the trading potential of Ireland. Ireland makes do as being a small, open economy, seen as a stepping stone into the European Union. The top export destinations of Ireland are the United States ($28.5B), the United Kingdom ($19.2B), Belgium-Luxembourg ($18.2B), Germany ($10.8B) and France ($7.98B). Concluding a free trade deal between the EU and the USA remains a key priority of the European Commission, however, … Read more

Back to life, back to Brexit reality

Given the superb contributions posted on Slugger over the past few weeks, I thought it best to voluntarily suspend my regular postings until the Assembly election was over. So now that all the votes have been counted, the seats declared and the government negotiations underway, I thought I’d return to the massive elephant in the corner of the room: Brexit. We are now into March and it is expected that this will be the month that Theresa May triggers Article … Read more