The Future of Europe in times of crisis: looking back at a turbulent year

The Conference on the Future of Europe was supposed to be officially launched on 9 May 2020 – on Europe Day. Meanwhile, 2020 is coming to an end and the Conference lacks both, format and leadership, as well as a political mandate by the EU institutions. This blog post looks back at a crisis-ridden year and seeks to contextualize the failure of the conference start. Read more

Our money, our rules: the EU budget and conditionality go back a long way

Once again, negotiations on the upcoming EU budget seem deadlocked. Hungary and Poland are blocking the ratification of the next multiannual financial framework as they are opposing the new rule of law mechanism. We have taken the current conflict as an opportunity to take a closer look at existing conditionalities in the EU’s budget.  Read more

Regional perspectives on European democracy: first results from REGIOPARL’s participatory research

The upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe will also involve regional political actors who will contribute their interests and ideas on the future of the EU to the debate. It is not least against this background that the REGIOPARL research project examines the normative perspectives and reform ideas of legislative actors from the regional level: in focus group workshops, the state and future of the EU is discussed with elected representatives of various European regional parliaments. This blog post presents some first results of this participatory research.

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Guest Contribution: Brussels‘ perspective on the Conference on the Future of Europe

As EU institutions are preparing for the Conference on the Future of Europe, hopes in the EU capital are high, finds a survey. Despite that, the Brussels community has serious doubts whether the initiative will be taken seriously enough to bring meaningful results. EU institutions, therefore, need to get things right in the Joint Declaration by answering three concrete questions and thus make the Conference a success. Read more

Review: European Regions – Perspectives, Trends and Developments in the 21st Century

In October 2020, “European Regions – Perspectives, Trends and Developments in the 21st Century” edited by Elisabeth Donat, Sarah Meyer and Gabriele Abels was published. In the following review, Sara Kikić summarizes scope and contributions of the volume. Read more

Cohesion Policy under the new EU budget: from a crisis management tool (back) to a long-term strategy

On July 20, 2020, after a four-day negotiation marathon, the European Council finally reached an agreement on the 2021-2027 EU budget and the recovery fund. This blogpost takes a closer look at the changes made to the EU budget’s biggest item: The European Cohesion Policy (CP). Regarded as a key tool in the strategy to cope with the current Corona pandemic, policy makers will have to weight short-term objectives to fight COVID-19 with long-term considerations to reduce regional disparities within the EU.

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Regional parliaments getting involved in EU affairs? Insights from research and politics

The process of European integration has affected regional parliaments in many ways. This blog article discusses how regional parliaments have meanwhile responded in order to get involved in EU affairs. Can we observe a ‘Europeanization’ of regional parliaments? Read more

The Conference on the Future of Europe and the Dilemma of the European Parliament

The European Parliament holds a difficult position within the institutional set-up of the European Union. It finds itself caught between political ambition and inter-institutional power gambles. The Conference on the Future of Europe illustrates the dilemma – and offers a way forward. Read more

The Corona Crisis and Hungary’s Democracy: a European Problem

Dealing with the Corona crisis poses a challenge to all European democracies. There is one member state in particular, however, which raises worldwide attention: Hungary. Managing the pandemic not only increases tensions between Brussels and Budapest. The open conflict illustrates an immanent, fundamental problem of the EU. In order to avoid further ruptures it seems inevitable to include a discussion on treaty changes into the debate on the future of the EU. Read more

The Corona Crisis as a Burning Lens for Regional Disparities and Social Tensions

From being a public health crisis, the current Corona pandemic has soon turned into an economic, social and political crisis. The consequences do not threaten countries, regions and people equally. A rather neglected group in the current discourse on the crisis have been blue-collar workers. This small ethnographic sketch points to the specific problem landscape of old industrial regions and their inhabitants. These regions and their characteristic social stratification appear to be increasingly marginalized in today’s society, not just since Corona has reached the European continent. (Blog post in German)

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