Two ships passing in the night: Fisheries in Brexit

Introduction:  While the course navigated so far in Brexit is incomplete, the knotted issue of fisheries has being climbing the political ladder. Michel Barnier has stated that an EU – UK trade deal cannot be agreed without an agreement on fisheries. In this Just the Facts, we will explore why the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) may cause Brexit talks to run aground.  What is the Common Fisheries Policy?  The CFP, an exclusive competency since 1983, has four pillars…

COVID-19 contact tracing apps and the EU 

AS COVID-19 APPEARS to have reached its peak in many countries across the EU, governments are now examining ways in which current restrictions can be lifted without risking a second wave of infections.   In its ‘roadmap’ for a pan-European exit strategy, the European Commission made a series of recommendations to the 27 EU member governments in advance of lifting current restrictions. One recommendation is that countries…

Back to Europe’s Future?

Europe Day, 9 May, is extra-special this year as it is also the 70th anniversary of the Schuman declaration, which created the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman’s big idea was to generate economic interdependence to make war between France and Germany impossible, hence sharing coal and steel production,…

Under the Microscope: EU Scientific Research and COVID-19

THE EUROPEAN UNION’S response to COVID-19 experienced a blow in early April as the president of the European Research Council (ERC), Mauro Ferrari, resigned. The resignation of the pharmaceutical sciences professor – fewer than three months following his recruitment – as the Coronavirus pandemic escalated throughout Europe was, as one would expect, unexpected. The catalyst…

Best Supporting Actor? The EU’s evolving role in the Coronavirus crisis

MOST FILM CRITICS would probably agree that Paul Giamatti is a great actor, admired for his range of roles in a number of films. Think Saving Private Ryan, Sideways, and Cinderella Man, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for best-supporting actor, among others. Giamatti is not as instantly recognisable as most Hollywood superstars,…

Procuring emergency medical supplies across the EU

For the European Union (EU), past weaknesses during major public health crises, like the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in the early 2000’s or the SARs epidemic in 2003, led to the emergence of new and improved procurement processes and crisis-response mechanisms. However, it would be the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009 that would be the catalyst for the emergence of the EU’s Joint Procurement mechanism.   During…

Slovakian General Election, March 2020

On Saturday the 29 February Slovakia went to the polls for what is only their eighth general election since their establishment as an independent country from the Czech Republic in 1993.   Background to Slovakian General Elections: Slovakia is a unicameral parliamentary, representative democratic republic with a prime minister who is the head of government…