Issue: 74: Issues for the New EU Parliament?

European Parliament

Working Notes – Issue 74 Editorial

This issue of Working Notes is devoted to consideration of some key issues facing the European Union, in the context of the election of a new European Parliament in May 2014 and the coming into office of a new European Commission in October 2014. In different ways, the articles in this issue point to an underlying unease... Read more »


An inflatable boat filled with refugees and other migrants approaches the north coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. Turkey is visible in the background. More than 500,000 migrants have crossed by boat from Turkey to the Greek islands so far in 2015.

Forced Migration: A Challenge for European Solidarity

The carnage of asylum seekers and migrants making the perilous journey to a better life makes frequent headlines; thousands die every year in the Mediterranean alone. Far too little is done to mitigate the risks such migrants face. Poverty, vulnerability and war are rife in our times, but compassion is in short supply.1

Poverty & Inequality  

Unemployment and the European Union

In 2013, unemployment in Germany, at 5.3 per cent, was at its lowest level since reunification. In the same year, Spain’s unemployment rate, 26.4 per cent, was at its highest level since at least the 1960s, before which reliable statistics are more difficult to come by. Austrian unemployment is also low at 4.9 per cent,... Read more »

Poverty & Inequality  

Elections 2014: A Turning Point for the European Social Model

For many people, particularly those struggling to make ends meet, the European Parliament elections can seem very remote from the reality of their lives. It is tempting to either ignore the elections entirely or use them to make a statement about national politics or the personality of candidates. This would be a mistake. Over the... Read more »

International Issues  

Interview with James K. Galbraith

Jean Merckaert and Solange de Coussemaker: You are aware that Italy, Spain and Portugal made the choice for Europe in order to distance themselves from their fascist past. Fifty years on, we are witnessing a strong rise of extremists in advance of elections. Has Europe lost its soul? James K. Galbraith: This is a real danger. The... Read more »

International Issues  

The Social Dimension of Europe: Withered on the Vine?

Introduction There is obvious disenchantment among Europeans with ‘Project Europe’. This is largely due to a feeling that the social dimension of the project is being sacrificed in the interests of the economic dimension, while at the same time the supposed benefits of ‘free and undistorted’ competition are not forthcoming. No doubt, this is a... Read more »


Interview with Pat Cox, Former President of the European Parliament

Edmond Grace: Over the past year you have spent some considerable time in Ukraine as EU observer to the Timoshenko case. How is the EU seen in that country? Pat Cox: For many Ukrainians, especially the young, their idea of Europe is of modernisation, values, the rule of law – especially the fight against corruption – and... Read more »

International Issues