EU-UK: What relationship after the May 7th election?

The UK general election on May 7th is one of the most anticipated political events this year, with European capitals closely following polls and interpreting campaign rhetoric. EU membership and the basic principles thereof have been called into question by several parties and the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, has promised to re-negotiate UK membership in the EU and put this new deal to a referendum by 2017.

To discuss what this new deal would entail, experts from the UK, France, and Germany came together at an event organized by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Open Europe, and the French Institute of International Relations. Continue reading

Upcoming event: “What will Britain’s post-election EU policy be and how will member states react?”

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulspace
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulspace

16 April 2015
12:00-14:00h

Venue: Press Club Brussels Europe, Rue Froissart 95, 1000 Bruxelles

 About the event

The UK general election on 7 May 2015 promises to be exciting, with a more fragmented political landscape on the horizon. Divisions no longer just concern the Labour-Conservative divide, but also national identity and EU membership.

Continue reading

Not just another trade negotiation – on the strategic importance of TTIP

Fotocollage TTIPPoliticians and the media might have been too optimistic in 2013 when claiming that a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) should be done “on one tank of gas” (US-Vice President Joe Biden). After 18 months and numerous rounds of negotiations, it has become obvious that concerns about the agreement have grown. The “Stop TTIP coalition” collected more than 1 million signatures calling for a European Citizens Initiative to withdraw the TTIP mandate. In view of the increasing criticism from across the political spectrum, the European Commission opened a public consultation on Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms and European Council finally allowed the publication of the negotiation mandate.

Continue reading

Boost the economy – liberalise cross-border trade in services

Open Europe 6.6.13 024The European economy is in serious trouble. Forecasts predict that the EU’s share of global GDP in 2017 is set to drop to 17% – over a third less than in 1990. It is vital that Europe looks at a range of different ways to kick-start growth to reverse this trend and regain competitiveness in the global race. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom together with Open Europe held a panel discussion on the way forward in liberalising trade in services.

Continue reading

Upcoming event: “Boosting EU growth through the services sector: How can we break the political deadlock?”

Thursday, 6 June 2013

12.00-14.00

Foto BerichtFar too many EU countries are plagued by unsustainable levels of unemployment, deficits and debt – problems that can only be met by economic growth. At this debate, experts will debate whether greater liberalisation of the EU’s services market is one way to meet these challenges. The panel will also explore different avenues for how to break the current political deadlock in Europe holding back a dynamic services market, including the idea of “enhanced cooperation” – a quirk in the EU treaties allowing for a group of likeminded countries to press ahead with a more ambitious agenda.

Open Europe will also present a new report that demonstrates how beneficial creating a real internal market in services would be for Europe. To download the full report ” Kick-starting growth: How to reignite the EU’s services sector” click here.

For more information and to register, click here.

“No man is an island” – can we avoid that Britain further alienates itself from Europe?

IMG_5398 (Kopie)   „Outward-looking, open and economically liberal, these are exactly the kind of criteria which the UK and Germany should share as their vision for Europe,“ with these words Vicky Ford MEP, member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, opened the debate with Rainer Stinner MP, Spokesman on Foreign Affairs of the FDP Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag. Despite these shared criteria, it became apparent, that the vision of the future of the European Union looks very different in Berlin and in London.
Continue reading

And when the money keeps rolling out, you should ask „how?“

Es fällt uns allen bei der Durchsicht unserer privaten Kontoauszüge auf: Ausgaben wachsen stetig an, während Einnahmen nur zäh, wenn überhaupt, steigen. Wieso sollte es der Europäischen Union anders gehen? Mit dem Vertrag von Lissabon haben sich die Mitgliedsstaaten so zum Beispiel zur Einrichtung des Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienstes (EAD) verpflichtet, der auf der Ausgabenseite zu Buche schlagen wird. Insgesamt möchte die Europäische Kommission den Haushalt der EU für 2014-2020 um fünf Prozent erhöhen. Dies stößt vor allem bei den Mitgliedstaaten, die durch die Eurokrise zum Sparen angehalten sind, auf Protest. Mats Persson, Direktor des britischen Think Tanks Open Europe, und die Europaabgeordneten Michael Theurer (ALDE) und Martin Callanan (ECR) diskutierten Reformvorschläge für den nächsten Mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen.
Continue reading