Given the political dynamics in #Italy, it is time to dust off my analysis from 2016 - 'Eurosceptics in Power' - on how Eurosceptic parties have influenced EU policy making both in the EP and when in nat. government

swp-berlin.org/en/publication…

Four points stand out in particular:
First, Italy is not the first instance of eurosceptic and/or populist parties entering national government.

Elite consensus on EU integration has been waning for a long time - reflecting the more sceptical attitude in many member states.
Second, in decision-making at the EU level they acted (largely) constructive. Voting data from the Council revealed no strong increase in vetos or 'no' votes after Eurosceptic parties entered nat. governments.

Exceptions to this are migration and institutional questions
But even on those issues, there was no indication - so far - of nat governments with Eurosceptic parties forming a group in the EU. Crucially, even all of them together would not have had a blocking minority in the Council.
Third, the bigger impact was felt on the national level - in the challenge of EU core values, the rule of law and migration policies.

And the larger the number of EU countries with rule of law issues, the harder it will be to adress this issue by the EU.
Finally, due its size, an Italy headed by two Eurosceptic parties will be a far bigger challenge to the EU.

4 factors come together:
- High economic relevance to the Eurozone
- High voting share in the Council
- Central role on migration
- Symbolic status as a founding country
In sum: the #M5S #LEGA is not the first Eurosceptic government in the EU - but it is bound to be the most impactful, on the #Eurozone, on migration, on Russia and the future of the EU debate overall.

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More from @NvOndarza

May 16, 2018
"#Brexit and EU agencies", our extensive look into third country relationships of the 36 EU agencies and how the UK might fit in.

swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/cont…

Albeit largely technical, agencies will have huge implications on Brexit.

Five points stand out in particular:
First, Agencies matter. Like the customs union, they are a technical aspect of the EU, that works and was thus hardly discussed in the UK before #Brexit.
But they are important for single market, but also justice and home affairs.

UK gov thus has already asked to continue participation in selected agencies, in particular in sectors important to the UK economy, like aviation, chemicals or pharma.
Read 10 tweets
Apr 16, 2018
Back in Berlin from this year's British-German #Königswinter Conference.

The best summary was incidentally provided by a border guard at Heathrow, who said to me upon seeing my destination:

"Please tell your friends we are still European". /1
A few more impressions: Everything started off with a clear political signal as the German official delegation arrived in the UK en route from Dublin.

Main message: EU-27 are the priority, and Berlin is 100% behind Ireland. /2
Most striking was the mood between Germans and Brits:

Brexit now seems to be more and more an accepted reality, with less grudge.

The deep regret is still there, though with a willingness to look ahead. /3
Read 7 tweets
Mar 16, 2018
Japanese Business Represenation have today released a statement on #Brexit that is quite remarkable.

Very direct calls to UK and EU-27 on transition, future relationship and third party agreements

jbce.org/brexit/jbce-ke…
On transition, they echo EU call for full single market and customs union participation of the UK.

Even more, they call for a long transition and clear extension mechanism.

Otherwise, Japanese companies would need to trigger 'do deal' contigency planning.
Equally blunt are their positions on the future relationship, incl calls for
- no tarriffs
- the UK to remain within a customs regime with the EU
- regulatory coherence
- UK participation in EU programmes

In short, please don't change anything that might rock the boat.
Read 4 tweets
Mar 15, 2018
The #Skripal case is very serious, and has the potential to become much more serious still. But it is also the first real test of UK position in foreign and security after #Brexit.

A balanced thread. /1
What’s missing after #Brexit?

Mainly the EU institutions. The UK briefed its allies inter alia via the EU’s Political & Security Committee, and @eucopresident put #Skripal on the agenda of next week’s #EUCO. /2
What’s different after #Brexit?

First, sanctions. While it is far from clear whether the EU will currently back up the UK on sanctions ag Russia, it is equally clear that any sanctions put forward by the UK wd be far more effective if adopted at EU level /3
Read 8 tweets
Feb 21, 2018
UK position paper on transition has leaked here: assets.bwbx.io/documents/user…

First major discussion point is of course that UK wants #Brexit transition to last until new relationship is in place.

3 things to learn from that:
a) A sense of realism is taking hold in Westminster on #Brexit. As long argued, a time limited transition is dangerous esp. for the UK, as it creates a new cliff edge. There is very little chance of a fully fledged future relationship negotiated, agreed and fully ratified by 2021
b) The EU strategy of making the UK ask for an extension has worked. If the EU had proposed this, it would have seemed like it wants to keep the UK close indefinitely.

Now it is clear that it is the UK, for economic reasons, that needs this potentially very long transition
Read 4 tweets
Jan 29, 2018
The EU's guidelines for transition would mean all the obligations but no representation for the UK in the first 21 months after #Brexit.

More strikingly, it would put it in a worse position than Norway in terms of sovereinty. Here are five striking differences:
1. For every EU law, the EEA decides whether it has 'EEA relevance', i.e. for the single market. If not, or only partially, EEA countries only have to adopt it partially or not at all.

The UK will have to accept all EU law during transition, even if it is not relevant to the SM
2. EEA countries can agree with the EU on derogations when implementing EU law, e.g. geographical application, institutionals adjustments, exceptions.

No of EEA derogations until 2012:
Norway: 55
Iceland: 349
Liechtenstein: 1056

No option for derogations foreseen for the UK.
Read 7 tweets

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