Latest publications

2013

This special SIEPS publication aims to contribute, in practical legal terms, to the review of the organization and functioning of the European External Action Service (EEAS). In particular, it offers specific recommendations for the amendment of Council Decision 2010/427/EU on which the Service’...

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The Treaty on European Union stipulates that in its relations with the wider world, the EU shall uphold and promote its values and interests; it shall also contribute ‘to the strict observance and the development of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations’....

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During the last decade, European Union has undertaken a range of measures aiming at prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Regulation of the so called ‘lifestyle risks’ is, however, not uncontroversial. Henceforth, strategic consideration and careful policy planning are...

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The Schengen system is one of the core achievements of the European integration process. This system, which permits those who are present in any of the Schengen States to cross the borders without being checked, assumes a considerable degree of harmonization and mutual trust among those states....

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All remaining restrictions to the free movement of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens will have to be removed before the end of 2013. In a number of EU member states this has renewed fears of “benefit tourism”.

In this report, the authors examine the experiences in Sweden, where it was...

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On 28 January 2013, the EFTA Court passed a judgment in the so called Icesave case, regarding Iceland’s rules on the protection of savers’ deposits following the collapse of all its major banks in the autumn of 2008. In the opinion of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), this constituted a...

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Four years have passed since the adoption of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). Ahead of the annual forum which is taking place in November 2013 in Vilnius, Kristine Kern and Stefan Gänzle analyse the evolution of the strategy’s governance and activities.

The...

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The fundamental task of the European Council has been to define the EU´s general political direction. Its influence and scope of intervention, however, is gradually increasing. With the Lisbon Treaty it was given a status of an EU institution and its meetings are since chaired by a permanent...

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The European Parliament elections in May 2014 will be the most important to date. With the new powers of the European Parliament under the Lisbon Treaty, a new majority will shape EU policies in many important areas, from regulation of the single market to the free movement of persons,...

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Germany goes to the polls on 22 September, after an election campaign where EU topics have hardly been present. The campaign has instead focused on domestic issues such as pensions, statutory minimum wage and childcare benefits.

Considering Germany´s central role in the EU – not least in...

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On 1 July 2013 Lithuania – for the first time – assumed the rotating presidency of the EU Council. This publication analyses the main aspects of the preparations and challenges ahead of the Lithuanian Presidency. 

Despite being a small country with limited resources and little experience...

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The right to launch a European citizens' initiative was introduced on 1 April 2012. It gives EU citizens the possibility to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate, and a number of initiatives are today registered on the EU Commission´s special website.

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Respect for human rights is a value upon which the European Union is founded, and a precondition for an aspirant state to be considered as a candidate for membership. Contrasting the fundamental rights discourse developing in the EU enlargement context and the situation within the EU, this...

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In this European Policy Analysis, Magnus Jerneck argues that enhanced cooperation between the euro countries presents Sweden with a decisive challenge. According to the author, EU Member States that choose to remain outside the Monetary Union will find it increasingly difficult to exert...

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The confidence in the European Union project is waning because distinctions between political and economic liberalism are not clearly defined, Sverker Gustavsson argues in this European Policy Analysis. Political parties, interest groups and opinion-makers should therefore explain the...

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What triggers growth? How can the EU Member States ensure conditions that have a proven positive effect on growth? These questions are relevant, not least considering the recent financial and economic crisis which represents the deepest downturn in world economy since Second World War.

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The economic crisis has revealed a number of weaknesses in the structures of the EU and the EMU. The measures taken in the EU in order to thwart the crisis have been introduced at a pace that has sometimes made it difficult to keep up with developments.

In order to increase understanding...

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What are the main international challenges for the EU today? In the report Think Global–Act European IV. Thinking strategically about the EU external action, experts from 16 European think tanks and research institutes address key priorities for the EU to preserve its relevance in a...

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The economic crisis continues to affect trust in the EU project. In Sweden, as in most other Member States, drop in public support for the EU has been observed. In the 2012 survey from the SOM Institute, only 42 percent of the respondents declare that they are in favour of Sweden´s EU membership...

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According to the Europe 2020 strategy, public authorities in the European Union should make better use of public procurement in support of general societal goals such as good environmental protection and social conditions. This analysis discusses the proposal from the European Commission on new...

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A much discussed topic in the European Union is how public procurement may be used to support general societal goals, such as good environmental protection. But to what extent is it actually possible for public authorities to use procurement in order to achieve non-economic goals?

In this...

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Facilitated access to justice constitutes one of the crucial elements of empowering consumers in the integrated European market. Out-of-court dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, etc.) as well as online dispute resolution schemes, constitute an attractive alternative to conventional...

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Several EU Member States have developed measures to postpone retirement and prolong working life. In this analysis, the authors highlight the main evolutions in the area, and the current situation of the 50-74 year olds on the labour market in eight European countries. Systems adopted in these...

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Where is Europe heading and what is left of the integration though law project? At the time of the greatest crisis facing the EU since its inception, it is important to see things in its context and think about the developments at hand in the light of the grander transformations that constituted...

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With the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Union has been formally instructed to “develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries” (Article 8 TEU). This new European Policy Analysis examines the nature and object of this broad EU ‘neighbourhood competence’. It is suggested that despite...

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The present financial and sovereign debt crisis has underlined the important role of housing finance in the economy. This analysis summarizes previous and current attempts of the European Union to create a common legal framework for mortgage credit contracts. Particular emphasis is given to the...

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In July 2010, the European Council decided on the organisation and functiong of the European External Action Service (EEAS). The EEAS is currently under review, and this new SIEPS report offers – for the first time – an article-by-article analysis of the Council Decision. The publication is...

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During the first six months of this year Ireland holds the EU Presidency for the seventh time. With the motto "For Stability, Jobs and Growth" the Irish government has expressed its intention to focus on economic growth and implementation of existing decisions, rather than presenting new...

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