The process of cooperation in Europe, which started in the aftermath of World War II, has resulted in the emergence of an unprecedented political construction on the old continent. Initially, the debate about the nature of the European Communities and their successor the European Union, was dominated by the dilemma as to whether the integration should lead to the creation of a federal state, to be described as the United States of Europe, or to the establishment of a Europe of Nation-States, proudly portrayed by President de Gaulle as ‘l’Europe des Patries. After decades of deadlock, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty overcame the conceptual stalemate by constructing the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state.Read more
Major events in history tend to bring about or further major innovations in technology. The announcement of the then Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, in January 2013 that he wanted to organise an in- or out-referendum about British membership of the EU triggered the present author to start a series of blogs about Brexit on the website of this library. Blogs form a challenge for traditional academics inasmuch as they have to be short and sharp. The effect of the blog will be highlighted by the punch line in which it culminates. A blog, which solves an age-old conundrum, may turn out to be a greater leap forward in academic advancement than many contemplative books have been.Read more
Today is the set date in the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union, the United Kingdom is allowed formally to leave the European Union (Brexit).
However, the British Parliament (House of Commons) has to give her approval to Theresa May’s deal. The British Prime minister has even offered to resign, if the House of Commons would vote for her deal. Nevertheless, the House of Commons has shown many ‘NO’ ‘s even to options discussed and proposed within the Parliament.Read more
A spectre of discontent is haunting Europe. Brexit and the yellow vests are symbolising the anger of citizens at the EU. The feelings of dissatisfaction are fuelled by the paradox that global companies are hardly paying any taxes within the EU, whereas the citizens are increasingly confronted with higher burdens, notably with more VAT, longer working years and rises in indirect taxes. At the same time, the EU has achieved unprecedented results. It has created an area of freedom, security and justice for its citizens, which is unique in the world.Read more
If anything good comes from Brexit, it may well be that the bold Brexiteers have contributed inadvertently to the solution of one of the longest-standing conceptual problems of the EU, namely the conundrum concerning the nature and the purpose of the European Union. The riddle has been paralysing political thought about the EU and its predecessors for decades. Generations of theorists have argued that the EU should either become a federal state or take the shape of a confederal organisation of states. As it is obvious that today’s Union has neither assumed the form of a state nor that of an organisation of states, the conundrum appears to be perfectly insolvable.Read more
Twenty-five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht a new model of inter- or transnational relations has come to light. It has been discerned by our guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma and it is based on the Theory of Democratic Integration, which he has developed in his blogs on this website. The new model has emerged in deviation of the prevailing Westphalian System of International Relations and may be described as the Maastrichtian Model of Transnational Relations.Read more
The Springer e-books database has been updated. Six new e-book titles have recently been added. SpringerLink is the starting point of access for Springer online journals and Springer online books. The Peace Palace Library has acquired Springer e-books in Humanities, Environmental Science and Law.Read more
On the eve the 2019 EP-elections the European Council will meet in the Romanian city of Sibiu in order to address the most pressing challenges for the EU-after-Brexit, notably the question as to how the democratic character of the Union can be strengthened. Is it at all possible for international organisations to function on a democratic footing? Against this background the collection of essays and articles about political theory and the European Union, which Richard Bellamy and Joseph Lacey have edited, has been published at a most convenient time.Read more
If the Commission Juncker is to deserve a place in history, it may well be because of its efforts to democratize the EU. At the start of its term in 2014, the Commission Juncker included ‘democratic change’ in its ten policy priorities and towards the end of its time in office it has submitted a Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The roadmap must lead to a meeting of the European Council in 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu and citizens are invited to participate in the debate via #EURoad2Sibiu.Read more
On Thursday 17 May 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union backed a near-total ban of three pesticides, also called neonicotinoids (clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid), because of their scientifically proven serious harmful effect on the health of both wild bees and honey bees. Neonicotinoids are part of a class of insecticides that damage the central nervous system of insects that result in paralysis and death.
Bayer and Syngenta, the manufacturers of these three types of insecticides went to the Court in 2013 to stop the ban of these chemicals. But the Court dismissed “in their entirety the actions brought by Bayer and Syngenta in relation to the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid.”
After an extensive updated assessment which was based on more than 1,500 studies, involving wild bees (bumblebees, solitary bees) and honeybees, the European Food Safety Authority concluded that these three insecticides are harmful for bees. These pesticides can no longer be used in the open field but their use is still allowed inside permanent greenhouses.Read more