Inside the net neutrality debate

Written by Elda Brogi and Luc Steinberg. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

Net neutrality is a hot topic at the moment, but it is not always clear what it actually is and why it matters. In this article, Elda Brogi and Luc Steinberg of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom explain the concept of net neutrality, and discuss what implications the US Federal Communication Commission’s recent decision to repeal it could have for the maintenance of an open and free web in Europe and beyond.

Elda Brogi is Scientific Coordinator  and Luc Steinberg is Project Assistant at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom (CMPF), a research programme devoted to develop innovative and relevant lines of research on media freedom and pluralism in Europe and beyond. It is housed at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, and is co-financed by the European Union.

Closa: What next for Catalonia in 2018?

Written by Carlos Closa. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

For Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, fresh regional elections at the end of 2017 were supposed to lift a cloud of political uncertainty that has shrouded Catalonia for the past six months. However, Professor Carlos Closa writes in EUI Times, the inconclusive results of those elections mean that there is no end in sight for one of Europe’s most testing political crises in recent memory.

Carlos Closa is Part Time professor at the School of Transnational Governance. He recently edited the volume Secession from a Member State and Withdrawal from the European Union. Troubled Membership (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

A new era for EU defense cooperation?

Written by Richard Maher. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions


PESCO, the European Union’s new defense cooperation agreement signed earlier this month, represents a big leap towards the creation of a credible, effective European defense policy. While some doubts remain, Richard Maher argues that the deal is further proof that member states are committed to furthering integration post-Brexit.

Richard Maher is a research fellow in the ‘Europe in the World’ research area of the Global Governance Programme at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Debunking misconceptions about return migration

Written by Katie Kuschminder. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions


Thousands of migrants return home every day. So why do we still misunderstand what actually happens when they get there? In this article, Katie Kuschminder argues that reintegrating into an old society can be much harder than starting afresh in a new one.

Katie Kuschminder is a Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre’s Global Governance Programme, funded by a Rubicon Grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Katie’s research is in the field of international migration, with a current focus on irregular, transit and return migration.

Click and bail: Can Macron stop digital multinationals from dodging tax?

Written by Laura Seelkopf. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions


In his landmark Sorbonne speech in late September, Emmanuel Macron outlined a plan to force the likes of Facebook, Amazon and Netflix to pay taxes in the EU country where their services are used, rather than where they are headquartered, and to crack down on those companies which avoid paying at all. While his proposal is welcome, Laura Seelkopf argues that it faces a number of hurdles – from both inside and out of the EU.

Laura Seelkopf is a Jean-Monnet Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. Her current research focuses on the comparative political economy of taxation.

Trump and the Paris Agreement

Written by Author. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

On June 1st, Trump announced the US would pull out of the Paris Agreement (PA). Some commentators have indicated that the damage that Trump can inflict to climate change mitigation is limited. Yet, Xavier Labandeira, Director of FSR Climate, is not so optimistic. FSR Climate has been analysing and reflecting on EU climate policies for almost ten years. Their insights may offer some guidance for international climate policies within a Trumpian context.

The European Union at Sixty

Written by Federico Romero. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

Federico Romero

‘Progress is never linear, much less granted once and for all.’ Professor Federico Romero uses the Treaty of Rome Anniversary to reconsider how the EC/EU ‘nurtured – inadvertently, myopically, smugly – the frustrated discontent that now threatens it.’

Professor Federico Romero is Professor of History of Post-War European Cooperation and Integration at the European University Institute. He is also Director of the ERC project Looking West: The European Socialist Regimes Facing Pan-European Cooperation and the European Community (PanEur1970s), and co-directs the Alcide de Gasperi Centre for Research. He will chair a debate on ‘The European Union at Sixty’ at The State of the Union. 4-6th May 2017.

A bellwether for Europe? ‘Wilders-lite’ is here to stay

Written by Herman Lelieveldt. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

Image of Herman Lelieveldt

Wilders’ one-man show was unable to capitalise on populist momentum, but others are more organised, says Herman Lelieveldt. The visiting fellow in the Department of SPS explains why it is important not to fixate on how the PVV alone performs.
Herman Lelieveldt is a visiting fellow in the Department of SPS. He is Associate Professor in Political Science at University College Roosevelt in Utrecht.

The crisis of liberal democracy and what it means for the Global South

Written by Author. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

Anchalee Rueland

Europe and the US have long held themselves as beacons for developing democracies around the world. […] But recent EU and US failures (immigration crises, border closings, racially-biased police violence, inequality, Brexit, etc.) are discouraging young democracies’ pursuit of liberal democratic institutions, and these developing countries are growing impatient with what they see as hypocritical preaching from the democratic ‘West’.
Anchalee Rueland is a Ph.D. candidate in SPS. She spent 8 months in Southeast Asia carrying out fieldwork on norm conflicts, and is currently writing a thesis entitled ‘Norms In Conflict: Non-interference vs Protection of Human Rights in Southeast Asia.’

President Trump: the consequences for Europe’s foreign, security and defence policy

Written by Author. Posted in Current opinions, Opinions

Ulrich Krotz

During the electoral campaign, Donald Trump relied less on foreign policy, security, and defence advisors than any major party nominee in the past 70 years, making the shape and direction of U.S. foreign policy under his administration uncertain and difficult to predict. What might the election of Donald Trump mean for Europe and Europeans? Professor Ulrich Krotz, Chair in International Relations in the Department of Political and Social Sciences and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, sheds some light on a situation that is anything but clear.