This is a blog written by alumni of the EPA MA programme in Maastricht.
Bursting the Bubble

Refugee crisis in Europe: an unbiased explanation

9 October 2015 | by

Despite the new measures of a military operation to catch migrant traffickers, involving European warships patrolling international waters in the Mediterranean, and increased dialogue with the Turkish government to support refugee resettlement and stabilise border security which has faced an influx of 2.2 million refugees over recent months. Migration and asylum policy and is still leading the agenda throughout the European Union.

In the first five months of 2015, 153 000 migrants have been detected across the external borders of the EU, an increase of 149% compared to the same period last year (2014). Among others, this has affected member states ability to conform and abide to the Schengen area, maintain homeland and international security and defence policies, as well as uphold the fundamental values of the Union themselves. Continue reading

UK soft power still holds sway as two ECJ decisions go their way

7 October 2015 | by

On 6 October 2015, as the Conservative Party Conference was in full swing in Manchester, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a significant boost to the Conservative government through two rulings validating current UK actions under question by the EU. Both cases had contributed to the toxic #Brexit debate, which is currently ongoing in the run up to the UK referendum on whether to continue as a member of the EU – due to occur by the end of 2017.

The ECJ announcement (Thierry Delvigne v Commune de Lesparre-Médoc and Préfet de la Gironde) on a French case, concluded that member states can unilaterally maintain bans on citizens participating in European elections as long as this ban is in proportion to the crime committed. The UK currently has a blanket ban on prisoners voting in any elections, domestic or European, and has rebuffed repeated pressure to alter this law in defiance of ECJ judges.

Continue reading is recruiting

30 September 2015 | by

As many of our readers know, (EPA) is a website for specialised political commentary in the area of European politics, policy, and strategically related developments with over 3700 followers on twitter, 1900 likes on Facebook, and an average of 500 website hits per article. Since its inception in 2013 when created by fellow master students at Maastricht University – in one of the pre-eminent courses in EU affairs – it has been shortlisted, and won, numerous awards in EU affairs, including the Digital / Social Media Champion 2014 at the European Public Affairs awards in Brussels.

After over two years of success, we are looking to expand our team of voluntary contributors, individuals who work in or share an avid interest in EU affairs and want to have their voice heard. Continue reading

A missed opportunity for V4 to rise above themselves

28 September 2015 | by

During the recent weeks and months the EU has become consumed by the events of the refugee crisis unfolding both on Europe’s external and internal borders.

Regrettably, the ongoing humanitarian tragedy has been reduced to the mere question of refugee quotas – and often at the expense of solutions that would address the cause of the problem rather than just its consequences.

When on Tuesday, September 22, EU interior and home affairs ministers met in Brussels to finally approve the Commission’s proposal to relocate some 120,000 refugees currently located in Southern Europe, very few people welcomed the move as one that would be decisive in Europe’s response to the crisis. Continue reading

Has the Problem of Youth Unemployment Become a Secondary Issue?

23 September 2015 | by

The second week of September was chosen by the European Commission as the European Week of Sport – a new initiative aimed at promoting healthier lifestyle and regular exercise.

While pioneered by the European Commission, the European Week of Sport was largely geared towards local grass root initiatives across the EU. One of these initiatives was the Project 668’s Run for Employment that European Public Affairs was a partner of.

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