Bursting the Bubble

EU Dumping Policy: The Fairness of the Analogue Country Method

20 September 2016 | by

Anti-dumping legislation is based on the rhetoric of fairness. The underlying concern is that a foreign company with considerable market power in its home country could sell its products at a loss in Europe to drive out competitors and increase its prices afterwards. The goal of anti-dumping measures, therefore, is to increase import prices when these are considered unjustly low, in order to provide for a level-playing field in global trade.

This all sound very straightforward and appealing. But some aspects of EU anti-dumping policy can raise eyebrows. The use of the analogue country method, for instance, which underlies the calculation of the dumping margins of products coming from non-market economies, makes a justification in terms of fairness questionable.

Continue reading

What future for the international protection of refugees in Europe?

16 September 2016 | by

The year 2016 will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most challenging for the European Union. The unexpected number of migrants arriving in Europe and the clumsy decisions adopted in response to the refugee crisis are spreading dissent over the entire European project, increasing the threat for the EU’s fragmentation. Hungary and Italy represent the most relevant examples of this trend, as they are currently amending their legislation to remarkably restrict asylum seekers’ rights within their territories.

The European Council President Donald Tusk has recently stressed the inability of the EU to host new waves of refugees, pleading with world leaders to increase their efforts to ensure refugees’ global burden sharing. These issues have led to rethink the existing reception policy, as the European Commission has recently enacted some measures to tackle the crisis and dispel the doubts over Europe’s future leadership.

Continue reading

The Circular Economy Paradigm

13 September 2016 | by

Improving the efficiency with which the European Union uses resources is a priority in the face of an ever increasing population and corresponding growth of consumption well above the regenerative capacity of nature. In June 2015, MEP Pietikainen said that the current way in which resources are being used is unsustainable and that we need “a true paradigm shift like with Copernicus or Galileo Galilei”. She later added that the circular economy is the paradigm shift we need, as it is a “systemic change” as well as a “huge, hidden, business opportunity”.

Continue reading

Post-Coup Turkey and Its Implications for South Caucasus

9 September 2016 | by

After several years of European attempt to locate the three South Caucasian countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, within a common framework, policies of these neighbouring states have become more distant to each other. Currently, the strategic region on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, finds itself in a situation where Official Tbilisi, after signing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) as part of the Association Agreement (AA) with the EU, is closely aligned with Western structures and European policies; Armenia, after being pressured by Moscow to abandon plans for concluding similar agreements, has become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). And Azerbaijan, denouncing both the EU and the EEU, remains also outside the World Trade Organization (WTO), seeking strategic partnerships on equal footage. Despite the fragmented nature of the region, all three states have been closely monitoring developments occurring 15-16 July in Turkey. The coup had failed, but the consequences of the attempt could be far reaching not only for Turkey, but also for South Caucasus.

Continue reading

Which way for the UK? The political economy of ‘After-Brexit’

18 August 2016 | by

What is next?

Post-industrial areas – particularly in Wales and Northern Ireland – benefit significantly from EU structural funds, and their governments will continue to advocate on their behalf.

But these funds aside, who will speak in the Brexit negotiations for the interests of those people who have just voted to leave? When Britain’s fiscal position deteriorates, will working class voters pay the heaviest price, as economists warned before the referendum? As we become more reliant on the “kindness of strangers” to pay our way in the world, who will argue for investment to flow to Brexit Britain’s heartlands? What does each party say about Brexit? Are they proposing EEA membership, including free movement? Or are they promoting an association agreement in which both single market access and free movement are curtailed, for British and EU citizens?

Continue reading