An open letter to the members of the European Council, Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of the Republic of Ireland, and the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom under Article 50.2 TEU, arguing to unlock the deadlock in Brexit negotiations and promoting a Schengen-like solution for (Northern) Ireland
The 15th of January 2019 should have gone into history as the day that the United Kingdom took back control from the European Union .... if not for the fact that everything in this file always unfolds in entirely other ways than expected, while actually nothing has changed that much. Theresa May is still there, the Brexit-deal is by no means dead, and the British remain hopelessly divided. In this interim Brexit-update, I try to explore the current situation, and make some predictions.
The yellow vests movement certainly attracted the attention of the French government and made governments in many European capitals think again. The so far relatively silent (lower) middle class has finally vented their cropped up frustration over higher prices, taxes and further reduction of the standards of social services. With the elections for the European Parliament scheduled for May next year, politicians need to finally address these frustrations or lose this group to parties on the extremes of the political centre. This article explores causes, examines fears and reflects on possible solutions.
Has any progress been made in the Brexit negotiations during the past weeks? The signals are vague, and the details are thin. Is there any smoke, and if so where is the fire? The little that comes out of the ‘tunnel’ suggests that progress is underway on the Irish border issue and financial services, but we are as yet not allowed to know to what extent. Although I think Brexit still is a ridiculous idea, a deal is better than no deal. This article will explain why based on a comparison of performance between Ireland and the United Kingdom, since 1973. Also, the results of the 2nd quarter of 2018 of the Brexit monitor are now available as well.
The General Government Performance Index (GGPI) maps yields of government policy decisions benefitting citizens, against the burden to produce those. It provides a surprising insight into the results of policy choices made. In the 2018 edition of the GGPI, we also take a close look at how general government performance, translates into political support for the policies pursued.
By the end of this year, the Dutch political community will need to cough up a National Climate Agreement backed by a as broad as possible political coalition. The ambition is there, and the signs are favorable, but still a lot of checking and fine tuning needs to be done before this is a reality. In this article, I attempt to disentangle the complexity of the various aspects of the energy transition process before us and also try to map out what should and should not be done to obtain the broad popular support required to make this necessary conversion, work.
What to do, if time and again, an organization looks away whilst playing a facilitating role in actions that profoundly affects the lives of young people. No, this is not about Facebook, but about the Catholic Church. It is time that the organization which knowingly and for decades looked away from abuse by its priests and protected those perpetrators, obstructed justice and withheld justice to the victims is being held accountable for its actions and omissions in this matter. This article investigates whether legal options are available.
On 2 February, the United Kingdom completed its negotiations with the EU on the revision of their treaty obligations. This did not provide the outcome Cameron had hoped for. It would appear that anti-EU movements in the UK in particular can turn this to good account. There is a real risk that the agreement is grist to the mill for anti-Europe parties in continental Europe as well. In this article I will discuss the history and circumstances of British participation in the EU, its desire to revise the terms of membership, the agreement of February 2 and the implications it may have for both Cameron, the UK and the EU itself (Google translation of an article written in Dutch on February 4, with some minor amendments).
20 years of Corporate Governance and increasing regulation in Netherlands and elsewhere did not bring about the much desired and anticipated focus on longer-term value creation for all stakeholders associated with the company. Essentially the focus is still short-term but with the added disadvantage of increased regulation, rising compliance cost and a check-the-box mentality. We need to address inadequacies in the system from within, rather than creating frameworks around the system. Rewarding longer-term shareholder engagement might be one solution, thus creating the right mindset to move things forward.