The connected journal of EU professionals

La revue permanente des professionnels de l’Europe

The EU’s Ides of March? Article 50 timing could spell disaster for European unity

REE Theresa may merkel 2016Theresa May’s announcement that the UK government will formally launch the Brexit process by the end of March 2017 deals a body blow to European leaders struggling to maintain the integrity of project EU. On top of the rhetoric of a “hard Brexit”, the timing seems designed to catch the EU’s champions at their most vulnerable.

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The battle over abortion rights in Poland is not over

REE abortion polandAfter a week during which mass street protests erupted in Poland against a proposed new law banning abortions, on October 6 politicians backtracked on the plans and the parliament voted to reject the law. But, despite the victory for pro-choice campaigners, Poland is still left with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe – and further restrictions have been proposed.

 

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Immigration after Brexit: what are the alternatives to a points-based system?

UK BorderBrexit was supposed to be about “taking back control” of our borders and the new prime minister, Theresa May, has confirmed that immigration control will be a “red line” in any negotiations with the EU. But now comes the tricky bit: control to do what, and how?

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The hidden costs of closed borders for migrants stuck in Serbia

23114927176 3902964758 bIn Spring 2016, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia “closed” their borders to migrants who had been transiting these countries via the “Balkan route” on their way further into the European Union. The closures follow other attempts at shutting EU borders: Hungary built a fence along its border with Serbia, while the so-called “EU-Turkey” deal was intended to prevent people from reaching EU borders by sending those who had crossed the Mediterranean back to Turkey. Despite the border closures, the Balkan route is still active – a problem recognised at an EU leaders’ meeting in July. Now those refugees not able to get any further are stuck in limbo. Non-governmental organisatons (NGOs) and the UNHCR estimate there are at least 200 arrivals per day in Serbia, with around 5,000 people stuck in Serbia alone.

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