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  • Money for Nothing : Is QE increasing inequality? - Dublin European Institute
    US and EU and low interest rates have penalized savers such as the elderly A recent study regarding lending in the Eurozone throughout 2015 stated that despite a QE injection of 60 billion new lending increased by just 0 6 relative to a year prior Karunakar 2015 By helping to re inflate the stock market after the crash central banks have actually created a two speed recovery The wealthy quickly recovered and then subsequently increased their wealth as many stocks doubled in value But people beyond the top of the distribution who depend on real estate value and jobs for their wealth have remained relatively stagnant This is why the the vast majority of the population have not felt many tangible benefits of the so called recovery since 2013 Robert Reich a former labor secretary under President Clinton and a notable wealth inequality commentator summed up this development in pessimistic terms in a recent speech Most Americans haven t felt they ve been in a recovery because they haven t received any of the economic gains all of which have gone to the top 1 percent This is the first recovery since World War II in which the median household is worse off than it was at the start Reich 2015 The gains of the recovery going to the very wealthy have also been harmful from an overall economic standpoint As the richest of the rich see their fortunes soar they re invest and seek to grow their vast wealth through various financial instruments such as stock portfolios This activity certainly benefits a very miniscule cohort of investment bankers but does very little for the wider economy On the other hand the average Joe has seen his purchasing power continuously fall due to a combination of lower and middle range wages remaining stagnant and also higher levels of inflation induced by QE These outcomes coupled with the highest private debt levels in history has discouraged buyer activity Remember that it s everyday consumer spending that ultimately drives the economy and the lifeblood of almost all SMEs Put it like this no matter how rich entrepreneurs likes of Mark Zuckerberg become they still only need to buy one microwave or one fridge etc There is no doubt that the persistently stalled economic growth rates since 2008 have been exacerbated by the struggle of the middle class Among economists QE has been in general positively received There is no doubt that from a purely macro economic point of view it has been successful in helping to stave off a deep depression It has directly impacted on a strong prolonged period of gains on the majority of the main world stock markets The NYSE is in the midst of a bull market that has lasted 79 months for example Unfortunately the distributional element of the argument is less rosy The Nobel prize winning Joseph Stiglitz has been one of the few academics to draw attention to this stating that contrary to the past

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/money-for-nothing-is-qe-increasing-inequality/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Merkel and Schäuble face an increasing number of party rebels - Dublin European Institute
    for party cohesion and more than 60 dissenters were considered a serious loss for Merkel Schäuble and Kauder The result was higher 63 Christian Democrats voted against the government and three abstained For an overview of the CDU CSU voting behaviour and the number of dissenters see Figure 1 and Table 1 Who are these dissenters During the previous legislative term 2009 2013 a small group of the district rebels have found more allies within the party see Table 1 Among those early dissidents was Klaus Peter Willsch He was the chairman of the CDU CSU group in the Budget Committee but not since the 2013 elections when committee seats were newly distributed by the party leadership The ratification of the European Stability Mechanism ESM in June 2012 was the most contested decision in that period However it was not until this year that not only district MPs but also a few list MPs defected from government line Why is this significant MPs who are elected off the party list rather than from single member districts are more dependent on their party for re election and thus less likely to speak out against their party let alone vote against party line 18 percent of MPs in the CDU CSU group are elected from the federal state of Bavaria which means that they belong to the CSU which is generally viewed as more conservative than its bigger sister party Until recently the CSU was overrepresented among the dissenters but now dissent seems to have spread closer to the core of the party But it is not merely a handful of critical backbenchers To give an example the chair and deputy chair of the Budget Committee s Sub committee on EU Matters voted against the third bailout package for Greece The CDU CSU party leadership could have seen the rebellion coming When the second package for Greece passed the Bundestag in February this year the percentage of dissenters had already climbed over 10 percent but more importantly 118 Christian Democrats around 38 percent delivered so called explanations of vote EoVs see Table 1 and Figure 2 EoVs are written statements that give one or more MPs the opportunity to explain their voting behaviour on any roll call vote They are annexed to the official minutes of the plenary debate and MPs tend to publish them on their personal websites as well It is important to bear in mind that access to the plenary floor of the Bundestag is controlled by party leaders Proksch Slapin 2012 but every MP may deliver an EoV Thus EoVs can be used as a measure of intra parliamentary mobilisation We know from a recent study by Ulrich Sieberer 2015 that around half of EoVs are of the yes but type meaning that MPs voice their discontent despite voting along party lines This growing dissent which became evident in the huge number of EoVs in February translated into voting behaviour in July and August when the CDU CSU

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/merkel-and-schauble-face-an-increasing-number-of-party-rebels/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Gender equality in the EU: the mountain that gave birth to a mouse? - Dublin European Institute
    on gender equality in the Commission In the European Parliament the formal impact of the gender equality Committee seems equally limited despite continuous work to pressure other institutions to adopt legislative measures most recent projects have been dedicated to progress reports or non binding resolutions Finally there s no Council formation dedicated to gender equality As for the role of dynamics between institutions they often stall the legislation that manages to make its way through to negotiations The Maternity Leave Directive proposal which seeked to extend the minimum leave period from 14 to 18 weeks was recently withdrawn by the Commission due to being blocked in the Council and despite the efforts of the Parliament the same situation that stalls the Women on Boards proposal aiming to improve gender balance in corporate governance showing the difficulties of transitioning such proposals from a more ambitious Parliament to a more conservative Council Member States role How important is the subsidiarity issue Several Member State level issues keep gender equality from progressing faster Gender at a national level is increasingly bundled with other discrimination issues in administration and is often justified solely through economic goals such as labour efficiency rather than claimed as an objective in itself Public servants working on gender mainstreaming within other policy issues are often too strained working across multiple files to make a difference while the EU recommended gender impact assessments are almost non existent the soft nature of most recent EU law on gender issues makes for weak regulatory pressure on Member States On a more political level some Member States have shown not to appreciate being told how to manage gender relations due partly to the politically sensitive nature of the subsidiarity debate Indeed although most Member States proactively recognise the importance of gender equality the issue is so embedded in national culture that trying to introduce EU law on the topic can lead them to adopt a defensive position partly explaining Germany s stalling of the Women on Boards Directive in Council despite recently passing legislation at national level to improve gender quotas on company boards This is coupled with a resurgence of ultra conservative parties associated with traditional gender roles preferences in several Member States while Sweden maintains the only self proclaimed feminist government and diplomacy in the EU The future of gender equality Much more than economic performance Commissioner Jourova s forthcoming proposals could bring a comprehensive policy package to the table but they re unlikely to succeed in bringing genuine gender equality to the EU without a much stronger and committed support from the EU Member States and the industry In addition depending on the content of the policy package and in reaction to Commissioner Jourova s statement that it will mostly focus on economic prosperity not social change 2 perhaps it is necessary to acknowledge that long lasting change will only be achieved when gender equality is decoupled from economic performance and progresses at all levels of societal activity while women

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/gender-equality-in-the-eu-the-mountain-that-gave-birth-to-a-mouse/ (2016-02-10)
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  • A Map of the Southern European Party System - Dublin European Institute
    s how it looks In spite of the assumed similarity of party systems in Southern Europe we can see some clear differences between them There is nothing incredibly new here but it visually represents things in a nice way Greece and Portugal appear as somewhat opposite poles in terms of their fragmentation and their centre of gravity The Greek party system is more fragmented and its centre of gravity has shifted to the lower left corner of the quadrant that is the Eurosceptic left In contrast the two major Portuguese parties are situated towards the upper right corner or the pro European right The two Portuguese parties in the lower left the Communists and the left bloc have remained relatively weak compared to their Greek and Spanish counterparts The Spanish party system is in between these Unlike PASOK the PSOE has remained strong even if Podemos represents a new force on the Eurosceptic left The Italian party system is clearly different from the others It contains a number of significant political forces in the Eurosceptic economic right quadrant a bit more like what you would probably see in Northern Europe Posted in Uncategorized Post navigation Ryanair and Dublin s Role in Undermining European Labour Rights Gender equality in the EU the mountain that gave birth to a mouse Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published Required fields are marked Name Email Website Comment Categories Commentary Council of Europe Democracy Legitimacy Public opinion Economic crisis reform EU Council EU law ECJ Eurocrisis Europe s neighbourhood European Commission European Council Summits European Parliament Eurozone governance ECB Fiscal Treaty Foreign and Security Policy Future of the EU Human rights Immigration Schengen Institutional Reform Ireland in Europe Justice and home affairs Legislative decision making National politics elections Research Single

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/a-map-of-the-southern-european-party-system/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Ryanair and Dublin's Role in Undermining European Labour Rights - Dublin European Institute
    workers and other precariously employed staff In the case of cabin crew absolute flexibility is built into the contracts as they are obliged to work at such other place or places as the Company reasonably requires for proper fulfilment of your duties and responsibilities This would include transfer to any of the European bases without compensation But wherever staff are assigned their place of work the aircraft is defined as Ireland Ryanair uses these ruses to avoid complying with more demanding employment regimes elsewhere Defending the fact that Ryanair staff in Norway do not pay Norwegian taxes Chief Executive Michael O Leary claimed that Ryanair must comply with Irish law because we re an Irish airline operating Irish regulated aircraft our employees are employed under Irish contracts and we must respect Irish law When the French government sought to oblige the company to comply with French labour laws Ryanair closed its Marseilles base in 2010 and now serves the French market from non French bases but with the air crew still employed on Irish contracts As I write Ryanair is closing its bases in Denmark in response to trade union pressure for increased wages though the Danish market will still be catered to by Irish staff based elsewhere Despite the fact that the staff concerned are clearly not self employed in any meaningful sense of the term contracts state that pilots can only fly for Ryanair the Irish Revenue Commissioners have accepted this charade as legitimate for taxation purposes And the model has been taken up by other airlines also For example Norwegian Air Shuttle NAS hires its staff via agencies in Thailand and Singapore but it has a subsidiary company that works under an Irish licence even though it does not operate out of Ireland This licence allows it to avoid Nordic labour regulations If Dublin is a key hub in this web of labour undermining schemes then Brussels headquarters of the EU is another As is Luxembourg home of the European Court of Justice ECJ the legal arm of the EU The ECJ has repeatedly ruled that the rights of employers to sell services anywhere in the EU single market override trade unions national collective bargaining rights Thus Ryanair workers and others cannot appeal to EU authorities for support or protection We have recently seen Brussels and Dublin and Berlin collude to suppress the democratic rights of the Greek people in the context of the bail out negotiations But there is nothing new in this Dublin has long functioned as a crucial flying column attacking labour and servicing capital right across an EU that has completely abandoned any vestiges of a so called social Europe Can Labor Arrest the Sky Pirates Transnational Trade Unionism in the European Civil Aviation Industry Labor History volume 56 no 3 2015 This article was originally published in the Dublin Inquirer Posted in Uncategorized Post navigation Taxing Labour Beyond too much or too little A Map of the Southern European Party System Leave

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/ryanair-and-dublins-role-in-undermining-european-labour-rights/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Taxing Labour: Beyond “too much” or “too little” - Dublin European Institute
    9 200000 278 211 42 48 6 300000 417 312 44 49 5 As these figures demonstrate below an income of 30 000 41 731 workers in Ireland and England pay roughly an equal percentage of their income in tax and contributions with Irish workers paying 1 less at 20 000 27 865 On incomes above 30 000 41 731 workers in Ireland pay a significantly higher percentage of their income Workers in Ireland pay 3 more than those in England at 30 000 41 731 and between 8 10 more than their counterparts in England when earning between 60 000 83 463 100 000 139 105 Overall middle to high income earners in Ireland pay more labour tax than their equivalent in England As we set out at the beginning of this article we wish to encourage a shift away from concentrating on how much tax people pay to a broader consideration of what people actually get for the tax they contribute This is much more difficult to measure as it implies comparing the quality of services In both countries tax pays for multiple public services including a police force roads defence education and subsidies for public transport It also provides a financial safety net in periods of unemployment low pay and in retirement While there are certainly differences in provision between the two fiscal regimes one of the most striking differences is in healthcare Residents in Ireland ordinarily pay for GP and dental appointments It was recently estimated that the average fee to see a GP in Ireland was 51 and 61 for a dentist Prescription charges are capped at 144 month per household Those who are unemployed or on a low income may be entitled to a Medical Card which provides free GP and dental visits and prescriptions if earning less than around 10 000 year and to free GP visits if earning less than around 14 500 year By contrast no one needs to pay to see a GP in England and everyone s prescriptions are capped at 8 20 per prescription This is a universal provision Certain groups of people are also exempt from paying for prescription This includes people under the age of 16 or 18 if in full time education those aged over 60 pregnant women and people with certain life long conditions e g diabetes Additionally prescribed contraception e g the pill IUDs etc is free for everyone While there are fees for NHS dentistry these are significantly capped In terms of public hospital care Irish residents are charged when attending Accident Emergency 100 unless they have previously paid for a GP referral and as in patients 75 day to a max of 750 in 12 months Some people are exempt from payment for example those on Medical Cards There are no charges for public hospital care in England In the most recent British Social Attitudes survey only 15 of people said they were dissatisfied with public health care It is therefore

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/taxing-labour-beyond-too-much-or-too-little/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Commentary - Dublin European Institute
    on research he conducted as a Marie Curie Fellow at the UCD School of Politics and International Relations in 2012 2013 In the aftermath of the Cold War European militaries have drastically transformed national systems of officer education Will the Irish EU presidency get serious about political extremism in Europe February 1 2013 D Thomas Tweet We ve all heard of Silvio Berlusconi s recent praise for Benito Mussolini on Holocaust Memorial Day But he s not alone The European Commission observes that political parties across Europe are seeking to win voters from extremist movements by borrowing their hate filled language and imagery And we know that these movements are growing Have a look at this Home truths about the Euro crisis January 11 2013 January 11 2013 N Hardiman Tweet Jean Claude Juncker said some remarkably candid things to the European parliament yesterday His role as the chair of the Eurozone group of countries has given him limited scope to speak freely to date Indeed he s someone who is quoted as saying I m for secret dark debates Now that he s about to step down he s made some Another German problem January 7 2013 January 7 2013 D Thomas Tweet Europe s German problem may not be simply about how to channel its preeminent power in directions that ensure the vitality and cohesion of the Union see my recent post but also about the political style of its leader suggests Dan O Brien in his commentary in today s Irish Times Does the EU have a German problem December 20 2012 December 20 2012 D Thomas Tweet For many decades geostrategists commented that Germany was too big to live comfortably with its neighbours but too small to control them After the Second World War though and

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/category/commentary/ (2016-02-10)
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  • Council of Europe - Dublin European Institute
    of Systems and Mutual Influences The French version of this paper can be found at http ssrn com abstract 2044855 It will be published in L Union européenne et les droits fondamentaux les Categories Commentary Council of Europe Democracy Legitimacy Public opinion Economic crisis reform EU Council EU law ECJ Eurocrisis Europe s neighbourhood European Commission European Council Summits European Parliament Eurozone governance ECB Fiscal Treaty Foreign and Security Policy Future of the EU Human rights Immigration Schengen Institutional Reform Ireland in Europe Justice and home affairs Legislative decision making National politics elections Research Single market Social policy Taxation Transparency Uncategorized Recent Posts Schuld I Stay or Schuld I Go Germany Greece and the Politics of Debt and Blame Ideology Morality and Rationality The Uncomfortable Bedfellows of European Integration Saving capitalism for the few or the many Social Democracy a Second Leviathan Money for Nothing Is QE increasing inequality Recent Comments Sean Daly on This time it s different The prospects for change in the European elections Miriam Cotton on Local and European Elections Populist Politics or Effective Problem Solvers Archives January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April

    Original URL path: http://europedebate.ie/category/council-of-europe/ (2016-02-10)
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