Jan 11

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EU in 2016: Reports of death exaggerated?

The EU is struggling with problems never experienced before, at least not in this measure. Some analysts and politicans have even been predicting its death. Is the situation that bad? And what to expect from this year? Read the article by Andrew Rettman at euobserver to know more about the big issues at EU level, along with some useful terms marked in red and further expressions marked in green.

Then take our Quiz to practice what you have learned!


Some pundits (=experts) began writing EU obituaries (=death notice) already in 2009. They said the sovereign (=state) debt crisis would kill the euro, destroy public trust in EU institutions, and catapult far-right and far-left parties into power. Seven bailouts (=financial support) later, a trillion-euro money-printing scheme by the European Central Bank, new regulatory powers for the European Commission, and the bloc is on course for (=moving forward as expected) modest growth in 2016. (Photo: The Council of the European Union

2015 obituaries

The 2015 obituaries carried more weight. … The Dutch EU commissioner, Frans Timmermans, spoke of a “cascade effect,” =cumulative effect)  which starts with Schengen lockdowns (=emergency locking) , leads to paralysis of “every aspect of European integration,” and ends in EU collapse as sudden as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. …

They’re paying Turkey €3 billion, tranche by tranche (=portion by portion), to take care of migrants at home. They’re also preparing to open more accession chapters (=policy areas discussed during accession negotiations), if Turkey-Cyprus talks go well, and to grant visa-free travel by October. Turkey has warned refugees will keep coming until the Syria war ends, however. France, Germany, and the UK are joining the US in bombing Islamic State (IS). But with Russia bombing Western-backed rebels, prospects look bleak (=very bad).

Security cooperation

The IS murders in Paris in November show the cost of failure. ..When Dutch PM Mark Rutte, who takes over the EU presidency in January, outlined priorities, he spoke of deeper EU security cooperation. But he said he “can’t guarantee” to stop more Paris-type attacks. The Islamist terror threat is grist to the mill of (=to the advantage) of populist leaders, for instance, in Hungary and Poland, which oppose refugee sharing.

Recalling Timmermans “cascade,” Austria, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, and Sweden have reimposed Schengen borders. Luxembourg has proposed a two-year Schengen lockdown. The Netherlands has floated the idea (=suggested the idea) of a “mini-Schengen,” and Germany has created a core group of pro-refugee states.

The fragmentation goes even deeper, with Merkel’s coalition also split on migrants.

British referendum …

Go on! Read the whole article here.


EU in 2016 - Reports of death exaggerated?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Permanent link to this article: http://www.euenglish.hu/2016/01/eu-in-2016-reports-of-death-exaggerated/

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