The Irish Presidency: Priorities and Pitfalls

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels Back in June 2004 Bertie Ahern was showered in adulation by his European counterparts. Ireland had just successfully negotiated the mammoth EU Constitution using its storied negotiating skills to reconcile vastly conflicting agendas – big countries versus small ones, voting rights at the Council of Ministers, the size of the European Commission, how to bridge an alarming democratic deficit.

Eurozone: the Great Leap Forward?

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels For three years eurozone governments lurched from one crisis to the next, improvising with one ad-hoc solution after another, amid a rising tide of austerity-driven recession. However, having for so long taken the road ill-travelled, it may just be that the eurozone is finally confronting the hard choices needed first to save – then to rebuild – the single currency.