Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Nick v Nigel reflects Lib Dem strength, not weakness

The conventional wisdom in the Westminster village is that ‘Nick v Nigel’is best explained, regardless of how well he does, by Nick Clegg’s apparent political weakness. “What has he got to lose?” say Conservative sources. If you are struggling in the polls, why not roll the dice and gamble? Proclaim the virtues of the EU […]

Business as usual

While European political leaders are trying to find suitable responses to Russia’s quiet annexion of Crimea, going so far as to cancel the planned G8 meeting in Sochi, European football leaders carry on business as usual. In living rooms all across the continent this week’s broadcasts of the Champions League quarter finals will be opened […]

Ukraine: EU has to step up its game

Addressing the situation in Ukraine is an obvious choice for this blog’s first post. The next few days are critical for the country’s future. In addition to revolutionary turmoil, financial meltdown and secessionist movements, the new interim Ukrainian government now faces an invasion of its territory by Russia, which is threatening to annex the region […]

Rethinking British attacks on EU red tape

In the last 15 months since David Cameron’s speech on Europe, the issue of EU red tape (i.e. EU rules imposing unnecessary costs on businesses) has featured prominently on political and media agendas. Initiatives such as the “Cut EU red tape” report by the Business Taskforce in October 2013,[1] and the ongoing balance of competence […]

Latest posts from all blogs

Will 2015 see the end of UKIP?

PoliticsatSurrey |

It’s almost Easter, so it is also time for the Political Studies Association annual conference, held this year in Manchester. I had the great pleasure of sitting on a roundtable on UKIP with Rick Whitaker, Phil Lynch and Matt Goodwin, where we discussed the party’s support, strategy and organisation: much debate ensued. We’re producing a series of blog posts […]

EU and Russia: Worlds Apart?

deconstructingefp |

  The long history of relations between Russia and Europe is a complex one, having undergone vacillating shifts between periods of attraction and cooperation at times, and intense competition and mistrust at others (Giusti and Penkova 2012, Light and Allison 2006). Against this broad historical backdrop of ‘schizophrenic’ foreign policy relations, I argue that the […]


Localising Norms: EU-ASEAN Norm Diffusion

deconstructingefp |

The years 2007 and 2009 were both monumental ones for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In 2007, the 10 ASEAN member states came together to sign the ASEAN Charter, an unprecedented agreement calling for all member states to work towards closer cooperation. The Charter conferred legal personality on ASEAN, and established its institutional […]

From a Worm to a Tiger – Does the EU need an Army?

deconstructingefp |

In December 1998, the heads of state of Britain and France met for a two-day summit in St-Malo, France, to discuss the defence policy of Europe. The result of the summit was heralded as a breakthrough, given the long-standing impasse between the two states with regards to that sensitive topic (Howorth, “European Integration” 1). The […]

The Credibility of the EU's Normative Power in the Development Agenda

deconstructingefp |

Much scholarly literature has been written about the nature of EU’s foreign policy actions. With regards to the development agenda, the EU has often been considered a strong normative power given its first order standing in the amount of foreign aid delivered through its Aid for Trade program. As such, When the EU acts in the […]

The failure of the Quint in handling the Crimean Crisis.

deconstructingefp |

The Russian annexation of Crimea has become one of the most widely talked about issues in foreign policy circles this year for a very good reason: Russia’s actions are seen as the biggest foreign policy challenge to the European Union since the founding of the Union in 1993. There are many different aspects to discuss […]

Success or Failure: EU's economic diplomacy with lesser powers

deconstructingefp |

According to Baldwin, economic diplomacy is defined as the use of economic means by a state to achieve its interests and goals (Baldwin, 1985:8). The European Union, rather than relying on military might, believe strongly in civilian power and partake in economic diplomacy to enhance its position internationally. Various tenets of economic diplomacy include, but […]

EU's Military Gazes to the Dark

deconstructingefp |

As the world and the European Union casts its gaze on the destabilizing situation in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv in Ukraine, it reaffirms once more that international awareness could only be shaped by great power politics. In this case, it is the underhand tussle between the eagle, the bull and the bear. […]

Question of Strategic Partnership and the EU

deconstructingefp |

The question of strategic partnership has been brought up when assessing EU’s foreign policy relations with the United States, Russia, and China. In particular, the debate surrounds the EU’s ambiguous relationship with China, often marred by political hostility exhibited by the United States. EU-China relations have been officially declared as a strategic partnership. Does the EU […]

Biofuels in the EU: Illegitimacy of Normative Power Europe

deconstructingefp |

Climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development are areas in which the EU has emerged in recent years as a global leader. They have become integral parts of the EU’s normative dimension, one that the EU themselves have constantly tried to promote. Biofuels, a renewable energy source, has been part of the EU’s efforts in […]

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