Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: December 2013

European initiatives in higher education – why should one care?

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To paraphrase one of my colleagues: for all intents and purposes European integration in higher education should not exist. This is not a normative position, but rather an observation of what seems to be somewhat of a puzzle: the European Union has very limited formal competences with regards to education in general, or higher education […]

Model Bavaria

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  The most impressive ‘permanent representation’ to the European Union in Brussels is not the French, British of German one, but that of a region: Bavaria. The beautiful ‘château’ just some meters from the European Parliament has been considered megalomaniac by some observers, but is calmly defended by its inhabitants as an excellent real estate […]

“Bonnets rouges” in Brittany: a fresh look at export subsidies

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The red cap movement brewing in Brittany since the summer of 2013 is usually presented as farmers and workers struggling against the introduction of a new environmental tax – yet it is as much, if not more, a fight for the preservation of a very old instrument of agricultural policy: export subsidies. Export subsidies and […]

Teacher Education and Training in the Western Balkans – Is it in line with the times? Is it effective?

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With an aim to assist the Western Balkans in the  area  of  education  and  training,  as  well  as  to  increase  regional  cooperation, in 2012 the European Commission launched the Western  Balkans  Platform  on  Education  and  Training  (WB PET). It includes seven Western Balkan countries: the newest EU member state Croatia, candidate countries Macedonia, Montenegro and […]

Swings and roundabouts on the EU: Can the Tories ever get anywhere?

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It’s time for the final blog post of the calendar year for me, as I prepare for the Christmas break. My mind naturally turns towards thinking back over the past 12 months and I find myself looking at a situation much like that a year ago. Last Christmas, the talk was of Cameron’s much-trailed speech, which […]

Integrating Science and Research into the Ministry of Economy in Austria: Better Coordination of Innovation Cycle?

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After the election on 29 September 2013, Austria is facing another five years of the same coalition government under the Social Democrat Werner Faymann (SPÖ) and his junior partner, the conservative Christian People’s Party (ÖVP). While the Austrian media is almost unison in attesting this renewed government a sense of gridlock, one decision has caused […]

Unchaining EU climate policy: quarrels over EU decision-making likely to continue

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Earlier this year, the European Commission started to work on a new EU energy and climate change package, which will define European climate initiatives until 2030[1]. Whatever the EU plans to do at home will influence its negotiating position at the international negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP21), where the international community seeks to hammer […]