Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Water, Agriculture and Renewable Energy

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How could we save Europe, help refugees and fight climate change at the same time? It would be hard to deny that the refugee crisis – caused by wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan – has put a terrible strain on Europe, as millions of people from these war torn regions have sought refuge within […]

Applying principles can be harder than stating them

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Theresa May’s speech confirms that Brexit means being all out of the EU rather than half-way out. However, the British government is less than half way down the road to that destination, because it has not yet started to specify how it will apply the Prime Minister’s principles. Once the government gives formal notice of withdrawal […]

‘Brexit’s Implications for the EU’s relations with international organisations’ by Nele Ewers-Peters

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While most of the current Brexit discussions concern whether British Prime Minister Theresa May and her government will opt for a hard or soft exit, it is relevant to think a step further. Since Theresa May’s announcement to go with the so-called hard Brexit, both the British government and the European Union will need to […]

Too hot to handle? The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme & the Northern Irish meltdown

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Since December, Northern Ireland has been bogged down in a major scandal on an apparently simple policy instrument – the renewable heat incentive scheme. The scheme, closed in early 2016, was set up in 2012 to encourage renewable heat uptake. Since then, it has generated a massive overspend (more than £1bn UK public money, £600 […]

France 2017: The Party Formerly Known as Socialist

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On a study trip to Brussels about fifteen years ago, a major French socialist MEP gave a good lesson in French political semantics to my student group. In a nutshell, she explained that she and her group were perfectly at ease working with all the Social-Democrats from Germany or Sweden and elsewhere, as well as […]

Ten years of the European Research Council: Taking stock and looking forward

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Ten years after its establishment, the European Research Council is largely seen as a success story. In his new book The European Research Council political scientist and former scientific advisor to the president of the European Research Council Thomas König provides a detailed account of often very complex history on how this success story of […]

Two years on, how Charlie can you be?

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Already two years since the Charlie Hebdo shootings, which in hindsight look like a prelude to a series the end of which does not seem to be in sight. Is Europe still Charlie? Many Europeans, the large majority of whom had never heard of this magazine before, still claim they are, and there is no […]