Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Process and outcome in Brexit

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Another week, another surprising turn of events in the world of Brexit. The pace of life these days is so high that things that might have occupied political life for weeks by themselves have been compressed into days, or even hours. A leadership confidence motion flashes by, new constitutional principles are created from nowhere, alliances […]

A story about a curry and no-deal planning

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Like the rest of you, I spent much of Christmas trying hard not to think too hard about Brexit, and for the most part I succeeded. Right up until about 0100 on 1 January, when I lay awake in bed like some modern-day Scrooge, thinking about Brexits to come. Experience told me that then wasn’t […]

The choice is the deal, no deal or no Brexit

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It’s been confirmed by both the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that the choice now is either ‘the deal’, ‘no deal ‘or ‘no Brexit’. ‘The deal’ negotiated between the EU and Theresa May is the best Brexit deal available, according to both sides. In any event, the […]

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

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The following report contains words and quotations that have been translated from German into English by Jolyon Gumbrell. Secret political donations have allowed external actors to interfere with elections and referendums in EU member states, which is damaging the democratic process across Europe. Often the source of a political donation can be traced to a […]

Nothing has changed (part 453)

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It’s a mark of the times we live in here in the UK that a confidence vote in the leadership of the Prime Minister counts only as an incidental side-show in the performance of Brexit. At least it wasn’t a musical. Last night’s win by Theresa May was neither the emphatic crushing of her internal […]

The Deal -v- No Deal -v- No Brexit

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This article may partially self-destruct soon, when it is likely that Parliament will decisively vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, known as ‘the withdrawal agreement.’ But then what? Currently, according to Prime Minister, Theresa May, and EU Council President, Donald Tusk, the choice is the deal, no deal, or no Brexit. But who will end […]

I feel strongly about Brexit

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This wasn’t the post I was going to write this morning, but frankly after listening to Theresa May grind her way through another less-than-revealing interview, I want to consider one neglected aspect of the current debate on Brexit. The content of the Withdrawal Agreement. As May didn’t-really answer John Humphrys’ less-than-incisive questions, I was struck […]

Beyond Effectiveness? Reflections on the EU’s Democracy Promotion

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Considering EU democracy promotion as an integral part of EU foreign policy, Evangelos Fanoulis examines the effectiveness of political conditionality in the EU’s advocacy of democratic reforms in developing countries. Since its inception in the 1950, the European Union (EU) has tried to spread its democratic principles and values worldwide. These endeavours are broadly known as […]

EU referendum broke code of good practice

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In all democracies, it’s essential that elections – including referendums – are run fairly, and that the regulatory authority has the power to annul an election or referendum if serious irregularities may have affected the result. That’s not just my opinion. Such a requirement forms part of the Venice Commission’s ‘Code of Good Practice on […]

The hypocrisy of Brexit

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Here’s the hypocrisy of Brexit. Brexiters reject the Brexit deal on offer. But Britain is not allowed to reject Brexit. From the outset of the EU referendum back in 2016, Brexiters couldn’t agree with each other what kind of Brexit they wanted. Nothing has changed. There was no agreed plan, blueprint or manifesto for Brexit. […]

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