Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Coherent Policy More Important Than Ever: The Paris Summit and Climate Policy Integration

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A quick glance at the many issues on the table of the international climate negotiations points to the myriad facets of our everyday lives that are intertwined with the climate change problem. Whether it is how we produce our food, our energy, our means of transport, or how we manage financial flows, technology transfer or […]

The internationalist case against the European Union

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For the first time in a generation Britain will vote on its membership of the European Union, probably in the autumn of 2016. How to vote in that referendum is a difficult choice for anyone on the left. Since the 1990s the anti-EU camp has been dominated by the chauvinist and racist right, initially on […]

Draghi’s morphine

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More than three years after the EU leaders agreed to establish a banking union for the Eurozone and Mario Draghi announced that he was ready to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro, it is time to take stock of what has been achieved so far in making the European Monetary Union (EMU) a […]

The paranoid turn in the referendum campaign

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Not infrequently, I’m taken by the notion that the easiest way to understand the renegotiation and referendum is by thinking about how different actors can best use it to their long term advantage. The substance of the issues isn’t really the point, but rather the opportunity offered to improve one’s position, both absolutely and relatively. […]

So futile, so necessary

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Football means nothing. It is a fantastic game, and its symbolic complexity allows individuals and groups (and researchers!) to project a lot of things onto it, but it does not carry any deep meaning as such. As Borja Garcia never tires of pointing out, football makes people happy precisely because it’s a futile thing and […]

Machines, not migrants, are the threat to jobs

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Eurosceptics often complain that migrants are taking British jobs and bringing down wages, especially in the low-skills sector. But the real threat isn’t from migrants – it’s from machines and robots that are predicted to replace half of all British jobs within twenty years. Yes, 15 million jobs in Britain lost to robotics in most […]

Britain’s EU Renegotiation: Reflections on the Letter

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s long awaited letter setting out the terms for EU renegotiation has finally arrived. Accompanied by an explanatory speech, the letter outlines four areas for reform (economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration). While these choices attract little surprise, it is a milestone nonetheless to have in writing the opening outlines of the […]

The curious path of Vote Leave

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For most people observing – including myself – the existence of two major groupings on the Leave side of the referendum wasn’t really an issue. Arron Banks’ Leave.EU hasn’t looked nearly as serious a proposition as Vote Leave, either in terms of ideological breadth or of general respectability (however you’d like to define that). Vote Leave has […]

Does the Prime Minister know what he’s doing?

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The EU principle is quite clear. EU citizens are entitled to work in any other EU country and enjoy the same working rights as the nationals of that country. Those rights will vary EU country to country. But that isn’t the point. The point is that if I go and work in France, as an EU […]

His Europe

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‘Mein Europa’ – ‘My Europe’ – the book published by Helmut Schmidt only two years ago, was not a new monograph, but a collection of different publications and speeches on European integration. It spans a lifetime – from his very first article about cooperation in a not yet existing community dating from June 1948 to […]

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