Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Czech presidential elections: A divided society in the heart of Europe

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Half of the country satisfied, approximately the same part suffering from a severe hangover. That is, in a nutshell, the main outcome of the Czech presidential elections whose final took place in the last weekend of January. The reason behind this division of Czech society lies in the approximately 3 percentage points that made the […]

Nothing is agreed

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I think I’ve discovered a new condition. I’m calling it Maioaviophobia, or a fear of Theresa May getting on a plane. Somehow, it’s taken until now to notice that it’s the flights that seem to produce the most erratic political behaviour from the Prime Minister. Just think back to that walking holiday last Easter, or […]

Czech Presidential Elections: Audition for a Challenger

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The Czech Republic is a state whose political system is heavily based upon parliamentary power with government as the main executive body. This tradition, which was firmly set up after the Velvet revolution in 1989, for a long time implied an indirectly elected president with purely symbolic powers. In this way, Václav Havel was twice […]

EU benefits versus Brexit

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The electorate wasn’t sufficiently informed in the 2016 referendum to know whether it was right to leave the EU. The referendum campaign did not give clear answers. The Leave campaign had to rely on colossal lies to present their case. Who knew what to believe? But now it’s becoming clearer by the day what Brexit […]

Tightening Le Touquet and the second-order effects of Brexit

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Today’s visit to London by President Macron is important on a number of levels, not least for triggering the long-overdue debate about whether King Harold would have been a Brexiter. If the loaning of the Bayeux Tapestry is something of a sideshow, then it also speaks the overly febrile nature of British political debate that this was […]

Not one question about Brexit

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At Prime Minister’s Questions this week, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn didn’t ask one question about Brexit. Of course, it’s quite right that his questions should have been dominated by the dramatic collapse of Carillion, the company that the government awarded contracts to worth billions of pounds even after they had issued serious profit warnings. […]

Despite Brexit not happening yet

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It’s not often I recommend a bot to follow, but I find that HaveWeLeft is a useful daily reminder: https://twitter.com/HaveWeLeft/status/951008276761726979 In all the talk of Brexit and transitions and new relationships, it’s easy to forget that the UK remains a full member state of the EU and will continue to be so for at least another 14 months. My personal […]

An arrested transition?

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The great thing about the Christmas period is that pretty much everyone goes on leave, so we can all get some distance from work. That’s been true of the Article 50 process as much as anything else: a flurry of activity to book in some final bits under “work done in 2017”, before mince pies, […]

Peace is precious

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Christmas and New Year is a time to think about and hope for ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all men’ (and women, of course). Peace is precious, because around the world there are so many conflicts and disasters that make world peace impossible. From conflicts and disasters come death, destruction and displacement. The world […]

LibDem amendment for new referendum defeated

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An amendment by the Liberal Democrats to enshrine into law a new referendum on the final Brexit deal was defeated in the House of Commons last night. Amendment 120 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill would have given ‘the people’ a final say on the deal that Theresa May brings back from Brussels. There was […]

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