Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

The EU Council’s right to initiative? – Less pay for EU officials requested

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Everyone studying the European Union knows that it’s the Commission that proposes legislation. However, this doesn’t say the Commission is always at the origin of such proposals. The Lisbon Treaty for example grants the Council the right to request, with a simple majority, from the Commission “any studies the Council considers desirable for the attainment […]

A Union of Choice: Why the Greek referendum opens our eyes

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The Greek referendum is an eye-opener for all of us, no matter if it will happen as announced yesterday by Greece’s prime minister Papandreou or not. It is an eye-opener because it suddenly makes visible the complexity of issues that are intertwined in what is a set of local, national, regional, European and global crises. […]

Translating the Barroso/van Rompuy letter to the G20

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EU Commission president Barroso and European Council President van Rompuy have written a letter to the G20 (pdf). Here is my translation “EU speak to human language” to show what they actually mean: The decisions we have taken in our G20 Summits to date have been crucial in steering us through the global financial and economic […]

The night before the European Council: Merkel takes some drinks

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The night before the European Council on 23 October 2011, the two French journalists Jean Quatremer and Arnaud Leparmentier have dinner in the hotel Amigo where also the French and the Germans are lodged. “Diner ce soir à l’hôtel Amigo avec @ArLeparmentier où résident les délégations françaises et allemandes #euro” (Jean Quatremer) Merkel and Sarkozy return late, […]

The EU’s image is the boringness of its officials?

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“[…] There’s a problem with civil servants and politicians. The problem with civil servants and politicians as a breed is this: They deal every day with incredibly serious matters – very, very serious matters. The lives and livelihood of millions of people depend on their decisions. But they make the fatal error of believing that because […]

The European Parliament Prize for Journalism 2011: A #fail in the internet category [updated]

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The winners of this year’s European Parliament Prize for Journalism have been announced today, and the jury’s choice for the winning text in the category “Internet” is what one might call a #fail on the internet. Now, let me say that this is not a critique to the winner of the prize who wrote a […]

Little steps towards less transparency in the EU Commission?

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Sometimes I get confused. As you know from previous blog posts, I have requested the “Results of [a] weekly meeting of Chefs de cabinet” of the European Commission, the penultimate before the summer break.*  But there may be more to this matter than just a case of a freedom of information request: Until the summer […]

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