Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

The ballad of Jean-Claude and Yoko: understanding euroscepticism

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Last week, I snuck in an extra posting, as part of my reflections on a workshop I attended at Sussex on Brexit and euroscepticism. As I mentioned in passing, there were other ideas that floated around my head that day, including this one. One of the more persistent ideas that I have tried to communicate to […]

France 2017: La grande coalition

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Ever since I started to talk to the French about their political system and listened to their perceptions of what was going wrong in the Fifth Republic – a little more than three decades now – I had this impression, unbacked by any robust statistical evidence, of a quite large majority at the centre of […]

How newspaper lies led to Brexit

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In October 2015, I gave a speech to international journalists in Germany called, ‘Newspaper lies can cost lives.’ Less than a year later, Britain voted for Brexit, with one of the main reasons cited as ‘too many migrants’. How did such a fear and dislike of migrants develop? Newspaper lies played an enormous role. Video; […]

France 2017: The Charisma Bonus

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It’s time to take your good old Max Weber out of the shelf again. His definitions of sources of authority are as pertinent as they have ever been. What did he write about ‘charisma’ again? ‘The exemplary character of an individual person’, ‘endowed with specifically exceptional qualities’, and by whom ‘new normative patterns are revealed’ […]

Change of mood on the Euro. Even at EUSA 2017!

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Early this month I had the fortune to attend the biannual conference of the European Studies Association (EUSA) in Miami. As always, and as it could not be otherwise, I attended as many panels on the European Monetary Union as I could. I also discussed the future of the Euro with a number of colleagues […]

The Brexit non-issue

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And so the latest disruption to the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU draws to a close. Much like the delay in Article 50 notification before it, this General Election has achieved little, except to underline that the British political system still hasn’t got its head around the entire matter. While there will […]

France 2017: It’s the semantics, stupid!

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Emmanuel Macron’s entry on the diplomatic scene – from the NATO and G7 summits last week to the meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday – may already be regarded as a positive and very encouraging achievement, but everybody, in France and elsewhere, agrees that the new President’s real and primordial challenge is the capacity to […]

Why don’t pro-Europeans mobilise?

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This Tuesday, while most of us where thinking of other things, I was at the Social Market Foundation, talking about Brexit and euroscepticism. In the course of questions at the end, I was asked whether British pro-Europeans displayed the same range and variety of positions as sceptics, to which I noted mobilisation hadn’t really happened. A […]

David Davis doesn’t understand negotiating or the EU

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Brexit Secretary, David Davis, has said that Britain won’t hold ANY Brexit talks unless the EU drops its demands for €100bn in payments it claims are due. It’s now more than likely that Britain will leave the EU without any agreement in place, which of course will be disastrous. Unfortunately, David Davis has shown he […]

Tory hard Brexit puts two Unions at risk

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This week the Conservative Party tweeted Theresa May’s statement: ‘Sturgeon’s plan to leave the UK – Scotland’s biggest market – would mean economic chaos.’ The Prime Minister doesn’t seem to get it, does she? Exactly the same arguments also apply to her plan to leave the EU as well as its Single Market – the UK’s […]

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