Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Environment

Deeply conservative

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There will be a lot of talk about the extreme right’s entry into the Bavarian parliament and the impact of yesterday’s election on the federal government in Berlin. But the most important fall-out may reside in a significant shift in political semantics. For as long as I can remember, Bavaria has always been described to […]

Between ‘Cynical Idealism’ and ‘Pragmatic Acceptance’ – The Politics of Nuclear Energy in Europe

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In her new book, based on long-standing research on the politics of nuclear energy in the European Union, Pam Barnes, associate researcher at the EU-Asia Institute (ESSCA School of Management) retraces how public perceptions and political discourses on nuclear power have evolved since the signing of the EURATOM treaty in 1957. Researching developments in EU […]

UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 | KU Leuven

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On 12-13 July 2018, forty postgraduate and early career researchers gathered at KU Leuven in Belgium to present and receive feedback on their work on contemporary Europe and the European Union. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘An Actor on Multiple Stages: the EU as a Local, Regional and Global Power’, introduced by Kolja […]

Unless the EU Gets Its Act Together, It Will Lose a Trade War Against Both China and the US

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Based on her prize-winning article in JCER on the Sino-European Solar Panel Dispute, Astrid Pepermans examines how the European Union (EU) risks losing a trade war which China and the US initiated. She argues that the EU must respond by remaining united and sticking to its values of quality and rule-based trade.  Lately, free traders all […]

Climate change and war

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An art exhibition in Germany illustrated the tragic price of the migration crisis that is now effecting Europe. The theme of an art installation called Lampedusa 361 was about refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean, while trying to make the sea crossing from Africa to Europe. The installation which has been exhibited in Dresden […]

Is The Paris Agreement on Shaky Legs? How to Ensure Successful Implementation

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What is needed to make the Paris Agreement a success? This blog post focuses on one of the most central but underappreciated elements – the periodic reviews of progress.  States must of course make ambitious and credible contributions in the first place.  But if there is no system to ensure that they are monitored and […]

France 2017: Where have all the flowers gone?

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Over the last twelve months the Greens have had quite a few celebrations across Europe: Winfried Kretschmann was re-elected as minister-president of Baden-Württemberg in March 2016; in December Alexander von der Bellen succeeded in stopping the rise of the Austrian populists in the presidential elections, and in the Dutch general elections, Jesse Klaver quadrupled the […]

The politics of (bad) policy design: French solar panels and Northern Irish boilers

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As one previous post on this blog detailed, the current political turmoil in Northern Ireland was sparked by a subsidy for renewable energy production.  Though it is tempting to blame political carelessness, the ongoing RHI scandal prompts a broader reflection about renewable energy policy instruments. Incentives akin to the RHI are relatively common in renewable […]

Water, Agriculture and Renewable Energy

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How could we save Europe, help refugees and fight climate change at the same time? It would be hard to deny that the refugee crisis – caused by wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan – has put a terrible strain on Europe, as millions of people from these war torn regions have sought refuge within […]

Too hot to handle? The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme & the Northern Irish meltdown

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Since December, Northern Ireland has been bogged down in a major scandal on an apparently simple policy instrument – the renewable heat incentive scheme. The scheme, closed in early 2016, was set up in 2012 to encourage renewable heat uptake. Since then, it has generated a massive overspend (more than £1bn UK public money, £600 […]

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