Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Global & International

Politicians abandon English for Ukipish

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At this week’s by-election in Rochester and Strood the language of politics has once again turned to fear of immigration.  But is it right to blame immigrants who are not the cause of our problems?  Why have leading politicians allowed Ukip to dominate the agenda, rather than saying, “We reject your scapegoating”? Instead, it seems […]

Czech President Pelted with Putrid Eggs

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By James Krotz President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, the notably pro-Russian leader of the Czech government, came under fire in a speech today commemorating the 25 year anniversary of the Velvet Revolution that split the Czech Republic and Slovakia peacefully into two sovereign nations; literally.  Protesters who gathered to watch his speech commemorating […]

A growing feeling of hysteria

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The pictures on French and German television showing Vladimir Putin all alone at his lunch table in Brisbane and explicitly meant to illustrate his alleged ‘isolation’ at the G20 summit were obviously fake. Dilma Roussef had already taken place at the other side of the table and both were waiting for other guests to join […]

Don’t write-off Greece – or Europe

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Never trust experts. It was experts who said the Titanic couldn’t sink. It sunk. Two years ago experts said that Greece would sink and would have to leave the Euro.  It hasn’t – and it didn’t. In July 2012 Ireland’s ‘Independent’ newspaper reported that experts predicted a 90% chance that Greece would leave the Eurozone […]

Order versus Justice in the selection of the next UN Secretary General

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The battle to replace Ban Ki-moon has begun. A recent article by Colum Lynch (@columlynch) in Foreign Policy speaks about the race, the likely competitors and the interests at play. The author explains how the most powerful countries tend to prefer contestants from nations with little weight in international politics. He also talks about the […]

Will The “Republican Wave” Crash Over European Defense Spending?

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By James Krotz It is no secret that the Republican Party, which, after Tuesday’s election, now controls both houses of Congress in numbers not seen since the Second World War, is decidedly more hawkish than its Democratic counterpart.  Republicans, moderate and Tea Party alike, believe in a strong, well-funded military, able to project American power […]

Climate Policy after the Crisis: From Environment to Energy

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The combined effects of the financial and economic crisis starting in 2008 and the fiasco of the 2009 Copenhagen climate negotiation have led to a gradual re-framing of climate change from an environmental to an energy issue. As I detail below, this re-framing has happened in subtle, and not-so-subtle ways, from changes in political rhetoric […]

Illegal Fishing and Europe: Control Begins At Home

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Oceana has reported on the concerning state of swordfish fisheries in the Mediterranean, highlighting in particular the indiscriminate targeting and trading of this fish by EU (particularly Italian) vessels. According to the NGO, EU inspectors recorded a series of serious incidents in Italy during March 2013. These included the widespread trading of undersize swordfish, unusually […]

Swedish Submarine Search Signals Sub Par Stockholm Capabilities

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By James Krotz For over a week, the Royal Swedish Navy and Air Force have been frantically looking for a suspected Russian submarine in Ingaro Bay, the main port approach to the wharves of Stockholm.  On Thursday, the search was finally called off, ending the largest Swedish naval operation since the end of the Cold […]

World Day Against the Death Penalty: Japan Today

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I was recently interviewed by ABC News, the Australian public broadcaster. I was asked my view on Japan’s death penalty policy and some of this interview will be live in Australia today, the 10th Oct 2014, World Day Against the Death Penalty. There are 125 death row inmates in Japan (as of 24 August 2014) and I was […]

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