Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Global & International

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 […]

Grand societal global challenges: fashion or paradigm shift in knowledge policies?

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Inga Ulnicane Tackling Grand societal global challenges has become a popular goal of knowledge policies and governance including many science, technology, innovation and higher education strategies and initiatives. Over the past 15 years, the European Union, many international organizations, national governments, private foundations, scientific societies and universities have declared their priority to address societal challenges […]

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 […]

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 […]

France 2017: The end of ridicule?

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For over forty years, since Maurice Duverger coined the expression in 1974, ‘The Republican monarchy’ has no doubt been the most frequently used metaphor for the Fifth Republic. In countless books, essays and articles, the presidential system and all its corollaries –power, pomp and protocol – have been portrayed as a legacy of pre-Revolutionary, absolute […]

Two-faced Theresa

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Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, has pledged to take the country out of the European Union. But before last year’s referendum on 23 June, Ms May was a firm advocate against Brexit and for Britain remaining in the EU. Can we trust a prime minister whose principles blow so easily in the wind? Is this […]

The troubled road to ever closer union

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Earlier this year, leaders from the European Union (EU) gathered to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, a treaty which first laid the foundations for an ever closer union – shaping the future of the EU in the process. In principal, the idea of ever closer union has never offered the […]

France 2017: Disruptive

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Emmanuel Macron had no chance of winning the presidential election. Every textbook on French politics or contemporary history will tell you so. He had no chance, and he seized it. After his first large-scale rallies, in Strasbourg in October 2016 or in Paris in December, all serious commentators indulged in gentle mockery. Partly because his […]

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