Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Law & Justice

The German Minimum Wage Act: An Opportunity Missed?

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After the Christmas festivities and New Year’s celebrations had subsided, those returning to work in Germany this month were, for the first time, the beneficiaries of a statutory minimum wage. Prior to 1st January, collective agreements reached at sectoral level provided a functional equivalent (along with specific statutory minimum wages set in some Länder). However, […]

“The Interview” and the sanctity of private business in public international law… since the 16th century

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By now it is well known that Sony was cyber attacked some weeks ago allegedly as a reaction to “The Interview”, a satirical film that depicts the assassination of Kim Jong-Un. I haven’t seen the film and I don’t know anybody who has seen it, but Barbara Demick, a North Korea specialist writing in New […]

Six Academic Moments to Take With into 2015

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Looking back to the year of 2014, I guess that the most important academic events for me in addition to the possibility to participate in the conference on Freedom of Expression at the University of Helsinki on 8-9 May, and the CBEES Annual conference “Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe: A new generation on the move” at […]

Israel, Palestine and the European Union

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Last week UCL student and blogger, Lewis Barber, wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post which was titled: “Why I will be voting to leave the European Union…” In summary, this was because, claimed Lewis: The EU no longer represented his values as a human being The decision by the highest EU court to strike […]

UK Government rejects EU food aid for Britain’s poor

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On 25 February this year, the European Parliament voted on an EU fund to provide food aid to those suffering extreme poverty in the EU.  The EU offered up to £22 million pounds to help subsidise Britain’s food banks, but the money was blocked by the UK government. Today writing for the Mail on Sunday, […]

Transformation of Politics in Estonia

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From 4 to 5 December 2014, I participated in CBEES Annual Conference “Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe: A new generation on the move” at Södertörn University, Stockholm, which conference aimed at “contemporary processes and challenges, and […] the role of the new generations that have emerged in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea […]

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 […]

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 […]

BBC’s John Humphrys got it wrong about Europe

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Ace BBC journalist John Humphrys broadcast classic myths about the European Union’s budget on Radio Four’s ‘Today’ programme yesterday. If he can get it wrong, is it any wonder that the British public is so confused? At 8:35am on Friday 7 November, John interviewed European Commission spokesman, Jakub Adamowicz, about the EU’s demand for an […]

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