Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

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The following report contains words and quotations that have been translated from German into English by Jolyon Gumbrell. Secret political donations have allowed external actors to interfere with elections and referendums in EU member states, which is damaging the democratic process across Europe. Often the source of a political donation can be traced to a […]

Nothing has changed (part 453)

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It’s a mark of the times we live in here in the UK that a confidence vote in the leadership of the Prime Minister counts only as an incidental side-show in the performance of Brexit. At least it wasn’t a musical. Last night’s win by Theresa May was neither the emphatic crushing of her internal […]

The Deal -v- No Deal -v- No Brexit

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This article may partially self-destruct soon, when it is likely that Parliament will decisively vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, known as ‘the withdrawal agreement.’ But then what? Currently, according to Prime Minister, Theresa May, and EU Council President, Donald Tusk, the choice is the deal, no deal, or no Brexit. But who will end […]

Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning for European Cities and Regions. From Research to Practice

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How do researchers contribute to policymaking? What facilitates policy learning? And how do big data influence research-policy nexus and policy-making in European cities and regions? These are some of the questions addressed in the new book ‘Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning for European Cities and Regions. From Research to Practice’, edited by Nicola Francesco Dotti. Here […]

I feel strongly about Brexit

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This wasn’t the post I was going to write this morning, but frankly after listening to Theresa May grind her way through another less-than-revealing interview, I want to consider one neglected aspect of the current debate on Brexit. The content of the Withdrawal Agreement. As May didn’t-really answer John Humphrys’ less-than-incisive questions, I was struck […]

Beyond Effectiveness? Reflections on the EU’s Democracy Promotion

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Considering EU democracy promotion as an integral part of EU foreign policy, Evangelos Fanoulis examines the effectiveness of political conditionality in the EU’s advocacy of democratic reforms in developing countries. Since its inception in the 1950, the European Union (EU) has tried to spread its democratic principles and values worldwide. These endeavours are broadly known as […]

EU referendum broke code of good practice

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In all democracies, it’s essential that elections – including referendums – are run fairly, and that the regulatory authority has the power to annul an election or referendum if serious irregularities may have affected the result. That’s not just my opinion. Such a requirement forms part of the Venice Commission’s ‘Code of Good Practice on […]

The hypocrisy of Brexit

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Here’s the hypocrisy of Brexit. Brexiters reject the Brexit deal on offer. But Britain is not allowed to reject Brexit. From the outset of the EU referendum back in 2016, Brexiters couldn’t agree with each other what kind of Brexit they wanted. Nothing has changed. There was no agreed plan, blueprint or manifesto for Brexit. […]

How’s this all going to end?

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It’s obviously alma mater time for me, as I find myself giving a talk today at LSE on Brexit, just a few days after being back in Bruges. As is usual, I will be blaming any shortcomings on my education. The LSE talk aims to consider how Brexit plays out and I thought it’s useful to share […]

Theresa May is the enemy of democracy

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Like an irritating parrot, the Prime Minister Theresa May keeps repeating that she’s delivering the ‘people’s will’ and ‘there won’t be a people’s vote’. The two phrases are incompatible. They oppose each other. The irritating parrot may as well say, “Welcome to my home” and “Get out of my house”. Or, “I believe in democracy” and “Shut […]

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