Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Society & Culture

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 […]

Britain’s EU membership hangs by one less thread

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Britain, it seems, owes the European Union a certain sum of money. In every year since 2002, it has underpaid into the EU budget and the day of reckoning has finally arrived. However, as usual when it comes to ‘Europe’ for the UK, symbolism triumphs over substance. The country has been hit with a bill […]

Why did UKIP win in Clacton?

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UKIP, a political party whose polices are based on a profound fear of immigrants, has just had their first  MP elected by the people of Clacton, a town which is over 90% white British, with hardly any immigrants.  Yet in London – one of the world’s most diverse ethnic cities, where less than 50% are white British […]

Is the peace narrative really obsolete?

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30 years ago, the photo of François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl holding hands in Verdun, the emblematic battlefield of World War One, went around the world. It is true that their gesture – which Kohl always insisted was a very spontaneous one – was quite unusual. Still, it was appropriate. After all, reconciliation between France […]

Daily Mail breached The Editors’ Code

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The Press Complaints Commission has upheld three of my complaints against the Daily Mail. The commission ruled that the newspaper breached The Editors’ Code of Practice on accuracy with its story about buses and planes from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK being full-up and sold-out. On New Year’s Eve last year, the Daily Mail […]

A country called Europe?

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The designers of a new ‘social atlas of Europe’ hope it will help Europeans to view their continent as their homeland.  The maps below look at Europe in a different way to usual cartography – they are part of a collection of ‘social maps’ of Europe being launched at the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday […]

What can we learn from the history of the Wirtschaftswunder?

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The recovery of Germany after the Second World War is often referred to as the Wirtschaftswunder or economic miracle. The rebuilding of Germany was not just a matter of rebuilding the towns and cities that had been devastated during the war, but also the rebuilding of the country’s economy as well as its reputation after […]

Why the UK needs the EU (and vice versa)

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Making the case that the United Kingdom (UK) needs the European Union (EU) and vice versa is at the forefront of current electoral debates in the UK. During a passionate electoral hustings event at the University of East Anglia last night, candidates clashed over visions for a federal European Union (Andrew Duff, MEP, Lib Dem), […]

A gender balanced EU leadership in 2014? Rather not…

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The European Commission has a gender balance problem. The EU institutions’ leadership has a gender balance problem. And 2014 doesn’t seem to be the year where this will change. Bruxelles2‘s research has shown that, so far, only 5 out 28 EU member states have female candidates lined up for the next College of Commissioners, and […]

PCC: ‘No ruling needed on Daily Mail complaints’

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Ignored by the PCC: My 13 reasons  Tonight the Press Complaints Commission ruled that one complaint it received about the Daily Mail was now ‘resolved’ and so a ruling would not be necessary on the other 82 complaints.  The PCC received at least 83 complaints about the Daily Mail story which falsely claimed  buses and […]

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