Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Society & Culture

What makes the Dutch Dutch? A constitutional perspective.

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Ever since the rise of the Christian Democrats (CDA) in the beginning of the 2000’s, the issue of ‘Normen en Waarden’ has been a topic in the elections. Jan Peter Balkenende was the first to frame the problems in Dutch society as the result of individualistic attitudes propagated by the preceding cabinets. As with a lot of […]

Full membership of EU, the euro and Schengen: Britain’s alternative to Brexit

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The fightback against Brexit should not only be about saving the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, it should also be about the country being more involved in Europe to get the most out of its membership. Two ways that the UK could get more from its membership of the EU would be joining […]

Whatever happened to the Dutch Left?

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Third post in our series on the Dutch general elections. Questions on the vital statistics of ‘The Left’ are rising everywhere in the Western World. At least in the Netherlands, it is too early to organise a wake. We may be well known for our liberal and permissive attitude to society (which is not the […]

Can the populist far-right win the elections in the Netherlands?

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Second post on our series on the Dutch general elections. On Wednesday 15 March, Dutch voters will head to the polls to elect a new parliament and prime minister. And for once, the rest of Europe is very interested, as the question looms whether the leader of the far-right populist Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert […]

Dutch coalition politics and the 2017 general elections

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The year 2017 is widely seen as hugely important for European politics, with general elections in key European Union member states Germany and the Netherlands – and perhaps even in Italy – and presidential elections in France. Following the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and the election of President Donald Trump in the United States, populist […]

France 2017: Polling paradoxes

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The French take delight in pointing out that they are World Champions in producing political opinion polls (only to shake their heads in disbelief and despair about their own addiction). While the claim to this honorary title may not be corroborated by empirical data, it confirms the impression of saturation that a politically interested individual […]

Introducing Alliance Europa

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Bonjour! And warm greetings from the University of Nantes, where the office of “Alliance Europa” is hosted. Alliance Europa is a new and – as we hope: innovative – regional consortium in European Studies. Initiated and supported by the authorities of the Pays-de-la-Loire, it brings together the researchers of 19 laboratories or centres based in […]

France 2017: Protestant protests

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Not a good week for French democracy. It started with the communication of false figures from the first round of the Socialist primary, followed by the verdict sending Sarkozy’s former minister Claude Guéant to jail for his ‘automatic cash teller’ practices while in office. It ended up overshadowed by what is now known as #penelopegate, […]

France 2017: The Party Formerly Known as Socialist

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On a study trip to Brussels about fifteen years ago, a major French socialist MEP gave a good lesson in French political semantics to my student group. In a nutshell, she explained that she and her group were perfectly at ease working with all the Social-Democrats from Germany or Sweden and elsewhere, as well as […]

France 2017: Two years on, how Charlie can you be?

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Already two years since the Charlie Hebdo shootings, which in hindsight look like a prelude to a series the end of which does not seem to be in sight. Is Europe still Charlie? Many Europeans, the large majority of whom had never heard of this magazine before, still claim they are, and there is no […]

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