Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

EU sport diplomacy gathers momentum, step by step

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What does the EU have to do with ‘sport diplomacy’? In a post published on this site fifteen months ago, I reported on the reflections of a high-level group that was set up by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in 2015 and that produced a report with a series of recommendations in June 2016. Since then, the […]

The government of long noses

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Today in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May said of Brexit, “The negotiations are in progress and very good progress has been made in those negotiations.” Did you notice her nose grow an inch? We can’t believe anything this government tells us. The Brexit negotiations are going disastrously wrong. Did Mrs May fly to Brussels on […]

Prosperity versus pollution in Germany

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The energy transition known as the “Energiewende” in Germany is key to Europe’s economic success in the future. It is not just about putting up wind farms and solar panels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: it is also about using energy storage to create smart energy and transport systems, that will no longer […]

Theresa May is a hypocrite

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Just two days before last year’s EU referendum Theresa May insisted there would have to be border controls with Ireland if the UK voted to leave the European Union. She said then that it was “inconceivable” that there would not be any changes on border arrangements with the Republic of Ireland if Brexit happened. As […]

Which is better: UK or EU democracy?

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The European Union consists of 28 member states. All treaty changes or enlargement of the EU require the unanimous consent of every single member, however large or small. The Union of the United Kingdom consists of four member states: England, Scotland, Wales and the province of Northern Ireland. In the referendum, two of them voted […]

What Theresa May said about Scotland

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This is what Prime Minister, Theresa May, said about Brexit and Scotland back in April last year, when she was Home Secretary and (allegedly) pro-Remain: “..if Brexit isn’t fatal to the European Union, we might find that it is fatal to the Union with Scotland. The SNP have already said that in the event that […]

Public research funding streams and the perspective of system actors

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Olivier Bégin-Caouette In the Europe of Knowledge, there are strong pressures on national governments to increase funding for research; one of Europe 2020’s headline indicators is to increase combined public and private investment in R&D to the equivalent of 3% of the GDP (see graph below). Beyond the amount of resources invested, it appears critical […]

Break-up of Brexit or break-up of the UK?

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Today’s big news is that Northern Ireland could get a special relationship with the EU to enable no-border with Ireland. It’s being called “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the EU. Nobody is yet sure what that means. But in any other name, it might be called staying in the EU Single Market. Or in […]

Britain’s road to insanity

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David Davis only last March said we’d never pay anything like a £50 billion settlement to leave the EU. Boris Johnson said the EU could go and whistle for the money. Priti Patel said the EU should be told to sod off. During the referendum campaign nobody was told anything about the cost of leaving […]

If only Parliament would stop interfering

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What a bloody nuisance Parliament is to the Tory government these days, when all the Prime Minister wants to do is get on with Brexit. If only Parliament would stop interfering, she and her fellow Brexiter Ministers could make much more progress. Ditto the law. I mean really, why do we need Parliament and the […]

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