Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

What is higher education regionalism? And how should we study it?

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Meng-Hsuan Chou and Pauline Ravinet Higher education is undeniably global. But this did not prevent interested policy actors, meeting on the occasion of the 650th anniversary of the University of Vienna in 2015, to emphasise the significance of the global and international dimension, as their colleagues have done at the 800th anniversary of the University […]

EU’s Conundrum of Strategies: Is There an Orderly Jigsaw on the Horizon?

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The grandness of the EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy lies in its potential to render the existing conundrum of various EU strategies into a more orderly set of strands with a clear vision regarding their mutually complementary role. Strategies are inbuilt in EU’s genome. These policy documents define EU’s aims, approaches in […]

The Eurozone crisis and democracy

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Overall, a contradiction between the founding democratic principles of the EU and its new operational structure during the crisis has left the quality of the EU’s democratic order adversely affected. In the spirit of Aristotle’s criterion, then, the EU’s political system of governance does not any longer seem to adhere to the organisation’s principles.

Wrong answers on BBC Question Time

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One of my biggest frustrations on watching BBC TV’s ‘Question Time’ is that when UKIP representatives make incorrect statements about the EU, there’s usually nobody on the panel or in the audience to correct them. Take last Thursday’s broadcast of Question Time. Among those appearing on the panel was UKIP MEP, Patrick O’Flynn, who made […]

Who can you trust on the EU?

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One of the recurring themes of my posts over the years has been the need for an informed and thoughtful public debate in the UK about its place in the world. Without such a debate, it is very hard to see how the UK can ever really move out of its impasse with the EU. […]

EU facilitates Paris Agreement, but economic concerns linger

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In April 2015, we wrote a post for this series about the then forthcoming Paris climate talks. We noted how the new Juncker European Commission appeared to give a lower priority to climate change and was emphasising economic growth over other concerns, such as the environment. The post asked whether austerity would influence the EU’s […]

Britain doesn’t need EU help for floods, says PM

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According to Prime Minister, David Cameron, Britain doesn’t need EU funds to help areas devastated by floods because ‘it’s quicker and better’ to use the country’s own money. So it seems that Britain is so flush with cash that it can turn down around £125 million in EU emergency help for areas of the country […]

Should the EU grant China Market Economy Status? What Machiavelli would say.

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Yet again the European Union is sleepwalking into a diplomatic disaster. According to China’s interpretation of article 15 of its WTO accession protocol signed in December 2001, after 15 years (hence in one year’s time) it will automatically acquire market economy status (MES). For years this was the consensus view in Europe too. Not any […]

Benefit tourism: why ‘fix’ a non-existent problem?

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As reported in today’s Daily Mirror, the Conservative government has admitted that it has no concrete evidence to prove that so-called ‘benefit tourism’ exists. And yet, Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to ‘crack down’ on benefit tourism to reduce the numbers of EU migrants coming to Britain. Mr Cameron wants EU migrants in Britain […]

Gear-shifting the referendum?

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Christmas is always a tricky time for politicians: on the one hand, everyone’s packed up for a break after a long autumn, but on the other, there’s usually something that needs urgent attention, like a flood. However, on balance this Christmas past has been generally quite quiet on the referendum front, before bursting back on […]

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