Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

REFERENDUM OR PLEBISCITE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

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The words referendum and plebiscite refer to electoral institutions in which the mass of the population votes on an issue. However, they have very different political connotations. Plebiscite is a negative term referring to an unfair and unfree vote in an undemocratic political system. It was a favourite device of French Emperors Napoleon Bonaparte and […]

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DISASTER SCENARIO FOR CAMERON ON EUROPE

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David Cameron faces the risk of winning the EU referendum and losing his job as prime minister if he fails to convince a majority of Tories to back his recommendation to stay in the European Union. While the prime minister favours Britain remaining in the EU on terms he negotiates with Brussels, most Tory voters […]

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CORBYN AND CAMERON HALF AGREE ABOUT EUROPE

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Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron definitely agree about one thing regarding the European Union: they both would like it reformed. However, they disagree about the direction of reform. Corbyn wants the EU to gain more powers to protect workers, while Cameron wants Brussels to have less power to tell British businesses what to do. The […]

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NEGLECTED ISSUES IN THE EU REFERENDUM BILL

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*Will there be a turnout threshold making the referendum decisive?  At the 2014 European Parliament election turnout was 35.6 percent and at the 2015 British general election 66.2 percent. Turnout at EU referendums across Europe normally falls between an EP and a national election. This implies a likely UK turnout of around 51 percent. If […]

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The European Commission, Expert Groups, and the Policy Process

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Julia Metz Day by day, the European Commission consults with more than 30,000 experts that convene in about 1,000 expert groups. I argue that in order to understand the ubiquity of expert groups we need to look at how and why the European Commission uses its expert groups in the policy process. In my new […]

Schengen and the Refugee Crisis: Lessons for the East African Commmunity

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A guest contribution by Moses Onyango and Jean-Marc Trouille. In many parts of the world, geopolitics are confronted with two anti-nomic trends. On the one hand, numerous countries are engaged in a process of regional economic integration, epitomised by the more advanced model of the European Union (EU), and which requires ‘internal’ borders between participating […]

Radicals and moderates in the referendum

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Last week, I wrote about intensity and direction as tensions in the campaign groups: this week I want to look at another faultline, namely that between ‘radicals’ and ‘moderates’. I use the quote marks, because radicalism is very much in the eye of the beholder, so it is hard to move beyond any subjective interpretation. Indeed, it […]

Testing the Daily Mail for impurities

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If you want to check for impurities in a swimming pool you don’t have to test all the water. You can just dip in a test tube to analyse a sample of the pool to get an accurate guide to the state of the rest of it. And so it’s been with the Daily Mail. […]

More than a car accident

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The Volkswagen emissions scandal has many dimensions, some of which have not even started to unfold yet. The sheer perversity of the software used by the company with the aim of hiding the real level of nitrogen oxide emissions of its cars is most likely to become a textbook case of corporate hubris and cynicism […]

The EU’s flawed response to the migrant crisis: Disorientated into the maelstrom

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This summer Europe witnessed unprecedented events as thousands of migrants embarked on dangerous journeys from the Middle East and further afield to reach the shores of Europe. The growing instability in the Middle East, most of all in Syria which has descended into a state of permanent internal civil war, has resulted in an unprecedented […]

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