Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

Reporting Europe: euromyths and euro-reality?

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Tonight I’m speaking on a roundtable in Edinburgh on ‘Reporting Europe‘, where we’ll be considering how the media covers the EU and the influence of euromyths in the debate. I wrote about this last year, but it’s a good time to revisit the issue, given the quality (or perhaps ‘quality’) of the media coverage of the European […]

Is it blue or is it a car?

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Is it blue or is it a car? This may seem like a strange question, but it is exactly the kind of question that the European Court of Justice was faced with in yesterday’s Commission v. Parliament and Council (Cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences): Is Directive 2011/82 facilitating the cross-border […]

UKIP and Britain’s influence in the EU: a vicious circle

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In a debate organised last Thursday by the University of East Anglia’s Student Union, Geoffrey van Orden (Conservative Member of the European Parliament [MEP]) asked “If Nigel Farage thinks all laws are being made in Brussels why is he so desperate to get into Westminster?”. This can be understood as a comment on the UK Independence […]

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), […]

What matters in the EU debate? Numbers, authorship or content?

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I attended yesterday an event organised by the European Institute of the LSE. The title was: “European Parliament Elections: What is at stake?” The speakers were Stuart Wheeler, UKIP treasurer, Maurice Fraser and Sara Hagemann, from LSE, and Mark Leonard, director of ECFR. The event was supposedly chaired by John Peet, Europe editor of The […]

Why EU Citizens in Britain Miss-Out on their Right to Vote

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The outcome of the European Parliament elections on May 22 will determine the composition of the European Parliament (EP) as an institution which has been given considerable powers to influence the EU’s future direction. But it is doubtful whether the novelty of parties’ nominating “candidates for Commission President” will contribute much to lifting voters turn-out […]

EU action over Ukraine not that of a world player

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The situation in Ukraine has gone from bad to worse. The country is wracked by three broad crises, each linked to the other and requiring comprehensive action. First is a debt crisis that is all too familiar to countries of the eurozone which, without help from the IMF and the EU, will lead to state […]

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 […]

Do facts matter when discussing the EU?

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For the past couple of days, I’ve been competing in the inaugural EU Twitter Fight Club, where tweeps from different parts of the (notional) European public sphere have been trying to show off their tweeting ability (very broadly defined).  To call it a pleasure would be a stretch, but it’s certainly been informative for me, both […]

Polscieu: The end of a journey, the start of a new one

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For the last six years, I’ve been following EU politics and information flows as a blogger, as an academic, and since 2010 also as an activist with Transparency International, first as a volunteer and since 2012 as a full-time employee here in Brussels. Last Wednesday, I finally defended “Information Flows in the Context of EU Policy-Making“, […]

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