Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: The EU

Building the base: UKIP’s push to the General Election

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As I’ve discussed before on this blog (here and here), the real focus of UKIP’s work of late has not been last May’s European elections, but next year’s general election: without a breakthrough in the latter, the prospects for moving into a new phase of power/influence looks very limited. And so it that the party has been […]

4 topics that may interest you in my doctoral thesis

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Last month, my PhD thesis “Information flows in the context of EU policy-making : affiliation networks and the post-2012 reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy” has been published online (under a Creative Commons license), so anyone is free to read it, quote it, criticise it. If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, […]

What’s in a European Commission President?

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The next President of the European Commission faces a number of obstacles to a successful term of office. Political and institutional challenges, ranging from the power of the Council and the Parliament to the difficulty in building unity in the Commission, stand in the way of the President’s goals for the EU. In order to […]

The UK government must urgently overhaul its EU engagement strategy

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Britain’s current approach to the European Union has led it to a state of isolation and policy failure. In order to ensure the country’s interests, the UK government needs to develop a new comprehensive EU strategy based on building sustainable coalitions with other Member States, establishing cooperative relations with the EU institutions and fostering broader […]

The new British policy on the European Union: scapegoats and crossed fingers

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The European election fallout continues to amaze. In Brussels, Strasbourg and national capitals, the consequences of historic and contemporary decisions are working their way through the system. Jean-Claude Juncker’s election to Commission President might have been a shoe-in, but he still had 250 votes against him and the maths suggested that not all his grand coalition supported him. As […]

Britain’s representation in the European Parliament

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This May’s European elections have substantially changed the composition of the UK delegation to the European Parliament. Unfortunately, although Britain is a force in managing European political groups, it is not particularly well represented in the Parliament’s senior leadership. This deficit, combined with the reduction in the number of members from mainstream UK parties, means […]

Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe: New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance

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Why do knowledge policies play an increasing role on the European political and policy agenda? What are the synergies and tensions between European research and higher education policies? What have been the successes and challenges in establishing the European Research Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology? What role do stakeholders play in […]

Debating the EU: How can we do it?

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I was talking to a friend yesterday evening, who felt that a referendum on EU membership was a good thing. He agreed with my point that what the UK (and the Union more generally) needed was a full public debate, but saw a referendum as a way to kick-start that into life. Fortunately, the rest […]

How would a ‘clustered’ European Commission impact EU environmental policy?

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Every five years the European Union changes the composition of its Commission. While this year’s discussions have mostly focused on who will be appointed to the Commission, two other issues, repeatedly pushed for by the Netherlands and France, loom large on the political agenda: the Commission’s political programme, and the need to  restructure the Commission [1]. […]

Britain’s best future is in the European Union

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In the ongoing debate on the UK’s place in the European Union, it’s important to keep the facts in mind. On economic, political and social measures, Britain gains from being part of the EU. At the same time, reforming how the EU works to make it function better is essential if it is to achieve […]

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