Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Monthly Archives: June 2021

Citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement

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Citizens’ rights has been a rather strange part of the Brexit process, in that it has never occupied a very prominent place in the negotiations or discussions, even though it contains huge potential for disruption and problems. Whereas the financial obligations was seen as a big haggle, and the Irish dimension as complex, citizens’ rights […]

The Conference on the Future of Europe: vehicle for reform versus forum for reflection?

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The approach of the European Union’s institutions to the Conference on the Future of Europe is muddled, with risks for the outcome. The European Union after several delays opened the Conference on the Future of Europe on 9 May 2021. Its purpose, according to a March 2021 Joint Declaration from the presidents of the EU institutions, is […]

Is the grass greener on the other side? Norway’s assessment of Brexit

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Brexit may expose the special arrangements that EFTA states have to the EU. The European Union has over time developed quite a comprehensive system of affiliations with neighbouring states. Both actors in the UK and in the EU have discussed these affiliations as possible templates for how the UK and the EU could organize their […]

The Visual Politics of the European Union

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  The political controversies associated with the visual presence of the European Union (EU) have a longer history than the EU itself. This is evident in the unwieldly processes of designing and adopting common symbols including the EU flag, passport, currency and the visual diplomacy of ‘family photos’ of EU leaders. EU institutions have revamped […]

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The evolution of EU asylum and migration policies: Towards supranational cooperation?

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European cooperation in the field of asylum and migration accelerated after the entry into force of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 which involved a major overhaul of the founding treaties, establishing the EU and formalising intergovernmental cooperation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) under the third pillar. Subsequently, in 1999, the Treaty […]

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Pathways for the Northern Ireland Protocol

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With the first meeting of the TCA’s Partnership Council finally done, alongside the WA’s Joint Committee, it’s perhaps a good time to reflect a bit on the Northern Ireland Protocol. While this sits within the Withdrawal Agreement, it’s worth noting that sanctions for non-compliance can extend to any other agreement between the EU and UK, […]

Who made the decision to leave the EU?

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So, here’s THE key question: Who made the decision for the UK to leave the EU? It wasn’t the referendum. The referendum, as agreed by Parliament, was advisory only and not legally capable of making any decision. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court, who also ruled that the decision to leave the EU had to be taken by […]

A bit of trade and not much cooperation: The hard Brexit deal

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This is a draft version of a piece published in Political Insight. Please refer to that version for any citations. Even before Covid, it was evident that 2020 was going to be a difficult one for British politics. The December 2019 general election might have given Boris Johnson the majority he needed to push through the […]

EU Health Gov Network Launch 26 May 2021

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We were delighted to launch the EU Health Gov network formally on 26 May 2021 with a Practitioner Perspective by Mr Yannis Natsis of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) with a health advocacy view on the EU vaccine strategy. Back in May/June 2020, the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands) signed an initial […]

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Hijacking Europe: Counter-European strategies and radical right mainstreaming

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Nativist visions of a Europe’s Union opposed to the EU belong to a classical inventory of radical right (RR) parties. However, an antithetical redefinition of Europe where ‘the image of Europe as a shining city perched on the hill of perpetual peace, social welfare, and inalienable human rights is replaced with the cry of ‘“Europe […]