Ideas on Europe

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Author Archives: europeonthestrand

Is SYRIZA just another Greek party that does not know what to do?

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Less than a week after SYRIZA’s (Coalition of the Radical Left) electoral victory, uncertainty regarding the newly formed Greek government’s economic policy has increased. In a statement emailed to Bloomberg News, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said: ‘we need time to breathe and create our own medium-term recovery programme’. Mr. Tsipras’ statement followed his Finance […]

Greece’s SYRIZA-led government and the future of the EU’s foreign policy

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The fact that SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) won last Sunday’s national elections in Greece was not a surprise. It had been leading opinion polls for months. The fact that the radical left SYRIZA formed a coalition government with the right wing ANEL (Independent Greeks) within hours of its electoral victory was not particularly […]

A Quiet Success? The EU-China Partnership in Practice

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How are Sino-European relations doing today? “Rather well, since you ask.” This could have been President Xi Jinping’s reply to a hypothetical question he could have been asked during his recent visit to Brussels. For slightly over ten years since the launch of the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, links between the two giants are wider […]

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Why Mogherini’s Appointment as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Matters Little

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Last weekend, the European Council (the heads of state or government of European Union [EU] member states) appointed Italian foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, as the next High Representative (HR) of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The holder of this post is responsible for ‘conducting the EU’s foreign policy. As was the case […]

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The ‘national interest’ test in the Pfizer – Astra Zeneca takeover bid

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As the deadline under the new ‘put up or shut up’ rules of the UK Takeover Panel came to a close on Monday 26 May, Pfizer admitted defeat in its bid to buy AstraZeneca. Pfizer’s withdrawal brought to a close four months of wooing that, had it been successful, would have been the largest foreign […]

Why Juncker is not Cameron’s problem

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Since the elections for the European Parliament in May, public debate on European Union (EU) politics has gradually become dominated by the so-called ‘Juncker question’: the issue of the appointment of the next President of the Commission and more specifically British Prime Minister David Cameron’s opposition to the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker, the candidate of […]

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 […]

Nick v Nigel reflects Lib Dem strength, not weakness

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The conventional wisdom in the Westminster village is that ‘Nick v Nigel’is best explained, regardless of how well he does, by Nick Clegg’s apparent political weakness. “What has he got to lose?” say Conservative sources. If you are struggling in the polls, why not roll the dice and gamble? Proclaim the virtues of the EU […]

Yanukovych, Russia and the EU: Why we saw this one coming

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Kiev, 1048.Yaroslav The Wise, the Kiev-Rus leader, was caught in strife with the Byzantine and Holy Roman Empire when a French envoy from King Henry I arrived to request the hand of Yaroslav’s daughter in marriage. As a powerful ally in the West would have made a useful strategic alliance, the Kiev-Rus leader’s response was […]

Point of View: Time for Europe’s Leaders to Talk Strategy

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By Ben Jones Last Wednesday Baroness Ashton, the EU High Representative, launched her report on the Common Security and Defence Policy. The paper is intended to inform a discussion that EU leaders will hold at their upcoming December European Council summit. While the eurosceptics will doubtless recoil at the EU’s having any role in such matters, […]

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