Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Author Archives: Albrecht Sonntag

The Vote and Beyond : Lessons from the Turkish Repeat Elections

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A guest contribution by Başak Alpan, from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Here’s one of the few good things about being a political science professor in Turkey: elections are never only boring econometrical calculations that no one is interested in, but each election gives you an ample amount of shock, perplexity, and challenge to cope […]

A voice that will be missed.

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A tribute to Luke Foster. It’s his calm, reassuring voice I’ll miss most. After having, very much in accordance with his personality, bravely managed to ‘keep calm and carry on’ while fighting against his illness and enduring the different therapies that went with it, Luke Foster passed away a few days ago. Although the news did not come as […]

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Central Europe and China: what does the next generations of leaders think?

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A contribution by Tamas Matura (ESSCA Budapest). Even though the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and most Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries established diplomatic relations as soon as 1949, the Cold War made them drift away from each other. Only the last decade has brought new momentum to the bilateral relations between the two sides, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Total Recall

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It is difficult not to be impressed by the remarkable breadth and multidisciplinary outreach of contemporary European Studies that was exposed at the UACES conference in Bilbao. Paper and panels were fed and underpinned by the political sciences, but also by economics, law, sociology and anthropology. Yet the newspapers read during the return flight from […]

Border Blues

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I have been crossing the river Rhine north of Strasbourg between Iffezheim (Germany) and Roppenheim (France) for as long as my driving licence can remember. In the late 70s and early 80s, passport control and the usual question whether there was anything to declare were part of the ritual (although in a much more relaxed […]

An antidote to any nostalgia of ‘grandeur’ or ‘glory’

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There’s of course nothing wrong with the commemoration of historical battles. Quite the contrary: each time I took students to the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, they got a better idea of why European integration might actually be a good idea. And most of the four-year-long commemorative flow on World War I is produced, if […]

40 years – the age of maturity?

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These days, the People’s Republic of China and the European Union celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship. At the age of 40 one might assume that this relationship has indeed ‘grown up’ by now. But has it, really? Here are three indicators supporting this view and three against it: FOR: China established diplomatic relations in 1975 with the […]

Brussels will be ‘sexy tomorrow’!

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At least that’s the forecast of ‘The Supplement’, a popular Sunday afternoon programme on French television (Canal+). Each week, it includes a trendspotting clip named ‘sexy tomorrow’, introducing a someone or something that may become a game changer. In the edition of 26 April, the game changer was ‘Politico’, the American news site that just […]

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