Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Author Archives: Ronny Patz

The European careers of the EU’s national leaders (updated)

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In recent years, more and more top leaders of EU member countries have been elected or nominated who have spent one or several parts of their careers inside EU institutions, soon making it nine eight serving heads of state or heads of government. In fact, today, the Greek government announced that former EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas is nominated […]

The gender balance gap between the European Parliament and national parliaments – updated

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In the December 2014 issue of “European Union Politics” there is a  paper by Fortin-Rittberger & Rittberger* titled “Do electoral rules matter? Explaining national differences in women’s representation in the European Parliament“ (an earlier version in open access here). Looking mainly at data from 2009 (and 2004), the key question of their paper is, in my summary: Why […]

The Barroso legacy: An academic look back

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Last week, the European Commission published its own legacy report in the form of a 600+ pages document titled “European Commission 2004 – 2014. A testimony by the president with selected documents“, opening the room for the first analyses of the legacy of 10 years with José Manuel Durão Barroso leading the European Commission. I have […]

The Juncker Commission: On the way to a smaller European Commission?

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Today, the new President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced the composition and structure of the European Commission for 2014-2019 (video of the press conference, press release), a Commission that looks much more like a prime minister’s cabinet than any other Commission before. However, is this the first step to a new type of […]

Trajectories of a new European elite: A closer look at Mogherini’s CV

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You could look at yesterday’s nomination of  Federica Mogherini as the future High Representative of the EU from a simple power balance and recent past perspective: She’s representing  one of large EU member states, one of the founding member states and her political party is the largest group within the Socialists and Democrats in the […]

A list of all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) since 1979

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For research purposes, we requested a list of all MEPs since 1979 from the European Parliament (under Regulation 1049/2001 on access to EU documents). We received the data today, 25 August 2014, from the European Parliament in two Excel sheets, one for 1979-June 2014 and one for the new period since July 2013. I’ve combined […]

The Juncker Presidencies & EU budget stability

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I’m just doing some research on budgetary rules in the Eurozone, pre- and post-crisis, and stumbled over some interesting EU trivia: Reading the original Council Regulation (Regulation 1466/97) on the Stability and Growth Pact which was meant to ensure fiscal discipline in the Eurozone, I saw that this regulation was signed by then Council President […]

42.54% turnout: How preparing my European Studies course made EU news this week

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Some academics may think teaching is an obligation that disturbs research. In the publish-or-perish economy of academic life, it may seem as if teaching doesn’t add much to general knowledge and research. But it does, as my discovery this week of the 42.54% turnout figure for the 2014 EU elections shows. Preparing for my European […]

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, […]

7 observations on Jean-Claude Juncker’s President-elect speech

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During the European election campaign, I’ve seen a Jean-Claude Juncker who seemed tired, who did not seem up to speed during the debates with his contenders and who seemed to be disconnected from the party that supported him – the European People’s Party. But the speech (video, extracts from the text) he delivered yesterday let […]

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