Ideas on Europe

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Category Archives: Current Affairs

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Yes, the Prime Minister is useless, but that’s not enough to shift him

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By a strange set of circumstances, which some of us would call a perfect storm, we now have the most incompetent and dangerous Prime Minster in living memory. He is popular, although his popularity rating seems to be in decline. Nonetheless, with a weak and uninspiring Opposition, there is a chance that Boris Johnson could be […]

Procedural Cosmopolitanism: Europe’s Normative Power Beyond Eurocentrism

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How can we be sure the concept of normative power Europe is anything but another expression of self-proclaimed superiority? While the European Union (EU) itself is unlikely to ever free itself from European exceptionalism, the EU can become a non-Eurocentric normative power and lighthouse of international cooperation – if the promise of its normative foundations, […]

Morocco uses migratory pressure to force Spain and the EU to give in to the Sahara

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We experienced an unprecedented crisis at Spain’s southern border last week. On the 17th and 18th, nearly 8,000 people entered Ceuta through the border breakwaters in the face of the passivity and even cooperation of the Moroccan authorities. This attitude on the part of the Moroccan authorities has surprised some people, given the role of […]

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