Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Theresa May is the enemy of democracy

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Like an irritating parrot, the Prime Minister Theresa May keeps repeating that she’s delivering the ‘people’s will’ and ‘there won’t be a people’s vote’. The two phrases are incompatible. They oppose each other. The irritating parrot may as well say, “Welcome to my home” and “Get out of my house”. Or, “I believe in democracy” and “Shut […]

Britain demands a new vote on Brexit

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The fantastic Brexit offered to the nation in 2016 was a mirage. It doesn’t exist. It never did. It can’t be delivered. It was a con-trick. The ‘alternative’ Brexit now being fobbed off to the nation would never have won approval in the referendum. We don’t want it. Even Brexiters don’t want it. Nobody, absolutely […]

Three messages from the Withdrawal Agreement

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Yesterday’s publication of the provisional final text of the Withdrawal Agreement (and associated Political Declaration) marks a crucial point in the process of Brexit, opening the door to an approval and ratification process and the first major step in establishing a new basis for UK-EU relations. Weighing in at nearly 600 pages of text, it’s […]

Making sense of changing relationships between technology, security and society in Europe

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How do new technological developments influence security in Europe? What role do drones, artificial intelligence and social media play in contemporary European society and security? And what to expect from recent trends in European Union’s (EU) security policy such as plans to fund defence research? These were some of the questions addressed at the workshop […]

The EU was started for one purpose: peace

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On Remembrance Sunday we commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. November 11, 2018 also marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War, Armistice Day. Of course, we must never forget those who gave their lives in […]

Selling the Withdrawal Agreement

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In one of those “politics as cock-up not conspiracy” moments, this week saw the (aggressive) leaking of a document purporting to be the government’s plans for selling the Withdrawal Agreement. I say aggressive, since the leaker pushed it out to several media outlets at once, so really wanted it out there, spelling mistakes and all. The government […]

Possible outcomes of UK departure from EU and its implications for British standards and regulations

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Before discussing any implications of Brexit for UK standards and regulations, let us remind ourselves what are standards and why are they important.  Standards are a range of powerful marketing and business tools for businesses and institutions of all shapes and sizes. They can be used to adjust performance and manage risks, while operating more sustainably and efficiently. They allow businesses […]

The Blue Splash? Or Resurgent Red? Assessing the 2018 US Mid-Term Elections

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Professor Amelia Hadfield and Chris Logie Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), Canterbury Christ Church University For keen followers of US politics – and the very many beyond – yesterday’s mid-term elections provided the expected spills and thrills as the results flowed in from east to west. There was a general expectation that the outcome would […]

Beyond the Brussels Bubble? National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the European Union

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The Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) recently published a special issue on the role of civil society in European Union policymaking and democratisation. Editors Rosa Sanchez Salgado and Andrey Demidov explain how it constitutes an original account of what is happening in the member states, beyond the world of well-established organisations in Brussels. This special […]

Britain wasn’t misled in 1975

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Brexiters often claim that in Britain’s first referendum of 1975, voters were misled into believing that the Common Market – now called the European Union – was just about ‘free trade’. But that’s not correct. (Article continues after the 5-minute video.) It was clear even before we joined the European Economic Community (as it was called […]

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