Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Gaps to a new deal

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The eerie quiet of negotiators, um, negotiating means we’ve seen very little of the Future Relationship process of late: everyone’s too busy trying to work up texts and compromises to brief outsiders. Which makes it a good time to consider an aspect of the ratification problem that’s not been much seen so far: what happens […]

Britain is naturally a pro-EU country

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Although hard to believe now, for most of the UK’s four decades as a member of the European Union, Britain didn’t want to leave. On the contrary, most Brits wanted us to stay. What’s the proof of that? Well, apart from polling over the years, look at governments and general elections. From 1959 to 2016, every UK government and […]

It’s all just words

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Lots of people have lots of problems with the Maastricht Treaty, and I’m not one to change that. Instead I’ll throw another issue onto the pile: its lopsidedness. If you’ve read the text – and really, you should have – you’ll notice that there’s a huge difference between the sections relating to the first pillar […]

Same old, same old

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I find I’m not writing all that much these days about Brexit, either on blogs or on Twitter. It’s not because there’s nothing happening, but rather that all the stuff isn’t amounting to much. Let me give you an example. On my daily walk today, I remembered I’d producing something a while back about why […]

Big Science and Research Infrastructures in Europe

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What are Research Infrastructures and what roles do they play in the European integration process? These and other questions are addressed in recently published book Big Science and Research Infrastructures in Europe, edited by Katharina Cramer and Olof Hallonsten. In this Q&A with Europe of Knowledge blog, they explain origins, key concepts and findings of […]

Illegal weapons in Ukraine is a threat to Europe

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In mid-September in one of the restaurants of Odessa occurred an exchange of fire. Two gunmen injured each other with live ammunition. Bullets also hit the windows of a nearby house. By a happy coincidence of circumstances, none of house inhabitants was injured. According to the police, the gunmen belong to one of the organized […]

Sauce for the goose?

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Yesterday saw Michael Gove and David Frost, the UK leads for the current negotiations with the EU, give evidence to Parliamentary committees. They were very upbeat about it all, pointing to the increasing chances of a deal and sounding conciliatory about compromises on state aid, even as they acknowledged the continuing problems elsewhere. I noted […]

The cases of Kosovo and Ukraine suggest a fragmented EU foreign policy

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In the last decade, the EU’s foreign policy practices have grown increasingly complex. For instance, despite the centralisation envisaged by the Lisbon Treaty, informal groups of member states shaped the Union’s policy on Kosovo and Ukraine. Ten years after its ratification, some believe that the Lisbon Treaty failed to strengthen the EU activities in international […]

75 Jahre Vereinte Nationen im Bundestag: Mein Redemanuskript

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Heute Nachmittag (7. Oktober 2020) hatte ich die Freude, zusammen mit fünf Wissenschaftskolleg*innen und UN-Expert*innen (Hannah Birkenkötter, Nicole Deitelhoff, Manuel Fröhlich, Carlo Masala, Hans-Christof von Sponeck) im Unterausschuss Vereinte Nationen des Deutschen Bundestages mit den Abgeordneten über Lehren und Schlussfolgerungen aus 75 Jahren Vereinte Nationen zu diskutieren. Die Debatte ist auf der Bundestags-Webseite  auch schön zusammengefasst. […]

Cybersecurity and the EU: lessons from the COVID-19 crisis

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The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world hard. While medical researchers are racing to find a vaccine, malicious actors are exploiting the new range of possibilities to interfere with IT devices. Cybersecurity has become a prominent feature of the pandemic, especially in the health sector.  

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