Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Conciliation and trust in the post-Meaningful Vote period

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Change sneaks up on you. Certainly I was surprised that my reading of Theresa May’s statement following her heavy defeat on the Meaningful Vote on Tuesday was out-of-step with many others. While they spoke and wrote about how her reaching across the aisle was going to lead to splits in the Tories because many would […]

Process and outcome in Brexit

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Another week, another surprising turn of events in the world of Brexit. The pace of life these days is so high that things that might have occupied political life for weeks by themselves have been compressed into days, or even hours. A leadership confidence motion flashes by, new constitutional principles are created from nowhere, alliances […]

A story about a curry and no-deal planning

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Like the rest of you, I spent much of Christmas trying hard not to think too hard about Brexit, and for the most part I succeeded. Right up until about 0100 on 1 January, when I lay awake in bed like some modern-day Scrooge, thinking about Brexits to come. Experience told me that then wasn’t […]

The choice is the deal, no deal or no Brexit

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It’s been confirmed by both the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that the choice now is either ‘the deal’, ‘no deal ‘or ‘no Brexit’. ‘The deal’ negotiated between the EU and Theresa May is the best Brexit deal available, according to both sides. In any event, the […]

2019 in Political Science (1) – A Personal Account

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My path into political science as a profession was never planned. It started rather accidentally, quite exactly 10 years ago, without me knowing that I would end up where I am today. This year, in 2019, I will try to regularly blog about this profession, my own research, and the research of others – even […]

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part I

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The following report contains words and quotations that have been translated from German into English by Jolyon Gumbrell. Secret political donations have allowed external actors to interfere with elections and referendums in EU member states, which is damaging the democratic process across Europe. Often the source of a political donation can be traced to a […]

Nothing has changed (part 453)

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It’s a mark of the times we live in here in the UK that a confidence vote in the leadership of the Prime Minister counts only as an incidental side-show in the performance of Brexit. At least it wasn’t a musical. Last night’s win by Theresa May was neither the emphatic crushing of her internal […]

The Deal -v- No Deal -v- No Brexit

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This article may partially self-destruct soon, when it is likely that Parliament will decisively vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, known as ‘the withdrawal agreement.’ But then what? Currently, according to Prime Minister, Theresa May, and EU Council President, Donald Tusk, the choice is the deal, no deal, or no Brexit. But who will end […]

I feel strongly about Brexit

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This wasn’t the post I was going to write this morning, but frankly after listening to Theresa May grind her way through another less-than-revealing interview, I want to consider one neglected aspect of the current debate on Brexit. The content of the Withdrawal Agreement. As May didn’t-really answer John Humphrys’ less-than-incisive questions, I was struck […]

Beyond Effectiveness? Reflections on the EU’s Democracy Promotion

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Considering EU democracy promotion as an integral part of EU foreign policy, Evangelos Fanoulis examines the effectiveness of political conditionality in the EU’s advocacy of democratic reforms in developing countries. Since its inception in the 1950, the European Union (EU) has tried to spread its democratic principles and values worldwide. These endeavours are broadly known as […]

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