Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Can Remain now win, 100 days before Brexit?

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A sobering article in today’s Financial Times by Camilla Cavendish, who assertively claims that, ‘Remainers have lost and must now accept defeat’. Her article opens: ‘Britain’s downhill slope towards leaving the EU is getting steeper; the slide into liberation-oblivion is coming closer.’ She claims, ‘A second referendum is vanishingly unlikely. Moderates who don’t want the UK […]

Can the EU Do Strategy?

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Andrew Cottey argues that the existing literature on EU foreign, security and defence strategy has paid insufficient attention to two basic prior questions: what is strategy? And what constitutes good strategy? Answers to these questions help us to understand why the EU struggles with strategy. The 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 EU Global […]

Why von der Leyen isn’t the person to watch for Brexit policy (yet)

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Yesterday saw the first public statements from Ursula von der Leyen since her nomination as Commission President. She swept around Brussels, meeting and greeting various groups in the European Parliament, generally trying to help them accept a deal that appeared – mainly because it actually did – to pull the rug from the Spitzenkandidaten model. If most of the […]

Finding Consensus in Fragmentation: The Scramble for the EU’s Top Jobs

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A Game of Musical Chairs Yesterday’s European Council Summit was derailed even before it started with leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) rejecting the “Osaka Deal” that would have had Frans Timmermans installed as President of the European Commission, while EPP would have been left with the Parliament and, possibly, the High Representative for […]

Critics Claim That Europe’s Courts Are Unaccountable. Recent Cases Suggest Otherwise.

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Brexit supporters have claimed that European courts are out of touch and impose their will on an unwilling British public. Michael F. Harsch, Vladislav Maksimov, and Chris Wheeler argue that European courts are more accountable than these critics contend: when these courts defy the wishes of governments, judgements tend to align with public opinion.  One […]

The illogic of the EU trying to keep the UK from leaving

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Foolishly, I always took Groundhog Day to be a work of fiction, rather than an instruction manual. Every morning we wake up to the same debates between the same people, who still haven’t listened to (or, more accurately, haven’t heard) those who point out obstacles in the path: we just have to become better, through force of […]

Bojo’s bonkers Brexit

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So desperate is Boris Johnson for the keys to number 10, that he has conceded all the demands of the far-right of his Tory party, who have said they will withdraw their support for him if he doesn’t do what they say. The Guardian reported today, ‘Eurosceptics in the party were increasingly turning the screws […]

New faces, old problems

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So today we find out who will be the final two candidates to become the new leader of the Conservative party. It’s also the day that we find out whether the EU has made any progress on selecting individuals to fill the top jobs at the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. Both […]

Fools and Their Money – The Legacy of the Euro so Far

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Only months before ending his term at the European Central Bank (ECB) this October, Mario Draghi pushed interest rates below zero for another year and is preparing a fresh expansion of the ECB’s 2.6tn QE programme, while the Euro reached a seven weeks high. Those measures come amidst growing concerns that the Eurozone’s economy will […]

Nobody voted for Brexit calamity

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Prime Minister, Theresa May, officially leaves office today, with many Tory candidates hoping to take her place. But a new Conservative Prime Minister doesn’t mean that their 2017 manifesto promises can be forgotten or forsaken. It was on their manifesto promises that the current Conservative party won power, regardless of who is their leader. The […]

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