Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Critical European Studies Need More Than Foucault

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How can we create spaces for critical discussion about the European Union? Vanessa Bilancetti writes in response to Rachael Dickson Hillyard’s article on alternative approaches to EU Studies. Through her own research on institutional responses to the economic crisis, Vanessa Bilancetti identifies dissenting voices that can enrich an ongoing debate. I have read with interest […]

‘Things would be so much easier if you stayed’

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In Munich last weekend, German diplomat and chair of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, told Prime Minister Theresa May regarding Brexit, ‘Things would be so much easier if you stayed.’ His comment received warm applause from those present in the hall, lasting much longer than the reception to Mrs May’s own speech. Mrs May […]

Does Boris Johnson remember what he said?

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Who knows what Boris Johnson really believes, least of all him? He previously said “what most people in this country want is the single market”, and he would personally vote to remain a member of it. He told the BBC Andrew Marr Show in 2012: ″We would like a new relationship. And it’s very simple […]

Can you tell what it is yet?

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As a child, I used to like watching a TV programme where a bearded Australian would talk about some cartoons that he was going to show, hurriedly sketching a character in some dynamic pose. Part of the fun was the way he caught the characters’ essence: distilling them into a single image. Of course, this […]

Brexit won’t get your country back

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Just ten days before the EU referendum, I wrote an article for Independent Voices​ with the headline, ‘You won’t get your country back if you vote for Brexit. You’ll give it away to the most right-wing government in recent history.’ And so, it has come about. My article was shared by Independent readers a record […]

Czech presidential elections: A divided society in the heart of Europe

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Half of the country satisfied, approximately the same part suffering from a severe hangover. That is, in a nutshell, the main outcome of the Czech presidential elections whose final took place in the last weekend of January. The reason behind this division of Czech society lies in the approximately 3 percentage points that made the […]

Nothing is agreed

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I think I’ve discovered a new condition. I’m calling it Maioaviophobia, or a fear of Theresa May getting on a plane. Somehow, it’s taken until now to notice that it’s the flights that seem to produce the most erratic political behaviour from the Prime Minister. Just think back to that walking holiday last Easter, or […]

Czech Presidential Elections: Audition for a Challenger

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The Czech Republic is a state whose political system is heavily based upon parliamentary power with government as the main executive body. This tradition, which was firmly set up after the Velvet revolution in 1989, for a long time implied an indirectly elected president with purely symbolic powers. In this way, Václav Havel was twice […]

EU benefits versus Brexit

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The electorate wasn’t sufficiently informed in the 2016 referendum to know whether it was right to leave the EU. The referendum campaign did not give clear answers. The Leave campaign had to rely on colossal lies to present their case. Who knew what to believe? But now it’s becoming clearer by the day what Brexit […]

Tightening Le Touquet and the second-order effects of Brexit

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Today’s visit to London by President Macron is important on a number of levels, not least for triggering the long-overdue debate about whether King Harold would have been a Brexiter. If the loaning of the Bayeux Tapestry is something of a sideshow, then it also speaks the overly febrile nature of British political debate that this was […]

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