Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

France 2017: Just do it!

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I did it! I participated in the primary of the right and the centre on Sunday around lunchtime. It didn’t even hurt. I paid my contribution of 2 Euros, took the 7 ballot papers, and signed, without any conflict of conscience, the ‘Charte de l’alternance’, confirming that I was in favour of political change (which […]

How to win at Brexit

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These days, my bedtime reading consists of books on the EU referendum: The Brexit Club, Bad Boys of Brexit, Unleashing Demons and (currently) All Out War. All have provided another level of understanding to what happened over the past year or two, confirming some suspicions and challenging some assumptions. Most strikingly so far has been the strategising that took place. […]

Lessons from European Climate Monitoring Crucial for Paris Agreement Success

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As the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) in Marrakech draws to a close, it is becoming increasingly clear that credible monitoring and transparency procedures are urgently needed. Otherwise national pledges to address climate change in the spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement will not build sufficient global trust. The 2015 […]

Brexit, Trump, Le Pen? How France’s Institutions Will Make It Difficult for Le Pen to Win the Election and Govern

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In the wake of populist successes in the UK and the US, Viviane Gravey examines the prospects for a Front National victory in the upcoming 2017 French presidential election. She argues that, while the institutional structure of French politics would limit the room for manoeuvre of Marine Le Pen, it is ultimately the responsibility of […]

Donald Trump v. The Environment: learning from past attempts to dismantle environmental policy

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A week after the Paris Agreement entered into force, the United States have elected Donald J. Trump as their 45th President – a man who famously described climate change as “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” His stance on climate change, his strong support for coal and pledge […]

America Decides: Foreign Policy Implications for Europe

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The historic victory of Donald Trump in the US 2016 presidential election has been readily compared with the UK’s vote to leave the European Union – a ‘Brexit effect’ that some would suggest to have emanated from the UK, migrated across the Atlantic and impacted on the US. The notion that the UK has that […]

France 2017: The primaries and the secondaries

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The French are still numerous to consider voting both a right and a duty (‘un devoir citoyen’, as they say). This is probably why turnout – despite a wide-spread feeling that nothing ever changes – has been remarkably stable over the decades, especially at the presidential elections. Even the lowest participation ever (71.6% in the […]

Why It Matters if the European Commission Ends up Leading the Brexit Negotiations

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The EU is no stranger to inter-institutional repetition. As was made famous in the referendum debate, it has many presidents (for instance, leading the European Commission, European Council, European Parliament, European Central Bank and the Eurogroup). So it has also been in the EU’s preparation for the Brexit talks. Over the summer, Michel Barnier (Commission), […]

What the High Court ruling does (and doesn’t) mean

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Today’s High Court ruling in Miller/dos Santos has provoked a flurry of reaction, across the board. To read the comments of some Remainers, this is the first step to reversing the referendum result and building a new, pro-EU consensus in the UK. For Leavers, it’s being called a travesty of democracy and justice. As someone […]

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