Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Border Blues

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I have been crossing the river Rhine north of Strasbourg between Iffezheim (Germany) and Roppenheim (France) for as long as my driving licence can remember. In the late 70s and early 80s, passport control and the usual question whether there was anything to declare were part of the ritual (although in a much more relaxed […]

Playing dirty in the EU Referendum

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In these dog days of summer, there’s not much happening in the world of EU politics. Except the on-going debates on the third Greek bailout, arguments about managing asylum applicants and immigrants and the simmering British renegotiation. And the third of these is very much the least, certainly in Continental terms. To date, the renegotiation has been […]

How Well Does Bottom-Up Climate Governance Work?

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The failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference marked a shift in international climate governance. As the system of agreeing international emissions reductions targets and then negotiating individual country contribution towards that target proved increasingly unworkable, there has been a drive towards a much more bottom-up form of climate governance. In preparation for the Paris […]

How The Mail degrades journalism and refugees

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Last week two front page stories by The Mail displayed shocking disregard for accurate reporting or any care for the plight of desperate asylum seekers trying to reach the UK from Calais.

UKIP’s Hall of Shame

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A former UKIP MEP, Ashley Mote, has been jailed for five years for defrauding the European Parliament of almost half-a-million pounds. On sentencing Mr Mote today at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith told him: “Your greed and dishonesty were matched only by your hypocrisy, because while this was going on you carried out a […]

Empowering the European Parliament: a greener, more European way out of the European crises?

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Of the four main European Institutions,[1] the European Parliament (EP) has most struggled to be heard on the recent crises affecting Europe (monetary, economic, social, environmental…).[2] At a time when the European project is at great risk, and when European leaders struggle to define a common European interest, it is perhaps time to turn to […]

Who’s in charge here?

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There is much to give concern in the world of European politics these days. From Greece to the UK, the Mediterranean to Finland (even Austria), you don’t have to look far to find examples of ‘how it’s all going belly up’ (to quote one of my colleagues). It would be simple to take the counsel of […]

We should stay in the EU says Virgin boss

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On BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, Virgin Group boss Sir Richard Branson said it would be “inconceivable” for Britain to leave the EU and go back to paying export and import taxes on our trade with Europe. Here’s a full transcript of the interview that I prepared from the broadcast: ANDREW MARR: Now then, […]

The External Dimension to Britain’s EU Renegotiation

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From the beginning, the European Union has been polarising in Britain. The past four decades of membership have been marked by sustained debate on the extent and shape of British participation in the European project. Some have always rejected the notion that Britain can and should integrate with the rest of Europe. Others have supported […]

Queen in Germany speaks up for Europe

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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, speaking in Germany with her Greek husband by her side, has hinted that that she supports the UK’s continued membership of the European Union. “The United Kingdom has always been closely involved in its continent. Even when our main focus was elsewhere in the world, our people played a key part in […]

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