Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

Israel, Palestine and the European Union

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Last week UCL student and blogger, Lewis Barber, wrote an article for the Jerusalem Post which was titled: “Why I will be voting to leave the European Union…” In summary, this was because, claimed Lewis: The EU no longer represented his values as a human being The decision by the highest EU court to strike […]

UKIP’s Euro-Party decision

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This morning’s paper carried a story that first broke on Newsnight about UKIP’s decision to form a European party, the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe. Much of the coverage has made a point of highlighting the reversal of position by the party since 2011, when there was an extensive internal consultation and vote by members. Certainly, to read […]

Russian Air Force “Unusually Active” According to Polish Defense Minister

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By James Krotz According to Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, the level of Russian naval and air force activity has been “unprecedented” in the past week.  Indeed, over the past 9 months, NATO-Russian aerial close-calls have reached high levels.  40 incidents, with 11 of those being categorized as “high risk”, capable of bringing about escalation of […]

The European careers of the EU’s national leaders (updated)

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In recent years, more and more top leaders of EU member countries have been elected or nominated who have spent one or several parts of their careers inside EU institutions, soon making it nine eight serving heads of state or heads of government. In fact, today, the Greek government announced that former EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas is nominated […]

UK Government rejects EU food aid for Britain’s poor

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On 25 February this year, the European Parliament voted on an EU fund to provide food aid to those suffering extreme poverty in the EU.  The EU offered up to £22 million pounds to help subsidise Britain’s food banks, but the money was blocked by the UK government. Today writing for the Mail on Sunday, […]

Hollywood Huckster Appointed Ambassador to Hungary

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By James Krotz On Tuesday, the United States Senate confirmed “The Bold and the Beautiful” producer and Democratic fundraiser Colleen Bell to the post of United States Ambassador to Hungary.  The vote was passed by a slim margin along partisan lines, 52-42.  The White House has expressed complete confidence in Bell’s ability to maintain relations […]

Selling UKIP, selling euroscepticism

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Away from the continuing convolutions of David Cameron over immigration policy, there is the more mundane world of day-to-day euroscepticism in the UK. This often passes unremarked,for it is low-level stuff: a conversation here, an online comment there, an allusion somewhere else. Nothing much when taken as individual actions, but a substantial thing when pulled together. This […]

Please remain faceless!

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Now that Donald Tusk has officially taken office as new President of the Council, the Trinity of European leadership as provided by the Lisbon Treaty is complete. In due course there will be plenty of opportunity for Euro-scoffers to ridicule the fact that one never really knows who is in charge of the EU. They […]

The gender balance gap between the European Parliament and national parliaments – updated

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In the December 2014 issue of “European Union Politics” there is a  paper by Fortin-Rittberger & Rittberger* titled “Do electoral rules matter? Explaining national differences in women’s representation in the European Parliament“ (an earlier version in open access here). Looking mainly at data from 2009 (and 2004), the key question of their paper is, in my summary: Why […]

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