Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Current Affairs

The EU Council Presidency 2.0: New treaties, new member states, new communication

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The description of my blog says that “I attempt to translate between political science and political practice in EU matters“. Yesterday was a day full of opportunities for this. I could start talking about the combination of science and practice for the blog post and paper “Transparency in the Financing of Europarties” that I wrote […]

A well-reformed EUR-Lex would be sexy indeed: A short story on access to EU documents

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In December, I wrote a post on this blog titled “A new EUR-Lex: Finding EU documents 2.0?”. The starting point for this article was a non-public EU Council document titled “A new EUR-Lex”. I wasn’t satisfied with the fact that I could not access this document and so I did a Freedom of Information request to the EU Council Secretariat.

Participation in EU Commission meetings: A measure of Ashton’s lack of influence?

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[…] I took a look at the Commission website and the page with the Commission’s meeting protocols for 2010 in order to see how Ashton’s participation rate was in comparison to others. […] I went through all the protocols of the Barroso II Commission in 2010 (36 in total, starting with the meeting on 17 February 2010) and coded the participation of the Commissioners in an Excel file which I have uploaded to Google Fusiontables […].

Spilled water, wasted funds? – A special look at a special EU Court of Auditors report

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Water is one of the most important resources for social and economic development. Water supply for domestic consumption is essential for human health and wellbeing.

This is a very general though strong statement, one that few would argue against. You may have expected such a sentence in the UN Resolution on the International Decade for Action “Water for Life 2005-2015”.

Fighting cyber crime

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By Claudia Hillebrand One of the topics discussed earlier this week at the JHA Council were EU-wide measures to fight cyber crime. The European Commission presented a legislative proposal to the Council with the aim of revamping the EU’s anti-cyber crime toolbox, in particular concerning large-scale cyber attacks. This is a timely topic, as there […]

Brussels, barricades and the future of EMU

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By Scott James The recent demonstrations in Brussels have perhaps brought home to many of us the scale of the challenge facing Europe, and the Eurozone in particular, in its efforts to learn and adapt to the global financial crisis. A recent postgraduate workshop at King’s College London on the subject of ‘Rethinking Europe after […]

Japan’s “Revolving Door”: Hello, Mr…whoever!

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“You say ‘good morning’ to one Prime Minister and ‘good afternoon’ to a different one!” (Luis Inacio Lula da Silva 2010)  “it seems to be the era of karaoke politics in Japan, where in quick succession different members of the ruling elite take turns to step up to the microphone and lead the country. […] […]

The Eurozone Crisis and the Delicate Plant Syndrome in European Studies

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I cannot help feeling that it is not only Angela Merkel, the Greek state, and Eurostat who have plenty of egg on their faces after the events of the last year. But also European Studies as a discipline with public responsibility has some hard questions to answer about why it has on the whole failed […]

85.6% of Japanese Public Supports Capital Punishment…Really?

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I have been assessing the extent to which the EU can try and urge Japan to change its accepted norms on human rights regarding capital punishment, and came across this article the other day: Japan Today (2010) “Record High 85.6% in Favor of Death Penalty: Survey”, 7 February, 2010. URL: http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/record-high-856-in-favor-of-death-penalty-survey Original article in Japanese […]

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