Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

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 […]

France 2017: How the padlock was shut

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Remember The Day of the Jackal? This thrilling movie released in 1973 and featuring Edward Fox as enigmatic contract killer, is based on the failed attempt to assassinate Charles de Gaulle on 22 August 1962 by the paramilitary underground organisation OAS (‘Organisation de l’armée secrète’), composed by extreme right-wing activists who considered the Evian Treaty, […]

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 […]

Ref: France (2017), Campaigns, Elections, Hangover (forthcoming).

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Before the next Tour de France starts on the 1st of July from the banks of the Rhine, the entire country will embark on a seven-month election marathon, beginning with three primaries, one of which (the Greens’) is already half-way through, with ‘the Right and the Centre’ to follow in November and the Socialists (or […]

The best EU trade deal? We already have it.

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In Parliament last week, our new and unelected Prime Minister, Mrs Theresa May, said she wanted “the best possible arrangement for trade” with the European Union. Which is exactly what we have now. In America they have a saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So why does Mrs May want to fix something […]

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