Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

A Union of Shared Values – The Jean Monnet Conference 2015

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A report by Pam Barnes. What is the role of education and civil society in the promotion and transmission of ‘A Union of Shared Values’? This was the topic of the Jean Monnet Conference 2015, which took place in Brussels on 9/10 November. Only a few days later the horrific events in Paris on 13 November […]

Britain’s EU Renegotiation: Reflections on the Letter

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s long awaited letter setting out the terms for EU renegotiation has finally arrived. Accompanied by an explanatory speech, the letter outlines four areas for reform (economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration). While these choices attract little surprise, it is a milestone nonetheless to have in writing the opening outlines of the […]

The curious path of Vote Leave

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For most people observing – including myself – the existence of two major groupings on the Leave side of the referendum wasn’t really an issue. Arron Banks’ Leave.EU hasn’t looked nearly as serious a proposition as Vote Leave, either in terms of ideological breadth or of general respectability (however you’d like to define that). Vote Leave has […]

Does the Prime Minister know what he’s doing?

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The EU principle is quite clear. EU citizens are entitled to work in any other EU country and enjoy the same working rights as the nationals of that country. Those rights will vary EU country to country. But that isn’t the point. The point is that if I go and work in France, as an EU […]

EU Referendum: ‘It’s going to get nasty’

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The EU referendum campaign is going to get ‘nasty’, promised those pushing for Britain to leave the EU. In a taste of what’s to come, two Eurosceptic students interrupted a speech by Prime Minister, David Cameron, at a CBI conference yesterday, yelling, “CBI! Voice of Brussels”. The Daily Telegraph reported that the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign […]

Why Britain needs migrants

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Britain has more job vacancies than can be filled by the native workforce. That, in a nutshell, is why we need migrants. The country has a chronic skills shortage and without migrants helping to fill that gap, Britain – and Britons – would be poorer. Britain now has more people at work than ever before. […]

Can the UK still play a two-level game in the EU?

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One of the staples of academic understanding of the EU is the notion of the two-level game. The idea – first articulated by Robert Putnam – is simply that there are situations where you can only understand an actor’s intentions and actions in one game/interaction if you also accept that these intentions and actions are shaped by their […]

(Not) Getting to Norway?

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Nordic countries generally have a good rep. Whether it’s their pop music or their high level of social and political development, they tend to get looked up at. But just as there’s a Ylvis for every ABBA, so too is there a David Cameron for every Francis Fukuyama. Cameron doesn’t want a ‘Norwegian option’ for the UK, by which he […]

Many citizens affected by the EU referendum will have no vote

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Many of the people most affected by the EU referendum decision will have no say in it. If Britain votes to leave the EU, then all Britons will lose something that many Britons cherish – European citizenship. Under EU law, all citizens of the European Union have joint citizenship: their own nationality, and European citizenship. […]

Mr Cameron goes to Brussels (and finds he doesn’t understand anything) UPDATED

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A (sadly) consistent theme of British policy towards the EU has been widespread ignorance. I recall being told in my undergraduate EU law module a story of the first British judge, Alexander Mackenzie Stuart, setting off in 1973 to Luxembourg with the firm intention of trying to establish the supremacy of EC law, apparently unaware […]

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