Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Fade to meh

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Maybe it’s the coronavirus, maybe it’s the floods, maybe it’s the excitement around the Prime Minister’s engagement/child-to-be, but we seem to have largely given up talking about Brexit any more. Sure, there’s debate if you want it, tucked away in the Westminster/Brussels bubble and deep in the inside sections of the paper, but it’s a […]

‘We must build a kind of United States of Europe’ said Churchill

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Britain’s greatest war leader, Sir Winston Churchill, was one of the first to call for the creation of a ‘United States of Europe’. He is recognised as one of the 11 founders of today’s European Union. In the immediate years following the Second World War, Churchill was convinced that only a ‘united Europe’ could guarantee peace. His […]

National parliaments’ role in the fight against corruption

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By constraining the powers of executives and developing a political culture of accountability, national parliaments play a key role in the fight against corruption. However, their normative powers may be marginalized in the process of democratic consolidation. Based on original research from three European states, Emilija Tudzarovska-Gjorgjievska argues that weak parliaments contribute to the vicious […]

Critique as an opportunity for legitimation: the case of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme

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Criticisms directed at the European Union (EU) and its institutions over the past decade have often been interpreted as a sign of fundamental weakness. However, using the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as an example, Claire Godet argues that contestation should not be seen as a sign of failure, but rather as an opportunity for […]

From financial crisis to legitimacy crisis?

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In the wake of the financial crisis, EU governments spent taxpayers’ money to rescue European banks. That displaced a financial crisis into political systems by straining public finances and social protections in all EU member states. Some states were brought to the point of insolvency, and the survival of the EU’s single currency, perhaps even […]

Don’t blame voters for Brexit

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24-hours after the EU referendum of 24 June 2016, I posted this on my blog: ‘Just over half of those who voted bought manky lies dressed up as a better life after Brexit. ‘They were told they’d get their country back. Their lives would be transformed. More jobs, homes, schools and hospitals. Less migrants. No […]

Must… concentrate… more…

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36 hours. That’s about how long we actually had a wide-spread debate about what’s actually in the Withdrawal Agreement, back when it was agreed late in 2018. Yes, it’s been thrown around in debate ever since, but it was only for that brief window that the substance got a decent sounding and consideration in the […]

Derrida, Democracy and Islam

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“Islam or a certain kind of Islam,” might show resistance to the idea of democracy. While surveying the texts of Islamic political thought specifically of thinkers like Al Farabi and Ibn Ruchd, Derrida found a certain pattern. He saw that although these two thinkers incorporated the Greek philosophy of Philosopher King from Plato’s Republic and […]

The Brexit Cold War

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Change is coming to Brexit. At the end of next week, the UK will leave the European Union, having now completed the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through the Lords: EU ratification is a given. But there is another, broader change coming too. The constellation of politicians, commentators and journalists who were brought together […]

Forty years of green

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The foundation, on 13 January 1980 in Karlsruhe, of a nation-wide ecological party in West Germany came as a surprise. Not the idea itself: the time was ripe for creating a strong political movement based on environmental concerns, frustration with representative democracy, and radically pacifist convictions in the middle of the Cold War arms race. […]

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