Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

What impact would Scottish independence have on a Brexit referendum?

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As we roll into the final week of the Scottish independence referendum campaign, things look to be closer than many (including myself) had anticipated: even if a No vote looks more likely than not, the success of the Yes campaign in mobilising and motivating voters mean that this will be a deeply consequential vote whatever […]

Scottish referendum – A humble opinion from France

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In February 2005, three months before the French referendum on the constitutional treaty, I went to some of the first public information meetings on the stakes of the vote to come. One was organised by a local pro-European association, one by a local Member of the French parliament. At that time, the polls predicted a boring campaign with a positive vote by […]

Dave, Donald and the delusional understanding of the EU

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It’s tempting to say that it’s been a classic summer for exposing the failings of British EU policy, but it would be more accurate to say that it’s been a summer much like any other: poor. May’s European elections exposed both the continued appeal of UKIP and the low level of public engagement (0.9% rise […]

Daily Mail breached The Editors’ Code

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The Press Complaints Commission has upheld three of my complaints against the Daily Mail. The commission ruled that the newspaper breached The Editors’ Code of Practice on accuracy with its story about buses and planes from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK being full-up and sold-out. On New Year’s Eve last year, the Daily Mail […]

A missed opportunity

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20 years ago, on the 1st of September 1994, two German MPs from the CDU led by Helmut Kohl published a position paper, which bore the innocuous title ‘Reflexions on European Politics’ and which became quickly named the ‘Schäuble-Lamers Paper’ after its authors. The propositions and recommendations formulated in this rather dense document of a […]

The devolved political institutions should have a say in Britain’s EU future

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This past week, the Scottish Government published a paper outlining its priorities for EU reform. Naturally, considering the pro-independence position of the Scottish National Party (SNP), it makes a number of references to how an independent Scotland would interact with the European Union. However, arguments on independence aside, the paper is noteworthy for its compelling […]

Britain can mitigate its euro-isolation by building a shared vision for Europe

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In recent years, economic and financial crisis has threatened the sustainability of the European Union. The general European response has been to push for more integration, especially in economic and fiscal policy in the Eurozone. Efforts to strengthen the Union this way are understandable, if not predictable. In any case, creating a stronger euro area […]

A country called Europe?

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The designers of a new ‘social atlas of Europe’ hope it will help Europeans to view their continent as their homeland.  The maps below look at Europe in a different way to usual cartography – they are part of a collection of ‘social maps’ of Europe being launched at the Royal Geographical Society on Wednesday […]

42.54% turnout: How preparing my European Studies course made EU news this week

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Some academics may think teaching is an obligation that disturbs research. In the publish-or-perish economy of academic life, it may seem as if teaching doesn’t add much to general knowledge and research. But it does, as my discovery this week of the 42.54% turnout figure for the 2014 EU elections shows. Preparing for my European […]

BoJo for PM? The Johnsonian vision for the EU

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It’s August, and the temptation to simply lay down tools and ignore the world around us is strong. However, it would also be a mistake, since the world continues to turn and since some people are working hard on their campaigns for the general election next spring. Last week, I wrote about UKIP and their […]

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