Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

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. […]

Settling in for transition

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Transition remains the Cinderella of Brexit: unnoticed by the ugly sisters of Withdrawal and the New Relationship, but actually rather important. This might have been understandable during the chaos of the past year, when most political efforts were being diverted into securing UK ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, but it seems much less so now, […]

Differentiation: Problem or solution?

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A multi-speed or multi-tiered Europe has often been presented as a solution to Europe’s current challenges. But this kind of differentiation can generate democratic problems, argues EU3D Scientific Coordinator John Erik Fossum. In the last decade, the EU has faced a broad range of crises and challenges, such as the financial and Eurozone crises, the refugee […]

Derrida’s Democracy to Come  

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In the backdrop of fall of Berlin wall, Francis Fukuyama foresaw the culmination of history in the heart of Europe. He averred that the times have reached their epitome and that was the end of man’s ideological evolution. Giving his view on the development of different states around the world he said that there would […]

Striking

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French transport strikes bear a “striking” resemblance with Hollywood blockbusters.  Unlike Star Wars episodes, they are not numbered, but they are released at similar intervals, draw large crowds, and you get easily lost between sequels and prequels. This year’s episode seems particularly serious. If the trade unions don’t even respect the unwritten rule of letting […]

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