Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Voting NO

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Much as GeenStijl and I are getting along splendidly this week (here’s why), I have to take issue with their analysis of the VoteWatch stats on Council voting. The tenor of their post, which was also the implication of the general news wire story, was that it is good that the Netherlands votes no. Mede omdat de […]

Europa, Jürgen Trittin und ich – Eine (Selbst)Kritik

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Ich hab letzte Woche, moderiert durch Cherno Jobatey, mit Jürgen Trittin über Europa diskutiert. Die leider zusammengeschnittene Fassung unsere ca. 45-minütigen Diskussion ist jetzt auf Youtube nachsehbar. Ich bin mir bis heute nicht ganz klar, ob das letztendlich sinnvoll war, und was ich damit meine habe ich auch schon aufgeschrieben. Aber vielleicht doch noch ein […]

They are watching your votes, Council and Parliament!

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Votewatch.eu has been relaunched on Monday, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s time doing so. Put in very simple terms, it’s a website that takes publicly available information from the European Parliament and the EU Council – in particular everything related to votes – and makes it accessible in a way that both […]

Tony Barber on ACTA

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Tony Barber’s brief blog post on ACTA this week was painfully even-handed, and ended on a most curious note: [I]f the EU wants to be taken seriously in its self-appointed role as the world’s most fervent supporter of a rules-based international political and economic order, then it will need to clean up its act on Acta. What […]

Der Himmel über Europa

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Ich hab in den letzten Tagen häufiger über Europa reden dürfen, reden müssen. Wenn man das tut, merkt man, dass das mitnichten einfach ist, dass man manchmal viel lieber nichts sagen würde, weil man, obwohl man das Richtige sagen möchte, doch nur das Falsche sagt. Vielleicht ist es besser, wenn man andere sprechen lässt, und […]

The Two Faces of Barroso: The Technocrat vs The Politician

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In general, I think that Barroso is not the right EU Commission President in these times of crises. He lacks the profile, the passion, the liveliness to convince citizens across the continent to see the value of a common European project, as flawed as it may be in practice. His only luck is that European […]

Europe’s highly skilled 20-30 year olds in times of austerity

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Raya Kardasheva is a Lecturer in European Politics at King’s College London. Hello Europe, here they are – the educated, the jobless, the hungry and the ruthless. They studied the European project. They believed in the European project. They acted on the European project. Their generation is truly European – they travel without borders, they […]

EU problems that really matter: Delegated acts

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  You may wonder: What is the most important, the most pressing, and thus the most recurring problem in EU policy-making for EU member states? The financial and economic crises? The European agriculture? High-speed internet for disconnected regions? Not really. In fact, the most recurring problem is “delegated acts“, a special legal instrument introduced by […]

The Future of Europe: EU foreign ministers mock European citizens

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A group of 10 EU foreign ministers  is meeting to discuss the Future of Europe, proposing some lukewarm reforms of the EU system to save it. But more than that: When you read the interim report of the group, you can see that the reforms proposed are not just lukewarm, the foreign ministers seem to mock […]

Statistics: Questions from the EU Parliament to the Commission

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According to the 2011 Annual Activity Report (p. 24-25) of the Commission’s Secretariat General, the European Parliament has asked 12.093 questions – 16 questions per member in average – to the European Commission in 2011, doubling the figures from 2007 (6066 at the time). 984 of these questions were so-called “priority questions” (3 weeks deadline instead of […]

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