Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Cathy Ashton and her spokes-Mann: An International Women’s Day observation

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Today, EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton has issued two statements, one on the conflict in Sudan and one on the International Women’s Day, the latter with a focus on the Middle East/North Africa. The statements issued on Sudan is introduced with: “The Spokesperson of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security […]

The fight over Lisbon competencies in EU fisheries policy continues

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It’s been more than two years now that the Treaty of Lisbon is the constitutional foundation of the work of the European Union. Yet, there are still turf wars between the EU institutions on how the powers laid out in the Treaties are to be implemented. An example comes from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): […]

Executive pay & EU Commission debates about Greece

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In the debate on latest economic developments – focussing on Greece – during the Commission meeting on 14 February, the following point was raised (among others): “the problem posed by the discrepancy between the huge sacrifices asked of the great majority of the Greek people and the fact that senior executive pay remained untouched, making the efforts […]

More subsidiarity yet less democratic control in EU matters?

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I recently had the opportunity to talk with an official (director level) working in a financial administration of one of Germany’s federal states who shared an interesting observation: Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with its subsidiarity protocol and also following the new internal participation rights of German parliaments introduced after the famous […]

So similar, so different, so European – So convincing!

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It’s been a while that we have seen something coming from Brussels that actually reflects a positive and yet convincing vision of the European project. This video is convincing not because it is explains from A-Z what the EU does for us like many of those fancy PR videos that try to sell us EU […]

EU leaks, lobbying and the Deutsche Börse – NYSE merger

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Some weeks ago, the Commission refused to give its agreement to the merger of Deutsche Börse and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). I’m not in the position to judge this decision, but the public minutes of the College meeting of 1 February where this decision was taken reveal an interesting argumentation concerning lobbying and leaks […]

Waiting six months for one document from the EU Commission

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On 30 July 2011, I requested a meeting protocol of the Chefs de Cabinets of the European Commission. On 12 August , the Secretariat General of the EU Commission refused any access, not even to parts of the document. I went into appeal, and on 6 September the Commission informed me that they were unable […]

Norway’s Europeanisation and the democratic deficit

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The Norwegian Government has just published a 900-page long report titled “Outside and Inside – Norway’s agreements with the European Union” (the link leads to the English translation of the 1st chapter). The report summarises the scope of Europeanisation of Norway and the implications this has for the country and involved notable (EU) scholars such as […]

Communicating EU technocracy and science: Is it the same?

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Fellow Bloggingportal.eu editor Mathew has just published an excellent piece titled “Of technocrats, journalistic balance and telling EU stories“. His post reflects in a way what I try with this blog, that is to think about whether translation between the world of self-imposed balance and reason and the world of purposeful (or purposeless) conflict of […]

The EPP’s stance on Hungary criticised by Cohn-Bendit

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The European Peoples Party (EPP) in the European Parliament is more and more showing face. It votes collectively against more EU transparency. And it defends Victor Orban’s “new” Hungary arguing that all his government did was to abolish “a Stalinist constitution”, following the defence line of Orban. That’s why it is worth listening to Daniel […]

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