Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Economics & Trade

Beyond Effectiveness? Reflections on the EU’s Democracy Promotion

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Considering EU democracy promotion as an integral part of EU foreign policy, Evangelos Fanoulis examines the effectiveness of political conditionality in the EU’s advocacy of democratic reforms in developing countries. Since its inception in the 1950, the European Union (EU) has tried to spread its democratic principles and values worldwide. These endeavours are broadly known as […]

The hypocrisy of Brexit

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Here’s the hypocrisy of Brexit. Brexiters reject the Brexit deal on offer. But Britain is not allowed to reject Brexit. From the outset of the EU referendum back in 2016, Brexiters couldn’t agree with each other what kind of Brexit they wanted. Nothing has changed. There was no agreed plan, blueprint or manifesto for Brexit. […]

The EU was started for one purpose: peace

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On Remembrance Sunday we commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. November 11, 2018 also marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War, Armistice Day. Of course, we must never forget those who gave their lives in […]

Possible outcomes of UK departure from EU and its implications for British standards and regulations

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Before discussing any implications of Brexit for UK standards and regulations, let us remind ourselves what are standards and why are they important.  Standards are a range of powerful marketing and business tools for businesses and institutions of all shapes and sizes. They can be used to adjust performance and manage risks, while operating more sustainably and efficiently. They allow businesses […]

The Blue Splash? Or Resurgent Red? Assessing the 2018 US Mid-Term Elections

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Professor Amelia Hadfield and Chris Logie Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS), Canterbury Christ Church University For keen followers of US politics – and the very many beyond – yesterday’s mid-term elections provided the expected spills and thrills as the results flowed in from east to west. There was a general expectation that the outcome would […]

Beyond the Brussels Bubble? National Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the European Union

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The Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER) recently published a special issue on the role of civil society in European Union policymaking and democratisation. Editors Rosa Sanchez Salgado and Andrey Demidov explain how it constitutes an original account of what is happening in the member states, beyond the world of well-established organisations in Brussels. This special […]

Britain wasn’t misled in 1975

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Brexiters often claim that in Britain’s first referendum of 1975, voters were misled into believing that the Common Market – now called the European Union – was just about ‘free trade’. But that’s not correct. (Article continues after the 5-minute video.) It was clear even before we joined the European Economic Community (as it was called […]

Frictionless trade is not the same as free trade

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Many people, including politicians and journalists, don’t understand the difference between ‘free trade’ and ‘frictionless trade’. This has caused a huge misunderstanding across the country, leading to the mess we are now in. In summary, ‘free trade’ means that goods (sometimes only some goods) can be exported and imported between countries without tariffs – hence […]

Labour’s fantasy Brexit

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On BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, claimed that Britain could be in the EU Customs Union and still be free to negotiate its own trade agreements with other countries around the world. This goes against the founding principles of the EU and everything that EU leaders have been saying […]

True Tories are Remainers

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Arron Banks, the insurance tycoon and Brexit campaigner who bankrolled both UKIP and Leave.eu, has launched a vitriolic campaign to deselect Remain-supporting Tory MPs who represent ‘Leave’ constituencies. Mr Banks, whose application to join the Conservatives was rejected, said the aim and slogan of his campaign, called ‘The Blue Wave UK’, is to: ‘Make the Conservatives […]

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