Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Global & International

Buses, planes, Bulgarians, Romanians & The Mail

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On 31 December 2013 the UK’s Daily Mail published a story claiming that buses and planes to the UK from Bulgaria and Romania were sold-out, fully-booked, and single plane tickets were selling for up to £3,000 each. The story carried the bold headline: Sold out! Flights and buses full as Romanians and Bulgarians head for […]

Europe of Knowledge 2014: High Expectations and Complex Realities

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  The New Year of 2014 in European research policy comes with a couple of high profile events: launch of Horizon 2020 – one of the largest research funding programmes worldwide and envisaged completion of the European Research Area – so far the most comprehensive initiative in transnational knowledge governance. These major events involve a […]

What to expect from Germany’s new government for energy and climate policy in the EU?

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Germany’s new government under Angela Merkel (her third term) was sworn in on 17 December 2013. While some faces will be familiar, much has changed as Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) entered a ‘grand coalition’ with the Social Democrats (SPD) after voters ousted her last coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from parliament. But what […]

Romania and Bulgaria: Flights of fancy

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Some of the British media are at war against the European Union – and it’s often said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Yesterday on New Year’s eve, the Daily Mail reported: ‘Sold Out! Flights and buses full as Romanians and Bulgarians head for the UK’ Asserted the Daily Mail: ‘Almost all […]

European initiatives in higher education – why should one care?

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To paraphrase one of my colleagues: for all intents and purposes European integration in higher education should not exist. This is not a normative position, but rather an observation of what seems to be somewhat of a puzzle: the European Union has very limited formal competences with regards to education in general, or higher education […]

Teacher Education and Training in the Western Balkans – Is it in line with the times? Is it effective?

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With an aim to assist the Western Balkans in the  area  of  education  and  training,  as  well  as  to  increase  regional  cooperation, in 2012 the European Commission launched the Western  Balkans  Platform  on  Education  and  Training  (WB PET). It includes seven Western Balkan countries: the newest EU member state Croatia, candidate countries Macedonia, Montenegro and […]

Premature donors? Development aid from Central and Eastern Europe ten years on

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When they joined the EU Central and East European states committed themselves to meet EU norms on international development aid. Small budgets, weak social support and limited political commitment have so far limited the impact of aid from CEE. However, it is too early to dismiss them as ‘premature donors’ argue Simon Lightfoot and Balazs Szent-Ivanyi.

Environmental Europe: A Success Story?

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Forty years on, the EU environmental policy is a much-publicised success of European integration[1]. After a slow start in the 1970s to tackle trans-boundary environmental issues and level the playing field for European businesses, EU environmental policies now cover water, air or noise pollution; habitat and biodiversity preservation; sustainable production and consumption and the fight […]

A normative defence of a foreign policy in line with human rights

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This article was originally published in Dialogue, issue 6, winter 2013. In the last two decades, norms and beliefs have put on weight in scholarly research in international relations. Traditional (neo)realists would still insist that international relations are only about one predetermined goal, that is, survival. Nonetheless, among those willing to accept that there is […]

‘Democratic Deficit’ in Japan: The Secrecy Law

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Democratic deficit’ is often used to claim that ‘the European Union and its various bodies suffer from a lack of democracy and seem inaccessible to the ordinary citizen because their method of operating is so complex’ […]

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