Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Global & International

EU’s Ailing Economic Diplomacy

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Economic diplomacy is a form of statecraft that uses a range of economic tools to achieve foreign policy ends. According to most scholars such as Woolcock, EU’s considerable success has been attributed to two economic instruments: (1) progressive economic integration and removing barriers to competition; (2) common economic policies that aims to embed and regulate member-states […]

The EU’s Impotence on all Things Except Economic Diplomacy

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The recent case on the annexation of Crimea and the EU’s flaccid non-response, at least militarily, highlights the relative impotence of the EU in matters of “high politics”. Should onlookers be surprised by such an emasculation on the part of the EU? It is worth considering that the EU first started out as the European […]

European Union Normative Diplomacy: A Replicable Model in Asia?

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Contrary to many other major political actors in the world, the European Union (the EU) has long championed normative diplomacy. In the articulation of its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), the EU Normative Diplomacy (EUND) plays an important role. The EUND is particularly manifested in the forms of collective trade and economic cooperation, and […]

Hakamada Iwao Released from Death Row after 46 Years

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On the 27 March 2014, Hakamada Iwao, a former boxer, was released from death row having been there for 46 years since 1968. He has consistently stated that he was forced to confess to the murder of a family of four in 1966. However, until this date, his appeals for retrial had been rejected by […]

Can Canada Save Europe from Energy Dependency on Russia?

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A press conference between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on March 27th 2014 provoked the latest round of commentary on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports ‘rescuing’ the EU and Ukraine from Russian energy dominance. Russia supplies 30% of the EU’s gas imports and 35% of its oil and in Germany […]

Does the European Commission’s Climate Change Department Make a Difference?

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In my earlier blog post last week,[1] I argued that the creation of DG Clima—the European Commission’s climate change department—was a conscious political choice by Commission President Barroso in 2009. At the time, commentators and policy-makers disagreed on the potential impact of DG Clima on climate policy: some, such as Professor Reinhilde Veugelers from the […]

Ruggie versus Ecuador: Will a human rights norm ever emerge regardless of Western support?

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In September 2013, a number of countries issued a joint statement in favour of an international treaty on business and human rights. The statement was drafted by Ecuador and signed also by the African Group, the Arab Group, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru. These countries believe that a legally binding […]

David Cameron’s alternative Union speech?

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British Prime Minister, David Cameron, yesterday gave an impassioned, personal speech for a pro-Union vote in the forthcoming referendum.  No, not the referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union, but this year’s referendum on whether Scotland should stay in the Union of the United Kingdom. Most of the strong arguments presented by […]

How connected are European climate think tanks?

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There is a growing worldwide network of think tanks and research institutes which aim to provide policy-relevant climate change-related research. For example, the International Center for Climate Governance’s fascinating database of climate change think tanks currently lists 294 organizations who are “…conducting research in the field of climate change economics and policy.” Drawing on this dataset, I wanted to […]

Daily Mail: Trick or Truth? You Decide

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The Daily Mail last night refused to apologise for their story that claimed buses and planes from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK were full up and sold out, or to agree that their story was inaccurate. The world’s most popular online newspaper had reported that many Romanians and Bulgarians were coming to the UK […]

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