Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Global & International

Latvia: From Soviet Union to European Union

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In 1999, I visited the Baltic State of Latvia in the north-east part of Europe. It was eight years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Latvia was forced to join in the 1940’s. And it was five years before Latvia chose to join the European Union.  My visit was a snapshot of a country […]

Mapping human rights or how to sieve governments’ words into the bowl of facts

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I will be honest with you: I tend to dislike the idea of categorising human rights violations with numbers. If human rights are indivisible and interdependent, how can we say that the violation of this right deserves a “4” while the violation of that one will do with a “2”. Does that mean that two […]

A Jet-Lagged Legacy? Or Unspoken Foreign Policy Spectrum?

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 Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the most iconic women in the world. Ranked fifth on the Forbes list of “World’s Most Powerful Women”[1], the former US Secretary of State (the 67th of that ilk) is on most occasions entirely capable of providing a crisp and detailed delivery of a given viewpoint. Her October 2013 […]

Letter from Europe: Why I’m a Union man

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In an article for the Yorkshire Post this weekend, American expert in ‘Anglo-American relations’, Dr Ted R Bromund, argued the UKIP case for Britain to leave the European Union.   Dr Bromund, a senior research fellow at The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in Washington DC, wrote that on a recent visit, London didn’t seem so […]

JFK, euroscepticism and the paranoid style

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As one cannot help but notice, the fiftieth anniversary John F Kennedy’s assassination is almost upon us. As a seminal event in the emergence of a more radical style of politics in the 1960s, it is rightly remembered far beyond the shores of the USA. Much as I would like to explore JFK’s death and its meaning, […]

Are freedom, social justice, democracy and human rights appealing outside the West?

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The puzzle is probably as applicable to Europe as to the rest of the world. Looking at the way intelligence agencies have been spying over European citizens, or at the “legacy of poverty” that the austerity policies are leaving behind, we can legitimately wonder if freedom, social justice, democracy and human rights are at all […]

Winston Churchill: A founder of the European Union

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Leaders of the European Union should revive Winston Churchill’s post-war vision for a kind of  ‘United States of Europe’, urged  EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso this weekend. ‘We need to show the same political courage and vision of Winston Churchill,’ said Mr Barroso.  ‘He was a man of foresight with an acute sense of history, often […]

Mr. Hague, considering Western Sahara, Morocco is not a strong example of peaceful reform and progress

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A few days ago the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, met the Prime Minister of Morocco, Abdelilah Benkirane. In a short press note, the Foreign Office said that “Morocco stands as a strong example of peaceful reform and progress in North Africa, and the UK will continue to support the government’s reform process”. Perhaps the […]

NSA surveillance confirms the realist paradigm, and I am not happy about that

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Only a few days ago I briefly presented the research of my life, which I have just started and deals with the influence that human rights make on foreign policy making in Europe. In particular, at the moment I am reading and thinking about why countries choose to embrace and foster certain human rights norms […]

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