Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Knowledge Politics and Policies @ ECPR 2021 General Conference

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Pradeep Singh and Bowen Xu The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) had its second virtual General Conference held between 30th August – 3rd September 2021. This year ECPR has attracted over 2,400 scholars worldwide participating in 66 sections covering a wide range of topics and presentations. For the ECPR Standing Group on Knowledge Politics and […]

The UK-EU relationship: Better the devil you know?

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This is a version of a piece originally posted on Euronews. This summer has provided ample demonstration of the difficulties of the relationship between the UK and the EU. The constant rumbling of discontent over the Northern Ireland Protocol has been accompanied by periodic British threats to walk away from it. Last week’s State of […]

Go Brexit, ditch metric

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The government has announced that it will bring in a new Brexit law to allow traders to scrap metric measurements and sell products and food in just pounds and ounces only. Do you know what 1kg of bananas is in imperial measurements? No, I didn’t think so. (It’s around 2 lb 3 ounces.) Since 1974, […]

A post summer update

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The past month or so has been relatively quiet in the world of the WA/TCA: the British proposals in its Command Paper had sat, largely uncommented, since late May as more prosaic matters have swirled. However, as Brussels and Westminster have restarted, so too has there been a degree of movement. Most importantly, there has been […]

From semester to credit hour – the historic making of academic time as a strategic resource

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Alexander Mitterle Working in academia comes with adapting to different timeframes: some universities use semesters, others quarters or terms. A course at a German university can be timed in semester weekly hours (SWS) or in credit points. In both cases they differ – with a usual time-span of 45 minutes – from the U.S. equivalent: […]

Why the EU is more democratic than the UK

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Brexiters claim that the EU is run by unelected bureaucrats. It’s a laughable claim because it’s untrue. The EU is a democracy, run by elected politicians. By comparison, the UK seems more like a quasi-democracy, with unelected decision-makers and undemocratic practises that would be considered despotic compared to EU standards. Take our Parliament. It consists […]

Legal options for changing the Northern Ireland Protocol

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As a parting gift before a summer break, I’ve pulled together the various legal pathways currently available to changing the Protocol. This is based on the text of the Protocol/Withdrawal Agreement itself, plus a bit of customary international law, and covers both modification and disapplication of the Protocol itself. As the graphic suggests, there are […]

Embracing a Piecemeal Approach in Intergovernmental Negotiation: The Case of Med-5 and the New European Asylum Support Office

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Accepting half a loaf in international negotiations is always difficult. This has been especially notable in European debates over refugee policy, in which different countries have divergent interests and a mutually agreeable consensus is hard to form. However, recent developments suggest a thaw, with Mediterranean countries taking a pragmatic approach that could allow for real […]

tl;dr – The UK’s Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol

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The publication on 21 July of the UK government’s Command Paper came just before the end of the Parliamentary session. Flagged for several weeks, it was presented as the culmination of a long push to secure changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Undoubtedly, the Paper does cap the numerous public statements of Lord Frost, Brandon […]

Democratizing the European Semester: the involvement of national parliaments

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In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, EU Member States managed to agree on key financial instruments to support the economic recovery of Europe. The decision to manage these instruments within the existing European Semester procedure has put this procedure into the spotlight. Adequate parliamentary involvement in this procedure is crucial. The pandemic can serve as […]

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