Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Can the EU Do Strategy?

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Andrew Cottey argues that the existing literature on EU foreign, security and defence strategy has paid insufficient attention to two basic prior questions: what is strategy? And what constitutes good strategy? Answers to these questions help us to understand why the EU struggles with strategy. The 2003 European Security Strategy and the 2016 EU Global […]

Why von der Leyen isn’t the person to watch for Brexit policy (yet)

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Yesterday saw the first public statements from Ursula von der Leyen since her nomination as Commission President. She swept around Brussels, meeting and greeting various groups in the European Parliament, generally trying to help them accept a deal that appeared – mainly because it actually did – to pull the rug from the Spitzenkandidaten model. If most of the […]

Notes from a crisis: the summer edition

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When I teach about negotiation, I sometimes get students to think about negotiators as represented in films. Pretty much invariably, that means a grizzled pro, who doesn’t play by the rules and takes a chance to make a connection where no-one else could. Usually involving some explosions. Boringly, this isn’t how negotiators actually work. Sorry. […]

Finding Consensus in Fragmentation: The Scramble for the EU’s Top Jobs

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A Game of Musical Chairs Yesterday’s European Council Summit was derailed even before it started with leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) rejecting the “Osaka Deal” that would have had Frans Timmermans installed as President of the European Commission, while EPP would have been left with the Parliament and, possibly, the High Representative for […]

Critics Claim That Europe’s Courts Are Unaccountable. Recent Cases Suggest Otherwise.

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Brexit supporters have claimed that European courts are out of touch and impose their will on an unwilling British public. Michael F. Harsch, Vladislav Maksimov, and Chris Wheeler argue that European courts are more accountable than these critics contend: when these courts defy the wishes of governments, judgements tend to align with public opinion.  One […]

The illogic of the EU trying to keep the UK from leaving

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Foolishly, I always took Groundhog Day to be a work of fiction, rather than an instruction manual. Every morning we wake up to the same debates between the same people, who still haven’t listened to (or, more accurately, haven’t heard) those who point out obstacles in the path: we just have to become better, through force of […]

Bojo’s bonkers Brexit

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So desperate is Boris Johnson for the keys to number 10, that he has conceded all the demands of the far-right of his Tory party, who have said they will withdraw their support for him if he doesn’t do what they say. The Guardian reported today, ‘Eurosceptics in the party were increasingly turning the screws […]

New faces, old problems

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So today we find out who will be the final two candidates to become the new leader of the Conservative party. It’s also the day that we find out whether the EU has made any progress on selecting individuals to fill the top jobs at the Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council. Both […]

Could green hydrogen save jobs at Bridgend and Scunthorpe? Only if the UK rejoins the EU ETS.

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On 7th June 2019 the website WalesOnline reported that the Ford engine plant at Bridgend in Wales is due to close next year with a loss of 1,700 jobs. Many of the engineering jobs at the plant are highly skilled and well paid, so their loss will have a devastating effect on the local economy. […]

Bringing Nonviolence into the Building Sites of the European Union

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Nonviolence has an established tradition in several disciplines, including political theory, international relations and political science. But its potential for the European Union (EU) has not been appraised yet. Roberto Baldoli and Claudio M. Radaelli explore nonviolence as an analytical and normative framework for the study of the EU.  As eventful years go by, the European […]

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