Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Knowledge Policy Dynamics in the Global Context (International Conference on Public Policy 2019)

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Martina Vukasovic The fourth edition of the International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP) took place 26-28 June 2019, in Montreal (Canada), on the premises of the University of Concordia (following the 1st ICPP in Grenoble in 2013, the 2nd ICPP in Milan in 2015, and the 3rd ICPP in Singapore in 2017). The conference  included more than 150 thematic panels organized into […]

A deadline is not a policy

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There’s much to consider from Boris Johnson’s first half-day in office, but let’s focus on a central question: what is his Brexit policy? At one level, this is perfectly clear: the UK must leave the EU on 31 October, “no ifs, no buts”, ideally with a deal, but without one if necessary. But this is […]

Can Remain now win, 100 days before Brexit?

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A sobering article in today’s Financial Times by Camilla Cavendish, who assertively claims that, ‘Remainers have lost and must now accept defeat’. Her article opens: ‘Britain’s downhill slope towards leaving the EU is getting steeper; the slide into liberation-oblivion is coming closer.’ She claims, ‘A second referendum is vanishingly unlikely. Moderates who don’t want the UK […]

Deeds, not words: getting ready for the next stage of Brexit

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The torpor of summer is crawling across Europe: the siren call of that holiday you’ve promised yourself all year grows ever louder, even as your workplace empties. So what better time of year to be kicking off what prove to be a decisive stage in the Brexit process? Next Tuesday, we’ll find out who has […]

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 […]

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