Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

I feel strongly about Brexit

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This wasn’t the post I was going to write this morning, but frankly after listening to Theresa May grind her way through another less-than-revealing interview, I want to consider one neglected aspect of the current debate on Brexit. The content of the Withdrawal Agreement. As May didn’t-really answer John Humphrys’ less-than-incisive questions, I was struck […]

Beyond Effectiveness? Reflections on the EU’s Democracy Promotion

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Considering EU democracy promotion as an integral part of EU foreign policy, Evangelos Fanoulis examines the effectiveness of political conditionality in the EU’s advocacy of democratic reforms in developing countries. Since its inception in the 1950, the European Union (EU) has tried to spread its democratic principles and values worldwide. These endeavours are broadly known as […]

EU referendum broke code of good practice

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In all democracies, it’s essential that elections – including referendums – are run fairly, and that the regulatory authority has the power to annul an election or referendum if serious irregularities may have affected the result. That’s not just my opinion. Such a requirement forms part of the Venice Commission’s ‘Code of Good Practice on […]

The hypocrisy of Brexit

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Here’s the hypocrisy of Brexit. Brexiters reject the Brexit deal on offer. But Britain is not allowed to reject Brexit. From the outset of the EU referendum back in 2016, Brexiters couldn’t agree with each other what kind of Brexit they wanted. Nothing has changed. There was no agreed plan, blueprint or manifesto for Brexit. […]

How’s this all going to end?

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It’s obviously alma mater time for me, as I find myself giving a talk today at LSE on Brexit, just a few days after being back in Bruges. As is usual, I will be blaming any shortcomings on my education. The LSE talk aims to consider how Brexit plays out and I thought it’s useful to share […]

Theresa May is the enemy of democracy

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Like an irritating parrot, the Prime Minister Theresa May keeps repeating that she’s delivering the ‘people’s will’ and ‘there won’t be a people’s vote’. The two phrases are incompatible. They oppose each other. The irritating parrot may as well say, “Welcome to my home” and “Get out of my house”. Or, “I believe in democracy” and “Shut […]

Britain demands a new vote on Brexit

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The fantastic Brexit offered to the nation in 2016 was a mirage. It doesn’t exist. It never did. It can’t be delivered. It was a con-trick. The ‘alternative’ Brexit now being fobbed off to the nation would never have won approval in the referendum. We don’t want it. Even Brexiters don’t want it. Nobody, absolutely […]

Three messages from the Withdrawal Agreement

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Yesterday’s publication of the provisional final text of the Withdrawal Agreement (and associated Political Declaration) marks a crucial point in the process of Brexit, opening the door to an approval and ratification process and the first major step in establishing a new basis for UK-EU relations. Weighing in at nearly 600 pages of text, it’s […]

Making sense of changing relationships between technology, security and society in Europe

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How do new technological developments influence security in Europe? What role do drones, artificial intelligence and social media play in contemporary European society and security? And what to expect from recent trends in European Union’s (EU) security policy such as plans to fund defence research? These were some of the questions addressed at the workshop […]

The EU was started for one purpose: peace

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On Remembrance Sunday we commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts. November 11, 2018 also marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War, Armistice Day. Of course, we must never forget those who gave their lives in […]

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