Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Europe of Knowledge 2014: High Expectations and Complex Realities

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  The New Year of 2014 in European research policy comes with a couple of high profile events: launch of Horizon 2020 – one of the largest research funding programmes worldwide and envisaged completion of the European Research Area – so far the most comprehensive initiative in transnational knowledge governance. These major events involve a […]

What to expect from Germany’s new government for energy and climate policy in the EU?

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Germany’s new government under Angela Merkel (her third term) was sworn in on 17 December 2013. While some faces will be familiar, much has changed as Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) entered a ‘grand coalition’ with the Social Democrats (SPD) after voters ousted her last coalition partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), from parliament. But what […]

The genesis of a European Public Sphere: Economic crisis and Lampedusa, European elections and cross-border migration

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If you have been following European politics and media, online and offline, for the past 5-6 years, you cannot but notice the genesis of a European Public Sphere . This sphere may be more or less evolved depending on national media, but it is clearly there – much more than it was before the last […]

Romania and Bulgaria: Flights of fancy

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Some of the British media are at war against the European Union – and it’s often said that the first casualty of war is the truth. Yesterday on New Year’s eve, the Daily Mail reported: ‘Sold Out! Flights and buses full as Romanians and Bulgarians head for the UK’ Asserted the Daily Mail: ‘Almost all […]

European initiatives in higher education – why should one care?

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To paraphrase one of my colleagues: for all intents and purposes European integration in higher education should not exist. This is not a normative position, but rather an observation of what seems to be somewhat of a puzzle: the European Union has very limited formal competences with regards to education in general, or higher education […]

“Bonnets rouges” in Brittany: a fresh look at export subsidies

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The red cap movement brewing in Brittany since the summer of 2013 is usually presented as farmers and workers struggling against the introduction of a new environmental tax – yet it is as much, if not more, a fight for the preservation of a very old instrument of agricultural policy: export subsidies. Export subsidies and […]

Teacher Education and Training in the Western Balkans – Is it in line with the times? Is it effective?

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With an aim to assist the Western Balkans in the  area  of  education  and  training,  as  well  as  to  increase  regional  cooperation, in 2012 the European Commission launched the Western  Balkans  Platform  on  Education  and  Training  (WB PET). It includes seven Western Balkan countries: the newest EU member state Croatia, candidate countries Macedonia, Montenegro and […]

Swings and roundabouts on the EU: Can the Tories ever get anywhere?

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It’s time for the final blog post of the calendar year for me, as I prepare for the Christmas break. My mind naturally turns towards thinking back over the past 12 months and I find myself looking at a situation much like that a year ago. Last Christmas, the talk was of Cameron’s much-trailed speech, which […]

Integrating Science and Research into the Ministry of Economy in Austria: Better Coordination of Innovation Cycle?

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After the election on 29 September 2013, Austria is facing another five years of the same coalition government under the Social Democrat Werner Faymann (SPÖ) and his junior partner, the conservative Christian People’s Party (ÖVP). While the Austrian media is almost unison in attesting this renewed government a sense of gridlock, one decision has caused […]

Unchaining EU climate policy: quarrels over EU decision-making likely to continue

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Earlier this year, the European Commission started to work on a new EU energy and climate change package, which will define European climate initiatives until 2030[1]. Whatever the EU plans to do at home will influence its negotiating position at the international negotiations in Paris in 2015 (COP21), where the international community seeks to hammer […]

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