Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

The hybridization of vocational training and higher education in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

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This entry looks at institutional changes in the relationship between vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland[i]. It is quite common for foreign observers to praise these three countries for the quality of their VET systems. All three countries are part of the “collective skill system cluster” (Busemeyer […]

Letter from Europe: Why I’m a Union man

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In an article for the Yorkshire Post this weekend, American expert in ‘Anglo-American relations’, Dr Ted R Bromund, argued the UKIP case for Britain to leave the European Union.   Dr Bromund, a senior research fellow at The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom in Washington DC, wrote that on a recent visit, London didn’t seem so […]

Horizon 2020: Science with a con-science

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A high-level round table of important players in the European Research Area took place earlier this month to discuss the ethics and values that should lie at the heart of the forthcoming Horizon 2020 programme. At stake is the future of European research.   The European Research Area, or ERA, is bracing itself for a major […]

Construction of the European Area of Skills and Qualifications: Challenges and Opportunities

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Today mobility across national borders is seen as increasingly important for competitive labor market, excellent research and higher education. Free movement of people is one of the four freedoms constituting the EU Single Market. Facilitating mobility of researchers is among the core aims of the European Research Area, while the ERASMUS programme supports student mobility.   However, […]

Are freedom, social justice, democracy and human rights appealing outside the West?

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The puzzle is probably as applicable to Europe as to the rest of the world. Looking at the way intelligence agencies have been spying over European citizens, or at the “legacy of poverty” that the austerity policies are leaving behind, we can legitimately wonder if freedom, social justice, democracy and human rights are at all […]

Winston Churchill: A founder of the European Union

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Leaders of the European Union should revive Winston Churchill’s post-war vision for a kind of  ‘United States of Europe’, urged  EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso this weekend. ‘We need to show the same political courage and vision of Winston Churchill,’ said Mr Barroso.  ‘He was a man of foresight with an acute sense of history, often […]

Raising researchers’ voices in Europe

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Research in Europe is increasingly targeted towards fostering excellence. At the heart of this policy drive is the concept of researcher mobility, which requires researchers to work not just across borders but also across disciplines and sectors. The demands on modern-day researchers are high. Yet the existing research infrastructure in Europe often hampers researcher mobility […]

‘Nobody falls in love with a Common Market’: Why Cross-border Interactions Don’t Always Foster European Identity

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The idea to promote familiarity, mutual trust, a collective European identity and support for European integration by giving citizens the possibility to interact across borders is at the heart of a wide array of EU policies, such as the Erasmus student exchange or town twinning projects. This idea goes back to Karl W. Deutsch’s transactionalist […]

Sense and Prejudice, or When is old news ‘news’? EU law, the European Court of Human Rights and the Parliamentary Sovereignty

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While reading through the Guardian website last night, I stumbled across an article published on 9 October this year by its legal correspondent, Joshua Rozenberg. This piece, Never mind human rights law, EU law is much more powerful, related the findings of a UK court in the case of an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim brought by two […]

How do eurosceptics position themselves: winning the argument or fighting the system?

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The past week has been something of a trip to the past for me. For many years, watching eurosceptics and anti-EU groups was characterised by endless cries that they were fighting ‘the system’, outcasts who had seen the truth and railed against almost impossible odds. That idea of righteousness that underpins such a worldview is one that I […]

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