Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

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 […]

The anonymous eurosceptics

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Anonymous eurosceptics seem to be everywhere, posting en masse in the readers columns of our national newspapers. And whenever I post a pro-EU comment – always under my real name – they’re there at the ready, trying hard to discredit me and calling me ‘dishonest’. Of course, they mostly never seem brave enough to post […]

Connecting Europe – TEN-T rail projects fiction or real?

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The Commission has recently revised the Trans-European Network for Transport (TEN-T). Similar to previous TEN-T revisions, the new TEN-T priority projects focus on investment in new cross-border rail infrastructure aiming to connect Europe and alleviate road congestions. Interestingly the new TEN-T map emphasises the increased east-west trade – thus recognising the eastward enlargement. The first […]

NSA surveillance confirms the realist paradigm, and I am not happy about that

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Only a few days ago I briefly presented the research of my life, which I have just started and deals with the influence that human rights make on foreign policy making in Europe. In particular, at the moment I am reading and thinking about why countries choose to embrace and foster certain human rights norms […]

Global University Rankings: Challenges for European Higher Education

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What effects global university rankings have in diverse national, disciplinary and institutional contexts? Why do they attract so much attention? What do they tell about global power shift and changing transnational policy discourse on higher education? Do rankings facilitate stratification and commodification of higher education? Today a new book Global University Rankings: Challenges for European […]

When is now for eurosceptics?

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At the end of last week, the Commission announced it was supporting the opening of accession negotiations with Albania, a decision that the December European Council will be asked to approve. This comes on the back of a 4 year process since Albania lodged its application, including a series of very stringent and involved demands by […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

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