Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Building the European Research Area: Joint calls on the eve of Horizon2020

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An important aim of the European Research Area (ERA) is to facilitate the voluntary coordination among national research funding agencies. While most of the research funding is allocated nationally, the ERA encourages national research funding bodies to set up joint trans-national calls to fund European research networks. Since the launch of ERA in 2000, a number […]

The European Research Area: Beyond Market Politics

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The way the European Union regards science and research is changing. There is an increased emphasis on producing marketable deliverables for financial gain. At the same time, the advent of Horizon 2020 raises important yet often-overlooked questions. Where is it exactly that European research policy is heading? And is this in line with where it […]

EU studies in Italy, an evaluation / 1 – post hoc ergo propter hoc?

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The current status of European studies in Italy is far from encouraging, since the discipline has still to a certain extent a minor role with regards to the older and more established disciplines in social sciences. Are EU studies a branch of IR, or a sui generis but still underdeveloped field? How are EU studies […]

Integrating Social Sciences and Humanities in Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges: Will it work?

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Reports from various parts of Europe confirm urgency of the topics put forward by the conference “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” held last week 23-24 September 2013 in Vilnius under the Lithuanian EU Presidency. On twitter alone, the conference hashtag #horizonsSSH was used more than 600 times. The conference was widely covered in traditional and […]

Can regions shape university performance?

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During the last twenty years researchers and policymakers have focused their discourses on the important role that universities play in stimulating the development of regions under the umbrella concept of “knowledge economies”. Universities contribute to the region generating research and consultancy income, embedding knowledge in students and employees, upgrading regional business environments and potentially improving this process of regional value capture. This approach has emphasized the vision of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as active drivers of regional economic growth and innovation policy change.

Should UK leave EU to stop ‘Roma beggars’?

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Yes, Britain should end its EU membership to solve the problem of ‘Roma beggars’, according to prominent Tory Eurosceptic MP, Douglas Carswell, reported The Telegraph this weekend. The newspaper complained that, ‘more than 20 Roma beggars living rough in London’ were given tickets home funded by the taxpayer, but they ‘have already returned.’ Yes, six of […]

The UKIP class of ’09: Where are they now?

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The removal of Godfrey Bloom’s whip this week, in the wake of his comments to the annual conference, reminds me that the role of MEPs in UKIP has long been an unhappy one. In the party’s earlier days, it was the MEPs who held a lot of the financial and human resources, to the point that they constituted […]

The Science and Research Factor: Policy Deficit in Australia or a Failure to Articulate Impact?

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What does allocation of cabinet portfolios tells about the priorities of the government (and society)? An opportunity to reflect on the need for a science minister is provided by a new Australian government, where such portfolio does not exist.   This week a new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet were sworn in […]

The closing space for pro-EU arguments

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A couple of pieces this week have brought me to consider how difficult the non-sceptic side of the EU debate has become in theUK. My rather awkward choice of ‘non-sceptic’ is used advisedly, following Jon Worth’s line about the pointlessness of being ‘pro-European’. As I have discussed before, there is no one euroscepticism, but rather […]

Comments please: How can social sciences and humanities be better integrated in research on ‘Societal Challenges’?

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In an earlier post, Thomas Koenig wrote about the upcoming Lithuanian EU Presidency conference ‘Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities’, which reacts to the so-called ‘integrative approach’ the European Commission proposed in the preparation of the ‘Horizon 2020’ research funding programme; more precisely the third pillar known as the ‘societal challenges’. Seven such challenges have […]

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