Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Your Pocket Guide Book to State Pensions

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State Pensions are paid by the British government to citizens who have reached the pensions age of 65, and have previously been paid or credited with subscriptions to National Insurance. Your subscriptions to National Insurance entitles you to claim welfare benefits, like the State Pension. Although you do not continue to pay for the Insurance when on the pensions dole, if you are: aged […]

David Cameron’s EU Speech

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Prime Minister David Cameron today promised to hold a referendum on the UK’s position in the EU, if he is re-elected in the 2015 general elections. His much-awaited speech on Europe started off by paying homage to veterans of World War II and the Elysée Treaty, with addressing the agenda behind the EU, being one of the poignant moments. Although established initially to prevent […]

The Lesser-Known Issues of Overcrowded Housing

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Research from Shelter showcases more than half of a million homes in the nation to be overcrowded. Social housing allocates about seven square metres space for children to play and develop in, which is much less than the national average. It is an unacceptable condition for kids to be spending their childhood in because it direly impacts […]

Should the British newspaper industry be regulated by Downing Street ?

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In light of the recent scandals surrounding some of the major newspapers in the country, some deep-rooted issues about how the media functions have surfaced. The phone-hacking affair and the year long Leveson inquiry into press ethics and practices has revealed that the press does need a iron grip over what it chooses to publish. Broadcasters are regulated by Ofcom, apart from […]

Excessive pragmatism

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I’m still reading the Cohn-Bendit/Verhofstadt book. So far my diagnosis is that, for a book that I fundamentally agree with, there is a lot there that makes me mad. I will blog more about specific annoyances later, time permitting, but I thought I might start by explaining my problems with the book’s excessive pragmatism. Here’s […]

Resistance is Futile (2)

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The story of Tonio Borg’s confirmation as the next Maltese Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection keeps getting stranger. In response to the objections in the S&D group, the Parliament has listed a series of commitments that Mr. Borg is to make in order to be confirmed. They are: The delivery of the legislative proposal […]

Resistance is Futile

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Parts of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, as well as their civil society supporters, seem to have taken a rather unusual approach to the question of whether the Conservative Maltese Tonio Borg should be permitted to serve as the new Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs. In general, their objection seems to be […]

Trilogues boost the influence of majority party leaders over EU policy

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“Despite speeding up the legislative process, trilogues allow the Council to negotiate directly with majority party leaders in the European Parliament at the expense of committees and minority parties”. Dr Raya Kardasheva is a Lecturer in European Politics at King’s College London The establishment of the co-decision procedure in the EU legislative system led to […]

How the Dutch state is stealing from itself

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Even though this story has no obvious European dimension – other than a bit of international tax competition – I think it is interesting enough to be worth cross-posting here. As explained yesterday, I managed to get all of Dutch politics in a frenzy last Saturday, by pointing out that the Dutch state railway company NS […]

The 2012 Olympic Games in London on the European Union agenda

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The London 2012 Olympic Games are on their way, and on the medal count it’s nation states that matter. Yet, when you look to the agendas of recent EU-level meetings and the matters the EU deals with, you will realise that the European Union is actually directly and indirectly implicated in what’s going on in London. Just […]

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