Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Little or large? The EU budget and public perceptions

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It’s that time of year again, when the European Commission releases its draft budget for the following year, to howls of anguish and disgust from all sides.  I’ve already talked some weeks ago about how the EU budget isn’t like national budgets and shouldn’t be compared to them on a like-by-like bias, but today I want to address a slightly different […]

A French eurosceptic President?

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One of the more notable aspects of the French Presidential elections has been the extent to which all the candidates have been willing to bash the EU and European integration more generally. As the very helpful manifesto comparison tool from Le Monde shows all too clearly, euroscepticism has been rife.

Facenuke or: A failed social network visualisation by Greenpeace

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The image above (click on the image for full size or go here to explore the network) is a network visualisation of the energy sector in France. Or so at least claims Greenpeace France. It looks nice, it looks plausible but methodological it is poorly done and therefore creates the impression of a network where […]

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy: Upcoming debate in the EU Council

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After the first orientation debate in the Council focussed on discards policy, the next Fisheries Council meeting on 26 and 27 April 2012 will continue the debate among member states’ ministers on the future Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of the European Union. In a summary and preparation document (Update: Revised version of the document of 20 April), the […]

Why was ACTA approved in the EU Fisheries Council?

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In December 2011, the EU Council decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was approved during a Fisheries Council meeting as an “A-Item”, i.e. without discussion at ministerial level. While both, the fact that a Fisheries Council approves ACTA and that this happens without ministerial debate, may look strange at first sight, these are […]

The European Parliament elections 2014 will be huge

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In just a bit more than two years, the next European Parliament elections will take place and public discussions about the personnel for the 2014 European Parliament elections have already started. But more important than that: These next European Parliament elections will be huge! They will be huge not just because they decide about the composition of […]

1981-2009: 39% of EU Commissioners became private interest representatives

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In a paper titled “There is life after the Commission: An empirical analysis of private interest representation by former EU-commissioners, 1981–2009” (The Review of International Organizations, Issue 1/2012) Roland Vaubel, Bernhard Klingen and David Müller have published data and analyses of the post-Commission life of 92 former EU Commissioners who did not die in office or […]

Ignoring contradictory findings: EU structural funds spending

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Achim Kemmerling, in a post over at the EUROPP blog, argues that because of the way they are spent, it was “perhaps naive to expect that structural funds policy should have an immediate and direct influence on regional growth“. However, looking for one of the bases for these finding, on finds interesting contradictions with other […]

More subsidiarity yet less democratic control in EU matters?

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I recently had the opportunity to talk with an official (director level) working in a financial administration of one of Germany’s federal states who shared an interesting observation: Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with its subsidiarity protocol and also following the new internal participation rights of German parliaments introduced after the famous […]

The New Euroscepticism

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UACES member, Simon Usherwood recently presented a UACES Arena seminar at Edelman | The Centre in Brussels to an audience of over 50 representatives from European institutions, think tanks and pressure groups. An article arising from the seminar has since been published by E!Sharp.  

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