Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Security & Defence

Why the UK needs the EU (and vice versa)

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Making the case that the United Kingdom (UK) needs the European Union (EU) and vice versa is at the forefront of current electoral debates in the UK. During a passionate electoral hustings event at the University of East Anglia last night, candidates clashed over visions for a federal European Union (Andrew Duff, MEP, Lib Dem), […]

The ghosts of Libya in Crimea: EU’s continued Weakness in Crisis Response.

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This post will demonstrate that the on-going crisis in the Crimea has once again exposed the EU’s weakness in crisis response by highlighting the inability of its member states to adopt a coherent and effective response to an external crisis. This is due to the structure of the Union where conflicting interests of member states […]

Question of Strategic Partnership and the EU

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The question of strategic partnership has been brought up when assessing EU’s foreign policy relations with the United States, Russia, and China. In particular, the debate surrounds the EU’s ambiguous relationship with China, often marred by political hostility exhibited by the United States. EU-China relations have been officially declared as a strategic partnership. Does the EU […]

Normative Power and Vested Interests – The Case of EU and China’s Arms Trade Policy

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Normative Power and the EU  The human rights agenda features heavily on the rhetoric and policies of the EU, and thus enables the EU to capitalize on a new identity, formed by shared idealistic values held by member states. European Union is unable to exert its identity as a strong and legitimate normative power because security […]

The EU’s Impotence on all Things Except Economic Diplomacy

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The recent case on the annexation of Crimea and the EU’s flaccid non-response, at least militarily, highlights the relative impotence of the EU in matters of “high politics”. Should onlookers be surprised by such an emasculation on the part of the EU? It is worth considering that the EU first started out as the European […]

Ukraine: EU has to step up its game

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Addressing the situation in Ukraine is an obvious choice for this blog’s first post. The next few days are critical for the country’s future. In addition to revolutionary turmoil, financial meltdown and secessionist movements, the new interim Ukrainian government now faces an invasion of its territory by Russia, which is threatening to annex the region […]

‘Democratic Deficit’ in Japan: The Secrecy Law

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Democratic deficit’ is often used to claim that ‘the European Union and its various bodies suffer from a lack of democracy and seem inaccessible to the ordinary citizen because their method of operating is so complex’ […]

Europe’s Syrian Jihadists Spark Worry As They Return Home

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Not unlike the Spanish civil war in the 1930s that spawned the famous Brigadas Internacionales, military units made up of lefty civilian volunteers from all over the world, to fight Franco’s fascist regime, the Syrian conflict has attracted thousands of young European muslims. These men are now beginning to trickle back home, perhaps a little […]

Latvia: From Soviet Union to European Union

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In 1999, I visited the Baltic State of Latvia in the north-east part of Europe. It was eight years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Latvia was forced to join in the 1940’s. And it was five years before Latvia chose to join the European Union.  My visit was a snapshot of a country […]

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 […]

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