Given the amount of political anguish caused already by the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) since its conception during the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) talks, it might seem odd to write today about one provision that can’t be used until late 2024 at the earliest. However, the Art.18 provisions on consent represent a key safeguard for the […]
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The first and so far only international football match between France and Algeria took place twenty years ago, on 6 October 2001. The starting point had been the sustained euphoria around the multiethnic character of Les Bleus, the French national team, winners of the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship, and their emblematic leader […]
French election campaigns are usually desperately navel-gazing. Foreign policy issues are all but absent from the debate. And even in ‘ordinary’ times, all mainstream evening news programmes consider international news a toxic audience killer. But the war in Ukraine has swept everything else in the background and changed the campaign dynamic. It has also put […]
There is no doubt that French politics have been ever strongly tilting to the right for months now. It’s not even exaggerated to claim that the political discourse is dominated, if not polluted, by far-right vocabulary and semantics. Want to study first-hand the mechanisms of the Overton window? This is the place. Paradoxically, at the […]
In France, the presidential election monopolises all the attention. Of candidates and non-candidates, activists and voters, media and pollsters, domestic and foreign observers. That’s understandable. The playbook is irresistible: rhetorically overblown visions of society collide in a dramaturgy replete with plot twists and cliffhangers, the absence of any post-election compromise allows for a merciless showdown, […]
As I seem to find myself regularly explaining, Brexit is a process, not an event. Which is all well and good, but also a bit problematic when you want to work out the appropriate context for that process. At one level, it is evidently simply part of a much longer process of developing British European […]
“What unites us better than Les Bleus?” (“Qui nous unit mieux que les Bleus ?”). Good question. TF1, Europe’s largest television channel and long-standing partner of the French national team, used it as teaser during the European football championship last summer. An excellent promotional slogan, underpinned by an emotional video of suffering and celebrating the […]
The arrival of 2022 has brought both continuity and change to the UK’s relationship with the EU. The resignation of Lord Frost in December has precipitated a major reorganisation (possibly still on-going) of the government’s management of EU and Brexit affairs, but the new point on the relationship – Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – has […]
How fitting: this spring, ARTE, the brainy French-German TV channel, will broadcast a second season of ‘En thérapie’, the French version of ‘In Treatment’ (itself based on the Israeli TV hit “Be Tipul”). 35 new episodes of people on the psychiatrist’s couch, composing what Le Monde called ‘an immobile travel across French society in the […]
Just a short post this week, since I already wrote about this in a Twitter thread earlier in the week: The thread was an attempt to make sense of what the UK is doing and whether it might work. As you’ll see, I’m not that confident that it will. Conversations with people on both sides […]
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