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Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Britain’s EU Renegotiation: Reflections on the Letter

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s long awaited letter setting out the terms for EU renegotiation has finally arrived. Accompanied by an explanatory speech, the letter outlines four areas for reform (economic governance, competitiveness, sovereignty and immigration). While these choices attract little surprise, it is a milestone nonetheless to have in writing the opening outlines of the […]

Britain’s EU membership: The debate and the referendum

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In a surprise to nearly everyone, the Conservatives have won the UK’s 2015 General Election with a (small) overall majority. Following his audience with the Queen after the election, David Cameron reiterated his commitment to holding an in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership. It seems therefore that we can now expect several years of negotiation, […]

Making the most of an EU referendum

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The prospect of Britain holding a referendum on its EU membership is not particularly appealing. It would likely entail a lengthy and hard-fought campaign (the groundwork for which is starting to be laid now) and divert attention from pressing national issues. Beyond becoming the biggest distraction in Europe, an EU referendum could bring out impassioned […]

Britain’s EU membership hangs by one less thread

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Britain, it seems, owes the European Union a certain sum of money. In every year since 2002, it has underpaid into the EU budget and the day of reckoning has finally arrived. However, as usual when it comes to ‘Europe’ for the UK, symbolism triumphs over substance. The country has been hit with a bill […]

The devolved political institutions should have a say in Britain’s EU future

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This past week, the Scottish Government published a paper outlining its priorities for EU reform. Naturally, considering the pro-independence position of the Scottish National Party (SNP), it makes a number of references to how an independent Scotland would interact with the European Union. However, arguments on independence aside, the paper is noteworthy for its compelling […]

Britain can mitigate its euro-isolation by building a shared vision for Europe

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In recent years, economic and financial crisis has threatened the sustainability of the European Union. The general European response has been to push for more integration, especially in economic and fiscal policy in the Eurozone. Efforts to strengthen the Union this way are understandable, if not predictable. In any case, creating a stronger euro area […]

Britain’s best future is in the European Union

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In the ongoing debate on the UK’s place in the European Union, it’s important to keep the facts in mind. On economic, political and social measures, Britain gains from being part of the EU. At the same time, reforming how the EU works to make it function better is essential if it is to achieve […]

The European Conservatives and the ‘main parties’

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The discourse of European Union politics frequency takes the EU main parties as those which support progressively greater European integration. However, the multitude of views on the course of the EU and the success of a centre-right European group critical of integration challenge this definition for being too narrow. How we define European ‘main parties’ […]

Consensus, not automaticity, should govern the selection of the next European Commission President

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Following the European elections, the European Council and the European Parliament must work cooperatively in order to decide the new European Commission President and the Commission’s work programme. The leading candidate experiment did not succeed, and the Council and Parliament must agree a selection process before the next election. The aftermath of this May’s European […]

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