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A (bad) path from the referendum?

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I’m just back from the UACES annual conference in Bilbao where there was a lot of talk about the referendum and about euroscepticism. Nice as it was to have good turnouts for those panels, and to be buttonholed in the coffee breaks and drinks receptions, it was also clear that there was widespread disquiet about […]

Skirmishes in the EU Referendum

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It’s September, so it must be time to get back into the business of the EU referendum. And certainly this week has been full of activity. Between UKIP going their own way on campaigning, the Electoral Commission getting stuck into the wording of the question and Cameron’s concessions on purdah, one might feel that the tempo has picked up considerably. If you […]

Playing dirty in the EU Referendum

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In these dog days of summer, there’s not much happening in the world of EU politics. Except the on-going debates on the third Greek bailout, arguments about managing asylum applicants and immigrants and the simmering British renegotiation. And the third of these is very much the least, certainly in Continental terms. To date, the renegotiation has been […]

On the need for proper debate, not propaganda in the EU referendum

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A version of this post appeared on the Britain for New Europe website: Think about your significant other. Now think about the costs and benefits of your relationship with them. If you think about in purely financial terms, then you’ve probably run up some costs purely because of that relationship – that film they wanted to see, […]

Breaking contagion effects from Greece

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So here we are: deadline day for Greece. Of course, you might be reading this on another day, in which case it’s probably another deadline day for Greece. Ever since the Eurocrisis first broke I have been firmly of the view the Greece’s exit from the Euro was not an option. This has nothing to […]

Who’s in charge here?

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There is much to give concern in the world of European politics these days. From Greece to the UK, the Mediterranean to Finland (even Austria), you don’t have to look far to find examples of ‘how it’s all going belly up’ (to quote one of my colleagues). It would be simple to take the counsel of […]

The perception gap: Calais, Greece and Brussels in the British imagination

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Even this is not going to cut it… Earlier this morning – a bit before 8am, in fact – a family friend turned up at our house, ‘for breakfast’. This turned out to be a misunderstanding of what we had thought was a jocular exchange of texts last night and certainly was not one the […]

The view from Chisinau: Cameron’s fantastic(al) luxury of choice

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This week I’m in Moldova, for a workshop of our TEMPUS project INOTLES. You’ve probably not been to Moldova, but Chisinau is a very pleasant city around which to walk, albeit one in which the local UNDP office looks like one of the more important buildings. To be here – in a country that has possibly the lowest GDP […]

The coming referendum

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So here we are, about a month into the new government. How’s it shaping up with the EU referendum thing? For me, four things stick out so far. Firstly, David Cameron has conformed to type in his approach to the matter. Assuming that he was a surprised as the next man (that next man being Ed […]

The Brexit referendum: some underlying dynamics

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On Tuesday I went to one of my alma maters, LSE’s European Institute, to listen to a panel on Britain’s EU policy. As well as storifying it, I’ve also been thinking about the discussion and particularly three of the things mentioned by Simon Hix, one of the panellists. “Never underestimate the EU’s ability to find a way to muddle through” […]

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