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Brexit: what does France think?

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Not that anyone in Britain cares what the French think. As a matter of fact, even the French themselves don’t care that much. They have other ‘cats to whip’ as they say around here: social unrest, terrorist murders, drunk hooligans. There have been surprisingly little surveys in this normally poll-obsessed country, and while the British […]

Imagine all the people

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Benedict Anderson most certainly did not think of football when he published his compact masterpiece Imagined Communities in the early 1980s. Yet I cannot think of another book that has been quoted or referred to as often by football researchers from all over Europe and beyond. For me Imagined Communities certainly was a major eye-opener, and I remain grateful for the thought-provoking […]

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The pause button

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Between the murderous attacks on Friday 13 and yesterday’s national remembrance ceremony, living in France felt like the PAUSE button had been pressed. Everybody keeps telling everybody else ‘il faut continuer à vivre!’, but this sounds like one of these resolutions that are to be implemented at a later stage, not now. These rare moments […]

The Vote and Beyond : Lessons from the Turkish Repeat Elections

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A guest contribution by Başak Alpan, from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Here’s one of the few good things about being a political science professor in Turkey: elections are never only boring econometrical calculations that no one is interested in, but each election gives you an ample amount of shock, perplexity, and challenge to cope […]

A voice that will be missed.

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A tribute to Luke Foster. It’s his calm, reassuring voice I’ll miss most. After having, very much in accordance with his personality, bravely managed to ‘keep calm and carry on’ while fighting against his illness and enduring the different therapies that went with it, Luke Foster passed away a few days ago. Although the news did not come as […]

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An antidote to any nostalgia of ‘grandeur’ or ‘glory’

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There’s of course nothing wrong with the commemoration of historical battles. Quite the contrary: each time I took students to the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, they got a better idea of why European integration might actually be a good idea. And most of the four-year-long commemorative flow on World War I is produced, if […]

Brussels will be ‘sexy tomorrow’!

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At least that’s the forecast of ‘The Supplement’, a popular Sunday afternoon programme on French television (Canal+). Each week, it includes a trendspotting clip named ‘sexy tomorrow’, introducing a someone or something that may become a game changer. In the edition of 26 April, the game changer was ‘Politico’, the American news site that just […]

Against the stream

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In the current high season of EU-bashing, whoever stands for whatever election seems to be well advised to either join the chorus of Eurosceptics or avoid the topic altogether. It is all the more surprising – one is tempted to say: refreshing – that Alain Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux and former prime minister (1995-1997), has […]

Half full or half empty? What an APEC summit reveals about the EU

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Food for thought in China-Europe relations is again as abundant as ever. ‘Hang on’, one might be inclined to intervene, ‘it’s been the APEC-summit this week – since when is Europe either Asian or close to the Pacific?’ Moreover, the Asian style dress code (aka “silly shirts”) for the APEC family picture gives room for interpretation of the symbolic […]

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A missed opportunity

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20 years ago, on the 1st of September 1994, two German MPs from the CDU led by Helmut Kohl published a position paper, which bore the innocuous title ‘Reflexions on European Politics’ and which became quickly named the ‘Schäuble-Lamers Paper’ after its authors. The propositions and recommendations formulated in this rather dense document of a […]

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