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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Brexit: What would Monnet and Schuman say?

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‘I remember going to London in 1950 to convince you to join the negotiations on the Schuman Plan, but you felt then as you do now that it was not possible to delegate national decision-making powers to a community.’ Said by Jean Monnet on 20 October 1957 at Harrogate, where he addressed the delegates of […]

Inspired by Spain?

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Only three months ago, I asked myself in these columns how a politically aware French citizen could you not be jealous of Spain and the renewal of its democracy that it is currently undergoing. Sure, the Spanish learning process is difficult: instead of living with the oh, so convenient binary system and its comfortable pseudo-stability, […]

Of Human Resources and Sheer Luck

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All day long on Friday, the entire spectrum of German media paid tributes to Hans-Dietrich Genscher. They were joined in the evening by the Chancellor, who ‘bowed in deep respect for the lifetime’s work’ of the former foreign minister. All of them referred to the key scene of 30 September 1989, when Genscher appeared on […]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, … Brexit!

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Remember the spy novels of Cold War times? Where pretty much everybody was suspected of being a ‘mole’? The master storyteller of brilliant double agents was John Le Carré, and one of his very best novels was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,  published in the spring of 1974, incidentally one month after Willy Brandt had resigned […]

Jealous of Spain

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Looking south from France in December 2015, how can you not be jealous of Spain? Sure, there’s no need to be envious of the weather, the wine and the beaches. We’ve had more than a fair share of these, too. There is also no reason to minimise the pressing problems of Spanish society, starting with […]

Post-post-materialist politics in Portugal: The left is back!

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A guest contribution by Cláudia Toriz Ramos. (Im)possible – this was the adjective I used to describe the probability of a union of the left after the Portuguese parliamentary elections. The brackets were supposed to mean ‘not excluded in theory, but far from likely to happen in practice’. Never in the history of Portuguese democracy […]

Draghi’s morphine

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More than three years after the EU leaders agreed to establish a banking union for the Eurozone and Mario Draghi announced that he was ready to do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro, it is time to take stock of what has been achieved so far in making the European Monetary Union (EMU) a […]

His Europe

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‘Mein Europa’ – ‘My Europe’ – the book published by Helmut Schmidt only two years ago, was not a new monograph, but a collection of different publications and speeches on European integration. It spans a lifetime – from his very first article about cooperation in a not yet existing community dating from June 1948 to […]

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 […]

Schengen and the Refugee Crisis: Lessons for the East African Commmunity

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A guest contribution by Moses Onyango and Jean-Marc Trouille. In many parts of the world, geopolitics are confronted with two anti-nomic trends. On the one hand, numerous countries are engaged in a process of regional economic integration, epitomised by the more advanced model of the European Union (EU), and which requires ‘internal’ borders between participating […]

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