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Category Archives: The EU

Breaking: The Truth about the EU!

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The truth is out: the EU does not exist. It’s a hoax, made up by a vast conspiracy. I have evidence. You can look it up on my Facebook page. I always believed that the story of a French foreign affairs minister proposing a coal and steel community under a yet-to-be defined supranational high authority […]

EU-China: the origin and future path of the new doctrine

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On Tuesday 9 April, Brussels will host the 21st EU-China summit. This time around, the underlying tone of the meetings may be slightly different than before, following the recent “Strategic Vision” submitted by the Commission to the Council. In its relations with the People’s Republic of China the EU is said to be unable to […]

Business interests and cultural perception patterns. A French region’s view on Brexit.

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It might not be the first question on your mind when you think about Brexit, but should French SMEs be better prepared for a no deal scenario? Pierre Séjourné certainly thinks so. As the head of the international mission at DIRECCTE, a French trans-ministerial agency for economic development, he politely but very firmly has been […]

Mr Macron goes to Germany

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After being busy getting elected in May 2017, Emmanuel Macron used the traditionel French ‘Bridges of May‘ in 2018 to take a trip to Aachen in order to accept the so-called ‘Charlemagne Prize’ that the city bestows each year on a prominent individual ‘for work done in the service of European unification’. Some might argue […]

EU sport diplomacy gathers momentum, step by step

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What does the EU have to do with ‘sport diplomacy’? In a post published on this site fifteen months ago, I reported on the reflections of a high-level group that was set up by Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in 2015 and that produced a report with a series of recommendations in June 2016. Since then, the […]

Zeit fürs Gegenpressing!

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Der Schatz an Metaphern, den der Fußball für die Politik bereithält, ist immer wieder erstaunlich. Gar nicht so einfach, ihnen zu widerstehen; sie drängen sich ja oft geradezu auf. Und oft genug gehen sie semantisch nach hinten los. Aber jetzt, da sogar Jürgen Habermas der Versuchung erlegen ist, sei es gestattet, eine seiner Vorlagen aufzunehmen. […]

Germany need some ‘Gegenpressing’

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The abundance of metaphors that football holds in store for politics is amazing. Used by tongue-in-cheek commentators like Anand Menon – who recently compared the successive Theresa May speeches in Florence and Manchester to a European Cup away game and return leg – they can be funny and meaningful. Used by leading politicians – remember […]

France 2017: Old fault lines, new salience

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‘France has voted like it never did before’, was the headline of Spiegel Online on Monday morning, and many other foreign observers expressed similar views on the manner in which the traditional parties of the Left and Right were kicked out of the competition by an overwhelming desire of renewal of the political class. But […]

France 2017: The unexpected rehabilitation of an adjective

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For as long as I have lived in this country – a quarter century, after all – the surest way for French politicians to put an end to their political career was to make a statement, however prudent, in favour of ‘liberalism’. Once labelled a ‘liberal’, you could be sure to be turned in no […]

Some thoughts on sovereignty, and on ‘The Day After’

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‘We are inextricably part of Europe. [No one] will ever be able to take us ‘out of Europe’, for Europe is where we are and where we have always been.’ These words were pronounced by one of the UK’s most prominent PMs, Margaret Thatcher, on 16 April 1975. This was 2 years after the UK […]

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