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Category Archives: The EU

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 […]

Undiscouraged, but also uninspired

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This is the second of two blogposts on Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. The first one is available here. Ten years after the premature death of his constitutional treaty, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, now aged 89, is still an undiscouraged believer in the European project. Concerned by the current crisis of the European Union, he proposes in a […]

10 years ago: Giscard defends the constitutional treaty at ESSCA

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Ten years ago, in mid-April 2005, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing came to Angers in order to exchange with ESSCA students. Just six weeks before the French referendum on the constitutional treaty his visit was part of a campaign for an increasingly uncertain ‘yes’ vote. Given his role in chairing – with diplomatic skills and political know-how – the European Convention […]

Memories of Cold War I

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Was it the chandelier aesthetics of the grotesquely over-dimensioned Palace of Independence in Minsk that brought up Cold War memories, or the desperate attempts by Angela Merkel and François Hollande to contain the Ukraine crisis by confronting an enigmatic Soviet leader, sorry : Russian president? The entire setting looked strangely familiar to those who had grown […]

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 […]

Unanimous respect, ambiguous legacy

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30 years ago, on 14 January 1985, Jacques Delors, who had just taken office a week before, pronounced his programmatic ‘Declaration on the orientation of the Commission’ in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He did so with ‘intellectual humility’ and ‘political determination’, two attitudes that seem to characterise rather well both the man […]

2015: The top three challenges for the EU and China

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Time flies, no news on that front, but 2014 seems to have flown particularly quickly. One of the reasons for this impression may be the accumulation of global economic and political challenges. And 2015? Here is my list of the top three challenges for the new year: CHINA Challenge no. 1: Corruption. Despite a certain continuity […]

Please remain faceless!

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Now that Donald Tusk has officially taken office as new President of the Council, the Trinity of European leadership as provided by the Lisbon Treaty is complete. In due course there will be plenty of opportunity for Euro-scoffers to ridicule the fact that one never really knows who is in charge of the EU. They […]

Is the peace narrative really obsolete?

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30 years ago, the photo of François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl holding hands in Verdun, the emblematic battlefield of World War One, went around the world. It is true that their gesture – which Kohl always insisted was a very spontaneous one – was quite unusual. Still, it was appropriate. After all, reconciliation between France […]

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