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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

February 7, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
3 Comments

What are the implications of the German Constitutional Court’s OMT ruling?

The ruling – which happened only in the last few minutes – likely means that, until the European Court of Justice has made a final ruling (which could take months/years), the European Central Bank will be prevented from bailing out … Continue reading

January 24, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
12 Comments

Would you vote for a party with no stated policies or manifesto?

I mean yes, we know that in this era of coalitions and compromise, manifesto pledges are not what they once were. But it’s often in the details that you can get a proper grasp of what a party truly stands … Continue reading

January 22, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
4 Comments

The current state of French politics and its implications for the 2014 European Parliament elections

In an EU election year, the current polutics of France is always an important factor in predicting the futre makeup of the European Parliament. Not only is France one of the largest countries, so with one of the largest delegations … Continue reading

January 21, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
2 Comments

How have the Euro and austerity affected economic recovery?

It’s an important question in a European Parliament election year – especially one where many seem to be planning on punishing the EU for the perceived failures of its leadership and conception during the Eurocrisis (even though, y’know, the European … Continue reading

January 20, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
27 Comments

How to work out who to vote (and not vote) for in the 2014 European Parliament elections – Part 1

No matter your political persuasion, this is not as easy a decision as you may think. I supposedly know my stuff on this, and I haven’t decided yet. First things first – what are we voting for? To answer this … Continue reading

January 9, 2014
by James Clive-Matthews
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Britain: Hiding under a duvet of doubt and debt

Genuinely superb column by Mary Riddell in the Telegraph today. Read in full. Considering the Telegraph’s decades of hostility to the EU (it’s the paper that employs the hard anti-EU Tory Tea Partier Dan Hannan, after all, and owners the … Continue reading

July 14, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
26 Comments

Why the UK’s “audit” of EU law is a waste of time

So, supposedly in a bid to allow any future in-out referendum on UK membership of the EU to be based on facts rather than ideology (fat chance), Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced an “audit” of the influence of EU … Continue reading

June 19, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
3 Comments

The eurocrisis: Politics without policy choice

This piece on Crooked Timber really is superb. A few highlights – but do read it in full: “the fuzzy compromise between supposedly depoliticized trans-national rules (run by the ECB), and national-level responsibility for compliance, is now increasingly problematic. Countries … Continue reading

June 12, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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Excellent teacherly putdown in this post from thinktank Bruegel’s blog:

“Europe has already expressed its intention to focus [the upcoming G20 summit] on growth and jobs; the deliverable should foreseeably be yet another ‘plan’ without specific deadlines or commitments, along the lines of previous summit discussions. Growth and jobs are obviously fine in principle, but adopting such broad focus is likely to divert attention from the immediate challenges and even more from the actions to be undertaken. It is a pity, because Europe, while being ultimately responsible for its own actions, badly needs to explain itself and convince the global community that it is doing its best to resolve its problems.”

Reads like many a school report*: “It is a pity… Must try harder… We wouldn’t mind if it were only himself this behaviour was affecting, but he’s disrupting the whole class…” (etc. etc. etc.)

* Not one of mine, obviously… *ahem*

June 12, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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An American view of Europe the UK would be sensible to note

Once again, no one knows what’s going to happen – yet everyone knows it’s going to be bad. This from The Atlantic makes some good points amidst the “eurogeddon” worst-case scenario act – but this time from an American perspective, … Continue reading

June 11, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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A terrifying but promising sign

Oh, sure, it sounds terrifying at first: “European finance officials have discussed limiting the size of withdrawals from ATM machines, imposing border checks and introducing euro zone capital controls as a worst-case scenario should Athens decide to leave the euro” … Continue reading