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Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

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

June 9, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
2 Comments

Good pessimistic (realistic?) piece from Der Spiegel:

“The next stage in the crisis will be blatant blackmail. With their refusal to accept money from the bailout fund to recapitalize their banks, the Spanish are not far from causing the entire system to explode. They clearly figure that the Germans will lose their nerve and agree to rehabilitate their banks for them without demanding any guarantee in return that things will take a lasting turn for the better.

“The next test of the resolution of Europe’s donor nations will come from the Greeks… after the election on June 17, the Greeks will bargain with the other EU countries to see what it’s worth to them to see Greece abandon the euro. The Greeks no longer have much to lose; but their EU neighbors — and particularly the Germans — still do. This discrepancy will determine the price to be paid.

“Germans have always expected that being part of a united Europe meant that national interests would recede into the background until they eventually lost all significance. One recognizes in this hope the legacy of political romanticism.”

May 27, 2012
by James Clive-Matthews
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A right-wing American take on the history of the EU and euro with which I don’t entirely agree. Except on this point – it’s mostly France’s fault, and mostly due to French national interest. (Which was why the Americans wanted Britain to join and be active in the first place, of course – to keep France in check…)

The question is, following this hypothesis, can the new French president change this pattern of repeated slow failure? Worth a read, if you’re not familiar with the classic US take on the EU.

September 15, 2010
by James Clive-Matthews
20 Comments

France, the Roma, and the Divine Right of States

In the 17th century, Britain fought a civil war over the principle that no one – not even the King – should be above the law. This conflict resulted in the destruction of the concept of divine right in Britain … Continue reading

November 21, 2008
by James Clive-Matthews
4 Comments

A distinct lack of transparency

Following the progress made on Common Agricultural Policy reform the other day (and it was progress, even if not as much as many would have liked), there remains much confusion. As CAP Health Check asks, who voted for what? The … Continue reading

July 1, 2008
by James Clive-Matthews
8 Comments

A quick case study of the EU’s problems

Today marks the start of the French presidency of the EU. Sarkozy’s task as president? To guide the union from the post-Irish referendum confusion into a fresh new dawn of harmony and mutual appreciation, to an EU both truly united … Continue reading

November 15, 2007
by James Clive-Matthews
4 Comments

On foreign policy speeches, the elephant in the room, and a slight shift in focus

For a largely foreign policy-focussed blog, Gordon Brown’s offered little of any interest since becoming Prime Minister. He simply doesn’t seem to have much interest in the rest of the world, happily ignoring both the EU and the US for … Continue reading

July 18, 2007
by James Clive-Matthews
1 Comment

Brown’s EU diplomatic strategy

What with the ongoing spat with Russia (hyped out of all proportion, I reckon, and hope I’m not proved wrong), the fact that our dear new Prime Minister has made his first overseas jaunt while in office seems to have … Continue reading

July 12, 2007
by James Clive-Matthews
1 Comment

On comment spam, lack of inspiration, French politics and poor translations of Herodotus

Note to the internet: Just because I haven’t posted much of late doesn’t give you permission to bombard my site with comment spam, you bastard. Note to regular readers (if I’ve got any left after so few posts): Sorry, I’ve … Continue reading

June 11, 2007
by James Clive-Matthews
2 Comments

The EU in the next five years

Since the initial expansion to 25 member states back in 2004, the future of the EU has been wildly uncertain. The constitution was supposed to sort everything out but, as we all know, that little project has failed dismally. For … Continue reading

May 12, 2007
by James Clive-Matthews
3 Comments

Eurovision: please, please let France win

Les Fatales Picards are a work of absolute genius. That bald guy – perfect! Sadly no cheerleaders during the live finals, but still. Fantastic stuff – they’ve single-handedly revived my interest in pop music: Update: Actually, sod that – maybe … Continue reading