Three reality checks for leavers and remainers

 

Both camps must understand there is a difference between Europe and EU institutions if they are to mount effective referendum campaigns. (Article first published by openDemocracy on 07/03/2016)

Ahead of Britain’s in/out referendum, there is much to ponder about looking at past referendum episodes and dissecting ongoing public ambivalence vis-à-vis the EU. The history of European integration has been a bumpy and risky journey but, deep down, Europeans have never really stopped questioning the EU’s existence. Since the EU is not a state supported by a constituting demos– it never had its ‘we, the people’ moment – it has only survived by being given the benefit of the doubt. Still, the EU has proven very resilient. French and Dutch voters may have voted down the constitutional treaty in 2005, and the Greeks may have recently experienced the irony of sending a resounding ‘no’ to Brussels – but the EU continues to stand on its feet, even in the current “polycrisis”, to use Jean-Claude Juncker’s words.

Three important lessons can be drawn from the intrinsically fragile yet enduring character of the EU, which campaigners from both sides need to integrate into their campaign narratives. Continue reading “Three reality checks for leavers and remainers”

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After the UK-EU deal: the referendum campaign viewed from the rest of Europe

On 24 February, a few days after David Cameron had secured an agreement between the
UK and EU governments to ‘reset’ Britain’s relationship with the EU, I was interviewed live by Tyler Brûlé on Monocle Radio.

Listen here from 4′

Brexit ou réforme? L’avenir du Royaume-Uni en Europe

A l’invitation de Landry Charrier, maître de conférence à l’Université Blaise Pascal de Clermont-Ferrand, j’ai eu la chance de donner cette vidéo-conférence sur les relations entre le Royaume-Uni et l’Europe jeudi 12 mars.

La video de la conférence est disponible ici.

Parce que vous n’aurez sans doute pas la patience de m’écouter jusqu’au bout, voici les principales réflexions que je développe dans ma présentation. Les étudiants me posent aussi quelques bonnes questions a partir de 1’09’20.

1/ le rapport ambigu de Londres à la construction européenne depuis la Seconde guerre mondiale, par contraste au leadership et au sens de la “co-propriété” franco-allemande: adhésion tardive, Suez, renégociation et référendum de 1974-75, rabais budgétaire, “opt-outs” obtenus à Maastricht… Continue reading “Brexit ou réforme? L’avenir du Royaume-Uni en Europe”

After the European election: reform, not results

This article was first published by Policy Network.

‘EU reform’ may be the mantra of the day, but Europeans want results, not reform. Rather than focusing on procedural and institutional issues, EU leaders should stand ready for real politics

The European Parliament election results have left those who believe in a more united Europe in a state of shock. Yet, a new battle is only starting: how should the 25 May results translate into policy? What can the EU change to start restoring its collapsing legitimacy? Continue reading “After the European election: reform, not results”

Comprendre le Labour d’Ed Miliband

Essai publié par la Fondation Jean Jaurès en mai 2014.

Comprendre-le-Labour-d-Ed-Miliband_medium

Alors qu’elle est en position de force à l’approche des élections européennes et législatives de 2015, la gauche britannique continue de souffrir des étiquettes “New Labour” et “Troisième voie”. La gauche française fait preuve à son encontre d’une indifférence qu’il faudrait dépasser. Tendre la main au Labour permettrait de soutenir l’attitude d'”engagement constructif” vis-à-vis de l’Europe qui est celle d’Ed Miliband, à rebours de la rhétorique négative développée par David Cameron.

L’essai passe en revue le bilan de David Cameron et fait le point sur la situation politique et sociale du Royaume-Uni. Il présente les principales innovations idéologiques du “milibandisme”, notamment le concept de predistribution et le slogan “One Nation Britain“. Il suggère enfin des pistes de coopération entre le Labour et le PS, tant au plan domestique qu’au niveau européen.

Reliable, ambiguous, reluctant & dismissive: British political parties in Europe

This paper, first published by Policy Network, investigates how successful British political parties have beenClegg Farage at using the power of European politics. By analysing the voting patterns of British MEPs during the last European Parliament’s mandate (2009-2014), it highlights how often Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and UKIP participated in winning coalitions and have influenced policymaking in 15 of the European Parliament’s most important decisions.

The analysis finds sharp contrasts between the actions of Britain’s four political parties,  categorising them as ‘Reliable’, ‘Ambiguous’, ‘Reluctant’ and ‘Dismissive’ Europeans: the Lib Dems come across as a successful and reliable partners in making deals and influencing policy; Labour appears more ambivalent towards working with their allies; the Conservatives, after stepping out of the EPP group, have traded home comforts for a loss of influence in Brussels; and finally, UKIP simply dismisses EU legislation.