EU Politics

Austrian Presidency logo
EU Politics

This week: the Sound of Europe [Updated, 23.01.2006]

New year, new EU Presidency, and a new debate about the European Constitution? This week should make things a bit clearer I hope… Friday and Saturday this week the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU is hosting a conference in Salzburg amusingly entitled “Sound of Europe“, and I […]

Ireland Famine Cartoon
EU Politics

Is this hypocrisy from the Irish?

An opinion poll in today’s Irish Times finds that 78% of Irish citizens want to re-introduce a permit system for migrant workers from the new EU member states, and a majority of the population thinks that enough immigration has taken place. The article can be found here. It strikes me […]

Olli Rehn
EU Politics

‘Safe pair of hands’ personified: Olli Rehn

Now, if there is one issue that tends to get people motivated, it is EU enlargement. Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn was in London on Friday and, among other things, gave a speech at LSE about his work. Yet his speech, and especially his means of answering questions, were such a […]

EU Politics

Wealth inequality, working hours, and happiness?

There is an excellent post on the New Economist blog (read it here) that discusses a recent study about whether there is a correlation between working hours and income inequality – simply put, the need to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and to work to get the possessions that others […]

EU Politics

Guardian tempers its analysis of Sweden

After Polly Toynbee’s “The Most Successful Society” piece in the autumn, The Guardian has tempered its tone about the Nordic model in this piece by Nicholas Watt. The analysis is not too bad – Sweden does, without doubt, have a problem with its integration of ethnic minorities and I suspect […]

Dead Constitution Schuessel and Bot
EU Politics

The Dead Constitution Sketch

Have we not been over this ground before? Immediately after the French and Dutch No votes, everyone started to debate whether the European Constitution was dead or not. Then the Brits came along with their Presidency and put the lid on all talk. Now with the Austrian Presidency, the farce […]

Jyllands Posten Cartoon
EU Politics

What criticism of religion is acceptable?

The row over cartoons of Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten goes on and on. Arab Foreign Ministers yesterday condemned the Danish Government for not doing anything about the cartoons, so no surprise there then – article from the BBC here. Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen has stood firm throughout, […]

Reid United States of Europe
EU Politics

Europe, wake up and feel good

I have just finished reading an extremely pleasant and gratifying book: T. R. Reid???s ???United States of Europe??? (buy it from Amazon here). Reid was the Washington Post???s correspondent in London from 1998 until 2002 and his book details how he sees the process of European integration. The book is […]

Blair waving
EU Politics

Is Blair changing his position on EU taxation?

There’s a really interesting quote buried away in Mark Mardell’s column on the BBC News website – read it here. Mardell asked Tony Blair whether an EU tax was a way out of nasty negotiations on the budget every few years. Blair’s reply was: “We’ve never been in favour of […]