A lecture given by Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform, the prominent London-based think tank defining itself as “pro-European but not uncritical”, offers us a great opportunity to reflect on one of today’s most salient issues in the European Union (EU): the future of the UK in, or outside, the EU.
In the last 2012 French Presidential Election, the surge of populism constituted a major component of the political campaign. In the United States, the Tea Party has caught media and politicians’ attention alike, gaining a strong political voice, as the designation of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate suggests.
It's official: The United Kingdom is now facing its worst double-dip recession since 1975. Figures published just a few days before Queen Elizabeth II's 57th Speech from the throne display the worst economic results for more than a century. However, most British newspapers came to the same conclusion: The Government's programme does not include enough measures to stimulate growth. But growth is indeed at the core of newly elected French president François Hollande's manifesto. Could Britain benefit from supporting his initiative?
A "fair measure". This is the argument brought up by the French Socialist party whose candidate Francois Hollande has recently proposed to set up a new 75% income tax for incomes above 1 million euros (£834,000). This new proposal, by a man almost sure to stand at the second turn of the presidential election has probably upset a few - if not a lot - of people. Indeed, according to a recent study by Credit Suisse published in October 2011, France is the country with the highest number of millionaires in Europe : 2.6 million. But is there really a general trend of raising taxes for the most fortunates across Europe ?
31 May 2012. This is the date Taoiseach Enda Kenny, head of Fine Gael currently senior partner in a center-left and center-right coalition with the Irish Labour Party since 9 March 2011, has chosen to hold the referendum validating the ratification of the EU's Fiscal Compact signed on 2 March 2012 by the Oireachtas - the country's parliament. This referendum is a major stake for this once prosperous nation, which has suffered from the economic crisis. For the first time, this insular 4.5 million inhabitants republic, which has a habit of rejecting treaties at first (like Lisbon or Nice), could this time find itself completely isolated should the "no" win.
"Best pleased to inform Her Majesty that the Union Jack once again flies over Stanley. God save the queen." Those were the words of Major General Jeremy Moore on 14 June 1982 when the Argentinian garisson in Port Stanley surrendered to the British, ending the Falklands War. But today tensions seem to have resumed. Argentina has stepped up its attacks against Britain in what it calls an "illegal occupation" of the islands. Why is this resurfacing today, after such a landmark conflict, and what is it about ?
Few scholars have attempted a systematic comparison of populism in Western and post-communist Europe: studies of populism tend to be limited to one region or another, and when pan-European studies do occur, regional specificities disappear in an attempt not to essentialize “east” and “west”. The more theory-driven work on populism, however, offers useful tools to compare the nature and the causes of populist discourse at both ends of the European Union.
Following the repeated warnings of climatologists, tax systems for limiting carbon emissions are more and more numerous. They all have one principle: the integration of negative externalities in terms of climate damage into prices linked to CO2 emissions (polluter-pays principle). How does it function in practice? How efficient is it? Several questions have been raised by the project of creating a French carbon tax and a European one.
And here we go again, we're back the Major years. It has been 38 years, 9 months and 24 days since the United Kingdom of Great Britain joined the EEC. But originally a meaningless debate triggered only through petition, the issue of Britain's membership has erupted into a full-scale Conservative rebellion defying the Prime Minister while 70% of Britons are demanding a referendum. Just like John Major did, David Cameron's leadership is under heavy threat. What did Major face ? What are the stakes and what does it mean about the current state of mind of politicians and public opinion ?