Western Europe

Russia-UK relations: prospect for improvement?

By Tita Aver | 25 May 2011

Relations between the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom have traditionally been tense. At the root of this long-enduring antagonism, we can find deeply entrenched Cold War legacies and an accumulation of irritating events further tensing relations between the Kremlin and Downing Street. In this article, we will first present the evolution of relations between Russia and the UK since Blair to then understand the stance of contemporary interactions, that is since David Cameron became Prime Minister.

No garbage in the streets! Misplaced concerns in prevailing world hypocrisies

By Ivan Matic | 28 March 2011

The return of Roma from France to Romania and Bulgaria is not a new phenomenon. Europea Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) reported that France has been returning Roma to these countries under various schemes in significant numbers since at least 2007. What is new with expulsions of Roma that occurred in 2010 and why this issue never came into focus before? But before, passed the common picture and prejudice we have of them, what do we know about the European Romani population?

Is the British press more eurosceptic than the British public?

By Mathilde Bonneau | 22 March 2011

Euro-scepticism is said to be widely spread among British public. A quick look at the press seems to confirm it : virulent (and sometimes vulgar) frontpages against the EU help sell big newspapers by millions. But to what extent does it reflect the British public opinion ? Does it mean that trust in the EU is lower than trust in national political institutions ?

Maurice Fraser: Europe, enlargements and the UK

By Claudia Louati | 8 March 2011

Why British governments are traditionally in favour of enlargement? How to explain widespread euroscepticism in the UK? And what about the credibility of the Hungarian presidency? Maurice Fraser, a senior fellow in European Politics at the London School of Economics, shares with us his opinion.

Simon Hix: British Tories, Brussels, and a Bill (Part I)

By Lise Herman and Valentin Kreilinger | 22 February 2011

Simon Hix is professor in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He provided evidence to the European Scrutiny Committee in the House of Commons during the parliamentary debates on the EU Bill. In this interview to Nouvelle Europe, he gives his impressions on the significance and relevance of this piece of legislation which requires a referendum before any further transfer of power to the EU.

Why Nordic countries are a cornerstone of British foreign policy

By Valentin Kreilinger | 15 February 2011

Currently, David Cameron is the new face on the diplomatic stage in Europe – at the World Economic Forum in Davos, at the European Council Summits in Brussels, at the Security Conference in Munich. If the coalition government plays an active role on the European stage, who are its partners? The analysis of a summit that took place in London in late January, called “UK-Nordic-Baltic”, reveals that British foreign policy has developed a new strategic priority: Northern Europe.

A new British attitude towards Europe?

By Lise Herman | 8 February 2011

In the wake of last week's article, this one follows a conference which took place at Westminster on February 1rst and gathered Members of Parliament from the three main British parties – the Conservative Party, the Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The debate helped us answer these questions: how can we characterize the British new stance towards the EU? And how does the growing division between euro-pragmatists and euro-sceptics affect the UK’s position in the EU?

The EU bill: the victory of euroscepticism in British politics?

By Marion Soury | 1 February 2011

The election of the new coalition government in the UK in spring 2010 has brought a more defensive attitude towards the European Union. A good example of this political change after ten years of “positive pragmatism” under the New Labour government is the European Union Bill. After two readings at the House of Commons, the bill began the Committee stage in January – a word-by-word analysis of the bill’s measures. But for some Conservative MPs, it seems that the bill does not go far enough.

Russia – France relations: The fools of the Georgia war

By Tita Aver | 18 January 2011

Many remember the European Union presidency of French leader Sarkozy and its strong management of the Russia-Georgia conflict in August 2008. During one summer, the EU seemed at last to act like a global player. Yet some analysts suggest that the influence of France and the EU on the solution of the crisis was clearly overrated.