The road to Brussels

Needed: pragmatism and vision

Alan Donnelly  |  8 July 2014

So the dust settles after the prime minister’s rout at the European council. Thanks in no small part to David Cameron’s astonishingly amateurish attempt to block Jean-Claude Juncker, the former Luxembourg prime minister is secure as next European commission president. Having lost the argument about the man, the prime minister switched to concentrate on the …

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Ukip is not just wrong on policy

Alan Donnelly  |  21 May 2014

European and local elections are now upon us. While the ‘Europe question’ has dominated the news agenda for over a year, the elections themselves have taken a back seat. Most attention has focused on the United Kingdom Independence party rather than the European Union reform programmes of the major national parties. Even with a week …

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Will the EU come of age in Ukraine?

Alan Donnelly  |  6 March 2014

By now Europeans are used to crisis meetings. In the years since 2007, these have all been internal-focused, as the euro-crisis rumbled on. As if the European Union needed another crisis to attend to, Ukraine has presented itself. The past two weeks has seen massive protests, at first brutally dealt with, and then leading to …

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Schulz for president?

Alan Donnelly  |  30 January 2014

This year for the first time, party groups in the European parliament are putting up unified candidates for the presidency of the European commission. The Party of European Socialists has nominated the German president of the European parliament Martin Schulz. While there is some dissent about ‘politicisation’ of the commission through choosing single candidates in …

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Committing to real reform in Europe

Alan Donnelly  |  19 December 2013

This year has been another with the European Union often in the news – unfortunately, dominated by negativity and Tory splits. Last month the House of Commons finally passed a bill to legislate for a referendum by 2017 if Cameron wins a majority in 2015. Other EU members have always looked at our intermittent debates …

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Reform in a time of crisis

Alan Donnelly  |  27 November 2013

Beyond the issue of membership itself, Brits with an interest in Europe should turn our attention to meaningful reform of an embattled European Union. Others are doing so: this month’s Occasional Paper in the Social Europe Journal, ‘We need a Europe that is truly social and democratic’, is idealistic, radical, and far-reaching and penned by …

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A holding-pattern election?

Alan Donnelly  |  24 October 2013

Ten years ago social democrats were dominant in Europe, in government in 15 countries. By 2009, after the financial crisis came, it was five. This prompted many to ask whether the crisis had killed off European social democracy. Now in power in 10 European countries, the centre-left in Europe is not down and out. But …

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