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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

What You See Is What You Get

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In the last few days, I’ve ended up in Twitter conversations with two British journalists I greatly respect, only to discover that when they look at the EU they see something completely different than what I see. This is not a question of factual knowledge. They know as much about the EU as I do, […]

Are the Treaties more integrationist than their Masters?

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In defence of my proposed inter-pillar tie-breaker, I remarked that the Treaties have a tendency of being more integrationist – i.e. more inclined towards strengthening European integration – than the Member States, even though the Member States are supposed to be the Maîtres des Traités, the Masters of the Treaties. So I started to wonder: […]

Ex Tunc?

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Verfassungsblog wins the prize for the law geek question of the week/year/decade: Now that the European Court of Justice, in Digital Rights Ireland, has annulled Directive 2006/24, can Sweden get its infringement fine back? After all, in Case c-185/09 (proper judgement in French and Swedish only) the Court found that “by failing to adopt, within […]

Excessive pragmatism

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I’m still reading the Cohn-Bendit/Verhofstadt book. So far my diagnosis is that, for a book that I fundamentally agree with, there is a lot there that makes me mad. I will blog more about specific annoyances later, time permitting, but I thought I might start by explaining my problems with the book’s excessive pragmatism. Here’s […]

Resistance is Futile (2)

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The story of Tonio Borg’s confirmation as the next Maltese Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection keeps getting stranger. In response to the objections in the S&D group, the Parliament has listed a series of commitments that Mr. Borg is to make in order to be confirmed. They are: The delivery of the legislative proposal […]

Resistance is Futile

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Parts of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, as well as their civil society supporters, seem to have taken a rather unusual approach to the question of whether the Conservative Maltese Tonio Borg should be permitted to serve as the new Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs. In general, their objection seems to be […]

How the Dutch state is stealing from itself

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Even though this story has no obvious European dimension – other than a bit of international tax competition – I think it is interesting enough to be worth cross-posting here. As explained yesterday, I managed to get all of Dutch politics in a frenzy last Saturday, by pointing out that the Dutch state railway company NS […]

Piris (4)

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I finally got around to reading Jean-Claude Piris’ The Future of Europe, the book that was the basis for his lecture here in Florence in April. While I still don’t agree with his policy recommendation – a new Schengen-like treaty that creates further European Integration among a subset of EU Member States – there’s not […]

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