Andrew Duff -  On Governing Europe

As the British referendum looms, a false sense of expectation is spreading in Brussels. Some wishful thinking is excusable: Britain’s partners have grown tired of having to tolerate David Cameron’s general contempt for the European Union and of circumnavigating his efforts to salvage the synthetic unity of his Conservative party. The opinion polls show a… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

European Council meetings are deliciously unpredictable – especially, like today’s, when constitutional matters are raised. There are new faces around the table (including the new Latvian prime minister, Maris Kucinskis, who only took office last week) who are largely unknown and, as far as one can tell, largely unknowing about the EU’s constitutional problems. Several… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

Dear Prime Minister, I understand from press reports that you are increasingly frustrated by the obstacles that appear to obstruct your renegotiation of the terms of UK membership of the European Union. Maybe I can help. First I will deal with the substance of your demands for treaty change, and then on the form. ‘Ever… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

Ever ambitious, the British government is seeking to renegotiate the terms of UK membership and to reform the European Union all in one go. One of its key demands is to strengthen the powers of national parliaments. In the perspective of eurosceptic politics, this seems like an easy hit. Indeed, the ruse has been swallowed… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

Conservative parliamentarians have lined up to deride David Cameron’s speech of 10 November as falling far short of the radical renegotiation of Britain’s terms of membership that they want. This domestic reaction has misled the casual foreign observer to conclude that Cameron’s demands can be quite easily accommodated by a European Union which is vexed… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

The Conservative government’s attempt to renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership of the European Union continues to distress Britain’s pro-Europeans, antagonise its anti-Europeans and bamboozle its EU partners. Prime minister David Cameron has realised that there are two cardinal principles of EU primary law which he will not be allowed to breach: freedom of movement… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff

The first time it happened, on 22 November 1989, the German Chancellor outshone the French President. It was under a fortnight since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Helmut Kohl sounded confident and decisive, clear in his call for enlargement of the European Community and commitment to the goal of political union. François Mitterrand, by… » read more

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Posted by Andrew Duff