Why Martin Schulz Should Be The Next Commission President

Gary Titley

The European Commission was created as a supranational body independent of member state governments. Its job is to safeguard the treaties and to preserve the “communitaire” decision making process which is the cornerstone of the European Union. Above all it has to steer the European project through the storms created by the shifting power balances, […]

Markets and Authority: Navigating the Maze


As a child, I once got lost in a maze.  I could see where I had to get to, but try as I might, I could not get there.  Indeed, the harder I tried, the more lost I became.  The current situation in the EU feels a lot like that experience.  The harder we try […]

The Need For Representative Perspectives


How we view the world depends on our own perspective.  Living in a mansion, for example, would give us a more benign view of life than if we were homeless. In politics, perspective is everything.  It is what determines our priorities and drives our decision making.  That is why the greatest challenge to a politician […]

2020 Green Agenda: Greenhouse Gases and Bio-fuels


A key element of the EU’s 2020 green agenda has been thrown into doubt recently.  A major report has raised serious questions about the benefits of biofuels in the Union’s quest to reduce greenhouse gases. Not so long ago biofuels were seen as having many benefits. As a renewable fuel they were thought to produce […]

Scandal Hits the European Parliament: A Call For Greater Responsibility


Yet another in a long line of scandals has hit the European Parliament.  This time it is allegations that three MEPs agreed to receive payments for submitting amendments to legislation.  The anti-European press have had a field day and for once their outrage is justified. I can imagine the feelings of most MEPs who despite […]

The Court of Auditors: The Need for Assurance


One of the sticks which the anti-Europeans love to beat the EU with is the claim that the EU accounts have not been ‘signed off’ for more than 10 years. They repeatedly use this to conjure up images of widespread fraud and corruption. This perceived failure to ‘sign off’ the accounts is treated as a […]

European Foreign Affairs: Catherine Ashton and the Lisbon Treaty


The European Union throughout its history has been driven forward by grand visions and high ideals.  The trouble is when it comes to put those ideals into effect, the EU has a remarkable ability to reduce all that idealism into mundane and arcane institutional power grabs, rows about money and national one-upmanship. Nowhere is this […]

The EU After the Crisis: A Stronger or Weaker Union?


All eyes have been fixed recently on the titanic battle for the survival of the euro. Amidst all the sound and fury most people therefore would have missed a small event taking place off stage which could have serious consequences for the future of the EU. In the UK the right wing newspaper the Daily […]

The EU Needs to Reenergise the Enlargement Process


The greatest story the EU has to tell is, without a doubt, its enlargement process. By offering the prospect of membership to all European countries that meet its basic entry criteria, it has driven economic and political reform throughout the continent. Enlargement has delivered peace, stability and prosperity to the region despite potentially dangerous and […]

Effectiveness Should Define the EU’s Approach to Foreign Policy


On the face of it, it was an easy decision for Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Policy Chief, to make. Should she have a walk-on role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington at the beginning of September, or should she go to China to meet top officials in preparation for the European Council meeting, […]