The Green Alliance, a leading environmental think tank in the UK has recently published “unlocking a low-carbon Europe“, an excellent collection of articles about a climate-friendly budget for the EU. I had the chance to contribute with my article “Winning the Budget Battles” lining out (institutional) strategies to achieve a more friendly outcome for our climate.
Reform of the EU budget matters deeply for the pursuit of the low-carbon economy. For there is arguably no policy lever as important as the EU budget for setting the direction of EU action. While the size of the budget remains close to just one per cent of EU’s Gross National Income, it has the ability to lever additional spending by member states and the private sector. However, it is perhaps its political value that is of most influence. For the way in which the EU spends its resources is the primary indicator of its political priorities and its institutional ability to organise their pursuit.
This collection of viewpoints from diverse businesses and NGOs, social organisations and think tanks, addresses the political challenge of acting on these two priority areas of climate change and the reform of the EU budget Continue reading →
One of the greatest benefits of studying at LSE has been to attend public lectures by world leaders and academics. So far my highlight had been the 3-day “tour de growth” with Philippe Aghion. After last night I feel that the most (academically) stimulating experience has been Andrew Moravcsik’s lecture on the “European Constitutional Settlement”.
As a committed federalist I have often found it difficult to agree with Moravcsik’s analysis of the process of European integration. Since his landmark studies in the early 1990s he has long been the defender of the intergovernmental method – acknowledging continuing control in the hand of EU member states. My experience working in and around EU politics over the last 9 years has been different but I have always valued Moravcsik’s contribution as a valid intellectual and academic challenge to any federalist.
Yesterday’s speech of Andrew Moravcsik at the LSE was in many ways interesting and inspiring. I shall blog more about the substance in the forthcoming entry but thought I share his final remarks first.
When the chair Damien Chalmers intended to close the debate, Moravcsik asked to make a final statement. As a regular professor of politics and international relations at Stanford University he had spent his last year researching in China. As much as he loved the country and was inspired by its politics, he pointed to us, students of Europe, and made this really interesting statement:
After having talked to a Chinese leader for five minutes, he will acknowledge that China is still very far away from a global super power. At this moment, China is at most a middle power like Britain and will remain to be one at least for our generation. Therefore, studying the US and Europe, the two only global super-power, is as fascinating as it can be to study international relations these days.
Now this was warm words in everybody’s ears I guess. And it is so different from “Prof” Joschka Fischer who claims that the real balance of power is quickly shifting towards the US, India and China.