Tag Archives: France

Moravcsik on the European Constitutional Settlement

Andrea MoravcsikOne 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.

With this blog entry I will try to sum up Andrew’s speech Continue reading

Don’t kill my fish – time for a radical change

Fisheries88% of European fish stocks are overfished. Most of my favourite fish like (mediterranean) red tuna and ocean perch are about to be extinguished within a generation unless extreme measures are taken. But these problems are common knowledge.

The EU Commission and key member states have for too long resisted a reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). While most northern countries including Germany have long given up on wide-scale fishing, southern member states like Spain, Portugal, France and Italy (and maybe Scotland) have preserved strong and extremely vocal fishing industries. Together these member states have long managed to serve their fishermen’s (short-term) interests by continuously oversubscribing on the annual fishing quotes.

Unfortunately, neither the non-fishing member states have engaged the “fish mafia” in a serious dialogue to tackle the problem with a long-term vision, nor have these fishing nations shown any leadership in facing fishermen and working towards a reform of the sector. The lowest-common denominator in this failed policy is that the tax-payer makes up for this lack of political leadership. In 2009 EU tax-payers foot the annual bill of 630 mio Euro. Annual Continue reading

France and the holocaust

France’s Council of State (its highest court) has ruled yesterday about the involvement of France in the holocaust. According to the BBC coverage

The Council of State said the state had permitted or facilitated deportations that led to anti-Semitic persecution without being coerced by the occupiers.

But the council also found reparations had since been made “as much as was possible, for all the losses suffered”.

KZ StruthofIt is obviously not ideal that court cases have to alter our (or France’s) understanding of history and therefore it was right of Jacques Chirac to offer an apology in 1995. However, sad enough, it took a president so long to. Remember that his predecessor Francois Mitterrand for all his glory received abroad had until the end kept an ambigious relationship to collaborateurs with the Vichy regime and his own role during occupation has never really been full scrutinised. As little respect as I have for Chirac, I admit Continue reading