Calling Europe into Question: the British and the Greek referenda

On this day last year, Greeks woke up facing a referendum result that very few had expected. Almost a year later, on the 24th of June 2016, British and other Europeans woke up overwhelmingly surprised by the ‘Leave’ vote. Despite their significant differences, the Greek and the British referenda have some important things in common. Reading them together might have something to teach us about referenda on the EU—especially now that more people seem to be asking for one in their own country.

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Why Tusk’s Proposal is not so Bad

Should the other EU member states rebuff the UK’s reform demands and seize the opportunity to amend the Constitutional treaties instead? Unlike Federico Fabbrini, who in his post of the 3rd of February proposed they should, I will argue that European integration doesn’t follow a linear path, and it may therefore be necessary to give in to some requests. This would not lead to EU disintegration.

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President Tusk’s Proposal for a New Settlement for the UK in the EU: Fueling – not Taming – EU Disintegration

The European Union is at the crossroad. On 17 February the European Council will deal with the United Kingdom’s request to renegotiate the terms of its EU membership. The British Conservative government has committed to holding a referendum on withdrawal from the EU before the end of 2017. At the same time, the British Prime […]

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David Cameron’s EU reform claims: If not ‘ever closer union’, what?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron claims that the reforms he seeks for Britain will be good for the European Union as a whole. That proposition deserves examination. Here we focus on only one, but the most totemic of his demands – namely that the UK wins a ‘formal, legally-binding and irreversible’ exemption from the EU’s historic mission of ‘ever closer union of the peoples of Europe’. Jobs and immigration might stir the masses in the referendum campaign, but it is the issue of ‘ever closer union’ that divides most sharply the sovereignists from the federalists and could, if mishandled, do severe collateral damage to the rest of the EU.

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How to make the Brexit deal formal, legally-binding and irreversible

Whatever one thinks (and one does) about the British renegotiation of its terms of EU membership, one can only marvel at the prime minister’s bravado when he insists on the changes being ‘formal, legally-binding and irreversible’. Nobody expected David Cameron to be so categorical when he embarked on his long-anticipated speech and ‘Dear Donald’ letter, eventually delivered on 10 November. Surely somebody warned him that to demand something so trenchant would pose huge legal problems?

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David Cameron is not a visionary, he is an illusionist

The UK Prime Minister proclaims EU reforms. But the reform steps he demands address none of the actual problems of the EU. Neither on the sovereign debt crisis nor on the refugee and migration crisis any proposals or solutions from Cameron are forthcoming. Instead, he focuses on comparatively insignificant issues that affect the UK. This explains the largely ‘open-minded’ response by most European leaders after the speech.

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Cameron’s bid for irreversible guarantee means constitutional chaos

The UK 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.

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