The Reporting Europe Prize is back and nominations are open! Please nominate the best pieces of EU reporting/journalism via the official website: UACES is looking for an outstanding blogpost, a great newspaper article, or a particularly good radio or TV piece. New forms of journalism are also highly valued. It is the only independent journalism prize that is exclusively dedicated to journalism about the European Union.
FAQs (that are not covered on the official website):
Why only in English?
It is simply an issue of resources. UACES is financially and organizationally not in a position to do pan-European selection process. If you are a sponsor or an organisation that would like to change this get in touch and we see what can be done.
Why is the award ceremony in London?
UACES is based in London. Although it is a European association its roots are in British academia which explains the UK focus of its work.
Does UACES have a political agenda regarding the EU?
No – it is academic membership association providing services to academics that work in the field of European Studies.
Disclaimer: Yours truly is a member of the UACES committee and will serve on the jury this year.
Happy Birthday, bloggingportal!
(thanks to Mary Honeyball for publishing the letter!)
Last week Nick Clegg presented his vision for the UK in Europe. Of course there could have been a bit more ‘vision’ but well… In an attempt to earn some street cred and to appeal to his coalition partner (yes – hard to believe but the LibDems are in government!) he included an anecdote about “crazy EU rules” in his speech:
“I am all for reducing frivolous and expensive European rules. At the weekend we heard stories about proposals to regulate the shoes and jewellery British hairdressers wear. That kind of thing is clearly too much. Having worked at the heart of the EU, I can certainly give you some more examples. And, more profoundly, we need to refocus the EU, so it does more where it adds value, and less where it doesn’t.”
But this story about hairdressers is another euromyth brought to you by The Sun. In fact, these proposals were put forward by hairdressers and salon owners from across Europe – so nothing to do with any EU proposal. Well, this is what happens when you believe EU stories in The Sun. Nick Clegg should know better.
Some thoughts on a EU referendum in the UK (scribbled down a couple of weeks ago – the debate is so annoying so I thought I should publish a couple of bullet points without turning it into a fully thought through article)
(1) First of all we should not fool ourselves: People that call for a referendum want to leave the EU.
I know there are people who argue differently and basically want to have ‘fresh consent’ for continued membership. But would they call for a referendum without the pressure from the ‘anti-EU’ camp? Why not call for a referendum on continued membership in NATO (it surely affects sovereignty)?
(2) Renegotiation will not please the Eurosceptics – precisely because it will be a compromise. If (1) is correct this is a non starter for many on the right. Plus the other 26 EU members do not want a renegotiation and the concessions that could be negotiated may not be enough to make the case for a “new settlement” – so promising a referendum on something you can’t deliver? Hardly a smart strategy.
(3) There is TEU Article 50 – so if you want to leave the EU why not initiate a vote in parliament. If parliamentary sovereignty is such an important constitutional feature of the country why not use it? Why a referendum?
(4) If you want to renegotiate your membership terms why don’t you just do it? Again, what about parliamentary sovereignty, why a referendum? Just because someone 10 years ago promised a referendum on a similar topic?
(5) British media and public debate will not allow a sensible debate on the EU – and that is a fact. No need to think otherwise. There is a constant anti-EU bias in most of the British media – and that also includes BBC. Nobody is interested in facts and in explaining how things work. And 2-3 decades of this sort of ‘debate’ has left the country in a state where a real debate is not possible anymore. And when even the government is too scared to publish a short note of congratulations on the EU’s Nobel Peace Prize – something is seriously wrong.
(6) There will only be losers: The outcome will be narrow whoever wins it. Imagine a 52% to 48% victory for the yes side – but what then? The debate will just continue. the “Eurosceptics” will work on another referendum or more opt-outs as it was a “considerable minority” and demand more special “safeguards” – and like any referendum in countries that don’t do referendums regularly there will be accusations about misleading campaigns, low turnout, campaign finances, media bias etc. Of course the same will be true if the no side wins it.
(7) What will happen to the EU referendum with an independent Scotland. Surely, a EU referendum cannot be held before Scotland votes on independence at the end of 2014. So why do we have this debate right now?
(8) So having established (7), there is a distinct possibility that it will be Labour’s call. And they seem to be utterly confused about the issue.
(9) I also agree with Nick (Clegg) here: Every step towards repatriation, renegotiation is a step towards the exit. But the key difference is that Nick is in government and I am not.
(10) to be continued…
You take a handful of distortion, add in political bias, stir in doses of UKIP’s vilification, sprinkle with gullible journalists who don’t check their facts. And what do you get? A poisonous concoction. An ill-informed British public ever-more distrustful of Europe, after being deceived by those who hate Europe. A United Kingdom betrayed by those who lay pretense to patriotism, but in practice leave our country weak, and with diminished influence.
h/t to Dave Keating
EU wins the Nobel Peace Prize 2012.(kudos to Norwegian state broadcaster for the scoop a few hours before the announcement)
Do we now need an extraordinary European Council to decide who is going to pick up the prize? (My bet is on van Rompuy – I hope for a speech made up entirely of haikus) but also a joint speech by the three president (mayhe based on QMV could also be a possibility.
Next question is what to do with the money? Not enough for any bailout so it might be added to some EU democracy fund, the peace institute – or will it simply be added to the budget to save Erasmus? (Or they just could give it to bloggingportal
At the moment I am in Zagreb at a conference organised by the European Fund for the Balkans – interesting environment in this contex. After all the Balkans were a major foreign policy failure of Europe in the 1990s – and now EU enlargement seems to be transforming the region…
I am still confused about what David Cameron’s ‘fresh consent’ idea will involve. But I think he is going for a minimal risk strategy – and instead of an active negotaition strategy to repatriate powers he is hoping for a ‘default’ opt-out from eurozone governance mechanisms which will ensure and consolidate British second class membership of the EU.