Dreaming of Eutopia

The Party of European Socialists has issued its own predictably fluffy demand for change without change, which will no doubt bring some more comfort to J-C and his conservatives. Here are some samples of what people who wish to think seriously about the future of the EU are up against: “Sixty years ago, the people … More Dreaming of Eutopia

Barney or Blarney?

Michel Barnier, who if nothing changes will be the “Chief Negotiator for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom”, gave a speech on 22 March to the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions. In this post we comment on excerpts from his speech, selecting items that give clues … More Barney or Blarney?

The Rome Declaration

We didn’t expect any startling declarations or ideas for reform and the Declaration lives down to our expectations. The theme is Unity, though what this means is not defined, or even made clear. Only by leaving it as a slogan could it be accepted by all member states, or at least by their leaders. Defining it … More The Rome Declaration

Potential Energy

The EU Observer has an article illustrating how the EU’s desperation to show that it brings results obliges it to fudge facts and so further risk its tattered reputation for trustworthiness. To be fair, the EU Observer points up the fudging but we draw the inference to ‘desperation’. We share their view on the risk … More Potential Energy

Deal, or No Deal

Theresa May has announced that Article 50 will be triggered on March 29th, in just a week’s time. We (this blog’s authors) usually agree but on the issue of the Brexit negotiations our views are sufficiently different to warrant separate passages. We’ll present them both and then show that they are not necessarily in contradiction. … More Deal, or No Deal

Romancing in Rome

The Rome summit on 25 March will be largely about self-congratulation; we don’t expect much discussion on reform, let alone any agreement on what is needed or how to do it. In this post we look at some of the issues they won’t face up to at the event, or elsewhere. Reviewing our reading in … More Romancing in Rome


Our concern is with the EU and the case for leaving. Indeed, the case for breaking the thing up. However, we feel we must comment on the proposed second referendum on Scottish independence because there are some obvious parallels. By announcing her demand for another referendum immediately after Parliament agreed to the triggering of Article … More Scotch-it

Thinking Wishfully

Tomas Prouza, state secretary for European affairs for the Czech Republic, has an article in the EUobservers website, which takes a lead from the recent Commission White Paper. The article closely echoes some of the text of the White Paper but also makes some points that raise fresh questions.  The author explains that the initial … More Thinking Wishfully