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Category Archives: The EU

Official Secrets — A Movie Review from an Academic Perspective

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We went to see the movie “Official Secrets” this weekend, starring Keira Knightley in the role of Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun (UK). The film is based on the book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War”, and earlier this year Gun also talked to The Guardian (podcast) about her story. For the past decade, […]

2019 in Political Science (2) – Secrecy in Europe and Academic Trajectories

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I have promised to blog more frequently this year and to share how life and work as a political scientist looks like from my end. For this week’s post, I use the occasion of Vigjilenca Abazi‘s announcement that her monograph “Secrecy and Oversight in the EU” is soon to be published with Oxford University Press (Buy it! Read […]

Leaking in the European Commission: Is it in its DNA?

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For a paper (SocArXiv preprint version) I am writing in the context of my research on EU leaks, I looked at all disciplinary proceedings against leakers in the European Commission from 2006 to 2015, as documented in the annual reports of the IODC, its internal investigation office. Here’s the data that I extracted from IODC’s annual […]

Saving EU democracy: emotional intelligence or cold stupidity?

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Heather Grabbe and Stefan Lehne claim in a new Carnegie Europe report and a shorter op-ed that all it needs to save EU democracy is ’emotional intelligence’. I doubt that this is what we need, even if ’emotional intelligence’ sounds nice. The idea sounds nice, because the opposite of ’emotional intelligence’ is probably ‘cold stupidity’, and […]

EU history repeated: Will EU politics 2015 be just like 1995?

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Twenty years ago, in January 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU, and a new Commission President (from Luxembourg) was about to take office. Clearly a reason to look back today and see what has changed since then – just to be sure history is not repeating itself. To do so, I use one […]

The European careers of the EU’s national leaders (updated)

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In recent years, more and more top leaders of EU member countries have been elected or nominated who have spent one or several parts of their careers inside EU institutions, soon making it nine eight serving heads of state or heads of government. In fact, today, the Greek government announced that former EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas is nominated […]

The Barroso legacy: An academic look back (updated)

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Last week, the European Commission published its own legacy report in the form of a 600+ pages document titled “European Commission 2004 – 2014. A testimony by the president with selected documents“, opening the room for the first analyses of the legacy of 10 years with José Manuel Durão Barroso leading the European Commission. I have […]

The Juncker Commission: On the way to a smaller European Commission?

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Today, the new President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced the composition and structure of the European Commission for 2014-2019 (video of the press conference, press release), a Commission that looks much more like a prime minister’s cabinet than any other Commission before. However, is this the first step to a new type of […]

Trajectories of a new European elite: A closer look at Mogherini’s CV

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You could look at yesterday’s nomination of  Federica Mogherini as the future High Representative of the EU from a simple power balance and recent past perspective: She’s representing  one of large EU member states, one of the founding member states and her political party is the largest group within the Socialists and Democrats in the […]

A list of all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) since 1979

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For research purposes, we requested a list of all MEPs since 1979 from the European Parliament (under Regulation 1049/2001 on access to EU documents). We received the data today, 25 August 2014, from the European Parliament in two Excel sheets, one for 1979-June 2014 and one for the new period since July 2013. I’ve combined […]

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