Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Good and the Bad

Nicolas Véron delivers a mixed verdict on the work of the European Commission:

The problem is that a single integrated market cannot be sustainable without strong supporting public institutions. And here, the Commission is at fault for its lack of vision. The free-market fundamentalism of Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, who in 2004 famously quipped that he wanted to be remembered for the new regulations he would refuse to adopt, combined here with the Commission’s traditional turf protection, which makes it wary of any new EU-level bodies that would not be itself.

Maghrébins in France

A century of cultural history--exposition at the Archives Municipales de Lyon.

What Political Europe?

La Vie des Idées has a dossier on "political Europe" in advance of the upcoming elections. The only essay I've been able to read thus far is this one by Etienne Pataut on the concept of European citizenship and the role of the European Court of Justice in defining it. It's very good indeed.

Alienation from EU Grows in France

The FT notes rather caustically that French politicians, usually eager for air time, have been avoiding the cameras and microphones when it comes to EU elections. As the mood at home turns more cynical, nobody wants to be too closely associated with Europe, except of course for Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who is everywhere these days, and perhaps Pierre Moscovici. Most other pols are keeping a low profile.

The number of people who consider French membership of the EU a good thing has fallen from a peak of 74 per cent in 1987 to 47 per cent last year.

“Many of our fellow citizens seem to use Europe as a blank screen on which to project their social, economic and identity concerns,” says Pascal Perrineau, a professor at Sciences Po university in Paris.

Talks

And now a word from our sponsor: here's the text of the talk I gave this weekend in honor of Patrice Higonnet, and here is the video of a panel in which I participated at the U of Montreal in April (I start at about minute 36).