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The right to join Europe’s club is not a reward

EU membership is not a prize, still many refer to it in that way. Ironically, the best way to ensure candidate states adopt economic discipline and economic reform is to keep them perpetually at the EU's doorstep.

A poll that will test the whole process

Today, across the United States, the nature of democracy is at issue. John discusses the American presidential elections, and draws comparisons to European- and other mediated democracies.

The greying generation is an old problem

We should appreciate the extent to which the world economy has absorbed demographic changes in the last two decades without anyone really noticing. In the second part of a commentary on the debate about the employment of older people, John takes a look at 20th century population changes and their repercussions.

Counting the cost of the sum of the parts

When our forefathers passed legislation to defend the financial interests and artistic integrity of future Leonardos and Palladios, it is unlikely they imagined that they were also protecting those whose creative talents are expressed in the sweep of a car fender or the flange of a toner cartridge. At the moment, regulation for original designs varies across the EU nations with poor consequences for both consumers and producers.

Europe’s project rests on mediation not force

The future of European democracy is about mediation not majority rule; its regulation about shared values not imposed rules. Its draft constitution would be a better document if it recognised this.

Europe deserves a better declaration of values

It is hard to tell what the framers of the European Consitution intend, and it's clear that they haven't quite worked it out. In this week's article, John calls for a debate that identifies distinctive European values and defines the nature of the political experiment in which the European states are engaged.

A wider Europe puts the accent on English

If it were possible to replace the diverse languages of Europe with a common Eurospeak, there could be only one sensible choice - English. Not because it is the language of Star Trek and Madonna, but because it is the language of McKinsey and Goldman Sachs.

For all its faults, France is the place to be

On average, it seems that life is sweeter in France than on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – at least judging by their shorter working hours, longer lunch breaks and extended holidays. In this week’s article, John explains why Jacques Chirac, the French president, is almost the only Frenchman over 70 in regular employment, and why it’s likely to stay that way.

Political decisions are not a matter of statistics

The report regarding the Chancellor’s five tests for joining the Euro might provide an impressive economic analysis; yet as we all know it will be a pointless one too

The real culprits in Europe’s pensions crisis

The problem of the European pension gap cannot be tackled by the kind of financial engineering proposed by the European Financial Services Round Table. This is not the moment in history to argue that private pension funding is necessarily superior to state provision.

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