European Opinion
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20 мая, 14:43

In Space No-One Can Hear You Trump: Brexit, GPS, and the Iran Deal

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If you’d skipped the news during 2016 you might wonder what this “Brexit” actually is, when the British, French, and German governments are perfectly aligned on crucial political issues like the future relationship with Iran. No, really. Here, for example, … Continue reading →

25 марта, 01:23

AFOE reads French cybersecurity policy so you don’t have to

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I have finally read the French government cybersecurity paper from here! (Direct link to the reference document.) The thing that stands out to me, first of all, is that an important difference has emerged between France and the UK (and … Continue reading →

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03 января, 16:04

Meeting the New Year

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The Project for a Post-American Century meets an international system with Chinese characteristics. There’s something in this Evan Osnos article in The New Yorker for nearly everyone: [Trump] announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on … Continue reading →

11 декабря 2017, 01:50

Self-Binding Back To The Deal

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I think the logic in this post and this earlier one has stood up rather well. There were only three possible options – hard border, sea border, and no border. Everyone involved rejected the hard border. The DUP, and quite … Continue reading →

05 декабря 2017, 01:03

Pulling a Brexit From Your Hat

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Following up on this post, what are we to make of today’s news? The UK put forward a proposal to maintain “regulatory alignment”, which is apparently not the same thing as a lack of divergence, “on the island of Ireland”. … Continue reading →

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29 ноября 2017, 14:45

When you have eliminated the impossible…

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A quick thought on the news that the UK “offer” has been agreed by Cabinet (see Robert Peston). One thing that has been underdiscussed in all the arguing about the Irish border issue is that the core principle of the … Continue reading →

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24 ноября 2017, 20:25

Article 63: It’s the New Article 50

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So what’s going to happen next in Germany? It’s worth taking a look at the mechanics of how Germany elects a Chancellor. These are set out quite specifically in Article 63 of the Grundgesetz. The text is here and an … Continue reading →

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20 ноября 2017, 20:46

The FDP has left the centre

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This chart from the Berliner Morgenpost‘s election night data feature tells you everything you need to know about how the German coalition talks broke down. It shows the ideological positioning of every new MdB from the 2017 election. The data … Continue reading →

29 сентября 2017, 16:41

OuiShare: a modern cult

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Always hopeful for something – some event, something – to add to the gaiety of life in this interval consisting of things that do not add to the gaiety: Trump, Brexit, unaffordable housing. Nothing for ages and then, all of … Continue reading →

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27 сентября 2017, 15:07


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Remember the Pirate Party? Back in September 2011, they boarded the Berlin city-state legislature, winning 8.9 percent of the vote. That put five parties in the legislature and complicated the coalition math. They highlighted the Greens’ generational challenges, put digital … Continue reading →

25 сентября 2017, 10:09

Reds Got the Blues? No.

Over on social media, a friend-of-a-friend said that the strong showing of the far-right AfD in Sunday’s German election was “further erosion of the neoliberal left.” Yeah, no. Here’s what the main public broadcaster in Germany has from their polling … Continue reading →

22 сентября 2017, 16:13

German Elections on Sunday

Some thoughts about Germany’s election this Sunday, hoisted from comments over on Facebook. They’re more about personal preferences, and maybe not anything new for the three readers Fistful still has after Brexit broke the blog. (By the way, there’s still … Continue reading →