According to Marc Brightman, the problems of migration and economic stagnation, often referenced as the causes of the votes for Brexit or populist parties in Italy, should be treated together as part of a single problem of sustainability. An opportunity exists to exploit the rather consensual ground of environmental economics and ecological economics in European negotiations to agree on reforms for Italy and the other member states.
The formation of a populist government in Italy is causing disarray among policymakers and policy advisors working in a framework that has not assimilated advances in interdisciplinary sustainability science.
The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit has come to an end. After two weekends of intense deliberation, the members voted on a range of options for the form they want Brexit to take in relation to trade and immigration. Their conclusions will surprise some, and they deserve detailed attention from politicians and commentators. Assembly Director Alan Renwick summarises these conclusions and reflects on the weekend as a whole. He argues that, while the Brexit debate is often presented in stark binary terms, the Citizens’ Assembly suggests that the British public are capable of much subtler thinking – if only they are given the chance.
The European Union is a system founded on consensus-building and collaborative problem solving. Dr Simon Usherwood argues that it is for this reason very important for politicians to listen to the voices of Eurosceptics and other critics and to engage them in conversation.
In true Eurotrash style, I’m writing this as I fly to Italy, where I’m attending a workshop on studying the EU. The event, jointly run by the European University Institute and the College of Europe, is looking to consider how the rise of euroscepticism challenges the way we study and teach about the Union. Looking at the names on the list of speakers, there’s lots of potential for a great debate.
But why should you care about my travel plans or my taking part in another talking shop?
Having worked on the study of euroscepticism for longer than I can to remember – let’s just say I knew UKIP before they were big – I have always been struck by the lack of interest in the subject in European circles. Indeed, it was one of the things that got me interested in it in the first place. Continue reading