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The big cuts in Britain’s defence capabilities announced in London earlier this week will have far-reaching consequences for European defence policy. The decision of Britain’s coalition government to reduce defence spending by 8 per cent over the next four years condemns the UK to closer co-operation with European allies, and especially with France. British Prime… » read more

So the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has approved the set-up of Europe’s foreign service, as negotiated in Madrid two weeks ago. Formal agreement is expected in plenary after the holidays, allowing the European External Action Service (EEAS) to be operational by the end of the year. Creation of the EEAS is potentially the most… » read more

I was on the radio this morning discussing with eurosceptic Tory MP Bill Cash the proposal that there should be some kind of common discussion among the member state governments and the European Commission about the national budgets of the member states. The European budget is of course agreed by the member states, but it… » read more

This story about the role of the UK Conservative Party in the European Parliament was published by EurActiv on 1st June 2010. Despite persistent rumours, the ruling British Conservative Party denied suggestions that they would eventually return to the mainstream centre-right EPP group in the European Parliament. EurActiv spoke to a leading party representative yesterday… » read more

In this exclusive article, Sir Stephen Wall, formerly the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the European Union, explains why the new coalition government in the UK faces a changing relationship with the EU. A few days after the British General Election, I saw a UK Press review which was full of downbeat comments from pro-European… » read more

Against the backdrop of a European economic crisis of monumental proportions, the creation of the UK’s coalition government must seem like “noises off” to the rest of the European audience. But at least the deal reached between Conservative leader David Cameron and Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats could provide political stability in Britain for… » read more

The United Kingdom is in economic and budgetary crisis. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have joined forces to provide a strong government, able to take the necessary unpleasant measures. David Cameron and Nick Clegg and their parties have admirably compromised to establish a much needed consensual political culture. There of course remain major differences. The… » read more

This story about the new coalition government in Britain was published by EurActiv on 12th May 2010. New Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives and the smaller Liberal Democrat party led by Nick Clegg struck an agreement early today (12 May) to form Britain’s first coalition government since 1945. Clegg is leading the Liberal Democrats back… » read more

The markets have been bowled over by the scale of the eurozone bail-out package announced this morning, after agreement by G-7 finance ministers, the European Commission, the 16 eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund. An emergency funding facility of up to €720 billion is designed to protect weaker eurozone members and save the integrity… » read more

This story about the UK general election result was published by EurActiv on 7th May 2010. Preliminary results early on 7 May show that Britain’s opposition Conservatives look on course to become the largest party in parliament after the closest election in three decades. But the UK looks set for a hung parliament without a… » read more

This story about last night’s televised UK election debate was published by EurActiv on 23rd April 2010. UK Conservative leader David Cameron, who according to polls remains on track to become the next British prime minister, delivered a vintage Tory performance in last night’s televised election debate, declaring that his government wanted to be “in… » read more

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