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Liberalism: What's in a name?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Liberalism: What's in a name?

The European Parliament political group ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) have announced the intention to drop the word 'liberal' if an alliance with French President Emmanuel Macron's European "Renaissance" movement is made. That's a good thing for the authenticity of liberalism in Europe.   The alliance   The announcement was made…

The case for the sharing economy

Blogger: Bill Wirtz
The case for the sharing economy

The sharing economy is not only a different way of presenting services such as Uber or Airbnb, but actually a wide range of companies that operate on the basis of shared resources to maximise their utility. Innovations in this area, however, require rethinking  the State's current authorisation system to give more flexibility to companies, employees and consumers. Uber’s example…

ALDE's moral high-ground is slipping away

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
ALDE's moral high-ground is slipping away

Prominent ALDE members are continuously criticising the EPP and the ECR for the parties that hold their membership. And indeed, the Hungarian Fidesz is rightfully criticised for still being a part of the European People's Party. Yours truly has been a part of this conversation. ALDE group leader Guy Verhofstadt continuously goes after Manfred Weber for this reason, but truth be told: the…

Who is really dismantling Europe?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Who is really dismantling Europe?

French President Emmanuel Macron has called for the renegotiation of the Schengen agreement, which guarantees the right to free movement between the signatory countries in Europe. Paired with some of his other statements, this demonstrates  how hypocritical France's head of state can really be.   The context   The European nations participating in the Schengen agreement are…

The Dutch-Albanian feud can be resolved by ending the war on drugs

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
The Dutch-Albanian feud can be resolved by ending the war on drugs

The Dutch parliament has asked their government to invoke the visa suspension mechanism for the Republic of Albania. The parliament in the Hague cites a worrying increase in crimes committed by the Albanian mafia as a reason for the move.   The visa suspension mechanism   Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018 allows member states…

Rainer Wieland is right: a seven-year budget is ludicrous

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Rainer Wieland is right: a seven-year budget is ludicrous

One of the European Parliament's senior members, Rainer Wieland (EPP-Germany),stated in an interview that long-term budgeting doesn't make a whole lot of sense. He's right. His conclusion, however, does not pass muster.   The EU budget   Five-year economic plans or seven-year budgets are the hallmarks of collectivist regimes. Stalin's first Five Year Plan came to…

How do you even "march for Europe"?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
How do you even "march for Europe"?

Seriously, what does that mean?   Confident marchers   On March 24, 1,000 people marched in Brussels, urging pro-EU forces to remain united in order to tackle the rising extreme-right and halt the “Orbanisation” of European societies ahead of the May EU elections. Their fear: the right-wing, following the example of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, will turn…

Protecting the environment should be about being pro-human

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Protecting the environment should be about being pro-human

In figures released by Eurostat this month, it was reported that only 6.4% of energy consumed in the Grand Duchy in 2017 came from renewable sources, making Luxembourg stand more than ten percentage points below the EU average of 17.5%as well as the member state producing the least amount from renewable energy. Granted, this number is up from previous years, rising from 5.4% in 2016, 5% in…

What the Dutch air travel tax proposal reveals about our political class

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
What the Dutch air travel tax proposal reveals about our political class

The Netherlands is pushing for a new tax on air travel. The story is very under-reported in the media, even though it reveals something quite striking about the current political establishment.   The most important reason   Dutch Secretary of State for Finance Menno Snel presented a report to the Council of Ministers of the EU arguing for a €7 tax (per passenger, per flight…

Is the Romanian PM right about the EU's hypocrisy on corruption and civil liberties?

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Blogger: Bill Wirtz
Is the Romanian PM right about the EU's hypocrisy on corruption and civil liberties?

Romania's presidency isn't a smooth one for a number of reasons. For one, taking over the rotating Council presidency in a European election year means that the European Parliament will be missing as one of the institutional partners from April on. During this reduced time, the country will then be asked to finish a number of major-league legislative projects, such as the development aid…

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