Simon Hix

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    Do MEPs want to keep ‘schlepping’ to Strasbourg? How travel time influences views on the location of the European Parliament

Do MEPs want to keep ‘schlepping’ to Strasbourg? How travel time influences views on the location of the European Parliament

The practice of holding European Parliament plenary sessions in both Brussels and Strasbourg has frequently been criticised on the basis that it is financially wasteful and damages the environment. But what shapes the opinions of MEPs on the subject? Based on survey evidence, Simon Hix and Richard Whitaker illustrate that while there is support among a large number of […]

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    No more denial: let’s accept the inevitable and fight for the best Brexit we can

No more denial: let’s accept the inevitable and fight for the best Brexit we can

Many supporters of remaining in the EU are in denial about Brexit, writes Simon Hix.  But if the referendum result is not accepted, the 48% who voted to stay are in danger of being sidelined in an extremely important debate. We need to accept the fact that the UK is leaving the EU, and emerge from it with the best […]

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Is the EU really run by unelected bureaucrats?

Much of the UK’s referendum debate has focused on the extent to which EU decision-making is democratic, with the European Commission a source of particular criticism from leave campaigners on the basis that it is unelected. Simon Hix writes that while there are legitimate problems with the EU’s system of democracy, there is little to justify the idea that […]

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    Red card, red herring: Introducing Cameron’s EU ‘red card procedure’ will have limited impact

Red card, red herring: Introducing Cameron’s EU ‘red card procedure’ will have limited impact

The UK’s proposal for a “red card procedure” for national parliaments to stop EU policy proposals would have affected less than two per cent of votes in the EU Council of Ministers – and that’s assuming governments lose the plot. Sara Hagemann, Chris Hanretty and Simon Hix discuss.

Earlier this month the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, proposed several […]

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    UK influence series: Do British MEPs win key positions of power in the European Parliament?

UK influence series: Do British MEPs win key positions of power in the European Parliament?

The extent to which British MEPs are appointed to key positions in the European Parliament can be expected to have an impact on their influence over the EU’s legislative process. In the latest article in our UK influence series, Simon Hix and Giacomo Benedetto assess how successful British MEPs have been in this respect since 2004. They note that […]

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    UK influence in Europe series: The policy successes (and failures) of British MEPs

UK influence in Europe series: The policy successes (and failures) of British MEPs

How do British MEPs fare in the European Parliament? In a previous article in our UK influence in Europe series, Simon Hix demonstrated that British MEPs are less likely to be on the ‘winning side’ in European Parliament votes than MEPs from any other state. In a follow up post, he breaks down the success by policy area, noting […]

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    UK influence in Europe series: British MEPs lose most often in the European Parliament

UK influence in Europe series: British MEPs lose most often in the European Parliament

How do British MEPs fare in the European Parliament? Using detailed voting records from 2004 until 2015, Simon Hix illustrates the percentage of times MEPs from different member states, European political groups, and national parties are on the ‘winning side’ in votes in the European Parliament. The figures indicate that British MEPs do particularly poorly in comparison to those […]

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Brits know less about the EU than anyone else

How does knowledge about the EU vary between citizens of EU Member States? Using data from Eurobarometer surveys, Simon Hix writes that respondents from the UK perform worse than citizens from any other state when asked factual questions about the EU. However, he notes that while there is a perception that providing more information about the EU to UK […]

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    UK influence in Europe series: Is the UK at the top table in EU negotiations?

UK influence in Europe series: Is the UK at the top table in EU negotiations?

How influential is the UK in EU decision-making? In the third in a series of articles, Simon Hix presents evidence on the countries EU member states choose to cooperate with during negotiations in the Council of the European Union. He writes that UK officials appear to be the best connected of all the member states’ officials, with more member […]

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Does the UK win or lose in the Council of Ministers?

One of the key issues in the context of the UK’s debate over EU membership is the level of influence the country has within the EU’s institutions. In the second in a series of articles examining whether the UK is marginalised in EU decision-making, Simon Hix and Sara Hagemann present data on how the UK fares in decisions made […]

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Is the UK marginalised in the EU?

How influential is the UK in negotiations over EU legislation? Simon Hix writes that while there is a perception among some actors within the UK that the country is marginalised during EU negotiations, the best available data on EU decision-making would suggest that this is not the case. Citing figures from the DEUII dataset on EU decision-making, he illustrates […]

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    Media coverage in Germany and the UK shows why both countries have radically different views over who should be the next Commission President

Media coverage in Germany and the UK shows why both countries have radically different views over who should be the next Commission President

The so called ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process, in which European-level political parties proposed formal candidates for President of the European Commission prior to the European Parliament elections, has been strongly opposed by David Cameron and the British government. This opposition has led to intense disagreement between the UK and other EU states, notably Germany, over whether Jean-Claude Juncker, the candidate for […]

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    If the European Parliament voting system were changed to an open-list system, many voters would switch their support from UKIP to the Conservative party

If the European Parliament voting system were changed to an open-list system, many voters would switch their support from UKIP to the Conservative party

Britain currently uses a closed-list system for the European Parliament elections, allowing voters only to express support for a parties as a whole. An open-list system would allow a voter to choose a candidate from one of the mainstream political parties, whilst still expressing her preferences on the European issue through the selection of a party. Since their exists substantial intra-party diversity. Jack […]

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Designing a new UK-EU relationship and how it could be achieved

The Eurozone crisis has brought the EU’s division into two types of membership into relief, with the euro member states moving closer towards deeper fiscal and economic union, and the others, such as the UK, who remain in the single market with no wish to join the Eurozone, at risk of becoming ‘second class’ states. Damian Chalmers, Simon Hix and […]

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    Why the 2014 European Parliament elections will be about more than protest votes

Why the 2014 European Parliament elections will be about more than protest votes

European Parliamentary elections are due to be held in May 2014. Simon Hix and Christophe Crombez look ahead to the campaign, noting that the elections will not only provide an opportunity for Europe’s citizens to express their opinions over the handling of the Eurozone crisis, but will also allow them to take an active role in the selection of the […]

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David Cameron’s speech was about as pro-European as can be expected of a British Conservative Prime Minister in the current context.

On Wednesday, David Cameron delivered his long awaited speech on the UK’s relationship with Europe, guaranteeing a referendum on the country’s EU membership should his party win the next election. Simon Hix gives a critical reading of the speech, noting that the content was far more pro-European than might have been expected. He argues that there are strong reasons to […]

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Why the European Parliament should not be abolished

Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw recently argued forcefully that the European Parliament suffered from an ineradicable ‘democratic deficit’ and should be abolished, to be replaced by an assembly of national parliaments. Simon Hix argues that the evidence shows that the European Parliament successfully handles a massive policy agenda, and in most countries engages strongly with European citizens. Reforming the […]

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March 5th, 2012|Simon Hix|19 Comments|