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About Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane is Labour’s former Minister of Europe for the UK. An updated, revised version of his book, Brexit: How Britain Will Leave Europe will be published by IB Tauris next month.

Articles by Denis MacShane

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Brexit will give neither Hitchens nor Mason the Europe they desire

We must avoid idealist visions of a post-EU continent.

The left returns to an old love – saying No to Europe

It is the politics of Europe’s current rulers that must be challenged, not the UK’s membership of the EU.

Reading Russia is never easy

While there are Putinversteher to be found everywhere in Europe there seem to be no Europaversteher in Russia. Where does this lack of understanding come from?


Where is another Europe now?

Europe either hangs together or - as the American revolutionaries liked to point out - the nations of Europe will be hanged separately.

The strange silence over Brexit

Despite the historic nature of a Brexit referendum, it has been worryingly absent during this election. Serious discussion in the press is almost non-existent.

The Kosovo conundrum

The world has seen far more handshakes and meetings between Pristina and Belgrade than in the first years after the conflict. Is all this to be put at risk by Clint Williamson's part-endorsement of the Marty report?

The Eurosphere is losing Ukraine

Ukrainians may have had high expectations, but the unpleasant truth is that the EU has offered them more than it can deliver.


Publish and be decapitated

In the West we talk metaphorically about ‘losing our heads;’ in Ukraine, it has been a state-ordained punishment. How have Ukrainians been denied the free journalism that the end of Soviet imperialism was meant to bring about?

Greece is not Weimar

The insistence by the British commentariat on seeing Greece through the eyes of their own need for Eurozone breakdown is part of British pathology about Europe.

How not to do diplomacy

The Gibraltar row between the UK and Spain is providing a masterclass in creating adversarial relationships. British foreign policy under Cameron and Hague has moved from interests to images. It is time for some grown-up diplomacy.

Beauty and the Beast on Britain and Europe

The war of words over Europe in Britain cannot be called 'debate'. A former Europe minister examines two serious and opposite thinkers on Europe, and asks whether their arguments could have impact in Britain.

Tomatoes or terrorists

Europe has so far failed to build a comprehensive relationship with countries across the Mediterranean. This is a missed opportunity that adversely affects the state of security and democracy for all parties.

Cameron opens Europe’s Pandora’s box

As the dust settles on David Cameron's speech, what real impact has it had? Despite being met with scepticism throughout Europe, it has above all highlighted the need for an open discussion on the EU in Britain – and how the left has so far failed to address the European question.

What do we mean by Islamism?

The British media and political landscape have done much to obscure a proper in-depth understanding of Islamism, the ideology, as separate from the Muslim faith. Two books can be a small help - everyone should read them.

Georgian divisions: a dangerous poison?

Georgia goes to the polls today for tightly contested parliamentary elections. Despite an horrific prison abuse scandal on the eve of the vote, Mikheil Saakashvili believes his party has done enough to win; Bidzina Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream party hope their energetic campaigning means otherwise. In reality, it is the post-election politics in Georgia that will matter, says Denis MacShane.

Back to the Seventies?

As we head into an era of transition, a Labour MP is struck by a familiar feeling.

Can a Kosovo-Serbia deal cheer up the Balkans?

Unlike most of the world's economic powers, Serbia still does not recognise Kosovo as a state. It will need to, though, before it can start down the road to EU accession.

Tymoshenko: a matter for the people, not the courts

Yanukovych’s decision to authorise a Kafkaesque trial against Yulia Tymoshenko is proving to be his most counterproductive yet, writes Denis Macshane. Having created an unlikely heroine, and reduced EU integration from the hypothetical to the impossible, it is in Yanukovych’s best interests to ensure his rival is released swiftly.

Abkhazian Elections: Russia's pawn in Georgian game?

Abkhazia has gone to the polls to elect its third president. While the elections may provide an entertaining sideshow, there is little danger of them ever being legitimate or electing a truly independent voice, argues Denis MacShane

The human organs of the Council of Europe: there is no evidence in the Marty report

Dick Marty's report to the Council of Europe reflects the unfortunate politicisation of that body by Russia since accession in 1995. Kosovan politics is not clean, but there is no evidence of organ trafficking by Thaçi. And Marty's judgement is clouded by his anti-American instincts. Christophe Solioz disagrees here

Georgia's Promising Elections

The recent local elections in Georgia were deemed “free and fair”, but the opposition remains fragmented. Parliament is the proper forum for moving towards mature democracy, says Denis MacShane, but the world should not forget Georgia and its troubled relationship with its northern neighbour, Russia.

Italy's centre-left and Europe's future

The formation of a new centre-left political party could pioneer new thinking about realignment across the European Union, says Denis MacShane.
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