TCS Daily


Innovation Time: For TCS and the EU

By Craig Winneker - December 12, 2005 12:00 AM

BRUSSELS -- Since TCS Europe was launched in the summer of 2002, the European Union has weathered a lot of ups and downs, from its historic enlargement to include former communist bloc nations to its bitter internal split over whether to support the Iraq war to its soul-wrenching inability to ratify a European Constitution.

The year 2005, in fact, has seen such little good news for the European project it has come to be known in Brussels as the EU's annus horribilis, culminating in an intractable dispute over the bloc's budget priorities for 2007-2012. Brussels, normally a very grey city, is greyer than ever. As EU leaders gather here for a crucial summit this week, the forecast is for increased gloom.

But here at TCS we are celebrating -- not over Europe's (we hope temporary) misfortunes, but rather over our new website design, which will bring our readers a host of new features to make our already informative, provocative and entertaining on-line experience even more interactive and rewarding.

It hasn't always been an easy road for us. Before we started TCS Europe we were told that there was no room in the EU for free-market, anti-regulation, free-trade opinion. You can't say these things in polite European company, the non-sayers said. You'll be seen as overly euro-skeptic and no one will pay attention, we were warned. But we forged ahead, in the process building up a stable of hundreds of writers from more than 25 European countries (we're still looking for a Greek) -- many of whom have come to us, overjoyed to finally have a forum in which their progressive views can be aired. With each passing month, the road becomes easier, in fact, as more and more readers and authors discover they are not alone in their beliefs.

It's easy to criticize Europe -- and often we do. Some of our writers, it must be said, abhor the European project and see it as an overly bureaucratic infringement on their national sovereignty and personal freedom. This is only about half right -- or, let's say, it's all right about half the time. Europe is overly bureaucratic. But there can be no denying the gains made in opening up trade and freeing markets both internally and externally.

Without the EU project, Europe would still be a morass of bizarre and uneven national regulations. Simply put Europe is good for business. The trick is to contain the misguided integrationist impulses (setting up a separate defense entity from NATO, for instance, or reflexively opposing everything America does) and emphasize the positive ones (breaking up ossified national monopolies, lowering trade barriers, encouraging the free movement of labor, capital and goods, etc.). We'll continue to try to steer the European debate in the right direction.

Innovation is what the EU needs, and at TCS we think we have brought at least a little of it to the European forum. We publish articles that refuse to accept the negativist conventional wisdom that technology and progress need to be contained or even eliminated in the name of political correctness or principled precaution. And with our Hayek Series events, we have introduced a more spirited form of policy discussion to the conference halls of Brussels, where previously a "debate" consisted of a panel of four people who all agreed on something (usually involving increased regulation). At our events, we bring together policymakers and opinion leaders from across the political spectrum, and encourage spirited debate and lively interaction with the audience.

Our new website is also designed to spur debate. We hope you're ready to join the fray.
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4 Comments

New design
Im sorry boys but the design is muck ugly and as user interfaces go it is not as intuitive (i.e. good) as the previous. The content as ever Im delighted with. Shane

**bug note, the software behind the message board does not allow the user to use apostrophies**

Design
I like the new design much better. Better structure, easier to find articles and authors of interest.

Big issues.
When I reply the windo
is this big. Whats up
this is tinyMOZILLA!

MOZILLA is looking pretty bad.
Please take a look at what a real browser is like. Post reply stuff is strange.

.NET shame on you guys! I though you where free thinking people.

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