Bursting the Bubble

Thomas Fillis

Thomas Fillis

About Thomas

Tom is a founding member of EuropeanPublicAffairs.EU.


Europhile, scouser, Berlin-lover.


I first became fascinated with the topic during my A-Levels, as I learnt more about Europe’s difficult history. Since then, my commitment to the European project has only increased over the years.


So, if you’re going to read my blog, what do you need to know?


• I studied at the Universities of Aberystwyth (UK), Darmstadt (DE) and Maastricht (NL);

• I worked in the diplomatic sector in Berlin (which remains my home-from-home);

• I currently work in EU affairs in Brussels, with experience in the European Institutions as well as in the private and NGO sectors across several policy areas.


Other, albeit less relevant information, includes that my favourite food is a curry (lamb madras, if we’re going to be technical); I have significant stashes of English tea in both my office & flat and in sunny weather have been known to carry “emergency sandals”.


Email Tom at *protected email*.


Articles by Thomas:

Schengen in the Wake of Germanwings Tragedy: Reconciling Freedom and Security

7 April 2015

Security and liberty are not easy bedfellows. In 1667, the French government created the first modern police force. It was created with the mission of providing safety – and representing the government – in Paris, Europe’s largest city at the time. In 1797, the British government considered creating a similar force, to limit theft and […]

UKIP Have Won a Battle, Not the War

17 October 2014

On the 10th October 2014, UKIP achieved a seat in the UK House of Commons. This feat has been the dream, indeed craving, of the party since its earliest years – one which had been denied them, until yesterday. UKIP’s victory in the European elections and its success in entering parliament have far reaching consequences […]

It may be a Scottish vote, on a British island, but Thursday’s vote will be a European event

16 September 2014

Being a born and bred UK citizen, I naturally look at the debate and looming vote on Scottish independence with keen interest and, concerning the closer polls, a racing heart. Growing up in the North West of England did much to engage me in debates around the English North-South [internal] border, but little to foster […]

European Crisis: 28 July 1914 & 28 July 2014 – Marking the Centennial of World War I

28 July 2014

“Against the vast majority of my countrymen… in the name of humanity and civilisation, I protest against our  share in the destruction of Germany. A month ago Europe was a peaceful comity of nations: if an Englishman killed a German, he was hanged. Now, if an Englishman kills a German, or if a German kills […]

A Return to Pragmatism? Lord Hill announced as UK Commissioner Designate

17 July 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron has just announced Jonathan Hopkin Hill, Baron Hill of Oareford (ergo Lord Hill) as the British Commissioner designate. This nomination may prove to be the most important in UK-EU relations, and indeed in the history of the College of Commissioners, given the ever-more precarious position of the UK within the […]

Priorities for the Next Commission – A More Competitive Europe

13 June 2014

On Tuesday, it was my distinct pleasure to attend the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report: Building a More Competitive Europe. The report measures Europe’s performance against the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s flagship growth and jobs agenda and was launched in cooperation with the Lisbon Council. It was also my […]

The European Business Summit 2014 and a Post-Election Reflection

30 May 2014

Last weekend I took a trip to Berlin; Visiting friends, former colleagues, and just enjoying the unique spirit of the German capital. Owing to the then imminent European elections, the city was strewn with election posters, placards and other paraphernalia. In the fancier parts of Charlottenburg, one could see the anti-European poster-campaign of the Eurosceptic […]

Tchüss/Salut/Bye Dany! A tribute to Daniel Cohn-Bendit

25 April 2014

2014 sees the departure of many well-known and respected MEPs, each having contributed in their own way to the work of the European Parliament. I would however like to pay special tribute to someone who was instrumental in the evolution of my own personal engagement with the European Parliament, years before I had seen either […]

A stronger role for German as a working language of the European Commission

31 March 2014

An article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung this week has brought wider attention to an issue that has always been important to me – namely the role of German in the European Institutions. German stands amongst 23 other languages as an official language of the EU. German, owing to being the most spoken native tongue in […]

Merkel in London – A Lesson in Eurorealism

17 March 2014

On 27 February 2014, Angela Merkel addressed both Houses of the British Parliament before taking tea with the Queen. The visit dominated headlines in the UK, most notably The Daily Mail which ran the headline “Merkel to back PM’s bid for a new EU deal.” In the aftermath of the visit, The Telegraph declared “Angela […]

Between a Portcullis and the Guillotine

11 February 2014

In Brussels, the order of the day is compromise. In scenes that can sometimes invoke ideas of the grand bargains on Capitol Hill in D.C., the EU 28 Member States need to find agreement. Additionally, seven political groups also need to cobble-together a consensus and finally, nations and parties need to find an [un]happy medium […]

The Estrella Report: only a woman has the right to decide

20 December 2013

On the 10th December 2013, the European Parliament rejected a Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (the Estrella Report), and voted for a rival conservative resolution. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right (SRHR) is one of the most divisive topics in our society. It has been fascinating to see that the European Parliament […]

The TTIP Negotiations: A Transatlantic Perspective

26 November 2013

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is set to become a defining moment in our relationship with America, on par with such historic events as the Fall of the Berlin Wall, or the 9/11 attacks on New York City. For the European Union (EU) as an organisation, having only achieved its current legal and […]

Germany Votes, Europe Waits

27 September 2013

As most people armed with a connection to the internet, a radio, newspaper or TV may be aware, the German electorate has just elected a new Bundestag (Parliament) and coalition negotiations are currently underway. In every other election in Germany, maybe except for the elections which followed German Reunification (this will be discussed in a […]

TV-Duel Adds Increased Tension to Teutonic Poll

13 September 2013

On 22nd September, the German electorate will go to the polls at the federal level. Last Sunday, one of the major events of the German Federal Electoral campaign took place, the much anticipated TV duel between incumbent Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and her challenger Peer Steinbrück (SPD). The duel represents a highlight in the electoral […]

Croatia & the EU 2013 – who is the new Croatian Commissioner?

3 July 2013

With the accession of Croatia as the EU’s 28th Member State – and second which used to be in the former Yugoslav republic – the College of European Commissioners also grows larger. Unique to the other institutions, the European Commission acts only in the name of the European good, with the unique right, and some […]

Britain in Europe: An Amputation, Prosthetic Limb or a Benign Island?

20 May 2013

These are the three options open to the UK on the issue of Europe. The rise of UKIP and the Tory implosion on the topic go a long way to suggest how it may end. I offer my own theory of how events may unfold between now and this fateful referendum. It is over two […]

“Economic Giant, Political Dwarf” in the Age of the Global Economy – Part 1: Germany in the Community, foreign policy in an economic Europe

25 March 2013

When one reads any of the myriad of articles following the European Debt Crisis, one can hardly fail to notice the key role Germany plays without some manner of epithet such as “…said Germany…Europe’s largest economy”, or “according to Chancellor Merkel, leader of the eurozone’s most powerful member”. To anyone who has followed the historical […]

Island-Nation or Island-Notion?

25 February 2013

On Jan. 23rd 2013, the British Prime Minister David Cameron gave-in to Eurosceptic pressure and promised to hold a referendum on British EU-membership, should the Conservative Party win a parliamentary majority in 2015. This decision is a gamble with the British economy causing waves of uncertainty across the Union. The reasons for this move are […]