European politics

Referendum campaigns can end up convincing voters that their preferred party is right

When people are deciding how to vote in a referendum, do they take their cue from party loyalty or by listening to the debate and making up their own minds? When Céline Colombo (University of Zurich) and Hanspeter Kriesi (European University Institute) analysed two Swiss referendums, they found that voters do pay attention to the arguments. But during the referendum campaigns they […]

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    Europeans support the EU’s hard line in the Brexit negotiations

Europeans support the EU’s hard line in the Brexit negotiations

The British government has been frustrated by the hard negotiating line pursued by the EU under the lead of Michel Barnier, and the unusual degree of unity in supporting the EU’s Brexit negotiation strategy has surprised quite a few observers. Stefanie Walter (University of Zurich) reflects on the Brexit process through EU-27 eyes, and concludes that by and large Europeans support EU’s […]

The EU is extraordinarily complex. But do we want to simplify it?

The EU’s institutional architecture is often regarded as being too complex for citizens to properly engage with, and both Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron have recently proposed some form of simplification – such as merging the President of the European Commission with the President of the European Council, or shrinking the Commission. Dimiter Toshkov argues that while the EU is extraordinarily […]

Brussels may have agreed to accelerate Brexit negotiations – but Merkel’s priorities are elsewhere

At her meetings in Brussels this week, Theresa May and the European Commission agreed to ‘accelerate’ the stalled Brexit negotiations. But, as John Ryan (LSE) writes, after a bruising election result Angela Merkel will be preoccupied with coalition talks until Christmas. The UK should not expect major concessions from Germany, which knows its principal interest is in preserving the Single Market.

The […]

Understanding European Union science diplomacy

In recent decades, a great deal of attention has focused on the EU’s attempts to exert influence on the global stage, but one area which has received relatively little attention is the issue of so-called ‘science diplomacy’. Alea López de San Román and Simon Schunz provide a detailed overview of what science diplomacy entails, and how the EU is […]

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    How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

Analysing the results of a new expert survey, Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart write that Brexit has so far had a very limited impact on national party politics across Europe beyond the UK, particularly compared with the earlier Eurozone and migration crisis. While the longer-term, dynamic effects of Brexit on party Euroscepticism might be greater and there are a […]

A German ‘Jamaica’ coalition will hinder Eurozone reform, but make little difference to Brexit

Angela Merkel cannot govern alone. John Ryan (LSE) explores the difficult task she faces in pulling together a coalition, which will probably be a three-way affair between the CDU/CSU, the Greens and the FDP – a so-called ‘Jamaica’ coalition. Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the Eurozone are likely to prove a flashpoint. But the arrival of Merkel’s governing […]

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    No domino effect: Brexit is close to constituting a non-issue in European politics

No domino effect: Brexit is close to constituting a non-issue in European politics

Following the Netherlands and France, Germany was the third of the original EU members to hold a national election this year. The three election campaigns had at least one thing in common: the consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union didn’t feature as much as some may have expected. Stijn Van Kessel (Queen Mary) argues that there are […]

Brexit pushes European lawmakers to reform the EU

Brexit has pushed European lawmakers to seriously talk about rebuilding the EU. In December 2016, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament endorsed a report on adjustments to the institutional set-up of the EU, which was then ratified by the full house. This article argues that calls for democratising the EU political system have to be addressed […]

Unlike Brexit, the Catalonian independence movement is very pro-EU. But will the EU accept it?

The crisis in Catalonia has thrown into a sharp relief the choice facing the European Union, writes Joan Costa i Font (LSE). Spain should quickly offer a binding referendum on Catalonian independence. If Catalonians reject an EU-backed offer, there could be an orderly secession. The Catalonian independence movement is not like Brexit: most Catalonian parties are keen to be part […]