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    How the ‘red card’ system could increase the power of national parliaments within the EU

How the ‘red card’ system could increase the power of national parliaments within the EU

One of the reforms included in the deal negotiated by David Cameron in February was the provision of a so called ‘red card’ system, under which national parliaments would be able to veto new EU legislation if 55% of parliaments registered opposition. Ian Cooper writes that while some have argued the system would be rarely used, it should be […]

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    Staying loyal or leaving the party? How personality traits help explain vote switching

Staying loyal or leaving the party? How personality traits help explain vote switching

Why are some citizens more likely to change their vote choice? Bert Bakker, Robert Klemmensen, Asbjørn Sonne Nørgaard and Gijs Schumacher show that vote switching is associated with citizen’s personality traits. Looking at UK and Denmark, they find that openness helps explain vote switching in both countries. In Denmark having a more extrovert personality is associated with party loyalty, but this does not hold for […]

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    Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador: Why I hope the UK will remain in the European Union

Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador: Why I hope the UK will remain in the European Union

If Britain chose to leave the European Union, it would not only have an effect inside the UK, but also on the rest of Europe. In the final month of the referendum campaign, we will be featuring comments from some of Europe’s Ambassadors to the UK on how they view a potential Brexit. Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador, writes on […]

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    Does the UK lose out in the Council? How opposition to EU proposals acts as a signal to domestic audiences

Does the UK lose out in the Council? How opposition to EU proposals acts as a signal to domestic audiences

Those campaigning for a leave vote in Britain’s upcoming referendum often state that the UK has never been on the winning side when it has voted against a proposal in the Council of the European Union. Remain campaigners, however, have responded by arguing that agreements are made by consensus in the Council and that the UK has a strong […]

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    What turnout can we expect in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

What turnout can we expect in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales?

Voters in the UK will go to the polls on Thursday, with some of the most high profile contests involving the elections of devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Kenneth Bunker looks at what we might expect turnout to be in the Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh elections.

With the devolved legislatures of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales all […]

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    A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

A long goodbye to the grand coalition: Austria’s presidential election

Following the first round of Austria’s presidential election, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Green-affiliated independent candidate Alexander van der Bellen will contest the second round of voting on 22 May. However for the first time in the country’s post-war history, the next President will not be backed by either of Austria’s two traditionally dominant parties, […]

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    A reminder of the road not taken: Hans-Dietrich Genscher and the holy grail of a united Europe

A reminder of the road not taken: Hans-Dietrich Genscher and the holy grail of a united Europe

The state funeral of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West Germany’s longest serving foreign minister and vice-chancellor, was held on 17 April. Kristina Spohr writes on Genscher’s career, his role in unifying Germany, and his ultimate aspiration to integrate both NATO and the Warsaw Pact into an all-European security order that incorporated the Soviet Union.

The unity of Europe has been one of […]

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    Why both sides of the UK’s debate are misleading the public on EU budget contributions

Why both sides of the UK’s debate are misleading the public on EU budget contributions

One of the key fault lines in the UK’s debate over EU membership concerns the amount the country contributes to the EU budget. Iain Begg writes that both sides of the referendum campaign are guilty of misleading the public over the issue, with the leave side frequently quoting contributions without applying the rebate, and the remain side comparing apples […]

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You can’t get it all: Italy’s public finances

The Italian government will present its public finance projections by 10 April. Lorenzo Codogno writes that fiscal policy is expected to be strongly expansionary in 2016, but courtesy of flexibility clauses, the government will likely avoid entering into the EU’s so called ‘Excessive Deficit Procedure’ in May. He argues however that a fiscal problem looms large in 2017, while […]

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    Growth multiplier: How university expansion increases national income

Growth multiplier: How university expansion increases national income

What impact do universities have on a country’s economy? Outlining the results of a study of universities across 78 countries, Anna Valero and John Van Reenen find that doubling the number of universities in a region increases that region’s income. They note that if the UK were to add one university to each region, national income would increase by about 0.7 […]

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    The Karadzic verdict: How the trial played out and what it means for Bosnia

The Karadzic verdict: How the trial played out and what it means for Bosnia

Following a lengthy trial, the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been found guilty on one count of genocide as well as numerous crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Denisa Kostovicova assesses what the verdict means for Bosnia, writing that although the outcome of the trial is highly symbolic for […]

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    Siv Jensen: “The EEA agreement has served Norway well, but it’s not a free ride”

Siv Jensen: “The EEA agreement has served Norway well, but it’s not a free ride”

Norway, as one of the largest oil and gas exporters in the world, has had to cope with a substantial drop in the price of oil since 2014. The country is also frequently cited in the context of the UK’s upcoming referendum as a potential model for Britain to follow should it opt to leave the EU. In a […]

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    Fidesz and electoral reform: How to safeguard Hungarian democracy

Fidesz and electoral reform: How to safeguard Hungarian democracy

The Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orbán, has been criticised by some international observers for undermining the country’s democracy, but how accurate is this view? Andrea Fumarola presents a comprehensive look at the effect of electoral reforms recently undertaken in Hungary. He writes that the current voting system seriously limits not only the fair representation of opposition parties and […]

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    The City and the EU: There are clear divisions in the UK’s financial services sector over a Brexit

The City and the EU: There are clear divisions in the UK’s financial services sector over a Brexit

The UK’s financial services sector accounts for a significant percentage of the country’s GDP, but what are the views within the City on the upcoming referendum on EU membership? Scott James writes that while some of the main trade associations have adopted softly pro-European rhetoric in relation to the referendum, there is no unified view, with clear divisions existing […]

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    Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Are European citizens now living, as the German sociologist Ulrich Beck once described, in a German Europe? Peter Becker writes that while the actions of Germany throughout the Greek debt and migration crises have provoked diverse responses from commentators outside of the country, Germany’s European policy has consistently been in line with its role as the dominant ‘status quo […]

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    What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

German state elections held on 13 March produced significant levels of support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), but where does the German party system stand overall after the elections? Ben Margulies writes that Germany is now heading toward a new system split between establishment parties and populist challengers, paralleling previous developments in countries like Austria.

On 13 March, three […]

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    The UK’s referendum and Spain: A Brexit is unlikely to be welcomed by Spanish citizens

The UK’s referendum and Spain: A Brexit is unlikely to be welcomed by Spanish citizens

The UK’s referendum will not only have an impact on Britain, but also on the rest of the European Union. As part of our series covering views on the referendum across Europe, Salvador Llaudes assesses the perspective of the Spanish government and Spanish citizens on a potential Brexit.

Internal tensions pushed David Cameron to launch the risky wager of undertaking […]

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    The 2016 Irish election demonstrated how gender quotas can shift the balance on female representation

The 2016 Irish election demonstrated how gender quotas can shift the balance on female representation

The 2016 general election in Ireland was the first where legal gender quotas for candidate selection applied, with the election producing a 40 per cent increase in the number of female parliamentarians (TDs) elected. Fiona Buckley assesses how Ireland has implemented gender quotas and their impact on women’s candidacy and electoral success in the 2016 election.

In July 2012 the […]

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    A British departure from the EU would have major consequences for Ireland

A British departure from the EU would have major consequences for Ireland

The UK’s referendum on EU membership will be keenly observed by Irish citizens, given the close ties between the two countries. Paul Gillespie writes that a Brexit could be highly disruptive for Ireland, and would likely have a particularly large impact in Northern Ireland, where the issue of Irish unity could be pushed on to the public agenda.

Relations between […]

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    Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Three state elections were held in Germany on 13 March, with the contests being viewed as a key test of support for Angela Merkel’s government in light of her handling of the ongoing migration crisis in Europe. Assessing the results, Ed Turner writes that the elections demonstrated substantial discontent among German voters, with the Alternative for Germany securing large […]

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