current-affairs

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    Does immigration explain the comeback of the radical right in Spain?

Does immigration explain the comeback of the radical right in Spain?

On 2 December, a radical right party – Vox – gained representation in the regional parliament of Andalusia: the first time such a party had won seats in a Spanish regional assembly since the country’s transition to democracy. But to what extent can this result be explained by immigration rates in Andalusia? Using demographic data, Dimiter Toshkov illustrates that […]

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    The scars of the past remain, but Spain must accept the reality of its history rather than trying to rewrite it

The scars of the past remain, but Spain must accept the reality of its history rather than trying to rewrite it

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Spain’s constitution, which was ratified by a referendum on 6 December 1978. George Kassimeris writes that despite the country’s progress over the last four decades, the ghosts of the past have not been fully laid to rest. He argues that rather than trying to re-write the reality of their history, Spanish citizens must […]

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When are Green parties successful?

Green parties have experienced unprecedented levels of success in several advanced democracies this year; however, in a great many others they remain only minor footnotes to national electoral contests. Zack P. Grant argues that variation in Green party support is largely a function of good economic times, the presence of tangible environmental disputes, and mainstream parties actively attempting to emulate the positions of […]

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    Mimicking reforms? Why corruption within state owned enterprises remains a key problem in Moldova

Mimicking reforms? Why corruption within state owned enterprises remains a key problem in Moldova

The European Parliament recently passed a resolution criticising Moldova’s progress in improving democratic standards and the rule of law. Alexandru Damian highlights the role of state owned enterprises in this wider picture. He argues that standards of reporting, transparency and accountability remain poor despite EU pressure for reforms, leaving the door open for state owned enterprises to be used […]

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    Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

Distress signals: How Brexit affects the Digital Single Market

The British government prizes the creative industries as a key part of the UK’s industrial strategy. Yet some of them depend on the Digital Single Market, which is jeopardised by Brexit. Alison Harcourt explains how sectors like broadcasting, online financial services and online gaming could be affected.

A key component of the EU’s Single Market is its Digital Single Market (DSM), […]

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    Is the rule of law under threat? Lessons from Spain, the UK and Brazil

Is the rule of law under threat? Lessons from Spain, the UK and Brazil

The rule of law is generally taken as a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. But as Javier García Oliva and Rafael Valim write, several countries across the world have recently seen the role of their judiciary compromised or called into question. They consider three illustrative examples: Spain and Catalonia, the UK’s parliamentary privilege, and corruption trials in Brazil.

Brazilian President-elect […]

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    What are the economic consequences of May’s deal – and of no deal?

What are the economic consequences of May’s deal – and of no deal?

What will the economic impact of Theresa May’s deal be? And how does it compare to the no-deal scenario?The LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, in association with The UK in a Changing Europe, has modelled both scenarios and examined the effects on migration, fiscal policy, trade and productivity. The authors – Anand Menon, Jonathan Portes, Peter Levell and Thomas Sampson – also look […]

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    The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The ECB’s capital key needs rethinking – and Brexit has everything to do with it

The so called ‘capital key’ used by the European Central Bank is due to be reviewed. Sebastian Diessner explains that while in the past this has been viewed as a largely technical process, this time around the issue will have heightened political significance for two reasons in particular: the UK’s upcoming departure from the EU, and the current stand-off […]

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Is the UK having a rethink on Brexit?

Much has been made of the potential for a second referendum on Brexit, but have the British public changed their minds since 2016? Drawing on recent polling data, Thiemo Fetzer writes that there is an observable shift away from support for Brexit. This is happening along a key characteristic: how exposed a local authority district was to austerity in […]

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    Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany did not dictate the outcome of the euro crisis negotiations

Germany has generally been credited with exercising a large degree of influence over the EU’s response to the euro crisis. But how accurate is this narrative in reality? Drawing on a new co-authored study focusing on key Eurozone reform proposals, Magnus Lundgren explains that the average negotiation success of states was surprisingly balanced. While the economic woes of the […]

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Why lobbying in Brussels is not always an obscure activity

Lobbying in Brussels is often envisioned as an activity that takes place behind closed doors, away from the spotlight of public scrutiny. Yet at the same time, some lobbyists intentionally seek media attention to win their policy battles. Drawing on a recent study, Iskander De Bruycker explains that media attention can help EU lobbyists attain their policy objectives, but […]

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    Staying in the EU would not be perfect. But it’s the best deal on offer to the UK

Staying in the EU would not be perfect. But it’s the best deal on offer to the UK

Is it time for the British Parliament to compromise and vote through Theresa May’s Brexit deal? Dimitri Zenghelis argues that ‘no deal’ is not the only viable alternative to a deeply flawed deal. Yes, a second referendum would divide the country – but it is already divided. People are now in a better position to understand the choices on […]

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    Urgency and complexity: The challenge of creating a just energy union in the EU

Urgency and complexity: The challenge of creating a just energy union in the EU

The next United Nations Climate Change conference (COP24) is due to be held in Poland in December. With the negotiations just a few weeks away, an updated EU strategy for greenhouse gas reduction almost finalised, and a new European Commission set to take office next year, Kristian Krieger examines the impact of energy transition policies in Europe. He explains that […]

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    Hubert Butler Essay Prize: What happened to Europe without frontiers?

Hubert Butler Essay Prize: What happened to Europe without frontiers?

The great Irish essayist Hubert Butler was a cosmopolitan, his sensibility being both Irish and passionately European. He situated Ireland squarely in the main current of European history, whereas England occupied a kind of eccentric tributary, or even backwater, of its own making. Thus, the vote for Brexit would not have surprised him, writes Roy Foster who judged the inaugural Hubert Butler […]

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    Many interest groups are more in line with public preferences than commonly thought

Many interest groups are more in line with public preferences than commonly thought

While some see lobbying as a threat to democracy, others portray interest groups as an important link between the public and the political system. But to what extent do interest groups actually support what the public wants? Linda Flöthe and Anne Rasmussen present a detailed cross-national comparison of congruence between interest groups and the public. They illustrate that despite […]

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Italy rues the rules

On 21 November, the European Commission formally objected to Italy’s draft budget for 2019. But the Italian government refuses to compromise. Iain Begg explores what this stand-off might mean for the governance of the Eurozone.

The contest between the Italian government and the European Commission over the former’s budget plans for 2019 has highlighted an enduring problem in EU economic […]

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    The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The Arctic is one of the world’s most environmentally fragile regions, but it also offers substantial economic opportunities. This has led many states and companies with an interest in the region to promote a policy of ‘sustainable development’ which can balance these opportunities with environmental protection. Sofía López, Bram De Botselier and Simon Schunz argue that while the EU […]

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    Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Italy’s government and the European Commission continue to be locked in a standoff over the Italian budget. Corrado Macchiarelli writes that while the budget plan is badly designed and must be addressed, there is also clearly a need for euro area reforms and more mutual recognition. Ultimately the Economic and Monetary Union is facing a political problem and the […]

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    Colonialism does connect Britain, the EU and Bosnia – but Britain is not being treated like a colony

Colonialism does connect Britain, the EU and Bosnia – but Britain is not being treated like a colony

The Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, responding to the withdrawal agreement reached between the UK government and the EU over Brexit, indicated that the deal could leave the UK facing colonial rule of the sort imposed on Bosnia following the Yugoslav war. Catherine Baker argues that there is indeed a connection between Brexit Britain and post-Dayton Bosnia, but it is […]

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    Opportunity or threat? How Europeans view freedom of movement

Opportunity or threat? How Europeans view freedom of movement

Freedom of movement was one of the major issues during the UK’s EU referendum, but how do citizens in other EU countries view the topic? Drawing on new research, Sofia Vasilopoulou and Liisa Talving explain that although freedom of movement is popular overall among EU citizens, there is substantial variation between countries, with citizens in richer member states likely […]

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