current-affairs

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    As the economy takes off in Austria, voters remain torn between economic optimism and anti-immigration politics

As the economy takes off in Austria, voters remain torn between economic optimism and anti-immigration politics

With under two weeks left until the Austrian legislative election on 15 October, the centre-right People’s Party (ÖVP), led by Sebastian Kurz, currently leads the opinion polls. Michael Burri writes that the refugee-centred campaign of Kurz has resonated with the public, allowing the ÖVP to counter the economic message emphasised by incumbent Chancellor Christian Kern. And while an improving economy […]

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    Our five most read articles on the Catalan independence referendum

Our five most read articles on the Catalan independence referendum

With the planned Catalan independence referendum intended to be held today (1 October), this is a list of our five most read articles on the referendum.

The Spanish government has stated that the planned referendum on Catalan independence on 1 October will not take place, but it remains to be seen what will occur and how the Catalan government will react. Roger […]

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    The Catalan crisis is about politics, not constitutional law – and it requires a political solution

The Catalan crisis is about politics, not constitutional law – and it requires a political solution

The Spanish government regards the planned Catalan independence referendum as being unconstitutional, but supporters of the referendum have argued that Catalonia should have a legal right to hold the vote. Domenico Giannino states that although both sides have made legal arguments, it is a situation that can only be solved by political negotiations. The crisis also demonstrates a wider […]

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    Catalonia’s referendum on independence: Clarity in uncertainty

Catalonia’s referendum on independence: Clarity in uncertainty

It is difficult to predict how events in Catalonia will play out following the planned referendum on independence on 1 October. However, as Karlo Basta explains, the events of the last month have nevertheless provided some answers to two key questions: how far the Catalan government was willing to go in pursuit of independence, and how far the Spanish […]

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    The AfD succeeded in the German election by mobilising non-voters on the right

The AfD succeeded in the German election by mobilising non-voters on the right

Last Sunday’s German federal elections marked a significant break in Germany’s post-war history. For the first time since the immediate post-war period, a far-right party entered the Bundestag. With 13% of the seats, the populist anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), has become the third largest party in the German parliament. A key to the success of the AfD […]

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    The crisis of the SPD: Where now for Germany’s social democrats?

The crisis of the SPD: Where now for Germany’s social democrats?

Germany’s social democrats suffered a disastrous result in the German federal elections, securing only 20.5 per cent of the vote: their worst result in the post-war period. Björn Bremer writes that the party will have a great deal of soul-searching to do over the next four years, and that the left-wing of the party is likely to try and […]

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    German consensus politics must adapt to the adversarial approach of the AfD

German consensus politics must adapt to the adversarial approach of the AfD

Consensus building is often cited as one of the core features of German political culture, but do the results of the 2017 federal elections suggest a different approach is required by the country’s mainstream parties? Ross Campbell highlights that with the growth of the AfD, the political system must now adapt to a new political actor from the right, […]

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Catalonia: A fight within a nation

The Spanish government has stated that the planned referendum on Catalan independence on 1 October will not take place, but it remains to be seen what will occur and how the Catalan government will react. Roger Senserrich argues that the crisis is not first and foremost a standoff between Catalonia and Spain, but rather a conflict that stems from […]

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    Assessing the impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme on SMEs

Assessing the impact of the ECB’s Corporate Sector Purchase Programme on SMEs

The European Central Bank’s Governing Council is due to hold a policy meeting on 26 October, with many observers anticipating there could be a change to the ECB’s monetary stimulus programme. Corrado Macchiarelli, Mara Monti and Andrea Vedolin examine some of the measures that should be considered as the ECB looks to respond to changing conditions in the euro […]

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What will happen to Catalans after 1 October?

With only days to go before the scheduled date for Catalonia’s independence referendum, it remains unclear what will take place and how the Catalan and Spanish governments will react. Victor Lapuente writes that while he is unsure of what will happen to Catalonia, his real concern lies with the fate of ordinary Catalans, with the independence issue likely to […]

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    Where does Florian Philippot’s resignation leave the Front National?

Where does Florian Philippot’s resignation leave the Front National?

Florian Philippot, one of the most influential figures in France’s Front National, resigned from his position on 21 September amid tensions over the future direction of the party. Marta Lorimer explains what led to his decision and assesses where it leaves Marine Le Pen as she attempts to reform the Front National following disappointing results in the French presidential […]

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    German election reaction: Merkel wins, but her fourth term won’t be an easy one

German election reaction: Merkel wins, but her fourth term won’t be an easy one

Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU won the largest share of seats in Germany’s election on 24 September, but the election also saw a substantial rise in support for the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD). Patricia Hogwood writes that although Merkel has done enough to secure her fourth term as chancellor, she has seen her support drop significantly since the last election in 2013 and the […]

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    Is a ‘Jamaica’ coalition possible? The Greens, the FDP, and the struggle to become Germany’s third political force

Is a ‘Jamaica’ coalition possible? The Greens, the FDP, and the struggle to become Germany’s third political force

Although Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU has a strong lead in opinion polls, it is still far from clear what kind of coalition will take power after Sunday’s German election. Julian Göpffarth assesses the campaigns run by two potential junior partners in the next coalition, the Greens and the liberal FDP, as well as the likelihood of a so called ‘Jamaica […]

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    German election preview: Four things to look out for as Germany goes to the polls

German election preview: Four things to look out for as Germany goes to the polls

Most observers expect Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU to win Sunday’s federal election in Germany, but the outcome of the vote will still have a major impact on the composition of the next government and the future direction of both Germany and the European Union. We asked four of our contributors for the key stories to watch as the results come […]

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Europe can’t remain silent over the Catalan crisis

Protests are continuing in Catalonia after Spanish police moved to prevent a planned referendum on independence from taking place on 1 October. Mireia Borrell Porta argues that the European Union should take a more active role in responding to the tensions. She writes that the suggestion the issue is simply an internal one to be dealt with by the […]

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    Measuring the diversity of each party’s candidates in the German election

Measuring the diversity of each party’s candidates in the German election

Opinion polls suggest six parties will enter the Bundestag in Germany’s election on Sunday, two more than crossed the electoral threshold in the last elections in 2013. But what does this apparent fragmentation of the German party system mean for the diversity of candidates, particularly in terms of the fair representation of women and minority groups? Paul C. Bauer […]

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    The myth of the ‘boring election’: Populism and the 2017 German election

The myth of the ‘boring election’: Populism and the 2017 German election

The German federal elections scheduled for 24 September are widely expected to produce another victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU. As Fabian G. Neuner and Christopher Wratil highlight, however, Merkel’s dominant position in the polling has potentially masked some interesting developments during the campaign. Chief among these is that there has been a rise in populist sentiment in Germany, which […]

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What the EU could do to help ease the Rohingya crisis

Violence in Myanmar has resulted in more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims leaving the country and seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Ludovica Marchi argues that the EU should take advantage of its good relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help ease the crisis. There is potential for the EU, as an advocate of human rights, to […]

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    Legatum Institute’s solution for the Brexit border is highly problematic

Legatum Institute’s solution for the Brexit border is highly problematic

The Legatum Institute, a think tank that is considered to have a significant degree of influence over the UK’s approach to Brexit, recently published a paper on resolving the Irish border issue following Britain’s exit from the EU. Katy Hayward and Maurice Campbell argue that the proposals are based on misperceptions of the border and the situation in Northern Ireland, as well as of the fundamentals […]

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Six things to know about the German election

Ahead of Germany’s federal election on 24 September, Manès Weisskircher highlights six things to know as voters go to the polls. While many observers are expecting a clear victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the performance of smaller parties will also be keenly followed as it is highly likely there will be as many as six parties (or seven including the […]

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