current-affairs

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    A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

The difficult process of negotiating the EU’s next seven-year budget covering the years 2021-27 is already under way. However, as Dimitar Lilkov writes, the negotiations may well prove more contentious than ever due to a proposal to allow the European Commission to suspend EU funding for states that threaten the rule of law.

Negotiating the next seven-year budget of the […]

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    A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

Federica Mogherini recently outlined a new EU strategy for improving connectivity between Europe and Asia. Thomas Kruessmann examines the proposals, which are widely viewed as a response to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative launched by China in 2013. He argues that the overall direction of the strategy is misguided and that it largely ignores the potential to capitalise on […]

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    The dismantling of the state since the 1980s: Brexit is the wrong diagnosis of a real crisis

The dismantling of the state since the 1980s: Brexit is the wrong diagnosis of a real crisis

The vote to leave the EU and the administrative chaos around it pull into focus a crisis the UK should have been talking about before: the failures of homegrown neoliberal policies and their dire implications, writes Abby Innes. She argues that while Brexit has been heralded by supporters as a solution to a wide range of problems, what it will actually […]

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    Karas vs Kurz: Why Austria’s Chancellor faces some difficult choices ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections

Karas vs Kurz: Why Austria’s Chancellor faces some difficult choices ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections

Othmar Karas, the leader of the Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP) delegation to the European Parliament, is widely viewed as one of the most influential Austrian MEPs. However, as Michael Burri explains, Karas is now posing some difficult questions for the ÖVP and its Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ahead of the next European Parliament elections in May 2019.

The European Parliament (EP) […]

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    What if Britain rejoined the EU? Breaking up may be less hard than making up

What if Britain rejoined the EU? Breaking up may be less hard than making up

If Britain ever sought to rejoin the EU, it could not be on the terms of membership the country previously enjoyed, warns Iain Begg. The UK’s budget rebate, exemption from Schengen and opt-outs from the euro and judicial cooperation will not be on the table again. This would make rejoining a difficult sell to the British public.

A curiosity of the […]

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    Why Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening the rift between Ankara and the West

Why Turkey’s currency crisis is deepening the rift between Ankara and the West

The value of the Turkish lira has hit record lows during 2018, with fears of the country slipping into an economic crisis. Didem Buhari-Gulmez explains that beyond the impact on Turkey’s economy, the crisis also has important geopolitical implications. The situation might deepen existing divisions between Turkey and the West, while encouraging the country to seek new allies among […]

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Explaining participation bias in EU online consultations

Consulting individuals and groups who might be affected by a new policy is one of the cornerstones of democratic decision-making. However, such consultations can often suffer from a participation bias if actors require large levels of funding or expertise to play an active role in the process. Drawing on evidence from a new study, Maiken Røed and Vibeke Wøien […]

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    The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

The European Parliament vote against Hungary underlined the EU’s flawed approach to safeguarding democracy

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Angelos Chryssogelos argues that although the vote has frequently been explained with reference to the internal politics of the European People’s Party, the issue said more about the shortcomings of the EU’s instruments for safeguarding liberal democracy.

Credit: © European Union 2018 […]

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    Chequers is deeply flawed: A no deal Brexit is far preferable

Chequers is deeply flawed: A no deal Brexit is far preferable

The Chequers deal is deeply flawed on both economic as well as political grounds and a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be a far preferable solution for the UK, argues Ruth Lea. In her opinion, a Chequers-style deal would be economically sub-optimal, tying the UK to the EU’s rulebook, but without any influence. On the contrary, in the event of a no deal Brexit, […]

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What is wrong with the Nordic model?

The economic and social policies pursued in the Nordic countries are often cited as examples of good governance for other states to follow. But should the rise of right-wing populist parties in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden prompt a reassessment of this Nordic approach? Michael Cottakis argues that the Sweden Democrats’ result in the 2018 Swedish election highlighted the […]

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Framing and lobbying success: Why it pays to work as a team

Communication and ‘framing’ strategies are part of the toolkit used by lobbyists to influence policy making. But do such strategies have a real impact on policy outcomes? Drawing on new research from five European countries, Wiebke Marie Junk and Anne Rasmussen show that framing strategies only work as part of a team effort, but they can have a substantial […]

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    Why Romania’s protests have failed to bring about real change

Why Romania’s protests have failed to bring about real change

Romania has experienced large anti-government protests on multiple occasions in the last few years, most recently in August this year. Yet as Daniel Brett explains, the achievements of these protests have been modest and short-lived, with the country’s ruling Social Democratic Party still maintaining power. He highlights that while the protesters and opposition parties may be united in their […]

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Why did the EPP vote against Orbán?

On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to pursue disciplinary action against Hungary for breaching the EU’s core values. Fabio Wolkenstein explains that the European People’s Party (EPP) has faced a difficult balancing act in relation to Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party, with many EPP members critical of Fidesz, but the EPP itself relying on Fidesz MEPs for support […]

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Italy under the spotlight of another financial crisis

Lorenzo Codogno and Mara Monti take a bird’s-eye view of banking problems in Italy, which started mostly as a fall-out from the sovereign debt crisis and the deep economic recession that followed. Policymakers and bank managers underestimated the consequences of the crisis, and the policy response was slow. New banking regulations did not pay much attention to Italy’s specificities, […]

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    Why we must all now be with Rees-Mogg: The case against a sudden reversal of Brexit

Why we must all now be with Rees-Mogg: The case against a sudden reversal of Brexit

All the available evidence suggests that Brexit will be chaotic and debilitating, but the answer is not necessarily to force a halt – unless it is the hard Brexit devotees themselves who are forced to do it, writes Conor Gearty. He explains that a sudden reversal of Brexit would become the new casus belli. Equally, the government’s current exit plan, […]

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    Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

Germany is quietly rebalancing its economy – but this will not fix the Eurozone’s flaws

A common criticism of Germany in the post-crisis period has been that its economy is unbalanced, with the country’s reluctance to increase public spending or reduce its large current account surplus being cited as problems for other Eurozone economies. Donato Di Carlo argues that this narrative entirely overlooks the extent to which the German economy has already gone through […]

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    Demonising populism won’t work – Europe needs a progressive populist alternative

Demonising populism won’t work – Europe needs a progressive populist alternative

How should Europe react to the rise of populist parties? Chantal Mouffe argues that the consensus established between centre-right and centre-left parties on the notion there is no alternative to neoliberal globalisation has left Europe in a post-democratic phase, fuelling the rise of right-wing populist parties. Moral condemnation and demonisation of the supporters of such parties does not work: […]

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Sweden’s election: A vote free from meddling?

The Swedish election on 9 September was not accompanied by reports of the kind of foreign interference that has been cited in other recent elections. However, as Elise M. Dermineur explains, the country has a long history of foreign meddling in its election process dating back to the eighteenth century. She highlights that while it is common to think […]

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The silent rise of Germany’s Green party

Growth in support for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has been a key talking point in German politics since the 2017 federal elections, but as Leopold Traugott writes, the AfD is not the only German party currently riding high in the polls. The German Greens have also seen their support increase in the last year, with the party representing […]

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Sweden’s election results: The view from across Europe

Sweden held a general election on 9 September, alongside regional and municipal elections. The early results of the voting showed the country’s two main blocs each securing around 40% of the national vote, and the Sweden Democrats winning around 18%. This article presents an overview of analysis and reactions from across Europe.

“The two blocs are neck and neck, as the […]

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