Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Podemos: Is a maverick leftist party mutating into the standard bearer of devolution?

Podemos: Is a maverick leftist party mutating into the standard bearer of devolution?

Pablo Iglesias reasserted his leadership over Podemos in a vote in early February, following a period of tension within the party between Iglesias and Iñigo Errejón. Juan Rodríguez-Teruel, Astrid Barrio and Oscar Barberà track the party’s development, writing that the schism between Iglesias and Errejón reflects just one of the fault-lines over Podemos’ development. They highlight the role of […]

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    Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Protests have continued in Romania despite the government agreeing to withdraw a controversial piece of legislation that would have weakened the country’s anti-corruption laws. Diana Popescu writes that while media coverage has tended to portray the protests as a popular show of unity against the government, the situation is more complex in reality. She highlights the story of one […]

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    ‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

Since nominating Martin Schulz as the party’s candidate for German Chancellor, the SPD has experienced an upsurge in support that seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago. Julian Göpffarth asks what lies behind the shift in support and whether Angela Merkel should now have serious concerns over her attempt to secure re-election.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Mettmann (CC BY 3.0)
When Martin […]

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    Serbian presidential election 2017: Can Vučić pull a Putin-Medvedev?

Serbian presidential election 2017: Can Vučić pull a Putin-Medvedev?

Serbia’s ruling party, the SNS, has announced that their candidate at this spring’s presidential election will be none other than the Prime Minister himself – Aleksandar Vučić. Will the bold move allow the SNS to keep their hold on power? Tena Prelec outlines the scenarios, taking stock of the controversies that have accompanied Serbian politics over the past year.

The presidential election due to […]

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    Survey evidence: Why people are protesting in Romania

Survey evidence: Why people are protesting in Romania

What has motivated Romanians to hit the streets in numbers unseen since the 1989 Revolution? Mihnea Stoica presents new survey evidence showing a breakdown of the protesters’ incentives. He concludes that the topic of corruption has developed into one of the main political cleavages prompting political action.

The last few days have seen massive protests all around Romania, triggered […]

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    Romania: Reflections on the street protests and the country’s communist past

Romania: Reflections on the street protests and the country’s communist past

Protests have continued in Romania despite the government revoking a controversial decree that would have decriminalised some forms of misconduct by public officials. Dennis Deletant traces the roots of the protest through Romania’s communist past, writing that corruption, autocratic impulses, and incompetence have characterised the attitudes and actions of successive governments and the bureaucracy since the revolution.

Communism has cast […]

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    Emmanuel Macron and the building of a new liberal-centrist movement

Emmanuel Macron and the building of a new liberal-centrist movement

One of the key stories of the French presidential election campaign so far has been the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron, who is currently challenging Marine Le Pen and François Fillon for a place in the second round. Susan Milner assesses his campaign, arguing that his chances of success will depend to a large extent on how wide he can keep […]

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    Romania’s protests: A response to a three-pronged assault on anti-corruption measures

Romania’s protests: A response to a three-pronged assault on anti-corruption measures

Romania has witnessed large anti-government protests over a proposed amnesty for prisoners which has the potential to free several officials currently in jail for corruption. Daniel Brett lays down the background, explaining that attacks on Romania’s anti-corruption efforts have been threefold, coming through the legislative process, through a domestic campaign against the anti-corruption directorate (DNA) and its chief prosecutor Laura […]

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    There is no alternative, or is there? The historic experiment of the left-wing government in Portugal

There is no alternative, or is there? The historic experiment of the left-wing government in Portugal

Following elections in October 2015, António Costa formed a government in Portugal that included the support of some of the country’s radical left parties. Marco Lisi assesses how the government has performed since it took power. He argues that while the government has not achieved everything it set out to do, the successes that have been achieved in office illustrate […]

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    En Marche? Who is Emmanuel Macron and why he stands a chance to win the French presidency

En Marche? Who is Emmanuel Macron and why he stands a chance to win the French presidency

With the selection of Benoît Hamon as the candidate for the Socialist Party, the field for the 2017 French presidential election is broadly set. Marta Lorimer writes on the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron, who is running under the banner of a new progressive movement – En Marche! – and is currently receiving significant support in opinion polls. She argues that […]

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    The curious case of Liechtenstein: A country caught between a prince and democracy

The curious case of Liechtenstein: A country caught between a prince and democracy

The Principality of Liechtenstein will hold elections on 5 February. Ahead of the elections, Wouter Veenendaal assesses the country’s political system, under which the Prince of Liechtenstein still retains a large degree of power over decision-making. He states that the system raises complex questions over whether a country can be classified as a democracy if its citizens voluntarily choose […]

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    Assessing Syriza’s two years in power: How successful has the party been in office?

Assessing Syriza’s two years in power: How successful has the party been in office?

On 26 January 2015, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, took office as Prime Minister of Greece. But how successful has Syriza been in its two years in power? Myrto Tsakatika reflects on the party’s strategy, writing that Tsipras would have benefitted from having come into government with a more focused plan to shift the way the state apparatus […]

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    The 2017 Netherlands election: Polls suggest mid-sized parties are now the new norm in Dutch politics

The 2017 Netherlands election: Polls suggest mid-sized parties are now the new norm in Dutch politics

The Netherlands will hold a general election on 15 March. Ahead of the election, Tom Louwerse takes a comprehensive look at the polling. He writes that the polls suggest a relatively large number of mid-sized parties, each commanding between 5 and 11 per cent support, will gain representation in parliament. If the final result is anything close to the […]

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    Italy’s ‘trilemma’: How to balance integration, sovereignty and democracy following the constitutional referendum

Italy’s ‘trilemma’: How to balance integration, sovereignty and democracy following the constitutional referendum

On 4 December, Italian voters rejected a proposed constitutional reform in a referendum, with Matteo Renzi subsequently resigning as the country’s prime minister. Nicolò Fraccaroli writes on where the country now stands, arguing that the situation is best captured as a ‘trilemma’ where economic integration, national sovereignty, and democracy create competing pressures on Italy’s economy and political system.

The Three […]

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    The causes and consequences of Poland’s parliamentary crisis

The causes and consequences of Poland’s parliamentary crisis

The Polish parliament returned from its Christmas break on 11 January, but the new parliamentary term continued to be disrupted by a protest from opposition MPs which began in December. Ben Stanley writes that although the opposition eventually suspended its occupation of the plenary hall on the second day of the session, the crisis remains, with government and opposition […]

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    Caught between mainstreaming and radicalisation: Tensions inside the populist Vlaams Belang in Belgium

Caught between mainstreaming and radicalisation: Tensions inside the populist Vlaams Belang in Belgium

The Flemish party Vlaams Belang is often regarded as one of the most successful radical-right parties in Europe, but it has experienced a drop in support in recent years. Teun Pauwels and Emilie van Haute write on tensions between the party’s current leadership and a faction led by Filip Dewinter, which supports taking a more radical line on issues […]

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    Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

Forget about Strasbourg, it’s Rome that will make or break the Five Star Movement

On 9 January, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe rejected a request from Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) to join the group in the European Parliament. Daniele Albertazzi states that although the incident constituted an embarrassment for the M5S at the European level, a far more pressing priority for the party will be to ensure it can […]

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    Hungary in 2017: Could the left and far-right unite to keep Orban out of power?

Hungary in 2017: Could the left and far-right unite to keep Orban out of power?

Hungary is due to hold its next parliamentary election in early-2018, with this year likely to see a progressive build-up of political activity prior to the start of the campaign. Abel Bojar previews what 2017 could have in store for the country’s political parties, noting that the government’s record on cronyism and corruption may well be the most serious […]

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    Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

Poland’s parliamentary crisis could reach a tipping point by mid-January

An occupation of the main legislative chamber and street demonstrations at the end of December, prompted by the exclusion of an opposition deputy following his protest against new parliamentary media rules, has precipitated a major political crisis in Poland. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that although the government has withdrawn its planned media regulations, the sit-in continued throughout Christmas with the […]

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Look ahead to 2017: The German federal election

To mark the end of the year, we’ve asked our contributors to preview some of the potential stories of 2017. In this contribution, Kai Arzheimer looks ahead to the German federal election, which is due to be held in the autumn.

In September 2017, Germans will go to the polls to elect the members of their national parliament, the Bundestag. In […]

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