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    Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

The Catalan government has announced plans to hold a referendum on independence from Spain on 1 October. However, the Spanish government has argued that such a referendum would be unconstitutional and it is still unclear whether the vote will take place. We asked four academics to give their views on whether the vote should be held, and what it would potentially mean […]

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Taking back control – one year on. But control of what?

The referendum was all about ‘taking back control’ from Brussels. The idea resonated among voters not only because of migration policy, but due to a lack of control over economic and democratic matters, argues Sarah Longlands. With the first anniversary of the referendum, we need to rethink how we approach ‘control’.
The central argument of the ‘Vote leave’ campaign during […]

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    Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Now that Emmanuel Macron has won a large majority in the French parliament, there are few obstacles preventing him from implementing his ambitious reform agenda. But what exactly will Macron’s reforms involve and are they likely to be successful? Philip Rathgeb and Fabio Wolkenstein draw a parallel between Macron’s agenda and the ‘Third Way’ politics of Gerhard Schröder. But […]

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    Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania will hold a parliamentary election on 25 June. The election was originally scheduled for 18 June, but was pushed back seven days following a prolonged political crisis. Andi Hoxhaj previews the vote, highlighting that while the country has made substantial improvements with respect to socio-economic reforms, its lack of political stability has held back attempts to pursue closer […]

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    Shaped by pragmatism: What the Czechs want to get out of Brexit

Shaped by pragmatism: What the Czechs want to get out of Brexit

The UK is the Czech Republic’s fourth-largest export market, and many of its citizens live in Britain. Monika Brusenbauch Meislová looks at the country’s negotiating stance and asks whether it will stay in line with the rest of the EU27 – or whether domestic political pressures will lead it to break with the rest of the bloc.

Before the EU referendum, […]

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    The Brexit talks have started, but have the French and British elections changed the tone?

The Brexit talks have started, but have the French and British elections changed the tone?

Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union formally began on 19 June, but it is still unclear what impact the unexpected result of the UK’s general election will have on the process. Julian M Hoerner indicates that from the EU’s perspective, little has changed following the election as the EU had already decided on its negotiating position in advance. However, […]

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    Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union: What the Commission missed in its reflection paper

Deepening the Economic and Monetary Union: What the Commission missed in its reflection paper

The European Commission published a reflection paper at the end of May on deepening economic and monetary union. Enrico Marelli and Marcello Signorelli present an analysis of the Commission’s proposals and respond to some of the paper’s key weaknesses in laying out a path for future reforms.

The European Commission’s recent reflection paper on deepening economic and monetary union raises several key […]

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    Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) completed their victory of the French legislative elections on 18 June, although the size of the majority was not as large as had been predicted following the first round of voting a week earlier. Nick Parsons highlights that although Macron can now claim legitimacy to push forward with a number of ambitious reforms, […]

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  • Permalink TOPSHOT - Members of the European Parliament take part in a voting session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 7, 2016.  / AFP / FREDERICK FLORIN        (Photo credit should read FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)Gallery

    Taking back control, actually: Reforming the European Parliament elections

Taking back control, actually: Reforming the European Parliament elections

Brexit has pushed European law-makers to seriously talk about rebuilding the EU. In December 2016, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament endorsed a report on adjustments to the institutional set-up of the EU, which was then ratified by the full house. This article argues that calls for democratising the EU political system have to be addressed […]

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    Is ‘hybrid geopolitics’ the next EU foreign policy doctrine?

Is ‘hybrid geopolitics’ the next EU foreign policy doctrine?

The EU has faced a diverse range of criticisms over its actions during the Ukraine crisis. While some observers have accused EU states of being too weak in the face of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, others suggest that the crisis itself emerged from a misguided attempt by the EU to push for an Association Agreement with Ukraine. Richard Youngs highlights […]

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    Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Only six months after winning parliamentary elections, Romania’s Social Democratic Party is in turmoil following an attempt by the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, to remove the current Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu. With the party set for a key parliamentary vote on whether to keep the Prime Minister in power, Mihnea Stoica suggests that both Grindeanu and Dragnea’s political futures are […]

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    Tactical Europeanisation: Why Serbia’s decision to appoint an openly gay PM is no great leap forward for LGBT rights

Tactical Europeanisation: Why Serbia’s decision to appoint an openly gay PM is no great leap forward for LGBT rights

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has nominated Ana Brnabić as the country’s next Prime Minister. Brnabić, whose appointment is now largely a formality, will be Serbia’s first female and openly gay Prime Minister. Koen Slootmaeckers argues that while many observers outside the country have portrayed the appointment as a step forward for LGBT rights in Serbia, the decision says far more […]

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    Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System – by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System – by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier

Book Review – In Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier set out to offer solutions to the flawed system of refugee management that has gained increasing attention through the emergence of the crisis discourse surrounding migration. While this ambitious book sets out to challenge this through restoring a narrative of hope, Gayle Munro questions whether its […]

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    Italy’s municipal elections: The beginning of the end for the Five Star Movement?

Italy’s municipal elections: The beginning of the end for the Five Star Movement?

Despite leading many opinion polls at the national level, Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) suffered a disappointing result in the first round of municipal elections on 11 June. Fabio Bordignon argues that the result should not be translated into national support as the party faces several obstacles that prevent it from effectively fighting local elections. The most likely picture […]

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    For the Russian authorities, the threat of Navalny lies in the message not the man

For the Russian authorities, the threat of Navalny lies in the message not the man

The arrest of Alexei Navalny for organising an ‘unauthorised’ anti-corruption rally on 12 June represents the latest in a long line of run-ins with the authorities and simply adds to his credentials as one of Russia’s leading opposition figures, writes Sean Roberts. However, the real issue for the Kremlin is his anti-corruption message and its contagious spread across the […]

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    Prelude to a crisis? Why France has an abstention problem in legislative elections

Prelude to a crisis? Why France has an abstention problem in legislative elections

Emmanuel Macron’s La République en marche (LREM) are set to win a large majority of seats in the second round of the French legislative elections on 18 June. But perhaps the biggest story from the first round was the low turnout, with abstentions passing the 50 per cent mark. Alexandros Alexandropoulos suggests that declining turnout in French legislative elections […]

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    The timing is just right for Navalny to challenge Putin’s regime

The timing is just right for Navalny to challenge Putin’s regime

Can prominent anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny endanger Vladimir Putin’s long-standing rule? In light of the recent protests in Moscow, Alexander Titov traces the history of anti-Putin protests since the 2011 swapping of roles between Putin and Dmitry Medvedev. He argues that the timing is just right for a new protest movement to gather momentum ahead of the March 2018 presidential […]

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    Britain’s surprising election: Austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

Britain’s surprising election: Austerity and inequality make for angry and unpredictable voters

The unexpected result of the general election is just another case of voters punishing governments for their handling of the economy, writes Jonathan Hopkin. He argues citizens have had enough of an economic system that deliberately benefits only the few. Established political parties have failed to provide a vision for change, and so new political leaders who do so […]

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    Alexandre Holroyd: “Macron’s Presidency will not have a huge impact on Brexit per se, but on the future of the EU”

Alexandre Holroyd: “Macron’s Presidency will not have a huge impact on Brexit per se, but on the future of the EU”

Alexandre Holroyd is the En Marche! candidate representing the French living in Northern Europe. In a recent panel discussion organised by the 1989 Generation Initiative, he discussed the implications of Macron’s presidency for Brexit, the future of the European Union and the importance of the upcoming elections in France for the next five years.
Alexandre Holroyd (left), Michael Cottakis (centre) […]

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    Boris Johnson might have the political capital to avert a Hard Brexit

Boris Johnson might have the political capital to avert a Hard Brexit

If Theresa May manages to carry on as Prime Minister, her precarious position within the Conservative Party and in Parliament will leave her a weaker negotiator. Kevin Featherstone argues that if she fights on – and either returns from Brussels without a deal, or is ousted after failing to secure an acceptable one – Tory party politics make a hard Brexit inevitable. Were Boris Johnson […]

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