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    Jostling for position: What determines where candidates are placed on electoral lists during European elections?

Jostling for position: What determines where candidates are placed on electoral lists during European elections?

Several EU countries use a closed list system to elect their members of the European Parliament. But what determines the position where a candidate is placed on these lists? Based on a recent study, Elena Frech writes that parties tend to prioritise MEPs who have previously been part of powerful committees in the European Parliament, but that candidates also […]

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    Schäuble vs Draghi: German losses from ECB policy are real but self-inflicted

Schäuble vs Draghi: German losses from ECB policy are real but self-inflicted

Germany has recently voiced criticism of the European Central Bank (ECB) from the perspective that its policies, such as quantitative easing, have a particularly negative effect within Germany. Benjamin Braun argues that while there have indeed been German losses from the ECB’s policies, much of the problem stems from the country’s reluctance to ease its own fiscal policy.

While the […]

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Germany: The EU’s new foreign policy engine

What characterises Germany’s involvement in shaping European foreign policy? Outlining the conclusions of a recent study, Marco Siddi writes that the nature of EU foreign policy has changed rapidly since the emergence of the Ukraine and refugee crises, with Germany taking on a key leadership role in the EU’s attempts to respond to foreign policy challenges.

The European foreign policy […]

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    A reminder of the road not taken: Hans-Dietrich Genscher and the holy grail of a united Europe

A reminder of the road not taken: Hans-Dietrich Genscher and the holy grail of a united Europe

The state funeral of Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West Germany’s longest serving foreign minister and vice-chancellor, was held on 17 April. Kristina Spohr writes on Genscher’s career, his role in unifying Germany, and his ultimate aspiration to integrate both NATO and the Warsaw Pact into an all-European security order that incorporated the Soviet Union.

The unity of Europe has been one of […]

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    Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Understanding Germany: Why Berlin’s policies reflect its role as the ‘status quo power’ in Europe

Are European citizens now living, as the German sociologist Ulrich Beck once described, in a German Europe? Peter Becker writes that while the actions of Germany throughout the Greek debt and migration crises have provoked diverse responses from commentators outside of the country, Germany’s European policy has consistently been in line with its role as the dominant ‘status quo […]

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    What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

What do the German state elections tell us about the state of the country’s parties?

German state elections held on 13 March produced significant levels of support for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), but where does the German party system stand overall after the elections? Ben Margulies writes that Germany is now heading toward a new system split between establishment parties and populist challengers, paralleling previous developments in countries like Austria.

On 13 March, three […]

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    Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Germany’s state elections: The rise of the AfD and the vicious circle of grand coalition politics

Three state elections were held in Germany on 13 March, with the contests being viewed as a key test of support for Angela Merkel’s government in light of her handling of the ongoing migration crisis in Europe. Assessing the results, Ed Turner writes that the elections demonstrated substantial discontent among German voters, with the Alternative for Germany securing large […]

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    Wolfgang Schäuble: “Europe will only work if the rules are the same for smaller and bigger member states”

Wolfgang Schäuble: “Europe will only work if the rules are the same for smaller and bigger member states”

Germany has had a central role in shaping the policies that have been implemented to address the Eurozone crisis and the persistent economic problems faced by European countries in its aftermath. Following a recent lecture at LSE, Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, took questions from LSE staff and students on the need for rules to be applied consistently across […]

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    Angela Merkel faces a delicate balancing act on migration ahead of key state elections

Angela Merkel faces a delicate balancing act on migration ahead of key state elections

Elections will be held in the German states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt on 13 March, with some commentators viewing the elections as an effective vote of confidence on Angela Merkel’s policy on refugees. Nitzan Shoshan assesses the political response to the incidents which took place in Cologne and other German cities on New Year’s eve. He states that […]

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    Cologne and the ‘sexism of the other’: Why tougher migration policies won’t solve sexual abuse

Cologne and the ‘sexism of the other’: Why tougher migration policies won’t solve sexual abuse

Sexual assaults, theft and violence occurred in several European cities on New Year’s Eve, most notably in Cologne. Anne Jenichen discusses the debate that ensued following the incidents, criticising the focus on the race of the perpetrators in much of the subsequent discourse. She argues that restricting immigration won’t solve the problem of sexual assault, which is a global issue with […]

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    European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Germany, Greece, Slovakia and the EU’s institutions

European views on the UK’s renegotiation: Germany, Greece, Slovakia and the EU’s institutions

The success or failure of David Cameron’s planned renegotiation of the UK’s EU membership will depend to a large extent on how the other 27 EU member states respond to his proposals. But how do countries across the EU view the UK’s renegotiation? Building on a report published in 2014 by the German Council on Foreign Relations, EUROPP is […]

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    Germany is in great need of a meaningful discussion about Islamophobia

Germany is in great need of a meaningful discussion about Islamophobia

While Germany has witnessed public displays of support for refugees during the refugee crisis, this year has also seen the rise of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim demonstrations organised by the ‘PEGIDA’ group. Astrid Bötticher writes on these conflicting attitudes within Germany and the problem of Islamophobia exemplified by PEGIDA. She argues that Islamophobia must become a scientific rather than a […]

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    The limits of German power: How ECB decisions have put constraints on Berlin’s management of the crisis

The limits of German power: How ECB decisions have put constraints on Berlin’s management of the crisis

The German government has been at the heart of the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis, but key decisions made by the European Central Bank, notably the introduction of a large ‘quantitative easing’ program, have occurred despite German opposition. Mattias Vermeiren writes that these two developments are intricately linked, with Germany’s pursuit of creditors’ interests generating unintended ‘spillover’ effects […]

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    The two faces of Germany: how Germany’s support for refugees could counteract criticism of its handling of the Greek debt crisis

The two faces of Germany: how Germany’s support for refugees could counteract criticism of its handling of the Greek debt crisis

Throughout the Greek debt crisis, the majority of criticism from those who support a more lenient deal for Greece has been directed at Germany. As Simon Reich writes, however, Germany has also taken on a leading role in the migration crisis that has developed in southern Europe during 2015, which has placed a disproportionate burden on Greece due to […]

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    Germany is stuck with a crisis it did not foresee and can no longer control

Germany is stuck with a crisis it did not foresee and can no longer control

Germany is often described as a ‘reluctant hegemon’ in the sense that it has found itself pushed to the centre of EU affairs by the Eurozone crisis. Peter Nedergaard and Holly Snaith write that the increasing importance of Germany in the EU has resulted in a particular brand of German ‘ordoliberal’ thinking becoming institutionalised at the European level. They […]

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    How the split in Germany’s Eurosceptic AfD is likely to help Angela Merkel

How the split in Germany’s Eurosceptic AfD is likely to help Angela Merkel

The Eurosceptic Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) narrowly failed to cross Germany’s five per cent electoral threshold in the country’s 2013 federal elections, but managed to gain seven MEPs in the 2014 European Parliament elections. However, as Julian M Hoerner notes, this initial success has evaporated in recent months following a split within the party. He writes that the split […]

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    What the UK could learn from Germany’s Sunday trading laws

What the UK could learn from Germany’s Sunday trading laws

Sunday trading rules vary considerably across Europe, with some countries allowing shops to open freely, while others have tight restrictions on opening hours. In light of a proposal to decentralise restrictions on Sunday trading in England and Wales, Ed Turner writes on the lessons Germany’s decentralisation of Sunday trading laws could provide for other countries. He notes that if […]

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    German public opinion is caught between scapegoating Greeks and love-bombing them

German public opinion is caught between scapegoating Greeks and love-bombing them

What do German citizens think of their government’s handling of the Greek debt crisis? Imke Henkel writes that the German media has helped to perpetuate a view of the crisis which pits ‘lazy southerners’ against hard-working northern European taxpayers. However she also notes that this interpretation has generated a backlash from many Germans who are keen to emphasise the […]

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    Being German, becoming Muslim: how German converts to Islam balance their national identity and their faith

Being German, becoming Muslim: how German converts to Islam balance their national identity and their faith

Studies on the growth of Muslim populations in western Europe often focus on the role of immigration, but every year an increasing number of citizens in western European countries also make the decision to convert to Islam. Esra Özyürek writes on the challenges faced by German converts, noting that Germany’s Muslim communities have adopted a variety of different approaches […]

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    Despite low unemployment, large sections of German society remain at risk from poverty

Despite low unemployment, large sections of German society remain at risk from poverty

In the early 2000s, the then SPD-Green government in Germany implemented a package of policies known as ‘Agenda 2010’, which aimed to reform the country’s welfare system and labour market. Stefan Selke writes on the impact of these reforms ten years later. He argues that while the unemployment rate in Germany is currently low by historical standards, the picture […]

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