Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently generated controversy in Germany after he compared the actions of German officials with Nazis. The comments came following Germany’s decision to block political rallies linked to an upcoming referendum in Turkey on 16 April. Marc David Baer argues that the incident should be used to shine a light on the Turkish government’s own deployment of […]
The ‘grey zone’ of Vichy France: Understanding Marine Le Pen’s latest comments on the Second World War
The leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, has generated controversy by denying French responsibility for the persecution of Jews during the Second World War. Hugh Mcdonnell examines the ‘grey zone’ of French collaboration with the German occupation, writing that Le Pen’s comments contrast strikingly with previous efforts to ‘detoxify’ her party.
On 9 April, Marine Le Pen, the leader […]
How electoral competition explains preference convergence and divergence in pre-electoral coalitions
While most coalition governments form after the results of an election, some parties choose to announce their intention to form pre-electoral coalitions before a vote has been held. Based on a recent study, Zachary Greene and Matthias Haber explore why parties, which are usually in direct conflict with one another for electoral support, choose to engage in this kind of […]
Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?
The German social democrats (SPD) have experienced rising support in opinion polls following the selection of Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as the party’s candidate for chancellor at the upcoming federal elections in September. Julian Göpffarth asks whether the re-emergence of the SPD will lead to a more polarised contest, with a clear choice between […]
An EU citizen is an EU citizen, writes Tanja Bueltmann, and the government has made it abundantly clear that we are all in limbo until a deal to secure our rights is negotiated with the EU – if such a deal can be done. Politicians have chosen not to oppose the wave of xenophobia sweeping across the country, but […]
Alternative für Deutschland started life as a movement of economists who were opposed to the euro. Four years later and two years after they quit, it is a fully-fledged populist party. Simon Franzmann traces how the AfD acquired credibility by vaunting its economic expertise, before switching to more traditionally populist themes.
Bernd Lucke with the current AfD party chair, Frauke […]
‘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 […]
Theresa May’s speech on 17 January laid out some of the key aims of the UK government as it seeks to leave the European Union. Inez von Weitershausen presents an overview of the reactions from Germany, writing that responses ranged from anger and disappointment to more hopeful calls for a constructive relationship with the UK following Brexit.
Those commentators suggesting […]
Despite Germany’s long-standing respect for its British partners, the Federal Republic trades more with the EU27 than it does with the UK and it has a profound ideological commitment to European integration that is seldom appreciated in Britain. Charlotte Galpin writes that in this context, Boris Johnson may be doing more harm than good by taking German support towards […]
Can a new leader change a party’s fortunes? How leadership changes affect voter perceptions about party policy
Political parties regularly change their leadership following a disappointing election result, but how can parties be sure that a new leader will change how voters think about their policy positions? Drawing on a study of party leadership changes in seven European countries, Zeynep Somer-Topcu writes that leadership changes tend to increase the level of agreement among voters about what […]
The AfD’s second place in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania illustrates the challenge facing Merkel in 2017
Angela Merkel’s CDU came third behind the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the German Social Democrats (SPD) in elections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania on 4 September. Kai Arzheimer writes that while the result was not unexpected and the CDU still has a lead in national polling, the election underlines the challenge facing Merkel as she seeks reelection in the next […]
How should European policymakers respond to the terrorist attacks that have taken place in France and Germany over recent weeks? Dennis Shen argues that the attacks highlight the need to develop a new strategy for tackling the factors which underpin terrorism. This will involve not only bringing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq to a swift conclusion, but also […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]