European politics

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    What do Europeans know about the EU before they go to the polls?

What do Europeans know about the EU before they go to the polls?

Voters across Europe are set to go to the polls for European Parliament elections on 23-26 May, but how much do citizens really know about how the EU works? Florian Stoeckel (University of Exeter) presents findings from a new survey of citizens in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. He writes that while the EU’s democratic deficit is […]

Maastricht debate 2019: a second scramble for Africa?

The EU, the UK and China all want to pursue interests in Africa. In a post-Brexit world, this may lead to even greater rivalry. To prevent a neo-colonial “scramble for Africa,” the EU should now follow Fran’s Timmermans’ proposal and “embrace Africa as a sister continent”. It may be the only player that could convincingly do so. Kate Hall […]

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    The battle for Europe’s future: the next European Parliament will be more fragmented independently of Brexit

The battle for Europe’s future: the next European Parliament will be more fragmented independently of Brexit

This week’s European Parliament elections are a battle for Europe’s future. In this blog, Thierry Chopin, Nicolò Fraccaroli, Nils Hernborg and Jean-Francois Jamet examine the evolution of political cleavages ahead of the vote and the potential impact of Brexit on their result. They argue the next European Parliament will be more fragmented independently of Brexit.

Political cleavages – that is, the key dividing […]

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    Elections to the European Parliament: what if more people voted?

Elections to the European Parliament: what if more people voted?

Can the rise of Eurosceptic and extremist parties be blamed on the mobilisation of people who previously had abstained from the polls? An analysis of the 2009 and 2014 elections to the European Parliament suggests that support for Eurosceptic parties would be largely unaffected by changes in voter turnout, write Uwe Remer-Bollow, Patrick Bernhagen and Richard Rose. Extremist parties would even have lost […]

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    Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

The European Parliament was initially viewed as having a fairly limited part to play in the Brexit negotiations. However, as Carlos Closa (European University Institute) writes, the Parliament has effectively crafted a central role for itself in the process. This has been achieved by combining the unconcealed brandishing of its veto threat with the promotion of strong internal unity and […]

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    Campaigning leaflets from the first European Parliament election in 1979

Campaigning leaflets from the first European Parliament election in 1979

LSE Library curator Daniel Payne shares some of his favourite images from the first European Parliament elections in 1979.

The first ever European Parliament elections were held 40 years ago, with an average voter turnout across the member states of 62% (the UK had just 32%). Since then, LSE Library has been documenting the UK’s relationship with Europe through an […]

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    Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Long read | How the perennial problem of Northern Ireland took centre stage in Brexit

Northern Ireland has played a starring role in the unfolding of Brexit, writes Lisa Claire Whitten (Queen’s University Belfast). The “particular circumstances” presented by the “unique…challenges” of Northern Ireland did not feature prominently in the early stages of Brexit but these have since defined the process.

The question of how to ‘solve’ the problem of the Irish border was the most […]

How will Brexit affect the EP elections in the EU27?

Brexit is not a major issue for people voting in the European Parliament elections in the rest of the EU. But Britain’s struggle to leave the EU may make staying in the bloc more attractive, says Sara Hagemann (LSE). Nonetheless, given the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure, Eurosceptic parties may be able to exploit hopes that a favourable exit […]

LSE Continental Breakfast 16: Europe for the many? Realising left-wing reforms in the EU

Can the EU deliver on the left-wing promise of a “Europe for the many”? The LSE’s 16th Continental Breakfast addressed four key left-wing policy areas: macroeconomic policy, local socioeconomic development, public services, and green growth. One dilemma arose time and again in the discussion – whether left-wing parties should push for incremental or radical change in the EU. Kira […]

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    Interview with Christian Lequesne: there will be no more Brexit extensions after Halloween

Interview with Christian Lequesne: there will be no more Brexit extensions after Halloween

Christian Lequesne is a professor of European politics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and one of the foremost French commentators on UK politics. He spoke to Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, at the time of the second Article 50 extension granted to the UK, about the EU27’s negotiating objectives, Macron’s stance on Brexit, and France’s vision for the future of the […]