Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has stated that it will be impossible to give the UK greater rights than those granted to other states outside the European Union. And yet, with EU negotiations looming, Theresa May is still very much in a holding position. According to Richard Rose, May’s real priority is not Europe, but laying the groundwork for winning the 2020 British […]
Turkey’s conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has had a deeply negative effect on the regions most affected by the violence. But what has the overall economic cost been to Turkey as a whole? Fırat Bilgel and Burhan Can Karahasan present the key factors that have underpinned the issue and calculate that Turkish GDP could have been 14 […]
Do Erasmus students develop a European identity? How social interactions change the way citizens think about Europe
It might be expected that citizens who interact more frequently with people from other EU countries would be more likely to develop a European identity. But how do these kinds of social interactions affect identity in practice? Presenting research on the views of exchange students who have participated in the Erasmus programme, Florian Stoeckel writes that Erasmus students do […]
Italy will hold a referendum on constitutional reform before the end of the year, with the country’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, indicating that he will resign if the referendum fails. Gianfranco Pasquino and Andrea Capussela provide a comprehensive assessment of the proposed reforms, arguing that they would be unlikely to meaningfully improve Italian governance and could reduce levels of […]
There has been much talk about whether a general election will or should take place before 2020, the key arguments behind it being that Theresa May has no mandate to carry out her programme, while also having no mandate to negotiate the exact terms of Brexit. Calling an early election would therefore be a single-topic vote. Yossi Nehushtan argues that such […]
On 25 September, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s eastern and Serb-dominated entity, held a referendum on whether to keep a holiday marking its founding, in open defiance of decisions by the Bosnian Constitutional Court. As the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina prepares for elections on 2 October, Jasmin Mujanović reflects on the failing state of the country’s democracy. He argues that, cornered […]
Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has stated that he will resign if he loses a referendum on constitutional reform scheduled to take place before the end of the year. Lorenzo Codogno writes that although the referendum will have major implications for the Italian government and the next general election, concerns about the wider impact on Italy’s political and financial […]
Book Review: British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War by Dennis Deletant
In British Clandestine Activities in Romania During the Second World War, Dennis Deletant attends to the relationship between Britain and Romania preceding and during World War II. The book illustrates the international context of the period, while outlining the cultural and diplomatic relations between these two countries. This is a necessary and valuable contribution to the history of Romania that should serve […]
The informal gathering of the 27 EU leaders, excluding the United Kingdom, in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava aimed to set an agenda to help the bloc regain the trust of European voters, damaged by the outcome of Britain’s June referendum as well as by the Union’s inability to confront its many deepening crises. Dalibor Rohac outlines its hidden meaning.
The meeting was meant […]
While the UK prepares for Brexit, the SNP are laying the groundwork for a new independence referendum
The Scottish Government has indicated that it may call a second independence referendum as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Richard Rose writes that the SNP are already establishing the foundations for a new independence campaign and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, may quickly propose legislation for another referendum once the UK triggers Article 50.
The remaining 27 EU member state governments met in Bratislava on 16 September for their first major meeting without the UK since the Brexit referendum in June. As Solon Ardittis writes, one of the main developments to emerge from the meeting was an apparent shift in the EU’s approach to the migration crisis, with so called ‘flexible solidarity’ being […]
An uneven playing field: Larger EU member states receive weaker Commission oversight than smaller states
The EU’s fiscal oversight mechanism, the Stability and Growth Pact, which sets limits on states’ budget deficits and debt levels, was insufficient to prevent the Eurozone crisis from occurring. Nicole Rae Baerg notes that if European states are to learn from this failure, it is important to understand why the system lacked credibility. Presenting evidence from a recent study, […]
Russia held parliamentary elections on 18 September. To coincide with the elections, we are running a number of articles on Russian politics and society. In this contribution, Irina Busygina writes on relations between Russia and the European Union. Following the Ukraine crisis, Russia and the EU are now further away from establishing stable relations with one another than at […]
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 […]
As European policymakers attempt to respond to the migration crisis, they face a challenge in terms of public opinion, with many proposed solutions, such as refugee quota systems, proving deeply unpopular in several countries. Based on a new report by the OECD, Stefano Scarpetta outlines how these challenges can be met by states dealing with large inflows of refugees.
The Brexit vote has thrown different conceptions of democracy into sharp relief. Some are horrified at the conduct of the referendum campaign; others see the result as the revealed will of the people. Luke Temple uses tweets from the March for Europe event on the 3rd September to show how these views clash. He concludes that the pro-EU movement needs a clear aim if it’s to make […]
Les Républicains primary: The runners and riders as the French centre-right selects its presidential candidate
Several French parties, including France’s largest centre-right party, Les Républicains, will select their candidate for the 2017 French presidential election in a primary to be held in November. With the official campaign set to kick-off on 21 September, Marta Lorimer discusses the main contenders and their programmes ahead of the vote.
As France’s presidential election approaches, the main French parties […]
The UK is not the only English speaking EU state, but when Ireland and Malta both joined the EU they opted to put forward Irish and Maltese as their official languages. This has led some politicians to suggest that following Brexit, English should no longer be classified as an official EU language. David Fernández Vítores writes that in practice […]
With a struggling economy and elections looming, why do so many Russians still back their government?
Russia is due to hold parliamentary elections on 18 September. To coincide with the elections, we will be running a number of articles on Russian politics and society. In this contribution, Evgeny Gontmakher writes on why Russian citizens still continue to show strong support for the current government despite a faltering economy. He notes that part of the explanation […]