2014 European Parliament elections

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    Coverage of the Commission President candidates in the Spanish media shows the Spitzenkandidaten process had a wide reach across Europe

Coverage of the Commission President candidates in the Spanish media shows the Spitzenkandidaten process had a wide reach across Europe

The proposal of candidates for President of the European Commission prior to the 2014 European Parliament elections was criticised by the British government on the grounds that it did not fully engage European citizens. Miguel Otero-Iglesias and Kristina Lani assess the coverage of the process in the Spanish media, illustrating that the candidates received just as much attention in […]

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    It would be dangerous to view modern European populism as a triumph of style over substance

It would be dangerous to view modern European populism as a triumph of style over substance

The success of populist and Eurosceptic parties was one of the key narratives to emerge from the European Parliament elections in May. Ruth Wodak writes on the platforms which underpin these parties, noting that there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for why parties have gained ground in certain countries. Nevertheless she argues that it is difficult to predict where such […]

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    Despite Cameron’s opposition, Juncker’s pragmatism makes him as good a Commission President as any for the UK

Despite Cameron’s opposition, Juncker’s pragmatism makes him as good a Commission President as any for the UK

Jean-Claude Juncker was finally confirmed as the next President of the European Commission on 15 July following a vote in the European Parliament. Simon Usherwood writes on what the EU should expect from the new President, noting that unlike other candidates for the post, he is far more of a pragmatist than someone with a strong ideological commitment to […]

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    The next President of the European Council and High Representative for Foreign Affairs: a final look at the candidates

The next President of the European Council and High Representative for Foreign Affairs: a final look at the candidates

The European Council will meet on 16 July with the aim of deciding who will replace Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council and Catherine Ashton as the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs. Jon Worth takes a final look at the candidates for each role. He notes that while it is anticipated a centre-left candidate will […]

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    In spite of their electoral success, populist parties remain disconnected from other parties domestically and transnationally

In spite of their electoral success, populist parties remain disconnected from other parties domestically and transnationally

The European Parliament elections in May saw a number of populist, far-right and Eurosceptic parties gain representation. Alexandre Afonso writes that despite their success, the majority of these parties remain disconnected from other parties at the national and European levels. Presenting a network of European parties, he illustrates that those on the Eurosceptic-right and radical-left are still largely isolated […]

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    David Cameron’s attempt to block Juncker was a masterclass in how to lose friends in Europe

David Cameron’s attempt to block Juncker was a masterclass in how to lose friends in Europe

Despite opposition from the UK and Hungary, the European Council nominated Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the European Commission on 27 June. Eunice Goes writes on the attempt made by British Prime Minister David Cameron to block Juncker’s nomination. She argues that the strategy adopted by Cameron simply served to alienate potential allies and ultimately left the […]

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    A public vote on Jean-Claude Juncker in the European Council could be a significant step for transparency in EU politics

A public vote on Jean-Claude Juncker in the European Council could be a significant step for transparency in EU politics

David Cameron has asked for a public vote to be held in the European Council on the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as the next President of the European Commission. Sara Hagemann writes that this would be a bold step as it would challenge the tradition of ‘consensus politics’ which has dominated key decisions over European integration in the past. […]

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    The European Union must have a closer link to national politics if it is to retain its legitimacy

The European Union must have a closer link to national politics if it is to retain its legitimacy

National governments are still involved in negotiations over nominating a candidate for the next President of the European Commission. Anand Menon writes that while much of this debate has focused on the merits of individual candidates such as Jean-Claude Juncker, the real issue is a structural one concerning the future of the European Parliament. He argues that, whichever candidate […]

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    Alexis Tsipras’ support for Juncker shows the extent to which the UK’s position is out of sync with public opinion across the EU

Alexis Tsipras’ support for Juncker shows the extent to which the UK’s position is out of sync with public opinion across the EU

David Cameron has opposed Jean-Claude Juncker’s candidacy for the next President of the European Commission. Miguel Otero-Iglesias writes that while Juncker may not be the best candidate for the job, he is the most legitimate from a democratic perspective. He notes that with even Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the left-wing SYRIZA party in Greece and Commission President candidate […]

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    The European Parliament should return to a ‘dual mandate’ system which uses national politicians as representatives instead of directly elected MEPs

The European Parliament should return to a ‘dual mandate’ system which uses national politicians as representatives instead of directly elected MEPs

One of the key criticisms of European Parliament elections is that low turnout prevents the Parliament from genuinely being able to confer legitimacy on the EU’s legislative process. Herman Lelieveldt writes that while there was a small increase in turnout in the 2014 European elections, the overall trend of declining turnout necessitates a radical reform to improve the EU’s […]

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    The European Parliament elections show the increasingly fragmented nature of European party systems

The European Parliament elections show the increasingly fragmented nature of European party systems

Most coverage of the European Parliament elections has noted the rise of several far-right and Eurosceptic parties across Europe. Cas Mudde argues, however, that a more important trend was toward increasingly fragmented party systems. Presenting a series of numbers from the elections, he illustrates that ‘big parties’ are experiencing declining vote shares, with a greater number of smaller parties […]

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    With Fidesz opposing Juncker’s candidacy for Commission President, it is time for the European People’s Party to reconsider its support for Viktor Orbán

With Fidesz opposing Juncker’s candidacy for Commission President, it is time for the European People’s Party to reconsider its support for Viktor Orbán

Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party retained a comfortable majority in Hungary’s parliament in national elections in April and received more than 50 per cent of the Hungarian vote in the European Parliament elections in May. Johannes Wachs writes that while Fidesz has received criticism from a number of actors within the EU, including the European Commission, the European People’s Party […]

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    The European elections in Central and Eastern EU states illustrate that the rise of Euroscepticism was far from uniform across Europe

The European elections in Central and Eastern EU states illustrate that the rise of Euroscepticism was far from uniform across Europe

The key story to emerge from the European elections in countries like France and the UK was the rise of Euroscepticism, but does this narrative apply to all countries across Europe? Tim Haughton and Tereza Novotna present an analysis of the elections in four Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries: Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. They write […]

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    The real story in the European elections wasn’t the rise of ‘populists and extremists’, but the return of the left-right divide

The real story in the European elections wasn’t the rise of ‘populists and extremists’, but the return of the left-right divide

The European Parliament elections saw a number of smaller parties with broadly Eurosceptic or anti-establishment platforms do well across Europe. Jonathan White writes that while this has been dismissed by some commentators as a victory for ‘populists and extremists’, the elections represent a more fundamental shift in European politics. He notes that these parties have substantial differences and display […]

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    There were few surprises in the European election results in Cyprus, but public discontent was apparent in the large drop in turnout

There were few surprises in the European election results in Cyprus, but public discontent was apparent in the large drop in turnout

The European Parliament elections in Cyprus came a little over a year after the severe financial crisis which hit the country in 2013. James Ker-Lindsay writes that with the allocation of seats among parties remaining the same as it was in the 2009 European elections, public discontent was largely expressed through abstention rather than protest votes. Perhaps the biggest […]

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European Parliament election results – our experts react

European Parliament elections were held from 22 – 25 May. We asked a number of experts to comment on the results and what the elections mean for individual countries across Europe.

The Front National is now an equal player across the whole of France, and no longer merely a ‘nuisance’ to the mainstream – Jocelyn Evans – University of […]

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2014 European Parliament election results – live blog

In cooperation with the South East Europe at LSE blog, EUROPP ran a live blog with commentary on the European Parliament election results. Live updates were provided by Stuart Brown and Tena Prelec in London and Jakub Krupa in Brussels. Please note that the figures mentioned during live blogging were partial results, and might therefore not reflect the final […]

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    Spain’s lack of openly Eurosceptic parties ahead of the EP elections shows the idea of Europe still remains powerful for Spanish citizens

Spain’s lack of openly Eurosceptic parties ahead of the EP elections shows the idea of Europe still remains powerful for Spanish citizens

The Spanish economy was particularly hard hit during the Eurozone crisis and the country’s unemployment rate is still around 26 per cent. José Fernández-Albertos writes that while the economic situation would appear to make Spain a natural candidate for Eurosceptic and populist politics, there has so far been no emergence of the kind of Eurosceptic political movements which are […]

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European Parliament elections: a final look at the polls

European Parliament elections are being held on 22-25 May. In the first of two articles summarising the European and national campaigns, Stuart Brown takes a look at the polls with regard to the composition of the next Parliament. He notes that while Eurosceptic parties are predicted to significantly increase their representation, the European People’s Party has a narrow lead […]

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    Unless Juncker and Schulz can co-operate, the EU will lose an important opportunity for democratisation

Unless Juncker and Schulz can co-operate, the EU will lose an important opportunity for democratisation

Candidates have been put forward for the next President of the European Commission in advance of the European elections on 22-25 May. One of the key unanswered questions over this process, however, is whether national governments will agree to propose one of these candidates rather than exercising their right to pick an alternative. Pier Domenico Tortola writes that given […]

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