Benjamin Leruth

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    Iceland’s election: The Pirates failed to live up to expectations, but this was still a landmark result

Iceland’s election: The Pirates failed to live up to expectations, but this was still a landmark result

Iceland held elections on 29 October which were called after the country’s government was caught up in the Panama Papers scandal earlier this year. Benjamin Leruth assesses the results, noting that the Pirate Party, who had at one stage led the polling, failed to live up to expectations by finishing with the third highest vote share. Nevertheless, the election […]

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    The Panama Papers could bring down Iceland’s government and bring the Pirate Party to power

The Panama Papers could bring down Iceland’s government and bring the Pirate Party to power

The leak of several million confidential documents created by the corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca – the so called ‘Panama Papers’ – has particular implications for Iceland, with the country’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Minister of the Interior all linked to the affair. Benjamin Leruth writes that the government is now under severe pressure to call early elections […]

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    The UK’s renegotiation proposal: A good compromise, but much needs to be done to convince voters

The UK’s renegotiation proposal: A good compromise, but much needs to be done to convince voters

A draft proposal for the UK’s renegotiation of its EU membership was published on 2 February. Benjamin Leruth assesses whether the proposal meets the goals set out in David Cameron’s letter to Donald Tusk in November. He writes that while in principle the key aims set out by Cameron have been met, there remains a long way to go […]

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    The New Flemish Alliance’s decision to join the ECR group says more about Belgian politics than it does about their attitude toward the EU

The New Flemish Alliance’s decision to join the ECR group says more about Belgian politics than it does about their attitude toward the EU

The New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), which won the largest share of the vote in the Belgian federal elections in May, has traditionally combined a pro-EU platform with calls for greater autonomy for Flanders. Benjamin Leruth writes on the party’s decision to join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group for the next European Parliament, which also includes David Cameron’s […]

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As questions abound about the monarchy’s role, Belgium’s new King Philippe must now convince the public of his legitimacy and credibility.

On Sunday, King Albert II of Belgium abdicated in favour of his son, Crown Prince Philippe. Benjamin Leruth looks at the challenges facing the new king in the lead up to 2014’s ‘meta-elections’, that will see Belgians go to the regional, federal and European polls. He writes that while King Philippe is now more popular than he was in previous […]

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Iceland’s election results are not a vote against the EU

The weekend’s election in Iceland saw a shift to the right for the country, and substantial gains for the Independence Party, which is against joining the EU. Reflecting on the election results Benjamin Leruth argues that despite reluctance from the two winning parties, an EU referendum may still be on the cards for Iceland as a majority of the population still supports […]

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Eurosceptic attitudes are widespread in the Nordic states, but there is a high level of variation between countries.

While the United Kingdom has been the focus for most discussions about Euroscepticism, citizens in the Nordic states have also displayed notable Eurosceptic attitudes. As part of our collaborative project exploring contemporary Euroscepticism, Benjamin Leruth assesses public opinion in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. He finds that attitudes vary significantly, with citizens tending to be particularly critical of European policies which […]

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Resolving Iceland’s mackerel war may be crucial to the country joining the EU

In the third of three articles for EUROPP on Iceland’s EU accession process, Benjamin Leruth looks at the importance of the country’s fisheries, and the ongoing dispute or ‘mackerel war’ between the country and the EU over fishing rights. Until the conflict between Iceland’s historic fisheries and the Common Fisheries Policy can be resolved, any chances the country may have […]

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Iceland’s economy has entered a period of recovery since 2011, however the on-going Icesave dispute has reduced public support for EU membership and the country’s government.

Benjamin Leruth documents the evolution of Iceland’s economy since the beginning of the country’s financial crisis in 2008. Although there were severe consequences in the short-term, the economy has entered a period of recovery since 2011. While the economic situation has improved, the Icesave dispute between Iceland and the governments of the UK and the Netherlands remains to be resolved. […]

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Despite on-going accession negotiations, EU membership for Iceland is far from a certainty.

In spite of the Eurozone crisis, the EU’s negotiations with potential accession countries continue. Benjamin Leruth looks at Iceland’s prospects for accession, finding that three years after accession talks began, the majority of Icelanders are not in favour of joining the EU. Disputes over economic, agricultural, and fisheries policies present significant challenges to the negotiations, and may yet fuel opposition […]

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