The dispute between Italy and the European Commission over the Italian budget for 2019 illustrates a shift in how member states treat the obligations of EU membership. Iain Begg and Kevin Featherstone argue that instead of using pressure from Brussels to justify difficult policy measures, countries are now picking fights with the EU to boost their domestic political standing, thereby […]
How the Eurozone will be governed in the future is a matter of much debate and is expected to form a key part of the European Council meeting on 28-29 June. Kevin Featherstone argues that the debate is neglecting a key set of questions: how can its governance be made more democratic and accountable? The answers to these questions will […]
If Theresa May manages to carry on as Prime Minister, her precarious position within the Conservative Party and in Parliament will leave her a weaker negotiator. Kevin Featherstone argues that if she fights on – and either returns from Brussels without a deal, or is ousted after failing to secure an acceptable one – Tory party politics make a hard Brexit inevitable. Were Boris Johnson […]
In the summer of 2015, Greece held a referendum on a proposed bailout deal, with the electorate decisively rejecting the proposal. Kevin Featherstone writes that much like the upcoming referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, the referendum in Greece was accompanied by the rise of populist campaigning in which emotional appeals had greater resonance than economic evidence. Following […]
Book Review: Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power by Kevin Featherstone and Dimitri Paradimitriou
In Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power, Kevin Featherstone and Dimitri Papadimitriou offer the first in-depth study of prime ministers and governments in Greece, covering the period since the fall of the Greek Colonels’ regime in 1974. Although the book does not provide the most up-to-date evaluation of the current debt crisis, it is a well-substantiated and compelling […]
Despite another series of meetings on Thursday, there remains no deal between Greece and its creditors. Kevin Featherstone writes that Greece now stands on the brink of a catastrophe brought on by European myopia and Greek populism. He argues that whatever agreement emerges from the negotiations, it will clearly contradict the promises made by Syriza during the 2015 election, […]
On 29 December, the Greek Parliament failed to elect a new President, triggering snap elections for 25 January. With Alexis Tsipras’ Syriza currently leading opinion polls, the new elections have raised concerns over the Greek economy, given Tsipras’ stated intention to renegotiate the terms of the country’s bailout. Kevin Featherstone writes that while it is far from certain that […]
The problems faced by Greece’s public sector are such that the sudden closure of ERT may have been the least bad option.
Last week, with almost no warning, the Greek government closed the national broadcaster, ERT, putting over 2,700 jobs at risk. Kevin Featherstone argues that while the way the announcement was made raised justifiable concerns, the central objective should be broadly welcomed. The case typifies the problems in achieving serious public sector reform: indeed, it may be the only way to […]
After difficult votes in parliament, Greece’s Coalition needs strong leadership and unity to implement needed reforms.
This week saw the Greek Parliament pass its new budget for 2013, thus allowing it access to further financial aid. Kevin Featherstone writes that this vote of confidence is in danger of being overshadowed by the Opposition SYRIZA party’s attacks on the Coalition. He argues that the government must give a voice to those in Greece who wish to remain […]
Today it was announced that the European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”. We asked EUROPP’s expert contributors for their immediate reactions. South East Europe poses a continuing challenge to the Union and its widely lauded model of conflict transformation […]
The Greek government’s target of zero public sector layoffs and the troika’s of 150,000 over ten years are both ultimately self-defeating.
The new Greek government recently announced that there would be no layoffs in the public sector, flying in the face of the country’s agreements with the IMF and the ECB to implement public administration reforms. For Kevin Featherstone, the futility of this target is matched by the troika’s (the ECB, EU, and IMF) demand for 150,000 public sector job cuts […]
On Sunday Greece goes to the polls for a second time this year, in an election that is likely to determine whether or not the country stays in the Euro. Kevin Featherstone writes that no matter which party wins the election, the outcome will be even more uncertainty for Greece and for Europe. Greece and the euro-zone face a crossroads […]
Greece’s elections, held on Sunday, saw both the previously most popular parties punished by voters weary of austerity measures. Kevin Featherstone reviews the results, finding that public anger has led to the rise of populist parties, some of which are on the extreme right, and that any government that is formed may well be weak and short-lived. But, despite the […]
The Euro was locked into its current crisis twenty years ago by the Maastricht negotiators, who ceded authority to the financial markets
The roots of current controversy around the current Euro crisis can be traced to the 1992 Maastricht negotiations that led to the common currency’s creation. Kevin Featherstone argues that the rejection of neo-Keynesian ideas was fundamental then, and finds echoes today in policy attitudes that make a return to growth even more unlikely. ‘The past is another country’, said the […]