current-affairs

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. Nonetheless, given the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure, Eurosceptic parties may be able to exploit hopes that a favourable exit deal […]

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The 2019 EP elections – just another protest vote?

European Parliament elections are often regarded as being ‘second-order’ contests, but is this always the case? Outlining results from a new study in Denmark, Derek Beach explains that when parties run strong campaigns, EU issues are debated in a visible way, and there is a high level of media coverage, these second-order dynamics can be broken. As such, a […]

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    How not to fight an election – lessons for Europe’s centre-right from the 2019 Spanish general election

How not to fight an election – lessons for Europe’s centre-right from the 2019 Spanish general election

The Spanish general election held on 28 April saw the Spanish Socialists, led by Pedro Sánchez, win the largest share of the vote. Yet as Javier Astudillo Ruiz explains, developments on the right of the political spectrum captured many of the headlines. He writes that the results offered a lesson for European centre-right parties of how not to fight […]

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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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European Parliament elections preview: Ireland

Ireland’s European elections will be held on 24 May, with local elections also being held on the same day. Rory Costello writes that despite the importance of the Brexit negotiations for Ireland, the European election campaign has so far been surprisingly low-key, reflecting the degree of stability that has returned to the country’s politics since the turbulence of the […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Croatia

The European Parliament elections in Croatia will be held on 26 May. As Tena Prelec explains, turnout is expected to be low, but the results will set the stage for presidential elections later this year and the country’s next parliamentary elections in 2020.

Croatia, the EU’s youngest member state, will take part in its third European Parliament election on 26 May. European […]

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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 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 a major debating […]

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    Posted workers are falling through the cracks of protection in both Western and Eastern Europe

Posted workers are falling through the cracks of protection in both Western and Eastern Europe

The status of so called ‘posted workers’ – employees that are temporarily sent to carry out work in another EU member state – has been a controversial issue in recent years. As Zane Rasnača explains, this debate has often been framed as concern over companies hiring cheap Eastern European workers for short-term jobs in Western Europe. However, drawing on […]

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    Macron’s reckoning: The European Parliament elections in France

Macron’s reckoning: The European Parliament elections in France

The European Parliament elections will be the first major test at the polls for Emmanuel Macron since being elected president in 2017. These elections come after six months of street protests that have derailed a reform programme the president is now anxious to get back on track. The elections are set to be a tightly fought battle for supremacy […]

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    How smallness produces clientelism, polarisation, record turnout and corruption in Malta

How smallness produces clientelism, polarisation, record turnout and corruption in Malta

Politics in Malta is characterised by deep polarisation between the country’s two main parties and high levels of voter turnout in elections. Wouter Veenendaal explains that these two features are directly tied to the country’s small size, as is the prevalence of clientelism and corruption. All of these elements were evident in the response to the murder of Maltese […]

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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 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 supporting the […]

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    What emotions do politicians express with their tweets? The case of Renzi, Berlusconi, Salvini, and Di Maio

What emotions do politicians express with their tweets? The case of Renzi, Berlusconi, Salvini, and Di Maio

Twitter has become a major political campaigning tool, but what determines the style of tweets used by politicians to build support? Margherita de Candia and Claudio Bellei present evidence from a study of the strategies used by four Italian politicians: Matteo Renzi, Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Salvini, and Luigi Di Maio. They explain that although certain politicians, such as Berlusconi, […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Greece

The last European Parliament elections in 2014 took place during a period of significant tension over the Greek debt crisis. As Zoe Alipranti explains, this time around, the European Parliament elections in Greece are unlikely to feature such a high level of polarisation over Europe. Syriza has drifted away from its radical Euroscepticism, and although substantial dissatisfaction persists among […]

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    The continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style centrism in Germany

The continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style centrism in Germany

With Angela Merkel set to step down as German Chancellor, many members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had hoped for the party to shift away from centrist politics toward a more conservative platform. Luuk Molthof argues that this would not only be a strategic mistake for the CDU, but would also overlook the continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style […]

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    The link between greenhouses, bull-fighting and support for Vox in Spain

The link between greenhouses, bull-fighting and support for Vox in Spain

The emergence of the radical right party Vox was one of the main stories of the 2019 Spanish general election. Rubén Ruiz-Rufino presents an analysis of the link between support for Vox and the use of land in Spanish provinces. He highlights that citizens living in regions with high levels of agriculture appear more likely to express support for […]

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    Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

From 1974 to 1979, the EEC and Arab League met regularly for the Euro-Arab Dialogue, but efforts to establish close relations failed to meet expectations. Philipp Hirsch writes that today, the European Union and League of Arab States are once again attempting stronger cooperation. But based on historical experience, Brussels should not invest too much hope in the capacity […]

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The flawed assumption of the centrist paradox

The so called ‘centrist paradox’ refers to the idea, proposed by David Adler, that an observed decline in support for democracy across the world has occurred primarily among centrist voters, rather than those who lie at the extremes of the policy spectrum. Elli Palaiologou argues that this theory is based on a flawed assumption that all individuals located between […]

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    Ukraine after the presidential elections: Sailing through stormy waters?

Ukraine after the presidential elections: Sailing through stormy waters?

Following his victory in Ukraine’s presidential election on 21 April, Volodymyr Zelensky must now turn to the challenges facing him in office. Maya Janik explains that in the months leading up to the country’s next parliamentary elections in October, the political situation will be marked by political volatility and rising tensions. Until then, the main task for Zelensky will […]

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    European citizens increasingly turn to nationalist orientations when developing positions on the EU

European citizens increasingly turn to nationalist orientations when developing positions on the EU

It is often stated that the late-2000s financial crisis prompted a rise in both Euroscepticism and nationalism across the EU. Yet as Nick Clark and Robert Rohrschneider explain, despite evidence of a drop in support for the EU since the crisis, previous research has found the proportion of individuals identifying exclusively with the nation state has remained relatively stable. […]

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    ‘Gendering’ the EU budget? Why gender equality should play a greater role in EU budget negotiations

‘Gendering’ the EU budget? Why gender equality should play a greater role in EU budget negotiations

Coverage of EU budget negotiations typically focuses on the contributions of individual member states and the trade-offs required to secure an agreement. But as Firat Cengiz writes, EU budget decisions can also significantly affect structural inequalities facing EU citizens. There is a clear case for making the issue of gender equality a more visible part of the EU budgetary […]

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