current-affairs

Greece: The Politics of the 3.5%

After winning a majority in the Greek elections on 7 July, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and New Democracy must now turn their attention to managing the country’s economic recovery. Yet as Paris Aslanidis explains, the scope for plotting a new economic course is heavily restricted by the terms of the 2015 bailout agreement, ensuring that government turnover is highly unlikely to […]

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    How movement between party groups has affected the balance of power in the European Parliament

How movement between party groups has affected the balance of power in the European Parliament

While the results of the European Parliament elections were announced in May, the balance of power in the Parliament has also been affected by the decisions of parties to join new party groups in the weeks following the elections. Nicolai von Ondarza and Jan Will demonstrate the impact this movement between party groups has had, noting that the situation […]

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Can Poland’s opposition win this year’s election?

Poland will hold parliamentary elections later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the country’s liberal-centrist opposition retains considerable assets, and the overall balance of support between it and the right-wing governing camp remains evenly balanced. But the opposition has wasted too much time looking inward rather than crafting a convincing programmatic alternative, and it still does not know in […]

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Greek elections: The view from across Europe

Greece held legislative elections on 7 July. The preliminary results indicated New Democracy had won a majority of seats, with Syriza in second place. Stuart Brown presents an overview of analysis and reactions from across Europe.

“As if the four years of Syriza had not existed, traditional politics has imposed itself again on Athens”

El País describes the result as the “end of […]

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    Lessons from Ciudadanos: How liberal parties struggle to deal with the radical-right

Lessons from Ciudadanos: How liberal parties struggle to deal with the radical-right

Ciudadanos received the third highest vote share in the Spanish general election in April, however several key figures recently resigned from the party, citing leader Albert Rivera’s decision to pivot toward the right of the political spectrum and engage with the radical-right party Vox. Ben Margulies writes that the affair highlights some of the difficulties new liberal parties like […]

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    Could it happen there again? The authoritarian roots of cultural threat, welfare chauvinism and party choice in Germany

Could it happen there again? The authoritarian roots of cultural threat, welfare chauvinism and party choice in Germany

Is there a link between authoritarian personality traits and support for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in Germany? Drawing on recent survey evidence, Markus M. L. Crepaz demonstrates that those classified as ‘authoritarian’ are 30% more likely to vote for the party than non-authoritarians even when controlling for other factors. However, these findings do not suggest that authoritarianism is […]

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    How technological change shapes labour market prospects and political preferences

How technological change shapes labour market prospects and political preferences

New technological advances will have a significant impact on the labour markets of the future. But might these changes also help explain the rise of populist politics? Drawing on new research, Thomas Kurer and Bruno Palier explain that the political disruptions we are currently observing across the world are a likely expression of fears revolving around workplace automation and […]

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The insecurity of a new no-deal Brexit Prime Minister

The economic consequences of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal have received significant attention, but a no-deal Brexit would also have important security implications. Helena Farrand Carrapico, Jocelyn Mawdsley and Richard G. Whitman explain what leaving the EU without a deal might mean for the UK’s internal and external security, as well as the country’s future […]

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    Have Austria, Germany and the Netherlands impeded Eurozone reforms?

Have Austria, Germany and the Netherlands impeded Eurozone reforms?

The latest efforts to deepen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union have produced limited results, with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently highlighting the role of Austria, Germany and the Netherlands in opposing reforms. Drawing on a new study, Silvana Tarlea illustrates the dynamics that underpin negotiations over Eurozone reforms. She explains that financial sector exposure has informed member state preferences […]

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How timing can change democratic decisions in the EU

One strategy for addressing the EU’s democratic deficit is to provide a greater role for civil society actors in decision-making. However, as Corrado Fumagalli explains, the simple participation of civil society groups in EU policymaking is not enough to confer democratic legitimacy. It is also vital that they participate at key stages of the policy process.

The inclusion of civil […]

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    Outlook for Italy: Fiscal policy and instability in the government remain key sources of risk

Outlook for Italy: Fiscal policy and instability in the government remain key sources of risk

Lega finished a sizeable distance ahead of their coalition partners, the Five Star Movement, in the recent European elections. Dennis Shen writes that although Lega’s leader, Matteo Salvini, has stated he has no intention of pushing for snap elections in the short-term, the prospect of instability in the current coalition, as well as a deteriorating fiscal picture, will be […]

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    Tiptoeing around the two elephants in the room? Assessing the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy

Tiptoeing around the two elephants in the room? Assessing the EU’s new Central Asia Strategy

A new EU Central Asia Strategy was adopted by the European Council on 17 June. Thomas Kruessmann assesses the content of the new strategy, writing that the EU’s efforts to pursue ‘non-exclusive partnerships’ with Central Asian countries are likely to be heavily restricted by China and Russia’s influence in the region.

The new EU Central Asia Strategy (The EU and […]

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    How the European Parliament could improve its selection of committee chairs

How the European Parliament could improve its selection of committee chairs

Committee chairs have an important role in the work of the European Parliament, but what factors influence the allocation of key committee positions to MEPs? Drawing on a new study, Mihail Chiru explains that seniority in the role appears to matter more for a candidate’s selection than partisan credentials, committee sector knowledge or ties with special interests. Improving the […]

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    Why the EU must debate and address the challenges arising from emigration

Why the EU must debate and address the challenges arising from emigration

Debates over EU free movement often focus on the impact of immigration on destination countries. But as Cecilia Bruzelius explains, emigration is increasingly important in a number of EU member states, with many facing a ‘brain drain’ that is exacerbating existing demographic challenges. She argues the issue must be properly debated at the EU level and that a coordinated […]

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    The 2019 European Parliament: the far right International is here – when will the left wake up?

The 2019 European Parliament: the far right International is here – when will the left wake up?

The political forces most hostile to European integration are also the only ones to have formulated a common vision for Europe, writes Lea Ypi. Now is the time to bring the various local social justice campaigns together, and put them at the service of a renewed political project.

As Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, Geert Wildeers and other far-right leaders […]

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    Financial crises and the dynamics of financial de-liberalisation

Financial crises and the dynamics of financial de-liberalisation

Financial crises play a key role in changing existing policies concerning financial markets and institutions. Orkun Saka, Nauro Campos, Paul De Grauwe, Yuemei Ji and Angelo Martelli provide new evidence for the negative impact of financial crises on the process of financial liberalisation. They also show that such interventions are only temporary and that the liberalisation process restarts quickly […]

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Greek election preview: The end of the road for Syriza?

Greece will hold a snap election on 7 July. Zoe Alipranti writes that it is widely expected New Democracy will finish in first place ahead of Syriza, as occurred at the recent European elections. She explains that although greater political stability might be entrenched in the short-term, the next government will be tasked with trying to revive the Greek […]

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    Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence-based policy-making can be problematic in practice, especially if the evidence is uncertain. Based on a case study concerning the formation of a national-level policy position in Ireland in response to an EU initiative, Niamh Hardiman and Saliha Metinsoy suggest that policy makers’ decisions may well be guided by beliefs that go beyond the direct evidence available. Ideas can […]

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    The modest performance of radical left parties in the European elections reflected their limited transnational cooperation

The modest performance of radical left parties in the European elections reflected their limited transnational cooperation

The GUE/NGL group saw its share of seats in the European Parliament decline at the 2019 European elections. Vladimir Bortun argues that a general lack of transnational cooperation between radical left parties was one of the key factors underpinning their disappointing performance.

The 2019 European elections represented a significant electoral step back for radical left parties. Their group in the […]

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    What the Commission’s 2019 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

What the Commission’s 2019 country reports say about national parliaments in the Western Balkans

At the end of May, the European Commission published its annual reports on the EU candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans. Blerim Vela explains what the reports illustrated about the functioning of national parliaments in the region. The Assembly of North Macedonia appeared to be the best-functioning, while the Assembly of Serbia had deteriorated most.

On 29 […]

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