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    Have the ‘Kaczyński tapes’ had any impact on Polish politics?

Have the ‘Kaczyński tapes’ had any impact on Polish politics?

Earlier this year, recordings emerged of the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party discussing a lucrative construction project. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that despite the Polish opposition hoping the case might damage the government’s political appeal, Law and Justice retains credibility among its core supporters and the circumstances surrounding the revelations are too complex for them to be […]

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Can the wisdom of the crowd predict a second EU referendum?

If the UK were to hold another EU referendum, would the public now vote to Remain? Davide Morisi writes that while opinion polls have a patchy record of success in forecasting recent elections, the so called ‘wisdom of the crowd’ could potentially provide more accurate predictions. When voters were asked which side they thought would win in 2016, a […]

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    Discretion and agency loss: What factors shape the selection of European Parliament rapporteurs?

Discretion and agency loss: What factors shape the selection of European Parliament rapporteurs?

Party group coordinators in the European Parliament are responsible for selecting ‘rapporteurs’, who have an important role in parliamentary committees. But how do coordinators make these decisions? Presenting findings from a new study, Lukas Obholzer, Steffen Hurka and Michael Kaeding illustrate that coordinators are more likely to select like-minded individuals as rapporteurs rather than MEPs who reflect the views […]

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    Beyond Operation Sophia: What role for the military in migration policy?

Beyond Operation Sophia: What role for the military in migration policy?

As a response to the migration crisis in 2015, the EU established ‘Operation Sophia’, a naval mission intended to disrupt established human smuggling networks in the Mediterranean. The mandate for Operation Sophia is due to expire at the end of this month, yet with divisions among member states, there is no agreement on whether it will be extended. Julia […]

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    Mediterranean ‘tiger cubs’: How local innovation can boost global competitiveness

Mediterranean ‘tiger cubs’: How local innovation can boost global competitiveness

Promoting entrepreneurship is often viewed as a responsibility of national governments, but how can local governance help foster the conditions under which entrepreneurs might thrive? Michael Cottakis highlights the development of local pockets of technological innovation in Portugal and explains what other countries like Greece could potentially learn from the experience as they seek to recover from the financial […]

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    How do Brits think the EU sees them? It depends how old they are

How do Brits think the EU sees them? It depends how old they are

How British people think the EU and Europeans see them depends not just on whether they’re Leavers or Remainers, but on whether they’re young or old, find Javier Sajuria, Tim Bale and Sarah Wolff. Age is a much bigger factor than gender.

Research by the LSE’s Sara Hobolt and her colleagues suggests that Remain and Leave are becoming crucial political […]

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    The quiet before the storm? Despite attempts to return to stable politics, Germany is heading for another tumultuous year

The quiet before the storm? Despite attempts to return to stable politics, Germany is heading for another tumultuous year

Germany’s once stable party system has undergone substantial change in the last few years. Julian Göpffarth writes that while 2019 has so far promised to be less chaotic, upcoming EU and state elections are likely to stir up tensions that politicians have worked hard to overcome.

Looking at German media one might be struck by the absence of the upcoming […]

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    How EU conditionality entrenches state capture in the Western Balkans

How EU conditionality entrenches state capture in the Western Balkans

The EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans has fallen short of reproducing the transformative impact it had in Central and Eastern Europe. Solveig Richter and Natasha Wunsch point to state capture as the core obstacle to deep democratisation in the region and argue that EU conditionality not only fails to overcome detrimental governance patterns, but unintentionally contributes to […]

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Finland: Europe in the shadow of national elections

Finland is due to hold parliamentary elections on 14 April before the European elections are held later in May. Tapio Raunio writes that given Finnish coalition negotiations usually last around 1-2 months after an election, the European elections are likely to be overshadowed by the national vote. This could prove advantageous for some of Finland’s political parties, many of […]

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    A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

The EU is expected to approve a new strategy for engaging with countries in Central Asia this year. Ann Sander Nielsen writes that in developing the new strategy, the EU must avoid compromising its founding values under the guise of ‘principled pragmatism’.

During the first part of this year, the European Union will adopt a new strategy for its engagement […]

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    What lies ahead is a Brexeternity of difficult and tetchy negotiations between the UK and the EU

What lies ahead is a Brexeternity of difficult and tetchy negotiations between the UK and the EU

Securing a Brexit withdrawal agreement would only be the first stage in determining the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Denis MacShane argues that the briefest of readings of the Political Declaration attached to the UK-EU deal reveals that an eternity of difficult, tetchy negotiations lies ahead as the UK and EU try and fashion a new modus vivendi. Brexeternity […]

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    The trade-off between transparency and efficiency in EU decision making is not as straightforward as some claim

The trade-off between transparency and efficiency in EU decision making is not as straightforward as some claim

The EU has taken several steps to make its decision making more transparent, but many key decisions are still taken behind closed doors. As Stéphanie Novak and Maarten Hillebrandt explain, one of the main reasons for this is the perception that increasing transparency could undermine the efficiency of decision making. Drawing from a new study, they argue that although […]

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    Greece and Argentina show why pension reforms should not be used as a quick fix for a financial crisis

Greece and Argentina show why pension reforms should not be used as a quick fix for a financial crisis

Greece and Argentina both introduced radical pension reforms following the financial crisis. Drawing on recent research, Marina Angelaki and Leandro Carrera argue that while both countries lacked access to international financial markets and had unsustainable pension systems, the reforms have been short-sighted, ultimately undermining the adequacy and sustainability of pensions. A future overhaul of their systems looks unavoidable.

Latin American […]

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How state-owned banks in Turkey support the ruling party

Government ownership of banks can help solve credit market failures and stabilise the supply of credit over the business cycle. However, it can also end up serving political interests and lead to a misallocation of financial resources. Çağatay Bircan and Orkun Saka provide new evidence that state-owned banks systematically engage in tactical redistribution of credit in line with the […]

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    Emergency politics: Why the UK keeps emphasising 29 March as Brexit day

Emergency politics: Why the UK keeps emphasising 29 March as Brexit day

Ever since Theresa May triggered Article 50, 29 March keeps being portrayed as Brexit day. This continues to be the case, even though it is highly likely that an extension will be requested. Jonathan White explains why the focus on this deadline has a number of aims, not least to weaken resistance.

29 March 2019 has dominated British politics for […]

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    How turnout, majority size, and outcome affect whether citizens think the result of an EU referendum should be implemented

How turnout, majority size, and outcome affect whether citizens think the result of an EU referendum should be implemented

There is an ongoing debate in the UK over whether holding another referendum on EU membership would be democratic or not. Drawing on a new study, Sveinung Arnesen explains that while in general most citizens believe governments should follow the results of referendums on EU membership, this depends heavily upon the level of turnout, the size of the majority, […]

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    What the rise of radical nationalism tells us about the debate between postfunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism

What the rise of radical nationalism tells us about the debate between postfunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism

Postfunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism are considered to be two of the ‘grand theories’ of European integration. In a recent article, Andrew Moravcsik, who developed the liberal intergovernmentalist model in the 1990s, has critiqued postfunctionalism, arguing that the politicisation of European integration has little effect on policy outcomes. Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks write that the rise of radical nationalism […]

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    The European Parliament elections: Trouble in paradise for Austria’s right-wing government?

The European Parliament elections: Trouble in paradise for Austria’s right-wing government?

The upcoming European Parliament elections represent the first nation-wide test for Austria’s right-wing coalition government. Manès Weisskircher provides an overview of the election in the country, where there is the potential for tensions to emerge within the government camp.

Since December 2017, Austria has been governed by a right-wing coalition of the centre right ÖVP and radical right FPÖ, a […]

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    Lost in transmission: Why few interest groups have the capacity to properly link citizens with EU policymakers

Lost in transmission: Why few interest groups have the capacity to properly link citizens with EU policymakers

Interest groups can potentially help alleviate the EU’s democratic deficit by acting as a ‘transmission belt’ between citizens and EU policymakers. However, as Adrià Albareda demonstrates, many of the interest groups active at the EU level lack the organisational capacity and member involvement to perform this function in practice.

The European Union has a long standing democratic deficit problem due […]

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    How Brexit affects Italy – and its Eurosceptic politicians

How Brexit affects Italy – and its Eurosceptic politicians

How will Brexit affect Italy’s businesses, its citizens and its political landscape? Elisabeth Alber explains that while the country now has an avowedly Eurosceptic government, Italians have mixed feelings towards the EU. It is unclear how many Italians have been living in the UK, but Italy’s hopes of attracting them back seem to have been fruitless.

Brexit will undoubtedly affect the EU’s Member […]

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