Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Poroshenko vs Zelensky: Who will win the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election?

Poroshenko vs Zelensky: Who will win the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election?

Ukraine will hold the second round of its presidential election on 21 April, with incumbent Petro Poroshenko facing off against Volodymyr Zelensky. Alexander Tabachnik writes that while most signs point to a victory for Zelensky, the country is unlikely to deviate from its pro-Western course regardless of the result. Despite a difficult socio-economic situation, ineffective institutions and pervasive corruption, the […]

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    Financial markets vs Brussels: What is the best anchor for policies?

Financial markets vs Brussels: What is the best anchor for policies?

Lorenzo Codogno argues that the economic and financial crisis that started more than ten years ago was not only devastating for the Italian economy, but also jeopardised a key mechanism for achieving political consensus. Brussels’ role as an external anchor for economic policies that are in the common interest but are socially and politically difficult to accept and implement […]

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    Book Review: The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era by Barry Eichengreen

Book Review: The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era by Barry Eichengreen

In The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era, Barry Eichengreen places the surge of new populisms within deep historical context, looking at the convulsions caused by populist agitators and the response from the political establishment. Diogo Senra Rodeiro recommends this clear and highly informative analysis. 
The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era. Barry Eichengreen. Oxford University […]

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    Why Erdoğan’s political machine is losing its grip over Turkey

Why Erdoğan’s political machine is losing its grip over Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suffered a significant setback in local elections held at the end of March. Sevinç Bermek writes that the elections highlighted the extent to which Erdoğan and his party are beginning to lose their grip over Turkish politics in the aftermath of the country’s financial and economic crisis.

On 31 March, Turkey held local elections. Current […]

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    Does Zuzana Čaputová’s victory signal a new kind of politics in Slovakia?

Does Zuzana Čaputová’s victory signal a new kind of politics in Slovakia?

Zuzana Čaputová emerged as the winner from Slovakia’s presidential election on 30 March. Erika Harris writes that although the election of Čaputová has been viewed as a step away from populist and nationalist politics, the battle for the country’s political future is only just beginning ahead of parliamentary elections due to be held by spring 2020.

Slovakia’s presidential election was […]

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    As the Netherlands gears up for European elections, Mark Rutte faces challenges from both the left and the right

As the Netherlands gears up for European elections, Mark Rutte faces challenges from both the left and the right

The right-wing populist Forum for Democracy won the largest share of the vote in the Netherlands’ provincial elections on 20 March. Simon Otjes writes that with European elections just around the corner, pressure is building on Mark Rutte’s government.

The upcoming European elections in the Netherlands will be the second elections in a row in what is a ‘mid-term’ year […]

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    What Ukraine’s presidential election says about the country’s European future

What Ukraine’s presidential election says about the country’s European future

The story of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election was the success of comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who topped the vote and will face off against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in the second round. Max Bader writes that while much of the international media coverage has portrayed Zelensky’s candidacy as a symptom of an immature political system, the real […]

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    The Radovan Karadžić verdict: Closure for Bosnia and Herzegovina at last?

The Radovan Karadžić verdict: Closure for Bosnia and Herzegovina at last?

Radovan Karadžić was sentenced to life in prison on 20 March at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, following a lengthy legal process. Marika Djolai writes that the verdict might potentially signal closure for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but could also lead to further divisions within society.

On 20 March, Radovan Karadžić sat in the courtroom of the International […]

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    The EP elections: An Italian election in Europe or a European election in Italy?

The EP elections: An Italian election in Europe or a European election in Italy?

The upcoming European Parliament elections in Italy will be a key test for the Five Star Movement and the League as they approach their first year in power. Vincent Della Sala writes that the contest is set to be highly significant not only for Italian domestic politics, but also for Italy’s role in the EU.

For observers of Italian and […]

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    How the story of Britain and Europe began: Was Brexit inevitable?

How the story of Britain and Europe began: Was Brexit inevitable?

How did the story of Britain and Europe begin? Was Brexit inevitable? In this blog, Lindsay Aqui attempts to answer these and other questions as the UK’s protracted departure from the European Union enters yet another phase.

As we near what may be the end of the UK’s membership of the EU, it seems timely to reflect on how that relationship began. […]

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    Out of the liberal policy morass? How Denmark’s Social Democrats might reshape the country’s approach to immigration

Out of the liberal policy morass? How Denmark’s Social Democrats might reshape the country’s approach to immigration

Ahead of Denmark’s next general election, which must be held by June this year, the country’s Social Democrats have outlined a new and more restrictive approach to immigration. Peter Nedergaard writes that the new plan offers international solutions founded in the roots and ideology of the party, and could offer a model for other social-democratic parties struggling to deal […]

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Entrepreneurship 2020: Time for a new settlement?

In the midst of the Eurozone crisis, the European Commission unveiled ‘Entrepreneurship 2020’, a new set of guiding principles designed to re-energise entrepreneurialism across the continent. However, as Joseph Ganderson, Tommaso Giulla and Kayrin Gauci argue, while this action plan had noble intentions, it has struggled to deliver meaningful change in each of its target areas. The time is […]

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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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    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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    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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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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    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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    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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