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    The European Union’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic – a preliminary assessment

The European Union’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic – a preliminary assessment

How well has the European Union handled the Covid-19 pandemic? Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Georgette Lalis present a detailed analysis of the EU’s actions thus far in the outbreak. They write that despite a slow and initially haphazard approach, there has ultimately been a substantial response.

Public health care systems, alongside state bureaucracies and public finances, are being tested to […]

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Beating Covid-19: The problem with national lockdowns

Lockdowns have now become a fact of life for many countries across the world, but even if they succeed in halting the spread of Covid-19, are they sustainable? Martin J. Bull argues that lockdowns pose major challenges for European countries and the approach pursued by South Korea may need to be explored as a long-term solution.

Are ‘authoritarian-style’ lockdowns, involving […]

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    Assessing the European Union’s performance in the Covid-19 pandemic

Assessing the European Union’s performance in the Covid-19 pandemic

Tough questions about the EU’s role in the pandemic response are coming soon – if they are not already here. The problem is we have few criteria against which to assess the EU’s performance during crises. Mark Rhinard lays out some options.

One truism of any crisis is the swift onset of the blame game. Even before the initial shock […]

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    Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

At the end of February, Turkey announced that it would no longer enforce a deal reached with the EU in 2016 to block irregular migration routes into Greece. Nicoletta Enria and Sarah Gerwens write that the resulting crisis at the Greek-Turkish border highlights the failure of the EU to effectively reform its asylum system.

In late February, before COVID-19 began […]

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    Europe’s failure to address Covid-19 shows the need for a European ‘health citizenship’

Europe’s failure to address Covid-19 shows the need for a European ‘health citizenship’

The Covid-19 crisis illustrates that globalisation entails health risks, and that the institutional design of public health systems is ill-suited for the scale of a pandemic, writes Joan Costa-Font. He argues that the inefficiency of the policies implemented by different EU member states highlights why a Europe-wide public health authority should now be a priority to counteract collective action […]

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    Europe’s choice: A borderless crisis requires a borderless solution

Europe’s choice: A borderless crisis requires a borderless solution

EU governments have adopted a diverse range of measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis, but there has been a perceived lack of coordination and unity among member states. Michael Cottakis argues that for Europe, the danger is obvious: the normalisation of new measures of protection and of the belief that national solutions are sufficient for addressing problems on a […]

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    Does differentiated integration improve the democratic legitimacy of the European Union? Evidence from the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum

Does differentiated integration improve the democratic legitimacy of the European Union? Evidence from the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum

The principle of differentiated integration, under which states participate in EU policies selectively, has become a core feature of the European Union. But little is known about the attitudes of citizens toward this form of integration. Drawing on a new study of Denmark’s 2015 referendum on the country’s opt-out from EU Justice and Home Affairs cooperation, Frank Schimmelfennig and […]

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    Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

In Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, Thomas J. Bollyky combines a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. This is a beautifully written book, recommends Duncan Green, packed with great one-liners and historical anecdotes.
This review was originally published on the blog From Poverty to Power.
Plagues and the Paradox of Progress. Thomas […]

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Coronavirus crisis: Coverage from around Europe

Given the crisis facing many countries across Europe, we will be compiling a selection of comments from academics, journalists and other experts on this page. If you would like to have a short comment included, please email the Managing Editor at europpblog@lse.ac.uk

20 March


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Tamara Popic has written an article for EUROPP on some early lessons that can be learned for European […]

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    Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

In Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond, Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri bring together leading academics and practitioners to explore opportunities and challenges when it comes to innovating and developing rural communities — the ‘smart village’ approach. Drawing on inspiring case studies, the book offers numerous strategies and human-centred recommendations aimed at enabling a brighter future for rural communities around the world, […]

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    Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Given the unprecedented response of governments across the world to COVID-19, what lessons can be learned from the last pandemic to hit the world in 2009? Esther Versluis explains that a notable problem with the WHO’s response to the swine flu pandemic was that it downplayed the uncertain nature of information during the outbreak, prompting criticism of its advice. […]

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    What ECB speeches tell us about the battle of ideas during the Eurozone crisis

What ECB speeches tell us about the battle of ideas during the Eurozone crisis

A battle of ideas dominated the academic debate on the Eurozone crisis. One view stressed the importance of fiscal discipline, while the other highlighted the systemic roots of financial turmoil. Drawing on a new study based on a quantitative text analysis of ECB Executive Board members’ speeches, Federico Maria Ferrara shows how the ECB progressively moved from a fiscal […]

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Can Andrzej Duda lose the Polish presidential election?

Poland will hold a presidential election on 10 May, with a second round of voting scheduled for two weeks later if no candidate wins 50% of the vote. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that incumbent President Andrzej Duda will start as favourite, boosted by his credibility in helping deliver the government’s social spending and welfare policies, and his strong base in […]

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    The reputation of the euro and the European Central Bank: Interlinked or disconnected?

The reputation of the euro and the European Central Bank: Interlinked or disconnected?

The Eurozone crisis had a clear impact on trust in the euro and the European Central Bank (ECB). However, drawing on a new study, Stephanie Bergbauer, Nils Hernborg, Jean-François Jamet and Eric Persson explain that there are significant differences in the way citizens place trust in the euro and the ECB. They find that while support for the euro is primarily […]

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    Female parliamentarians still face a motherhood penalty, but the evidence globally suggests it can be ended

Female parliamentarians still face a motherhood penalty, but the evidence globally suggests it can be ended

It has long been assumed that female politicians face a trade-off between having a family life and a successful parliamentary career, while their male colleagues do not. Devin Joshi and Ryan Goehrung find that, while female MPs are still more likely to be unmarried and have fewer children, the gap in parental and marital status of members of parliament varies considerably internationally. They […]

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    Book Review: The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss by Marco Revelli

Book Review: The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss by Marco Revelli

In The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss, Marco Revelli explores the definitions, historical development and electoral geography of populism across much of Europe and the United States, focusing particularly on the relationship between populist politics and neoliberalism. While the book provides a wealth of detail on the ideology and history of populism and is particularly strong in examining Italy and its […]

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    Economic competition between native workers and migrants has a clear link with support for the radical right among French voters

Economic competition between native workers and migrants has a clear link with support for the radical right among French voters

Marine Le Pen has targeted the French local elections on 15 and 22 March as a way to build momentum ahead of the next French presidential election in 2022. Drawing on a new study, Diane Bolet writes on the role of economic competition between native workers and immigrants in determining support for Le Pen’s National Rally (formerly the Front […]

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    Not as simple as it should be? Why the judicial enforcement of posted workers’ rights needs improvement

Not as simple as it should be? Why the judicial enforcement of posted workers’ rights needs improvement

Companies based within the EU occasionally send their employees to work in other EU member states for limited periods of time – a process commonly termed ‘posting’. In principle, these workers are entitled under EU law to certain rights while working abroad, but in practice these rights are not always respected. Drawing on a new study, Magdalena Bernaciak and […]

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    Brexit will affect, but not determine, the EU’s roles in a changing world arena

Brexit will affect, but not determine, the EU’s roles in a changing world arena

What effects might Brexit have on the EU’s capacity to play an effective role in the world arena? Michael Smith writes that the Withdrawal Agreement suggests both the UK and EU will have to reassess their global roles and their discourses of globalism, but whereas for the UK this is an existential problem, for the EU it is part of a continuing […]

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Five takeaways from Slovakia’s parliamentary elections

Slovakia held parliamentary elections on 29 February. The election saw Smer-SD, which has been in power since 2012, suffer a significant drop in support, slipping to second place behind the opposition Ordinary People party. Michael Rossi presents five key takeaways from the results.

Two years after the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova that […]

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