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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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    Book Review: For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq by Ayça Çubukçu

Book Review: For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq by Ayça Çubukçu

In For the Love of Humanity: The World Tribunal on Iraq, Ayça Çubukçu illustrates how different and sometimes colliding understandings of justice, human rights, legitimacy and international law co-existed in response to the Iraq occupation through the case of the World Tribunal on Iraq, which sought to document and provide grounds for adjudicating war crimes committed by the US, the UK and their allied […]

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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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    Slovakia’s ‘progressive turn’ is a rejection of corruption – not a stand against populism

Slovakia’s ‘progressive turn’ is a rejection of corruption – not a stand against populism

Zuzana Čaputová took office as Slovakia’s new President on 15 June. Her election victory in March, coupled with her party’s coalition topping the polls in the European elections in May, has been portrayed by many observers as a rejection of populist politics. Michael Rossi argues that this perception is misleading: voters have not delivered a blow against populism, or […]

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    The rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s voice in Brexit negotiations

The rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s voice in Brexit negotiations

To the surprise of many, Northern Ireland, through the DUP, has been the silent majority shareholder in the Brexit negotiations to date. This influence is remarkable because, in practice, Northern Ireland has no direct role in the negotiations. In this blog, Sylvia de Mars describes the rise and fall of Northern Ireland’s importance in Brexit negotiations.

The Article 50 TEU process […]

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    Who votes for new parties? Economic voting, political ideology and populist attitudes

Who votes for new parties? Economic voting, political ideology and populist attitudes

The late-2000s economic and financial crisis is widely credited with facilitating the success of new political parties in Europe. Hugo Marcos-Marne, Carolina Plaza-Colodro and Tina Freyburg argue that voting for new parties cannot be understood as a mere economic response. Rather, populist attitudes can make citizens perceive of new parties as a real alternative to traditional forces in times […]

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Is politics becoming one of the ECB’s biggest problems?

An unusually high number of members (10 out of 25) of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council will be replaced by the end of this year. But could the rise of Eurosceptic parties across Europe have an impact on these appointments? Corrado Macchiarelli and Mara Monti explain that keeping the ECB free from political interference may now constitute one […]

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    Time for an update: How to revisit the EU’s framework for international mediation engagements

Time for an update: How to revisit the EU’s framework for international mediation engagements

In 2009 the EU adopted the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, its first-ever strategic document focusing specifically on mediation. Ten years later, the EU’s concept and practices of mediation need an update, write Julian Bergmann, Toni Haastrup, Arne Niemann and Richard Whitman.

The first two years of implementation of the EU Global Strategy focused on advancing the […]

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    Book Review: Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU by Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons

Book Review: Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU by Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons

In Tales of Brexits Past and Present: Understanding the Choices, Threats and Opportunities in Our Separation from the EU, Nigel Culkin and Richard Simmons draw upon three purported historic examples of previous ‘Brexits’ in which Britain retreated from its relationship with the European continent to consider the challenges and opportunities of Brexit in economic and entrepreneurial terms. Gary Wilson welcomes this novel contribution to the growing […]

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Women and terrorism in Greece: The story of Pola Roupa

Pola Roupa was the first and only female leader of a Greek terrorist group. Drawing on primary research, George Kassimeris offers an insight into the role and experience of a leading female militant inside Greece’s gender-conservative and overwhelmingly male-dominated armed struggle movement.

On 21 February 2016, Pola Roupa, Greece’s most-wanted terrorist and leader of the Revolutionary Struggle (RS) group, stunned […]

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    What Brexit has taught Italy about its own prospects of leaving the EU

What Brexit has taught Italy about its own prospects of leaving the EU

If other countries were to follow the UK in voting to leave the EU, then Italy would be one of the most likely candidates. But what impact has Brexit had on Italian public opinion? Drawing on findings from a new survey, Gianluca Piccolino, Davide Angelucci and Pierangelo Isernia find that among supporters of the Five Star Movement/League government, Brexit […]

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    Do interest groups frame arguments to appeal to their own members or to the public?

Do interest groups frame arguments to appeal to their own members or to the public?

When appearing in the media, interest groups carefully frame their messages, but to what end? Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz provides a cross-country comparison of the frames used by interest groups in the UK and Denmark. She focuses on the extent to which they portray their demands as furthering the interests of their own members, other societal groups, or whether they […]

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    What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

What did the European elections tell us about Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections?

An unexpectedly decisive European Parliament election victory gave Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party a major boost ahead of parliamentary elections later this year, although doubts remain over whether it will retain its majority. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that simply uniting the main anti-government parties in an ideologically diverse electoral alliance was clearly not enough for the opposition, which still […]

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EU defence policy is becoming increasingly supranational

EU defence policy has traditionally been intergovernmental in nature: member states have typically adopted decisions through unanimity, while supranational institutions, such as the European Commission and European Parliament, have had little formal power. Pierre Haroche writes that recent developments are now changing this approach, with defence policy becoming increasingly supranational and politicised.

On 18 April, the European Parliament (EP) approved, […]

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