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    Understanding the role of agriculture in global climate policies

Understanding the role of agriculture in global climate policies

A significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, but many national climate policies still overlook the agricultural sector. Drawing on a new study, Nicole M. Schmidt shows that while mentions of agriculture in national climate policies are growing, particularly in the EU and Africa, there remains a highly fragmented picture globally, with over half the policy documents […]

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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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    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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    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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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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    Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

The European Parliament was initially viewed as having a fairly limited part to play in the Brexit negotiations. However, as Carlos Closa writes, the Parliament has effectively crafted a central role for itself in the process. This has been achieved by combining the unconcealed brandishing of its veto threat with the promotion of strong internal unity and supporting the […]

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    Why more needs to be done to help weaker organisations bid for EU funding

Why more needs to be done to help weaker organisations bid for EU funding

The EU is considered to be the world’s largest public donor and it has claimed to use public funds to promote the participation of organised interests in public policy. Drawing on a new study, Michele Crepaz and Marcel Hanegraaff illustrate that despite claims of balance in how funding is distributed, organisations with larger resources and more experience of making […]

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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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    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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    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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    France and Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit – but they won’t go unchallenged

France and Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit – but they won’t go unchallenged

How will Brexit affect the delicate balance of power in the EU? Ulrich Krotz and Joachim Schild argue that it will boost Franco-German power – but this will not go unchallenged by other EU members, especially the Visegrád bloc and the newly assertive Hanseatic League.

The effects of Brexit will be felt beyond the United Kingdom. The unprecedented exit of a key member state […]

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    Many interest groups are more in line with public preferences than commonly thought

Many interest groups are more in line with public preferences than commonly thought

While some see lobbying as a threat to democracy, others portray interest groups as an important link between the public and the political system. But to what extent do interest groups actually support what the public wants? Linda Flöthe and Anne Rasmussen present a detailed cross-national comparison of congruence between interest groups and the public. They illustrate that despite […]

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