The question of whether governments should provide financial assistance to the unemployed has proven to be one of the most heated issues in modern politics. Yet given the opposition such schemes have faced throughout history, what prompted states to introduce them? Drawing on a new study, Herbert Obinger and Carina Schmitt highlight the crucial impact the West’s experience with […]
The disengagement of the United States from multilateral cooperation and a rise in ‘illiberal’ politics across the globe have led many observers to conclude the liberal international order is in a state of decline. Drawing on a new study, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and Stephanie C. Hofmann argue that what we may be witnessing is not necessarily the breakdown of the existing order, but […]
The EU has negotiated numerous bilateral trade agreements with countries around the world during the last two decades. As we move into 2020, Patrick Leblond and Crina Viju-Miljusevic take stock of the changes that have occurred in EU trade policy in the twenty-first century and highlight some key future research agendas.
Over the last 20 years, the European Union (EU) […]
Are immigration policies in European countries converging? Or do some countries remain more open to immigrants than others? Drawing on a new study, Erica Consterdine and James Hampshire write that while it might be expected that globalisation would have encouraged European states to adopt similar immigration policies, there is little sign this has occurred. There is some evidence that […]
It is unclear whether the UK’s general election on 12 December will unlock the stalemate over Brexit that characterised the previous parliament. Tim Heinkelmann-Wild and Lisa Kriegmair write that the inability of Theresa May and Boris Johnson to win the backing of MPs for their Brexit strategies illustrates the impact that ‘wedge issues’ can have on party politics. As […]
Academics and political commentators frequently cite responses to globalisation as an explanation for some of the recent changes that have occurred in European politics. But how do citizens actually make sense of the concept of globalisation? Drawing on a new study, Matthias Mader, Nils Steiner and Harald Schoen provide evidence that German citizens hold meaningful attitudes toward globalisation, and […]
The principle of ‘solidarity’ was a key feature of debates during the Eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, but the way in which the term was used differed in both cases. Drawing on a new study, Stefan Wallaschek explains that while the concept of solidarity is often assumed to be owned by actors on the left of the political […]
The EU has pursued common policies on immigration and the prevention of terrorism. But what determines public support for this form of cooperation? As Cengiz Erisen and Sofia Vasilopoulou explain, factors such as an individual’s identity, employment status and level of education have previously been used to understand varying levels of support among citizens. However, drawing on a new […]
Interest groups provide policymakers with policy relevant information such as technical expertise and legal information. However, an important question is whether interest groups also inform policymakers about what the public wants, given that they are often seen as transmission belts of public preferences. Drawing on a new study, Linda Flöthe presents a detailed analysis of whether and when interest […]
The politicisation of EU policies is often seen as a threat to European integration. But as Iskander De Bruycker explains, politicisation also presents possibilities for better public scrutiny of EU policymaking. Drawing on a new study, he illustrates that the politicisation of EU policy processes can strengthen both public and policy responsiveness.
The recent negotiations to appoint key EU positions […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]