LSE Comment

This section showcases articles from LSE academics, students and alumni which have appeared on EUROPP – European Politics and Policy.

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    The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

Eurozone finance ministers reached a preliminary agreement on a reform of the European Stability Mechanism in June, but failed to conclude it last week. The reform is now set to be discussed during the European Council meeting on 12-13 December. Shahin Vallée, Jérémie Cohen-Setton, Paul De Grauwe and Sebastian Dullien write that the proposal should not be endorsed in […]

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    A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

There are many ways to estimate the likely outcome of an election, from projections and models based on polls to citizen forecasts. Another approach is to survey experts for their predictions and, writes Joe Greenwood, the Political Studies Association recently did just that in relation to the general election. Moving beyond the current polling figures, the experts anticipate a […]

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UK general election primers: Immigration

Polling data suggests that Brexit is viewed as the most important issue for voters ahead of the UK’s general election on 12 December. Immigration, which has previously been viewed as one of the most important issues, has experienced a relative decline in salience since the last general election in 2017, but its purported effects on the labour market and the […]

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    Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

The city of Tirana has been awarded the title of European Youth Capital for 2022. Epidamn Zeqo, Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation of Priorities for the Municipality of Tirana, explains what the award means for the city and for Albania as a whole. He writes that despite disappointment at the EU’s decision to block the start of membership […]

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    Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal

Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal

Poland experienced a sharp rise in inequality during its transition from communism to capitalism, and this trend has continued into the 2000s. Pawel Bukowski and Filip Novokmet chart a century of data on Polish inequality to examine the key causes. Their work illustrates the central role of policies and institutions in shaping long-run inequality. This rising inequality and promises […]

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    The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

An investigation published by the New York Times has raised concerns about the misuse of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding in several states in Central and Eastern Europe. Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni and Philip Schnattinger argue that although the report should be welcomed, it provided a misleading impression of the wider issues with land distribution in post-communist Europe. The misuse of […]

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    Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia recently signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Vuk Vuksanovic writes that although the deal was praised by some politicians for opening up new economic opportunities, the economic impact is likely to be minimal for both Serbia and the EAEU. He argues the real aim of the agreement from Serbia’s perspective was to use […]

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Britain’s Europe and the end of Empire

Britain’s relationship with Europe has a complex history, of which Brexit is merely the latest development. Simon Glendinning explains that the country’s post-War understanding of both itself and of Europe has often been caught up in a (selective) history and memory of British and European discovery, colonialism and Empire. The hope that the UK might find a new post-Empire […]

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The Expo dilemma: What a trivial story tells us about Italy

Obey the law, and risk irreparable harm to a significant public interest, or break the law and safeguard it? Andrea Capussela writes that this dilemma was briefly the subject of debate in Italy. That nobody said that a third alternative existed casts some light on the country’s problems.

For a quarter of a century, Italy has been in decline. The […]

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What Brexit means for the UK’s public infrastructure

The UK has received support from the European Investment Bank for a variety of infrastructure projects. However, as Micaela Mihov explains, the loss of this support following Brexit may have a negative impact on the country’s public infrastructure. She argues that one of the best options to mitigate the impact would be the establishment of a UK infrastructure bank.

Since […]

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    The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

Euroland or Neverland? Lorenzo Codogno argues that constrained monetary policy calls for a greater role for fiscal policy in supporting the Eurozone economy, as former ECB President Mario Draghi recently suggested. Yet of the three potential routes that could be taken in this regard, none seem destined to be implemented. Leaving aside structural issues, which may well prolong current […]

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The danger of personalised power in the EU

The EU has frequently been caricatured as a ‘faceless bureaucracy’, where rules and procedures take precedence over powerful personalities. Yet this depersonalisation of power has recently been challenged by the emergence of some visible, decisive figures. Jonathan White argues that while this may be seen as a welcome improvement by some observers, when power is located in a small, […]

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Can the European Union tackle corruption and state capture?

A key aim of the EU’s eastern enlargement was to improve standards of governance and the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet as Dimitar Bechev explains, the last 15 years have produced a mixed record. He argues that while the EU cannot offer any silver bullets, it is still a badly-needed ally in strengthening the rule of […]

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    What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde will officially take over from Mario Draghi as the new President of the European Central Bank today. Sebastian Diessner explains that while Lagarde is widely expected to pursue similar policies to her predecessor, the politics surrounding her presidency may play out very differently.

The Eurozone’s monetary policy has become more contested and politically salient than almost ever before. In […]

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    Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

After two previous attempts, first in Belgium, then in Germany, a fresh European Arrest Warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Auke Willems argues that this will not merely be a rerun of prior cases. The Belgian courts will have to answer a number of ‘new’ fundamental questions before granting the request to […]

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    Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

As a large currency union, the euro area sits between the two extremes of the US – with its high labour mobility and fully fledged federal fiscal union – and China – with its low labour mobility and central fiscal capacity. Corrado Macchiarelli and Fotis Mitropoulos write that while the US is normally regarded as a benchmark for integration […]

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    Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles

Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles

In Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France, Ignacio Siles studies the evolution of the blog both as a technological platform and a medium of personal expression, focusing particularly on the different conditions that have shaped the creation, adoption and transformation of blogs in the US and France. The book provides powerful insights into the mutually constitutive relationship […]

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A new take on ‘whatever it takes’?

Outgoing ECB President Mario Draghi recently expressed support for a closer fiscal union in the Eurozone, including cross-border fiscal transfers. As Iain Begg writes, these statements have reinvigorated the debate between advocates for risk sharing and proponents of risk reduction. Draghi’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, has defended Draghi and his proposals against criticism from other former central bankers, but resistance […]

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    The US-China trade war: Risks and opportunities for the EU and the United Kingdom

The US-China trade war: Risks and opportunities for the EU and the United Kingdom

The trade war between the United States and China has already had an impact on European economies. And as Robert Basedow explains, with the conflict centred on global economic and political leadership, it is unlikely to be resolved in the foreseeable future. This will create important challenges and opportunities for both the EU and the UK in the coming […]

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    Polish election recap: A victory for Law and Justice, but the party may find governing more difficult than before

Polish election recap: A victory for Law and Justice, but the party may find governing more difficult than before

Law and Justice won Poland’s election on 13 October, increasing their vote share and maintaining a majority in the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm. However, as Aleksandra Sojka explains, the party may nevertheless find itself in a weaker position following the loss of its majority in the upper house, the Senat.

On 13 October, the dominant […]

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