North Europe

Anglo-Dutch Cooperation continues to be important, especially in unlocking the full potential of the EU’s single market

The UK has been close to the Netherlands for centuries, and the EU has made the two countries even closer.  The UK’s Minister for Europe, David Lidington, shares his thoughts on the strong relationship between the UK and the Netherlands as well as the challenges facing the Eurozone. He argues that greater co-operation could strengthen the two countries’ economies and […]

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The reform of the Estonian health care system in a time of crisis is a role model for Europe

In the midst of the European financial and economic crisis, Estonia fundamentally reformed its health care system. Triin Habicht describes which changes were introduced. She argues that the Estonian reform could serve as a role model for many countries in the European Union. Between 2001 and 2007, Estonia had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe with annual growth rates […]

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The EU would not eject Scotland for becoming independent

Would the European Union (EU) eject Scotland if it became independent? Daniel Kenealy argues that this would not be the case: To push Scotland out and deprive those in Scotland of EU citizenship because they exercised a democratic right is simply not in the EU’s makeup, he believes. The issue of a post-independence Scotland’s position within the European Union (EU) […]

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Britain leaving the EU is now a serious possibility

Last December UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, refused to sign the UK up to the EU’s Fiscal Compact Treaty, in a move, at least in part, aimed at assuaging the Conservative party’s Eurosceptic wing. Tim Bale argues that the Conservatives may find it very difficult to avoid promising an in/out referendum at the next election, and that the Labour Party […]

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A Yes vote for the Fiscal Treaty was the cheaper and safer option for Ireland.

Last week, Ireland voted ‘Yes’ to the European Fiscal Stability Treaty, despite some predictions that the country would vote No. Michael Courtney argues that Irish voters knew that voting Yes was the only way to secure future bailouts, should they be needed. A No vote was simply too risky. There are some intriguing aspects to Ireland’s referendum on the European […]

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Five minutes with Sweden’s Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, Tobias Billström: “Europe’s relationship with North Africa when it comes to migration is something that we will have to continue to discuss.”

Can migration be good for both migrants’ home countries and for their destinations? In an interview with EUROPP editors Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr, Sweden’s Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy, Tobias Billström argues that migrants remit far more than countries provide in development aid, and that they can be key in addressing skill shortages within the EU. What do […]

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A No vote in Ireland’s referendum on the Fiscal Treaty might contribute to the demise of the current mindset of austerity.

Polling in the lead up to Ireland’s vote on the Fiscal Stability Treaty has pointed to the endorsement of the Treaty. But will the Treaty be a positive force for Ireland, and for Europe? Simon Wren-Lewis argues that the Treaty is ultimately flawed as it treats the current crisis as stemming from massive public sector debts, whilst ignoring that these […]

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Book Review: The European Union and the Baltic States: Changing forms of governance

Following their accession to the EU, the Baltic states continue to approach the EU through a Nordic lens. Allan Sikk finds that The European Union and the Baltic States holds excellent insights into the micro-processes of accession, relevant to anyone interested in how states respond to EU pressures and adapt to the role of being members.

 

The European Union and the Baltic […]

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Ireland needs the legal guarantee of access to cash and credit that the Fiscal Compact Treaty will deliver.

Which stance should Ireland take on the European Union’s Fiscal Compact? In the lead up to Ireland’s referendum on the Compact, Ben Tonra argues that the country needs to support the treaty. However, he believes its prescription, austerity, is of dubious economic value, and that Angela Merkel must allow for growth policies as well as a plan for a fiscal […]

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Despite Norway’s stable economy, a resurgent Conservative party may mean its ruling red-green coalition is no longer assured a third term in office.

It will prove difficult for Norway’s red-green coalition to win a historical third term, argues Sten Inge Jørgensen. Following its sister-party in Sweden, the Norwegian Conservative Party is now successfully portraying itself as a new Labour Party in an attempt to chip away votes from the governing coalition. “Human beings, not billions”. The favourite slogan of the Conservative party (Høyre) […]

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To gain the support of the young, and keep the support of the old, Sweden’s social democrat leader Stefan Löfven must tread carefully between reassuring the electorate and engaging with controversial issues.

In Sweden, new social democrat leader Stefan Löfven has steadied the ship and reassured older voters. Katrine Kielos argues that he now needs to stem the flow of younger voters turning their backs on the party. Swedish politics has gone through a remarkable change in the last couple of months. Stefan Löfven became leader of the social democratic party in […]

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Five minutes with Graham Watson, Member of the European Parliament for South West England: Investments in infrastructure are crucial to create jobs for the young.

More than 5 million young people are now unemployed in Europe. Graham Watson, Member of the European Parliament for South West England reflects on how unemployment has become such a huge problem in Europe, and how it might be overcome. Why is youth unemployment now such a huge problem in Europe? Many countries in Western Europe have pursued policies which […]

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Five minutes with Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: “I think Europe should start voting online”

Estonia was the first nation in the world to hold legally binding general elections over the Internet. In an interview with EUROPP editors Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet recommends e-voting to other Member States of the European Union as well, arguing that it is convenient and increases turnout, particularly among the young. How would you […]

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The UK should embrace the European model of public financing for political parties

Valentino Larcinese argues that, as is the case in Europe, the UK should adopt public financing for political parties to help avoid elite capture by wealthy private individuals or corporations, and allow politicians to devote their time to activities other than just fundraising.  The United Kingdom is quite unique among European democracies for its absence of public  funding of political […]

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Marine Le Pen’s recent detoxification of the Front National has been at the expense of the party’s intellectual traditions.

The French far right party, the Front National, has been a perennial part of French elections for nearly 40 years, first under Jean-Marie Le Pen, and more recently his daughter, Marine. As part of our continuing series on the French elections, John Gaffney charts the intellectual history of the party and argues that Marine Le Pen has shed much of […]

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The Swedish Social Democrats have an opportunity to redefine their role in Swedish politics and regain the mandate to shape Sweden’s future

With the recent election of a new party leader, the Swedish social democrats have the opportunity to regain their status as a ‘catch-all’ party, argues Christian Kellermann.  This article originally appeared on Social Europe on 22 March. With a new party leader in place, the Swedish social democratic party (SAP) is once again trying to find its role in the […]

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The United Kingdom needs to develop an industrial policy as visionary and compelling as the German one

In the wake of the financial crisis, many have called for the UK to rebalance its economy away from financial services in favour of industry. Tim Page argues that the UK government’s laissez-faire approach which has weakened the country’s industrial base, and that the UK must look to Germany’s example by focusing on medium sized firms, and encouraging vocational qualifications […]

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Book Review: The Labour Party in Britain and Norway: Elections and the Pursuit of Power Between the World Wars

Glen O’Hara finds The Labour Party in Britain and Norway to be an excellent and bracing study of two nations and two parties struggling with the implications of a restive mass democracy between the World Wars. David Redvaldsen’s work is a most welcome contribution to the literature. The Labour Party in Britain and Norway: Elections and the Pursuit of Power Between […]

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An independent Scotland would face little European opposition to membership of the European Union.

The question of Scottish independence has been heavily debated in the United Kingdom, with one claim against it being that some European countries might not recognise its independence from the UK and would therefore block Scotland’s membership of the European Union. Citing the examples of Kosovo and South Sudan, James Ker-Lindsay argues that this argument is not based on any real […]

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Without a rise in German wages, 2012 may see the beginning of the breakup of the Eurozone

Tim Leunig offers his predictions for growth in the Eurozone in 2012, arguing that without significant intervention by Germany, in the form of pay rises for all workers, the Eurozone may well start to collapse. The world economy will grow in 2012, but growth will be largely confined to developing nations. Their ability to grow even when developed economies are […]

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