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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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    Book Review: Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe in Them edited by Joseph Uscinski

Book Review: Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe in Them edited by Joseph Uscinski

In Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe in Them, Joseph Uscinski presents a collection of wide-ranging takes on conspiracy theories, examining them as historical phenomena, psychological quirks, expressions of power relations and political instruments. While this is an interesting and expansive volume, writes Max Budra, it overlooks the conundrum posed by conspiracy theories that succeed – because as soon as they succeed, […]

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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 will take 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, […]

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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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    Book Review: The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

Book Review: The Left Case Against the EU by Costas Lapavitsas

In The Left Case Against the EU, Costas Lapavitsas makes the case that the European Union is beyond left-wing reform, as evidenced by the EU’s response to the Eurozone crisis; left-wing contestation must instead be undertaken locally. While more convinced by Lapavitsas’s appraisal of the EU than his proposals for reclaiming the national political space, David Hollanders nonetheless finds this an expedient, informed and lucid […]

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    The Czech Republic’s European elections: Out with the old, in with the new?

The Czech Republic’s European elections: Out with the old, in with the new?

The European elections in the Czech Republic saw a number of new MEPs elected, with the Pirate Party and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy among the main winners. Monika Brusenbauch Meislova assesses what the outcome of the vote means for Czech politics.

The Czech Republic is known for having a low level of public trust in the EU […]

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    Right-wing populist parties made only modest electoral gains in the EP elections, but their influence is now unprecedented

Right-wing populist parties made only modest electoral gains in the EP elections, but their influence is now unprecedented

Martin Selmayr, the Secretary-General of the European Commission, has stated that the ‘populist wave’ some analysts predicted could appear in the 2019 European Parliament elections was ‘contained’. Mattia Zulianello argues that this greatly overlooks a substantial increase in the influence of right-wing populism over European politics.

In the period preceding the European elections, many journalists and analysts were anticipating that […]

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Five key trends from the 2019 European Parliament elections

European Parliament elections were once famously characterised as ‘second order national elections’, but were the 2019 elections different? Felix Wiebrecht and James F. Downes write that although the results were shaped by the distinct features present in each of the 28 states taking part, there were at least five key trends visible across Europe.

Elections to the European Parliament have […]

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    The impact of Brexit on Australia’s trading relations with the UK and EU

The impact of Brexit on Australia’s trading relations with the UK and EU

If the UK is to use Brexit as an opportunity to negotiate new trade agreements with other states outside of Europe, then Australia arguably represents one of the best examples of a future partner. Yet the Brexit referendum also coincided with renewed attempts to develop closer trade relations between the EU and Australia. Laura Allison-Reumann, Margherita Matera and Philomena […]

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    Seven key stories about the most ‘European’ EP election ever

Seven key stories about the most ‘European’ EP election ever

The 2019 European Parliament elections were like no other: like no other European Parliament election before, and like no other democratic exercise in the world. In fact, it is probably the first time that we may call it a singular European Parliament election because so many of the trends that shaped it are pan-European, write Michael Bruter and Sarah Harrison, […]

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