Supporters of populist parties are often portrayed as politically naïve or misinformed, but to what extent does this image reflect reality? Drawing on a new study, Stijn van Kessel, Javier Sajuria and Steven M. Van Hauwaert present evidence that populist party supporters are not less informed than supporters of other parties. However, supporters of right-wing populist parties had a […]
The European Commission has proposed a €750 billion package of grants and loans to aid the EU’s recovery from Covid-19. Iain Begg explains that much will now depend on whether the proposal can secure the backing of the so called ‘Frugal Four’ of Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden.
‘Solidarity is back’, according to Manfred Weber (leader of the […]
The Covid-19 pandemic has motivated huge levels of spending from governments across the world. But once the pandemic is over, how will these measures be paid for? Arvind Ashta assesses the feasibility of seven potential options.
While statistics on the daily number of infections and deaths caused by Covid-19 are available from many sources, there is absolute silence on the […]
As long as economic growth remains the EU’s main objective, it will not be well prepared for health threats
The Covid-19 outbreak has prompted a variety of proposals for improving the EU’s capacity to tackle future pandemics. Charlotte Godziewski argues that while there has been much discussion about technical reforms, there has been little attention paid to the role that economic and political ideologies have in shaping health outcomes. We cannot talk about better equipping EU states to […]
What do financial markets make of the economic impact from the Covid-19 pandemic? Iain McMenamin, Michael Breen and Juan Muñoz-Portillo track how the markets have judged the risk of an Italian default since the start of the crisis. They write the market response appears to have been driven in part by the level of solidarity shown from other EU […]
Book Review: Democracy Beyond Elections: Government Accountability in the Media Age by Gergana Dimova
In Democracy Beyond Elections: Government Accountability in the Media Age, Gergana Dimova examines the impact that the rise of the media age has had on government accountability, focusing on the cases of Germany, Bulgaria and Russia. This is an important and timely contribution to the revitalisation of democracy studies, writes Georges Kordas, and shows how accountability can be a tool for citizens but […]
The Covid-19 outbreak has led to renewed calls for debt mutualisation in the Eurozone. Luuk Molthof writes that while it seemed inconceivable member states would commit to genuine debt sharing prior to the crisis, the pandemic has proven to be a game-changer. He argues Italy and Spain have successfully portrayed northern member states as lacking in European solidarity, framing […]
How Covid-19 is deepening democratic backsliding and geopolitical competition in the Western Balkans
Several countries in the Western Balkans have responded to the Covid-19 outbreak with draconian measures that entail a further erosion of democracy, writes Natasha Wunsch. She argues the pandemic is shining a spotlight on the impact of geopolitical competition in the Western Balkans, where authoritarian forces are undermining the EU’s democracy promotion efforts.
The Western Balkans are facing dire economic […]
On 5 May, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that the European Central Bank’s Public Asset Purchasing Programme could be incompatible with the German Constitution. Waltraud Schelkle writes there is a deep sense of irony in the ruling: the German Court questions the legal foundations of the ECB’s independence but is actually prevented from succeeding by the constitutional fortifications of the ECB’s […]
Comparing European reactions to Covid-19: Why policy decisions must be informed by reliable and contextualised evidence
How meaningful, reliable and useful are the comparisons being made by the media and politicians of the impact of Covid-19 on different EU member states? Linda Hantrais examines how the value of comparisons for policymaking within the EU can be improved. She argues that analysis of information about the numbers of Covid-19 cases, deaths and policy measures should take […]
The Covid-19 outbreak has substantially increased the presence of experts in national politics. As Sam van der Staak writes, however, experts on democracy have so far had relatively little involvement in government responses to the pandemic. He argues that once the crisis shifts beyond the immediate disaster-control phase, democracy experts should seek a central role in shaping what comes […]
In Ultra: The Underworld of Italian Football, Tobias Jones immerses himself in the culture of Italian football ultras, exploring the rituals of different ultra groups, their infamous links with violence and contemporary far-right politics alongside the enduring left-wing identities of some ultras. Jones is an expert and sympathetic guide through this world, showing ultra culture to be as much about complex issues […]
Far right parties typically oppose the European Union, yet European integration has paradoxically provided the far right with funding, visibility and a higher degree of credibility and respectability. Drawing on the case of the French Rassemblement National, Marta Lorimer explains how the EU may have inadvertently facilitated the success of some of its strongest critics.
Far right parties are strong […]
Public demand for technocratic expertise rises in times of crisis. What does this mean for democracy?
Independent experts have played a prominent role in the responses of European governments to the Covid-19 outbreak. But while there appears to have been broad public support for the involvement of experts in policymaking during the crisis, are there potential implications for democracy? Drawing on a new book, Eri Bertsou presents five lessons learned from research on technocratic politics […]
Can greater central bank accountability defuse the conflict between the Bundesverfassungsgericht and the European Central Bank?
Germany’s constitutional court recently ruled that asset purchases conducted by the European Central Bank could be incompatible with the German constitution. As Sebastian Diessner explains, the subsequent rift has prompted calls for greater accountability in ECB decision-making, potentially with representatives from Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, being obliged to explain ECB decisions in the Bundestag. He writes that while there […]
Covid-19 has given rise to a heated debate within the EU over debt mutualisation. Drawing lessons from the creation of Airbus, Daniele Archibugi argues the EU would be better served by focusing on how member states could pool their resources to create new companies capable of competing in emerging sectors.
If the European Union is truly aiming at reconstruction, it […]
In a recent op-ed in the FT, economist Stephen Roach suggested a future of stagflation as a combined result of the increasing brittleness of supply chains and the pent-up consumer demand caused by the lockdown. But he is wrong, Bob Hancké suggests. The real world is considerably more complicated.
A few days ago, Stephen Roach, erstwhile of JP Morgan, author […]
The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) was marked on 8 May against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Effie G. H. Pedaliu writes that much like the end of the Second World War, Covid-19 will constitute a landmark moment, with future historians likely to draw a line between life before and life after the […]
The Oxford Handbook of Spanish Politics, comprising 41 chapters by renowned scholars and edited by Diego Muro and Ignacio Lago, makes a hugely valuable contribution to understandings of the country through its consistent analysis of contemporary Spanish politics and governance in a comparative European context, rather than in isolation. The veritable wealth of excellent material and analysis in the volume makes the […]
The EU is in the process of adopting a new regulation to help protect the rule of law in member states. Drawing on the cases of Hungary and Poland, Nanette Neuwahl and Charles Kovacs argue that the proposed regulation would be a valuable addition, but that a somewhat revised litigation strategy of the European Commission could also help defend […]