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The Eurogroup: No longer ‘jobs for the boys’?

The Eurogroup is due to appoint a new President, with Spanish finance minister Nadia Calviño viewed as the favourite to take over from outgoing President Mário Centeno. Iain Begg explains that if Calviño is successful, it would be a notable step for gender equality. However, the decision will also be a litmus test for the direction the EU takes […]

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Who will win Poland’s crucial presidential election?

Poland’s presidential election run-off is on a knife-edge. As Aleks Szczerbiak explains, incumbent Andrzej Duda won the first round convincingly and remains a narrow favourite as no second placed challenger has ever come from so far behind to win. But his liberal opponent has much greater potential to win over supporters of the defeated first round candidates.

Poland’s 12 July […]

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Are Britain and Europe becoming ‘vassalised’?

The term ‘vassal state’ has been frequently used by those warning against a post-Brexit relationship that leaves the UK obliged to adopt EU rules or subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Yet as Glyn Morgan writes, there is a paradox in the use of the term given the EU’s power on the international stage is […]

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Book Review: The New Despotism by John Keane

In The New Despotism, John Keane revives this term to examine how the ‘new despotism’ functions today through qualitatively different characteristics and processes to its older forms. As the book skilfully identifies how the new despotism thrives on ambiguity above all, this is a perceptive study that will shift the analytical lens through which despotic regimes are viewed, writes Gergana Dimova, and offers […]

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    What the municipal elections in France told us about the future of the French party system

What the municipal elections in France told us about the future of the French party system

After a lengthy delay due to Covid-19, France held the second round of its municipal elections on 28 June. Ben Margulies assesses what the results might mean for the French party system. He writes that the successes of the mainstream centre-left in major cities, and the resilience of the old mainstream parties, suggest that Emmanuel Macron has failed to […]

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    Explaining the uneven demand for EU parliamentary oversight during the Eurozone crisis

Explaining the uneven demand for EU parliamentary oversight during the Eurozone crisis

The Eurozone crisis increased calls for institutional reform and closer parliamentary oversight of the EU’s crisis managers. As Federica Genovese and Gerald Schneider show, the national demand for increased parliamentary scrutiny crucially hinged on the exposure to the crisis and the domestic leeway in fighting it.

A frequent phenomenon in times of economic crisis is that the fight between […]

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Germany’s heavy burden

Germany will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union today. Nele Marianne Ewers-Peters writes that the country will face the unenviable task of attempting to chart a path of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, while also addressing the numerous other issues and commitments confronting the EU’s member states.

As Germany takes over the presidency of the […]

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    How EU external energy policy has become ‘supranationalised’ – and what this means for European integration

How EU external energy policy has become ‘supranationalised’ – and what this means for European integration

Since the beginning of European integration, EU member states have been reluctant to share competences over their external energy relations. Against this backdrop, the new requirement to have bilateral energy agreements assessed by the Commission implies a surprising expansion of supranational powers in energy diplomacy. Philipp Thaler and Vija Pakalkaite take a closer look at this development and find […]

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    Online strikes with the usual suspects: How Fridays for Future has coped with the Covid-19 pandemic

Online strikes with the usual suspects: How Fridays for Future has coped with the Covid-19 pandemic

Fridays for Future, which was set up to campaign against climate change, has had a major impact across Europe. Yet the Covid-19 outbreak has forced the movement to adopt new strategies beyond public demonstrations. Sophia Hunger and Swen Hutter examine how supporters were mobilised in Germany during a recent online climate strike.

In September 2019, 60 percent of Germans named […]

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    Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton

Book Review: The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy by Stephanie Kelton

In The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, Stephanie Kelton dispels six key myths that have shaped the conventional understanding of deficits as inherently bad, instead arguing that deficits can strengthen economies and lead to faster growth. This book is a triumph, writes Hans G. Despain, shifting normative grounds of government spending away from the false and […]

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    Five paradoxes ahead of this Sunday’s presidential election in Poland

Five paradoxes ahead of this Sunday’s presidential election in Poland

Poland will hold the first round of its delayed presidential election on Sunday. Piotr Zagórski and Fernando Casal Bértoa present five paradoxes that make the election exceptional.

Poles will vote in a presidential election this Sunday for the seventh time since the country’s democratic transition in 1989. Initially scheduled for early May, the vote had to be postponed due to […]

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    Covid-19 could generate a baby ‘bust’ in the Nordic countries

Covid-19 could generate a baby ‘bust’ in the Nordic countries

Previous epidemics have been associated with a fall in births. Trude Lappegård, Axel Peter Kristensen and Svenn-Erik Mamelund assess what the Covid-19 pandemic could mean for birth rates in the Nordic countries, which were already declining prior to the virus. They argue that financial insecurity generated by the outbreak could encourage young adults to put off starting a family, […]

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The election of losers

On 21 June, Serbia held parliamentary elections. The elections, which were boycotted by many opposition parties, saw the Serbian Progressive Party, led by Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić, win a clear majority. Florian Bieber writes that while Vučić’s victory appears absolute, he must also rank as one of the key losers from the contest: a parliament without an opposition cannot […]

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    Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

What impact will the Covid-19 outbreak have on levels of political trust? Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen and Orkun Saka find that individuals who experience epidemics in their impressionable years display less confidence in political leaders, governments, and elections for the rest of their lives.
It is widely argued (here, for instance) that the keys to success in dealing with Covid-19 […]

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Do populist parties increase electoral participation?

While many observers view the rise of populism as a negative development for democracy, other authors have suggested populist parties might boost political participation by attracting disaffected citizens who do not normally vote. Drawing on a new study, Arndt Leininger and Maurits J. Meijers find evidence that in Central and Eastern Europe the presence of populist parties is associated […]

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    Assessing the impact of Covid-19 on independence movements in Catalonia, Flanders and Scotland

Assessing the impact of Covid-19 on independence movements in Catalonia, Flanders and Scotland

The Covid-19 outbreak is likely to have a lasting impact on European politics, but what does it mean for independence movements? Jonathan Parker writes on the impact so far in Catalonia, Flanders and Scotland.

For three European states in particular, the Covid-19 pandemic has served to catalyse pre-existing territorial disputes and empower peripheral nationalist movements. While the UK, Spain and […]

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    Book Review: re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe by Floris de Witte

Book Review: re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe by Floris de Witte

In re:generation Europe: Ten Proposals for Another Europe, Floris de Witte sets out a vision for another Europe, one that breaks with the purely technocratic management of European affairs, one that listens to its public and is sensitive to its younger generation. While questioning whether EU leaders would accept such radical change, Simeon Mitropolitski welcomes the call to reform the European Union through cherishing […]

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    A looming credibility crisis? Assessing the EU’s role as a peacebuilding power in the aftermath of Covid-19

A looming credibility crisis? Assessing the EU’s role as a peacebuilding power in the aftermath of Covid-19

The Covid-19 outbreak has put many of the EU’s foreign policy objectives on hold. However, as Julia Strasheim writes, the pandemic is not the only obstacle to boosting the European Union’s role as a global peacebuilding power. The bigger structural hurdle is democratic decline within its own borders, and the implications this has for the EU’s credibility abroad.

Before the […]

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    How European integration affects blame games in national politics

How European integration affects blame games in national politics

When things go wrong, governments frequently attempt to deflect the blame by shifting it onto other actors, such as previous administrations. However, as Tim Heinkelmann-Wild, Lisa Kriegmair and Berthold Rittberger write, European integration has provided governments with additional opportunities for blame avoidance, such as criticising the EU’s institutions or other EU member states. Drawing on a new study, they […]

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How has Covid-19 changed lobbying activity across Europe?

Covid-19 has been accompanied by a high level of lobbying activity as businesses and interest groups seek to influence the policies employed by governments to manage the economic fallout of the outbreak. Drawing on new research, Anne Rasmussen explains how lobbying has changed during the pandemic. She writes that while the relative access of different group types to Covid-19 […]

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