Party group coordinators in the European Parliament are responsible for selecting ‘rapporteurs’, who have an important role in parliamentary committees. But how do coordinators make these decisions? Presenting findings from a new study, Lukas Obholzer, Steffen Hurka and Michael Kaeding illustrate that coordinators are more likely to select like-minded individuals as rapporteurs rather than MEPs who reflect the views […]
As a response to the migration crisis in 2015, the EU established ‘Operation Sophia’, a naval mission intended to disrupt established human smuggling networks in the Mediterranean. The mandate for Operation Sophia is due to expire at the end of this month, yet with divisions among member states, there is no agreement on whether it will be extended. Julia […]
Book Review: Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria by Julia Dahlvik
In Inside Asylum Bureaucracy: Organizing Refugee Status Determination in Austria, Julia Dahlvik conducts an in-depth case study of Austria’s former Federal Asylum Office (FAO) to explore how bureaucrats and other decision-makers adjudicate asylum cases. The book offers insightful conclusions that can lead to tangible policy changes, finds Victoria de Keizer.
This review is part of a theme week published in the run-up to International […]
How British people think the EU and Europeans see them depends not just on whether they’re Leavers or Remainers, but on whether they’re young or old, find Javier Sajuria, Tim Bale and Sarah Wolff. Age is a much bigger factor than gender.
Research by the LSE’s Sara Hobolt and her colleagues suggests that Remain and Leave are becoming crucial political […]
The quiet before the storm? Despite attempts to return to stable politics, Germany is heading for another tumultuous year
Germany’s once stable party system has undergone substantial change in the last few years. Julian Göpffarth writes that while 2019 has so far promised to be less chaotic, upcoming EU and state elections are likely to stir up tensions that politicians have worked hard to overcome.
Looking at German media one might be struck by the absence of the upcoming […]
The EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans has fallen short of reproducing the transformative impact it had in Central and Eastern Europe. Solveig Richter and Natasha Wunsch point to state capture as the core obstacle to deep democratisation in the region and argue that EU conditionality not only fails to overcome detrimental governance patterns, but unintentionally contributes to […]
Finland is due to hold parliamentary elections on 14 April before the European elections are held later in May. Tapio Raunio writes that given Finnish coalition negotiations usually last around 1-2 months after an election, the European elections are likely to be overshadowed by the national vote. This could prove advantageous for some of Finland’s political parties, many of […]
The EU is expected to approve a new strategy for engaging with countries in Central Asia this year. Ann Sander Nielsen writes that in developing the new strategy, the EU must avoid compromising its founding values under the guise of ‘principled pragmatism’.
During the first part of this year, the European Union will adopt a new strategy for its engagement […]
Securing a Brexit withdrawal agreement would only be the first stage in determining the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Denis MacShane argues that the briefest of readings of the Political Declaration attached to the UK-EU deal reveals that an eternity of difficult, tetchy negotiations lies ahead as the UK and EU try and fashion a new modus vivendi. Brexeternity […]
The trade-off between transparency and efficiency in EU decision making is not as straightforward as some claim
The EU has taken several steps to make its decision making more transparent, but many key decisions are still taken behind closed doors. As Stéphanie Novak and Maarten Hillebrandt explain, one of the main reasons for this is the perception that increasing transparency could undermine the efficiency of decision making. Drawing from a new study, they argue that although […]
In A Political Theory of Post-Truth, Ignas Kalpokas offers a nuanced and lucid description of the conditions and content of a post-truth world, drawing particularly on the work of the seventeen-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza with support from the twentieth-century post-structuralist Gilles Deleuze. Going beyond cliches and superficial diagnosis, this is a perceptive, yet alarming, vision of an ever-more embedded post-truth future, finds Roderick Howlett.
Greece and Argentina show why pension reforms should not be used as a quick fix for a financial crisis
Greece and Argentina both introduced radical pension reforms following the financial crisis. Drawing on recent research, Marina Angelaki and Leandro Carrera argue that while both countries lacked access to international financial markets and had unsustainable pension systems, the reforms have been short-sighted, ultimately undermining the adequacy and sustainability of pensions. A future overhaul of their systems looks unavoidable.
Latin American […]
Government ownership of banks can help solve credit market failures and stabilise the supply of credit over the business cycle. However, it can also end up serving political interests and lead to a misallocation of financial resources. Çağatay Bircan and Orkun Saka provide new evidence that state-owned banks systematically engage in tactical redistribution of credit in line with the […]
Ever since Theresa May triggered Article 50, 29 March keeps being portrayed as Brexit day. This continues to be the case, even though it is highly likely that an extension will be requested. Jonathan White explains why the focus on this deadline has a number of aims, not least to weaken resistance.
29 March 2019 has dominated British politics for […]
How turnout, majority size, and outcome affect whether citizens think the result of an EU referendum should be implemented
There is an ongoing debate in the UK over whether holding another referendum on EU membership would be democratic or not. Drawing on a new study, Sveinung Arnesen explains that while in general most citizens believe governments should follow the results of referendums on EU membership, this depends heavily upon the level of turnout, the size of the majority, […]
What the rise of radical nationalism tells us about the debate between postfunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism
Postfunctionalism and liberal intergovernmentalism are considered to be two of the ‘grand theories’ of European integration. In a recent article, Andrew Moravcsik, who developed the liberal intergovernmentalist model in the 1990s, has critiqued postfunctionalism, arguing that the politicisation of European integration has little effect on policy outcomes. Liesbet Hooghe and Gary Marks write that the rise of radical nationalism […]
The upcoming European Parliament elections represent the first nation-wide test for Austria’s right-wing coalition government. Manès Weisskircher provides an overview of the election in the country, where there is the potential for tensions to emerge within the government camp.
Since December 2017, Austria has been governed by a right-wing coalition of the centre right ÖVP and radical right FPÖ, a […]
Book Review: Athens and the War on Public Space: Tracing a City in Crisis by Klara Jaya Brekke, Christos Filippidis and Antonis Vradis
In Athens and the War on Public Space: Tracing a City in Crisis, Klara Jaya Brekke, Christos Filippidis and Antonis Vradis merge textual and visual material to focus on public space in Athens and its socio-spatial dynamics, attempting to grasp, however momentarily, the ever-moving, multifaceted and violent consequences of crisis. This is a valuable intervention that critically addresses the key issues faced by both a society […]
Lost in transmission: Why few interest groups have the capacity to properly link citizens with EU policymakers
Interest groups can potentially help alleviate the EU’s democratic deficit by acting as a ‘transmission belt’ between citizens and EU policymakers. However, as Adrià Albareda demonstrates, many of the interest groups active at the EU level lack the organisational capacity and member involvement to perform this function in practice.
The European Union has a long standing democratic deficit problem due […]