EU politics

Do centre-right parties win back votes from the far right by talking about immigration?

Do centre-right parties win back votes from the far right by talking about immigration?

With the rise of far-right parties in Europe during the 2000s, some centre-right parties spotted an opportunity to win back votes by pivoting towards immigration. James F Downes (Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Matthew Loveless (European University Institute) find that they were more successful if they were out of government at the time. Incumbent centre-right parties, […]

The EU is extraordinarily complex. But do we want to simplify it?

The EU is extraordinarily complex. But do we want to simplify it?

The EU’s institutional architecture is often regarded as being too complex for citizens to properly engage with, and both Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron have recently proposed some form of simplification – such as merging the President of the European Commission with the President of the European Council, or shrinking the Commission. Dimiter Toshkov argues that while […]

Without a change in leadership in Madrid or Catalonia, further conflict looks inevitable

Without a change in leadership in Madrid or Catalonia, further conflict looks inevitable

Following the Catalan independence referendum on 1 October, Bonnie N Field and Astrid Barrio write that a potential declaration of independence by the Catalan government could further escalate tensions and prompt an even more severe clash with the Spanish authorities. Yet without a change of leadership in either Madrid or Catalonia, calls for dialogue to find a consensual resolution […]

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: reflections on the first weekend

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit: reflections on the first weekend

The Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit – a gathering of randomly-selected people who will learn about the options for the form Brexit should take – has just begun its work. The project’s director Alan Renwick (UCL Constitution Unit) offers some initial, personal reflections on a highly successful first weekend. Similar PostsWhat would voters be asked in a second […]

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How does the European Union shape and hone its identity? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav decipher the ways in which the EU’s discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of integration. They show that two values dominated the Union’s treaty texts – ‘democracy’ and ‘market economy’. However, since the 1990s, new values have penetrated […]

A tale of two referendums, but similar Remainers: 1975 and 2016

A tale of two referendums, but similar Remainers: 1975 and 2016

The British public has voted on membership of the EU on two occasions. In 1975, based on a turnout of 64 per cent, two-thirds voted to stay in the EEC, cementing Britain’s place for the next four decades. In 2016, on a turnout of 72 per cent, 52 per cent of the public voted to […]

How the EU elite publicises its high-profile work and stays silent about the rest

How the EU elite publicises its high-profile work and stays silent about the rest

The EU policy process is often criticised for being distant from its citizens. Part of this criticism is rooted in a lack of media coverage of EU legislative decision-making, says Iskander De Bruycker. Drawing on a recent study, he illustrates that the extent to which politicians in Brussels address citizens’ interests in the media over a […]

Book reviews | A Brexit summer reading round-up

Book reviews | A Brexit summer reading round-up

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? OK – perhaps not. Nonetheless, Tim Oliver has rounded up some of the best books about Brexit published since the referendum. Similar PostsBook review | Guilty Men – […]

Macron as saviour of social democracy? The third way à la française

Macron as saviour of social democracy? The third way à la française

Now that Emmanuel Macron has won a large majority in the French parliament, there are few obstacles preventing him from implementing his ambitious reform agenda. But what exactly will Macron’s reforms involve and are they likely to be successful? Philip Rathgeb and Fabio Wolkenstein draw a parallel between Macron’s agenda and the ‘Third Way’ politics of Gerhard Schröder. But […]

The absent demos: radical ideas for transforming the way MEPs are elected

The absent demos: radical ideas for transforming the way MEPs are elected

Brexit has pushed European law-makers to seriously talk about rebuilding the EU. Miriam Sorace argues that calls for democratising the EU political system have to be addressed immediately, and that priority should be given to reforms of the European elections. She advocates a uniform Open-List Proportional Representation System with small constituencies and the possibility for national parties to […]

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