Month: June 2014

EP-elections: This is all about the left

The election in Hungary has ended in a clear victory for the governing Fidesz. Apart from that, the election was an internecine competition on the left. Since the governing Fidesz party’s massive victory was a certainty among Hungarians for months, two crucial questions remained which made this ballot intriguing: would the extreme-right Jobbik be able …

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The forward march of Europe halted?

For Greece these elections had a much more national than European character. The very fact that the country has suffered a long period of deep and sustained recession and experienced tough austerity policies has tailored the European electoral campaign in Greece to the domestic agenda and the respective party antagonisms. The outcome of the elections …

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A pro-european groundswell

In contrast to the majority of EU member states, Belgium organised three elections on Sunday, 25 May 2014: European, federal and regional. This unusual situation was largely due to the impact of the federal vote on the very future of the country. It may also have given the impression that European issues were somewhat overshadowed in …

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In the middle of Europe

The result of the elections in Austria was very similar to the European trend: a neck-and-neck race between Conservatives and Social Democrats, and anti-Europeans coming in third position, followed by Greens and Liberals. The participation also lay within the European average. Austria and the European Elections The election result and the loss of Martin Schulz …

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The Music of Democracy

British conductor Sir Roger Norrington is worried about growing signs of Euro-scepticism and the rise of right wing parties. He sees himself as a European but believes in the sovereignty of Europe’s nation states, and encourages musicians to become more politically active. The strange thing about my job is that I am a dictator. An …

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Ukraine: A mid-crisis assesment

The crisis in Ukraine is far from over. The country is chartering unknown and dangerous waters. Almost six months into the crisis, and after a series of important developments, several conclusions can be drawn concerning the three major actors: the Ukrainian government, the Putin leadership, and the European Union. Where is Ukraine going and what …

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Saving a broken euro

As we survey the damage from the years of crisis and recession in Europe that finally seems to be ebbing, there is a sigh of relief that the Eurozone has not fallen apart. But the return to growth is a far cry from a return to prosperity. At the current pace of “recovery,” no return …

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Advocating a truly preventive policy on employment

The new General Secretary of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) is keenly committed to issues related to the job market. Among other things, she advocates stronger codetermination and a new social contract to balance work and free time. She could talk to you for hours about working conditions and ways of improving them. As General …

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Subsidiarity: Meeting the challenge of a changing world

In an era of globalisation, the EU policy mechanism of subsidiarity offers European citizens an opportunity to reassert their democratic power. As the influence of Europe’s individual nation states continues to wane, it could also give policymakers the power to deal with the global challenges they face. So why is everyone frightened of it? When …

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UKIP: Much ado about nothing

In the aftermath of the European elections, most of the headlines were shouting about how extraordinary UKIP’s victories were. In fact their gains were not only expected, but a direct result of the peculiarity of the electoral system for the European elections, and more pertinently, of how many British voters regarded these elections – a …

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