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Tag Archives: JEPP

Understanding the two faces of solidarity in the Eurozone and migration crises

The principle of ‘solidarity’ was a key feature of debates during the Eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, but the way in which the term was used differed in both cases. Drawing on a new study, Stefan Wallaschek explains that while the concept of solidarity is often assumed to be owned by actors on the left of the political spectrum, this is not necessarily the case, particularly as different meanings of solidarity are linked to different crises. What do the euro crisis and Europe’s...

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Emotions have an important role in shaping support for EU cooperation on immigration and terrorism

The EU has pursued common policies on immigration and the prevention of terrorism. But what determines public support for this form of cooperation? As Cengiz Erisen and Sofia Vasilopoulou explain, factors such as an individual’s identity, employment status and level of education have previously been used to understand varying levels of support among citizens. However, drawing on a new study, they highlight the important role that emotional reactions about immigration also have in shaping...

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Success through cooperation: Why joining forces can help lobbyists increase their influence

A crucial strategic choice in political lobbying is whether to go it alone or join forces with others. Drawing on new research from five European countries, Wiebke Marie Junk assesses whether and for whom this cooperation pays off. She shows that cooperation constitutes an alternative influence currency to leveraging individual resources and is especially to the benefit of less resourceful advocates. Political advocates, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, or...

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How interest groups inform policymakers about what the public wants

Interest groups provide policymakers with policy relevant information such as technical expertise and legal information. However, an important question is whether interest groups also inform policymakers about what the public wants, given that they are often seen as transmission belts of public preferences. Drawing on a new study, Linda Flöthe presents a detailed analysis of whether and when interest groups provide information about public preferences. She shows that while citizens groups do...

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How politicisation facilitates responsiveness in the European Union

The politicisation of EU policies is often seen as a threat to European integration. But as Iskander De Bruycker explains, politicisation also presents possibilities for better public scrutiny of EU policymaking. Drawing on a new study, he illustrates that the politicisation of EU policy processes can strengthen both public and policy responsiveness. The recent negotiations to appoint key EU positions strikingly illustrate the gap between European citizens and EU elites. German MEP Martin...

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Understanding the role of agriculture in global climate policies

A significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, but many national climate policies still overlook the agricultural sector. Drawing on a new study, Nicole M. Schmidt shows that while mentions of agriculture in national climate policies are growing, particularly in the EU and Africa, there remains a highly fragmented picture globally, with over half the policy documents analysed making no mention of agriculture at all. The ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement to...

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How the European Parliament could improve its selection of committee chairs

Committee chairs have an important role in the work of the European Parliament, but what factors influence the allocation of key committee positions to MEPs? Drawing on a new study, Mihail Chiru explains that seniority in the role appears to matter more for a candidate’s selection than partisan credentials, committee sector knowledge or ties with special interests. Improving the selection process could allow committees to draw more efficiently on MEPs’ institutional knowledge and policy...

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Evidence matters, but ideas shape policy in more fundamental ways than we might realise

Evidence-based policy-making can be problematic in practice, especially if the evidence is uncertain. Based on a case study concerning the formation of a national-level policy position in Ireland in response to an EU initiative, Niamh Hardiman and Saliha Metinsoy suggest that policy makers’ decisions may well be guided by beliefs that go beyond the direct evidence available. Ideas can be so deep-rooted that they guide policy decisions implicitly. The necessary dialogue between the social...

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Do interest groups frame arguments to appeal to their own members or to the public?

When appearing in the media, interest groups carefully frame their messages, but to what end? Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz provides a cross-country comparison of the frames used by interest groups in the UK and Denmark. She focuses on the extent to which they portray their demands as furthering the interests of their own members, other societal groups, or whether they attempt to appeal to the public instead. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the British Bankers’ Association condemned...

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EU defence policy is becoming increasingly supranational

EU defence policy has traditionally been intergovernmental in nature: member states have typically adopted decisions through unanimity, while supranational institutions, such as the European Commission and European Parliament, have had little formal power. Pierre Haroche writes that recent developments are now changing this approach, with defence policy becoming increasingly supranational and politicised. On 18 April, the European Parliament (EP) approved, by 328 votes to 231, the...

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