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Tag Archives: JEPP Series

Democratic backsliding has not (yet) united the populist radical right in the European Parliament

The European Union is currently facing the double challenge of the rise of radical right populism and the presence of democratic backsliding in several member states. Yet despite the overlap of actors engaged in both processes, Mihail Chiru and Natasha Wunsch show that democratic backsliding has not yet served as a catalyst for populist radical right cooperation inside the European Parliament. Instead, ideological divergences and institutional fragmentation still pose an obstacle to...

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Do EU policymakers pay any attention to academic research?

There is a wealth of academic research published on the European Union, but do EU policymakers actually make use of this research in their work? Drawing on a new study, Francesco Duina finds evidence that staff at the European Commission regularly draw on the work of academics. The last in-person conference for ‘Europeanists’ organised by the Council for European Studies was in Madrid in June 2019. Attendees from around the world could choose from three days of wonderful panels and...

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‘Pandemic narratives’ are key to understanding the policy responses of European governments to Covid-19

There are some striking differences in how European leaders have explained the Covid-19 pandemic to their respective audiences. Drawing on a new study, Amrita Narlikar and Cecilia Emma Sottilotta show how these narratives reflect the policy responses that governments have pursued since the first wave of infections. The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked human and economic devastation on a global scale. But European governments – even with roughly similar political structures, cultures, and...

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Has the Covid-19 pandemic led to more informal and decentralised EU decision-making?

Covid-19 has presented unprecedented challenges for the EU’s member states. Drawing on a new study, Rahel M. Schomaker, Marko Hack and Ann-Katrin Mandry take stock of the EU’s reaction to the first wave of the pandemic. They write the response was characterised by shifts between forms of centralisation and decentralisation, as well as formal and informal decision-making. Informality has become a much criticised but important instrument of EU politics over recent decades. Informality...

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Comparing the policy narratives of Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has required citizens to adhere to strict restrictions to help tackle infection rates. Drawing on a new study, Michael Mintrom, Maria Rost Rublee, Matteo Bonotti and Steven T. Zech compare the effectiveness of the policy narratives used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to encourage citizens to follow their advice. While states had broadly the same information about Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic in early 2020, they...

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Same legal status but unequal treatment: Bureaucratic discrimination against mobile EU citizens

EU Citizenship guarantees the same rights to all mobile EU citizens who move to another member state. And yet, as a recent study by Christian Adam, Xavier Fernández-i-Marín, Oliver James, Anita Manatschal, Carolin Rapp and Eva Thomann indicates, some EU citizens are more likely than others to face discrimination when interacting with their host country’s public administration. Remarkably, they find that patterns of discrimination displayed by public administrators are very similar to...

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How hypermasculine leadership may have affected early Covid-19 policy responses

Georgina Waylen argues that the reluctance of politicians with hypermasculine leadership traits to take the pandemic seriously and implement or adhere to mitigation measures led to incoherent policymaking and poor communication. This reduced levels of public trust and contributed to high rates of infection and death. In his recent evidence to MPs, Dominic Cummings attributed many failings in the UK government’s initial pandemic response to ‘groupthink’. Others have highlighted the...

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Lessons from Icesave: How international pressure can produce a nationalist backlash

Iceland held two referendums in 2010 and 2011 on whether the country’s government should insure British and Dutch deposits in the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, which went bankrupt during the financial crisis. Oddný Helgadóttir and Jón Gunnar Ólafsson write that the saga demonstrated how external pressure can foster nationalist discourses and reduce the scope for compromise in international disputes. A few years ago, the Financial Times argued that Europe was in the throes of a ‘referendum...

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Lessons from Junqueras: How ECJ decisions can increase opposition to the EU

Decisions taken by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can generate substantial political debate, but do they help foster Euroscepticism? Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte and Dan Devine present evidence from a study of attitudes in Spain following an ECJ ruling on the case of the Catalan politician Oriol Junqueras in 2019. They find that those exposed to the ruling were 6% more likely to be Eurosceptic and 13% more likely to be dissatisfied with the way democracy works. Eurosceptic parties,...

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How Jean-Claude Juncker and Pierre Moscovici laid the groundwork for the EU’s post-Covid fiscal policy

The EU’s fiscal rules, which state that governments should run budget deficits no higher than 3% of GDP and maintain a public debt no higher than 60% of GDP, have been suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic and there are now growing calls for them to be reformed or abandoned altogether. Drawing on a new study, Frédéric Mérand documents how Jean-Claude Juncker, Pierre Moscovici and other figures within the European Commission laid the groundwork for this paradigm shift in EU fiscal...

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