EU

The rise of the populist radical right in Europe is a topic that worries citizens, journalists, political elites and scholars alike. Much has been written on the nature of these parties, as well as why they are currently gaining in the political arena. This has focused on the institutional arrangement of different electoral systems and the dissimilar opportunities that they offer for the thriving of this kind of party; or on the demand side trying to unravel the reasons behind citizens’ voting behavior.

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Instead of breaking the deadlock, the recently held elections in Catalonia only deepened existing fault lines in Catalan politics. As the Spanish government maintains direct control of the Catalan administration, and keeps several Catalan politicians and activists imprisoned, the whole of Spain is still holding its breath. Only the EU and its member states are now in a position to defuse the mounting tension between Catalan secessionists and Madrid. But what would be a desirable outcome to push for in the long run?
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The post-Hogmanay atmosphere is always sobering, and never more than this year when the party may be over for some many people in so many ways. During 2017, three great political experiments - Brexit, the Trump Presidency and the Catalonian independence project - failed to progress beyond the damage limitation stage into the payoffs their proponents expected. In Scotland, the snap UK election was a piece of bad luck for the SNP and accelerated the comeback of Scottish Conservatives and Labour.
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Austria’s new centre-right government plans to introduce dual citizenship for members of Italy’s German-speaking minority. These plans have been met with suspicion or outright rejection by all parties in Rome but have been welcomed by many minority leaders. CCC Researcher Patrick Utz asks what it would mean for German-speaking South Tyroleans to hold an Austrian passport besides their Italian one, and what are the implication for the existing autonomy provisions in Italy’s northernmost province.

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The first stage deal reached between the UK and the EU27 is an important staging post, says Kirsty Huges, but any suggestions that this opens the path to an easy future relationship are wide of the mark. 
 
The UK-EU27 deal on EU citizens’ rights, the divorce bill and Northern Ireland’s border will unlock the second stage of Brexit talks at next week’s European Council summit in Brussels.  The summit is expected to issue guidelines on a transition period while the crucial trade guidelines will come later perhaps in February or March.
 
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Latest blogs

  • 25th April 2018

    Mary C. Murphy offers a detailed and in-depth analysis of Northern Ireland’s relationship with the EU, the role the EU has played in rebuilding the region after the Troubles, and the challenges and opportunities that Brexit might offer Northern Ireland in terms of its fragile politics and economy.

  • 25th April 2018

    The path being pursued by the DUP in Brexit, says Jonathan Evershed, is not so far from the mainstream of Unionist opinion.

  • 24th April 2018

    Antonia Ruiz, CCC visitor, looks at the rise of the populist radical right in Europe. She stresses that it's a topic that worries citizens, journalists, political elites and scholars alike.

  • 24th April 2018

    The promise of ‘change’ was key for the Austrian Christian democrats’ landslide victory in last year’s general elections. Recent sub-state elections, however, have perpetuated the influence of incumbent governors – and their power to veto reforms of Austria’s federal system. In light of current electoral dynamics, Patrick Utz analyses the (limited) potential for federal reforms in Austria.

  • 17th April 2018

    Richard Parry discusses the interacting policies on devolution and Brexit in the current impasse between UK and devolved governments.

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