German political crisis: what next?

The recent breakdown of the negotiations for a new coalition in Germany took many stakeholders by surprise. As our pre-elections report published in June had already predicted, putting together a coalition between the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Greens is a painstaking operation. The abrupt end of the preliminary talks showed that there are still limitations to political engineering, as the positions of the Greens on most issues are still too far from the ones of their potential coalition partners. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland? The economic challenges of Britain’s weakest region

Belfast City Hall: Photo courtesy of Scotty Photography

“Caught between a hub and a large place” –

Part two of a three-part report (missed the first part of the report? You can find it here)

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe

The Victorian period saw the glory days of the Northern Irish Economy. Continue Reading

Czech Elections 2017: MEPs Predict the Future Stance of Prague in International Relations

Confidence in the future of the EU is fragile. While there is renewed optimism due to the defeat of Eurosceptic parties in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Austria, the ongoing Brexit negotiations fuel the anti-establishment voices, including that of the frontrunner to become the next Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš.

 “Europe is a great project. But European politicians should seriously ask why the UK is leaving. Continue Reading

Recommended Book: ‘Disco Sour’ by Giuseppe Porcaro

 

A SPECULATIVE FICTION NOVEL BY GIUSEPPE PORCARO

Could you one day sway the fate of all European citizens with a simple swipe on your phone? At a crucial time when regulating the cyberspace has become a priority for European States and institutions alike, one cannot ignore the rise of algorithms in our daily lives. VoteWatch is happy to recommend Guiseppe Porcaro’s first book Disco Sour. Continue Reading

What Does The Future Hold For Catalonia and Spain?

“Thirty years ago almost one third of the current EU member States did not exist in the form we know them today”, argues the representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU, Amadeu Altafaj. On the other side, “the voice of the people” may end up being in fact an active minority, as Ignacio Molina, Senior Analyst of The Elcano Royal Institute observes that “opinion polls show that there is no majority in support of independence [for Catalonia] and even less so if the process is unilateral”. Continue Reading

UPDATED: Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs

One year after the publication of our first assessment of the influence of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on EU policy-making, we are updating our findings in order to factor in the developments occurred over the last year. In this update, we also take into account the feedback that we received from our audience to improve the accuracy of our algorithm. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland post-Brexit? Part 1: Politics in Britain’s most fragile region

The Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont, Belfast. Photo is courtesy of the author.

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe

Whilst a return to Northern Ireland’s bleak past is unlikely, Brexit disorders hard-won political settlements in “the province”. A hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic should be avoided at all costs. Continue Reading

Vote on labour policy highlights political and national differences

Brexit will lead to a decrease in the support for a more flexible labour market across the European Union. In fact, over the decades, the British government opposed several EU initiatives aiming at stepping up worker protection, as they implied higher costs for businesses as a whole. The debates regarding the flexibility of the labour market have long haunted the different European institutions, which constantly hesitated about the positions they should adopt while trying to satisfy countries with heterogeneous views on the question. Continue Reading

Dutch coalition forecast: would the Christian Union fit in the new government?

The Dutch national elections took place more than 100 days ago and yet we don’t know what the new government will look like. After coalition talks with the green party (GroenLinks) collapsed as a result of disagreements on migration policy, the conservative Christian Union (ChristenUnie, CU) came into view as a possible fourth government party. Earlier we reported this possibility (i.e. Continue Reading