The 5th and 7th largest EU countries held key elections yesterday. Spaniards repeated once more parliamentary elections, while Romanians voted in the 1st round of presidential elections. While the topics of the electoral campaign were quite different, the overall trends in the redesign of the political party systems are similar.
The trends of fragmentation and polarization are expanding in Europe, as the political brands arising since the economic crisis are now fighting on equal footing the old, established parties. Continue Reading
Despite its repeatedly announced opposition to join another government led by Angela Merkel’s CDU, German SPD recently softened its position on the matter and agreed to participate in the negotiations for another grand coalition. This also highlights the difficult situation the Social Democratic family is facing in Europe. On one hand, S&D parties are trying to shift to the left in order to recover the lost popular consensus, while on the other hand, the increasing political instability and rise of Euroscepticism often lead them to join grand-coalitions with center-right parties, as a way of breaking domestic political deadlocks. Continue Reading
Things are moving in Spain. With the election of Pedro Sanchez as the new leader of the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE), a potential referendum on the independence of Catalonia in September and Spanish Government’s tight majority in the national Parliament, there are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at this country’s politics. Pedro Sanchez’ victory took place in an already unstable political setting and is likely to enhance polarisation in Spanish politics. Continue Reading