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Common Misconceptions about the European Parliamentary Elections

Gros, D., Piedrafita, S., (2014), “Common Misconceptions about the European Parliamentary Elections”, CEPR Commentary, May. Much commentary on the EP elections has followed the line that the European Parliament somehow has less democratic legitimacy because the participation rate is low, and that these elections are taken less seriously because people’s trust in the EU institutions in general and the European Parliament in particular is low. Both arguments lose much of …Read More

A Manifesto for European Change

Blair, T. (2014) “A Manifesto for European Change“, Project Syndicate, 03 June.   LONDON – Interpreting election results, especially when turnout is not high, is always a risky business. And, in the case of the recent European Parliament election, the results were not uniform. The most spectacular result was in Italy, where a pro-reform, pro-Europe party led by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won more than 40% of the vote. Chancellor …Read More

The European Council should not feel obliged to choose any of the leading candidates as President of the European Commission

Salamone, A. (2014) “The European Council should not feel obliged to choose any of the leading candidates as President of the European Commission“, LSE EUROPP, 02 June.   This year’s European Parliament election has been noteworthy both for the rise of Euroscepticism and the introduction of leading candidates for European Commission president put forward by some of the European political parties. Anthony Salamone argues that the European Council should freely …Read More

Are banks too large?

Ratnovski, L., Laeven, L. & Tong, H. (2014) “Are banks too large?“, VoxEU Organisation, 31 May.   Large banks have grown and become more involved in market-based activities since the late 1990s. This column presents evidence that large banks receive too-big-to-fail subsidies and create systemic risk, whereas economies of scale in banking are modest. Hence, some large banks may be ‘too large’ from a social perspective. Since the optimal bank …Read More

Europe’s Nationalists on the March

Fischer, J. (2014) “Europe’s Nationalists on the March“, Project Syndicate, 31 May.   BERLIN – Europe is made up of its nations, and has been for hundreds of years. That is what makes the continent’s unification such a difficult political task, even today. But nationalism is not Europe’s principle of construction; on the contrary, it has been, and remains, Europe’s principle of deconstruction. That is the main lesson to be …Read More

The minimal rise in turnout in the EP elections shows that voter apathy is still the greatest threat to European democracy

Mc Donnell, D. (2014) “The minimal rise in turnout in the EP elections shows that voter apathy is still the greatest threat to European democracy“, LSE EUROPP, 31 May.   One of the key criticisms of European Parliament elections is that they suffer from low turnout and therefore lack the capacity to genuinely confer democratic legitimacy on the EU’s legislative process. Duncan McDonnell writes that while a concerted effort was …Read More

Europe’s Litmus Test

O’ Sullivan, M. & Panagiotarea, E. (2014) “Europe’s Litmus Test“, Project Syndicate, 30 May.   DUBLIN – The European Parliament election is grabbing headlines worldwide, as it highlights a new skepticism in the European politics and raises concerns about the future of the  integration project. But the real litmus test for the European Union is to be found elsewhere – in the health of its smaller economies, especially Greece and …Read More

EU Voters Turn Against Austerity

Hudson, M. (2014) “EU Voters Turn Against Austerity“, Michael Hudson Blog, 29 May.   Reflecting on this topic, I add: The US press and newscasts make it appear that Europeans have voted against poor immigrants and foreigners. What they voted against the super-rich, the oligarchy. The “foreigners” being opposed include the United States insisting on drawing NATO into its wars in Libya,Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan – and now, subsidizing Ukraine …Read More

The German surplus and the Eurosceptics

Daveri, F. (2014) “The German surplus and the Eurosceptics“, VoxEU Organisation, 28 May.   Eurosceptic parties have been popular in the recent European elections, many complaining that the euro has only served Germany’s interests. This column points out that although data on aggregate trade flows show that Germany’s trade surplus with the rest of the Eurozone is not excessive, the success of a Eurosceptic party is larger in countries where …Read More

Europe and Anti-Europe

James, H. (2014) “Europe and Anti-Europe“. Project Syndicate, 27 May.   LONDON – The European Parliament election has set off a painful process of rethinking not only how the European Union works, but also what it is fundamentally about. The outcome made it clear that there are now two Europes: one in which the logic of integration is deeply embedded in the political system and the social order; and one …Read More