Regional elections in France – the latest example of the crisis of the French democracy

Looking at the striking degree of abstention in the latest French regional elections, this blog post analyzes possible causes for this phenomenon. Taking into account pandemic related circumstances and specific characteristics of regional elections, this contribution argues that ultimately the prominent position of presidential elections is the core issue causing a structural threat for the French democracy.

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European politics through the lens of members of the Austrian Landtage

What significance do European issues have for members of the Austrian Landtage, what possibilities to exert influence do they see and which cooperation networks do they use? Regarding these questions, this blog post presents first results from the REGIOPARL-survey conducted among members of the Austrian Landtage. (Blog post in German) Read more

Regional actors – spectators or players in the “Brussels Game”?

EU legislation has a strong impact on the member states which is after decades of European integration not surprising. EU laws are negotiated and adopted between the three central actors of the EU, the EU Commission, the European Parliament and the Council and have to be implemented by the member states. What is sometimes overlooked is that sub-national actors such as regions and municipalities often have to implement EU laws. This leads to the question of what role subnational actors (can) play in European policy affairs. This contribution asks whether these subnational actors are only spectators of European integration or whether they actively shape EU policies. Read more

Rocky start, open ending: The Conference on the Future of Europe

The Conference on the Future of Europe has finally started. The negotiation process beforehand was characterized by fundamental discrepancies on the European level. This blog post takes a look at those critical developments in the run-up to the beginning of the conference, illustrating an underlying inter-institutional dilemma. (Blogpost in German) Read more

The Future of Europe in times of crisis: looking back at a turbulent year

The Conference on the Future of Europe was supposed to be officially launched on 9 May 2020 – on Europe Day. Meanwhile, 2020 is coming to an end and the Conference lacks both, format and leadership, as well as a political mandate by the EU institutions. This blog post looks back at a crisis-ridden year and seeks to contextualize the failure of the conference start. Read more

Our money, our rules: the EU budget and conditionality go back a long way

Once again, negotiations on the upcoming EU budget seem deadlocked. Hungary and Poland are blocking the ratification of the next multiannual financial framework as they are opposing the new rule of law mechanism. We have taken the current conflict as an opportunity to take a closer look at existing conditionalities in the EU’s budget.  Read more

Regional perspectives on European democracy: first results from REGIOPARL’s participatory research

The upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe will also involve regional political actors who will contribute their interests and ideas on the future of the EU to the debate. It is not least against this background that the REGIOPARL research project examines the normative perspectives and reform ideas of legislative actors from the regional level: in focus group workshops, the state and future of the EU is discussed with elected representatives of various European regional parliaments. This blog post presents some first results of this participatory research.

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Guest Contribution: Brussels‘ perspective on the Conference on the Future of Europe

As EU institutions are preparing for the Conference on the Future of Europe, hopes in the EU capital are high, finds a survey. Despite that, the Brussels community has serious doubts whether the initiative will be taken seriously enough to bring meaningful results. EU institutions, therefore, need to get things right in the Joint Declaration by answering three concrete questions and thus make the Conference a success. Read more

Review: European Regions – Perspectives, Trends and Developments in the 21st Century

In October 2020, “European Regions – Perspectives, Trends and Developments in the 21st Century” edited by Elisabeth Donat, Sarah Meyer and Gabriele Abels was published. In the following review, Sara Kikić summarizes scope and contributions of the volume. Read more

Cohesion Policy under the new EU budget: from a crisis management tool (back) to a long-term strategy

On July 20, 2020, after a four-day negotiation marathon, the European Council finally reached an agreement on the 2021-2027 EU budget and the recovery fund. This blogpost takes a closer look at the changes made to the EU budget’s biggest item: The European Cohesion Policy (CP). Regarded as a key tool in the strategy to cope with the current Corona pandemic, policy makers will have to weight short-term objectives to fight COVID-19 with long-term considerations to reduce regional disparities within the EU.

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