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Political situation in the EU

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for32against   I am satisfied with the political situation in the European Union. No reason to hesitate. For instance, because... (if I wanted to write why, I wrote it here), positive
for34against   Sollen die Rechtsradikalen Europa regieren?Die Europäer sollten sich schämen!Wer nicht wählt,wählt rechts!, SEPP
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Europe veers right to beat recession

It may be difficult to say who "won" the European elections, but it is clear who lost. From France to Poland – and spectacularly in Britain – politicians of the moderate left were shunned or humiliated by the few voters who bothered to cast their ballots.In a time of recession – and especially one caused by the exuberance and immoderate greed of markets – centre-left arguments might have been expected to thrive. Instead, centre-left parties of government were routed in Britain and soundly defeated in Portugal and narrowly beaten in Spain. Centre-left opposition ...

European Union danger elections

Since 1979, these MEPs have been elected direct rather than indirectly from national parliaments. But turnout for these elections has been falling in several countries. There is a danger that the number voting in June will be lower than ever before.Moreover, in the current grim economic conditions across Europe, voters who do turn out are all too likely to take the opportunity to punish the major parties and vote for fringe and even extremist politicians. There are particular circumstances that may encourage this electoral response.First, everywhere there is a sense of disgust at the way the ...

Neuregelung: EU-Abgeordnete dürfen Business Class fliegen

08.04.2009 08:57Ab Sommer dürfen EU-Parlamentarier auch Kurzstrecken-Flüge in der Business Class absolvieren. In Zeiten der Wirtschaftskrise sei das dreist, sagen Kritiker.Holzklasse adé heißt es ab Sommer für die EU-Abgeordneten. Denn ein neuer Verhaltenskodex erlaubt es den Parlamentariern ab der nächsten Legislaturperiode, auch auf Kurzstrecken in der Business Class zu fliegen. Das berichtet die Zeitung "Die Welt" am Mittwoch. "Die Reisekosten werden auf der Grundlage der tatsächlich entstandenen Kosten erstattet, und zwar bis zu dem Tarif der Business ...

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Party pressure in the European Parliament
At the end of its sixth legislative term the European Parliament adopted a rule change subjecting all final passage votes on legislative matters to roll call votes. Some studies use this rule change to assess whether roll call votes are characterized by more or less party discipline. Cautioning against such simple comparisons I propose to estimate in this article the extent to which members of the European Parliament are subject to party pressure. Comparing the results from the beginning of the sixth and seventh legislative term shows that in final passage votes the average party pressure has decreased considerably after the rule change.
The Eurozone crisis and the European Parliament's changing lines of conflict
There is a broad consensus that the left-right dimension has been the dominant line of conflict in the European Parliament since 1979. A pro-/anti-EU dimension is found to be of secondary importance, which is attributed to the fact that decision-making over the competences of the European Union is the realm of intergovernmental negotiations. In this article, we show that the seventh EP witnessed a transformational moment in the history of the EU. The Eurozone crisis amplified the importance of the pro-/anti-EU dimension and increasingly shapes the voting behaviour of Members of the EP. This change is particularly pronounced for voting on economic issues. To demonstrate this transformation, we employ a novel deductive method that allows us to predict the relative importance of two dimensions structuring MEP voting behaviour. Our results contradict established wisdom about the strength of the left-right divide in EP politics.
Going on record: Revisiting the logic of roll-call vote requests in the European Parliament
While many contributions on legislative politics in the European Parliament rely on recorded votes, the motivations behind the decision to record a vote remain somewhat arcane. This article frames roll-call vote requests as a minority right which offers party groups an opportunity to shape the voting agenda and signal commitment to a policy proposal. The analysis adds to our understanding of legislative behavior by linking the committee stage to the plenary stage. Party groups which do not support a floor proposal drafted by the lead committee are found to be more likely to request a roll-call vote in plenary. The quantitative evidence is supplemented by interview data which shed light both on the actors’ motivations and the internal decision-making processes preceding the decision to go on record.
How the European debt crisis reshaped national political space: The case of Greece
Where some authors saw a limited impact of Europeanisation on national party politics, others proposed that in addition to the pre-existing economic left-right dimension a separate European Union dimension structures the national political space. This article looks at the Greek bail-out during the European sovereign debt crisis to examine how Europeanisation can change the national political space. The bail-out came with memoranda that set the main lines of Greek economic policy for the coming years. Accepting these policies was connected with remaining in the Eurozone. This restructured the political space: the economic and European integration form one dimension. A second relevant dimension focuses on cultural issues. The economic/European dimension is a stronger predictor of vote choice than the cultural dimension.

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