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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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EU ire over Greece hits boiling point
Finance ministers accuse Athens of backtracking on commitments
Dynamics of European integration: Public opinion in the core and periphery
The relationship between public opinion and public policy provides a potential criterion for assessing the democratic quality of the European Union. The few existing time series analyses in this area assume that there exists a European-wide public mood towards integration. Analyzing West-European series of public opinion from 1974 to 2011, this article finds considerable support for this assumption. However, the analysis also points towards a ‘periphery-trend’, driven by the UK, Ireland and Denmark, in contrast to a ‘core-trend’, driven by the founders of the European Economic Community (EEC). The analysis further shows that both opinion trends are cointegrated with public policy in this area: European integration appears to be significantly influenced, or constrained, by public opinion both in the core and periphery.
Why no twin-track Europe? Unity, discontent, and differentiation in European integration
European integration has grown increasingly differentiated. EU member countries now integrate at different speeds and frequently resort to opt-out clauses, while occasionally voicing deep discontent with the direction of the integration process. Nevertheless, European integration essentially remains a single-track enterprise, whereby member countries move in the same direction under the same set of EU institutions. Offering a novel perspective on EU integration, we argue that the real puzzle is not why integration has become differentiated but rather why it has not become more differentiated. Using a simple formal model to illustrate and deepen our argument, we throw new light on the bewildering coexistence of unity, discontent, and differentiation in the European project. We show that a twin-track Europe would likely leave more EU members discontented.
Austerity and credibility in the Eurozone
During the euro crisis policy-makers tried to re-establish credibility with austere budgets. Studies of austerity have been plagued by measurement and endogeneity problems. We provide a direct test of the effect of austerity on confidence by calculating the immediate impact of austere budgets on government bonds. We build a unique database of budget dates and conduct event studies of 223 (future) Eurozone budgets. Since austere budgets are enacted in particular circumstances, we use a treatment effects design to measure markets’ responses. Our findings are discouraging for the argument that austerity can provide a positive credibility shock. Markets do not welcome austerity. On the contrary, austere budgets are associated with substantial interest rate increases. These results underline how constrained governments are in debt crises.

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