European Union / Europe

Posts on the European Union and Europe.

No electoral system is perfect, but some seem fairer

Spaniards rightly complain they have had four general elections in the last four years, a record for an EU country, because politicians have been unable to form a sustainable government, while the British are equally fed up with their politicians, albeit for very different reasons (Brexit). In both cases, [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Election-free changes

In a matter of months, three major European countries have coincidentally seen changes of leadership and political direction without elections being held: the UK has witnessed Boris Johnson’s ascent with a promise of Brexit at any cost, by contrast to what was agreed with Brussels by his predecessor, Theresa [...]

The UK and Brexit: a failed or a failing state?

When a widely respected and experienced politician such as Chris Patten, a former Conservative British minister and European Commissioner for External Affairs, suggests that the UK is becoming a failed state it cannot be readily dismissed as an aberration. We normally associate failed states with countries such as Somalia [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 80 years on

The 23rd of August marks the 80th anniversary of what was perceived to be ignominious to much of the world: the non-aggression pact and the secret carving up of part of Europe between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. Many saw and still see it as a purely tactical [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU’s strange institutional renewal

Europe, the EU, is not doing as badly as is often claimed. But institutional imbalances are emerging that may trigger a crisis. The turnout for the elections to the European Parliament was 51%, eight percentage points higher than last time, halting a steady decline since 1979, thanks in part [...]

A historic battle of wills

The nomination of Ursula von der Leyen is a victory for those who act like the Austro-Hungarian Emperors of days gone by, freely designating the head of government of their choice. The extreme difficulty the European Council has faced in reaching a consensus over the EU’s new top jobs [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The EU: the chance for a fresh impetus

The EU’s enormous problems and many and complex divisions are still present: they have not faded away. There have been no miracles, but the recent elections to the European Parliament have changed many things, and despite, or because of, the fragmentation they have created, they could represent a political [...]

The elections to the European Parliament in perspective: three points to consider before Sunday

Spain is currently engaged in a month-long electoral marathon. The process started with the general election of 28 April and will end –at least for the moment– this coming Sunday, 26 May. There are so many issues in the country’s domestic politics that the elections to the European Parliament [...]

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