Public opinion on immigration: Has the recession changed minds?
Timothy J Hatton 07 June 2014
In the recent European Parliament elections, right-wing populist parties made significant gains. Commentators have linked the rise of these parties to growing anti-immigration sentiment in the wake of the crisis. This column examines the extent to which public opinion has in fact shifted against immigration. Survey data shows that there was no Europe-wide surge in anti-immigration opinion between 2006 and 2010, although there was a marked change in Spain, Greece, and Ireland. This suggests that populist parties’ success cannot be attributed to anti-immigration sentiment alone.
Migration Politics and economics
democracy, immigration, politics, populism, European parliament
How unequal is the European Parliament’s representation?
Anish Tailor, Nicolas Véron 21 May 2014
The European Parliamentary elections are conducted under rules that give voters power that varies with their nationality. This inequality is higher than in European and US national elections, as well as in large emerging-market democracies like Brazil, India, and Indonesia. Making the distribution more equal would be simple, but would require a change in the EU Treaties.
This week’s European Parliament election (22–25 May) has several unprecedented features. Most importantly, the main pan-European parties are fielding lead candidates for European Commission President. Turning the election into a presidential horse race was intended to increase electoral participation and enhance the Parliament’s democratic legitimacy, even though it remains to be seen whether voters will actually see things this way.
EU institutions Politics and economics
elections, democracy, EU, Inequality, voting, European parliament, treaty change
Will voters turn out in the 2014 European Parliamentary elections?
Owen McDougall, Ashoka Mody 17 May 2014
Turnout in the 2014 European Parliament elections is seen as a critical test for EU democracy. This column presents some predictions. Trust in the ECB – rather than in the European Parliament itself – has been associated with higher turnout in previous elections. Macroeconomic conditions are also important – where a country’s fiscal problems are greater, voters are more inclined to vote.
The extent of voter turnout in the 2014 European Parliamentary (EP) election is widely viewed as a critical test for European democracy. Turnout in the EP elections has steadily declined over three decades, from 62% in the first election in 1979 to 43% in the 2009 election (EP Liaison Office undated). There is great concern that the legitimacy of the EU is at stake should there be a further slide in voter turnout.
EU institutions Politics and economics
elections, ECB, democracy, EU, trust, voting, European parliament, turnout
The political endgame for the euro crisis
Charles A.E. Goodhart, Dirk Schoenmaker 14 December 2011
The euro crisis continues to deepen, as European leaders continue with their ‘too little too late’ policy reforms. This column argues that fixing the Eurozone problems requires a strong direction of fiscal and banking policy, but that this in turn requires deeper political integration including an elected president of the European Commission and a two-chamber parliament representing EU citizens and EU member states.
The euro has a supranational monetary policy framework, while the fiscal side is still national/intergovernmental. We have a central bank president for the Eurozone, but no finance minister. But how could countries possibly cede sovereignty over some aspects of fiscal policy without democratic legitimacy?
European parliament, EZ crisis, EZ political integration
The more you vote, the more you count in Europe
Matteo M. Galizzi, Maurizio Lisciandra 27 June 2009
Want to encourage higher voter turnout in European Parliament elections? This column proposes allocating seats to member countries in proportion to their voter participation.
The European Parliament elections are one of the few occasions for 375 million voters to discuss major issues on the future of Europe and its integration process. However, in almost all countries these issues have been absent from or marginal in the political debate, and the European elections have been mainly used as an indicator of approval or disapproval of the incumbent national governments. The widespread feeling of disaffection for the European elections has produced a drastic decline in turnout: from 63% in the first elections in 1979 down to 45.6% in 2004 and 43.1% this June.
elections, European parliament