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Category Archives: Current Affairs

(No) Gender balance in political science publishing?

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My discipline – political science – is far away from gender balance, especially at the top where men still dominate professorships. My impression was that this is also true for (peer-reviewed) publications – and a first look into the reality of 50 different journals seems to confirm this: 66% out of 749 recent research articles […]

EU history repeated: Will EU politics 2015 be just like 1995?

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Twenty years ago, in January 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU, and a new Commission President (from Luxembourg) was about to take office. Clearly a reason to look back today and see what has changed since then – just to be sure history is not repeating itself. To do so, I use one […]

The European careers of the EU’s national leaders (updated)

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In recent years, more and more top leaders of EU member countries have been elected or nominated who have spent one or several parts of their careers inside EU institutions, soon making it nine eight serving heads of state or heads of government. In fact, today, the Greek government announced that former EU Commissioner Stavros Dimas is nominated […]

The gender balance gap between the European Parliament and national parliaments – updated

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In the December 2014 issue of “European Union Politics” there is a  paper by Fortin-Rittberger & Rittberger* titled “Do electoral rules matter? Explaining national differences in women’s representation in the European Parliament“ (an earlier version in open access here). Looking mainly at data from 2009 (and 2004), the key question of their paper is, in my summary: Why […]

The Barroso legacy: An academic look back (updated)

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Last week, the European Commission published its own legacy report in the form of a 600+ pages document titled “European Commission 2004 – 2014. A testimony by the president with selected documents“, opening the room for the first analyses of the legacy of 10 years with José Manuel Durão Barroso leading the European Commission. I have […]

The Juncker Commission: On the way to a smaller European Commission?

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Today, the new President-elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced the composition and structure of the European Commission for 2014-2019 (video of the press conference, press release), a Commission that looks much more like a prime minister’s cabinet than any other Commission before. However, is this the first step to a new type of […]

Trajectories of a new European elite: A closer look at Mogherini’s CV

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You could look at yesterday’s nomination of  Federica Mogherini as the future High Representative of the EU from a simple power balance and recent past perspective: She’s representing  one of large EU member states, one of the founding member states and her political party is the largest group within the Socialists and Democrats in the […]

7 observations on Jean-Claude Juncker’s President-elect speech

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During the European election campaign, I’ve seen a Jean-Claude Juncker who seemed tired, who did not seem up to speed during the debates with his contenders and who seemed to be disconnected from the party that supported him – the European People’s Party. But the speech (video, extracts from the text) he delivered yesterday let […]

The “arch-federalist” Juncker? A comparative perspective

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UK politicians call Juncker arch-federalist, and  the press has taken over this term, too. The Telegraph does it. The Guardian does it. The (Irish) Independent does it. The Washington Post does. What they show is their lack of perspective, of comparative analysis, with Juncker’s predecessor(s) and with his competitors for the Commission top-job. Had those media […]

Juncker: The first European Commission President we can get rid of

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The news today reported that both Sweden and the Netherlands – i.e. their prime ministers – have dropped their previous opposition to Jean-Claude Juncker to becoming European Commission President. This pretty much means that Juncker will get the first EU top job nomination at the European Council meeting tomorrow and after-tomorrow, as only Cameron (UK) […]

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