Western Europe

Brexit and EU defence cooperation – seizing an opportunity?

By Armelle Ripart | 28 June 2017

After the British people demonstrated their will to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016, many questions arose on the future of the EU. In particular, the security and defence of the Union, in which the United Kingdom has always played a crucial role, will become a highly important issue for the 27 remaining Member States.

With Sebastian Kurz, Austria Further Heads Into Personalized Politics

By Anonyme | 27 May 2017

In a bold move that created a political list eponymously named after himself, the 30-year old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz broke up Austria’s entrenched political order. He re-centered the conservative party – which had been in urgent need of reform – towards himself. This appraisal seeks to identify some factors of the continued success Kurz had been enjoying ever since he entered high governmental posts at the age of 24, but it also raises questions about how personalized politics further weakens the Austrian political parties.

From the Dolomites to Galicia – national indifference and “Habsburg patriotism” in the Austro-Hungarian empire’s literature

By Balázs Gyimesi | 22 April 2017

The Habsburg empire’s literature offers an intriguing landscape of Habsburg patriotism, which can be seen as a form of “national indifference”, a response to specific societal and political changes which affected the empire in its last decades, such as secularisation and nationalisation. This form of multi-layered belonging, having both territorial and religious anchors, but ultimately being attached to the institution of the Habsburg monarchy, was masterfully demonstrated in Roth’s chef-d’oeuvre, “Radetzky March” (1932). Through an analysis of fiction and nonfiction works of authors born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, the article will explore the notions of Habsburg patriotism, national indifference and a possible contemporary manifestation of the latter phenomenon, a form of “European patriotism”.

Brexit deal: How does the migration from Visegrad countries affect British economy

By Paweł Wiejski | 4 May 2016

The Visegrad Group countries displayed an unprecedented degree of cooperation during the Brexit negotiations.  But not only the interests of the V4 countries are affected by this. Studies confirm that the inflow of Central and Eastern European workers benefits the British welfare state. The section on social benefits and free movement of the Brexit deal is therefore not only undermining the integrity of the European Union, but also directly damaging the British economy.

Trade relations between the United Kingdom and the Visegrad Group

By Balázs Gyimesi | 4 May 2016

Trade relations are a fundamental dimension of international economic ties, furthermore they have been widely regarded as a cornerstone of peaceful and prosperous interstate relations by thinkers like Mill or Schumpeter. The following article scrutinises the development of trade relations between Great Britain and the Visegrad Group in the light of the recent “Brexit” debate.

German-Hungarian Friendship Standing on Shaky Ground

By Daniela Neubacher | 2 November 2015

It has now been 26 years that Hungary opened its borders to refugees from the German Democratic Republic (GDR), thus making a first step towards German reunification. Ironically, fences at Hungary's borders are now putting relations to her most important economic partner to a severe test. Commentary by Daniela Neubacher.

The English channel: a river or an ocean?

By Dorothea Baltruks | 26 May 2014

After 5 long years of recession (which included a change in Westminster from a Labour to the first coalition government since WWII of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats), dissatisfaction with politics is high, populism thrives and identity politics is ripe - not only in Scotland that may leave the UK after the referendum this summer.

The German grand coalition: governing without opposition?

By Isabel Winnwa | 3 January 2014

After two months of negotiations, the German election has finally led to the Grand coalition desired by some and feared by others. Chancellor Merkel commands a majority of 504 out of 631 members of the Bundestag, the remaining 127, composed of Die Grünen and Die Linke, form the opposition of 20% of the votes. Merkel autarchy and opposition pro forma, is this democratic? Hardly. 

The Merkel Paradox

By Jérémie Gagné | 4 December 2013

On 22 September 2013, the German federal election was held in the very eye of a European storm. While people throughout the Eurozone were debating whether or not the visibly dramatic effects of fiscal austerity policy in Southern countries would eventually be outweighed by the long-term benefits of structural adjustment, indifferent Germans enjoyed the warm breeze of relative economic well-being on their way to the polls.