Populism in Europe: a primer

EU President Herman van Rompuy has called populism “the greatest danger for Europe”. But what exactly is populism? And why are EU leaders feeling so threatened by it?

Destroying boats used by traffickers off North African…

I gave a speech about EU online communications at Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole in Aarhus last year, and yesterday John Frølich – one of the professors there – e-mailed me to ask if I could suggest 20 to 30 EU Twitter accounts that his students ought to follow. So rather than just e-mail back some names, I have made a Twitter list of the 30 accounts, and I explain my rationale for including each of them here.

EU plan to take 20,000 refugees

The European Commission unveils key proposals for tackling the EU migration crisis, including a controversial quota scheme.

According to media reports the British government wants to hold thereferendum on the UK’s EU membership before 2017. Commentators see the move to bring the vote forward as a sensible step because it would allow Prime Minister David Cameron to make the most of his election victory while also providing swifter clarity for politicians and the markets.

Europe will face an obesity crisis of vast proportions by 2030, according to new World Health Organization projections, with many countries likely to see far more than half of adults above the healthy weight limit.

Ahead of municipal elections in Spain on May 24, the centre-right Ciudadanos (Citizens) and leftist Podemos (We Can) parties will try to break the monopoly on power of the right-wing Partido Popular (PP) and the centre-left Socialists (PSOE). EurActiv Spain reports.

The far-right French party Front National ousted its co-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen on Monday. His daughter and party leader Marine Le Pen had him suspended for making anti-Semitic statements. A clever gambit aimed at making the party acceptable, some commentators believe. Others stress that even without Le Pen senior the Front National will remain on the far right.

The upsides and downsides of an early EU referendum

There have been several stories over the past few days claiming that UK Prime Minister David Cameron is now thinking about bringing the EU referendum forward to 2016, rather than holding it in 2017 – his self-imposed deadline. But would this be the right choice? Open Europe’s Mats Persson considers the upsides and downsides.

Hypocrisies and cruelties on the frontier of Fortress Europe

For many refugees, it is only the smugglers who can get them into and then out of Greece. All other legitimate and safe channels are cut off. For the smugglers, many of whom are poor, income from the refugees means that they can survive.

Gagged in the name of security

The responses by the Spanish government to the escalation of public protest have taken increasingly threatening forms. Gag laws put the very essence of democracy at risk.

A ‘hologram protest’ outside the Spanish Parliament. Demotix/ Marcos del Mazo. All rights reserved.


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