July 2019: three new citizens’ initiatives open for signatures

July 2019, four citizens’ initiatives are on the news. Three of them have been registered and the last one has been refused. Since the citizens’ initiative system has been simplified, this tool of transnational direct democracy is more and more relevant. The protection of the environment is the main topic tackled by these citizens’ initiatives. In July 2020, whether the initiatives succeed in collecting at least one million signatures in seven different member states of the European Union (EU), the European Commission will translate them into proposition of regulation.

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Is populism protectionism’s champion ?

The point of this paper is not to determine if the critics toward neo-liberal theories are justified or to measure the optimum degree of protectionism needed in an economy. However, using the example of Matteo Salvini’s discourses toward food safety in Europe, we will demonstrate how national-populism uses protectionism arguments, despite its political action not going in that direction.

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Western Balkans’ accession by 2025: merely a fantasy?

With the debates over the possibility of future EU membership of the Western Balkans countries, some voices started to rise in the European Commission. This issue does not only bring back questions about the European Union’s values and identity, but it also allows to examine the usage of European ‘Soft Power’ over its own members and potential accession candidates. This case underlines the contradiction between the EU’s objective of maintaining stability in the Balkans’ region and the European willingness to fight against ‘populism’ and nationalism inside its own borders.

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