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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Putin Proclaims the End of the Liberal Idea

Shortly before taking off to Japan for the G20 summit in late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the time for an extensive interview with the Financial Times. He was asked about current international hot topics such as the Middle East, North Korea, trade relations, and Venezuela as well as Russian domestic challenges. Putin seized the opportunity to comment on the state of Western democracies and proclaimed the end of the liberal idea. While music to the ears of European populists, his words resonate as cynicism, maybe even a threat, with those who believe in freedom and democracy.

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Identity and Democracy Group: United on the Outside, Divided on the Inside?

The newly formed Identity and Democracy (ID) group will draw more attention in the European Parliament (EP). However, internal divisions rooted in different national contexts pose a serious challenge for the group’s coherence and effectiveness. Its member parties will have to live up to the expectations which they created in their home countries through populist rhetoric. The size of the group composed of 9 right-wing parties with 73 Members of the European Parliament (MEP) could be an obstacle to satisfying voters’ expectations while making use of its full potential.

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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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#LaRéplique. Brexit : un gros mensonge

Une tragédie nationale. Un psychodrame sans fin qui a laissé l’opinion publique britannique stupéfaite, confuse et sans les outils nécessaires pour comprendre ce qui se passe réellement. Ou - particulièrement pour les observateurs continentaux - une délicieuse comédie grotesque, avec ses rebondissements, son scénario de glissement imprévisible, le paysage parfait du parlement de Westminster et une distribution de protagonistes excentriques. Cette description est en quelque sorte emblématique du pays qui a voté le 23 juin 2016 pour quitter l'Union européenne, en imaginant un avenir de gloire, de richesse et de souveraineté retrouvée. Et qui, au contraire, suscite encore aujourd'hui l'incertitude du monde à cause d’une négociation très compliquée.

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