With the Catalan independence referendum fast approaching, there are still many unknowns. Will Catalans be able to vote? If they do, will they vote for independence? If yes, will Catalonia leave the EU? Of all the paths to European disintegration, Catalan independence is certainly the wildcard, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Financial markets and diplomatic circles see the German election as a safe bet, with little threat of a eurosceptic revolt. But what Germany lacks in explicit euroscepticism it makes up for in implicit euroscepticism. In short, Germans are often unaware of how eurosceptic they really are.
In recent travels and public statements, Ireland’s new Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar has made clear he is no friend of Brexit. By toying with brinkmanship he betrays a shallow appreciation for his nation’s historically close relationship with the UK. Rather than cross his arms and lament the democratic choice of Britons, Varadkar needs to mature as a political representative and deal with his neighbours in good faith.
With Article 50 triggered and Brexit negotiations well underway, the UK government looks like it’s carrying out the instructions it received from 17.4 million voters last summer. Nevertheless, a growing threat hangs over Brexit Britain.
Seven decades without armed conflict between major powers is something to be celebrated. However, the notion that lasting peace in Europe is thanks to the gradual federalisation of European nations is contestable at best, and dangerous at worst. If anything, today’s EU is fuelling more conflict across the continent than it resolves.
Having voted to leave the EU last June, the people of Britain have already made clear that they want their future to belong to them. In this regard they are several steps ahead of other member states. Now, the country must ensure that Brexit is timely, true to voters, and successful.
The first round of France’s presidential election produced no clear winner, attesting to the country’s political transformation. Regardless of who wins on May 7, they will have to deal with a fractured parliament resulting from June’s legislative elections to pass laws. If the first round of the presidential election is any indication, there will be an important uptick of eurosceptic voices, agreeing on a strong stance vis-à-vis Brussels on everything from budgetary oversight to regulatory encroachment or international trade.
All eyes are on France as the first round of its presidential election fast approaches. Unlike previous elections, the traditional centre-left and centre-right parties are lagging behind newer or more radical political movements in the polls, making it very difficult to predict who will occupy the Élysée Palace after May 7. This post identifies France’s eurosceptic candidates, underscoring the ideological diversity of euroscepticism.
Hype around the Dutch, French, and German elections this year has overshadowed what is likely an even larger threat to European integration. Spain’s Catalonia region plans to hold a referendum on secession from Spain this year. With polls showing public opinion evenly split, there is a real chance for an independent Catalonia in the coming months and years, possibly triggering the region’s exit from the European Union.
The upcoming Dutch election is about far more than choosing between political parties on the ballot. It is about restoring the ability of Dutch people to chart their future. On March 15, voters need only ask themselves a single, key question: do you wish to govern yourselves, or do you wish to give that power away?