2017 Issue No. 23 /September
Table of Contents
The political systems of the 1960s-1980s in Western Europe witnessed a pas de deux of two political blocks, the moderate left and the moderate right, which both collaborate in order to achieve stability, welfare state and European integration. As most of the successful stories, this one came eventually to an end: starting with the 1990s, the centre-left and centre-right parties were not able to replicate their previous results. Moreover, due to different circumstances in the recent years they could only achieve half of the percentages they gained decades ago. The aim of this article is to evaluate the shape of the centre-right and centre-left nowadays in Europe and also to find out whether such a consensus would be possible once more. Some explanation of why party systems changed dramatically in recent years will be provided.
- Keywords: political consensus, centre-right, centre-left, elections.
2. Robert ADAM: A POPULIST MOMENTUM IN THE EU?
Populism is one of the most used terms in political discourse, most often with a pejorative connotation, but the meaning of the term is ambiguous. The European public opinion thinks populism is on the rise in the EU. Can we therefore speak of a populist momentum in Europe? In order to answer this question, we need to clarify a few preliminary aspects: what is populism? Is there a conceptual framework of populism? What parties can be labelled populist and on what grounds? Is an anti-EU or anti-immigration stance enough to label a party populist? Inside the EU, is Western populism similar to its Eastern variety? Which would be the accurate threshold to ascertain that populism is more successful now than 5 or 20 years ago at the EU scale?
- Keywords: populism, EU, parties, elections, Euroscepticism.
The political party system in the Republic of Moldova has been characterized by instability and divisions along geopolitical lines ever since the country gained independence. Institutional volatility continues to affect especially the pro-European party spectrum and hampers efforts to consolidate the Moldovan center-right. The article argues that the recent reconfiguration among pro-Western forces illustrates how the main traits of the Moldovan party system – fragmentation, fluidity and personalization – were exacerbated by the political, economic and social instability that ensued immediately after the parliamentary elections in November 2014. With the next ballot scheduled to take place in late 2018, it will be essential for center-right parties to overcome these structural weaknesses and find a path towards consolidation.
- Keywords: Party system, democratization, fragmentation, Republic of Moldova.
The following contribution aims to shed light upon some facts that can be relevant to the academic field as well as to the practical social/political life, facts related to whether the Romanian Social Democratic Party (Partidul Social Democrat, PSD) properly belongs to the left wing political spectrum in Europe (more precisely to the ideological family of socialists and social-democrats) and also regarding its continuity with the traditional Romanian (interwar period and pre-1918) left. I will review the main theoretical approaches concerning the role and the functions of ideology for political parties and, as a case study, I will analyze the party’s political programs and electoral manifestos for the 2016 legislative elections.
- Keywords: ideology, social-democracy, political party, political program, electoral manifesto.
A quick incursion in the Virtual World to explore the recent [political] history and anticipate trends on certain topics, with the help of the Big Data tools. Just a glimpse to the gross figures revealed by the analytics behind the search engines and the corresponding databases can give us a remarkably accurate prospective upon the interest of the general population [with Internet access] over time on some topics, as “European Union”, “European elections”, etc. As expected, the virtual world is in sync with the real world and from here we can infer that the activity of people on the Internet can predict the near future trends and stimulate us to try to learn how this trends works and how to influence it. In addition, observing the search trends can offer a fresh prospective upon the real meaning and dimension of the key events. The objective of this paper is to illustrate how one can easily use Google Trends platform to visualize the trends of a selected topic or search term, to further analyze this trend in context and infer some conclusions upon the variations, and use the data to try to make predictions for the future trends.
- Keywords: new media, European Union, European elections, Google trends, forecasting, nowcasting.
6. Gergana RADOYKOVA: TOWARDS A MORE ACCOUNTABLE EU – MISSION POSSIBLE?
The European Union’s uniqueness is very much related to its ever-changing nature. Now, when the European project is facing one of the biggest crisis in its history, it is inevitable that some changes will and shall occur. We are at a crucial phase of the development of the European Union. At a time of multiple global, economic, environmental and societal transformations and challenges European citizens expect the European Union to make a concrete difference in addressing the biggest of them. The author believes that the main objective shall be bringing back the awareness and trust of the European citizens in the European project, in improving the accountability mechanisms of the European institutions, which are the key legitimizing factor of the EU decision-making process. The European Parliament, together with the national parliaments shall play a central role in this process.
- Keywords: European Union, European Parliament, citizens’ participation, awareness, accountability.