European politics in times of crisis

The Chatham House Europe Programme discusses the current state of European politics and democracy. 

Research event
10 November 2022 — 8:30AM TO 9:30AM

Recent elections in Italy and Sweden resulted in governments including or supported by anti-system parties. Although these election results were driven by specific national factors in each country, they demonstrate a trend that populist, far-right and anti-system political forces remain strong throughout Europe. This raises questions over the effectiveness and stability of many European governments and the EU during an energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In this online event we will discuss the state of European politics and debate the root causes of the current crisis of democracy in Europe, building on the findings from a recent Chatham House Europe programme report on the relationship between the economy and democracy in Europe. In this we found that to understand current challenges to democracy in Europe it is necessary to look beyond simplistic assertions about the rise of populism and to look deeper at how economic factors interact with democracy.

•    Will the new Italian government lead to a clash with the rest of the EU over issues such as fiscal policy or Russia policy?

•    What will the implications of far-right (supported) governments be for the functioning of those national systems and for the EU as a whole?

•    Is the recent turbulence in British politics comparable to what is happening in some EU countries?

•    As economic issues are at the heart of many current challenges to European democracies (as highlighted in the Chatham House report), how can we deal with the current cost-of-living and energy crises without triggering a political and democratic backlash in the same way that previous green transitions attempts seem to have done?

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