Letter from …

Letter From … The Hague

Bart van Bruggen  |  10 March 2017

Bart van Bruggen warns that the Dutch Labour party is in need of a narrative Things are not looking great for the Dutch Labour party, PvdA, ahead of this month’s general election. After four years as junior partner in a coalition government with its political adversary, the Liberal party, known as VVD, support for Labour has deteriorated …

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Letter From … Paris

Felicity Slater  |  7 February 2017

Leftwinger Benoît Hamon surprises pundits to win French Socialist candidacy, writes Felicity Slater In another surprise to the commentariat, but confirmation disloyalty is more valued than solutions on the left, Benoît Hamon has beaten outgoing prime minister Manuel Valls in the race to become the Socialist party’s candidate for the French presidency. Hamon sits on …

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Letter From … Madrid

Manuel de la Rocha Vazquez  |  30 November 2016

On 29 October, the Spanish parliament finally approved the investiture of Mariano Rajoy, the conservative leader, as prime minister for a second term – thus ending 11 months of caretaker government, after two consecutive elections in six months. Those elections confirmed the consolidation of two emerging parties, the populist-leftist Podemos and the liberal-centrist Ciudadanos. Both challenge …

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Letter From … New Hampshire

Charlie Samuda  |  7 November 2016

To get a sense of just how hard it is to be a Republican in a down-ticket race this election, consider the fate of Kelly Ayotte. The junior senator from New Hampshire was first elected in 2010 and is running for a second term against the current Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan. Donald Trump’s nomination presented her with a dilemma: standing too …

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Letter from … Montreal

Matthew Laza  |  30 September 2016

Montreal in its early fall seems an almost impossibly perfect place to bring progressives from Europe and Australasia together with Canadian and American counterparts. Quebec’s largest city is the very embodiment of different traditions living side by side. For the first-time visitor, ordering a doughnut in (bad British schoolboy) French in the quintessentially north American …

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Letter from … Rome

Lia Quartapelle  |  9 September 2016

All across Europe, the institutions of representative democracy are under increased pressure from citizens. We are witnessing: the birth and rise of new parties, often populist ones; a growing demand for referendums; a loss of the authority of politics and politicians as well as a change in the role of interest groups and stakeholders. Citizens feel that there …

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Letter From … Cardiff

Vaughan Gething AM  |  20 July 2016

It is a difficult time at present, with uncertainty about the country’s future following the European Union referendum, and uncertainty about our party’s leadership at a United Kingdom level. These are some of the lessons I have learned from governing in Wales where we still have a Labour government. First, leadership matters. In Wales, we have made good …

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Letter From … Bergen

Fiona Twycross AM  |  10 June 2016

Over 20 years ago, as a postgraduate studying Norwegian, it felt like a whole host of European Union-related career possibilities were closed down to me when Norway voted to stay out of the EU. In 1994 most of my Norwegian friends (holding generally socially progressive views) were opposed to joining. Among arguments used by them …

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Letter from … Brussels

Claude Moraes MEP  |  5 April 2016

For everyone in the European parliament, 22 March was an agonising day. On that day, on rightwing blogs I read some extraordinary responses to the Brussels attacks. One hinted we were going to hear all the same responses that we heard after previous atrocities. But to be tired or complacent in our response is no luxury any …

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Letter From … Washington DC

Claire O'Connor  |  15 February 2016

I was asked to write about perceptions in Washington DC towards the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership of the European Union, and how worried the Americans are. The truth is that there is very little interest, and even less concern. ‘Brexit’ sounds more like an illicit sugary breakfast cereal than a potential event of global import. True, Barack …

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