UK – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background The UK long backed European integration in theory, but has always been less certain about involvement itself. Winston Churchill backed a United States of Europe, but when the European Coal and Steel Community was started his successor as PM, Clement Attlee described it as made of “Six countries, four of which we had […]

Spain – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Spain joined the EU in 1986, along with fellow Iberian new democracy Portugal. Spain has been a member of the Euro since its inception. Spanish politics has long been marked by a struggle between the centre and peripheral nationalist movements. When the industrial revolution came to Spain it arrived in peripheral regions such […]

Slovenia – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Slovenia joined the EU in 2004, and became the first country to join the Euro after its initial launch. Slovenia can trace its democratic routes to the seventh century when local farmers would elect their own Dukes. Formerly part of Yugoslavia, Slovenia had been the most productive Yugoslav Republic. Despite representing less than […]

Slovakia – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Slovakia joined the EU as part of the large expansion of 2004. It joined the Eurozone in 2009, officially becoming the last country to join the Euro before the Eurozone crisis. Formerly part of Czechoslovakia, Slovakia was more rural, and less developed part of the former country. After the fall of Communism, Slovakia […]

Romania – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Romania joined the EU in 2007, along with Bulgaria. It had initially been slated to join in 2004, but its admission was delayed due to doubts about the integrity of its political and economic system. Communist Romania was governed by the leadership of Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu ran a particularly repressive regime with one […]

Portugal – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Portugal joined the EU in 1986, along with Spain, having emerged from dictatorship in the 1970s. Portugal joined the Euro on its inception. From 1926 until 1974 Portugal was run by the Ditadura Nacional (‘National Dictatorship’) and then from 1933 Estado Novo (‘New State’) a right-wing authoritarian dictatorship under Antonio Salazar (until his […]

Poland – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background Poland joined the EU in 2004, as part of the ten country expansion of that year. Poland was historically one of Europe’s greatest states, the dominant component of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which was Europe’s largest country at one point and one of its most progressive, with a system of checks and balances which […]

The Netherlands – EU Parliamentary Elections

Political Background The Netherlands has been part of the EU and the Euro since their inception. The Netherlands has possibly the most consensual political system in the entire EU, due to the historical legacy of sharp divisions on religious lines. The Dutch have a saying: “One Dutchman is a theologian; two Dutchmen are a Church; […]