Why Sweden Still Doesn’t Have a Government

Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven leaves an EU summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017
Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven leaves an EU summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017 (EU2017EE/Raul Mee)

Two months after parliamentary elections, Sweden is still without a government. Neither the traditional left-wing bloc, led by outgoing prime minister Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrats, nor the center-right, led by Ulf Kristersson’s Moderate Party, has an outright majority, forcing the parties to explore other options.

I asked our man in Sweden, Johan Wahlström, to enlighten us on the situation. Read more

Europe’s Primary Season

Leadership candidates Manfred Weber and Alexander Stubb enter the stage at a European People's Party conference in Helsinki, Finland, November 7
Leadership candidates Manfred Weber and Alexander Stubb enter the stage at a European People’s Party conference in Helsinki, Finland, November 7 (EPP)

I write about “Europe’s Primary Season” for the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog. Manfred Weber and Alexander Stubb are vying to become the leading candidate of the conservative European People’s Party (EPP) in next year’s European Parliament elections. The winner would be in a strong position to claim the presidency of the European Commission.

Weber, who has been endorsed by his country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, is the favorite, but Stubb has mounted a spirited campaign. Read more

What America’s Midterm Elections Mean for Europe

German chancellor Angela Merkel, American president Donald Trump, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and other G7 leaders meet in Charlevoix, June 8
German chancellor Angela Merkel, American president Donald Trump, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and other G7 leaders meet in Charlevoix, June 8 (Flickr/Justin Trudeau)

Congress doesn’t make foreign policy; the president does. So whether or not Donald Trump’s Republicans win or lose on Tuesday, America’s relations with its allies across the Atlantic are unlikely to change — for the better or worse. Read more

The Spanish Right’s Gibraltar Hypocrisy

View of the Spanish city of Ceuta from Gibraltar, January 30, 2011
View of the Spanish city of Ceuta from Gibraltar, January 30, 2011 (José Rambaud)

When Spain’s conservative People’s Party was in power, it promised not to exploit Britain’s exit from the EU to renegotiate the status of Gibraltar.

Now that the party is out of power, it accuses the ruling Socialists of failing to do just that. Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Merkel Stepping Down as Party Leader

German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Brussels for a European Council meeting, December 12, 2013
German chancellor Angela Merkel arrives in Brussels for a European Council meeting, December 12, 2013 (Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann)

German chancellor Angela Merkel has announced she will not seek reelection as leader of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in December in the wake of disappointing state election results in Bavaria and Hessen.

How will this affect the remainder of her chancellorship? Who could replace her? And what, if anything, does it mean for Europe? Read more

Hessen State Election Confirms National Political Trends

A sunny day in Frankfurt, Germany, January 17, 2011
A sunny day in Frankfurt, Germany, January 17, 2011 (Flickr/Aeror)

Germany’s mainstream political parties both lost support in elections in Hessen on Sunday, a lightly populated state in the center of the country that contains the commercial capital of Frankfurt.

The Christian Democrats went down from 38 to 28 percent support, according to exit polls. The Greens, who have shared power with the right in Hessen since 2013, went up from 11 to 20 percent — a major victory, which will probably make it possible for the two parties to continue their coalition government.

The Social Democrats, who govern with the Christian Democrats nationally, suffered yet another historic defeat. Their support fell from 31 to 20 percent, their worst result in Hessen ever. Read more

Italy’s Budget Standoff with the European Commission Explained

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio listen as Finance Minister Giovanni Tria answers a question from a reporter in Rome, October 3
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte and Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio listen as Finance Minister Giovanni Tria answers a question from a reporter in Rome, October 3 (Governo Italiano)

The European Commission has told Italy to revise its budget for 2019, accusing it of “openly and consciously” reneging on the commitments it has made.

This has been reported as the commission “rejecting” Italy’s budget proposal, but that is too strong a term. It has no such power.

Here is what’s really going on — and what is likely to happen next. Read more