Category: Europe (page 1 of 10)

Europe comprises the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia. It is the world’s second-smallest continent by area, covering almost four million square miles, about 7% of its land area. Of its 50 sovereign States, the transcontinental State of Russia is the largest in both area and population, and the Vatican City is the smallest in both. Europe’s 733 million people is approximately a quarter of the world’s population.

Europe prospered because of, not in spite of, its history of continent-wide wars, including the War of Hapsburg Succession (80 Years’ War), World War I, and World War II. These wars forged strong national ties within the nascent nation-States, created a drive for better weapons, and strengthened the power of the government. With the end of World War II, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany came together to form interstate connections that eventually led to the Schengen Zone, the European Union, and the Euro.

Turkish Delight

[Turkish Flag]Once again, Erdoğan seeks to alter the political structure of the Republic of Turkey. When he became the Prime Minister in 2003, the Turkish state reflected the long Turkish history of seeking Europe. Atatürk created a Western state out of the remains of the Ottoman Empire. The new Republic of Turkey combined France's parliamentary system and anti-clericalism. Since then, Erdoğan has consistently moved Turkey from a French system towards a US system.

The 2017 constitutional referendum marked the latest step. How did it go, and what can we learn about Turkey?

Continue reading

Berlusconi Loses in Italy

[Flag of Italy]Once again, Italians headed to the polls to elect a parliament. The House of Representatives has 630 deputies are elected through party-list proportional representation from each of Italy's 20 regions. Since the founding of the Second Republic in 1994, old political parties vanished, to be replaced by politicians. Millionaire Silvio Berlusconi became Prime Minister based on the coalition he formed around himself. Since 1994, political parties tend to form and reform to reflect the dominant politicians available.

How did that work for Italy in this election?

Continue reading

Borisov Falls

[Flag of Bulgaria]The unicameral National Assembly of Bulgaria has 240 seats of which the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party holds 117. This has held steady since the last parliamentary election in 2009. Another thing that has held steady is the unemployment rate in Bulgaria since the start of the global economic downturn.

How did this lead to the fall of the Borisov government?

Continue reading

Pope Benedict Resigns

[Flag of the Vatican]Being the only elected absolute monarch in current existence, the Pope has no electoral concerns. Once elected, the Pope reigns until death or resignation. The last Pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII (Papa Gregorius Duodecimus), in 1415. Thus, the Papacy is seen as a lifetime appointment. Breaking with this tradition, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation today. Thus, the 265th Pope will step down at the end of this month and a new Pope will be elected in March.

How will the 266th Pope be elected?

Continue reading

A Slight Shift in Liechtenstein

[Flag of Liechtenstein]Nestled between Switzerland and Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein is a prosperous constitutional monarchy with no military and a GDP per capita of $141,000. During the global recession, Liechtenstein has kept that prosperity, even surpassing Monaco's GDP per capita in 2011.

Why, then, did the center-right ruling coalition lose a quarter of their seats in the Landtag?

Continue reading

Older posts