Although deadlock is becoming more recurrent in European Union decision-making, we do not yet know whether the presence of populist governments makes deadlock more likely. Dr Natascha Zaun and Professor Ariadna Ripoll Servent will discuss their research on this topic on 13 September.
The Dublin IV negotiations are a crucial case of deadlock, since they allow us to explain the linkage between mass attitudes and the behaviour of populist parties in the Council of the EU. With the use of Game Theory, we argue that, while mainstream Member States could be convinced to accept a stronger solidarity instrument with the help of package deals, populist governments – whether beneficiaries (Italy) or donors (Visegrad) – would not. We explain how populist governments do not only oppose cooperation at EU level as a matter of principle, but also pursue a strategy of assertive politicisation by inciting conflict and questioning core values. Thereby, they profit from the EU’s perceived policy failure by feeding a populist feedback loop that enhances their electoral success.
Natascha Zaun is Assistant Professor in Migration Studies at the European Institute, LSE. Her research focuses on EU public policy with a focus on migration and asylum as well as international solidarity in refugee protection.
Ariadna Ripoll Servent is Professor for Politics of the European Union at the Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies (SCEUS) and the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Salzburg. Her research interests are European integration, EU institutions (in particular the European Parliament), informal decision-making processes, populism and Euroscepticism, and EU asylum and migration policies.