Echoes of the past: Toppling statues of Colston and Lenin

Dr Uilleam Blacker, Lecturer in Comparative Culture of Eastern Europe at UCL, examines the historical precedents for toppling statues of controversial figures. Feature image: Luke Fowler (@lu_fowler on Instagram) Watching the toppling of Bristol’s Edward Colston monument, I was struck by echoes of the fate of another dubious statue: Kyiv’s Lenin monument. The Bolshevik leader was pulled down in 2013 amid anti-government protests sparked first by … Continue reading Echoes of the past: Toppling statues of Colston and Lenin

Hungary and Poland pose worse threat to EU than Brexit

Ronan McCrea argues that the crisis of trust between EU member states, and more notably between Hungary and Poland and the rest of the EU, is the biggest threat faced by the EU today.  This turmoil questions the core principle of mutual recognition among member states that is vital to the EU functioning.  The Hungarian government forcibly retired judges and gave political figures greater control … Continue reading Hungary and Poland pose worse threat to EU than Brexit

A storm in a tea cup? Why all the fuss around the EU budget

Filipa Figueira, Teaching Fellow at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, unpacks the politics and the emotional potential of the EU budget, and why Brexit might be good news in this regard.  Every seven years, the EU braces itself for a strange recurring phenomenon: Its comparatively small budget (only 1% of GNI; insignificant when compared to national governments’ budgets) becomes the focus of rapt attention from … Continue reading A storm in a tea cup? Why all the fuss around the EU budget

Does Eastern Europe have lessons for Brexit Britain?

Seán Hanley, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Central and East European Politics at UCL, examines lessons learned from historical political change in Central and East Europe, and asks whether any parallels can be drawn with post-Brexit Britain. In the aftermath of the EU referendum a number of Central and South East Europeanists wrote blogs reflecting on possible parallels between Brexit and break-ups of multinational socialist states … Continue reading Does Eastern Europe have lessons for Brexit Britain?

Could Brexit lead to Frexit – or Czexit?

Seán Hanley, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Central and East European Politics at UCL, examines the claims that Brexit may lead to significant political repercussions in other EU member states, including potentially a domino effect of EU referendums. A powerful coalition of forces – ranging from the driest of conservatives to Greens and the radical left and taking in big business,  trade unions, churches and universities … Continue reading Could Brexit lead to Frexit – or Czexit?