Representation in times of crisis: women’s executive presence and gender-sensitive policy responses to crises

Jessica C. Smith, University of Southampton
Jessica C. Smith, University of Southampton

Especially during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, women heads of government were praised for their seemingly better performance in leading their countries through this health crisis. Making use of the unique circumstances of the global pandemic, Jessica C. Smith sheds light on how the gender composition of government impacts national responses to the crisis. Based on data from the UN COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, her analysis of 62 countries demonstrates that the presence of women in government matters in two ways. First, women-led countries have more gender diverse COVID-19 task forces compared to those led by men. Second, women’s participation in these task forces increases the likelihood that the policy responses will be gender-sensitive. Hence, in addition to normative reasons advocating for the representation of women beyond elected bodies, Jessica’s research provides evidence that women’s presence can ensure that measures implemented to cope with crisis situations take gender inequalities into account and thus make for better policies

NGOs as new Guardians of the Treaties? Analysing the effectiveness of NGOs as decentralised enforcers of EU law

Esther Versluis, Maastricht University
Esther Versluis, Maastricht University

The EU increasingly relies on national stake-holders such as NGOs to raise non-compliance issues before national courts. In particular the environmental sector has witnessed a shift from centralized infringement procedures initiated by the European Commission to decentralized enforcement by private actors. To shed light on the work and effectiveness of national enforcers, Konstantin Reiners and Esther Versluis analyze the actions taken by the German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe to encourage compliance of German States with the Ambient Air Quality Directive. In their case study they show that the NGO mostly used litigation (i.e., initiating a high number of legal proceedings) to increase the salience of the topic in national debates and the media. The interplay of public pressure caused by increased issue salience of air quality and legal pressure has positively affected compliance by German states. Overall, these insights indicate that private actors such as NGOS can indeed play a crucial role as additional guardians of the Treaties to tackle national compliance deficits.


‘All hands on deck’ or separate lifeboats? Public support for European economic solidarity during the Covid-19 pandemic

Monika Bauhr, University of Gothenburg
Monika Bauhr, University of Gothenburg
Nicholas Charron, University of Gothenburg
Nicholas Charron, University of Gothenburg







To assist countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU launched the largest aid package in its history. Monika Bauhr and Nicholas Charron make use of this unprecedented course of action and analyze the factors that drive public support for international aid in times of crises. A vignette survey experiment conducted in 25 European countries provides evidence that elite cues are more consequential for public support than receiving information about the aid package. In particular, national governments’ endorsement for financial assistance increases the likelihood to support a European-wide response to the pandemic. By contrast, details on the package do not influence public opinion in either direction. The study thus implies that domestic governments can play a crucial role in swaying citizens’ opinion on redistribution within the EU as well as future EU integration.


From learning to influence: the evolution of collaboration in European Administrative Networks

Francesca Pia Vantaggiato, King's College London
Francesca Pia Vantaggiato, King’s College London

European Administrative Networks (EANs) are a distinctive feature of the EU governance system that aim to foster regulatory harmonization. Even though they have been operational for more than two decades, we know little about how they react to changes in their policy environment. To fill this gap in the literature, Francesca Pia Vantaggiato conceptualizes EANs as dynamic social networks. A Bayesian network model of the Council of European Energy Regulators’ structure shows that the collaboration has shifted from learning (i.e., exchanging information) to a cohesive structure of cooperation aiming to inform and influence EU policy-making. The article thus provides a first step towards conceptualizing and operationalizing the processes of evolution of EANs.


Online Special Issue No 1-2022: EU Foreign Policy

We celebrate this year’s Europe Day with our online special issue on EU foreign policy. It compiles a small selection of eleven excellent articles on this topic published in JEPP during the last years. While in the broader public debates about the role of the EU and its foreign policy have attracted increased attention since the start of the war in the Ukraine, coverage of this topic in JEPP has been a constant fixture. Since the first article on the EU’s foreign economic policy was published in JEPP in 1994, almost 90 pieces refer to the term ‘foreign policy’ in the abstract and almost 60 prominently feature it in the title. So, believe us, when we say that it was very hard to decide which articles not to include in our virtual special issue. The result of our efforts brings together research about the making, the design and the consequences of the EU’s foreign policy, about the limits of the EU’s influence as well as about the role of (energy) relations with Russia. Our small collection of articles will be free access until 31 May 2022. We hope you enjoy reading!


Adrian Hyde-Price (2006) ‘Normative’ power Europe: a realist critique, Journal of European Public Policy, 13:2, 217-234, DOI: 10.1080/13501760500451634

Alexander Warkotsch (2008) Non-compliance and instrumental variation in EU democracy promotion, Journal of European Public Policy, 15:2, 227-245, DOI: 10.1080/13501760701817732

Anna Herranz-Surrallés (2016) An emerging EU energy diplomacy? Discursive shifts, enduring practices, Journal of European Public Policy, 23:9, 1386-1405, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2015.1083044

Antoaneta Dimitrova & Rilka Dragneva (2009) Constraining external governance: interdependence with Russia and the CIS as limits to the EU’s rule transfer in the Ukraine, Journal of European Public Policy, 16:6, 853-872, DOI: 10.1080/13501760903087894

Caroline Kuzemko (2014) Ideas, power and change: explaining EU–Russia energy relations, Journal of European Public Policy, 21:1, 58-75, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2013.835062

Kai Hebel & Tobias Lenz (2016) The identity/policy nexus in European foreign policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 23:4, 473-491, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2015.1047398

Maryna Rabinovych (2021) Failing forward and EU foreign policy: the dynamics of ‘integration without membership’ in the Eastern Neighbourhood, Journal of European Public Policy, 28:10, 1688-1705, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2021.1954066

Sophie Meunier & Kalypso Nicolaïdis (2006) The European Union as a conflicted trade power, Journal of European Public Policy, 13:6, 906-925, DOI: 10.1080/13501760600838623

Sophie Vanhoonacker & Karolina Pomorska (2013) The European External Action Service and agenda-setting in European foreign policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 20:9, 1316-1331, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2012.758446

Tom Delreux & Stephan Keukeleire (2017) Informal division of labour in EU foreign policy-making, Journal of European Public Policy, 24:10, 1471-1490, DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2016.1216151

Wolfgang Wagner (2003) Why the EU’s common foreign and security policy will remain intergovernmental: a rationalist institutional choice analysis of European crisis management policy, Journal of European Public Policy, 10:4, 576-595, DOI: 10.1080/1350176032000101262


Single issue EU referendums: tying hands, domestic effects and the challenge of consentification

Dermot Hodson, University of London and Imelda Maher, University College Dublin

Referendums on specific EU policies or EU integration more generally have become a familiar feature of EU politics. Dermot Hodson and Imelda Maher consider three main explanations for governments’ increasing call for referendums: to secure bargaining advantages at the EU level, to enhance political standing domestically and to (de-)legitimize EU decision-making. Based on case studies of eight single issue referendums in five EU member states, they demonstrate that governments tend to call a referendum when the issue at stake can be approved under domestic law, but lacks political legitimacy. Government leaders use referendums either to manage internal party differences, gain electoral advantages over rivals or boost their personal popularity. In light of these results, Dermot and Imelda contend that referendums as a strategic instrument of direct democracy will remain a prominent feature of EU politics in the future.

The gender gap in support for governments during the COVID crisis

Jacopo Mazza, University of Essex
Jacopo Mazza, European Commission, University of Essex
Marco Scipioni, European Commission
Marco Scipioni, European Commission






The COVID-19 pandemic has an uneven economic impact with women facing more negative financial consequences than men. To understand whether this unequal economic burden translated into gendered differences in support for national governments, Jacopo Mazza and Marco Scipioni analyze survey data on European citizens’ attitudes and opinions during the COVID-19 pandemic between April and October 2020. They show that the initially high support for governments has generally decreased in the period under investigation and that the decline in government support was most pronounced amongst working women. This finding can be explained by the higher burden placed on women who tend to be employed in sectors heavily exposed to pandemic-containment measures in comparison to men. Overall, the article provides further evidence that socio-demographic groups most affected by the crisis are also the ones who express lower support for their government.

A Robin Hood for all: a conjoint experiment on support for basic income

Leire Rincón, University of Berlin
Leire Rincón, Humboldt University of Berlin

Under which conditions do individuals support a universal basic income (UBI)? Taking a comparative perspective, Leire Rincon investigates how the specific design of UBI shapes public support for such a policy compared to other policy proposals. Leire argues that its universality and unconditionality generate opposition to UBI since these principles depart from traditional welfare rationales of giving those in need. Hence, if deservingness considerations are met, support for UBI should increase. The results of a conjoint experiment conducted in Spain reveal that while universality is the most controversial feature of the policy, unconditionality is not. Additionally, using progressive funding mechanisms such as taxing the rich and limiting eligibility increase support for UBI. The findings imply that support for UBI may be fostered through policy design (i.e. if the policy is funded by the rich) so that even unpopular features may enjoy public backing.

Season’s greetings from JEPP!

Another turbulent year draws to a close. We would like to thank you, our dear reviewers, authors and readers, for making 2021 a busy and successful year for JEPP.  Only thanks to your support, JEPP’s machine kept humming despite the ongoing difficult situation and uncertainties surrounding the COVID pandemic.

Hopefully, all of you can enjoy a well-deserved break over the holidays. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next year! Stay tuned for our upcoming issues, debate sections and special issues. Follow us on Twitter (@jepp_journal), read and subscribe to our newsletter.

Season’s greetings and all good wishes,

Your JEPP team

PS: And if you’re keen to know how JEPP’s editorial team will spend their holidays, go ahead and scroll down!


Since last year’s wishes of a bit more “old normal” only partly came true, Michi and his family decided to come to terms with the new normal and moved into a new apartment with a small garden, while staying in their favorite quarter of Munich, Neuhausen. Desk and books are already arranged zoom-friendly, but almost three months later, there is still enough to be done for the holiday break – lights, curtains, and most importantly a new guest sofa.


In 2021, with the birth of little Tilda, Sarah’s life turned upside down. Since summer, for most parts, instead of writing and reading, she found herself changing nappies and rocking the baby to sleep during extensive walks. These days, she has swaped her hiking boots for cross-country skis and profits from (‘tourist-free’) empty slopes during lockdown. Hopefully, Tilda will finally start liking her car seat so that she (well, and Alex and Sarah) can enjoy her first ride to the Black Forest where they will spend Christmas together with Sarah’s family.


Pandemic lifestyle changes take their toll, because Berthold was pretty nervous when he took his first flight in two years to travel to Rome for a small workshop. Aimlessly wandering around the eternal city in the early morning hours was definitely one of the highlights this year. Staying safe (and sane) is  no lesser highlight, so Berthold is extremely grateful to his family (and cat) for being so wonderful. And in 2021 he finally learned how to brew a proper espresso.


Tess and Molly will be joining Sonia and I at our Akaroa house for our, now traditional, New Zealand Christmas.  Murphy will also be coming along. He loves the car ride to Akaroa, but the real plus for him is that our two cats stay at home and he gets all our attention. The girls will go kayaking if the weather holds, but Sonia and I will stay on the beach with Murphy. He is none too keen on actually going into the (usually cold) sea. Murphy is no fool! Indeed, he is so clever that I suggested he might make a submission to JEPP, but as yet he shows not the slightest interest. I showed him the latest rankings too. Maybe he is not as clever as I think he is?

How does the composition of the European Parliament shape its role in EU decision-making?

Rory Costello (University of Limerick)

At the EU level, policy outputs reflect compromises between a wide range of actors. Amongst these actors, the European Parliament takes up a special position since it is the only directly elected EU institution. To further shed light on the EP’s role in this complex policy-making process, in his recently published article, Rory Costello examines how the EP’s ideological positioning feeds into legislative negotiations. Covering the period between 1999 and 2019, Rory finds that the policy positions adopted by the EP more closely reflect the ideological profile of the major party groups (the EPP, S&D and ALDE) than the median MEP. In addition, the EP tends to adopt a pro-integration position in line with its ideological composition, but there is no evidence of a systematic policy bias towards integration relative to the member states. Overall, the findings indicate that MEPs adhere to the policy programs on which they were elected and do not prioritize increasing the influence of the EP through deeper integration. The EP, thus, seems to be more responsive to the voters than some critics might suspect.