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New political parties and peoples’ movements have been on the rise in Europe and worldwide for over a decade. In order to examine the changes in the political landscape, particularly the rise of populist sentiment across Europe, Intereconomics and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), invited renowned academics, policy advisors and regional experts to present their ideas at the 9th annual joint conference in November 2019 in Brussels. In this Forum, conference participants look at the common economic determinants and consequences of the current political climate and question the role that the EU may have played against the backdrop of country cases and regional studies. Their contributions analyse issues including the Great Recession, austerity measures, inequality, migration and cultural backlashes and examine the roles they have played in the creation of the current climate as well as the impact that this, in turn, has had on the economy. The struggle to categorise the political sentiment of this period is also carefully considered as the definition of the term populism varies widely and often does not reflect the nuances and complexity of political developments.

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© The Author(s) 2020

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Open Access funding provided by ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

DOI: 10.1007/s10272-020-0860-x