Category: Next Democracy

A great window of opportunity for a progressive agenda in Europe

The 2019 European elections finally saw the turnout going slightly up. In parallel, Social Democrats noted an unanticipated positive result. Almost two years into the legislative period, despite the pandemic, the polls consistently show two tendencies. First, Europeans tend to be positive about the EU in numbers comparable to before the 2008 crash. Second, progressives

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Anti-corruption as an electoral strategy in Romania’s 2020 elections

The number one topic of the Romanian parliamentary elections in December 2020 was not, as one might have thought, the public health issues raised by the raging Covid-19 pandemic, but the fight against corruption. Both the National Liberals and the Save Romania Union (USR), along with the newly formed Alliance for the Union of Romanians

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Portugal’s presidency: to heal Europe

If you hated Covid-19 in 2020, you will hate it more in 2021, under the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council. The mundane reason for this is that the period of presidency in the EU is not simply a time of pushing dossiers, dialogues and trilogues, but also one of visiting the country that holds

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Electoral hold-up in Romania

Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) won the recent Romanian legislative elections, with around 30 percent of the votes and more than 34 percent of the seats in Parliament. Despite these results and the huge negative impact of the pandemic on Romania, we now have a political blockage. The conservative President, Klaus Iohannis, refuses to recognise

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The European Union on better tracks, but…

The last European Council was important to put the European Union on better tracks, culminating the long and dramatic effort which was undertaken by larger European and progressive forces to respond to the current unprecedented and multidimensional crisis. Nevertheless, daunting challenges are still ahead of us. The swift implementation of the agreed policy measures will

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Belarus – why it is different this time?

The former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski (1995-2005) has long been an advocate of regional cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe. During his presidency, he not only oversaw his country’s accession to the European Union (2004), but only a few months later, when the ‘Orange Revolution’ in neighbouring Ukraine began, he became a mediator on behalf

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Belarus at the crossroad: what role for Europe?

President Alexander Lukashenko has lost legitimacy. He is no longer in control of the situation in the country. But the structures of repression are still on his side. They are likely to continue to support him, as the Kremlin successfully discourages the West from intervening more actively in Belarus. Who could help change the situation?

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From a symbolic to an effective foreign policy – the EU in Belarus

The EU’s institutional, economic and political channels to exert influence on Belarus are limited. All the contrary to Russia’s multifaceted and well-institutionalised strategy vis-à-it’s small western neighbour. However, a realistic acknowledgement of the EU’s capabilities is no excuse for self-complacency and determinism. The quest of the Belarussian people for democracy constitutes a movement of fellow

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The deeper causes of Belarusian popular mobilisation

The mass mobilisation in Belarus in 2020, like Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, is a form of post-electoral protest. The mobilisation was triggered by state repression against the opposition and blatant falsifications of the 9 August presidential election results. Several factors contributed to the politicisation of Belarusians. The new opposition conducted an efficient agitation campaign against

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Against the EU’s passivity towards Belarus

The mass protests in Belarus are unprecedented in the nation’s history. Hundreds of thousands of people went to the streets regularly to protest against the falsification of the election results. Some still do. Not only the scale, but also the duration of the protests is surprising. Despite brutal interventions by the riot police, mass arrests

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