2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Victor Orban energing europe

In 2010, when Viktor Orban took over Hungary’s government, he seemed like a typical mainstream-conservative European politician. But as soon as he announced his ‘voting booth revolution,’ we, who knew him, were aware that this would be the start of a new era in Hungary. Within a year, Orban’s one-party government rammed a new basic law through Parliament that tailored the constitution for his party’s interests. Indeed, his changes proved to be revolutionary. He established the first 21st-century populist state within the European Union. Continue reading 2018 Elections — Vital Decisions for Hungary’s Future

Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

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Geography and history are political tyrants and nowhere more so than for in Armenia. For all the emphasis, nowadays, on the potential of regional trade, Armenia is boxed into a situation that offers little or no openings. History, distant and none too distant, rules our alliances with Turkey or Azerbaijan and Russia’s brutal show of force in Georgia, in 2008, casts a sombre shadow on Tbilisi’s room for manoeuvre. Continue reading Can Armenia Keep a Foot in Both Camps?

How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

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It goes without saying that the state visit that US president, Donald Trump, paid to Poland and his meeting with the leaders of the Three Seas Initiative (TSI) countries was a great success. This achievement has not only shown the ability and perseverance of the Polish diplomatic structure, but also underlines the interest of the new American administration in the Central European region, which was doubted by some commentators and analysts. Continue reading How Will Trump’s Visit Affect Polish Politics?

Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

Baku

Azerbaijan is a small but energy-rich country in a strategically sensitive location. Its leaders have had many choices about pathways to the future and through consistent decisions over two decades, have created a repressive oligarchic regime that is ruled by one family. How did Azerbaijan, which started on the path to political pluralism in 1992, become a corrupt state that abuses human rights and the media? Continue reading Azerbaijan: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Nothing

PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel

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The crisis created by Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party is nearing a boiling point. Having taken control of the Constitutional Tribunal last year, PiS is pushing new legislation through parliament that will place the rest of the judiciary firmly under the political control of the party’s majority in parliament. The European Commission is urgently examining whether it should an initiate an Article 7 proceeding against Poland for violations of fundamental rights. Continue reading PiS Uses Media Control to Bring Poland to Heel

Surprising Resilience of Romanian Social-Democrats

BUCHAREST ROMANIA - June 21 2017: Liviu Dragnea President of Social Democrat Party speaks in front of Parliament during a no-confidence vote against Sorin Grindeanu's Cabinet.

In the current European context, not many European leftist parties are successful in elections. From Western Europe to the new democracies, either populism or anti-establishment parties are seizing the moment. On the other hand, the Romanian Social-Democrats (PSD) held a steady grip on their electoral share, with a sweeping 45 per cent in the national elections, less than a year ago. Continue reading Surprising Resilience of Romanian Social-Democrats