Angela Merkel, in her last stint as German chancellor, can still make a major difference for her country’s—and Europe’s—policy toward Belarus and Russia.
Because of Russia, the EU will choose to thread carefully in its reaction to the tumultuous events taking place in Belarus. Moscow will remain the decisive player as the United States stays on the sidelines.
The revolution taking place in Belarus on the European Union’s doorstep shows the enduring appeal of freedom, democracy, and courage. The reactions of the EU and Russia will test these aspirations.
Countries with populist governments have been especially badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But beware: the virus is unlikely to kill off populism. To rid the world of populism, its root causes must be addressed.
The pandemic is having distinctive political implications across different types of regime. Policy responses need to be tailored to these contrasting outcomes and risks in the way they seek to advance and uphold democratic rights.
The reelection of Polish President Andrzej Duda represents an existential threat to the European Union’s legal order. After more than a decade of talk about conditionality, member states must act now.
The inconclusive first round of Poland’s presidential election showed a Polish leader and government undoing the gains of joining the European Union. The EU can take some of the blame.
Citizens’ assemblies have sprouted up in several European countries. It remains to be seen whether they can efficiently boost governments’ responses to climate change.
The coronavirus pandemic is prompting contrasting trends in European democracy. While the crisis is aggravating many stresses that afflict democracy in Europe, it is also propelling democratic efforts in a number of areas.
While the principal concern about democracy during the coronavirus pandemic has been that European governments will be tempted to hold on to their new executive powers, pressure to restore democracy may now be propelling a predatory and polarized politics.