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.
What happens in Hong Kong with China’s new national security legislation will seriously test Europe’s commitment to democracy, international law, and human rights.
By trying to manage the financial fallout of the coronavirus without also providing democratic reform, the EU will unleash another cycle of the legitimacy problems it has suffered since the eurozone crisis.
Democracy and the rule of law are being undermined in Hungary and Poland. While all focus is on the coronavirus, the EU institutions and the big member states are doing little to protect core values.
The way autocratic regimes make use of the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting democracy and governance worldwide. Turkey is no exception.