Romania’s permeability to authoritarian tendencies

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By Codru Vrabie | Bucharest

Since the early 2000s, the influential heads of the Romanian executive have attempted to amass more power. Former PM Năstase (2001-04), former President Băsescu (2005-14, especially in partnership with PM Boc, in 2009-11)
and former PM Ponta (2012-15) sought to either bypass the legislature, or to subordinate the judiciary. By trial and error a strategy emerged, to the apparent benefit of the ruling Social-Democrats’ current chairman Liviu Dragnea (since 2015).

There isn’t just one cause for populism, there’s a whole Google1 of them

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By Dani Sandu | Florence

One of the more intense and inconclusive debates of recent years has focused on the underlying causes for the rise in anti-establishment political figures, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, but more recently in much more
economically advanced societies as well. While these debates have featured both academics and policy practitioners, the results have been far from conclusive, and at times even contradictory.

Election interference in the digital age – building resilience to cyber-enabled threats in the EU

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By Sir Julian King & Ann Mettler | Brussels

At the onset of the digital revolution, there was significant hope – and indeed an expectation – that digital technologies would be a boon to democracy, freedom and societal engagement.
Yet today – although it is clear that this cannot necessarily be attributed to digital technologies – we note with concern and disquiet that the world has experienced twelve consecutive years of decline in democracy and freedom. At the same time, we are witnessing the rise of what might be dubbed as ‘digital authoritarianism’.