Avatar

globalfocus

Macarena: Falsehoods and conspiracies in the perception of a “foul” feminist song

Summary

In February 2024, the lyrics and video for the song “Macarena” by trap artist Erika Isac caused an amount of uproar in public debate. A feminist manifesto with a particular focus on sexual violence and the objectification of women, the clip did not shy away from foul language or implied nudity. It was followed by “Women in Parliament”, dealing with the issue of under-representation of women in politics and “Industry Plant”, addressing some of the criticism directed against “Macarena”.

Reflection of the Tucker Carlson – Vladimir Putin interview in Romania

April 2024

Context

Tucker Carlson, the television host, conducted a two-hour interview with Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation[1]. This discussion took place in Moscow on February 6, 2024. The central topic of the interview was the justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin presented perspectives related to the history of Russia and Ukraine, while Carlson avoided critical questions and avoided seeking clarifications.

Protests of hauliers and farmers in Jan 2024: Societal resilience vs elite ineffectiveness

 February 2024

Context

On January 10th, 2024, Romanian farmers and hauliers engaged in a nationwide protest against the government’s transport and agricultural policies, briefly blocking traffic at border crossings and several cities, including the frontier with Ukraine and the capital’s ring road.

The political discourse of George Simion and AUR: Mainstreaming or deceit?

February 2024

Summary

Since the beginning of the second invasion of Ukraine, the far-right and pro-Russian AUR party, led by George Simion, has had difficulties reconciling its support for conservative Russia with the critical attitude towards Russia held by most Romanians, including nationalists[1]. As we have shown in several Global Focus reports, AUR reacted to this challenge by trying to minimize the number of pro-Russian positions and maximize the number of anti-Ukrainian positions. But as the party stabilized in the polls at around 20%, its constituency expanded to include more of those who are motivated by disappointment with the current situation in Romania rather than by radical ideological positions. This expanded constituency does not necessarily share in AUR’s hostility towards Ukraine, ethnic and religious minorities etc.

Youth radicalisation in Romania – How far-right actors target Romanian youth ahead of the 2024 elections

2024 marks the biggest electoral year yet for Romania, with European, local, parliamentary and presidential polls scheduled to take place on the background of significant domestic and global challenges, with the potential to further destabilise and polarise society. The rise of far-right and right-wing populists, correlated with a surge of disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war, has reached an otherwise politically overlooked segment of the population – young people. Feeling unrepresented and severed from the political discourse, Romanian youth is at significant risk of radicalisation, being particularly vulnerable to extremist voices that aim to capitalise on their frustrations and disengagement, while leveraging their preferred channels of information and communication with increasing efficiency. Social media and youth susceptibility to online echo chambers and influencers provide pathway for manipulation by malicious actors whose political agenda aligns – more often than not – with the Kremlin’s (anti-EU, anti-NATO, anti-Ukraine, pro-Russia).

Security Cooperation in the Wider Black Sea Region. Bridging the Differences.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has triggered a seismic shift in the European security landscape, compelling NATO and the European Union to reassess and adapt their strategic priorities. The designation of the Black Sea as an area of key security concern by NATO reflects the urgent need for a comprehensive response to Russia’s unprovoked aggression. While the Southeastern flank is now receiving increased attention, the Black Sea region faces challenges in achieving the same level of intra-NATO and regional security cooperation seen in the Baltic Sea.