Slovakia: Voters’ burning desire for change?

By Andrej Matišák | Bratislava

For a relatively small country, as Slovakia is usually described, February 2019 was a month of massive diplomatic importance. On this very rare occasion, several top-level politicians visited over a span of few weeks.

First, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s turn. Slovakia was able to attract her not just for a bilateral visit but also for a meeting of the Visegrád Group during Slovakia’s one-year (July 2018-June 2019) presidency of the V4. Interestingly, Slovakia was successfulin organising a visit by Merkel while Hungary failed to achieve this aim – and, according to various diplomatic sources and experts,not for a lack of trying.

The resilience of systems of government against populists’ autocratic legalism

By Bogdan Dima | Bucharest
The present article is built on two core assumptions.

The first is that populism refers to a specific understanding of political power which tends to be similar across liberal democracies around the world. If we reduce this concept to its essence, it reveals an anti-pluralist political ideology favouring the concentration of political power in the hands of a political leader or political party which wins free elections, be they presidential or parliamentary.

European elections: How results in CEE can be decisive for the direction of Europe

By Doru Franțescu | Brussels

The European Parliament (EP) elections in May 2019 will take place in a historically new context. The planned departure of the UK will lead to a shift in the balance of power in favour of the Eurozone countries, which will also influence the shape of European policies in many relevant areas.

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

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’.