GlobalFocus Center launches the Democratic Resilience Index, the first quantitative instrument specifically designed to measure democratic resilience, elaborated for the European Commission and the German Marshall Fund, with pilot results in Romania, Hungary and the Republic of Moldova.
GlobalFocus Center partnered again last year with Globsec (Bratislava) for the fifth edition of GLOBSEC Trends 2020, assessing current perceptions in Romania towards a wide range of issues: from Covid-19 health crisis, all the way to the nature of relations Romania entertains with international powers like US, Russia or China.
As disinformation became more prevalent during the pandemic, a certain lack of coherent policies addressing it became more visible. We found out that 39% of Romanians are believing in one or more Covid-19 related conspiracies. We have also found out that only 26% of the Romanians are believing to be represented by the traditional political elites*.
Between 1 – 24 November 2019, GlobalFocus Center, in cooperation with MEMO 98, monitored 102 public Facebook accounts of political parties, candidates, politicians, media, and other influential actors involved in the presidential election. Analysis observed 168 posts dedicated to disinformation in relation to the presidential elections by various accounts, especially by media and influencers.
By Veronica Anghel | Bologna
In assessing the state of liberal democracy in contemporary Europe, significant scholarly and public attention has been paid to the role of leaders. Post-Communist countries in particular are often the focus of scholars who announce a ‘democratic backsliding’ engineered by populist ‘strongmen’. This article suggests that in consolidating EU democracies, such attention is disproportionate in reference to the actual de-democratising effect of the emerging ‘strongmen’. It draws attention to the systemic conditions that allow such leaders to surface, and focuses on state capture (the extraction of private benefits from the state by incumbent officeholders) as a joint-venture practice that precedes and outlives individual political lives and acts as a brake on further democratisation.
By Sidonia Bogdan | Bucharest
Anti-graft efforts are a must for all EU states and Romania has achieved remarkable progress in its fight against this scourge. Nonetheless, it has been a bumpy ride and Romania can become a textbook example of how hard it can be to implement such a strategy at state level. Strengthening institutions, steadily promoting uncompromised magistrates in key positions, fighting back against political pressure on the judiciary and a keen eye for always respecting human rights are vital elements for the health of this process.