The Liberals in Belgium have succeeded once again: after Charles Michel and the Acting Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès, Alexander De Croo – this time a Dutch-speaking Liberal – will lead the new Belgian government . About 500 days after the elections, Belgium once again has a proper government consisting of seven parties and bearing the beautiful name “Vivaldi Coalition”.
This Sunday, the Senate elections were held under the impact of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in France. In the run-up to the elections, it was uncertain whether the party of French President Emanuel Macron “LREM” (“La République en Marche”) would suffer another defeat after the poor results of last municipal elections in June this year.
By Jeanette Süß, with the support of Oscar Lange
When Emmanuel Macron was elected French President by a large majority on 7 May 2017 and his party La République En Marche (“LREM”) won elections in the National Assembly, many observers were amazed by this strong performance. A political movement that had so openly campaigned for election with classic liberal policy proposals such as simplifying the bureaucracy for companies or demands for tax cuts was not expected to achieve this success in France, where the role of the state is uncontested. The German liberals, too, had well-founded hopes at that time for a resurgence of political liberalism on the old continent.
In the light of the serious political crisis in Belarus, Lithuania is positioning itself as a strong advocate of EU-wide sanctions against members of the Lukashenko regime, responsible for election fraud and police violence. The Western EU member states, on the other hand, are usually cautious not to provoke Russian intervention. Vladimir Putin assured Alexander Lukashenko that, if necessary, he would set up a reserve police force for deployment in Belarus. What role does Lithuania play in the EU’s Eastern policy? How should the EU deal with Russia and the suppression of democracy in Belarus? An interview with Petras Auštrevičius, Lithuanian MEP of the “Renew Europe” Group and the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Belarus.
Re-election of national conservative President Andrzej Duda reveals the weakness of the opposition
Strong President in Poland
The Polish President is not only a ceremonial representative of the country. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can veto legislative decisions without providing reasons. In order to pass laws against his veto , a 3/5 majority in parliament (Sejm) is required – and such a majority does not currently exist in Poland. To make matters more complicated for the PiS, in 2019 it lost the majority in the Senate, which can refer back and thus delay resolutions of the Sejm. Thus, in order to implement its national conservative course, the PiS needed its own man in the presidential palace.
Two weeks after the first round of the presidential elections in Poland, the decisive run-off election will take place on Sunday. The Poles will not only decide on their head of state for the coming term of office, but also on the direction the country will take in the coming years. Should the incumbent Andrzej Duda, candidate of the ruling national conservative party “Law and Justice” (PiS), win, the PiS could continue undisturbed with its controversial plans to restructure the judiciary and media for at least another three years, i.e. until the next parliamentary elections. However, with the candidate Rafał Trzaskowski, who is supported by the largest opposition alliance “Civic Coalition” (KO), the opposition can hope to break the PiS power monopoly.