From Poland With Love – January 

Topic of the month

1.000 Robes March & Beyond

After the Sejm approved the controversial law that would allow to discipline judges questioning the government’s reforms (read more in the previous issue of the Newsletter), associations of judges and lawyers organized the “1.000 Robes March” in Warsaw.

It was headed by a group of judges wearing robes and carrying banners that read “The right to independence” and “The right to Europe”. “It is not usual for us to go out in robes to protest against depriving people of their right to courts,” Krystian Markiewicz, president of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia and one of the march organizers, said. “We are doing this for the citizens,” he added. Continue reading

Interview: After Brexit – Snap Elections in Ireland 

 

On Saturday a new parliament will be elected in Ireland. For the Republic of Ireland, the stakes are high: In recent polls Sinn Fein, the former mouthpiece of the IRA, has risen sharply. In an interview with freiheit.org, Erin McGreehan, city councillor of Louth and a graduate of the European Women’s Academy, explains what the liberal Fianna Fail has to counter this and what the outcome of the election means for Ireland and Europe. Continue reading

New Report: Outlook for Hungary for 2020 

Download the full report, by Cevro Institute Partner Eszter Nova, here!

Summary

Hungarian politics in 2020 will be different from 2019 in a number of ways. After years of paralysis and disarray of the Hungarian non-Fidesz opposition, they are back in the political game after a surprise non-defeat at the municipal elections in October 2019.  Continue reading

Next Exit: Third Country 

Brexit is on its way, but the exciting part comes later

 

 

The word Brexit has almost become a synonym. For the last almost three years it seemingly stood for all sorts of things: for tough and fruitless negotiations; for the waste of precious work time of politicians, officials and journalists; for parliamentary drama and political navel-gazing; and for ever new extensions with uncertain outcomes. Now, however, the word will return to describe what it originally meant: the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. After more than 47 years, its membership in the institutions of the European Community ended. Continue reading

Pangolin Instead of Panda for Prague? – Turnaround in Czech-Chinese Relations 

The capitals of the Czech Republic and Taiwan, Prague and Taipei, signed a partnership agreement on Monday last week in the city of Moldova

 

The Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Taiwanese counterpart Ko Wen-je signed a partnership agreement on joint economic and cultural cooperation between the two cities last week. The agreement comes just three months after the cancellation of the partnership agreement with Beijing, which failed due to the Prague city government’s opposition to the One-China clause in the previous agreement. China is angry and threatens the Czech capital with retaliatory measures. It also seems that President Miloš Zeman, Beijing’s strongest supporter in the Czech Republic to date, is gradually deviating from his strict pro-China course. Continue reading

Giving Europe’s Citizens a Voice 

Belgian Liberal Guy Verhoftstadt to chair conference on the future of Europe

 

The course is set: Last Wednesday the European Parliament adopted its position paper on the Conference on the Future of Europe by a large majority. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had already announced this in her political guidelines for July 2019. Continue reading