After the Elections is before the Elections 

Poland prepares for its presidential elections. The opposition still has to find itself.

 

During the marches for Independence Day, Poland’s re-elected national-conservative government distanced itself from the radical right-wing demonstrators and announced the composition of the new cabinet. The government is pressing ahead with its current agenda of restructuring the state. After all, after the election is before the election. And next year the presidential elections will take place. Continue reading

The Threat Remains, the Fear Dwindles Slowly 

Taking stock four years after the Paris terrorist attacks

 

On Friday, 13 November 2015, Islamist assassins carried out a series of attacks on popular Parisian leisure destinations: a concert hall, a football stadium during the friendly match between Germany and France and a lively nightlife district near the Place de la République. The wounds heal only slowly. Four years later, the feeling of security has improved, but the threat of terrorism is still present throughout France. Continue reading

Gambled Away: Government Formation in Spain More Complicated Than Before 

Strong right-wing populists come in third – liberal party Ciudadanos crashes

 

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Social Democratic PSOE (“Partido Socialista Obrero Español” – Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) have once again become the strongest force in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, they have clearly missed their ultimate goal: to win votes in order to form a stable government. In fact, PSOE lost three mandates and now has 120 seats in Congress. The absolute majority requires 176 seats, but with the support of the left-wing populist party Unidos Podemos (“Together we can do it”) and the new Más País (“More Land”) the left-wing bloc only has 158 seats. For a progressive government majority, Sánchez would be dependent on the votes of various Catalan parties, which strive for the independence of the autonomous region and emerged strengthened from the 10N – it would be political harakiri. Continue reading

Spain Elects a New Parliament – Will There be a Government this Time? 

Spain elects a new parliament for the fourth time in four years on 10 November

 

Spain will elect a new parliament for the fourth time in four years on 10 November (“10N”), after the failure of a coalition between the Social Democratic PSOE and the left-wing populist Unidos Podemos party. The elections are influenced by the worsening crisis in Catalonia, which has been shaken by violent protests since the judgments against the leaders behind the illegal independence referendum of 2017. There could also be further riots in Barcelona on the coming election Sunday. The central government is therefore sending additional security forces to the region to ensure that the elections run as smoothly as possible. Continue reading

Orbán’s Move Towards Putin 

For the seventh time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

 

Hungary’s national conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is one of the most vocal critics of Western sanctions against Russia. The relationship between the two countries has a strong economic foundation, especially in the form of a gas supply contract. On the 30th of October Hungary and Russia signed several agreements on social security, sport and the economy during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Budapest. According to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, the consultations with Moscow did not jeopardise Hungary’s loyalty to its NATO and EU partners. How is the EU dealing with these split tendencies? Continue reading

Liberal Family Reunion in the Cradle of Democracy 

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation at the ALDE Party Congress in Athens

 

“Δημοκρατία” Democracy – it is not without reason that ancient Athens is regarded as the cradle of popular rule. As the first great city with claims to power over the Mediterranean and one of the first great European metropolises, Athens was also the gathering place of the world’s first parliament and the Athenian People’s Assembly, which took place several times a month. Continue reading