Ever since president Duterte came into power in 2016, the human rights situation in the Philippines has worsened rapidly, with journalists and human rights defenders risking incarceration and death. Finally, the president’s murderous “war on drugs”, and the wave of extrajudicial killings, have culminated in the withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, after it sought to investigate the issue. Continue reading →
The future is here. The world is changing rapidly while stereotypes are collapsing. The new generation is seeking new roles and identity, beyond the conservative determination and assumptions. The emerging challenges are for the first time greater than the human size: we cannot deal with climate change locally and if we do not deal with it at all, the consequences for humanity will be dramatic; economic inequalities are not met only in countries with economic and political problems but they have reached even the most developed ones and, as they grow, democracy is losing its political substance, facing the threats of populism; security combined with open society was an „experiment“ that worked for years, but now it is considered incompatible from both extremes of the political spectrum, that nowadays see their influence increasing, generating risks for the liberal global order as we knew it.
Certain surveys (see: Eurobarometer-EY2016), emphasise that although young people keep a distance from politics, they do have a profound political perception. This suggests that while they are concerned with political issues, they do not find the most fitting political channels of expression. Here lies the great responsibility for the liberals: we must clearly (re-) articulate our values, especially in the areas of human and civil rights, democracy, social market economy and European integration. It is also crucial to tackle populism in its essence and isolate the elements of the „extreme centre,” that distort the spirit of the theory of liberalism.
At the beginning of its second period in Greece (2012), the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom understood the call of many young people for proper means of conduct for a broad, open, mature and permanent political discourse that will enlighten and educate democratic, progressive and liberal citizens. Responding to this need, we established a political academy which, since 2013, has been organizing liberal seminars, workshops and conferences throughout the country.
Over the years, hundreds of students, young professionals, journalists and councillors have been trained, many of whom have participated in pan-European forums and events. Continue reading →
The British House of Commons prepares for the next Brexit battle
Overtime is running. In April, the EU member states’ heads of state and government granted the United Kingdom seven more months to organize their withdrawal from the European Union. Three months have already passed. Both the chance for a second referendum and the risk of a “no deal” departure have increased.Continue reading →
EU member states could use their human resources more effectively by opening their national armed forces to citizens of other EU member states. In so doing, they would pave the way for more diverse and hence more attractive national armed forces and take a step forward on the way towards a European Army. They would also extend the rights of an increasing number of mobile citizens in the EU. Belgium and Ireland are two examples from which other countries can learn. Continue reading →
The political season in Lithuania has been especially intense this spring, as we had municipal elections followed by presidential elections, two Referendums and the European elections in the course of the past 3 months. Naturally, the presidential elections took the limelight away from the European campaign. Just like in many other countries, European elections are considered to be the least exciting ones here in Lithuania, partly because people take little interest in how things work in Brussels and also because many parties delegate their most experienced politicians, who are past their zenith, to the European Parliament.
This year Latvia celebrated 15 years since it had joined the European Union back in 2004. While many experts and opinion-makers are still discussing whether Latvians feel the connection with Europe and have a solid understanding of the processes taking place in Brussels and their influence on Latvia, one thing is quite clear – Latvians do care about Europe’s future. More people took to the polling stations this year compared to the last European elections. Though the difference is only 3% (in 2014 the turnout was 30.24% and in 2019 the turnout is 33.6%), it generally mirrors the wider European increase in voter turnout.
In order to fully understand the European campaign’s setup in Latvia, one needs to remember that the European elections this year came only 7 months after general elections. Continue reading →
The European Parliament elections were held just a month after Finland had elected its national Parliament. The national vote set the frame for the EP campaigns.
European elections so close after national ones meant that campaigning posed a challenge to parties and candidates alike, as voters suffered from a slight election fatigue and media focused much more on the negotiations over a new government. The European campaigns were somewhat affected by a lack of enthusiasm. Continue reading →