EU

Georgia: Backsliding on Justice?

On 10 June 2017, thousands of Georgians protested on the streets of Tbilisi in support of two young rappers, members of the group Birja Mafia, who were arrested on drugs charges that they say were trumped up. The protests marked another step in Georgians’ decline in trust for their law enforcement system. Former President Mikheil […]

Talking Truth to Turkey

How scientific analysis can help countering President Erdogan’s fake narrative of Turkey’s thriving democracy and why the European Union should reconsider its policy towards EU accession countries. In his official message for Europe Day on 9 May 2017, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country “which has been a part of Europe historically, […]

As Populists Rise in the West, Arab Autocrats Rejoice

The decay of democratic norms in European and U.S. policy-making plays into the hands of autocratic leaders in the Middle East and North Africa. While Prime Minister Theresa May officially announced the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU on 29 March 2017, and constant leaks and news from the White House about President Donald […]

How Western Populism Weakens Democracy in Ukraine

Populism in Europe, and in the West generally, plays into the hands of anti-democratic forces in Ukraine – and supports Russia’s destabilizing influence. Europe’s rising populist surge threatens Ukraine’s democratic future. During the Euromaidan protests in 2013/2014 and their aftermath, when the anti-Yanukovych opposition came to power, some European media denounced what they described as […]

Serbia’s PM Vučić: Yet Another Populist Strongman?

Public desire for strong leadership might allow Serbia’s prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, soon to become president. But will he be able to steer the country through the current tide of regional and domestic tensions? Serbia’s populist prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, will stand in elections on 2 April in a bid to become the country’s third […]

Picture: Cracked EU vs Russia flags. Ukrainian crisis conceptual image. Foto: Bröckelnde Flaggen der EU und Russland.

EU-Russia Sanctions: An Unsteady Deadlock

The European Union and Russia have been locked in an economic struggle over Ukraine for two years. With Donald Trump the next president of the United States, the West’s Russia policy might substantially change – and Europe’s Eastern policy is today more uncertain than ever. In July 2014, following Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and […]

No Blank Checks for Europe’s Populists

The populist turn in the West since the global economic crisis and the refugee crisis is undermining Europe’s liberal democratic model. But are illiberal ideals really as popular as they seem? From Donald Trump in the US to Viktor Orbán in Hungary, the forces of illiberal, nationalist populism are on the rise across the West. […]

Presburg Castle in Bratislava

Putting the Fox in Charge of the Hen House?

On July 1 Slovakia took over the EU Council Presidency. Until now the government led by Prime Minister Fico refuses to assume responsibility in the refugee situation and attracted attention with islamophobic and populist comments. Is it now able to play the intermediator in Europe?  How strong is the consensus on values in present-day Europe? […]

Hiring Bullies as Bouncers

Facing record immigration numbers, the European Union has started to look into closer cooperation with governments in Africa. In the Khartoum Process, the EU intends to set the fox to keep the geese, as it is those governments’ actions that people are trying to run away from. This article is part of our “Migration & […]

Law and Justice Party Demolishes Democratic Consensus

Few countries can boast a story of transformation success as Poland’s. Does the newly elected PiS-led government in Warsaw pose a threat to the country’s democratic achievements? The European Commission has just initiated an unprecedented inquiry into the rule of law in Poland. The aim of the inquiry is to assess whether laws passed by […]

Richard Youngs © Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

“Thinking only about Security is not a Long Term Solution”

Responding to signals of democratic decline, the Club de Madrid has launched a two-year, multi-stakeholder process with the goal of enabling democracy to better meet the expectations and needs of all citizens while securing a sustainable future for generations to come. Following the inauguration of the Next Generation Democracy project, BTI Blog speaks with Richard Youngs […]

Anti-government protests in Kiev, December 2013 © Maksymenko.com.ua via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Democracy in Limbo

While in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine commitment to European integration and political will to reform seem to have fostered democratization, prospects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus remain gloomy. As we enter 2015 it is worth taking another look at the political developments in the EU’s neighbourhood. A glance shows us that democracy progress in the […]

Vladimir Putin and the Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan, December 2013 © The Presidential Press and Information Office

An Offer Yerevan Could Not Refuse

In the run-up to the Ukraine crisis, Armenia rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favor of cooperation with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Yet the country’s future in the Eurasian Economic Union seems uncertain – and the door to Brussels might not be completely shut. On September 3, 2014 it was exactly one […]