99

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Political institutions in Indonesia: Democracy, decentralisation, diversity

28-01-2020

Until his downfall in 1998, General Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. Since then, a series of reforms have transformed his authoritarian 'New Order' into the world's third largest democracy (and largest Muslim democracy). Indonesia has a presidential system in which a directly elected president serves as both head of state and of government. A maximum two-term limit on the presidency helps to ensure a peaceful alternation of power. Also directly elected, the House of Representatives (the ...

Until his downfall in 1998, General Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist. Since then, a series of reforms have transformed his authoritarian 'New Order' into the world's third largest democracy (and largest Muslim democracy). Indonesia has a presidential system in which a directly elected president serves as both head of state and of government. A maximum two-term limit on the presidency helps to ensure a peaceful alternation of power. Also directly elected, the House of Representatives (the lower house of the bicameral People's Consultative Assembly) has asserted itself as a strong and independent institution. There are nine parliamentary parties, none of which holds a majority, obliging the government to seek support from a broad coalition. Despite the success of Indonesia's political reforms, its commitment to democratic values cannot be taken for granted. Although Indonesia has traditionally been a tolerant, multicultural society, a rising tide of Islamic populism threatens to disrupt the delicate balance between the country's Muslim majority and minorities such as Christians and Buddhists. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has had some success in tackling endemic graft in the country's courts, local governments and Parliament; however, the latter recently voted to weaken the KPK's powers. While trust in democratic institutions declines, the military – whose commitment to democratic values has often been questionable – is becoming increasingly influential.

Parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners-designate: A decisive step in the investiture process

23-09-2019

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament's committees are a necessary ingredient in informing Parliament's decision to give its consent to, or reject, the proposed college. Each Commissioner-designate appears before a single hearing, involving one or more parliamentary committees, after responding to a written questionnaire and presenting his or her declaration of interests. In past hearings, the main points of criticism have been some candidates’ lack of specialist ...

The hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the European Parliament's committees are a necessary ingredient in informing Parliament's decision to give its consent to, or reject, the proposed college. Each Commissioner-designate appears before a single hearing, involving one or more parliamentary committees, after responding to a written questionnaire and presenting his or her declaration of interests. In past hearings, the main points of criticism have been some candidates’ lack of specialist knowledge of their portfolio, their vague answers and reluctance to make commitments, the existence of possible conflicts of interests in relation to the assigned portfolio and concerns regarding the integrity of the candidate. From the 2004 investiture on, Parliament has used its role in the appointment of the Commission to press for the replacement of certain controversial candidates and to force adjustments to certain portfolios, although it can only reject or accept the college as a whole. Whilst some experts warn of excessive politicisation of the hearings, others welcome the increased accountability of the Commission to Parliament, and see the deepening political link between the two as a step towards further democratisation of the EU decision-making process. Hearings have become critical for Parliament's holding the Commission to account, and are gaining in significance as a means for Parliament to take a greater role in agenda-setting at EU level. This is a further updated and expanded version of a 2014 briefing by Eva-Maria Poptcheva.

Nepal, Bhutan and their neighbours: Two Himalayan countries landlocked between India and China

05-04-2019

Nepal and Bhutan are two poor landlocked Himalayan countries, sandwiched between a democracy and an authoritarian one-party state: India and China. After an authoritarian past, during the last decade, they have begun reforms in order to switch towards a democratic model. After a long and complicated path, Nepal succeeded in adopting a new constitution in 2015. Its first post-constitution government is run by an alliance of communist parties. In Bhutan, the king has successfully steered the country ...

Nepal and Bhutan are two poor landlocked Himalayan countries, sandwiched between a democracy and an authoritarian one-party state: India and China. After an authoritarian past, during the last decade, they have begun reforms in order to switch towards a democratic model. After a long and complicated path, Nepal succeeded in adopting a new constitution in 2015. Its first post-constitution government is run by an alliance of communist parties. In Bhutan, the king has successfully steered the country towards democratisation, as confirmed by the October 2018 general elections. While historically the two countries have nurtured solid relations with India, in recent years Beijing has expanded its footprint in the region considerably, challenging Delhi's traditional sphere of influence and increasing its sense of encirclement. In 2017 this led to a crisis referred to as the 'Doklam Plateau standoff'. There is currently a window of opportunity for Nepal and Bhutan to diversify their economic and security partnership and to rebalance their foreign policies between their two big neighbours. The EU has been supporting the two countries on their democratic journey and tripled resources for both countries' development for the 2014-2020 period. As they are among the world's poorest countries, Nepal and Bhutan benefit from the EU's 'Everything But Arms' scheme, which grants full duty free and quota free access to the EU single market for all products.

Implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

05-12-2018

Four years after the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), and two years after their full entry into force, Parliament is now assessing their implementation. The report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs welcomes a number of positive developments in Ukraine, but also points to shortcomings. Parliament will debate the issue during its December plenary session.

Four years after the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), and two years after their full entry into force, Parliament is now assessing their implementation. The report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs welcomes a number of positive developments in Ukraine, but also points to shortcomings. Parliament will debate the issue during its December plenary session.

Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia

16-05-2018

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned this in-depth analysis on Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia. The writer claims that in order to understand the situation of political representation rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities in Estonia and Latvia it is essential to provide a historical-political framework that contextualizes the presence of such substantial minorities in the ...

Upon request by the PETI Committee, the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs commissioned this in-depth analysis on Democratic Transition and Linguistic Minorities in Estonia and Latvia. The writer claims that in order to understand the situation of political representation rights of ethnic and linguistic minorities in Estonia and Latvia it is essential to provide a historical-political framework that contextualizes the presence of such substantial minorities in the two countries and justifies the type of relationship existing with the majority of nation holder. He also suggests that from one side, full integration is the goal that needs to be pursued, while at the same time it's important to ensure the cultural and national values of Latvians and Estonians.

Ekstern forfatter

Angela DI GREGORIO

Zimbabwe: Beginning of a new era?

31-01-2018

Following the forced resignation on 21 November 2017 of President Robert Mugabe, after 37 years in power, the new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn in on 24 November 2017. President Mnangagwa has since then expressed his commitment to free and fair elections, his willingness to fight corruption and to re-engage with the international community in order to attract foreign investment and revive the economy.

Following the forced resignation on 21 November 2017 of President Robert Mugabe, after 37 years in power, the new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was sworn in on 24 November 2017. President Mnangagwa has since then expressed his commitment to free and fair elections, his willingness to fight corruption and to re-engage with the international community in order to attract foreign investment and revive the economy.

Tunisia: Progress achieved and prospects for the social dimension

30-11-2017

In 2011, following the outbreak of protests – known as the Jasmine Revolution – which toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Tunisia embarked on a path to democratic transition and socio-economic transformation, emulating the reforms and governance practices of established liberal democracies. Nearly eight years on, the country has made significant progress, including in the social sphere, and has emerged as a regional leader in institutional reform. However, to avoid jeopardising the ...

In 2011, following the outbreak of protests – known as the Jasmine Revolution – which toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Tunisia embarked on a path to democratic transition and socio-economic transformation, emulating the reforms and governance practices of established liberal democracies. Nearly eight years on, the country has made significant progress, including in the social sphere, and has emerged as a regional leader in institutional reform. However, to avoid jeopardising the stability and progress achieved, further reforms are needed.

EU support to democracy and good governance in Africa

17-11-2017

Support to democracy, good governance and human rights is a central component of EU cooperation with Africa, and of EU development aid to the continent, under the different frameworks shaping relations with African countries, such as the ACP framework for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Neighbourhood Policy for North Africa, and the Africa-EU Joint Strategy for cooperation at continental level. EU support is all the more important as democracy in many African countries is recent and still fragile. Democratic ...

Support to democracy, good governance and human rights is a central component of EU cooperation with Africa, and of EU development aid to the continent, under the different frameworks shaping relations with African countries, such as the ACP framework for Sub-Saharan Africa, the Neighbourhood Policy for North Africa, and the Africa-EU Joint Strategy for cooperation at continental level. EU support is all the more important as democracy in many African countries is recent and still fragile. Democratic progress has had its ups and downs on the African continent since the 1990s wave of democratisation. On the whole, the number of free countries has stagnated, and progress on good governance indicators has been slow. Popular support for democratic systems in African countries remains however high, justifying EU efforts to promote democracy. The EU has a vast array of tools at its disposal. It has used the conditionality enshrined in its bilateral agreements to respond to serious political crises, particularly in Africa. EU budget support, which is vital to several African countries, has been subject to similar democratic and human rights conditionality. EU development aid includes an important component supporting good governance and rule of law. The EU has become an important partner in election observation and democracy assistance, and most of Africa has received EU missions. However, whether these tools of democracy support can make a significant difference remains a complicated issue. Much depends on conditions on the ground and the willingness of the partner governments to make progress. As the EU is about to redefine its priorities for cooperation with the African continent, democracy and good governance are acknowledged as a central pillar of resilience, strongly interlinked with peace and stability.

The state of implementation of the associations and free trade agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova with a particular focus on Ukraine and systemic analysis of key sectors

16-11-2017

Signing and ratifying Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine has proven to be an impressive affirmation of Brussels’ soft power. The EU’s overtures have persuaded elites and mobilised societies despite the fact that the Agreements come neither with a membership promise nor with the kind of financial assistance that has been given to the EU’s new member states. EU assistance has been effective in restoring macro-financial stability in all three countries. While costs of compliance ...

Signing and ratifying Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine has proven to be an impressive affirmation of Brussels’ soft power. The EU’s overtures have persuaded elites and mobilised societies despite the fact that the Agreements come neither with a membership promise nor with the kind of financial assistance that has been given to the EU’s new member states. EU assistance has been effective in restoring macro-financial stability in all three countries. While costs of compliance with the DCFTA were calculated, level of investment associated with the necessary modernisation to make these economies competitive were neglected. The discrepancy between costs and benefits should prompt the EU to be more flexible. Brussels’ achievements remain fragile. Informal interests continue to play important roles in these countries and have the potential to thwart reforms. In the absence of strong, de-politicised institutions, the EU should work to support political consolidation—the alternative is further polarisation and political fragility—while at the same time insisting on adherence to democratic standards and strengthened institutional checks and balances.

Ekstern forfatter

Iulian GROZA; Balazs JARABIK (coordinator); Jana KOBZOVA; Dr. Viktor KONSTANTYNOV; Tsovinar KUIUMCHIAN; Leonid LITRA; Tornike SHARASHENIDZE; Isaac WEBB

Development Cooperation Instrument

13-10-2017

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is the main financial instrument in the EU budget for funding aid to developing countries, and as such complements the European Development Fund, which is outside the EU budget. The primary objective of the DCI is to alleviate poverty, but it also contributes to other international priorities of the EU such as the UN's post-2015 Development Agenda; sustainable economic, social and environmental development; and the promotion of democracy, the rule of law ...

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is the main financial instrument in the EU budget for funding aid to developing countries, and as such complements the European Development Fund, which is outside the EU budget. The primary objective of the DCI is to alleviate poverty, but it also contributes to other international priorities of the EU such as the UN's post-2015 Development Agenda; sustainable economic, social and environmental development; and the promotion of democracy, the rule of law, good governance and respect for human rights.

Kommende begivenheder

20-01-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable with the World Bank: Where next for the global economy
Anden begivenhed -
EPRS
25-01-2021
Public Hearing on "Gender aspects of precarious work"
Høring -
FEMM
26-01-2021
Public hearing on Co-management of EU fisheries at local level
Høring -
PECH

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