8

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Obstacles to participation in local and European elections, inside the E.U.

15-09-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, addresses some major issues of obstacles to elections in general and of obstacles to participation inside the EU more specifically. This is done by focusing on Member States and examples with regard to municipal elections, and European elections, but also in general on de-facto access to the exercise of the right to vote. Various recommendations ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI Committee, addresses some major issues of obstacles to elections in general and of obstacles to participation inside the EU more specifically. This is done by focusing on Member States and examples with regard to municipal elections, and European elections, but also in general on de-facto access to the exercise of the right to vote. Various recommendations are formulated.

Ekstern forfatter

Aalt Willem HERINGA, Professor of Comparative Constitutional and Administrative Law, Maastricht University, NL; Hoai-Thu NGUYEN, Policy Fellow for EU Institutions and Democracy, Jacques Delors Centre, Berlin, DE."

Women in local and regional government: Still a long way from achieving parity

02-03-2020

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance ...

Local and regional institutions have direct impacts on the everyday lives of their citizens. They are vital for women's empowerment, being both the level of governance responsible for service delivery and a potential stepping-stone to a career in public office at national and European level. When their own decision-making bodies are fully representative, the interests and experiences of multiple groups are included. Therefore, the equal representation of women and men at all levels of local governance is a democratic imperative. After all, women form half the population and need to be better represented in power structures. The representation of women in local and regional assemblies across the EU continues to improve, albeit at a slow rate. However, a number of social, political and institutional obstacles hinder the involvement of women in regional and local government structures. As data show, progress towards equal representation in local and regional government remains slow. Furthermore, progress cannot be taken for granted: in certain EU countries, previous achievements have been reversed. A number of structural and societal barriers continue to hinder women from seeking office and from fulfilling their mandates or accessing leadership positions. In order to boost female representation in local/regional structures, various local and regional strategies have been adopted. The European Union has been a staunch advocate of women's participation in decision-making at all levels of governance. Gender equality is one of the founding values of the European Union, as can be seen in Article 2 and in Article 3, paragraph 3, of the Treaty on European Union. Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) also reiterates that one of the EU's missions is the elimination of inequalities and the promotion of equality between women and men in all its actions. The European Parliament has adopted a number of resolutions supporting gender balance measures in political decision-making. Nevertheless, laws determining local and regional participation fall within the remit of the EU Member States. This is an updated and expanded edition of an 'At a glance' note from March 2019, PE 635.549.

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

Russia's 2016 elections: More of the same?

20-06-2016

On 18 September, 2016 Russians will elect representatives at federal, regional and municipal level, including most importantly to the State Duma (lower house of parliament). President Vladimir Putin remains popular, with over 80% of Russians approving of his presidency. However, the country is undergoing a prolonged economic recession and a growing number of Russians feel it is going in the wrong direction. Support for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and ruling party United Russia has declined in ...

On 18 September, 2016 Russians will elect representatives at federal, regional and municipal level, including most importantly to the State Duma (lower house of parliament). President Vladimir Putin remains popular, with over 80% of Russians approving of his presidency. However, the country is undergoing a prolonged economic recession and a growing number of Russians feel it is going in the wrong direction. Support for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and ruling party United Russia has declined in recent months. Nevertheless, United Russia is likely to hold onto, and even increase its parliamentary majority, given the lack of credible alternatives. Of the tame opposition parties currently represented in the State Duma, polls suggest the far-right Liberal Democrats will do well, overtaking the Communists to become the largest opposition party. Outside the State Duma, opposition to Putin's regime is led by liberal opposition parties Yabloko and PARNAS. Deeply unpopular and disunited, these parties have little chance of breaking through the 5% electoral threshold. To avoid a repeat of the 2011–2012 post-election protests, authorities may try to prevent the blatant vote-rigging which triggered them. Nevertheless, favourable media coverage, United Russia's deep pockets and changes to electoral legislation (for example, the re-introduction of single-member districts) will give the ruling party a strong head-start. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Kosovo’s European integration prospects

09-01-2014

By agreeing with Serbia on ways to normalise relations, a key demand of the EU, Kosovo took a major step on the path towards the EU in 2013. Kosovo has started negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, with conclusion expected in spring 2014.

By agreeing with Serbia on ways to normalise relations, a key demand of the EU, Kosovo took a major step on the path towards the EU in 2013. Kosovo has started negotiations on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, with conclusion expected in spring 2014.

Challenges and Perspectives Concerning Election Reform at the Local Level in Ukraine

30-03-2011

Local elections in Ukraine took place on 31 October 31 2010. Being the first under the Presidency of Victor Yanukovych, they were widely regarded as a test for the new administration’s commitment to democratic reform and the principle of democratic selfgovernment. This study examines the challenges and perspectives concerning the election reform at the local level, the shortcomings of the electoral process and how they were reenforced by the current structure of local self-governance in Ukraine. ...

Local elections in Ukraine took place on 31 October 31 2010. Being the first under the Presidency of Victor Yanukovych, they were widely regarded as a test for the new administration’s commitment to democratic reform and the principle of democratic selfgovernment. This study examines the challenges and perspectives concerning the election reform at the local level, the shortcomings of the electoral process and how they were reenforced by the current structure of local self-governance in Ukraine. The author argues that political pluralism and fundamental democratic rights in Ukraine have been preserved for the last five years not by the effective functioning of state institutions or the separation of powers but by the balance of power of the main political forces. The study focuses on the analysis of the last local and regional elections (up to the level of regions/oblasti) in October 2010 because they showed the main deficits of democracy on the level of local and regional authorities in Ukraine. The study provides recommendations emphasizing the need for a new, comprehensive electoral code and on necessary structural changes in local self-governance with the aim to ensure a functioning system of democratic checks and balances, as well as just and equal representation on all levels of state administration.

Ekstern forfatter

Wilfried JILGE (University of Leipzig, Germany)

The decentralization process in Kosovoans the creation of the new municipalities: a Kosovo-Albanian and a Kosovo-Serb minority view

12-07-2010

The AFET committee has requested two briefing notes on the decentralization process in Kosovo and the creation of the new municipalities, one from the Kosovo Albanian angle and the other from the Kosovo Serb-minority angle. The summary assesses the points of convergence and points of divergence between the two notes. To do so, it follows the set of themes provided by the specifications in order to enable a comparative reading. Overall, both notes agree on the fact that decentralization is a process ...

The AFET committee has requested two briefing notes on the decentralization process in Kosovo and the creation of the new municipalities, one from the Kosovo Albanian angle and the other from the Kosovo Serb-minority angle. The summary assesses the points of convergence and points of divergence between the two notes. To do so, it follows the set of themes provided by the specifications in order to enable a comparative reading. Overall, both notes agree on the fact that decentralization is a process still in the making in Kosovo. They however emphasize different issues and problems and they also diverge on solutions to be found, especially when it comes to the Northern part of Kosovo and to parallel structures.

Ekstern forfatter

SUMMARY ASSESSMENT: Laure DELCOUR, Senior Research Fellow, Institut de Recherches Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS), Paris, France A KOSOVO-ALBANIAN VIEW: Illir DEDA, Kosovar Institute for Policy Research and Development (KIPRED), Pristina, Kosovo A KOSOVO-SERB MINORITY VIEW: Djeric SRDIAN, Balkan Research Analyst, International Crisis Group, Pristina, Kosovo

Crisis in Nepal and Response from the International Community

15-02-2006

Nepal, to compare with countries in Europe, is a little larger in area than Greece but with over 27 million people, it has more than twice the current population of Greece. One of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal is sandwiched between two giant neighbours: India, which surrounds Nepal’s borders on three sides, and China with whom Nepal has its border on the North. The mystical Shangrila as it was known to the international community for its beautiful Himalayas and abundant natural beauty ...

Nepal, to compare with countries in Europe, is a little larger in area than Greece but with over 27 million people, it has more than twice the current population of Greece. One of the poorest countries in the world, Nepal is sandwiched between two giant neighbours: India, which surrounds Nepal’s borders on three sides, and China with whom Nepal has its border on the North. The mystical Shangrila as it was known to the international community for its beautiful Himalayas and abundant natural beauty has for the past decade witnessed unprecedented violence in its history as well as political, social and economic turmoil precipitating to a situation today that is alarmingly close to a total collapse of the state. EP-

Ekstern forfatter

Sushil Pyakurel

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