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Ever since Alexis de Tocqueville's exploration of democracy in America during his travels in 1831 1832, Europe has followed the evolution of US democratic trends. Today, almost 200 years later, challenges to democracy in the USA offer important lessons for democracies across the world, including in Europe. The 2022 mid-term elections are widely seen as an inflection point at a time when the pressure on democracy worldwide is under mounting pressure. Simultaneously, geostrategic and systemic tension ...

Kyrgyzstan is the most democratic but also the least stable of the former Soviet Central Asian republics. The most recent upheaval resulted in the cancellation of the October 2020 parliamentary elections. New elections scheduled for November 2021 are likely to consolidate the position of Sadyr Japarov, the country's new president. A controversial new constitution raises concerns over the future of Kyrgyz democracy.

Myanmar: The return of the junta

At a Glance 16-02-2021

On 1 February 2021, the Myanmar armed forces seized power and imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi, de facto leader of the country since 2016. The coup threatens to derail Myanmar’s progress towards democracy, which began in 2008 after five decades of brutal military rule. Huge protests have broken out in Myanmar, calling for the restoration of the elected civilian government. The EU is considering additional sanctions against the country.

At a time when authoritarianism is rising, the Sakharov Prize draws attention to the situation of those who resist the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the prize is to be awarded to the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council. It rewards its courageous and peaceful role in opposing the falsification of the August 2020 elections, despite a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony during ...

Support to democracy in Belarus

At a Glance 14-10-2020

Presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020 were conducted in flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards, democratic principles and European values. The European Union stands with millions of Belarusians who decided to oppose Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s regime. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a draft recommendation on relations with Belarus, during the October II plenary session.

Belarus on the brink

At a Glance 25-08-2020

As usual in Belarus, the 9 August presidential election was marred by fraud, repression and state violence against the opposition. As expected, the long-standing President, Aleksander Lukashenko, claimed a landslide victory. What was unusual this time, however, was the scale of Belarusians' disappointment: peaceful protests and strikes spread throughout the entire country in response to the stolen election, despite brutal crackdowns. What started as a national crisis now represents a wider struggle ...

The European Council video-conference meeting of 19 August 2020 was called by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, due to the increasingly worrying situation in Belarus after the recent national elections. As Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, summarised, the European Council decided to convey three clear messages from the meeting: i) the EU stands with the Belarussian people; ii) the EU will place sanctions on all those responsible for violence, repression ...

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Week after week, thousands have taken to the streets, accusing Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of ...

Indonesia's April 2019 elections

At a Glance 09-04-2019

On 17 April 2019, Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and third largest democracy (190 million voters), will hold presidential, parliamentary, regional and local elections. Incumbent President, Joko Widodo, is expected to win comfortably and retain a parliamentary majority. The only other presidential candidate is 2014 runner-up Prabowo Subianto, forecast to lose by a bigger margin than in 2014.

EU-Moldova people-to-people contacts

At a Glance 14-03-2019

Since the Republic of Moldova joined the Eastern Partnership regional initiative 10 years ago, its ties with the EU have grown closer. In recent years, however, the country's political, economic and societal stability has become increasingly wobbly, and public trust in institutions and even NGOs remains low. The EU is working to strengthen the role of civil society organisations in public life.