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Recent events have shown that the Sahel region remains highly politically unstable. The military takeover of the Chadian government following President Idriss Déby's sudden death in April 2021 and the repercussions of the August 2020 and May 2021 military coups in Mali are worrying signs of weak democratic governance structures. Burkina Faso's transitional democracy has also been severely destabilised by the activities of extremist groups and internal conflicts. This political fragility and the lack ...

The Council of Europe (CoE) has been playing a crucial role in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law for more than 70 years. The fight against corruption is essential for maintaining the rule of law. Corruption undermines the functioning of the state and public authorities at all levels and is a key enabler of organised crime. Effective anti-corruption frameworks, transparency and integrity in the exercise of state power can strengthen legal systems and trust in public authorities ...

The Council of Europe (CoE) has been playing a crucial role in the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law for more than 70 years. The fight against corruption is essential for maintaining the rule of law. Corruption undermines the functioning of the state and public authorities at all levels and is a key enabler of organised crime. Effective anti-corruption frameworks, transparency and integrity in the exercise of state power can strengthen legal systems and trust in public authorities ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, analyses legal definitions of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and assesses the compatibility of anti-SLAPP legislation with EU law. It is recommended that an anti-SLAPP Directive should be adopted, and that the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome II Regulation should be recast to limit the incidence of SLAPPs.

North Macedonia was the first Western Balkan country to sign a stabilisation and association agreement with the EU in 2004; just one year later, it became a candidate country. However, bilateral disputes with Greece and Bulgaria have blocked accession negotiations so far.

Although countries in sub-Saharan Africa started opening up to democracy three decades ago, the region is still characterised by a high heterogeneity of political regimes. Fragile democracies often endure numerous challenges and shortcomings, and share their borders with some of the world's least democratic regimes. Virtually non-existent in 1990, multi-party elections are the norm today, yet they still only rarely lead to power changes. The recent trends of democratic recession have not left sub-Saharan ...

Georgia is often considered a frontrunner among Eastern Partnership countries. Despite Russia's continued de facto occupation of one-fifth of the country's territory, until recently Georgia performed relatively well in terms of political stability, pluralism and economic growth. The country is staunchly pro-Western, with aspirations to join both the EU and NATO. Like Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014. The agreement envisages a free trade area, as well ...

This EPRS paper analyses progress in attaining the policy agenda set out by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and her College of Commissioners when they took office in December 2019. It looks in particular at the state of play in respect of delivery on the six key priorities asserted at that time and at how they have since been affected by the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The evidence so far suggests that, rather than undermine their original agenda or knock it badly ...

Between January 2019 and January 2021, the impact of disinformation actions and responses to them were considerably different than in previous years. Our research showed that disinformation actions increasingly merged with genuine content, and their sources became even more difficult to identify. Particularly strong impacts were seen in cases where disinformation and manipulative propaganda were spread by individuals with high levels of political authority, who enjoy the trust and attention of citizens ...

Around the world, disinformation is spreading and becoming a more complex phenomenon based on emerging techniques of deception. Disinformation undermines human rights and many elements of good quality democracy; but counter-disinformation measures can also have a prejudicial impact on human rights and democracy. COVID-19 compounds both these dynamics and has unleashed more intense waves of disinformation, allied to human rights and democracy setbacks. Effective responses to disinformation are needed ...