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The Conference on the Future of Europe is an opportunity to reflect on the Union's democratic foundations, including the legislative role of the Council of the European Union (EU) and its relations with the European Parliament. Is it pertinent to reform the Council, either by reinforcing its parliamentary features or by transforming it into a Senate or a Second Chamber? Would such a change enhance the democratic legitimacy of the EU decision-making process? To answer these questions, this study looks ...

Over the summer and autumn of 2021, in what is increasingly viewed as a hybrid warfare tactic aimed at destabilising Europe, Aliaksandr Lukashenka's Belarussian regime has instrumentalised migrants, manipulating the organisation of flights from the Middle East to Minsk and deliberately orchestrating migrants' onward travel to the EU-Belarus border. With weather conditions endangering migrants' lives, the situation has also led to serious humanitarian consequences. This activity – which many argue ...

Since the Lisbon Treaty, EU national Parliaments have been recognized as relevant and legitimate players at the supranational level and given tools to be involved beyond the scrutiny of their national government. However, the last decade brought new challenges to the Europeanisation of national Parliaments, with several crises boosting intergovernmentalism. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the ...

Turkey first sought cooperation with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959 (European Union (EU) as of 1992), and has since been key partner of the EU on matters relating to migration, counter-terrorism and trade. The EU and Turkey have been linked by an Association Agreement since 1964, and a Customs Union Agreement since 1995. However, in recent years, EU-Turkey relations have been suffered from Turkey's lukewarm adoption of EU standards and democratic principles and Ankara's actions in ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

Zimbabwe: Beginning of a new era?

Pārskats 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.