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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?

Kort overzicht 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.

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...