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Reforms launched under Vladimir Putin have restored some of the Russian armed forces' former glory. Russia now has a streamlined, mobile and mostly professional military, equipped with modern weapons. The impact of these changes was visible in Syria, Russia's first military intervention outside the post-Soviet region. Despite this increased capability, there are demographic and financial constraints on Russian military power. The armed forces are not attracting enough recruits to go fully professional ...

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

What future for democracy?

Kort overzicht 11-12-2020

A panel at the 2020 ESPAS conference discussed the future of democracy in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Participatory democracy was seen as a potential remedy for polarisation, while digitisation brings a need for careful governance. Misinformation and disinformation needs to be addressed through education. A poll of attendees identified tax equity as a key innovation for successfully rebuilding democracy.

The Swiss National Bank is highly independent but weakly accountable. Weak accountability is rooted in the formal legislation on central banking but also in the reputation of the Bank, which is unanimously considered as highly successful. The ECB too is highly independent and weakly accountable but it faces diverse public opinions whose views differ across countries. Buttressing ECB accountability is important, therefore, and the European Parliament should consider strengthening the Monetary Dialogue ...

Given its central role in public accountability and in the formation of expectations, it is important to reflect on ways to improve the ECB’s communication policy. Communication should not generally strive for maximum transparency. The optimum degree of transparency varies between different aspects of monetary policy and banking supervision. Although the ECB already communicates very openly with the public and achieves a very high level of transparency in all aspects, we see room for improvement ...

Reaching a Wider Audience: Is the ECB Trending?

Uitgebreide analyse 15-01-2020

Central banks are increasingly recognising the importance of communicating with the wider public. We document that interest in monetary policy is intermittent, usually linked to major decisions and/or personnel changes. The ECB should not expect that every one of its decisions is noticed by the general public. The Monetary Dialogue fulfils the typical function of a representative democracy in which citizens delegate to their elected representatives the task of monitoring policy implementation by ...

The March 2018 presidential elections were a resounding victory for Vladimir Putin. Since then, however, an unpopular decision to raise the retirement age by five years has cost him some of his support and triggered a wave of protests. In summer 2019, Moscow saw the biggest anti-government rallies for several years over the authorities' decision to exclude independent, 'non-system' opposition candidates from local elections. Even though the decision was upheld, Putin allies struggled to hold onto ...

• Across Europe there is as yet little evidence to support the idea that increased exposure to news featuring like-minded or opposing views leads to the widespread polarisation of attitudes. Though some studies have found that both can strengthen the attitudes of a minority who already hold strong views. • Most studies of news use on social media have failed to find evidence of echo chambers and/or filter bubbles, where people are over-exposed to like-minded views. Some studies even find evidence ...

This report offers a comprehensive overview of the relationship between technology, democracy and the polarisation of public discourse. Technology is inherently political, and the ways in which it is designed and used have ongoing implications for participation, deliberation, and democracy. Algorithms, automation, big data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life in democratic societies; this report provides an in-depth analysis of the technological ...

This report reviews different models and frameworks that explain public responses to low carbon technologies (LCTs). Based on insights from literature, it highlights the need for a multidimensional perspective to understand the complexities surrounding public acceptance or opposition to LCTs. It also proposes two key solutions for how public responses can be better accommodated in a way that engenders support from the public: by integrating social and values-based aspects in planning, and by ensuring ...