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Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

20-05-2019

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions.

Is transparency the key to citizens’ trust?

11-04-2019

Trust in political institutions is a key element of representative democracies. Trust in the rule of law is also the basis for democratic participation of citizens. According to the spring 2018 Eurobarometer survey of public awareness of the EU institutions, 50 % of respondents indicated they trust the European Parliament, which represents a 34 % increase since the beginning of the 2014-2019 legislative term. A transparent political decision-making processes has become a common objective to help ...

Trust in political institutions is a key element of representative democracies. Trust in the rule of law is also the basis for democratic participation of citizens. According to the spring 2018 Eurobarometer survey of public awareness of the EU institutions, 50 % of respondents indicated they trust the European Parliament, which represents a 34 % increase since the beginning of the 2014-2019 legislative term. A transparent political decision-making processes has become a common objective to help strengthen citizens’ trust in policy-makers and enhance the accountability of public administrations. In this regard, regulation of lobbying (the exchange between policy makers and stakeholders), and bolstering the integrity of this process, is often considered a vital ingredient. Public expectations for increased transparency of the exchange between policy-makers and interest representatives varies from one political system to the next, but it has increasingly become a topic of debate for parliaments across Europe, and a regular demand during election campaigns.

Role and election of the President of the European Commission

11-07-2014

The President of the European Commission (EC) has taken on an ever more prominent leading role within the College of Commissioners, with the increasingly presidential system eclipsing the principle of collegiate decision-making. With the European Council and European Parliament now together responsible for the appointment, the Presidency has not only become a much more politicised office, but the President has also gained greater influence vis-à-vis the other members of the Commission.

The President of the European Commission (EC) has taken on an ever more prominent leading role within the College of Commissioners, with the increasingly presidential system eclipsing the principle of collegiate decision-making. With the European Council and European Parliament now together responsible for the appointment, the Presidency has not only become a much more politicised office, but the President has also gained greater influence vis-à-vis the other members of the Commission.

India's 2014 Legislative Elections: The Lack of Economic Miracles Lands the Congress Party on the Opposition Benches

27-05-2014

The EU’s relationship with India and the floundering bilateral trade negotiations may be reinvigorated by the results of the country’s elections for India’s lower house of parliament – the Lok Sabha – held between 7 April and 12 May 2014. The landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader, Narendra Modi, came at the expense of the Congress party; after being in power for all but 18 years since the country's independence in 1947, Congress obtained only 44 seats – less than 8 ...

The EU’s relationship with India and the floundering bilateral trade negotiations may be reinvigorated by the results of the country’s elections for India’s lower house of parliament – the Lok Sabha – held between 7 April and 12 May 2014. The landslide victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its leader, Narendra Modi, came at the expense of the Congress party; after being in power for all but 18 years since the country's independence in 1947, Congress obtained only 44 seats – less than 8 % of the total – in the recent ballot. The new Common People's Party, which performed well in 2013-regional elections in the capital, Delhi, obtained only four seats nationwide. Modi, a Hindu nationalist who led the state of Gujarat, had been shunned by the EU and the US for many years for his part in the 2002 Gujarat riots. But between the recent elections and his investiture, on 26 May 2014, both transatlantic powers made friendly overtures to the new prime minister. Negotiations within the BJP and with potential coalition partners are well underway, and the composition of the new Indian government should be known soon. As Modi’s election campaign focussed on domestic issues, and in particular on the ailing Indian economy, the BJP-led government’s stance on foreign relations – including on cross-border trade and investment and negotiations with the EU on the stalled free trade agreement – will soon crystallise.

Social media in election campaigning

21-03-2014

With the EU facing an apparent democratic deficit, social media may provide a way of countering declining voter turnout. Social media allow political actors to bypass mass-media filters, influence journalists, and target messages to the young, the largest group of social media users. They can be used to organise participation in 'offline' events, and to transmit political messages through social connections. Nevertheless, whilst social media are increasingly used in elections, it may be that they ...

With the EU facing an apparent democratic deficit, social media may provide a way of countering declining voter turnout. Social media allow political actors to bypass mass-media filters, influence journalists, and target messages to the young, the largest group of social media users. They can be used to organise participation in 'offline' events, and to transmit political messages through social connections. Nevertheless, whilst social media are increasingly used in elections, it may be that they have only a limited effect on getting otherwise disengaged citizens to engage – even just to go out to vote.

Strengthening European Democracy: Citizens' Participation. Which Challenges Do we Face at the European Elections of 2014? - Dialogue with Churches and Non-Confessional Organisations

12-11-2013

This note examines the challenges arising in the context of the European Elections of 2014. Drawing on the history of the constitutional evolution of the EU it turns to analyse opportunities and possible risks related to prospect of turning the European elections into personalized contest for the presidency of the European Commission.

This note examines the challenges arising in the context of the European Elections of 2014. Drawing on the history of the constitutional evolution of the EU it turns to analyse opportunities and possible risks related to prospect of turning the European elections into personalized contest for the presidency of the European Commission.

Externe auteur

Joseph H. H. Weiler (Institut universitaire européen, Florence, Italie)

'Europeanisation' of the 2014 EP elections

27-06-2013

The European Parliament (EP) is the institution most often cited by EU citizens as guarantor of the representation of citizens' interests at EU level. However, elections to the EP are said to be 'second-order national elections', both regarding electoral procedure and electoral campaign topics. In order to redress this, many call for their 'Europeanisation'.

The European Parliament (EP) is the institution most often cited by EU citizens as guarantor of the representation of citizens' interests at EU level. However, elections to the EP are said to be 'second-order national elections', both regarding electoral procedure and electoral campaign topics. In order to redress this, many call for their 'Europeanisation'.

The 2012 South Korean Presidential Election

07-01-2013

The two main candidates hailed from the two dominant political parties. 'Economic democratisation' and North Korea policy emerged as key issues. To what extent will Park curb the power of chaebols remains unclear. North Korea will present both a challenge and an opportunity to Park's presidency. Reconciliation, cooperation and peace in Northeast Asia are among Park's top priorities. Balancing between the US and China might pose a particular challenge. Voting patterns suggest that South Korea's familiar ...

The two main candidates hailed from the two dominant political parties. 'Economic democratisation' and North Korea policy emerged as key issues. To what extent will Park curb the power of chaebols remains unclear. North Korea will present both a challenge and an opportunity to Park's presidency. Reconciliation, cooperation and peace in Northeast Asia are among Park's top priorities. Balancing between the US and China might pose a particular challenge. Voting patterns suggest that South Korea's familiar policies might be shaken up in the future.

After a Landslide Victory, Japan's LDP Returns to Power

18-12-2012

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is returning to power after three years. The results signal a sharp rejection of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which has governed only since 2009. These were the first general elections held since Japan's 2011 'triple disaster'. After 54 years of almost unbroken rule, Japan's LDP government was ousted in 2009. Successive DPJ governments were unable to keep their campaign promises. Frequently shifting governments have not overcome Japan's prolonged political ...

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is returning to power after three years. The results signal a sharp rejection of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which has governed only since 2009. These were the first general elections held since Japan's 2011 'triple disaster'. After 54 years of almost unbroken rule, Japan's LDP government was ousted in 2009. Successive DPJ governments were unable to keep their campaign promises. Frequently shifting governments have not overcome Japan's prolonged political and economic problems. Although 12 parties campaigned, the real competition was between the LDP, the DPJ and the JRP, with a few additional parties playing a minor role. Small parties could play a role in the coalition government. The stagnant economy, nuclear power and regional relations were the most pressing campaign issues. How to boost the economic growth while controlling the public debt and maintaining public support will be a challenge for any government. Giving up nuclear energy will be costly for Japanese national economy, although this is the preference of most Japanese citizens. Territorial disputes must be treated gently so as not to disrupt Japan's international trade. Reviving the economy will be Shinzo Abe's priority. International relations are likely to shift, with Abe seeking to avoid antagonising China. Relations with other Asian nations are also likely to develop.

Proceedings of the Workshop on "The Situation in Ukraine ahead of the 2012 Parliamentary Elections and the Preparation of these Elections"

31-10-2012

The workshop ‘The situation in Ukraine ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections and the preparation of these elections’, organised under the patronage of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Delegation for relations with Ukraine, took place on 11 October 2012 in the European Parliament. The workshop aimed at facilitating an exchange of views about the general political context in Ukraine and progress made in terms of democratic reform. Participants discussed issues related both to the overall ...

The workshop ‘The situation in Ukraine ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections and the preparation of these elections’, organised under the patronage of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and the Delegation for relations with Ukraine, took place on 11 October 2012 in the European Parliament. The workshop aimed at facilitating an exchange of views about the general political context in Ukraine and progress made in terms of democratic reform. Participants discussed issues related both to the overall political background and the preparation of the elections. Over the past two years, the Ukrainian political system has been characterised by a constitutional restoration of the semi-presidential system. In parallel, plurality in the media has decreased and the political atmosphere is further tensed by a selective use of justice. Another issue is the use of administrative resources during electoral processes, which is reported to be widespread by the OSCE. The recent electoral reforms reinstated a mixed system in which half the seats (225) are filled through proportional representation and half (225) in single-member districts with a 5 % threshold. Nonetheless, the new electoral law has been criticised by the Venice Commission and the OSCE. Although adopted with the support of the opposition, electoral legislation is characterised by inconsistencies and lack of clarity, e.g. on the right to challenge the election’s results. Experts and participants also analysed the way in which the campaign is conducted and discussed the possible outcomes of the election. While the current authorities cannot rely upon a strong economic record to boost their electoral performance, the opposition does not have a greater credibility in terms of managing the economy. The Party of Regions has retained a high degree of cohesion and has managed to conduct a very effective campaign, whereas Baktivshchyna (Fatherland) has been weakened by the selective use of justice and its campaign

Externe auteur

Laure DELCOUR (IRIS, France)

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