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Decentralisation, and implementation of the principle of subsidiarity, are at the heart of both EU accession negotiations with the Western Balkan countries and their accession-related reforms. As the region's six countries differ in population size, territory and history, their decentralisation models differ from each other as well. The European Commission and the European Parliament are closely monitoring these countries' overall progress in multi-level governance and in the implementation of the ...

Thailand: from coup to crisis

Pe scurt 06-11-2020

Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a history of political instability, alternating between military rule and unstable civilian governments. The latest in a long series of military coups was in 2014. In 2019, the junta handed over power to a nominally civilian government led by former army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha. Protestors are now demanding his resignation and constitutional reforms to end the military's control of Thai politics.

In January 2020, Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, opened the constitutional debate by outlining a series of amendments that, according to him, aimed to improve the balance of power and adapt the Constitution to the changes that had taken place since 1993, when the original text was adopted. With Putin's fourth and – as it seemed till recently – final presidency due to end in four years, observers speculated that the proposed amendments were intended to give Putin options for continuing to rule ...

In January 2020, Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping constitutional amendments. These have been widely seen as preparing the way for him to retain political influence after the end of his fourth and probably final presidency in 2024. Putin's announcement was followed by the resignation of the government. Dmitry Medvedev, who has been Prime Minister since 2012, has made way for Mikhail Mishustin. While these changes open up new possibilities for Putin's post-2024 future, his actual intentions are still ...

Shinzō Abe won the snap elections he called for the lower house on 22 October 2017. Despite her popularity, Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike failed to convince the electorate to oust a prime minister in charge since December 2012. The newly created Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan became the main opposition force in the House of Representatives. In coalition with Kōmeitō, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party holds a two-thirds majority enabling it to pass constitutional amendments.

2016 report on Turkey

Pe scurt 27-06-2017

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

Morocco's new political landscape

Pe scurt 11-04-2017

On 7 October 2016, Morocco went to the polls for national parliamentary elections. This was the second time that Morocco had held national elections since being touched by the Arab Spring in February 2011. Since the 2011 public protests, a number of constitutional reforms, introduced by King Mohammed VI, have made significant changes to electoral and administrative law. Morocco's Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) re-emerged as the winner, with the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) ...

The Turkmen government has introduced various reforms since 2008 and has expressed an interest in closer cooperation with the EU. Yet, the May 2016 debate in the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan highlighted Parliament's dissatisfaction with the reforms. On the grounds of severe human rights concerns, AFET suspended its approval of the PCA until the country makes satisfactory progress.

In 2015, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU finally came into force, and in 2016 BiH applied for EU membership. Despite these positives which have put it back on track for EU accession, BiH faces a host of deeply rooted domestic issues and reforms.

The democratic landscape in Africa is complex, featuring a mixture of examples of progress, in some areas, and regression in others. While some countries have continuously come closer to high democratic standards, considerably strengthening their democratic systems, others have seen their democratic credentials worsen. A pervasive feature of political systems on the African continent has been the fact that the incumbent presidents and ruling parties tend to win elections, whether fair or not. Since ...