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Recent events have shown that the Sahel region remains highly politically unstable. The military takeover of the Chadian government following President Idriss Déby's sudden death in April 2021 and the repercussions of the August 2020 and May 2021 military coups in Mali are worrying signs of weak democratic governance structures. Burkina Faso's transitional democracy has also been severely destabilised by the activities of extremist groups and internal conflicts. This political fragility and the lack ...

This briefing presents detail on the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 that marks a turning point, in that it brings together all the EU’s different funds for development cooperation in a single instrument, in order to ensure consistency between different fields of external action.

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the JURI Committee, analyses legal definitions of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and assesses the compatibility of anti-SLAPP legislation with EU law. It is recommended that an anti-SLAPP Directive should be adopted, and that the Brussels Ia Regulation and Rome II Regulation should be recast to limit the incidence of SLAPPs.

Albania joined NATO in April 2009 and has been an EU candidate country since June 2014. After having made some progress in meeting the political criteria and the objectives related to the five key priorities for opening its EU accession negotiations on 26 March 2020, Albania has been advancing towards EU membership at a very slow pace. The main remaining obstacles include flaws in the functioning of its judiciary, in the fight against corruption and in the safeguarding of media freedoms and minority ...

Although countries in sub-Saharan Africa started opening up to democracy three decades ago, the region is still characterised by a high heterogeneity of political regimes. Fragile democracies often endure numerous challenges and shortcomings, and share their borders with some of the world's least democratic regimes. Virtually non-existent in 1990, multi-party elections are the norm today, yet they still only rarely lead to power changes. The recent trends of democratic recession have not left sub-Saharan ...

The Roma are Europe's largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated total of 10 to12 million Roma in Europe, some 6 million live in the European Union (EU), most of whom are citizens of an EU Member State. A significant number of Roma people live in very poor socio-economic conditions. The social exclusion, discrimination and segregation they face are mutually reinforcing. Their restricted access to education, and difficulties in entering the labour market, result in low income and poor health compared ...

Between January 2019 and January 2021, the impact of disinformation actions and responses to them were considerably different than in previous years. Our research showed that disinformation actions increasingly merged with genuine content, and their sources became even more difficult to identify. Particularly strong impacts were seen in cases where disinformation and manipulative propaganda were spread by individuals with high levels of political authority, who enjoy the trust and attention of citizens ...

Around the world, disinformation is spreading and becoming a more complex phenomenon based on emerging techniques of deception. Disinformation undermines human rights and many elements of good quality democracy; but counter-disinformation measures can also have a prejudicial impact on human rights and democracy. COVID-19 compounds both these dynamics and has unleashed more intense waves of disinformation, allied to human rights and democracy setbacks. Effective responses to disinformation are needed ...

Given the extent of inequality and discrimination, challenges to fundamental rights and citizens' lack of awareness of the rights they enjoy, the EU institutions have recognised the importance of funding to protect core EU values and fundamental rights, support civil society organisations and sustain open, democratic and inclusive societies. In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Rights and Values programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual ...

The ongoing structural transformation and the rapid spread of the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution are challenging current democratic institutions and their established forms of governance and regulation. At the same time, these changes offer vast opportunities to enhance, strengthen and expand the existing democratic framework to reflect a more complex and interdependent world. This process has already begun in many democratic societies but further progress is needed. Examining these ...