The President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu during her official visit to Kyiv, January 12, 2020.
The President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu during her official visit to Kyiv, January 12, 2020. | Photo: President of Ukraine | CC BY 4.0

Breaking the vicious circle: Can the new Moldovan president Sandu succeed in balancing relations with the EU and Russia?

For the first time in its history, the Republic of Moldova has voted for an openly pro-Western president. De­spite facing domestic and international difficulties, the newly elected Moldovan head of state Maia Sandu could manage to solve dire economic problems at home, while securing the support of both Russia and the European Union. This could have longstanding consequences for both the country itself and for all the other states of the common EU-Russian neighborhood.


The annuled parliamentary elections in October 2020 roused mass protests against the winning parties and paved the way for the 2021 presidential and parliamentary elections (Photo: picture alliance, Abylai Saralayev/TASS).

At a Crossroads. Kyrgyzstan after the recent elections

Following its parliamentary elections in October 2020, Kyrgyzstan found itself facing post-election protests and a political crisis which resulted in a new political landscape. On 10 January 2021, Kyrgyz citizens voted for a new president and a fast-tracked constitutional reform to return to a presidential system. Although the protests in October 2020 resulted in political turnover, their momentum is currently being used to concentrate power in the hands of the president. Autocratic tendencies, corruption scandals, and socioeconomic grievances, which were further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, have marked recent developments in Kyrgyzstan.


On January 10 2021, the Kyrgyz people will be called upon to elect a new President. | Photo: flickr, Ronan Shenhav | CC BY-NC 2.0

Kyrgyzstan Before the Presidential Elections

Kyrgyz citizens will vote for a new president on 10 January 2021. Protests have caused the annulation of the parliamentary elections of 04th October 2020 which resulted in a series of high-ranked officials’ resignations and the third ouster of a president in the country’s recent history. Since then, the political landscape is changing quickly. Recent developments, including an initiated constitutional reform process, cast doubts on the future democratic path of Kyrgyzstan.


A protester holding up a pro-democracy sign in Brussels, Belgium. | Photo: Randy Colas/Unsplash

Internal Threats to EU’s External Democracy Support in Times of a Pandemic – Can the New EU Council Conclusions on Democracy still Kick-off?

In the course of the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, governments in Europe and across the world have called for states of emergency and restricted individual freedoms of their citizens in order to #FlattenTheCurve. While many citizens support the governmental initiatives, concerns about their implications on the state of democracy are growing stronger. Some fear that the coronavirus crisis will end in a crisis of democracy. Worldwide, democratic standards have been challenged long before the pandemic started. First analyses show that the current health crisis speeds this tendency up. In particular, the erosion of civic freedoms for the sake of handling the global health crisis appears to accelerate. While most governmental measures seem to be appropriate, others provide the impression that the coronavirus crisis is used to further erode internal checks and balances. Just recently, the European Union (EU) has adopted new Council Conclusions on Democracy aiming to address this global tendency. While they mainly address the external dimension, internal threats to democracy are not to be neglected. What value has such a strategy in times of a global pandemic?


Schulstreik vor dem Kanzleramt, 25.01.2018, Berlin
Schulstreik vor dem Kanzleramt, 25.01.2018, Berlin | Photo: Jörg Farys / Fridays for Future | CC BY 2.0

#Fridays4Future und die Europawahlen: Politikverdrossenheit sieht anders aus

Die Klimademonstrationen #Fridays4Future zeigen ein unterschiedliches Problembewusstsein zwischen der jungen Generation und gegenwärtigen Generation von Politikerinnen auf. Die Europawahlen am 20.Mai 2019 stehen nun im Mittelpunkt. Vor den letzten Europawahlen 2014 hat fast ein Drittel der jungen Wählerinnen und Wähler ihre Wahlentscheidung kurz vor oder sogar am Wahltag getroffen. Die angekündigten globalen Klimademonstrationen am 24. Mai könnten das Wahlergebnis beeinflussen – aber weniger die Unterrepräsentation der jungen Menschen in der Politik.