East Europe

Hungary is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state. But the European Union is limited in the pressure it is able to exert.

Hungary is a member of the European Union (EU), but the country is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state, argue Tamas Dezso Czigler and Izolda Takacs. In their third post on Hungary’s government, they explore measures that the EU could take in order to sanction the country, some which may be more effective than others. In our last two posts, we […]

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Five minutes with Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party: “Yulia Tymoshenko is a shining example of Ukraine’s democratic spirit.”

Viktor Yanukovich and his government in the Ukraine are under diplomatic pressure over the alleged beating in prison of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party, discusses with EUROPP editors Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr why he has called for a political boycott of this summer’s Euro 2012 competition in Ukraine and why he […]

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With the ruling party’s legislative tsunami, Hungary may now be sleepwalking into an authoritarian state.

Hungary is a member of the European Union, but the country is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state, argue Tamas Dezso Czigler and Izolda Takacs. In their second of three articles for EUROPP, they argue that the new governing coalition has overhauled the country’s electoral and judicial system, violated the independence of the Hungarian central bank and invaded citizens’ private lives. […]

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Hungary is now a distorted democracy

Has Hungary become an authoritarian state? In their first of three articles on the Hungarian government, Tamas Dezso Czigler and Izolda Takacs argue that the country has become a distorted democracy on the brink of autocracy. Worryingly, the vast majority of Hungarians do not seem to be alarmed by these developments. Hungary underwent a major power change in 2010: The […]

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Romania and Bulgaria have not been admitted to the Schengen Agreement because of the deep seated anxiety of the treaty’s current members about the regime’s future.

Where will the Schengen Agreement be ten years from now? Ruben Zaiotti explores why its signatories are currently hesitant to admit Romania and Bulgaria. He argues that in the wake of the financial and economic crisis the Romanian and Bulgarian governments can only hope that Schengen club’s chronic anxiety can be channelled against someone else. The European economic and financial […]

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Five minutes with Taras Kuzio: “Ukraine is sleepwalking into an authoritarian state. We are in a dangerous situation.”

With former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in jail and on hunger strike, European leaders have threatened to politically boycott this summer’s Euro 2012 competition in Ukraine. British scholar and expert on Ukraine Taras Kuzio discusses with EUROPP editors Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr where he thinks Ukraine is heading and why he believes the European Union’s foreign policy towards the […]

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Five minutes with Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: “I think Europe should start voting online”

Estonia was the first nation in the world to hold legally binding general elections over the Internet. In an interview with EUROPP editors Chris Gilson and Julian Kirchherr Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Paet recommends e-voting to other Member States of the European Union as well, arguing that it is convenient and increases turnout, particularly among the young. How would you […]

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In Hungary Viktor Orban adds the EU to his lengthening list of ‘enemies of the state’

Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban recently denounced the EU’s policies towards Hungary as ‘colonialism’, after the EU suspended nearly half a billion Euro in funding over its massive budget deficit. Abby Innes takes a close look at Hungary’s recent decline from a country known for its reform policies to one which is now mired in economic crisis and increasingly extreme […]

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In their row over gas prices, Russia has no reason to make concessions to Ukraine. There is little to suggest that an end to the conflict is in sight.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine are at a new low after serious gas shortages in Europe this winter. Olga Shumylo-Tapiola argues that the interests of Ukrainian oligarchs will continue to put pressure on the government to demand lower prices, a demand that Russia is unlikely to acquiesce to. The only long term solution is for Ukraine to do more to reduce […]

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Romania’s recent protests have become a social movement calling for the dignity of the people in the face of an unaccountable government.

While originally sparked by the government’s plan to partially privatize the health-care system, Clara Volintiru argues that the recent protests and demonstrations in Romania are ultimately not only about the reform of social security systems and austerity measures, but also have the aim of achieving greater government transparency and accountability.   Remus Prata lives in the small village of Baia de […]

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Book Review: The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia by Angus Roxburgh

Angus Roxburgh’s account of Putin’s Russia offers vivid anecdotes about Putin and his merciless dealings with top leaders. Charles Crawford is left ultimately unconvinced by the author’s argument that Russia has behaved badly only after being provoked by the West’s insensitive policies. But Putin’s decision on the future of Russia is clear: intensify repression, or try an ambitious Russia Reform 2.0. Either has risks for Russia’s […]

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Book Review: After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West

Matthew Partridge suspects that the latest book by Ayse Zarakol may be a missed opportunity to focus on the impact of past defeat on future foreign policy.   After Defeat: How the East Learned to Live with the West. Ayse Zarakol. Cambridge University Press. April 2011. Find this book at: Google Books Amazon LSE Library There is general agreement that […]

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