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Tag: Europe

A country of grumblers? Hungarian values and how to misunderstand them

Are Hungarians ill-fated and determined to be incapable of overcoming their historical baggage? Some seem to think so, including some sociologists. Yet, it is worth remembering that political trajectories do not follow pre-drawn patterns, so we should look at the circumstances which can hold societies back in their democratisation.

Something is rotten in Hungary and the international media coverage seems quite keen on pointing this out. However, it offers very little explanation for why it is happening. International interest in Hungarian politics has increased, especially since the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election in 2016 – which illustrated how serious the far-right shift of mainstream politics has become. Yet, Hungary had already been under the illiberal supermajority for six years, and by then it was well past all the major battles in which its democratic institutions had faced.

November 17, 2020 - Réka Kinga Papp

Solidarity with Belarus. What can we do?

Belarusians have broken through decades of fear, and the demonstrations will continue against all odds. What can Europe do to help them end the authoritarian regime?

September 15, 2020 - Anastasiia Starchenko New Eastern Europe

Russia and its Tatar diaspora in Europe

The Tatar diaspora in Europe is not very significant in size, but it has the potential to shape the political landscape of their European homes, particularly in the promotion of heritage and lobbying their interests on the international stage. That is why the Russian-speaking Tatar diaspora in Europe could be a significant tool in Russia’s compatriot policy of the “Russian world”.
Tatars are Turkic-speaking people living primarily in Russia, with around 5.3 million living in the Russian Federation (according to the 2010 census). They are primarily Volga Tatars concentrated in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, which is no more than 30 percent of all Tatars. Less numerous groups of Tatars also live in Europe. They came to Latvia and Lithuania as citizens from different parts of the Soviet Union, mostly from the Volga region.

January 28, 2020 - Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik

Russia’s geopolitical greetings for 2020

In orthodox Russia, New Year's Eve precedes Christmas. The Julian calendar, still promoted by the religious authorities, sets Christmas at January 7th. In consequence, between December 24th and January 1st, when Europe and the United States are enjoying the pleasures of family gathering, Russia is still very much active.

January 6, 2020 - Cyrille Bret

Eighty years later: Under the map of Europe

Maps are more than just visual aids for understanding the land around us. They give valuable insight into history as well.

July 12, 2019 - Tomasz Kamusella

Local governments are the foundation of democracy

A conversation from 2016 with Paweł Adamowicz, Mayor of the city of Gdańsk. Interviewer: Iwona Reichardt

January 15, 2019 - Iwona Reichardt

Softly, softly Belarus

One might not notice it, but certain changes are taking place in Belarus. This may be good news for European policymakers and diplomats who seek to engage Belarus and keep it balanced in its relations with Russia, as long as expectations are not kept too high.

Belarus is changing. It is changing in ways that help European engagement. But, to be clear, the area where change is minimal is probably the one where Europeans want to see the most improvement. This is the political sphere. The label “Last Dictatorship in Europe” may be out of date, but Belarus is not about to become a democracy any time soon. What is driving change is the concept of sovereignty. First is the logic of sovereignty, which has been operative for some time; but often belated or delayed by political factors, namely Belarus’s formerly close relationship with Russia. Second is the threat to sovereignty since the situation in Ukraine from 2014; though partly this threat can be traced back to the war in Georgia in 2008.

September 2, 2018 - Andrew Wilson

Czechs romanticise cultural Christianity

Interview with Petr Kratochvil, director of the Institute of International Relations Prague. Interviewer: Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska.

January 11, 2018 - Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska

Transatlantic relations in a Eurasian world

We live in one of those rare moments in history when the political and economic axis of the world is shifting. Four or five centuries ago, it shifted West. Europe, for so much of its history a quiet backwater, came to rule practically the whole globe. Now this axis is shifting East. We know what this means for Asia. We have seen the new majestic skylines and the bullet trains and stations quickly replacing the old camel routes and caravanserai.

October 25, 2016 - Bruno Maçães

Europe needs to transcend the nation state

An Interview with Ulrike Guérot, the Founder and Director of the European Democracy Lab at the European School of Governance in Berlin and the author of Why Europe Needs to Become a Republic. A Political Utopia. Interviewer: Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska.

July 19, 2016 - Ulrike Guérot

Is NATO ditching Georgia’s dream?

If you arrive in Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia – by plane, before you get to the city centre from the airport, you will have to drive along the George W. Bush highway. The former US President remains highly popular, especially with western minded Georgians, not least because of his staunch support for the democratic transition of the former Soviet country – and especially for his efforts to make Georgia a member of NATO. It was Bush who tried to convince his European counterparts in 2008 to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) together with Ukraine, which would have put both countries officially on track to joining the military alliance. But due to resistance from France and Germany all he got was the binding promise that “these countries would become members of NATO” in the future, noted in the final declaration of the summit.

July 14, 2016 - Shalva Dzidziguri

The future of Ukraine is the future of Europe

I often say that what happened in Polish-Ukrainian relations after the fall of the Berlin Wall was a geopolitical revolution. I compare it to the French and German reconciliation in the 1950s. While that laid the foundation for a new post-war Europe, a Polish-Ukrainian reconciliation creates the possibility of this construction extending further East. Moreover, the stakes in Polish-Ukrainian relations always were, and indeed continue to be, about more than just Poland and Ukraine.

July 13, 2016 - Yaroslav Hrytsak

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