Month: October 2020

Lithuania turns right: urban-rural cleavage, generational change, and left-wing perspectives

The parliamentary elections in Lithuania on 11 and 25 October reassembled the previous ones of 2016, but with different outcomes and with different recurring trends. Just as in 2016, the “Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats” (TS-LKD), uniting conservatives, Christian Democrats, and moderate nationalists, won the first round of the elections with 25 percent of the vote. …

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Lithuania after the elections: a perspective for women’s rights

The recent elections in Lithuania brought the country a conservative-liberal government coalition with a female prime minister and female leaders of all three coalition parties. However, the question remains as to whether women in power equals a sincere fight for women’s rights – especially when the most progressive party on gender equality, the Social Democrats, …

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Elections in Lithuania: an anti-populist turn?

Lithuania, like many other countries in East-Central Europe, is on a borderline between a so-called limited-access system marked by a hybrid or authoritarian type of rule and an open-access system characterised by vibrant civil society, universalist ethic values and strong democratic institutions The legislative election in October 2020 has been a litmus test indicating which …

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A gender perspective of the parliamentary elections in Lithuania

It is difficult to explain Lithuania’s political landscape in a conventional way as the whole spectrum of political parties is skewed to the right. As a result, there is a constant danger that human rights, and particularly women’s reproductive rights, could be violated. A low number of women with seats in parliament has always been …

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Lithuania after the elections: what will be left of public services?

For the last 20 years progressive economic policies have been absent from Lithuanian politics. Over this time, every government’s economic policies have more or less been taken out of the textbook of the right of the economic spectrum – even of those that claimed to be left of centre. However, after the recent elections, nobody …

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EU and the Western Balkans: more than goodwill to speed up enlargement

The Communication on EU-enlargement policy presented by the European Commission on 6 October is encouraging for the countries of the Western Balkans. Together with the EC’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and the Covid-19 recovery plan, it shows a great deal of goodwill. The country reports consist of concrete analyses based on …

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New Zealand stays together in a troubled world

In the troubled times of the pandemic, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been re-elected with a landslide victory. It is the biggest victory of any party since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996. And it is a resounding confirmation of PM Ardern’s stewardship during the crisis. “Elections aren’t always great …

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The rule of law stalemate

The seven-year financial framework and the recovery budget of the European Union have been taken hostage by a bitter dispute over the rule of law. The European Parliament (EP) asserts itself as a guardian of EU values, imposing its requirements at last on the spending machinery of the Union. The declaration by the four leaders …

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The changing face of New Zealand’s parliament

With the recent elections, New Zealand’s parliament has started looking more and more like the country’s society – in all its diversity. However, the increased share of female representation, of LGBTQIA+ MPs, of representatives with Māori, Pacific or other ethnicities is largely due to the slates of the progressive parties. This is in large part …

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New Zealand’s unexpected heroine

Last week, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won re-election with a landslide – confirming her solid lead in the country, as well as her status as an international progressive superstar. Only a few months before the 2017 elections however, she was not even expected to run as party leader. And even now, without …

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