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Progressives and a new social contract – arduous pathways from the semi-periphery

More than 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, many hopes, aspirations, and expectations of the people in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe are unfulfilled despite full membership of their countries in the European Union. A new generation of leaders, based on broad, inclusive, and progressive social alliances, is necessary to achieve advanced […]

From major legacy issues to a strong legitimacy for the future – the centre-left in CEE in a search for a true renewal

Calling the situation of the centre-left parties in Central and Eastern Europe ‘difficult’ equals hiding behind a diplomatic langue de bois. In none of the countries of the region, Social Democrats are in government – neither at the helm of a coalition, nor as a partner in one. Sometimes they even failed to enter parliament […]

Role model no more

To mark the start of the six-month EU Council presidency of Slovenia, a grandiose musical and ballet performance was arranged on Lake Bled. This reminded me of my own very first visit to Slovenia, which was also linked to music, though with a much more modest profile. As an unassuming clarinet player in the wind […]

How can we find a balance between free movement and shortages in the healthcare workforce in the EU?

In all European nations, life and health are one of the most important pillars of well-being. Indeed, health is the cultural backbone of our civilisation. Despite being cautious about a high tax burden, EU citizens want more health services of higher quality and they agree that higher health bills should be financed by general taxes […]

Romania keeps its right turn, but is there any hope for the Left?

The parliamentary elections in Romania on 6 December brought relief and even some hope for the future for Social Democrats. The party stabilised its level of support to 30 percent of the vote, virtually the same result as in the September local elections. However, centre-right parties secured around 40 percent of the vote and are […]