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Bulgaria: the raised fist – from hope to a threat to democracy

On 2 October 2022, Bulgarians voted for the fourth time in less than two years for a new parliament. In the summer of 2020, when citizens justly raised their voices against the GERB status quo, almost no one realised that in two years’ time, instead of living in the longed-for democracy, they would face the […]

At a time of war, the focus should have been on the needs of society

In the Hungarian elections on 3 April, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance reached a two-thirds majority in parliament for the fourth time. The result clearly indicates that the System of National Cooperation (an autocratic structure abbreviated as NER in Hungarian) now already constitutes a specific period in Hungary’s history, like the Horthy system between the two world […]

Speeding up the reform of EU fiscal rules – back to work

The work on revising the fiscal rules of the European Union had started long before Covid-19. The global pandemic had put the work on hold, for good reasons. Now that the EU debt levels have risen to new highs the past year, there is a strong need to speed up the process to ensure the […]

Progressive agents of change

In the last decades, demands for orientation and political leadership in increasingly complex societies have risen. And so have demands of citizens for more direct participation. The current pandemic has only exacerbated these possibly contradictory developments. Progressive political parties will have to carefully readjust between citizens’ demands for more participation and inclusion on the one […]

The Bulgarian parliamentary elections of 4 April and the quest for a new social contract

The big winners of the 2021 parliamentary election in Bulgarian were three new parties, that will now enterparliament and that had championed last summer’s “Things Can’t Go on Like This” protests. The ‘systemic’ parties were punished, with prime minister Borissov’s GERB taking first place but with insufficient votes to form a government, thus opening the […]

Dutch elections 2021: no recovery of Social Democracy!

All left-wing parties experience a dramatic loss of votes in the recent elections in the Netherlands. The Labour Party did not lose votes but remain at their all-time low. Short-term reasons explain in part the poor performance. But long-term factors explain why Social Democracy will remain in dire straits. In 2012, when the country was […]

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