More of a Coronation than a Referendum

Russians voted by a landslide to pass constitutional changes that will allow Vladimir Putin to run for president twice more, according to preliminary results released last night. Around 78 percent voted yes to the amendments, versus 21 percent against, with turnout about 65 percent. There were reports of widespread irregularities including inconsistent tallies of results,…

Eurogroup Presidency

Three ministers have put forward their candidacy to become president of the Eurogroup: Nadia Calviño, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation of Spain – Bio – Motivation letter; Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform of Ireland – Bio – Motivation letter; Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg – Bio – Motivation letter.   The…

Petition of Patriots of Ukraine to the Heads of State and Governments of the Member States of the EU

We publish here in full the text of a petition from the Patriots of Ukraine Worldwide addressed to the Heads of State and Governments of the EU Member States.  For the seventh year in a row, Ukraine and Ukrainians have been fighting at the forefront of international efforts to repel Russian armed aggression and the…

Recovery Plan For Democracy

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament have published what they call a “recovery plan for democracy.” As the world has worked to slow the spread of the pandemic through restrictive social measures, the S&D Group believes that we need to look closely at how these actions have impacted on people’s rights, including the…

Russian Connection in US Riots

We republish here in full, with the authors’ permission, the text of an article that first appeared in the blog of the Institute for Global Threats and Democracy Studies (IGTDS) Riots in the US were triggered by the murder of the African-American George Floyd by Minneapolis police after being arrested. CNN has released a story…

Statement by New Europeans about the voting rights of EU citizens

We welcome the announcement by the UK government that EU citizens from Poland will continue to enjoy the same democratic rights in Britain as they did prior to Britain leaving the European Union. (Poland, UK sign bi-lateral voting rights treaty, Polandin.com This decision is long overdue and follows similar announcements in relation to the rights of Spanish,…

Keeping Hong Kong’s Freedoms Alive

As a young District Officer in 1984 I watched together with dignitaries from the New Territories of Hong Kong the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong together with TENG Xiaoping, the architect of the “One Country Two Systems” mantra.  This international treaty paved the way for…

Democracy Under Threat in Hungary?

In a European Parliament debate on Hungary’s coronavirus emergency measures, most MEPs said democracy and fundamental rights are under threat in Hungary.  The majority of speakers on 14 May stressed that the Hungarian government’s measures, including the declaration of a state of emergency without a time limit, are not in line with EU rules, calling…

The World Should Remember Kashmir This Eid

By John Grogan In the seventeenth century the Mughal Emperor and patron of the arts, Javangir, famously exclaimed when he saw the valley of Kashmir, “If there is a heaven on earth it is here, it is here.” Sadly this weekend as the majority Muslim population in the area celebrate the festival of Eid-Al-Fitr tensions…