10. July 2015

Five myths on low voter turnout at European elections in post-communist countries

by Veronika Sobolova

veronika-sobolova-modifieed The voter turnout for the European Parliament elections have been decreasing steadily since the very first EP elections in 1979. This trend persists in spite of the large transfer of competencies to the European Parliament, which gave it a more significant position within the complex system of inter-institutional relations. During this time, the EU itself also gained a lot of competencies from the national level, which leads us to pose a rhetorical question: is the declining turnout European citizens’ answer to the EU enlargement and deeper integration?

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08. July 2015

The British General Elections – Why Did Labour Fail? Election Aftermath – Turning to the Future

by Ivan Stefanovski

ivan-stefanovskiDid it all start wrong with the inter-party election of Ed Miliband as President of the Labour in May 2010? Was that May 23rd an unlucky one for the Labour Party? After the electoral defeat in 2010, and the resignation of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown as leader of the Labour Party, many hoped that a new era for Labour was on the horizon. Although Miliband the older was a favourite in the inter-party election, younger brother Ed, standing on the shoulders of the trade unions, won the close tie by a small margin, achieving the support of 50,65% of the electoral college. In his early 40s, Ed was the youngest leader in Labour history, while also becoming a leader of the opposition in Parliament.

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19. June 2015

We children of the war

by Adnan Rahimic

1-adnan-rahimicWhen the war started in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I didn’t understand how serious the situation was. I was a child, 10 years old. We shared cellars and shelters in my home town of Mostar, 130 kilometres south-east of Sarajevo. For us, it was an adventure –free time with our friends, no school, no homework, we played around, and we all slept in one room, shared one bed. We didn’t understand that we were hiding. In fact, we asked our parents to go to the shelter often, so that all of us could be together.

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12. June 2015

Papa (Franjo), do preach!

by Adnan Rahimic

1-adnan-rahimicOn 6 June 2015, Pope Francis – Papa Franjo in Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian – visited Sarajevo. It was his first visit to Sarajevo and the third official visit of a Vatican representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Pope came to bring a message of peace to the Balkans, to Sarajevo, a place where different cultures meet, a place that is a true bridge between East and West.

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29. May 2015

General Elections in Turkey: Where is the EU?

by Efehan Danisman

efehan-danismanOn 7 June 2015 Turkey will hold its 2015 general election to elect the 550 members of the Grand National Assembly. The results will inevitably have an impact on Turkey-EU relations. There are a number of formidable issues standing in the way of Turkey and the EU making any progress in their already bumpy partnership: accession negotiations have been stalled, mainly due to Cyprus’s blockage of most of the chapters and Turkey’s hesitance to open the remaining ones. Moreover, Turkey and the EU have common challenges other than accession negotiations, such as security – ISIS in particular -, refugees and energy fields. Despite these many common challenges, the attention devoted to Turkey-EU relations by Turkish political parties is relatively limited and in their electoral campaigns, parties rather focused on issues such as economic development, the long-standing Kurdish issue, large infrastructure projects and rule of law.

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