The Eurozine sequence ‘The writing on the wall’ offers insights from analysts in Europe’s east into the political state of affairs of their nations, over a 12 months into Russia’s assault on Ukraine. To this point, the sequence covers Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
Within the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Georgia and Moldova, contributors describe an existential disaster of democracy as geopolitics impacts domestically. Throughout the Balkans and central jap Europe, it’s extra correct to speak of an omnipresent threat of democratic erosion, emanating largely however not solely from inside. In Ukraine, in the meantime, the problem is to pursue democratic progress internally whereas combating an all-out conflict in opposition to a totalitarian invader.
Nonetheless, it wants emphasising that the place state constructions fail to serve the widespread good, jap European civil society typically fills the hole. A superb instance is Croatia’s municipalist movement Zagreb je NAŠ!, which is spreading out throughout the nation and the area. One other is the housing justice movement in Budapest, which is protecting alive Hungary’s lengthy custom of progressive native authorities.
Ecological actions are additionally a supply of encouragement. The success of the protests against environmental degradation in Jadar, Serbia and in Kalivaç, Albania exhibits the democratic potential of inexperienced politics in south-east Europe. Notably in Serbia, a real opposition rooted in political ecology seems to be forming.
However common anti-democratic actions are rising too. A 12 months earlier than Romania’s super-election 12 months, the brand new nationalists are making vital headway. So why does neither authorities nor opposition appear bothered by the mutation of The Alliance for the Union of Romanians from anti-vax protest celebration to common pro-Russian pressure? ‘State passivity’ additionally afflicts Albania. Right here, reforms that might carry the nation additional in the direction of EU accession stay hampered by corruption and lack of political will.
All of those developments influence on the European degree. The EP elections in 2024 will mirror the brand new conjuncture. And EU enlargement has once more change into a prime precedence as Russia’s conflict forces the bloc to suppose strategically like by no means earlier than. Watch this house!