European Forum

The European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity was founded in 1993. We are a platform for co-operation between social democratic parties and political foundations and aim to contribute to the development of (social-) democracy in Eastern & South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Within the European Forum 12 political foundations and 20 parties are active.

Country Updates, the current state of democracy in the following countries:

Latest Country Updates

Latest update: Thu 17 Mar 2016

FYR Macedonia

Thu 17 Mar 2016 For a long time the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is considered a relative success story in the region: no major conflicts, fairly successful state-building process and no territory issues. After years of showing dedication to the Ohrid Agreement (the 2001 peace deal between the Macedonian government and ethnic Albanians) and implementing reforms, Macedonia even received EU candidacy status in December 2005. The promise of EU and NATO membership (by 2008 the criteria for entering NATO were fulfilled) are important tools in uniting Macedonians with Albanian minorities. However, despite UN mediation, the long-standing name dispute with Greece has been stagnating the EU integration process and NATO membership. Therefore the presidential and municipal elections in 2009 and the general elections in June 2011 formed an important test. According to OSCE reports most criteria for fair elections were met in both elections. However, after the 2014 elections, a deep political conflict arose from a governmental wiretap-scandal. Political tensions drag on until today and PM Nikola Gruevski recently resigned (15 January). Since then, the planning and supervision of the next elections have been heavily debated. Tempers are running extra high now the Constitutional Court might pardon individuals who rigged previous elections. On Tuesday evening (14 March) a protest march, backed by civil society organisations, the main opposition Social Democratic Union (SDSM) and the Grom party, filled the streets of Skopje. Read full update

Lebanon

Thu 28 Jan 2016 Politics in in Lebanon are based on a post-civil war imposed sectarian system. The presidency is reserved for a Christian, the Prime Minister post for a Sunni and the post of parliament speaker for a Shi’ite. Divisions within the sectarian groups, as well as those between the March 14 Alliance and March 8 Alliance have left the country in a political deadlock for months. Lebanon has been without a President for over a year and a half and a national dialogue aimed at ending the power vacuum has not resulted in progress. Several parties, including Hezbollah, have boycotted parliament. As a result, Parliament has been paralyzed. The ongoing waste crisis in the country sparked protests, while 1.3 million Syrian refugees increased tensions even more. The ongoing Syrian civil war has led to increased polarization in the country, while both Iran and Saudi Arabia wield influence through the rival alliances.
Read full update

FYR MacedoniaFYR Macedonia

Thu 17 Mar 2016 For a long time the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is considered a relative success story in the region: no major conflicts, fairly successful state-building process and no territory issues. After years of showing dedication to the Ohrid Agreement (the 2001 peace deal between the Macedonian government and ethnic Albanians) and implementing reforms, Macedonia even received EU... Read full update

LebanonLebanon

Thu 28 Jan 2016 Politics in in Lebanon are based on a post-civil war imposed sectarian system. The presidency is reserved for a Christian, the Prime Minister post for a Sunni and the post of parliament speaker for a Shi’ite. Divisions within the sectarian groups, as well as those between the March 14 Alliance and March 8 Alliance have left the country in a political deadlock for months. Lebanon has been... Read full update

Palestinian TerritoriesPalestinian Territories

Thu 28 Jan 2016 In September 2015 the UN General Assembly approved a proposal to raise the Palestinian
flag at its headquarters, a symbolically important move. Still, its status is not recognized by the United Nations, Israel and major Western nations such as the United States. Previously, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted a request to join the United Nations as a full member state in 2011, but... Read full update

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