selection

Martin Russell

This tag is associated with 22 posts

Serbia at risk of authoritarianism?

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Continue reading

Digital technology in elections: Efficiency versus credibility?

Digital technology brings greater efficiency in many walks of life, and elections are no exception. Online databases hugely facilitate the task of creating and managing accurate and up-to-date electoral rolls. In less developed countries, whose citizens often lack reliable identity documents, biometric technology can help to identify voters, thus preventing fraud in the form of multiple voting. Continue reading

EU sanctions, A key foreign and security policy instrument [Policy podcast]

Sanctions have become an increasingly central element of the EU’s common and foreign security policy. At present, the EU has 42 sanctions programmes in place, making it the world’s second-most active user of restrictive measures, after the US. Continue reading

EU sanctions against Russia : What’s next?

Four years after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the issue of sanctions against Moscow is more topical than ever. Relations between Russia and the West have continued to deteriorate to a level not seen since the end of the Cold War, with revelations of the Kremlin’s interference in the United States elections and elsewhere – for example, in the United Kingdom’s EU referendum. Continue reading

Malaysia’s 2018 general election

On 9 May 2018, Malaysians go to the polls to elect federal and state parliaments. Although a financial scandal and rising living costs have dented the popularity of the government, the opposition faces an uphill battle to end the governing Barisan Nasional coalition’s six-decade rule, and it is not widely expected to win. Continue reading

Russia’s 2018 presidential election: Six more years of Putin

On 18 March 2018, Russians will elect the president who will govern their country for the next six years. Incumbent, Vladimir Putin is firmly on track to win, with approval ratings that have stayed above 80 % since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Continue reading

EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement [International Agreements in Progress]

The free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam has been described as the most ambitious deal of its type ever concluded between the EU and a developing country. Continue reading

Palm oil: economic and environmental impacts

Economical and versatile, palm oil has become the world’s most widely used vegetable oil. However, its production comes at a heavy environmental cost, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two main producers. Efforts to make its production more sustainable still have a long way to go. Continue reading

Kremlin trolls in the US presidential election

Discussions about Kremlin interference in the 2016 US presidential election initially focused on Russian hackers and leaked e-mails. However, US Congress enquiries have highlighted the important role played by Russian social media activity in influencing public opinion. Continue reading

EU support for media freedom – looking East: Turkey, Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership, Russia

Written by Naja Bentzen, Velina Lilyanova, Philippe Perchoc, Martin Russell, with Clare Ferguson Each year, on 3 May, UNESCO reminds the world of the importance of press freedom to creating peaceful societies which value justice and human rights. This year’s World Press Freedom Day takes the theme of ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times’, underlining the growing … Continue reading

Indonesia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Written by Martin Rusell and Giulio Sabbati (both EPRS), In cooperation with Laura Bartolini (from GlobalStat | EUI), Which economy grew faster over the past 15 years – the EU or Indonesia? How many Indonesian women have a job, and what is the unemployment rate? Which country is Indonesia’s biggest trading partner? What kind of … Continue reading

The EU’s Russia policy: Five guiding principles

Written by Martin Russell, While EU-Russia relations had long been difficult, in 2013 they took an abrupt turn for the worse, after Ukraine signed an association agreement with the EU, and Russia responded with attacks on its former ally in spring 2014. The latest setback came in October 2016, following Western condemnation of Russia’s part … Continue reading

Human rights in Russia

The human rights situation in Russia is increasingly difficult. Repressive legislation adopted over the last few years has severely curtailed human rights by targeting freedom of expression and human rights activism. Western criticisms are dismissed by the Kremlin as interference in Russian domestic affairs. Continue reading

Russia: Economic indicators and trade with EU

Written by Martin Russell and Giulio Sabbati (both EPRS) In cooperation with Laura Bartolini (from GlobalStat | EUI), Which economy grew faster over the past 15 years – the EU or Russia? How many Russians are out of work, and how sound are the country’s public finances? How much red tape do Russian businesses have … Continue reading

Sanctions over Ukraine – Impact on Russia

In early 2014, Russia violated international law by annexing Crimea and allegedly fomenting separatist uprisings in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Continue reading

The faces behind the EPRS blog

Written by Richard Freedman, Have you ever wondered who drafts the content of the EPRS blog?  Who are the faces behind the words and images on the blog? Over this holiday period we thought it would be interesting to introduce you to some of the EPRS authors. Our authors write blog pieces based on EPRS … Continue reading

Myanmar/Burma’s 2015 elections

Written by Martin Russell Twenty-five years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party won an overwhelming electoral victory, only to be denied power by the SLORC junta. The 2015 elections give the party and its leader a second chance to end decades of direct and indirect military rule. In the absence of opinion polls it … Continue reading

Truth, lies and disinformation — beyond Russia and Ukraine

Written by Martin Russell and Naja Bentzen Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. — George Orwell, 1984 ‘This is war. You’re part of it’. The appeal on the euromaidanSOS website – originally a Facebook group devoted to helping ‘people who suffered during the revolution in Ukraine’ – … Continue reading

EU-Russia energy relations – stuck together?

Written by Martin Russell The EU’s reliance on Russian energy is a long-standing concern that predates current tensions. While dependence shows no signs of diminishing, the EU has taken coordinated action to prepare for potential disruption to supplies, and the proposed Energy Union envisages even closer cooperation. However, issues such as energy sanctions and Russian … Continue reading

The Russian economy: Will Russia ever catch up?

Written by Martin Russell Over the past 25 years, Russia has undergone dramatic economic changes, with the difficult reforms and catastrophic economic collapse of the 1990s, the boom years of the new century, the global economic crisis and the current downturn. Despite all these developments, many of the structural economic challenges faced by Russia remain unchanged since Soviet … Continue reading

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