On 26-27 February, female politicians from the Georgian opposition party, United National Movement (UNM) met in order to discuss how women could gain more influence in politics. The conference took place in the small village of Kachreti in eastern Georgia, and the women participating were from all over Georgia. At the moment there is no female Mayor in the country and women in rural areas have it most difficult to pursue a political career. However, all women said they were fighting against old structures and attitudes. (more…)
The economic problems are so long gone in Venezuela that debts have become a real threat to the country. The value of the currency decreases rapidly and inflation is going up. Foreign imports have ceased, resulting in empty shelves in stores around the country. Read more
February 25-27, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted its fifth Regional Women’s Round-Table Conference with representatives from the Foundation’s co-operation organisations in the Balkans. The conference was held in Stockholm and the purpose was to discuss Balkan’s integration to the European Union. (more…)
On February 13-15, 2015, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged two conferences with the Moldovan government party, Partidul Liberal Democrat Din Moldova (PLDM) in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. Target groups were women and youth from the party, and the theme of the conferences was campaign and communication.
If things go as planned, there will be local elections in Moldova in June, but at the moment a political crisis has struck the country. Neither a Prime Minister, nor a government has been appointed. In November 2014, there was parliamentary election in the country and the time to form a government is running out. In the beginning of March there has to be a new Prime Minister who could select a government, otherwise there will be re-election.
The majority of the votes in the 2014 election went to the pro-European parties, PLDM, and the Democratic Party (PDM), who were in the previous coalition, but together they do not have enough seats in Parliament to form a majority government. In order to get their political reforms through, they depend on the Communist Party. Pro-Russian Socialist Party, which unlike the Communist Party, does not want to move closer to the EU, will then be the largest opposition party. (more…)
Freedom House has released its 42nd edition of its annual report Freedom in the World – a global survey of political and civil rights. The report is the oldest and most authoritative of democracy and human rights.
The report finds an overall decline in the state of freedom for the ninth consecutive year. More aggressive tactics by authoritarian regimes and an increase of terrorist attacks contributed to the decline in global freedom in 2014.
As evidence of a growing disdain for democratic standards that was found in nearly all regions of the world, cites Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a rollback of democratic improvements in Egypt, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s intensified campaign against press freedom and civil society, and further centralisation of authority in China.
On January 21-22 and 23-24, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted two conferences in Georgia for political active youth from the Foundation’s partner United National Movement (UNM). The conferences revolved round party ideology and the road towards NATO and EU membership. The conferences were co-hosted by the International Republican Institute (IRI). (more…)
When the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, hosted a seminar on the development in Russia, held by famous Russian expert, Lilia Shevtsova, the hall was packed.
– I see Russia as a phenomenon. In that sense I agree with Putin, she started.
Lilia Shevtsova is one of the most prominent experts on Russia and its neighbors. She has written several books on Russian politics and she contributes regularly to foreign affairs debates. Last week, she visited Sweden to share her view on Putin, the occupation of Crimea and the Russian people’s attitude towards the worrying development.
The road to democracy has been more complicated and taken more time than we thought, Shevtsova introduced. Russia is struggling with both domestic and foreign policy problems. Traditionalism, nationalism and personalized leadership dominate together with imperial ambitions. (more…)
December 9, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk laid out one of the boldest and most impressive reform agendas that Ukraine has seen in its recent history. Yatsenyuk offered nearly everything a reformer could have asked for, and backed it up with a strong narrative to appeal Ukrainians. He presented Europe as the anchor, aim, and means of Ukraine’s reforms: “Our basic course is a European course…. Our final aim is Ukraine’s membership of the European Union. But to achieve that goal it is necessary to go through a serious test, to carry out radical changes and to make Ukraine European.”
Read the full commentary by Ander Åslund here
In cooperation with the Turkish think-tank, Association for Liberal Thinking (ALT), Jarl Hjalmarson arranged a weekend seminar on the basics of a democratic and free society. The conference took place in Istanbul, November 21-23, 2014 and gathered students from different parts of Turkey. (more…)
On December 3-5, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation invited representatives and leaders for the Moderate party’s sister organisations in the Balkans as well as other organisations and politicians concerned to a round-table conference in Stockholm. The red thread throughout the discussions were the recent developments in the region and the outlook for continuous European integration of the Balkan states into the European Union. Host of the conference was Göran Lennmarker, Chariman of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation. (more…)
November 11-18, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation organised two conferences on ideology for political active youth from the Eastern Neighbourhood. The conferences were held in Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm. Topics at the conference treated the principles from our book Principles for a Free Society by Dr Nigel Ashford. (more…)