Tuesday, September 11, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a well-attended seminar on the upcoming Ukrainian parliamentary election. Hrihory Nemyria, vice party leader for Batkivschchyna and former deputy prime minister together with Eugenia Thmoshenko, daughter of the imprisoned Yulia Tymoshenko, presented their views on the current political situation in the country. The seminar was moderated by the Swedish MP Walburga Habsburg Douglas and is available here at the JHS homepage. (more…)

Hans-Gunnar Adén (left) and Gunnar Hökmark

MEP Gunnar Hökmark who recently visited Azerbaijan in his role as chairman of the Policy Committee of Euronests Parliamentary Assembly and Hans-Gunnar Adén, former ambassador to Azerbaijan participated on Friday in a seminar on developments in Azerbaijan. An interested crowd of about 30 people had gathered to listen and ask questions.

Hans-Gunnar Adén started out referring to a number of international index that “classify” Azerbaijan as unfree and as a dictatorship. He noted that the Azerbaijani society rather go backwards than forwards in terms such as human rights.  (more…)

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

April 3, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a breakfast seminar with the Ukrainian party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former minister for foreign affairs and speaker. Yatsenyuk is a key figure in the attempts to unite the democrat opposition in Ukraine prior to the next parliamentary elections in October this year.

Reports of the developments in Ukraine confirm that the democracy is suffering under President Viktor Yanukovych. What does this mean to this year’s parliamentary elections and how does the democrat opposition work? Those are some of the questions that Arseniy Yatsenyuk answered during the seminar. (more…)

Thomas Gür holds up the JHS-report on Azerbaijan. To his left,Fuad Muxtarli and to his right Gerald Knaus.

The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has during the last ten years been supporting democracy in Azerbaijan. An authoritarian state in which the political opposition only can work within the narrow conditions of the regime. The foundation’s partner in the country is the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan (NIPA).

Due to the Eurovision Song Contest, that took place in Baku on May 26, the JHS arranged two seminars about the developments in Azerbaijan, during the spring of 2012.

The European Stability Initiative ESI) has released a report “Caviar Diplomacy, How Azerbaijan silenced the Council of Europe”; www.esiweb.org

During a seminar on April 27, Gunnar Hökmark and Sven-Gunnar Adén discussed the developments in Azerbaijan.





Watch the live broadcast from a seminar on March 16, 2012.

Watch a film from a seminar on April 27, 2012.

Read the interview-report published by the Hjalmarson Foundation.

The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has resently launched a thematic page aboutAzerbaijan called Democracy for Azerbaijan. Developments in Azerbaijan causes concern regarding human rights but also the political opposition’s ability to operate.

The thematic page is meant to serve as information hub for facts about Azerbaijan.

Go to Democracy for Azerbaijan

A delegation with Swedish parliamentarians from the Moderate party and the Social democratic party visited Turkey on February 9, in regards to the country’s work on a new constitution. During the day, a number of meetings with Turkish politicians, scholars and representatives from NGOs were conducted at the Swedish embassy in Ankara. The goal was to exchange ideas and experiences on constitutional issues. The discussions came to focus on, among other things, the country’s election system and the role of minorities in Turkey. The visit was arranged by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation and the Olof Palme International Center, in cooperation with the Swedish embassy in Ankara.

From left Ulrik Nilsson, Elisabeth Björnsdotter Rahm, Stefan Caplan och Margareta Cederfelt.

Opportunities for electoral fraud were definitely present, said four moderate MPs who visited Russia during the Duma elections on December 4. On Thursday the team shared their experiences and analysis at a breakfast seminar arranged by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation.

In particular, the election observers pointed out, there were ample opportunities to cheat during the so-called mobile voting (for elderly at home) and at the many unattended ballot boxes in the more than 90,000 polling stations around the country. Ulrik Nilsson mentioned electoral lists where United Russia had beforehand been marked with a cross. Stefan Caplan noted that at some of the polling stations, he visited, there were more ballots than voters, after polling closed!

“United Russia’s grip of the Russian soul is decreasing significantly”, said Ulrik Nilsson at the breakfast seminar when he was asked about what the election results might lead to.

He and other observers gave the audience a unique insight into what happened in a number of the many polling stations. The images showed flaws in the system which allows for cheating and fraud.

Lack of valsekretess was also something that many of the observers noted. How ballots reviewed by election officials (all have a ballot where you check for the party you vote for) and how many people voted together. (more…)

On November 16, Hirsh Goodman, Senior research associate at the Institute for National Security at Tel Aviv University, visited the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation and voiced his opinion about “How the Arab Spring Changed Israel’s Role in the Middle East.”Karin Enström, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee presided over the seminar.

Hirsch Goodman, Israeli Expert on national security.

The audience of about 30 participants listened to Hirsh Goodman when he declared that much has been the same in the months following the Arab spring. Though, he is worried about all weapons that currently are in circulation in countries bordering to Israel – countries with in many respects unstable structures. Still he argued that Israel’s daily cooperation with Egypt works quite well.

“The bloodshed in Syria is likely to be prolonged”, said Hirsh Goodman and explained that in Israel a certain relief can be noted as the Arab The Arab Spring has Not Really Affected Israel states now are looking inwards, towards their own. He also pointed out that the expectations of change, following the Arab spring, were not very high in Israel. (more…)

Professor Anders Åslund spoke about how the Baltic countries managed to curb the financial crisis.

Professor Åslund is one of the world’s leading experts on the former Soviet republics and has been working as an economic advisor to the governments in the Baltic states, Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and other countries. Currently working at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington DC, professor Åslund has written numerous books, most recently “How Latvia came through the Financial Crisis,” together with the Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis.

 “In an economic crisis, you have to cut down on bureaucracy. In Latvia, it was cut down by 30 percent and the wages in the public sector was reduced on average by 26 percent”, according to Åslund (more…)

On the third day of the Book Fair, JHS focused on Belarus and Internet Freedom.

In a seminar in the morning, Andrey Dmitriev, member of the opposition in Belarus, and Brit Stakston, expert on social media, discussed under lead of Cecilia Brinck, Member of the Swedsih Parliament. (more…)

Apart from the seminars, the Hjalmarson Foundation also arranges casual discussions in the JHS Stand.

Walburga Habsburg Douglas, MP, talked about the past and current situation in the Balkans, and made som wishes for the future of the Balkan countries. Habsburg Douglas is the author of the preface of the book “Balkan Blend”, published by JHS. (more…)