Roemenië: Omstreden noodbesluit ingetrokken na massale protesten

Op 31 januari heeft de Roemeense regering een noodbesluit aangenomen. Deze ging om een sterke verlaging van de straffen voor ambtsmisbruik, een verwarring van de bewijslast voor dit misdrijf en een grenswaarde van rond de 50.000 euro waaronder ambtsmisbruik niet meer strafbaar zou zijn. Na grote protest acties, werd het noodbesluit terug ingetrokken.

Nieuwe Roemeense regering gaat voor omstreden amnestieregeling

Na de recente parlementsverkiezingen is de PSD de grootste partij gebleven en heeft een coalitie gevormd. Op de achtergrond spelen grote belangen van partijbaronnen en zakenlui die de adem van de speciale anticorruptiedienst in hun nek voelen. De druk op de nieuwe regering is groot om maatregelen te nemen, die de vooruitgang van de afgelopen jaren op justitiegebied weer moeten terugdraaien.

Freedom lecture with Zhanna Nemtsova

On 30 November De Balie in Amsterdam invited Zhanna Nemtsova, journalist at Deutsche Welle and daughter of Boris Nemtsov – a Russian liberal oppositional politician who was assassinated on 27 February 2015 – to give a freedom lecture. Nemtsova spoke about her father, propaganda in Russia and the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom. The event, moderated by Kirsten van den Hul, also featured discussions with PvdA Member of Parliament Michiel Servaes and the Insideout documentary team, Masha Ru and Katia Krupennikova.

Training voor jongeren in Moldavië

Afgelopen weekend organiseerden we een campagnetraining voor jongeren van de Democratische Partij in Moldavië. Er zijn in het land kort geleden presidentsverkiezingen geweest die teleurstellen verliepen voor de partij, en dus willen ze zich nu concentreren op het opleiden van de jongeren generatie politici.

Russian winter starts in Moldova

On 13 November the run-off Presidential elections took place in Moldova. An openly pro-Russian socialist candidate Igor Dodon assumed presidency with 99.9% of votes counted. Dodon (Socialist Party and former economy minister in a communist 2006-2009 government) acquired 52.29% of votes against the pro-European candidate Maia Sandu (Action and Solidarity Party and former World Bank official and education minister in 2012-2015), who received 47.71%. The voters turnout was 53.3%, only 4% higher than in the first round on 30 October, while abroad it doubled. Such a result could influence the ongoing EU integration efforts of Moldova. Dodon has said during his campaign that he plans to conduct a referendum on withdrawing from the Association Agreement with the EU and joining the Eurasian Customs Union instead. Good relations with Romania and Ukraine have been claimed to be of interest to Dodon as well, even though he has said recently that Crimea is a ‘factual’ part of Russia, which caused outrage in Ukraine. Sandu, in her turn, supported the withdrawal of several thousands of Russian “peacekeeping” troops from the separatist Trans-Dniester region, which broke away in early 1990s. It was unusual that 9,000 people came to vote in Trans-Dniester this time, where they usually do not participate in Moldovan elections.

GDDG gains a Constitutional majority in parliament

On 30 October the ruling party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) won the second round of parliamentary elections that took place in 50 single-mandate constituencies and gained a 116-seat majority required to change the Constitution (it won 67 seats in the first round and 49 in the second). The opposition United National Movement (UNM) will remain with 27 seats and the pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots - with 6 seats. Now GDDG will be able to introduce its candidate for the post of a Prime Minister, who has more authority than the President and will form the new government. GDDG won in 48 out of 49 districts where it nominated its candidates. In Mtatsminda district of Tbilisi GDDG supported an independent candidate, Salome Zourabichvili, who won. In all 44 districts, where GDDG’s main rival was UNM, GDDG candidates won with a significant margin (e. g. 79.27% against 20.73 in Saburtalo district), including two districts (Marneuli and Akhaltsikhe/Adigeni), where UNM candidates won the first rounds. The only district, where GDDG candidate was defeated, is Khashuri, where a candidate from the Industrialists party managed to gain victory.

The time of social democracy in Ukraine will come in three years

Social democracy in Ukraine is often surrounded by misconception. Ukrainians tend to confuse social democracy with socialism, bolshevism, communism, fascism or Nazism. Not many pay due attention to the main ideas of social democracy, such as workers’ well-being, equal opportunities, lessening the gap between rich and poor, freedom and solidarity. Social democracy’s spirit has a lot in common with the French Revolution motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité!”. Social democracy stands against nationalistic hatred, intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Social democracy could be the way to stop war in Donbas and fight corruption and oligarchy in post-Soviet states. If everybody is free, equal and solidary – there is simply no reason to fight a war or give a bribe.

Campagne en leiderschapstraining aan Oekraïense jongeren

Afgelopen weekend organiseerden we een training voor jonge sociaaldemocraten in Oekraïne, over campagnevoeren en leiderschap. De training vond plaats in Kharkiv, de 2e stad van Oekraïne, en bekend om het feit dat het een studentenstad is. De groep bestond dus uit jonge, actieve leden van de Sociaaldemocratische Platform, die niet alleen uit Kharkiv kwamen maar uit meerdere regio’s van Oekraïne.

Festival “Ukraine 25 years independent”

Last Saturday, 24 September, the Dutch-Ukrainian community in the Netherlands celebrated 25 years of Ukraine’s independence at the MeetingDistrict in Nieuwegein near Utrecht. It turned out to be a really special event, which brought together culture, art, presentations, discussions, modern interpretation of traditional cuisine and even a mini ornithological exhibition. The organizers (Platform Cooperation Netherlands-Ukraine Foundation SPSN-O, Brand New Ukraine Foundation, “Oekraïners in Nederland” Foundation, Taras Sjevtsjenko Foundation, Stichting Spoetnik and Roesalka Dancing and Singing Group) welcomed more than 130 visitors, including a guest of honor, the spouse of the Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Horin, Natalia Tymoshenko.

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