Lessons - what Europeans can learn from one another this week
How to beat a political bully (like Fidesz): Marki-Zay, an independent candidate, beat Hungary’s ruling party in a town that has historically always backed them. This unexpected turn of events was possible because all the other parties --from the socialists to the far-right -- joined forces to back Zay. Illiberalism
How to lead by example (to get young voters engaged): Just in time from Sunday’s elections, Italy’s newcomer “Power to the People” has risen up out of nowhere. It is a left wing movement lead by activists and engaged citizens. Viola Carofalo - a precarian and teacher – is the face of party.Politics
How to move people (to act for the environment): give then a common purpose. Like De Standaard, one of Belgium’s leading Newspapers did this week when they invited Flanders residents to support and take part in an air pollution study. 20 000 people reacted making it the biggest project of its kind in Belgium. Leadership
How to reconnect (with citizens gone AWOL): build a tool. Bosnia and Herzegovina have launched a portal to keep its 2 million citizens living abroad (which leaves 3,5 million actually in the country) involved in B&H affairs and, hopefully, in local investments. Community
How to take matters into your own hands (when you are a refugee): representatives of 11 nations have come together to create a refugee choir in Hungary, where government backed anti immigration rhetoric is on the rise. Migration
How to get back up (when you are a young woman of Syrian origins in France): 22 year old singer of Syrian origins left a popular television singing show when her social media posts revealed she had been critical of the French government. The public was torn and divided. Now, she is back and has announced she will record an album.
A Red Flag - Central Europe’s increasingly brutal attempts to conceal corruption
Slovakia -- The widely reported murder of Ján Kuciak, a young Slovak investigative reporter, and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová, is clearly linked to Kuciak's investigation of connections between the prime minister and other government officials with the Calabrian mafia. The government is in a tailspin with officials resigning and the PM expected to lose his mandate. Police have arrested 7 people from Eastern Slovakia in connection with the case.
Romania -- This week the Justice Minister, Tudorel Toader, called for the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kövesi, the head of the national anti-corruption agency and one of country's most popular politicians. The move is being linked to Kövesi’s opposition to a governmental decree that would have decriminalized certain forms of corruption and seen dozens of officials freed. Given the support of the Romania's president Klaus Johannis, Kövesi's popularity and the public's disillusionment with politicians, this development could trigger wave of protests comparable to those of February 2017.
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