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Elections

  • Saving the Spitzenkandidaten System

    juillet 9, 2019

    The Spitzenkandidaten-contest is a game, which both the European Parliament and the European Council still have to learn. The difficulty both players are facing is that the rules of the game are unclear, if not contradictory. As each player of board games knows, disputable rules are a recipe for controversy and disappointment. No wonder, then, that the political emotions about the decision of the European Council to propose a non-playing candidate for the presidency of the European Commission are running high.

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  • The Rise of European Democracy as Challenge for the European Parliament

    juillet 5, 2019

    The evolution of the European Union offers a fine example of the law of the handicap of the head start. The example in point has been accentuated by the jump forward in the evolution of European democracy, which the 2019 elections for the European Parliament brought about. In my previous blog I argued that, thanks to the 2019 EP-elections, European democracy has come of age. Many observers believe that the so-called Spitzenkandidaten practice has played a major role in the outcome. The lead candidate procedure was introduced at the 2014 EP-elections and implies that each party will be represented at Union level by one candidate.

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  • European Democracy Coming of Age

    juin 7, 2019

    The process of cooperation in Europe, which started in the aftermath of World War II, has resulted in the emergence of an unprecedented political construction on the old continent. Initially, the debate about the nature of the European Communities and their successor the European Union, was dominated by the dilemma as to whether the integration should lead to the creation of a federal state, to be described as the United States of Europe, or to the establishment of a Europe of Nation-States, proudly portrayed by President de Gaulle as ‘l’Europe des Patries. After decades of deadlock, the 2007 Lisbon Treaty overcame the conceptual stalemate by constructing the EU as a democracy without turning the Union into a state.

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  • Gbagbo

    février 14, 2019

    On January 15 2019, Mr Laurent Gbagbo, the former head of state of Côte d’Ivoire (2000-2011) and his right-hand man, Charles Blé Goudé, were acquitted from all charges of crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed between 2010 and 2011. Post-electural bloodshed in Côte d’Ivoire in 2010 resulted in the death of about 3,000 people and the displacement of 500,000. Gbagbo was charged with four counts of crimes against humanity: murder, rape, other inhumane acts or – in the alternative – attempted murder, and persecution, allegedly committed during the 2010-2011 post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire. Gbagbo, who has pleaded not guilty, was taken into custody by the ICC in 2011. He remained in custody for seven years. The trial was a landmark in the history of the ICC. Gbagbo was the highest profile official and the first former head of state, to stand trial at the ICC since the establishment of the Court.

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  • Vacancy: Secretary-General of the United Nations

    septembre 8, 2016

    Coming autumn the United Nations will choose a successor of mr. Ban Ki-Moon, who served the organization as Secretary-General since January 1st , 2007. In the past few months no less than twelve people (six women and six men) applied for the job, including former Prime Ministers, Secretary of States and executives of several international organizations. At this moment (Sept 8th 2016) already two candidates withdrew from the procedure. This blog will analyze this particular procedure and its legal basis. It is not meant as an endorsement for any of the candidates.

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