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Moldova in 2016 is on hold -2

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GEOMETR.IT   ecoi.net

Outlook for 2016: The conditions that caused the political crisis throughout 2015 are unlikely to be resolved in 2016 without a wide national political compromise, which seems improbable. In a country where reforms have barely progressed when political stability was ensured, the crisis has rendered them nearly impossible.

The economic prognosis is grim. The banking sector theft, endemic corruption, and a worsening regional context will impact quality of life even more in 2016 than in the previous year. Early elections, if they occur, would likely strengthen the position of pro-Russian parties, worsening relations with the European Union, but not necessarily damaging the reform process more than the current crisis.

The country’s main challenges remain the same: implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU; de-politicization and de-oligarchization of state institutions, judiciary, and media; and implementation of reforms in areas like the justice system and decentralization.

National Democratic Governance: 

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
5.75 5.75 5.75 6.00 5.75 5.75 5.50 5.50 5.50 5.75

After a relatively stable political year in 2014, Moldova saw in 2015 the most intense political turmoil and instability since the regime change in 2009, with three different governments in the course of the year. Following the November 30, 2014, parliamentary elections, the political parties were unable to form a governing alliance for two and a half months.

After nontransparent negotiations, a new minority government joining the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) and Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) was installed in February as the Political Alliance for a European Moldova, headed by PLDM-affiliated Chiril Gaburici.

Unable to reach agreement with the Liberal Party (PL) on joining the coalition, it relied instead on the communist party (PRCM), which remained formally in opposition but often acted de facto as part of the coalition. The country’s two top oligarchs, Vlad Filat of PLDM and Vlad Plahotniuc of PDM, divided the ministerial portfolios as well as other important institutions,[1] as has been the custom since 2009.[2] For instance, PLDM took the State Tax Office and customs control, and PDM took the prosecutor’s office and National Anticorruption Center.

The coalition barely functioned at a minimum level of competence—in April it adopted a state budget without a parliamentary vote, as required by law[3]—and did not last long. Infighting led to its collapse in June, and a new coalition was formed by PLDM, PDM, and the Liberal Party (PL), headed by Valeriu Strelet of PLDM.

The Strelet government was sacked in late October, formally on allegations of corruption. It then took two months for president Nicolae Timofti to nominate businessman and public figure Ion Sturza to form a new cabinet.

Lacking the political support of parties other than PLDM, most MPs boycotted the parliament session, and Sturza was not able to present his cabinet and program. The fact that it took the president almost two months to nominate a prime minister with a slim chance of support illustrates the depth of Moldova’s political crisis and inability of the political parties to find compromise.

Public protests begun in February by the civic platform “Dignity and Truth” over the failure of law enforcement to investigate the $1 billion banking theft and the country’s worsening living conditions gathered momentum through the year and into the fall. Although some leaders of the platform were connected to Victor and Viorel Topa—oligarch brothers who fled the country five years ago due to conflict with Plahotniuc and later convicted of a variety of crimes—the initial protests were authentically civic in nature. In September, pro-Russian parties, namely, the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (of Igor Dodon) and “Our Party” (of Renato Usatii), piggybacked on civic protests with a similar goal to force early elections, while also backing the idea of a referendum for direct election of the president to replace Moldova’s current system of selection by parliament.

With protests ongoing in October, prosecutors detained former prime minister Vlad Filat on accusations of masterminding the $1 billion banking theft and taking a $250 million cut. The arrest was hardly a credit to investigators, however, as it was based on self-denunciation by the newly elected mayor of Orhei, Ilan Shor, whom many had named as involved in the theft at the time it was committed.[4]

Through all of these events, the population’s trust in governing elites dropped to a new low. Clear evidence of oligarchic capture of state institutions and use of ostensibly independent institutions for political ends decreased the level of trust in the parliament to 6 percent (compared to 41 percent in 2009) and similarly low levels for the government and president.[5]

Against this backdrop of deep disappointment in the ruling elite, new parties started to form. In March, former prime minister Iurie Leanca, who had avoided both camps in the political dispute, split from PLDM to form the European People’s Party of Moldova (PPEM).[6] In December, Dignity and Truth became a political party, polling a solid 12 percent of public support in surveys,[7] although ties between party leader Andrei Nastase and Victor Topa may damage its credibility. Also in December, former education minister Maia Sandu announced she would start her own party, “Action and Solidarity,” drawing on her reputation for integrity and positive results she takes credit for in reforming the education system.[8] However, polls at the end of the year still showed the pro-Russian Our Party (16 percent) and Party of Socialists (10 percent) performing well.[9]

Relations with the EU worsened significantly as the reform agenda under the 2014 Association Agreement stalled, with implementation of only 19 percent of its planned activities.[10] Rampant evidence of grand corruption and lack of basic progress in good governance among ostensibly pro-European elites undermined the pro-EU agenda and strengthened the positions of Euroskeptic and Russia-loyal center-left parties.

Transnistria received little attention in 2015, despite parliamentary elections unrecognized by Moldova or the international community in December. The 5 + 2 negotiations format has been on hold since summer 2014, and contacts between the government in Chişinău and the Tiraspol administration are limited. The only visible progress was the decision to apply the economic component of the Association Agreement to the entire territory of Moldova, including Transnistria, as of January 1, 2016.[11]

Electoral Process: 

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
3.75 3.75 4.00 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00

Local elections were held in June for Moldova’s 898 mayors, elected under a two-round majoritarian system, and 11,680 local council members, elected under a proportional representation system without a threshold.[12]Unlike the problematic 2014 parliamentary elections, the 2015 local elections were generally free and fair and well administered by the Central Electoral Commission.

The elections offered the public a diverse choice, despite a difficult political context compounded by the resignation of the prime minister just two days before the first round. The declared pro-European incumbent parties won the most seats and mayoralties in the elections, although Euroskeptic center-left parties also secured significant support.[13] Ilan Shor, an oligarch publicly named as a participant in the $1 billion banking theft, was elected mayor of Orhei (see Local Democratic Governance).

There were documented issues in the election. According to the local election monitor PromoLex,[14] one major problem was access to voter-list verification, which diminished voter confidence in the electoral process. An inconsistent interpretation of the electoral law on the preparation of voter lists relating to the use of residence permits created circumstances that may have allowed for fraud.[15] A dramatic increase in the number of voters registered in some districts since November 2014 (for instance, a 10.6 percent increase in Codru) could indicate vote manipulation and may have affected the results.[16]

Additionally, the law on funding political parties and campaigns was adopted in March 2015 and the Electoral Code was amended in April 2015,[17] thus violating the Venice Commission recommendation that electoral legislation should not be changed less than one year before an election. The OSCE also criticized changes to the law that prohibited the use of state and foreign symbols and images and forbade involving foreign citizens in campaigning, stating that this is a “disproportionate restriction challenging freedom of expression.”[18]

Certain amendments were positive, such as making vote-buying and illegal campaign funding criminal offenses. Other sanctions for electoral violations include warnings, fines, confiscation of funds, suspension of public funding, and deregistration. However, the provision on sanctions is ambiguous and sometimes conflicting, as well as non-exhaustive. The OSCE noted that this could lead to discretionary application by the Central Electoral Commission, which also received more powers under the legislative amendments.[19]

Following the elections, OSCE/ODIHR and PromoLex offered additional recommendations to improve the legal framework with regard to party funding, election administration, media, voter registration, and the election campaign. So far, the recommendations have not been converted into policies.

Moldova also held elections in March for the position of baskan, or head of local government, in the Gagauz Autonomous Region. Socialist candidate Irina Vlah, running as an independent, won in the first round with 51 percent of the vote. These results were not surprising, as the Socialists had already won control of the region from the Communists in the November 2014 parliamentary elections. The election of Vlah means the central authorities will need to make even more of an effort to keep the region from becoming isolated, which would make it an easier target for Russia should the Kremlin decide to destabilize Moldova.

http://www.ecoi.net

GEOMETR.IT

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1. Неужели будущее Молдовы — это прошлое с лицом XIX века?

A dangerous example: Moldova being split -1

Украина.Фермеры против землемеров. Ружье в каждой хате

The Black Sea or the Grey Zone -2

Прибалты после BREXIT. Куда пойти — кому отдаться?

Moldova in 2016 is on hold -1

The Black Sea or the Grey Zone -2

in Army · Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 103 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT  europeanleadershipnetwork.org

In May 2016, Turkish President Recep Erdogan described the Black Sea as ‘almost a Russian lake’ and called for NATO naval reinforcements to be sent to the area. That prompted a response by Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko who said that the Black Sea will never be a ‘NATO lake’.

In addition, a regional naval force which is not under direct operational NATO command would be led by a Black Sea ally, even if on a rotational basis. Given Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia and Turkey’s fragile unfreezing of relations with Russia, their approaches may significantly differ and possibly clash.

Moreover, since the activation of the Aegis missile defence system, Romania has been included in Russia’s list of ‘targets’, a fact bound to change its defence strategy vis-à-vis Russia.

In searching for an adequate response to the Russian military build-up and assertiveness taking place in the region, NATO needs to show its resolve and common position in Warsaw. Aggressive actions and unannounced exercises and drills conducted by Putin’s administration cannot be overlooked nor ignored, but met with calls and actions that are underpinned by transparency, restraint and defensive intent.
Moving forward, NATO’s leadership should place emphasis on the assurance measures already implemented, including the intensified maritime exercises in the Black Sea and ensure their continuation. It should keep encouraging greater integration between the Black Sea partners and facilitate military equipment modernisation programmes in the eastern Allies.

Further, the distinction between collective security afforded to all member states and the military support offered to partner countries such as Ukraine and Georgia should remain in place. Any joint operations close to the national waters and territory of Russia, unlike the exercises already taking place, can send mixed signals or lead to incidents.

For their part, Black Sea allies should rely on the political commitment of the rest of the Alliance without additional tailored assurance measures. The political will to act and defend the Alliance is by far more important; without it, there may not be any military assistance even in an unlikely case of aggression. Further, eastern member states should take up increasing proportions of the burden-sharing arrangement and, more importantly, be more receptive to the considerations of the Allies in the West. NATO is a collective defence organisation and as such its policies should reflect a shared position, and not be shaped by the concerns of the few.

Lastly, the Alliance should not exclude the possibility of reinforcing security in the region in case circumstances in the region change. Part of such reasoning would be the creation of a more comprehensive assessment tool to indicate thresholds and responses for different threat levels.

Such a tool would comprise a list of ‘triggers’ (including hybrid attacks) and pre-prepared options for NATO action. A multi-dimensional response would then include Alliance-wide defensive measures as well as measures that individual countries can implement. This could prove a more useful method of addressing diverging threat perceptions and striking a compromise.

In Warsaw, leaders should consider actions that strengthen collective defence rather than undermine it. In practice, this places primacy on the better use of existing capabilities in Allied countries in the Black Sea area, rather than on new expanded naval initiatives. Such conclusion may not be welcomed by the regional Allies, but it would more adequately reflect the defensive nature of the Alliance.

http://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org

GEOMETR.IT

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О том как молдавцы любят гусей.+1 миллиард.+Другие лица

Der Transnistrienkonflikt. Nicht eingefroren!

Погранцы Молдовы, высунув язык, хранят девичью честь молдаванок

Bałkański realizm vs europejski idealizm

Moldova: 2+3 makes troubles

The Black Sea or the Grey Zone

Moldova in 2016 is on hold -1

in Army · Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 46 views / 4 comments

GEOMETR.IT   ecoi.net

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
National Democratic Governance 5.75 5.75 5.75 6.00 5.75 5.75 5.50 5.50 5.50 5.75
Electoral Process 3.75 3.75 4.00 4.25 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00
Civil Society 3.75 3.75 3.75 3.50 3.25 3.25 3.25 3.25 3.25 3.25
Independent Media 5.25 5.50 5.75 5.75 5.50 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00
Local Democratic Governance 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.75 5.50
Judicial Framework and Independence 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.75 4.50 4.50 4.50 4.75 4.75 4.75
Corruption 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 5.75 5.75 5.75 6.00
Democracy Score 4.96 5.00 5.07 5.14 4.96 4.89 4.82 4.86 4.86 4.89

 

NOTE: The ratings reflect the consensus of Freedom House, its academic advisers, and the author(s) of this report. If consensus cannot be reached, Freedom House is responsible for the final ratings. The ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 representing the highest level of democratic progress and 7 the lowest. The Democracy Score is an average of ratings for the categories tracked in a given year. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author(s).

Executive Summary: 

Political infighting, extensive corruption, and deep social divisions have put Moldova’s democratic development on hold. In 2015, the country experienced further setbacks to developing inclusive, transparent, and efficient governance.

From the start of the year, the country’s deep political crisis triggered instability that pushed reforms into the background. Conflict between two oligarchs formally in coalition, Vlad Filat of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) and Vlad Plahotniuc of the Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM), disabled the functioning of the state and led to three changes of government during the year.

Despite positive technical efforts in the modernization and European integration of state institutions, reforms have stalled and trust in institutions like the parliament and government has fallen below 7 percent.

The banking scandal that emerged at the end of 2014, in which over $1 billion—equivalent to one-eighth of Moldova’s GDP—disappeared from the state-owned Banca de Economii and two other private banks, dominated politics in 2015.

The theft fed into a worsening economic situation and fueled protests starting in February against the failure of law enforcement institutions to investigate. Piggybacking on the initial civic protests by the “Dignity and Truth” platform, pro-Russian parties organized parallel demonstrations with a similar agenda beginning in September. The protests, political infighting, and finally a self-denunciation by Ilan Shor, a powerful oligarch suspected in the theft, eventually resulted in the arrest of former prime minister Vlad Filat.

The circumstances of Filat’s arrest cast doubt on its efficacy in Moldova’s fight against corruption, however, since it came only after Shor’s statements although much additional evidence had accumulated by that time. Furthermore, despite being named from the start as a key figure in the theft, and despite implicating himself in his own statements, Shor remains at liberty after being elected mayor of Orhei in June 2015.

The formal and informal competition between these main actors to control the public narrative also caused an increase in pressure on the media. Oligarch-controlled business groups that distort information for their benefit control most of the country’s media, albeit with some notable exceptions.

During the year, the parliament also made attempts to change legislation in ways that would increase the role of these groups in the media market under the guise of fighting propaganda. Yet civil society, with the support of international organizations, effectively put these changes on hold and successfully fought for regulations governing transparency of media ownership.

Reform of Moldova’s judicial sector has stagnated. Positive steps, like the parliament’s first reading of a new law on the prosecutor’s office, or the 2012 establishment of a National Commission of Integrity to deal with conflicts of interest and declaration of assets, have been offset by political interests’ blocking legislation and preventing the consolidation of strong institutions and practices. There is a clear unwillingness among the competing political elites to implement necessary reforms.

Surprisingly, local elections in June 2015 were well managed and largely considered free and fair, despite fierce competition. The results were not disputed, and even though the governing alliance secured a majority in many regions, left-wing opposition parties also gained significant control of certain areas.

In local governance, implementation of a new law on local public finances was a positive development, changing the system of transferring funds from the central government to local entities and thus freeing local authorities from a significant mechanism of political influence. Aside from this law, however, other steps foreseen under the decentralization strategy that expired in 2015 have not been taken.

Implementation of Moldova’s Association Agreement with the European Union was limited to more technical issues, while relations with the EU worsened due to a lack of progress in internal reforms. Negotiations within the 5 + 2 framework to settle the Transnistrian conflict have been on hold since 2014, and with the exception of a decision to expand the application of the economic part of the Association Agreement to Transnistria, there were no significant changes in that area.

Score Changes:

National Democratic Governance rating declined from 5.50 to 5.75 due to political infighting and unremitting political turmoil resulting in constant government instability.

Local Democratic Governance rating improved from 5.75 to 5.50 due to the implementation of a law on public finances that significantly reduced the ability of national authorities to pressure local authorities.

Corruption rating declined from 5.75 to 6.00 due to the state’s inability to investigate and take action against the theft of $1 billion from the banking sector and other corruption scandals.

As a result, Moldova’s Democracy Score declined from 4.86 to 4.89.

Outlook for 2016: The conditions that caused the political crisis throughout 2015 are unlikely to be resolved in 2016 without a wide national political compromise, which seems improbable. In a country where reforms have barely progressed when political stability was ensured, the crisis has rendered them nearly impossible.

The economic prognosis is grim.

The banking sector theft, endemic corruption, and a worsening regional context will impact quality of life even more in 2016 than in the previous year.

Early elections, if they occur, would likely strengthen the position of pro-Russian parties, worsening relations with the European Union, but not necessarily damaging the reform process more than the current crisis.

The country’s main challenges remain the same: implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU;

de-politicization and de-oligarchization of state institutions, judiciary, and media; and implementation of reforms in areas like the justice system and decentralization.

http://www.ecoi.net

GEOMETR.IT

* * *

О том как молдавцы любят гусей.+1 миллиард.+Другие лица

Der Transnistrienkonflikt. Nicht eingefroren!

Погранцы Молдовы, высунув язык, хранят девичью честь молдаванок

Bałkański realizm vs europejski idealizm

Moldova: 2+3 makes troubles

The Black Sea or the Grey Zone

The Black Sea or the Grey Zone

in Army · Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · EX-USSR · Moldova · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · World 65 views / 5 comments

GEOMETR.IT  europeanleadershipnetwork.org

In May 2016, Turkish President Recep Erdogan described the Black Sea as ‘almost a Russian lake’ and called for NATO naval reinforcements to be sent to the area. That prompted a response by Russia’s Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko who said that the Black Sea will never be a ‘NATO lake’.

Russian support for the separatists in the Donbass, the annexation of Crimea and the strengthening of Russian military capacity in the Black Sea area have changed the threat perception levels of those Allies closest to the Russian Federation.

Consequently, NATO is under increased pressure to show a similar degree of solidarity and commitment to collective defence in the Black Sea region as the one provided to the Baltic States and Poland. However, before deciding on significantly strengthening their Black Sea posture, the Allies need to consider the feasibility and likely consequences of the various proposals, as well as their impact on relations with Russia.

Since the annexation of Crimea in early 2014, the security situation in the Black Sea region has been transformed, with a substantial build-up of Russian military capabilities in the area and an increased number of military encounters between Russian and NATO military assets. As a result, all sides face the serious risk of unintended escalation in light of more assertive Russian behaviour and the reassurance measures NATO implemented in response.

Over the past 24 months the Black Sea has been the focus of Russia’s military modernisation programme. As a consequence of the 2-year recalibration of forces, the Federation has added four submarines, two missile corvettes and several patrol boats to their Black Sea fleet with another two submarines and six frigates expected to join them later this year.

Combined with the anti-ship/anti-air installations deployed in occupied Crimea and along Russia’s Black Sea shore, such an A2/AD constellation could pose a substantial challenge should NATO need to provide reinforcements to the Black Sea Allies.

In response, the number of NATO military exercises and drills as well as naval patrols in the Black Sea has been revised up to reflect the more aggressive Russian posture. However, additional assurance measures, to be implemented by the Alliance or individual member states, are also under consideration.

The Romanian proposal for a more ‘persistent’ collective NATO naval presence in the Black Sea was discussed by NATO’s Deputy Secretary General. This is rather unlikely as the deployment of naval ships from non-Black Sea states would be in breach of the Montreux agreement. 

Even though this might have been a preferred option for Romania and Turkey as implied in recent interventions by statesmen from both countries, it would also have a highly destabilising effect on the military equilibrium in the region.

Another proposal, a hybrid fleet of ships from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ukraine and even Georgia has been outlined by the Romanian leadership as an alternative format for strengthening the collective defence in the region.

However, this may not be a viable option after Bulgaria refused to take part in such military operation, citing the need to avoid a military build-up and provocations. Without the unanimous support of all NATO Black Sea states, any mission would lack the critical legitimacy of enhancing collective security in the region.

Further, a permanent multi-national force of such kind, under NATO command or not, would be perceived as an escalatory move by Russia given that Turkey (the ally with the largest fleet in the region) and Ukraine are now among the top 5 countries the Russian population considers most hostile. In addition, such an initiative would bring non-NATO and NATO navies under one operational control, which would create additional technical difficulties. 

Lastly, a proposal to form a multinational brigade in Romania under the command of the Multinational Division Southeast has recently emerged. It appears such an option is favoured by other countries, including Bulgaria, after the Bulgarian authorities indicated a willingness to contribute up to 400 troops on a rotational basis as part of the brigade. This comes shortly after Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed the stationing of additional equipment in Romania.

These measures, despite being designed to reassure member states in the East and demonstrate solidarity, may be controversial and counterproductive. They may signal the political commitment of the Alliance but bring more escalatory than deterrent value.

Firstly, the military power of the proposed hybrid fleet cannot prevent, but may unnecessarily provoke, more assertiveness on the Russian side. More substantive strengthening of the naval presence in the Black Sea would most probably be seen as adding to NATO’s offensive capabilities rather than signal defensive intention. Allies should be ready to accept some inferiority of their conventional forces in the region. Solidifying military preparedness by regional allies would have a far better deterrent effect against Russia than any additional deployment.

Further, the inclusion of Ukraine and Georgia in such a fleet may integrate them more closely with NATO forces, but it also links their security postures vis-à-vis Russia to Allied Command Structures. Such a step, at the moment, would blur the distinction between collective defence under Article V and co-operation with partner countries. It is also unclear what the rules of engagement would be in a crisis scenario involving Ukraine or Georgia.

In addition, a regional naval force which is not under direct operational NATO command would be led by a Black Sea ally, even if on a rotational basis. Given Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia and Turkey’s fragile unfreezing of relations with Russia, their approaches may significantly differ and possibly clash. Moreover, since the activation of the Aegis missile defence system, Romania has been included in Russia’s list of ‘targets’, a fact bound to change its defence strategy vis-à-vis Russia.

In searching for an adequate response to the Russian military build-up and assertiveness taking place in the region, NATO needs to show its resolve and common position in Warsaw. Aggressive actions and unannounced exercises and drills conducted by Putin’s administration cannot be overlooked nor ignored, but met with calls and actions that are underpinned by transparency, restraint and defensive intent.

Moving forward, NATO’s leadership should place emphasis on the assurance measures already implemented, including the intensified maritime exercises in the Black Sea and ensure their continuation. It should keep encouraging greater integration between the Black Sea partners and facilitate military equipment modernisation programmes in the eastern Allies.

http://www.europeanleadershipnetwork.org

GEOMETR.IT

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2. Если Молдова сделает шаг в сторону Румынии — Приднестровье отвалится

Moldawien und pseudoeuropäische Oligarchie

Moldova. Президент-гонка еще не началась, но аресты уже пошли

Europeans Fear Wave-2

Moldova. Corruption of the highest level

Moldova . “A Long Absence”

Moldova`s Tricky Neighbour

Europeans Fear Wave-2

in Army · Conflicts · Crisis · Economics · EN · Europe · Euroskepticism · Money · Nation · Person · Politics · Power · USA · World 92 views / 7 comments

GEOMETR.IT  pewglobal.org

The recent surge of refugees into Europe has featured prominently in the anti-immigrant rhetoric of right-wing parties across the Continent and in the heated debate over the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. At the same time, attacks in Paris and Brussels have fueled public fears about terrorism.

1W

In Greece, 81% of those on the right express an unfavorable view of Muslims, compared with 50% of those on the left. Significant right-left gaps in attitudes toward Muslims are also found in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

Similarly, supporters of far-right political parties hold much more negative attitudes toward refugees and Muslims and are much more skeptical about the benefits of a diverse society. For instance, fears that the surge of refugees will lead to more terrorism and harm the economy are considerably more widespread among supporters of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the UK and the National Front in France.

Ideology is not the only dividing line in European attitudes, however. On many questions, education and age also matter, with older people and less-educated individuals expressing more negative opinions about refugees and minorities.

These are among the key findings from a new survey by Pew Research Center, conducted in 10 European Union nations and the United States among 11,494 respondents from April 4 to May 12, 2016, before the Brexit referendum in the UK and terrorist attacks at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, both of which took place in late June. The survey includes countries that account for 80% of the EU-28 population and 82% of the EU’s gross domestic product.

Along with worries about refugees and minorities, the survey finds mixed views regarding the overall value of cultural diversity.

When asked whether having an increasing number of people of many different races, ethnic groups and nationalities in their country makes their society a better place to live, a worse place or does not make much difference either way, over half of Greeks and Italians and about four-in-ten Hungarians and Poles say growing diversity makes things worse.

Relatively few Europeans believe diversity has a positive impact on their countries. At 36%, Sweden registers the highest percentage that believes an increasingly diverse society makes their country a better place to live. In many countries, the prevailing view is that diversity makes no difference in the quality of life.

Negative attitudes toward minorities common in many nations

Muslims are not the only minority group viewed unfavorably by substantial percentages of Europeans. In fact, overall, attitudes toward Roma are more negative than attitudes toward Muslims. Across the 10 nations polled, a median of 48% express an unfavorable opinion of Roma in their country. Fully 82% hold this view in Italy, while six-in-ten or more say the same in Greece, Hungary and France.

Negative views of Roma have gone up since 2015 in Spain (+14 percentage points), the UK (+8) and Germany (+6). Greeks have also become increasingly unfavorable (+14 points) since 2014, the last time Greece was included in the survey.

2E

Negative ratings for Muslims have also increased over the past 12 months in the UK (+9 percentage points), Spain (+8) and Italy (+8), and are up 12 points in Greece since 2014. In France – where coordinated terrorist attacks by ISIS at the Bataclan concert hall and elsewhere in Paris in November left 130 people dead – unfavorable opinions are up slightly since last year (+5 points).

Negative attitudes toward Jews are much less common. A median of only 16% have an unfavorable opinion of Jews in their country. Still, a majority of Greeks give Jews in their country a negative rating, and one-in-five or more express this view in Hungary, Poland, Italy and Spain. Unfavorable attitudes toward Jews have been relatively stable since 2015.

Language, customs and tradition seen as central to national identity

3D

Opinions vary about the key components of national identity, but European publics clearly agree that language is fundamental. Across the 10 EU countries surveyed, a median of 97% think that being able to speak the national language is important for truly being able to identify with their nationality. A median of 77% say this is very important. Majorities believe it is very important in every nation polled.

There is also a strong cultural component to national identity. A median of 86% believe sharing national customs and traditions is important, with 48% saying this is very important. Fully 68% in Hungary say sharing national customs and traditions is very important for being truly Hungarian, and 66% express similar sentiments in Greece. In contrast, fewer than four-in-ten consider sharing these traditions and customs very important in the Netherlands (37%), Germany (29%) and Sweden (26%).

There is less agreement about the need to be born in a given country. Still, a median of 58% say it is important for someone to be born in a country to be truly considered a national of that country; a third think this is very important. Religion is generally seen as less central to national identity. However, it is an essential factor to many in Greece, where 54% say it is very important to be Christian to be truly Greek.

To further explore this topic, we constructed an index based on the four questions we asked regarding national identity (importance of speaking the national language, sharing customs, being native born and being Christian). The results highlight the extent to which exclusionary views vary across the EU. By far, restrictive views are most common in Hungary, Greece, Poland and Italy; they are least common in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

http://www.pewglobal.org

GEOMETR.IT

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Если Молдова сделает шаг в сторону Румынии — Приднестровье отвалится

Gdyby NATO było sojuszem obronnym -1

Латвия – страна победившей антиутопии.

European Dreams are made of this …

Проект Одесса-Броды. Баку пиарится. Киев мычит как лох

Moldova. The party «Demnitate şi Adevăr»

NATO’s Summit. Half away, half here -1

Europeans Fear Wave-1

 

Europeans Fear Wave-1

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GEOMETR.IT  pewglobal.org

The recent surge of refugees into Europe has featured prominently in the anti-immigrant rhetoric of right-wing parties across the Continent and in the heated debate over the UK’s decision to exit the European Union. At the same time, attacks in Paris and Brussels have fueled public fears about terrorism.

As a new Pew Research Center survey illustrates, the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism are very much related to one another in the minds of many Europeans. In eight of the 10 European nations surveyed, half or more believe incoming refugees increase the likelihood of terrorism in their country

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But terrorism is not the only concern people have about refugees. Many are also worried that they will be an economic burden.

Half or more in five nations say refugees will take away jobs and social benefits. Hungarians, Poles, Greeks, Italians and French identify this as their greatest concern.

Sweden and Germany are the only countries where at least half say refugees make their nation stronger because of their work and talents.

Fears linking refugees and crime are much less pervasive, although nearly half in Italy and Sweden say refugees are more to blame for crime than other groups.

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Most of the recent refugees to Europe are arriving from majority-Muslim nations, such as Syria and Iraq. Among Europeans, perceptions of refugees are influenced in part by negative attitudes toward Muslims already living in Europe.

In Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece, more than six-in-ten say they have an unfavorable opinion of the Muslims in their country – an opinion shared by at least one-in-four in each nation polled.

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Across the EU nations surveyed, the refugee crisis has brought into sharp relief deep ideological divides over views of minorities and diversity. On nearly all of the questions analyzed in this report, people on the ideological right express more concerns about refugees, more negative attitudes toward minorities and less enthusiasm for a diverse society.

Partisan divides in France, UK on refugees in their countryFor example, negative opinions about Muslims are much more common among respondents who place themselves on the right of the ideological spectrum.

In Greece, 81% of those on the right express an unfavorable view of Muslims, compared with 50% of those on the left.

Significant right-left gaps in attitudes toward Muslims are also found in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France and the United Kingdom.

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Similarly, supporters of far-right political parties hold much more negative attitudes toward refugees and Muslims and are much more skeptical about the benefits of a diverse society.

For instance, fears that the surge of refugees will lead to more terrorism and harm the economy are considerably more widespread among supporters of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in the UK and the National Front in France.

Ideology is not the only dividing line in European attitudes, however. On many questions, education and age also matter, with older people and less-educated individuals expressing more negative opinions about refugees and minorities.

http://www.pewglobal.org

GEOMETR.IT

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