REDEMOS project represents a unique, parallel investigation of the legacy and potential of democratization processes in the EU’s eastern neighborhoods. The goal is to suggest and create ways in which the European Union can support the promotion of democracy in its eastern neighbourhood, for example, in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.
So, to start with, we thought it would be a good idea to attempt an appraisal of domestic and geopolitical challenges that the Eastern European periphery is facing.
- Authoritarian regime: Belarus has been under authoritarian rule since 1994. The government restricts freedom of speech, assembly, and association, and has been accused of manipulating elections and suppressing political opposition.
- Lack of media freedom: The media in Belarus is largely state-controlled and opposition media outlets are often shut down or harassed.
- Human rights violations: The government has been accused of human rights violations, including torture and mistreatment of detainees, and arbitrary arrests and detentions.
- Corruption: Ukraine has struggled with corruption for many years, which has undermined the country’s democratic institutions and contributed to public dissatisfaction with the government.
- Conflict in the east: The ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014, has created significant challenges for the country’s democratic development. The conflict has displaced millions of people and undermined stability in the region.
- Weak institutions: Ukraine’s institutions, including the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, are weak and susceptible to political interference and corruption.
- Political instability: Moldova has experienced frequent changes in government and political instability, which has hindered the country’s democratic development.
- Corruption: Like Ukraine, Moldova has struggled with corruption, which has undermined public trust in the government.
- Regional tensions: Moldova is divided between a pro-Russian region and a pro-European region, which has created tensions and contributed to political polarization.
- Weak rule of law: Georgia has struggled to establish a strong rule of law, which has undermined the country’s democratic development and contributed to corruption.
- Ethnic tensions: Georgia is home to several ethnic minority groups, including Abkhazians and Ossetians, who have had contentious relationships with the government.
- Russian influence: Georgia has been subject to Russian influence and interference, including the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
- Political polarization: Armenia has experienced significant political polarization, which has hindered the country’s democratic development.
- Tensions with Azerbaijan: Armenia has a longstanding territorial dispute with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has contributed to regional tensions.
- Corruption: Like other countries in the region, Armenia has struggled with corruption, which has undermined public trust in the government.
- Authoritarian regime: Azerbaijan has been under authoritarian rule since 1993, with limited freedom of speech, assembly, and association.
- Human rights violations: The government has been accused of human rights violations, including torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and restrictions on freedom of expression and association.
- Conflict with Armenia: Azerbaijan has a longstanding territorial dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has contributed to regional tensions and undermined stability in the region.