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Fraudulent elections in Belarus: continued support for opposition and political prisoners essential

  "A senseless farce" is how Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya described the recent local and parliamentary elections in her country. Only parties swearing allegiance to dictator Lukashenka were allowed to run, the opposition in exile called for a boycott. They were the first elections since the highly controversial 2020 presidential election, in which Lukashenko ran for a sixth term [...]

Serbia and Hungary scene of growing gender inequality

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Last Friday, 8 March, it was International Women's Day, a day dedicated to gender equality and solidarity between women, but also drawing attention to problems related to women's rights. Gender equality is under pressure in authoritarian regimes, as Freedom House reports show. Preaching hierarchical, patriarchal structures is [...]

Major concerns after Serbian election manipulation - 'Assertive EU is crucial'

Photo: The Serbian flag flies at a government building in the capital Belgrade. Source: Flickr The December 2023 Serbian elections, marked by large-scale fraud and manipulation, are a new chapter in the country's worrying development. Serbs took to the streets en masse in protest against the fraud, the uneven playing field and the overall state [...]

24 February: Together in action for Ukraine

Last Saturday, 24 February, hundreds of people gathered on Dam Square in Amsterdam to express their support for Ukraine, two years after the large-scale Russian invasion. As in other cities in the Netherlands, people gathered in large numbers - despite the rain - to show that we support Ukraine [...]

Alexei Navalny: symbol of the fight for democracy

Photo: Opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a march - Wikimedia Commons Less than a month before the Russian parliamentary elections, Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader and political arch-enemy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died in the Arctic penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence. According to prison authorities, Navalny felt unwell and lost his [...]

Visit Georgia and fact-finding mission

Photo: Georgian flags in the old centre of the capital Tbilisi - Flickr In late October, a seven-member delegation from the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity (EFDS) visited Georgia. The group included MPs from several European countries and representatives of political foundations. The focus was mainly on foreign [...]

Unrest in Serbia after elections and attack on LGBTIQ+ centre

Photo: The Pride centre in Belgrade after an attack in May 2023 - Wikimedia Commons It is unsettled in Belgrade, Serbia. Large-scale protests have been taking place weekly since the 17 December elections. The results are being questioned due to alleged fraud and other disturbances. In addition, the LGBTQ+ community still suffers from exclusion [...]

"Super election year 2024": what is the FMS looking forward to?

Photo: Mohamed Hassan/ PxHere 2024 is also being called the election year by political analysts. People in more than 70 countries will be allowed to cast their votes which amounts to 3.7 billion people, almost half of the total world population. Just because elections are organised does not automatically mean they are democratic. In some elections, the winner is [...]

Stalemate Ukraine highlights undiminished importance of support

Photo: Demonstration in support of Ukraine in February 2022 - Wikimedia Commons Almost two years ago, Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. With support for Ukraine no longer a foregone conclusion, a good outcome of the war is increasingly uncertain. The fighting lingers on and the risk of another frozen conflict lies [...]