Can Populists Strike Back In Slovakia?

Democratic Security Outlook 2023: 6 February - 12 February

6 February 2023

Early elections in Slovakia are set for 30 September, but it is unclear whether there is a political force which could put an end to political turmoil, and Ukraine cabinet reshuffles include the top defence post.

This week on Visegrad Insight:

  • Michal Matlak breaks down the outcome of the EU-Ukraine Summit.
  • Marta Musidłowska and Blanka Wawrzyniak probe the Polish government’s data-driven authoritarianism.
  • Bohdan Bernatskyi asks if the Russian opposition are friends or foes of the West.
  • Asya Metodieva analyses whether Central Europe really wants the Western Balkans (WB) in the EU.
  • Arta Haxhixhemajli sees the growing influence of China in the WB through the digital silk road.
  • Laura Gheorghiu looks into the life of philosopher, political analyst, journalist and politician Gáspár Miklós Tamás.

EU/REGIONAL

  • Turkey and Syria earthquake: at least 640 dead (at time of publishing) after a 7.8-magnitude quake materialised in eastern Turkey.
  • EU-Ukraine summit. President Zelenskyy vows to accelerate EU membership after the summit in Kyiv while EU leaders reiterate their support for Ukraine’s integration into the EU
  • The Special European Council on 9-10 February will focus on the economy, migration, and Ukraine. Zelenskyy also called for more EU sanctions that would target the Russian state atomic agency Rosatom.
  • EU General Affairs Council to take place on 6 February. The agenda includes priorities of the Swedish presidency or EU-UK relations.
  • The European Parliament voted in favour of more transparency in political advertising. New rules will include mandatory disclosure of the commissioning of political advertising and an EU-wide online register in which platforms such as Facebook or Google will have to post data in real-time. According to the EP website, ad providers can only use personal data that is clearly submitted for online political advertising. This means that microtargeting, meaning the use of consumer and demographic data to determine individuals’ interests, will no longer be possible.
  • Russian petroleum price caps: EU Council decided on the level of price caps, which are now set at USD 45 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a discount to crude oil, and USD 100 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a premium to crude oil.
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Brazil. Scholz was disappointed to hear Lula’s ambivalent comments on the causes of the war in Ukraine.
  • Elon Musk ordered Twitter staff to suspend a left-wing activist’s account, according to a leaked internal message from the company.

Minister of Defence Reznikov to be replaced

UKRAINE

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