ABSTRACT

Viral Vulnerability: How the Pandemic is Making Democracy Sick in the Western Balkans   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Summary: "[1] The covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] crisis has accentuated Western Balkans countries' pre-existing vulnerabilities related to the rule of law and democratic governance - but has not brought about a new political era in the region. [2] Western Balkans governments have often taken selective and arbitrary approaches to applying restrictions in response to the pandemic, sometimes using these measures to silence their critics and opponents. [3] The measures could have the most severe long-term effects of any aspect of the crisis response. [4] They exacerbate the greatest threat to the accession process in the Western Balkans: backsliding on the EU's political criteria. [5] Yet the EU seems less inclined than it once was to allow Western Balkans governments to get away with democratic backsliding just because they align themselves with the bloc geopolitically."

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Date:
2020-12
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European Council on Foreign Relations
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European Council on Foreign Relations: https://www.ecfr.eu/
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