The 2023 Spanish election has resulted in a split parliament with the conservative Popular Party securing the most votes. However, without enough seats to form a government on its own, the new head of government will be the one who can secure support from the greatest number of MPs. Socialist leader and current PM Pedro Sánchez still has a chance to retain his position if he can gather enough backing from wildly different political parties. The snap election was called by Sánchez after his parties' dismal performance in local elections. After four years of left-wing rule, Spain eagerly awaits to see what coalition government will be formed.
President Macron is facing strong opposition to his plan to push back the retirement age. Widespread protests and polls continue to show that French citizens strongly disapprove of the plan to push back by two years the age at which people can receive a full pension. France currently requires 62 years to qualify for a state pension, one of the lowest ages among major European economies.
Follow the latest developments of the decisive French election, the results of which will hold implications not only for France, but also Europe-wide and within NATO. Concerns are being raised globally about the growing popularity of far-right candidate Le Pen, who has expressed her admiration for Russian President Putin, and is a well-known Eurosceptic. Her plans to shift focus to coalitions with other right-wing countries such as Poland and Hungary, have unsettled many within the EU. The runoff will be held on April 24th between Le Pen and Macron, the second time they have been pitted against one another for the presidency.
Over the last few years there has been a worrying trend towards far-right political policies. Human rights concerns have been raised regarding freedom of expression, increased pressure of judges and prosecutors to fall in line, worsening conditions for women, and frequent attacks on members of the LGBTQ community.
2019 saw the beginning of the dismantling of many democratic institutions. Changes in courts which will impact corruption and police conduct cases took effect. Education is now under state control, and strict asylum laws have caused huge problems in neighbouring Serbia. The media is also being tightly controlled, and critical journalists vilified. What is next for Hungary, and has democracy disappeared for good?
Geographically positioned as the natural gateway from the Middle-East into Europe, it is estimated that 90% of illegal immigration into the EU is via Greece. Under mounting pressure, and facing its own economic problems, relations at the Turkish border are tense. How is Greece coping with the arrival of swaths of asylum seekers?