Europe This Week: January 25, 2023

January 25, 2023

A weekly review of news and analysis of elections in Europe, usually posted on Wednesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week.

The former Communist Party House, flanked by other government offices, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Pudelek (Marcin Szala) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Czech Republic Presidential Runoff: January 27-28, 2023

Controversial former prime minister Andrej Babiš will face off against retired general Petr Pavel in the Czech Republic’s presidential runoff later this month. Incumbent Milos Zeman, who has been in power for 10 years and did not run for re-election, built closer ties with Russia and China.

Pavel, a former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, favors pro-West policies, while populist Babiš has criticized support for Ukraine and the EU more generally.

Reuters (January 24, 2023): Petr Pavel: who is the ex-army chief leading Czech presidential election race?

Peter Laca and Krystof Chamonikolas, Bloomberg (January 22, 2023): Ex-NATO General Leads Polls Before Czech Presidential Run-Off

NK News (January 20, 2023): How the Czech Republic positions itself between hawks and doves on North Korea: Prague both condemns the DPRK’s nukes and embraces cultural exchanges, setting itself up for engagement with Pyongyang

Reuters (January 19, 2023): Czech government survives no-confidence vote

Finland General Elections: April 2, 2023

Henri Vanhanen, Lawfare (January 25, 2023): Finland in 2023: Beyond Military Nonalignment and a Revanchist Putin

Jari Tanner and Karl Ritter, AP (January 24, 2023): Finland’s top diplomat hints at joining NATO without Sweden

Bulgaria Snap Parliamentary Elections: April 2, 2023 (fifth election in two years)

Reuters (January 24, 2023): Bulgaria gears for its fifth election in two years on April 2

Greece Parliamentary Elections: By July 2023

AP (January 25, 2023): Greek government faces no confidence vote over wiretaps

Thanos Davelis and Tom Ellis, Kathimerini (January 24, 2023 – podcast): The message from Davos: Greece is back

Elena Becatoros, AP (January 19, 2023): Greek PM Mitsotakis: ‘We will not go to war with Turkey’

Slovakia Snap Parliamentary Elections: September 30, 2023 (proposed – requires parliament to change constitution to allow)

Reuters (January 25, 2023): Slovak parliament opens way to September early election

Reuters (January 22, 2023): Slovakia’s former coalition heads agree to early parliamentary elections

AP (January 21, 2023): Slovakia holds referendum to enable snap election

Hungary Today (January 19, 2023): Slovak Minister Warns Against a “Hungarian System”

Spain General Elections: December 10, 2023 (due – early elections possible)

AFP (January 21, 2023): Thousands protest against Spanish govt in Madrid

Past Europe Elections

Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential and Legislative Elections: October 2, 2022

Bosnia now has a government following October 2022 elections. For the first time in over a decade, SDA, the main Bosniak party, will not be part of the government. 

The government was formed very quickly by Bosnian standards – typically, it takes more than a year, but this time, only three months. The new prime minister will be ethnic Croat Borjana Kristo.

Denitsa Koseva at bne IntelliNews notes: “When Kristo was nominated in December, she said she would lead the government towards restarting the process of integration in the EU. Since then, in mid-December, Bosnia was granted EU candidate status after years of waiting.”

AP (January 25, 2023): New Bosnian government approved 3 months after elections

RFE/RL (January 25, 2023): New Bosnian Governing Council Under Croat Kristo Approved By Lawmakers

Denitsa Koseva, bne IntelliNews (January 25, 2023): Bosnia appoints new pro-EU government

Sweden Parliamentary and Local Elections: September 11, 2022

Sweden’s 2022 elections brought in a center-right coalition government led by the Moderate Party, with a confidence and supply agreement with the populist Sweden Democrats.  

Niclas Rolander and Ott Ummelas, Bloomberg (January 25, 2023): Why Turkey Is Still Blocking Sweden’s NATO Accession

Guney Yildiz, Forbes (January 24, 2023): Turkiye’s Blocking Sweden’s NATO Accession Have Nothing To Do With The Quran Desecration In Stockholm

United Kingdom Local Elections, including Northern Ireland Assembly: May 5, 2022

The United Kingdom held local elections for some local councils, as well as the Northern Ireland Assembly, on May 5.

Northern Ireland’s nationalist Sinn Féin became the biggest party in the Assembly following these elections. However, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has been boycotting the assembly, and as a result, Northern Ireland has not had a government for nearly a year.

As a result, snap elections are required and could be called.

Aoife Moore, Times of London (January 22, 2023): Americans added $1m to Sinn Fein coffers in one year

Euronews with AFP (January 20, 2023): Clock ticking on Northern Ireland elections after Stormont stalement deadline passes

Matthew Weaver and Lisa O’Carroll, The Guardian (January 20, 2023): Leo Varadkar admits regrets over Northern Ireland protocol: Ireland’s taoiseach regrets Brexit arrangement imposed without agreement of unionists and nationalists

Regional Analysis

Laura Clancy, Sarah Austin, and Jordan Lippert, Pew Research Center (January 25, 2023): Many countries in Europe get a new government at least every two years

Cain Burdeau, Courthouse News Service (January 25, 2023): Europe’s got a big, creepy spyware problem – and it’s going unchecked

Europe Elections Coming Up in 2023

Several European countries hold elections that determine who runs the government: Cyprus (fun fact: Cyprus is the EU’s only full presidential system), Monaco, Estonia, Andorra, Finland, Greece, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Poland, and Spain.

In addition, Montenegro and Slovakia appear on track to hold snap elections. And Bulgaria could hold its fourth general election in three years.

Moreover, a number of other countries in Europe could hold snap elections at short notice – it happens.

Slovakia Referendum on Early Elections: January 21, 2023

Czech Republic Presidential Runoff: January 27-28, 2023

Austria, Lower Austria State Elections: January 29, 2023

Cyprus Presidential Election: February 5, 2023

Monaco Parliamentary Elections: February 5, 2023

Cyprus Presidential Runoff: February 12, 2023

Germany, Berlin State Elections: February 12, 2023

Italy, Lazio and Lombardy Regional Elections: February 12, 2023

Estonia General Elections: March 5, 2023

albniaLithuania Local Elections: March 5, 2023

Liechtenstein Local Elections: March 5, 2023

Austria, Carinthia State Elections: March 5, 2023

Netherlands Provincial Council and Water Authority Elections: March 15, 2023

Montenegro Presidential Election: March 19, 2023 (snap parliamentary elections possible)

Andorra Parliamentary Elections: March 2023 (due)

Finland General Elections: April 2, 2023

Bulgaria Snap Parliamentary Elections: April 2, 2023 (fifth election in two years)

Austria, Salzburg State Elections: April 23, 2023

Kosovo Partial Local Elections: April 23, 2023

United Kingdom, Local Elections in Some Parts of England: May 4, 2023

Albania Local Elections: May 14, 2023

Germany, Bremen State Elections and Local Elections in Schleswig-Holstein: May 14, 2023

United Kingdom, Local Elections in Northern Ireland: May 18, 2023

Spain Local Elections and Various Regional Elections: May 28, 2023

Latvia Indirect Presidential Election (by parliament): May 2023 (due)

Greece Local Elections: May 2023 (due)

Spain, Regional Elections in Various Regions: June 25, 2023

Luxembourg Local Elections: June 2023 (due)

Greece Parliamentary Elections: July 2023 (due)

Norway Local Elections: September 11, 2023

Slovakia Snap Parliamentary Elections: September 30, 2023 (proposed – requires parliament to change constitution to allow)

Switzerland Federal Parliamentary Elections: October 22, 2023

Luxembourg General Elections: October 2023 (due)

Bulgaria Local Elections: October 2023 (due)

Germany, Hesse and Bavaria State Elections: October 2023 (due)

Finland, Åland Elections: October 2023 (due)

Portugal, Regional Elections in Madeira: October 2023 (due)

Poland Parliamentary and Local Elections (due – earlier elections possible): November 11, 2023

Spain General Elections: December 10, 2023 (due – early elections possible)

Switzerland Indirect Presidential Election (by parliament): December 12, 2023

Andorra Local Elections: December 2023 (due)

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