Europe This Week: December 2, 2020

December 2, 2020

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Europe, usually posted on Wednesdays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.

Romania’s Palace of the Parliament. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Dennis Jarvis (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Upcoming Europe Elections

Romania Parliamentary Elections: December 6, 2020

Romania has scheduled parliamentary elections for December 6, 2020, following local elections that took place on September 27, 2020. Romanian politics are volatile – the office of the prime minister has changed hands eight times since 2014. Corruption and weak rule of law remain serious problems. More

Sergiu Gherghina, London School of Economics EUROPP (December 1, 2020): What to expect from Sunday’s legislative elections in Romania

Bulgaria Parliamentary Elections: March 28, 2021 (due – however, delays or snap elections are both possible)

Bulgaria is due to hold parliamentary elections on March 28, 2021, although delays are possible due to COVID-19. Snap elections are also possible amid ongoing protests. Bulgaria has been in a long stretch of chaotic politics characterized by a series of early elections and caretaker governments, and a number of problems remain. Corruption and scandals have plagued the country since the 1990s. In that vein, the country is currently embroiled in anti-government protests, some violent, which have been going on since July. More

Radosveta Vassileva, New Eastern Europe (November 30, 2020): What lurks behind Bulgaria’s “veto” on North Macedonia’s accession talks?

Valerie Hopkins and Michael Peel, Financial Times (November 29, 2020): Bulgaria joins Europe’s awkward squad

Albania Parliamentary Elections: April 25, 2021

Albania plans to hold parliamentary elections on April 25, 2021. Since communism collapsed in 1990, Albania has held competitive elections and several transitions of power between political parties. However, the country is currently in the middle of a tense political standoff between the governing Socialist Party and the main opposition center-right Democratic Party. More

Exit Albania (November 27, 2020): Exit Explains: How the Government is Using Earthquake Reconstruction to Boost the Election Campaign

United Kingdom Local Elections (including Mayor of London and Scottish and Welsh parliaments): May 6, 2021

The United Kingdom (UK) will hold local elections on May 6, 2021. Voters will elect various local councils, plus the mayor of London, plus Scottish and Welsh parliaments. The Scottish elections are particularly high-stakes because if the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) wins a majority, they will pressure the government in Westminster to allow another referendum on independenceMore

Guy Faulconbridge, Reuters (November 27, 2020): Scotland’s Sturgeon puts UK on independence warning: We want a referendum soon

Nick Eardley, BBC (November 27, 2020): What’s going on with Scottish independence?

Cyprus Parliamentary Elections: May 23, 2021 (due)

Cyprus is due to hold parliamentary elections on May 23, 2021. Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, recently held a presidential election (again, recognized only by Turkey) which Ankara-backed nationalist Ersin Tatar won, exacerbating tensions on the island. This is all happening in the context of the ongoing Eastern Mediterranean crisis. More

Diego Cupolo, Al-Monitor (December 2, 2020): North Cyprus leader pushes for two-state solution, agrees to informal summit

Jonathan Gorvett, Foreign Policy (December 2, 2020): Biden Faces Troubled Eastern Mediterranean Waters

Estonia Municipal Elections: October 17, 2021

Estonia – a poster child for a successful post-communist transition to democracy – will hold municipal elections on October 17, 2021. More

Charlie Duxbury, Politico (December 2, 2020): Estonia’s techies fear the far right

ERR News (November 27, 2020): Marriage referendum bill to reach Riigikogu by mid-December

Norway Parliamentary Elections: September 13, 2021

Norway holds parliamentary elections on September 13, 2021. More

Reuters (December 1, 2020): Anti-EU farming party reaches top spot in Norway poll as elections loom

Germany Parliamentary Elections: September 26, 2021

Germany is due to hold several sets of elections next year, culminating in the federal parliamentary elections that will determine who succeeds Angela Merkel as chancellor. Additionally, five states hold elections.  The year 2021 is thus a “Superwahljahr” (Super election year) in Germany. More

Jill Petzinger, Yahoo Finance UK (November 30, 2020): German election 2021: The men who would be Merkel

AP (November 29, 2020): German far-right airs divisions over leader’s criticism

Hungary Parliamentary Elections: By Spring 2022 (or earlier)

Hungary is due to hold parliamentary elections by Spring 2022, although snap elections are possible. Prime Minster Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has become increasingly authoritarian, to the concern of many both in Hungary and in the international community.

Hungary Today (November 30, 2020): Momentum on Board for Joint Opposition List in 2022

Shaun Walker, The Guardian (December 2, 2020): Hungary’s rightwing rulers downplay MEP ‘gay orgy’ scandal amid hypocrisy accusations

Italy General Elections: due by May 2023 (snap elections possible)

Italy’s next general elections are due by May 2023, but as is ever the case with Italy, snap elections are possible.

Andrea Carlo, The Independent (December 2, 2020): Decline in support for Matteo Salvini is not the end of the far right in Italy – something more worrying is brewing

Giovanna De Maio, Brookings Institution (November 30, 2020): The impact of COVID-19 on the Italian far right: The rise of Brothers of Italy

Past Europe Elections

Kosovo Local Elections in Two Municipalities: November 29, 2020

Kosovo held two local elections on November 29, 2020. These are happening in the context of national political uncertainty. On November 5, 2020, President Hashim Thaci resigned to face war crimes charges in The Hague. Although the president is elected indirectly by the parliament, Thaci’s resignation could potentially trigger yet another snap election (the third in less than four years).

Prishtina Insight (November 29, 2020): Vetevendosje wins mayoral election in Podujeva

Xhorxhina Bami, Balkan Insight (November 30, 2020): Kosovo Local Election Sends Ruling Party a Warning Shot

Bosnia and Herzegovina Elections: November 15, 2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) held local elections on November 15, 2020.The elections are taking place in the context of gridlock and ethno-nationalism, but the results delivered a blow to the three main ethnic-based political parties, with opposition forces winning in Sarajevo and other key cities. More

Jasmin Mujanovic, Balkan Insight (December 1, 2020): Bosnia’s Municipal Election Results – a Small Step Forward

Lithuania Parliamentary Elections: October 11, 2020 (Second round October 25, 2020)

Lithuania held parliamentary elections in October 2020. A center-right coalition led by Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS–LKD) defeated the incumbent populist Farmers and Greens. Following the elections, a coalition of four parties – all led by women – formed a government, with Ingrida Šimonytė as the country’s first female prime minister.

Linas Jegelevicius, Euronews (November 27, 2020): Is Lithuania’s new, female-led government a sign of improved gender equality in the country? 

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