Over the last couple of years, the importance of digital political advertising has grown substantially. While the discussion on the transparency of digital political advertising is a prominent topic at the EU level, in the Czech debate on digital threats to democracy it is largely missing from the picture. This is despite the fact that digital political (and issue-based) advertising on Facebook, Google, Twitter or Seznam.cz is becoming increasingly relevant and used for spreading narratives by the Czech political advertisers. In the past, Czechia made several important steps to increase transparency in political campaigning and financing of political parties, however, the digital political advertising represents a blind spot in the debate. In this context, it is even more important to follow, analyse and monitor the implementation of the regulatory framework agreed at the EU level between the European Commission and the social media platforms called the “Code of Practice on Disinformation” (CoP).
Following last year’s United Nations climate talks, generally referred to as COP25, one thing has become painfully clear: no significant improvements in climate change policy on the global scale can be expected in the short-term. Instead of a clear roadmap, COP25 has only generated weak commitments while simultaneously deferring regulations for new international carbon markets until 2020.
China’s efforts to manipulate academic discourse in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) cannot be easily discerned, yet there are examples that indicates the risks are real. The case of the Czech-Chinese research center that was established at the Czech Republic’s most prestigious Charles University constitutes a prime and one of the few publicly known examples of Chinese direct influence in CEE academia.
Non-governmental organisations have become a favourite target of populists in Central Europe. But one Czech non-profit is fighting back with a legal case that is seen as a crucial test of democracy and the rule of law.
Cameroon will head to the polls on February 9 for legislative elections. Even though the current social and political situation in the country is usually presented through the lens of an anglo‑francophone cleavage, the absence of young people’s trust in the government also plays a crucial role. In the Central-African country, more than 60% of the population is younger than 25 years. The lack of opportunities has resulted in an upheaval in two anglophone regions that has already been going on for the last three years. The launch of a “National Dialogue” and the holding of elections were intended to be important steps to mitigate the tensions. The National Dialogue Congress took place at the beginning of October 2019 in Yaoundé and brought significant results. The goal of the conference was to find a suitable solution for the current crisis in the country, where some English-speaking communities have felt marginalized.
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