I like / I dislike
Week 01 [20231021-20231027]


Every Monday, the Research Trainees of the CERESE assess the news of the previous week. You can read their opinions below:


I like the proposal of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, to invite MEPs from Ukraine and Moldova. While these states are waiting for their formal accession to the European Union, President Metsola has proposed that representatives of the countries be given observer status within the European Parliament. She added that such privileges could become even more substantial in the future, such as participation in the single market or the Erasmus+ youth program. Enlargement is the EU’s geopolitical tool for a better and more inclusive future in Europe, and such initiatives will help the candidate countries to acclimatize and progress.



I like the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Lapunov vs. Russia case on September 12, 2023. This case was about Lapunov’s transport from his job to the authorities, where he was severely beaten and threatened along with other men for his sexual orientation. These actions were an attempt to “cleanse” homosexual individuals in the Republic of Chechnya. The ECHR found violations of the ban on torture and discrimination, as well as of the rights to freedom and safety. This development is positive because justice was served in the end.



I dislike the aggressive stance of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban toward the European Union. Orban, who is on friendly terms with Russia, compared the EU to the Soviet Union in his speech, implying that the former aims to eradicate the culture of its member states. Hungary appears to be drifting away from Western influence as it voted against the EU’s military support for Ukraine. The extreme position of the Hungarian Prime Minister, combined with the issues of impingement against democratic values within Hungary, raise fears of geopolitical realignments and the emergence of hybrid totalitarian regimes.



I dislike Uzbekistan’s mitigation attempt in the construction project of the Qosh Tepa irrigation canal in Afghanistan. The 285-kilometer irrigation canal will divert water from the Amu Darya River to improve wheat production. The Taliban government aims to become a wheat exporter by 2028. The Uzbekistan President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has tried to mobilize the countries of Central Asia stating that the canal will change the water management regime in the region. Uzbekistan relies heavily on cotton production which requires great amounts of water, something that the new canal may have an effect upon.



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