Democratization Policy Council

"An initiative for accountable democratization policy worldwide"

Kurt Bassuener comments on Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2018, House of Lords International Relations Committee Report on 'The UK and the Future of the Western Balkans'

17 January 2018 — Kurt Bassuener

In his VOA interview, Kurt Bassuener connects the negative cast of the 2018 Freedom in the World report with the tone set in the White House, terming US President Donald Trump “our first Balkan president,” noting the leadership style and methods employed are reminiscent of those used in the Balkans (and beyond).

Having provided a statement in evidence on behalf of DPC for the House of Lords’ International Relations Committee report on the region, he noted that what the report carried in breadth it seemed to lack in depth, and questioned some of the conclusions drawn, including that conflict in BiH was not plausible. He also noted Macedonia as having been the only country to make a significant forward move in the past year in terms of democracy. Linking the two reports, he noted that the lack of leadership on both sides of the Atlantic has left exponents of liberal democratic values, rule of law, and human rights without backup in the Western Balkans, as is the case further afield.

The interview, beginning at 06:28, is linked HERE.

Links to the Freedom House report are here, as are the links to the House of Lords International Relations Committee report and its evidence volume, in which Kurt Bassuener offered evidence for DPC:

  1. Freedom in the World
  2. House of Lords - The UK and the future of the Western Balkans - Select Committee on International Relations