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IDM News   Mittwoch, 24 März 2021

IDM Short Insights 10 - The Future of Hungary's Fidesz in Europe


In March 2021 Viktor Orbán's party Fidesz left the European People’s Party (EPP). What happened exactly and what can we expect next from the Central Eastern European right-wing party? Daniela Neubacher  comments on the recent conflicts about the future of Fidesz and explains what possible consequences this decision might have for the European Union.

IDM Short Insights 10:

IDM News   Mittwoch, 10 März 2021

Sebastian Schäffer on the crisis in Georgia in the "TRT Roundtable"
Sebastian Schäffer took part in the "Roundtable" discussion (9 March 2021) of TRT World on the current political crisis in Georgia.

Together with Ghia Nodia (former Minister of Education and Science of Georgia) and Sergi Kapanadze (opposition member and former deputy speaker of Georgia's Parliament), he discussed the implications of the current crisis for the future Georgia and its relations with the EU and Russia.

Moderated by David Foster.

Ist möglicherweise ein Bild von 4 Personen und Text „TRTWORLD GEORGIA CRISIS A test for the EU? i“Trt Roundtable
IDM News   Freitag, 05 März 2021

New publication: "Developing the Rule of Law and Strengthening Anti-Corruption in the Public Procurement Sector in Moldova" Developing the Rule of Law Bacid Study
Developing the rule of law/Moldova

Tackling corruption through eProcurement – legal constraints and technical challenges in the implementation of MTender

Mihai-Razvan CORMAN (main author and editor)
Nicolas HEGER
Sebastian SCHÄFFER

Corruption in Moldova is endemic and widespread. Given the significant share of public spending in the Moldovan GDP, corruption in public procurement procedures is a particularly important issue. High levels of public procurement corruption hamper a competition-based, thriving and prosperity-generating market economy, have a significantly negative impact on the business and investment climate and present a serious obstacle to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). To counteract the devastating effects of corruption, in recent years, the use of electronic means in public procurement (eProcurement) has become a key instrument to increase transparency and accountability, reduce maladministration risks and strengthen businesses’ and citizens’ trust in public administrations. Against this backdrop, this study examines the legal constraints for the implementation of MTender – the eProcurement system in Moldova – and identifies the most up-to-date technical deficiencies of the system presenting challenges for its day-to-day use by the Moldovan business community.

This study argues that, despite significant improvements particularly in terms of transparency in public procurement in Moldova, MTender suffers from a variety of legal constraints hindering the system to unfold the full range of its functionalities as well as systeminherent technical deficiencies. The study shows that:

(i) the Moldovan legal framework regulating MTender is incoherent and contradictory, non-compliant with EU requirements and creates barriers for economic operators,
(ii) MTender has technical limitations that need to be addressed to increase contracting authorities’ and economic operators’ user-friendliness and trust in the system 
(iii) the degree of success of the establishment of a modern and digitalised public procurement system is highly dependent on the regulatory environment in which it operates and the community’s trust in its public institutions.

Drawing on key experts’ and users’ assessments concerning the current state of the public procurement system in Moldova, this study offers some policy recommendations aimed at eliminating current legal constraints hampering the functioning of MTender and its systeminherent technical deficiencies. It suggests that a definite answer to whether MTender presents a viable instrument to enhance a functioning digitalised public administration in Moldova should follow a phase where the system operates at its full capacity.
IDM News   Mittwoch, 03 März 2021

"Aufstand für die Autonomie" - Daniela Neubacher zu Studentenprotesten in Budapest

“Studierende in Budapest protestieren seit Monaten gegen die politische Einflussnahme an der Universität für Theater- und Filmkunst. Sie fordern mehr Autonomie für ihre Universität. Was genau macht Hochschulautonomie aus und was kann sie gefährden?"

Daniela Neubacher äußert sich im "MDW-Magazin" über die Studentenproteste in Budaptest.

Der Artikel ist auch online abrufbar:  "Aufstand für die Autonomie"

IDM News   Dienstag, 02 März 2021

"Georgia’s Democracy on the Brink of Chaos" - an op-ed by Sebastian Schäffer and Jack Gill for The Fair Observer

"The ongoing political crisis in Georgia has been ramped up a notch over the last few days. The polarization of Georgian society, which is reflected at the political level, has reached a new high after the parliamentary elections last October, but especially so since the arrest and imprisonment of opposition leader Nika Melia and the raid on his United National Movement (UNM) headquarters on February 23."

What events have lead to the crisis? What implications will the current developements have for the Georgian society and the region?
Readan op-ed "Georgia’s Democracy Is on the Brink of Chaos" by Sebastian Schäffer and Jack Gill published in Fair Observer.


Call for Nominations: Danubius Young Scientist Award 2021
IDM News   Dienstag, 23 Februar 2021

Call for Nominations: Danubius Young Scientist Award 2021
The Danubius Award was created in 2011 by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research (BMBFW) and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) with the intention to honour individuals with extraordinary achievements in their scientific activity and output in relation to the Danube Region.
2021 this award will, for the eight time, be complemented with a specific price for young scientists –

the Danubius Young Scientist Award

This award will be granted to 14 young scientists - one from each country (citizenship is crucial) that is part of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Romania and Ukraine). The award seeks to highlight the scientific work and talent of young researchers and enhance the visibility of the scientific community in the region: Moreover the award encourages young scientists to engage themselves in the scientific examination of the multifaceted issues and questions specifically related to the Danube Region.

The award will be endowed with 1.350 EUR for each winner of the Danubius Young Scientist Award.

The Call for nominations for 2021 is now open!

Award Criteria:

  • Scientific excellence and innovative approach of the academic work
  • Thematic relevance of the scientific work for issues/problems of the Danube Region
  • Relevance of the scientific work beyond the national borders
  • Potential of the candidate (for example: integration in international networks, participation in scientific projects, publication history, experience in teaching etc.)
  • No formal age limit - but limitation to participants that have received their Master/PhD max. 5 years ago (= after 1st of January 2016)
  • Submissions of candidates holding only a bachelor degree will not be accepted

The nomination of the award candidate cannot be made by the candidate himself/herself but he or she has to be nominated by their hosting scientific organization (university, academy of sciences, research organization etc.).

Candidates for the Danubius Young Scientist Award can come from all scientific disciplines. The number of nominations per organization is limited to a maximum number of 3, meaning every university, academy of sciences or research organization etc. can nominate up to a maximum of three candidates in total. However, the three candidates have to come from different faculties or departments, institutes or research groups within the organization (please ensure an internal coordination in your organization e.g. via the rectorate or management).

It is expected that the award ceremony will take place in October/November 2021. The details will be announced in due time.

Moreover, thanks to the ongoing kind support by the JRC, the awardees will be invited by the European Commission´s Joint Research Centre to visit the JRC in Ispra, Italy in 2022.

You can find more information in the Call for nominations here:

mehr Informationen
IDM News   Donnerstag, 18 Februar 2021

Parliamentary elections in Kosovo | Panel discussion and briefing

On the 14 February 2021, the new parliament has been elected in Kosovo. The outcome of the elections marked a clear victory for Vetëvendosje, the party of Albin Kurti in coalition with the independent candidate Vjosa Osmani, the actual ad interim president. The coalition received 48% of the total votes. Despite this unprecedented victory, Kurti is still in need of coalition partners in order to reach the 61 seats required to form a majority in parliament. In case of success, Kurti might have a historic opportunity to start a new era both in terms of reforms and anti-corruption efforts as well as regarding the foreign policy including the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

On this occasion, the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), in cooperation with the Karl Renner Institute and the Political Academy, organised another panel discussion as part of our traditional series of events on parliamentary elections in our target countries. You can rewatch the discussion on the IDM YouTube channel.

Moreover, a detailed description of the situation around the parliamentary elections including the election results was summarized in a written briefing by Donika Emini, Executive Director of the Civikos Platform.

IDM News   Montag, 14 Dezember 2020

IDM in den Medien: W24-Bericht über das Institut

 Am 15. und 18. Dezember strahlt der Wiener Stadtsender W24 im Zuge der Sendung "24 Stunden Wien" einen Bericht über die Tätigkeiten des IDM aus. Zu Wort kommen der IDM-Vorsitzende Dr. Erhard Busek sowie Geschäftsführer Sebastian Schäffer, der die Leistungen des Instituts vorstellt. Daniela Neubacher, wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am IDM, spricht über die Publikationen und präsentiert das Themenheft Info Europa.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 12 14 um 14.01.59
Der Beitrag ist auf der W24-Webseite sowie auf dem YouTube-Kanal des IDM abrufbar.

IDM News   Mittwoch, 03 Februar 2021

Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2020 mit Beiträgen von Sebastian Schäffer und Daniel Martínek Screenshot 2021-02-02 at 17.22.26.png

Sebastian Schäffer
, Geschäftsführer des IDM, und Daniel Martínek, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am IDM, haben im Rahmen der jahrelangen Zusammenarbeit mit dem Institut für Europäische Politik zur 40. Jubiläumsausgabe des Jahrbuchs der Europäischen Integration 2020 mit folgenden Artikeln beigetragen:

Sebastian Schäffer/Iris Rehklau, Binnenmarkt, S. 229
Daniel Martínek/Sebastian Schäffer, Verkehrspolitik, S. 315
Sebastian Schäffer, Montenegro, S. 461

Das Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration des Instituts für Europäische Politik (Berlin) dokumentiert und bilanziert seit 1980 zeitnah und detailliert den europäischen Integrationsprozess. Entstanden ist in 40 Jahren eine einzigartige Dokumentation der europäischen Zeitgeschichte. Das „Jahrbuch der Europäischen Integration 2020“ führt diese Tradition fort. In mehr als 100 Beiträgen zeichnen die Autorinnen und Autoren in ihren jeweiligen Forschungsschwerpunkten die europapolitischen Ereignisse des Berichtszeitraums 2019/2020 nach und informieren über die Arbeit der europäischen Institutionen, die Entwicklung der einzelnen Politikbereiche der EU, Europas Rolle in der Welt und die Europapolitik in den Mitgliedstaaten und Kandidatenländern. (© Verlag Nomos)

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