As Europe continues to grapple with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a looming economic recession, crucial elections are on the horizon in 2023. The most anticipated election for Europe’s broader security is undoubtedly Turkey’s presidential elections in June and July, where incumbent President Erdogan is weathering an economic crisis and has stirred up nationalist fervor by opposing Sweden and Finland’s bid for NATO membership. The Czech Republic has already held their presidential elections in January, in which the pro-Western retired general Petr Pavel ousted populist ex-billionaire Andrej Babiš. In March, April, and May, presidential and parliamentary elections in Estonia, Finland, and Latvia will test the public sentiment in three countries on Europe’s eastern perimeter a year after Russia’s invasion. Greece will also hold their parliamentary elections by July, possibly coinciding with Turkey’s which could exacerbate ongoing tensions between the two Aegean Sea neighbors. Though highly unlikely to be free and fair, regional elections in Russia in September will provide an indication on Putin’s grip on the Russian population following comprehensive Western sanctions and military mobilization. Parliamentary elections are also supposed to be held in Ukraine no later than October 29, although further details will depend on the state of the war. Later in the year, parliamentary elections in Poland will provide insights into the public support for the ruling PiS party’s populist rhetoric and combative stance towards the EU. Voters in Belarus will also head to the polls in November, in an election that are unlikely to be free and may mirror the regional elections in Russia. 2023 will be capped off with parliamentary elections in Spain in December, where incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will attempt to consolidate his progressive governing coalition.
The CSIS Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program provides the Election Watch platform to walk readers through these complex political times in Europe, with a collection of factsheets and analysis that presents the most salient campaign issues and highlights why and how these elections will impact U.S. interests.
All content by European Election Watch
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