The EU Council of Ministers has given the go ahead to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania. The move had been delayed following an objection from President Macron of France in December.
Opening accession talks is a long way from the countries actually becoming members of the EU, but it is a hopeful sign for countries which have already made substantial economic, social and political reforms with a view to membership.
In an expected move, President Vladimir Putin has announced that the ‘public vote’ on changes to the constitution will be delayed from its 22nd April date due to the coronavirus. It will now be held ‘at some future moment’.
The constitutional reforms were announced by President Putin in January and the original proposal would have prevented him from seeking another term in office after 2024. However an amendment tabled in the Duma proposed to wipe the slate clean and allow Putin (and Dmitry Medvedev, the only other living President) to serve a further two terms.
The UK’s Law Commissions have produced a report on changes to the rules governing elections and campaigning. Among the suggestions they make is for all political adverts to carry the equivalent of the imprint that paper campaigning materials must carry. This sets out who is responsible for the publication.
The commissions also suggest changing the rules on postponement of elections to give returning officers more powers in the event of floods and other natural disasters. They also want to see electoral paperwork made mroe simple.