“The Impacts of Executive Responses on Democracy During the Coronavirus Crisis in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria”, Hrvoje Butković (IRMO, Croatia)

In Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, the coronavirus crisis raised pre-existing deficiencies in the democratic orders to the surface, i.e., issues in functioning according to democratic principles in the circumstances of a public health crisis. In Austria, the strained executive-legislative relations were already visible in April 2020, when the opposition parties refused to support the second wave of crisis legislation without the appraisal process that would justify its urgency. In Croatia and Slovenia, the governments decided not to declare a state of emergency, arguably in order to avoid cooperation with the opposition and other state institutions in drafting and passing crisis legislation. Finally, in Slovenia, the government used the crisis as a pretext to install its people into leading positions in several key state and public institutions. 

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