Freedom of thought

Elections 18-12-2017

In Prague, Europe’s far-right celebrates the Austrian coalition

Europe's far-right leaders including Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders on Saturday (16 December) hailed as "historic" the government coalition deal struck by their Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) peer with the conservatives.

Future EU 18-12-2017

EU silently accepts far-right in Austrian cabinet

Unlike in 2000, when the EU imposed sanctions on Austria in response to the entrance of the FPÖ into government, this time EU leaders and institutions silently accepted the coalition deal between the far-right force with the conservative ÖVP agreed on Friday (15 December).

Elections 15-12-2017

Macron and Merkel give last warning to Poland

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will support the Commission if it decides to trigger Article 7 against Warsaw next week, the two told a joint press conference at the end of a two-day EU summit on Friday (15 December).

15-12-2017

Trans-Europe Express: Focusing on Venezuela to forget our own problems

This year, the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize went to the Venezuelan opposition, in the EU’s recognition of their fight for human rights.

Romania’s lower house passes judicial overhaul bills

Romania’s lower house of parliament approved yesterday (13 December) legislation to overhaul its justice system, legislation that the European Commission, the US State Department and the country’s president have criticised as threatening judicial independence.

13-12-2017

Press freedom in Bulgaria under attack ahead of EU Presidency

Bulgarian opposition parties exposed on Tuesday (12 December) what they see as an attempt to silence and close down media considered unfriendly to the government of Boyko Borissov. Bulgaria will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from 1 January.

12-12-2017

Polish TV channel fined over coverage of protests

Poland's media regulator has fined a major news channel over alleged biased coverage of anti-government protests in December 2016, and the broadcaster TVN24 vowed on Tuesday (12 December) to appeal.

Elections 08-12-2017

Italy’s far-right attacks newspaper premises as ‘black wave’ continues

A group of far-right activists attacked Italy’s La Repubblica newsroom with smoke bombs on Wednesday (6 December), in the latest of a series of violent episodes by neo-fascist groups who say they are waging "a political war".

Health 07-12-2017

Backlash of regressive laws curtail women’s rights, report finds

Women’s sexual and reproductive rights are “under threat”, warned the Council of Europe.

07-12-2017

Erdogan heads to uneasy ally Greece for historic visit

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins the first visit by a Turkish head of state to Greece in 65 years Thursday (7 December), with concerns over relations as Athens said it was "worried" by his comments perceived as reviving territorial friction. Ties between Turkey and Greece have warmed over the past 20 years, after decades of tension …

Central Europe 28-11-2017

Poland probes pictures of MEPs ‘on gallows’ at far-right demonstration

Poland's justice minister announced an investigation on Monday (27 November) after mocked-up pictures of opposition MEPs allegedly hanging on gallows were unfurled at a far-right demonstration on Saturday.

European Parliament sets in motion ‘nuclear option’ for Poland

The European Parliament adopted on Wednesday (15 November) a resolution calling for the application of the so-called ‘nuclear option’ for Poland, Article 7 of the EU Treaty, because of the threat to the rule of law in the biggest Eastern European country. EURACTIV Poland reports.

14-11-2017

European Parliament awards Lux Prize to Scandinavian film about racism

A Scandinavian co-production entitled Sámi Blood, exposing racism faced by northern Europe's indigenous inhabitants in the 1930s, won this year's Lux Prize awarded by the European Parliament for promoting European cinema.

Digital 13-11-2017

Gabriel leading Commission effort against fake news ‘disease’

Fake news is a disease that European society needs to be “vaccinated” against, the EU's Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said as she opened a call for public comments on possible EU responses to the spread of false information on internet platforms.

08-11-2017

Commission met religious leaders on 100th anniversary of Bolshevik revolution

The European Commission’s regular meeting with religious leaders on Tuesday (7 November) coincided with the 100th anniversary of the October Bolshevik revolution, probably the single event that left the greatest mark on the 20th Century, and one of whose major crimes was the crackdown on religion.

03-11-2017

Poland and France come to blows over statue of late Pope

More than 38,000 people signed an online petition as of Thursday protesting against a French court order to remove a cross from a statue of the late Polish-born Pope John Paul II in Brittany, western France.

Future EU 31-10-2017

Puigdemont says will stay in Belgium, accept snap election

Dismissed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is not seeking political asylum in Belgium and will not return to Spain until he is guaranteed a fair trial, he told a packed news conference in Brussels’  European quarter on Tuesday (31 October).

26-10-2017

Venezuelan opposition gains Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought

The European Parliament decided on Thursday to award the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought and human rights to the Venezuelan opposition, represented by the National Assembly, its president, Julio Borges, and opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma. EuroEFE reports.

MEPs call for stronger protection for whistleblowers

MEPs adopted by a large majority a report calling for a tough EU law on the protection of whistleblowers on Tuesday (24 October), despite attempts by some right-wing MEPs to water it down. EURACTIV France reports.

24-10-2017

Nations pledge $345 million to Rohingya response

Nations have pledged $345 million (€294 million) to care for Myanmar's Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, an "encouraging" step in the response to the intensifying crisis, the UN said on Monday (23 October).

19-10-2017

From Mandela to Malala: Sakharov winners that won the Nobel Peace prize

Four laureates of the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize for freedom of thought, an award established in 1988 and named after the Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, also won the Nobel for peace. EURACTIV Spain reports.

Elections 19-10-2017

Austria’s far-right stakes claim to interior ministry ahead of coalition talks

Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) yesterday (18 October) named control of the interior ministry as its price for joining a future coalition government following its strong showing in a parliamentary election.

17-10-2017

Murder of Malta’s top investigative journalist provokes shock and outrage

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s top investigative journalist, was killed on Monday (16 October) when the car she was driving exploded shortly after she left her home.

12-10-2017

News agency chief denounces ‘political takeover‘ of Romanian state media

The acting director of AGERPRES, the Romanian national news agency, denounced on Wednesday (11 October) new legislation which he described as a “huge step back” in terms of media freedom of media in Romania, and said he was “afraid of what could follow”.