Visegrad

Politics 17-09-2021

Czech railway: Low quality, high density

Czechia is an EU leader when it comes to the density of railway network. With 9,277 kilometres of rail in the country, it would be difficult to find a more connected state within the EU. Quality-wise, though, there are severe...
Politics 17-09-2021

Poland’s medical staff go on strike

“You will hang,” far-right lawmaker Grzegorz Braun (Confederacy) told health minister Adam Niedzielski at a debate over the situation in the health sector on Thursday in the Sejm. Braun was thrown out of the chamber and the issue was referred...
Politics 17-09-2021

The island in illiberal storm’ is getting bigger

Another twenty cities from around the world have joined the Pact of Free Cities initiative launched in 2019 by Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw mayors. Faced with conservative illiberal governments, these cities launched the initiative to promote democracy and transparency...
Politics 16-09-2021

Pope Francis condemns discrimination and prejudice against Roma

Pope Francis wrapped up his official visit to Slovakia on Wednesday by celebrating holy mass in the western Slovak pilgrimage town of Šaštín-Stráže in front of approximately 50.000 people. Before the Pontiff departed for Rome on Wednesday afternoon, he once...
Politics 16-09-2021

Polish ruling party puts an end to ‘Polexit’ discussion

In reaction to the public discourse in the past weeks, Poland’s Law and Justice (PiS) ruling party adopted a position in which it states that “the objective of PiS is for Poland not to leave the EU”. Ryszard Terlecki, a...
Politics 15-09-2021

Slovakia plans record-high defence expenditure

The Slovak defence ministry is planning the largest purchase in the country’s history. The government already approved the purchase of 152 tracked and 76 wheeled combat armoured vehicles. Estimated price tag is over €2 billion, EURACTIV Slovakia reports. According to...
Politics 15-09-2021

Hungary condemns EP resolution calling for EU-wide recognition of same-sex marriage

Fidesz politicians have strongly criticised the resolution calling for cross-bloc recognition of same-sex marriage, Telex reported. MEP Balázs Hidvéghi said that it is another “madness” from Brussels, while Justice Minister Judit Varga described the European Parliament’s resolution “a completely groundless political position”....
Politics 15-09-2021

Crisis at Belarusian border helps ruling party regain ground

Latest polls show that the ruling party in Poland is regaining some popularity after last months’ losses at the expense of leading opposition parties. The 10 September United Surveys poll for WP.pl showed Law and Justice (PiS) support at 36.4%,...
Politics 15-09-2021

Polls suggest the collapse of Czech social democracy

Ahead of Czech parliamentary elections due on 8-9 October 2021, Czech social democrats face hard times. Unlike their German counterparts, they are losing ground and opinion polls suggest they might not even pass the 5% threshold required to win a...
Politics 14-09-2021

Prime minister Heger apologised for wartime Jewish Code

Slovak Prime minister Eduard Heger and his cabinet apologised for the Order on the Legal Status of Jews, also known as the Jewish Code, legislation adopted by the Nazi-allied wartime Slovak state that existed from 1939 until 1945. “The Slovak...
Politics 14-09-2021

Poland free of Gazprom gas

On the eve of the inauguration of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline bringing Russian gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea, the Polish government's plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, has confirmed that Poland will become independent of Russian gas supplies from 2023.
Politics 14-09-2021

Czech agriculture ministry: Nutri-score will discriminate against traditional food

Czechia’s agricultural ministry is against the “Nutri-score”, a label system converting the nutritional value of food into an overall A-E score. According to the ministry, Nutri-score is too simplistic because it does not consider the size of portion and general...
Politics 13-09-2021

Pope Francis arrived on an official visit to Slovakia

Hundreds of believers, politicians and the representatives of the Church welcomed Pope Francis at the Bratislava airport on Sunday afternoon, at the start of his four-day visit to the country. Francis came to Bratislava from Budapest, where he also met...
Politics 13-09-2021

Hungarian opposition candidates hold first primary debate

With less than a week to go until opposition primaries that will decide who will challenge Viktor Orbán in parliamentary elections next April, prime minister hopefuls went head to head for the first time in a rare instance of televised...
Politics 13-09-2021

No Czech recognition for the Taliban

Prague should definitely not recognise the Taliban government of Afghanistan, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek said on Sunday. However, it will be necessary to communicate with the Taliban, he said, adding that the EU should take a united approach in...
Politics 13-09-2021

Merkel pays farewell visit to Warsaw

Over the weekend, Angela Merkel paid her last trip to Poland as German chancellor, striking a conciliatory tone on Warsaw’s rule of law standoff with the EU. Speaking alongside Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday, Merkel emphasized the importance...
Politics 10-09-2021

Slovak MEPs urge Commission to review draconian marijuana sentencing

Six Slovak MEPs have asked the European Commission in a letter on Thursday to review the draconian sentences Slovak courts issue for those convicted of marijuana-related offences, saying these conflict with EU law. “Draconian penalties for marijuana in Slovakia unnecessarily...
Politics 10-09-2021

Orbán: proceedings against Poland destroy EU unity

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán assured Polish President Andrzej Duda of Hungary’s solidarity and full support in Warsaw’s dispute with Brussels when he received him on Thursday, press chief Bertalan Havasi told national news agency MTI, Telex reported. In a highly unusual move in...
Politics 10-09-2021

Poland’s ruling PiS sends mixed signals on ‘Polexit’

Ryszard Terlecki, a leading Law and Justice (PiS) figure, who is at the same time the chief party whip and a deputy speaker of the Polish parliament, created an unexpected crisis when he told a conference in Karpacz that the...
Politics 09-09-2021

Slovak FM praises relations with Czech Republic

Foreign MinisterIvan Korčok praised the exceptionally warm relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic at governmental and parliamentary levels on Tuesday as he received a delegation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security of the Czech Senate led...
Politics 09-09-2021

Orban: Hungarian, Serbian civil society backs migration against security

Civil society organisations in Serbia and Hungary support migration, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in Budapest during a joint government session on Wednesday, adding that this was in complete contradiction with the two countries’ security interests. Both countries agreed...
Politics 09-09-2021

Czech-Polish negotiations over Turów mine hit stalemate

Negotiations between Czechia and Poland over mining in the Turów coal mine have now come to a stalemate, which Czech environmental organisations say is being caused by Poland’s unwillingness to solve the dispute and the passiveness of EU institutions. The...
Politics 09-09-2021

Risky travel with a fake COVID test

A 39-year old British citizen was arrested at the airport in Łódź after falsifying his COVID-19 test before boarding a plane to Nottingham. The British citizen was caught because he was registered as a person who should have isolated in...
Politics 08-09-2021

German retail chain Lidl now biggest in Slovakia

Lidl has surpassed for the first time its rival and long-standing leader on the Slovak market, British supermarket chain Tesco,  recently released financial statements from both companies for last year have confirmed. News broke after both companies released their 2020...