Visegrad

Politics 05-05-2021

Orbán has begun taking steps to preserve his power

With barely a year until what looks to be a tight election in Hungary, the government is shifting considerable amounts of public assets away from the state and into foundations. The goal could be to sustain Viktor Orbán’s "System of National Cooperation" (NER) should he lose the 2022 election. EURACTIV's media partner Telex takes a closer look.
Politics 05-05-2021

Polish president to meet with B-9 leaders ahead of NATO summit

Polish President Andrzej Duda will travel to Bucharest to meet his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis next Monday for a joint teleconference meeting with leaders of the Bucharest Nine (B-9) group. The head of the National Security Bureau, Paweł Soloch, announced...
Digital & Media 04-05-2021

Hungary may see takeovers of last free media, experts warn

Recent reports have confirmed the negative trend for media freedom in Hungary but also pointed to Budapest's negative impact on press freedom in neighbouring countries. On World Press Freedom Day (3 May), EURACTIV talked to two of the main experts on Hungarian media.
Politics 04-05-2021

600,000 Slovaks sign referendum for early election

More than 600,000 signatures calling for early elections were handed to Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová Monday, though many constitutional lawyers in the country consider the move to be unconstitutional. The petition was initiated by opposition parties Smer, Hlas and nationalist...
Politics 04-05-2021

Trust in EU increased among Czechs during pandemic

According to the recent Eurobarometer survey, Czechs’ trust in the EU has increased from 39% in 2020 to 48% currently, as the country abandoned its traditional euroscepticism during the pandemic.  While the EU’s popularity is on the rise, trust in...
Politics 04-05-2021

Eastern European presidents mark Polish-Lithuanian constitution

The presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Poland met in Warsaw on Monday to mark the 230th anniversary of the constitution adopted by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Presidents Gitanas Nausėda, Egils Levits, Kersti Kaljulaid, Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Andrzej Duda underlined...
On the occasion of EURACTIV's launch of its new 'Digital & Media' hub, Editor Samuel Stolton caught up with the Commission's Vice President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, to discuss the wide range of issues currently impacting the European media landscape. 
Politics 04-05-2021

Jourová: Commission unable to act on Orbán-ally Hungarian media giant

KESMA, an Orbán-ally conglomerate comprising nearly 500 media groups, was in financial terms too small for intervention as competition law was designed for bigger mergers, European Commission Vice-President Věra Jourová told Euronews on Monday (3 May). In 2016, a complaint was filed...
Politics 03-05-2021

Slovenia and Hungary mutually recognise vaccination certificates

While talks continue at the EU level on proposed common COVID-19 vaccination certificates, Slovenia and Hungary have decided to press ahead bilaterally, and mutually recognise their respective certificates. The Slovenian foreign ministry announced this weekend that a vaccination certificate issued...
Politics 03-05-2021

Crowds fail to keep measures as Budapest nightlife returns

Youth celebrating further relaxation of measures partied hard in the centre of the Hungarian capital on Saturday as nightlife returned to the city after the country hit 4 million vaccinated last week. Young people failed to keep social distancing rules...
Politics 03-05-2021

Czechia to test COVID-19 certificates in next two weeks

According to Czech Television, technical testing of the digital green certificates will start in two weeks, making Czechia among the first group of countries where the certificates will be tested during May. EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders confirmed that certificates...
Politics 03-05-2021

Poland to further discuss draft recovery plan

The national recovery plan (NPR), which was submitted last Friday and outlines how funds from the EU’s recovery plan will be allocated, will be discussed in the parliament’s lower house known as the Sejm on Tuesday. The draft law focuses...
Politics 30-04-2021

Bratislava port to get its own €40 million LNG terminal

Slovakia is to get a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal worth €40 million aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in inland waterway transport on the Danube river, the state-owned investor Public Ports company has said. The LNG terminal would...
Politics 30-04-2021

EU Parliament supports Czechia, calls on EU to expel Russian diplomats

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday calling on EU countries to coordinate the expulsion of Russian diplomats in reaction to the 2014 Vrbetice ammunition depot explosion in the Czech Republic. According to Czech secret services, Russian GRU agents...
Politics 30-04-2021

Polish recovery plan sent to Brussels, despite divided opinions

Poland will submit its national recovery plan to the European Commission on Friday despite the document still dividing the Polish political scene. The plan was adopted because of an agreement between the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party and the...
Politics 29-04-2021

Slovakia proposes to reallocate €1 billion in EU funds to Bratislava

A Slovak ministry has proposed a reallocation of €1 billion from the European structural and investments funds on Wednesday. As EURACTIV Slovakia reported, Bratislava was supposed to only have an allocation of €20 million, due to the EU’s money allocation...
Politics 29-04-2021

Prague space agency to get competency boost

MEPs on Wednesday approved a new  European Space programme with a seven-year budget of €14.8 billion uniting all EU space activities in one place and expanding the scope and strengthening the competencies of Prague-based European GNSS Agency (GSA). The decision...
Politics 29-04-2021

Polish government presents plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions in May

The Polish government has unveiled plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions gradually over the next month, with grades 1-3 returning to in-person schooling full-time as of 4 May. According to government statistics, there are now more than 25,000 COVID-19 patients in...
Politics 29-04-2021

Hungary only V4 country not to expel Russian diplomats

Hungary has no plans to expel Russian diplomats, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó told RTL on Wednesday (28 April), Telex reported. Hungary will thus be the only Visegrád country to not commit itself to the diplomatic rebuke to Moscow after Czech authorities linked a 2014 arms depot blast...
Politics 28-04-2021

Brussels welcomes Slovak recovery plan, says PM

The national recovery and resilience plan has received positive feedback in Brussels, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Tuesday following his first in-person meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel since he...
Politics 28-04-2021

Commision to probe Czechia’s distribution of EU funds, examine conflict of interest

The European Commission will check whether the conflict of interest rule has been repeatedly breached in Czechia after Commission auditors confirmed conflict of interest allegations levelled against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš on Friday, daily Hospodářské noviny reported. “The European...
Politics 28-04-2021

Poland adopts historical draft law on ratification of EU’s own resources

The Council of Ministers adopted on Tuesday a draft law on the ratification of the EU’s own resources needed to mobilise the Reconstruction Fund, which Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called a legal act of historical scale and compared it to...
Politics 28-04-2021

Bill handing over billion in public wealth to foundations passes

Hungary’s parliament passed legislation on Tuesday (27 April) setting up foundations to take over the running of universities and cultural institutions in a move critics say extends the ideological imprint of the ruling right-wing government. Currently, most Hungarian universities are...
Politics 27-04-2021

Hungary battles with pandemic as vaccine registration remains low

The Szent György teaching hospital in Fejér county received 7,100 doses of the vaccine for mass vaccination on Saturday, but the number of registrants is less than 3,000, said the hospital’s director, Bucsi László, adding that his hospital had to...
Politics 27-04-2021

Head of Chinese institute threatens Slovak expert

The Slovak director of the Chinese Confucius Institute in Bratislava, Ľuboslav Štora, sent threatening mail to Matej Šimalčík, one of the key experts on China in CEE countries and the executive director of the Central European Institute of Asian Studies...