Visegrad

Politics 21-01-2022

Slovak economy minister against prolonging Crimea sanctions

In a December interview, economy minister Richard Sulík stated that he does not consider sanctions effective and thinks Russia will not return Crimea to Ukraine. The latter part of the statement recently caused tension between Ukraine and Slovakia. Sulík’s statement...
Politics 21-01-2022

Justice Minister: European left is interfering in Hungarian elections

Justice Minister Judit Varga has accused the European left of interfering in the country’s decisions after 62 MEPs sent a letter to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) asking for a full-scale mission to monitor the Hungarian...
Politics 21-01-2022

Czechia shies away from mandatory vaccination

The new Czech government has decided it will not make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) announced this week, saying his cabinet does not wish to “widen divisions within society”. As COVID-19 cases continue to reach record heights,...
Politics 21-01-2022

Poland pledges support to Ukraine as presidents meet for two-day talks

Polish President Andrzej Duda will receive Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy for a two-day discussion on the security situation in Ukraine in the face of the risk of a Russian attack. “Poland supports Ukraine and is clear that there is no...
Politics 20-01-2022

Simple defence agreement with US divides Slovakia

The defence cooperation agreement between Slovakia and the US has been major news in Slovakia for over a week now. If passed, the deal would grant the American army the right to use two military airports in exchange for access to funds aimed...
Politics 20-01-2022

Prague considers sending military material to Kyiv

The new Czech government wants to help Ukraine amid the escalating situation at the borders with Russia, Defence Minister Jana Černochová (ODS, ECR) said in an interview with daily Hospodářské noviny. In the interview, Černochová confirmed the Czech Republic is willing to...
Politics 20-01-2022

EU Commission takes hard steps to make Poland pay Turów fines

The European Commission will deduct money from Poland’s allocation in the EU budget in response to the country’s refusal to comply with the EU Court of Justice’s ruling regarding the Turów mine, TVN24 TV station reported. EU officials “are now...
Politics 20-01-2022

MEPs call for full-scale election observation in Hungary

Sixty-two MEPs from various political groups have sent a joint letter to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), asking for a full-scale monitoring mission ahead of Hungary’s elections on 3 April. “We all share the concern that the elections...
Politics 19-01-2022

Slovakia agreed to cut down methane emissions without a plan

Slovakia promised to cut down its methane emissions by 30% compared to 2020 levels by 2030 at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, but it currently has no plan on how to achieve this. The same promise was given by...
Politics 19-01-2022

Former Czech PM Babis to be stripped of immunity

The Immunity Committee has recommended the Czech parliament remove the parliamentary immunity of former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. If the parliament follows the recommendation, which is very likely, Babiš will face prosecution over alleged EU subsidy fraud. A vote on...
19-01-2022

Poland seeks allies against Fit for 55

Warsaw wants to build ‘a coalition of countries within the EU that object to the Fit for 55 climate package, which the government says will severely affect less affluent EU citizens. “We are now building a coalition of countries that...
Politics 18-01-2022

Hungary registers new spike in COVID-19 cases due to Omicron variant

Hungary, one of the EU countries with the least stringent COVID-19 restrictions, has faced a new spike in coronavirus infections this week due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. On Monday, the country registered 270 deaths over 72 hours, and over...
Politics 18-01-2022

Polish justice ministry proposes online free speech law after Facebook debacle

A draft law on freedom of speech online, first presented last year, is ready for the government’s approval and submission to parliament, Deputy Minister Michał Woś said. This is the ministry’s answer to Facebook’s recent decision to remove the FB...
Politics 18-01-2022

Slovakia blames historic lack of food industry funding on Commission rules

Slovakia plans to invest a historically small amount of the 2023-2027 CAP money on its food industry, which is severely underdeveloped compared to other EU countries. The agriculture ministry blames the lack of funding on Commission rules, which force it...
Politics 18-01-2022

Clash over coal mine escalates, Czech minister heads to Warsaw

Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková (KDU-ČSL, EPP) is heading to Poland amid rising tensions between the two countries. In past months, Czechia blamed Poland for illegal coal mining in the bordering area and asked Poland for financial compensation. While the...
Politics 17-01-2022

Slovak General Prosecutor to fight international crime with sanctioned Russian counterpart

General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka, who went to Moscow last week and took part in celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Office of General Prosecutor, signed a programme of cooperation with his Russian counterpart Igor Krasnov, that focuses on...
Politics 17-01-2022

Hungary’s opposition plans to spend an extra €3.4 billion on healthcare

In the run-up to the elections in April, the opposition prime ministerial candidate Péter Márki-Zay promised to spend an extra 1,200 billion forints to reform Hungarian healthcare in line with European countries, Hungary Today reported. In a press conference on 15 January, Márki-Zay...
Politics 17-01-2022

Czech President criticises Beijing Olympics boycott

Czech President Miloš Zeman, well-known for his good ties with Chinese and Russian leaders, criticises the diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in China. “I am fundamentally opposed to the misuse of the Olympic idea for political purposes. We...
Politics 17-01-2022

The Bulgarian State Gas Company is under investigation

Bugaria’s state-owned gas company, Bugargaz is under investigation for a series of potential abuses, according to new Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on Sunday. In recent weeks the pressure on the government over the state-owned gas operator has been increasing, along...
Politics 17-01-2022

Poland refuses to pay fines for Turów mine, agrees to reduced payments from EU funds

The Polish government has rejected the European Commission’s order to pay outstanding fines for not complying with the EU Court of Justice’s ruling to stop the activity of the lignite mine in Turów, which was the subject of the clash...
Politics 14-01-2022

Slovakia eyes small modular reactors for nuclear future

Slovakia is interested in small modular reactors and will support discussion about this topic at the European level, said state secretary of economy Karol Galek, who again welcomed the Commission’s proposal to include nuclear energy and natural gas in the...
Politics 14-01-2022

Civil society demands fully-fledged international mission for Hungarian elections

Twenty Hungarian NGOs have written a letter to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) asking for a full-scale monitoring mission instead of a “limited” observation mission ahead...
Politics 14-01-2022

Polish scientists identify gene profile in severe COVID-19 cases

In what they described as a groundbreaking discovery, scientists from the Medical University in the northeastern Polish city of Białystok have identified a genetic profile that makes people predisposed to a severe form of COVID-19. The discovered genetic variant “more...
Politics 14-01-2022

Bad week for new government party in Czechia

The new cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) on Thursday evening finally got the green light from the lower house of parliament, a step needed in the Czech political system. However, the success was diluted by several issues surrounding...