Central Europe

Energy 10-12-2019

US readies sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream

The US House and Senate agreed on Monday (9 December) a defence bill that would force Donald Trump's administration to impose sanctions on companies involved in the Russian-sponsored gas pipelines Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream.

Polish reform erodes judicial autonomy: top court

Poland's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday (5 December) that a new judicial council charged with nominating and disciplining judges lacks independence, calling into question the government's court reforms.
05-12-2019

Did Hungary turn to the Russian Duma for support against Ukraine?

Hungary has a deep controversy with Hungary over minority rights. In this context, a heated controversy has unfolded over reports that Budapest asked the Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, for joint efforts to uphold minority rights in Ukraine.
Global Europe 30-08-2019

Trump skips trip to Poland as hurricane approaches Florida

US President Donald Trump abruptly called off a weekend trip to Poland on Thursday (29 August), saying he wanted to stay home and make sure the federal government is prepared for a looming hurricane headed for Florida.
Politics 23-08-2019

The Czech president’s summer power play comes to an end

The latest Czech government crisis is over: President Miloš Zeman will appoint Lubomír Zaorálek as the new minister of culture on Tuesday (27 August), ending a dispute over the post that almost caused a collapse of the government. However, the crisis has exposed the deteriorating state of democracy in the country.

Fight against top-level corruption is needed in Slovakia, says monitoring report

Slovakia should adopt steps to prevent corruption in the government, said a report published on Thursday (22 August) by the Council of Europe, citing 'systemic weaknesses'  in the country's legal framework.
21-08-2019

Prague mayor comes under international spotlight

Zdeněk Hřib is the first mayor of Prague to come from the Pirate Party. In his post for only ten months, Hřib has already drawn the attention of international media mainly due to his opposition to the growing Chinese influence in the country.

Investigation of Slovak journalist murder uncovers other serious crimes

A year and a half since the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, prosecutors said that the investigation has uncovered a ring of other crimes, including four murders and planned high-level assassinations.
24-07-2019

China’s political interference in Czech Republic back in focus

Political interference by China is now essentially a global phenomenon. In the Czech Republic, relations with Bejing are institutionalised in the 17 plus 1 framework. Their real impact is difficult to assess but they have already pitted the country's president against many other politicians and the public.
18-07-2019

Germany and Italy’s migration schemes are simply ways to avoid uncomfortable truths

The issue of migrants entering Europe will dominate the European Parliament's upcoming session, but the proposals already put forward are simple remakes of previously failed plans for the migrant crisis, writes Faisal Al Yafai.
15-07-2019

Will the government of Andrej Babiš survive again?

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš survived a no-confidence vote on 27 June, but his coalition government is torn by internal strife and appears to be nearer the end than at any point in its past 12 months in office.
12-07-2019

Slovak president attacks Beijing’s human rights record

Slovakian president Zuzana Čaputová has criticised Beijing for not respecting human rights, during a visit by China's foreign affairs chief on Wednesday (10 July). Wang Yi was in Slovakia to discuss the involvement of the Visegrád Four in the Silk Road project.
EU Elections 2019 04-07-2019

Visegrad leaders claim victory in race for EU top jobs

The leaders of the Visegrad Four – Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – were jubilant back home after they successfully blocked their arch-enemy Frans Timmermans from winning the European Commission presidency.
26-06-2019

How Czech media reported about the largest protest since 1989

Europeans were stunned by the magnitude of the protests in Prague on Sunday (23 June): reportedly 250,000 people demanded Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to step down over allegations of graft. But what was even more stunning is the way the Czech media reported about them.
20-06-2019

Lithuanian FM: Russian threats are real and should be taken seriously

Although there are no direct Russian threats to Lithuania, there are insecurities in the region and militaristic arguments used in political debates, which must be taken seriously, Lithuania's foreign minister told EURACTIV Croatia in an interview.
Enlargement 07-06-2019

Europe’s ambitious but uncertain future on show at Bratislava forum

As Globsec’s 2019 forum in Bratislava kicked off earlier this week, EURACTIV went along to listen to world leaders from politics, civil society and business on the Future of Europe. Here we present a summary of the main talking points in the field, across the first two days.
03-06-2019

V4 in the EU: neither blocking minority nor agenda-setter

Fears in Berlin of the Visegrad Four acting as a blocking minority on EU dossiers has softened. Instead, German policy-makers and analysts are trying to identify common ground between Germany and the V4, writes Anna-Lena Kirch.
22-03-2019

Russia angry at Poland over WWII anniversary snub

Russia expressed anger on Wednesday (20 March) that President Vladimir Putin has not been invited to ceremonies marking the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II in Poland later this year.
Global Europe 18-02-2019

Polish PM cancels trip to Israel in wake of comments on Poles in Holocaust

Poland’s prime minister has cancelled a trip to Israel in the wake of reported remarks made by his Israeli counterpart suggesting Polish complicity during the Holocaust, an aide in his office told Polish media on Sunday (17 February). A government...

Hungary warns Pompeo against Western ‘enormous hypocrisy’ toward Russia

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo voiced hope Monday (11 February) that renewed American engagement with Hungary's Viktor Orbán would help steer the increasingly authoritarian leader away from Russian and Chinese influence.

Pompeo begins tour in long-overlooked central Europe

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Hungary, Slovakia and Poland this week he wants to make up for a lack of US engagement that opened the door to more Chinese and Russian influence in central Europe, administration officials say.
Economy & Jobs 11-02-2019

Why do foreign investors leave Bulgaria as if it were the Titanic?

Despite being one of the most beautiful countries in the European Union, despite having talented and educated people, despite a favourable tax environment, Bulgaria is likely to stay as the poorest in the EU, and to continue losing its population, writes Blaga Thavard.
Future EU 07-02-2019

Visegrad Four to hold first summit abroad… in Jerusalem

The leaders of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will hold the first summit of their Visegrad grouping in Jerusalem, a move which looks like a slap in the face of the EU at a time the Union tries...
EU Elections 2019 31-01-2019

Hungary to shun Italian-led eurosceptic alliance, stick with EPP

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's ruling Fidesz party will not join a eurosceptic alliance spearheaded by Italy in the run-up to European Parliament elections despite their common hard line on immigration, a government official said on Wednesday (30 January).

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