Freedom of thought

Elections 10-03-2021

Watchdog warns of ‘dire press situation’ ahead of Bulgarian elections

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday (10 March) published 10 recommendations  to address what they called “the dire press freedom situation in Bulgaria”, ahead of elections early next month. 
Digital 25-02-2021

Deutsche Welle resumes Hungarian service amid free press fears

Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle has begun producing material in Hungarian for the first time in decades, driven by concerns at declining media plurality and press freedom in the fellow European Union member.

Spanish riots over rapper’s imprisonment escalate

Barcelona and several other Spanish cities woke up on Sunday morning to looted stores and damaged property after a fifth consecutive night of protests calling for the release of rapper Pablo Hasel. EURACTIV's partner EFE reports.
Europe's East 10-02-2021

EU Parliament president under fire for ‘not supporting’ democracy in Belarus

A leading Member of the European Parliament is organising a debate on Wednesday (10 February) intended to overturn a decision by the assembly's President David Sassoli not to open an office in Brussels representing the Belarus opposition, presumably under the advice of EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell.
Non-discrimination 09-02-2021

Lesbian mother of stateless baby takes citizenship fight to top EU court

A baby left without a nationality after she was born in Spain to a same-sex couple from Bulgaria and Gibraltar is at the centre of a test case to be heard by the European Union's top court on Tuesday (9 February).
16-12-2020

Freedom: another casualty of COVID-19 pandemic

Measures imposed by governments to fight the Covid-19 pandemic have squeezed civil liberties worldwide, with authoritarian regimes seeking to exploit the restrictions as a way to shore up their sometimes shaky control on fast-changing societies, rights groups say.
11-12-2020

Renewing the EU’s commitment to the protection of the freedom of religion and belief

Renewing and boosting the post of EU Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief outside the Union is a crucial step in this direction. It would send a welcome message during the festive season and while we mark International Human Rights Day, argues Miriam Lexmann.
30-10-2020

An open society should be defined by open debate, not smears

ADF is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people. We receive funds from private donors who believe in our vision but there is nothing 'dark' about our money, writes Lois McClatchie.

US Christian right-wing groups financed anti-rights campaigns in Europe

US Christian rights groups linked to US President Donald Trump’s administration have spent millions pushing ultra-conservative anti-rights agendas in Europe, a new investigation by openDemocracy, an independent UK-based global media platform, revealed on Tuesday (27 October).

Gridlock in Poland as thousands protest abortion ban

Thousands of people took to the streets of Poland for a fifth straight day of protests against a constitutional court ruling that would impose a near-total ban on abortion in the EU country.

Polish Ombudsman: ‘Rule of law has not applied to abortion in Poland’

A referendum on abortion under the current conditions in which the ruling party has unlimited possibilities for propaganda and debate in the public media, would not give room for real and in-depth discussion, Adam Bodnar, told EURACTIV Poland in an...

Bulgaria ruling party defiant as protests turn violent

Bulgaria's ruling conservative party on Thursday (3 September) resisted calls for Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's government to resign, after two months of protests against his perceived tolerance of corruption erupted into the most violent day yet.
Europe's East 15-08-2020

Belarus opposition movement gains momentum as world watches

Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko faced mounting opposition on Friday (14 August) to his disputed re-election as factory workers joined popular protests and the European Union moved to impose new sanctions on his regime.
Global Europe 13-08-2020

Thai PM appeals for unity amid almost daily protests

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha appealed for unity in a televised address to the nation on Thursday (13 August) amid almost daily student-led anti-government protests since mid-July.
Europe's East 10-08-2020

Europe must not allow Lukashenko to continue his manipulations

The EU must shape at least two different policies towards Belarus - one for the regime that stole the elections and one for the civil society, writes Urmas Paet.
Europe's East 10-08-2020

What is happening in Belarus cannot be called elections

After 9 August Belarus will have a totally illegitimate president, and the West must be prepared for the perspective of the illegitimate Lukashenko, writes Andrius Kubilius.
Non-discrimination 04-08-2020

EU urged to ratchet up pressure on Poland in defence of LGBT+ rights

LGBT+ campaigners have praised an EU decision to withhold funds from six Polish municipalities that declared themselves "LGBT-free zones", urging Brussels to intensify pressure on the nationalist government over its increasingly homophobic stance.
Digital 29-07-2020

Protests in Bulgaria are also about media freedom

Protests in Bulgaria are a genuine civil protest against the party-state and in favour of basic democratic rights such as media freedom, writes Maria Stoyanova.
Digital 24-07-2020

Mass resignations at Hungary’s biggest news site as fallout from editor’s sacking continues

Nearly 60 journalists have resigned from the 90-member editorial team of Index, Hungary's leading independent media outlet, in what is being described as a devastating blow to the country's free press and media plurality. 
Future EU 13-07-2020

The EU must stop funding illiberalism

Last week, we had the dubious pleasure of witnessing the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán team up with his Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša and the Serbian President Alexander Vučić. Their request? Asking to be “left alone”; apparently because they do not wish to be bothered by the European Union’s "cultural Marxism", writes Dacian Cioloș.

The Moment for Lies

The Hungarian government is trying to portray itself as the victim of politically motivated attacks. Wrong, and the state of emergency still exists, write Gábor Halmai and Kim Lane Scheppele.
24-06-2020

The Moment of Truth

The Hungarian government has faced a barrage of criticism from some of the EU's leadership. Minister for Justice Judit Varga claims this should worry other member states, because they could be next.
Digital 22-06-2020

Top Hungary news site says independence in ‘grave danger’

The editor of Hungary's most popular news website warned Sunday (21 June) that a planned overhaul would jeopardise its freedom to publish stories critical of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's government.
19-06-2020

We can’t fall for Viktor Orbán’s masquerade

We should not be fooled by the latest development in Hungary - ending one state of danger, while simultaneously declaring another - represents the actions of an increasingly autocratic state, writes Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield.