Freedom of thought

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.
19-06-2020

Macron marks de Gaulle’s wartime appeal with UK visit

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (18 June) made his first overseas trip since the coronavirus outbreak began, visiting London to mark the 80th anniversary of wartime resistance leader Charles de Gaulle's rallying cry against Nazi occupation from the British capital.
18-06-2020

Top EU court strikes down Hungary’s NGO financing law

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on Thursday (18 June) that the restrictions imposed on the financing of civil organisations by foreigners in Hungary were "discriminatory and unjustified" and went against EU law.
17-06-2020

Does the EU care about democracy at home?

While the whole world has been trying to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for ways how to fine-tune the response to the virus and its consequences, one element is missing in the picture and it is the support to democracy and restoration of civil rights and fundamental freedoms, writes Pavel Havlicek.

Hungary set to end disputed emergency virus powers

Hungary is set to revoke Tuesday (16 June) anti-coronavirus emergency powers that triggered international criticism amid fears of a power grab by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
22-05-2020

UN freedom of speech rapporteur must wear several hats, says Bulgarian candidate

Iveta Cherneva, a Bulgarian author who writes about security, politics, human rights, and sustainability, and a EURACTIV contributor, has been shortlisted for the position of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech.
14-05-2020

Hungarian detentions evidence of government intimidation, say critics

Two men have been detained since Tuesday (12 May) on suspicion of ‘scaremongering’ after sharing posts critical of the government on Facebook, local media reported.
Global Europe 08-04-2020

COVID-19 crisis triggers EU racism against Asians, rights agency says

There has been a spike in recorded cases of racist abuse against people perceived to be of Chinese or Asian descent in the European Union amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said in a report published on Wednesday (8 April).
Coronavirus 12-03-2020

Greek PM preaches science to Orthodox Church on coronavirus

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Prime Minister, urged the Orthodox Church yesterday (12 March) to observe scientific recommendations when it comes to public gatherings as authorities step up measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
28-02-2020

Poland names new head of Jewish museum as tensions rise

Poland's government appointed a new director of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews on Thursday (27 February), as the ruling nationalists face accusations of politicising museums to reflect their view of history.

Belgian prime minister reacts to controversial Aalst Carnival

A year after sparking controversy and a wave of international protests over anti-Semitism, the Aalst Carnival organisers brought back anti-Semitic caricatures to the annual parade. For the first time, Belgium's prime minister stepped into the debate and asked legal institutions to determine if the laws had been broken.
Digital 07-02-2020

UK press freedom worries European journalist organisations, NGOs, politicians

Media freedom watchdogs, journalists associations and politicians have cried foul at the worsening media policies in the UK, following the banning of certain journalists from a press briefing by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and plans to decriminalise failure to pay BBC licence fees.
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