Freedom of thought

Enlargement 31-01-2019

Rise in attacks on journalists in Serbia prompts concerns for press freedom

Over the past year, 102 cases of pressure and attacks on journalists and other media professionals have been documented in Serbia. What is particularly worrisome is the upward trend in the number of such cases in the EU candidate country.
EU Elections 2019 28-01-2019

Hungary takes aim at ‘Soros man’ Timmermans

Hungary will not take part in this week’s European Parliament debate on the rule of law in the country, a government spokesperson said on Monday (28 January) and insisted that Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans, who deals with this issue, should be suspended in the run-up to the European elections.
Future EU 24-01-2019

Austria’s far-right puts into question international rights conventions

Austria’s far-right Interior Minister Herbert Kickl was accused by the opposition of threatening the rule of law Wednesday (23 January) after he appeared to call into question Austria’s commitment to international rights conventions. In comments on Austrian public television on Tuesday evening Kickl,...
Politics 23-01-2019

Polish state company makes eyes to newspaper group Ruch

State-run oil firm PKN Orlen has offered liquidity to newspaper distributor Ruch ahead of a possible plan to take over the company, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Global Europe 18-01-2019

Russian MPs prolong payments freeze to Council of Europe

Russia's parliament voted Thursday (17 January) against sending delegates or paying contributions to the Council of Europe, increasing the risk of ultimate exclusion from the rights body and the European Court of Human Rights.
EU Elections 2019 16-01-2019

German AfD: Decision to monitor party ‘bizarre’, lacks substance

The German intelligence service is keeping an eye on comments made by AfD politicians from now on. The party is to be examined for contemptuous behaviour. It is now up to the party whether it will be observed. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Enlargement 16-01-2019

RSF slams jail sentence for Montenegro reporter on drug charges

An award-winning investigative reporter was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison in Montenegro on drug trafficking charges on Tuesday (15 January), in a ruling slammed by media watchdog RSF as a "disturbing set-back" for press freedom. 
Enlargement 15-01-2019

Street rallies for and against government expected in Serbia this week

Serbian citizens are set to rally on the streets almost daily in the coming week, both those unhappy with the state of affairs in the Balkan country and those who want to show support for visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Global Europe 14-01-2019

Cambodian PM blackmails EU, threatens to exterminate the opposition

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday (14 January) threatened to retaliate against the opposition if the European Union withdraws duty-free trading access over human rights concerns.
Global Europe 10-01-2019

No EU ambassadors attend Maduro’s second term inauguration

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday (10 January) begins a new term that critics dismiss as illegitimate, with the economy in free fall and the country more isolated than ever. The 56-year-old leader will be sworn in at 1400 GMT by the...
09-01-2019

Far-right policies see Italy’s democracy ranking plummet

The policies of Italy's anti-immigrant and anti-establishment government which came to power last June have torpedoed the country's global democracy ranking, a think tank said Wednesday (9 January).

Freedom of expression in Croatia under assault over ‘mental anguish’

Croatian media will remember 2018 for a very high number of often bizarre court convictions for libel in favour of state officials. It appears that 2019 will not be any better. EURACTIV Croatia reports.
Global Europe 20-12-2018

Human rights violations in Egypt: EU must speak out!

The EU should be aware of plans to amend the Egyptian Constitution that could extend the power of the President indefinitely, showing the true intentions of an authoritarian state, writes Wahid Al-Asmar.
EU Elections 2019 19-12-2018

Hungary protests spark opposition coalition – but will it last?

Week-long protests in Budapest have forged fragmented opposition parties into a rare coalition against Viktor Orbán, drawing young Hungarians into the streets to demonstrate against what they see as his increasingly authoritarian rule.
Future EU 17-12-2018

Opposition MPs ejected from Hungary state TV after protest

Security guards ejected two independent lawmakers from Hungary's state television building on Monday (17 December) after they tried to read out a petition, a day after police used tear gas against pro-democracy protesters in Budapest.
14-12-2018

Demand grows to beef up EU’s religious freedom envoy

The fragile status of the EU’s special envoy on religious freedom is an unlikely topic of conjecture in the months leading up to next May’s European elections.
Future EU 13-12-2018

Chaos as Hungarian MPs pass ‘slave law’ and government-controlled court

Rare scenes of chaos gripped the Hungarian parliament Wednesday (12 December) as it passed a controversial judicial reform, as well as labour legislation that critics call a "slave law".

The Brief – The show must go on

The first reports of the Strasbourg shooting attack arrived on smartphones just as EU staff were heading to dinners and pre-Christmas parties. The European Parliament immediately triggered its emergency containment procedure and turned into a bunker, grids lowered, doors locked.

Poland increasingly deporting activists from COP24

Poland has already deported 14 people from Central Europe since the beginning of COP24, including two members of the Georgian delegation. Many NGOs are questioning the legality of these bans on entering Polish territory. EURACTIV France reports.
Global Europe 05-12-2018

Commission to determine EU tariffs on Myanmar, Cambodia rice

EU countries failed on Tuesday (4 December)  to determine whether to impose tariffs on rice coming from Cambodia and Myanmar from the start of next year to curb a surge in imports, leaving the European Commission to take the final decision.
05-12-2018

Will European Parliament truly stand up for all people persecuted worldwide?

On 6 December, the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee will vote an important report for people who are mistreated, discriminated or persecuted for their beliefs worldwide, writes Giulio Ercolessi. At stake here is whether the EU will step up for everyone whose human rights are violated worldwide, including non-believers.
Global Europe 04-12-2018

Cambodia eases pressure on opposition, media after EU sanctions threat

Cambodia’s parliament is reviewing a five-year ban on more than 100 members of the main opposition party, which could allow them to return to politics, following threats by the European Union to deny duty-free trading access to the Southeast Asian...

Soros-funded university says it is being forced out of Hungary

Hungary's Central European University, founded by George Soros, said on Monday  (3 December) it has been forced out of the country in "an arbitrary eviction" that violated academic freedom, and confirmed plans to enrol new students in neighbouring Austria next year.
Health 03-12-2018

Trade secrets called into question in ‘Implant Files’ investigation

The French transposition of the European directive on trade secrets has hindered access to certain documents required for the “Implant Files” investigation. EURACTIV France reports.

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Click here!