Freedom of thought

Future EU 12-11-2018

Poland holds centenary parade alongside far-right march

Leaders of Poland's right-wing government marked the nation's centenary with a military parade Sunday (11 November), which took place at the same time and along the same route as an annual independence day march organised by marginal far-right groups.
Future EU 12-11-2018

Bulgarian president sees democracy ‘under threat’

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev issued a stinging critique of the government's record on corruption and press freedom Friday (9 November), saying "the foundations of democracy are being threatened to a critical degree".
#Media4EU 29-10-2018

Publisher denounces pressure on few remaining free media in Bulgaria

The publisher of two Bulgarian newspapers, Ivo Prokopiev, has asked that an international prosecutor or international observers get involved in the recently launched investigations involving his businesses, Bulgarian media reported on Monday (29 October).
Europe's East 25-10-2018

MEPs send message to Russia by giving Sakharov prize to Sentsov

The European Parliament awarded on Thursday (25 October) the prestigious Sakharov human rights prize to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who has been jailed by Russia.
EU Elections 2019 18-10-2018

Orbán sends ‘take it or leave it’ message to the centre-right EPP

Hungary’s maverick Prime Minister Viktor Orbán took the gloves off and challenged his European People’s Party (EPP) at a pre-summit meeting on Wednesday (17 October), saying he wanted to remain an EPP member but should be accepted as he is, sources close to the issue told EURACTIV.com.

Borissov lashes out at EU’s ‘unfair pressure’ over journalist murder

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Wednesday (10 October) the murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova was of purely criminal nature and lashed out against what he called “European pressure”, warning that he would raise the issue at the European People's Party (EPP).

We lack alternatives to Article 7 – German analyst

Poland and Hungary have been on collision course with Brussels. The EU wants to up the pressure to restore the rule of law in the member states. But what are the instruments at hand? EURACTIV Germany spoke to Nicole Koenig.
Global Europe 08-10-2018

Cambodia’s Hun Sen defiant despite EU trade threat

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken a defiant stance following a European Union announcement last week that it would ramp up trade pressure on Cambodia over human rights concerns.
08-10-2018

Romanians boycott the ‘referendum of hate’

A referendum to change Romania’s constitution to prevent same sex couples from securing the right to marry failed to draw enough voters to validate the result on Sunday (7 October), after a campaign that led to a rise in hate speech against the gay community.
08-10-2018

Television journalist’s murder shocks Bulgaria

A television journalist has been raped and murdered in Bulgaria's northern town of Ruse, prosecutors and a minister said Sunday (7 October), in a case that has shocked fellow journalists and sparked international condemnation.
Global Europe 05-10-2018

Congolese doctor, Yazidi activist win Nobel Peace Prize for combating sexual violence

Denis Mukwege, a doctor who helps victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi rights activist and survivor of sexual slavery by Islamic State, won the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday (5 October).
Global Europe 03-10-2018

Kazakh families torn apart in China’s Xinjiang crackdown

When he looks back on his youth in China's far-west Xinjiang region, Akikat Kaliolla, an ethnic Kazakh, recalls the place's natural beauty and the big, colourful weddings typical of his majority-Muslim community.  
28-09-2018

Sakharov Prize nominees include NGOs in the Mediterranean

The nominees for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought have been announced on Thursday (27 September), including Oleg Sentsov, the Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia and NGOs saving lives of migrants in the Mediterranean. Since 1988, THE...
28-09-2018

Romania’s constitutional court backs rights for gay couples

Romania's constitutional court ruled Thursday (27 September) that gay couples should have the same family rights as heterosexuals, a judgment that runs counter to a referendum next month seeking to interdict gay marriage.
27-09-2018

Kurz reacts after far-right-controlled ministry suggests muzzling press

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had to intervene Tuesday (25 September) in the wake of a reported suggestion from an interior ministry official that police should limit contact with three critical media to a minimum.

Angry EU Socialists grill Romanian PM over same-sex marriage referendum

The Social Democrats in the European Parliament have lashed out against Romania’s Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă over the upcoming referendum in the country that seeks to ban same-sex marriage, saying such ideas do not belong to the socialist family, EURACTIV.com has learnt.
24-09-2018

Pope pays tribute to victims of Nazis, Soviets in Lithuania

Pope Francis paid tribute on Sunday to Jews killed by the Nazis and victims of murder and deportation by the Soviet KGB, in twin visits to memorials marking the darkest periods of Lithuania's history.
Elections 19-09-2018

Hungary media sale fuels new press freedom fears

The latest shake-up in Hungarian media since Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's election win in April sparked fresh fears Tuesday (18 September) about increasing government control over the sector.
17-09-2018

Belgrade Gay Pride participants call for law on same-sex marriage

Belgrade held its eighth Pride Parade, under the slogan Say Yes, on Sunday (16 September). It passed without incident and, according to media estimates, with fewer police officers guarding the event than in previous years. EURACTIV Serbia reports.
Future EU 17-09-2018

Orban’s manifesto for a new illiberal Europe

Helmut Kohl was a major historic figure, the Chancellor who united Germany and set the foundations of the European Union as we know it: with the Schengen Area, freedom of movement and joint currency, the euro. However, Kohl had one flaw: he did not choose well his protégés. EURACTIV Croatia reports.
Future EU 17-09-2018

Italy’s Di Maio threatens to punish unfriendly newspapers

Luigi Di Maio, a key figure in Italy's populist government, has taken aim at the country's newspapers, accusing them of "polluting the debate" and threatening to pull advertising by state-owned companies.
Elections 14-09-2018

Amnesty calls upon Romania to stop the ‘traditional family’ referendum

Amnesty International said on Thursday (13 September) that it will try to prevent Romania's planned referendum aimed at changing the definition of "family" for this will "breach international human rights standards" and make it impossible to legalise same-sex unions.
EU Elections 2019 12-09-2018

Greece’s New Democracy leader says Article 7 on Hungary should be activated

Greece’s centre-right New Democracy party said yesterday (12 September) that it would vote in favour of the Sargentini report on activating Article 7 against Hungary.
Future EU 05-09-2018

Hungarian NGOs say Article 7 vote is also about alerting other EU members

The European Parliament will vote next week on a proposal to trigger Article 7 against Hungary. Hungarian civil society leaders threw their weight behind the proposal on Wednesday (5 September), saying it was the last chance to defend democracy in Hungary.