Freedom of thought

09-09-2019

Poland’s foreign ministry condemns attack on Israeli students

Poland's foreign ministry on Sunday (8 September) condemned violence against a group of Israeli students beaten at a Warsaw nightclub early on Saturday, following criticism that Polish leaders are not doing enough to denounce antisemitism.

Timmermans clashes with Polish MEPs on rule of law

If we do not step up efforts to defend the rule of law, the EU will be at risk, outgoing Rule of Law Commissioner Frans Timmermans told EU lawmakers on Thursday (5 September), followed by a confrontation between the Dutchman and Polish MEPs from the country's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party.
19-08-2019

Catholic church continues battle against LGBT in Visegrád Four

The rhetoric of the Catholic Church members against the LGBT community is becoming increasingly aggressive in four eastern EU countries, with priests comparing the LGBT movement to the plague and calling it an “ideology” with totalitarian features.

What future for the EU’s Charter of Rights after a decade?

The integration of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights into the EU treaties was controversial. Yet relatively few Europeans are aware that the Charter even exists, ten years after it became legally binding.
Elections 17-06-2019

Czechs alarmed as populist leaders take aim at public media

Czech journalists and media analysts are raising alarm over the "threat" to the country's public media from mounting pressure on the press by populist politicians.
05-06-2019

Tusk on 1989 anniversaries: Two visions are present also today

European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday (4 June) hailed the Polish election 30 years ago that heralded the peaceful demise of the entire Soviet bloc, holding it up as a reminder that China's bloody Tiananmen crackdown that same day was not the only possible outcome of a fight for freedom.
Digital 31-05-2019

Freedom of press in Europe no longer self-evident

Up until recently, freedom of press was considered as a self-evidence in Europe. That is no longer the case, especially in several eastern European countries, where journalists have come under severe political pressure.
Digital 07-05-2019

Facebook hit by landmark censorship lawsuit in Poland

A Polish NGO has filed a lawsuit against US-based social media giant Facebook, following concerns that the organisation's freedom of speech was stymied on the platform. The case is considered the first in Europe to address the issue of "private censorship".
25-04-2019

Jourova: Anti-woman violence fuelled by right-wing politics, social media

Attempts to end violence against women and girls in the European Union are being stymied by a mix of right-wing politics and social media that inflames sexism and stereotypes, a top women's rights official said on Wednesday (24 April).
#Media4EU 18-04-2019

Flagship study exposes decline of press freedom in Europe

Reporters Without Borders published their flagship annual ‘World Press Freedom Index’ on Thursday (18 April), revealing that worldwide, authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media, while in Europe, decline of press freedom goes hand in hand with...
Global Europe 18-04-2019

Brunei accused of ‘abusive lobbying’ before critical EU vote

EU officials on Wednesday (17 April) accused Brunei of "rude" and "abusive" lobbying against a resolution condemning the Muslim-majority sultanate for imposing the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.
Enlargement 11-04-2019

Serbia’s civil sector, NGOs demand more rights

NGOs in Serbia have adopted a joint document aimed at preserving the civil society and its freedoms in the EU candidate country, after seeing a growing number of physical assaults on their activists and verbal abuse in pro-government media. EURACTIV Serbia reports.

German charities fight to stay ‘politically active’ despite ATTAC ruling

A German court stripped anti-globalisation association ATTAC of its charity status last January. Environmental groups now fear they could be next because they are politically active, EURACTIV Germany reports.
Global Europe 04-04-2019

Brunei introduces stoning to death for gay sex, adultery

Brunei on Wednesday (3 April) introduced harsh new sharia laws, including death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, despite a storm of global criticism from politicians, celebrities and rights groups.
EU Elections 2019 22-03-2019

French jailbirds to vote in EU elections for first time

For the first time, a prison in northern France will make sure inmates are able to vote at the EU elections in May. Almost all of France's 80,000 prisoners have the right to cast a ballot but few have managed to exercise it until now. EURACTIV France reports.
Enlargement 18-03-2019

Pressure builds in Belgrade, EU calls for dialogue with civil society

Thousands of anti-government protesters staged a rally outside President Aleksandar Vučić’s residence on Sunday (17 March) to press their demands for greater media freedom and free and fair elections, a day after they briefly broke into the state television building.
Elections 15-03-2019

Slovak entrepreneur charged with ordering journalist murder

Slovak prosecutors said Thursday (15 March) they had charged an entrepreneur with ordering the murder of an investigative journalist whose killing during a corruption probe triggered mass protests and toppled the country's prime minister.
EU Elections 2019 04-03-2019

Hungary to replace Juncker with Timmermans in poster campaign

Hungary's government announced Saturday (2 March) that it would end a controversial poster campaign accusing US philanthropist George Soros and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker of supporting illegal migration.
01-03-2019

‘Respect’ for Luxembourg PM after he challenges Arab leaders on gay rights

Several top European politicians backed Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Thursday (28 February) after he told Arab leaders he was gay and could be condemned to death in some of their countries.
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.

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