Monday

16th May 2022

Hungary turned into 'hybrid regime', MEPs say

The new draft European Parliament report is an update to the 2018 report which triggered the Article 7 procedure against Hungary, a sanctions probe aiming to rein in member states that break EU rules and values.

News in Brief

  1. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia
  2. Nordic nations to help Sweden and Finland if attacked
  3. Germany to reject EU green label for nuclear
  4. Afghans and Syrians using Western Balkans to enter EU
  5. Putin: Russia will respond if Nato bolsters Sweden and Finland
  6. British PM urges Northern Irish parties to work together
  7. EU-US pledge to counter Russian propaganda in Ukraine
  8. EU greenhouse-gas emissions rebound to pre-pandemic levels 

Exclusive

EU to clean house of Russia lobbyists

Brussels is to wave goodbye to Russian lobbyists under new sanctions, ending a 20-year era of influence peddling in Europe.

MEPs urge EU not to relax policing rule-of-law amid war

European lawmakers debated the lack of progress in the EU sanctions probe against Poland and Hungary, and warned Russia's invasion of Ukraine should not be a reason to turn away from rule-breaking within the bloc.

Opinion

On World Press Freedom Day, new threats to journalists surge

World Press Freedom Day: two sinister and distinct trends in harassment against reporters have emerged: the onslaught of online abuse targeting — in particular — women journalists, and the weaponisation of laws against media practitioners.

EU starts unprecedented rule-of-law probe against Hungary

The so-called conditionality mechanism has been invoked, for the first time in EU history, over long-standing concerns of corruption, amid allegations Viktor Orbán's allies syphoned off EU money, and over how Budapest ignored commission concerns.

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EU Commission still assessing Hungary's anti-LGBTI law

In response to the EU probe, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's government called for a referendum on the anti-LGBTI legislation, but it failed to to muster enough votes earlier this month to be valid.

EU Commission won't probe 'Pegasus' spyware abuse

The European Commission says people should file their complaints with national authorities in countries whose governments are suspected of using an Israeli-made Pegasus spyware against them.

EU: Ukraine war makes internal rule-of-law fight essential

Hungary said the EU should demonstrate unity — instead of policing internal rule-of-law breaches. But top EU officials have defended ongoing procedures against Hungary and Poland over concerns of judicial independence and democratic backsliding.

MEPs urge EU states, commission to act now on Hungary

European lawmakers urged the EU Commission and governments to act on Hungary after the EU executive said it would start a legal probe against the Orbán government which could lead to the suspension of EU funds.

Opinion

Emboldened Orbán will not abandon Moscow

Although overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, one key campaign instrument of Fidesz was the anti-LGBTQ referendum scheduled parallel to the elections.

Analysis

EU can expect Orbán 'on steroids'

After winning a landslide election, Orbán is expected to harden his pro-Putin position, entrench his conservative views and continue eroding democracy at home.

France tops mass DNA-collection in EU

France has amassed millions of DNA profiles used for criminal probes. The collection comes amid criticism of state led surveillance and heavy handed police.

Hungary's Orbán secured fourth consecutive win

In a surprisingly massive win, Hungary's nationalist prime minister Viktor Orbán, Russian president Vladimir Putin's closest EU ally, has secured another majority in Sunday's general election against a united opposition.

Opinion

Orbán has hurt Hungarian culture, not just politics

Once considered a global haven for artistic creation, Hungary under Viktor Orbán's influence is becoming an increasingly closed space for artists and cultural producers who oppose the government.

Analysis

Orbán faces toughest election challenge amid Ukraine war

This time six opposition parties — spanning from once far-right Jobbik to urban liberal Momentum — have united to take on Orbán's Fidesz party, led by conservative newcomer politician and anti-corruption champion Péter Márki-Zay.

Opinion

When did Ukraine really gain 'independence' — 1991 or 2013?

In November 2013, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych chose not to sign an EU Association Agreement, favouring a closer relationship with Russia. By February 2014, Yanukovych was ordering Ukrainian Special Forces to fire on protestors, killing over 100 peaceful activists.

Opinion

Music, martial arts, and extremism in Germany

Right-wing music festivals and mixed martial arts events have become key venues for funding extremism. A plan from Germany's interior minister Nancy Faeser can help tackle that.