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Hungary is to demolish critical NGOs with new bills

In recent weeks civil organisations in Hungary have been kept busy by a law package that the Government has drafted. It bears the name “Stop Soros” and would restrict freedom of expression and freedom of association as well as refugees’ right to protection.

By Nóra Köves

The Nightmare of the Czech Presidential Elections

Commentary

Thirty years after the Velvet Revolution, the atmosphere in Czech society is poisonous. Many who followed the course of the Czech presidential elections during the past few weeks in detail must feel they are trapped in a nightmare.

By Eva van de Rakt

Katowice: A European coal capital goes green

Nowhere in the EU is smog more suffocating than in southern Poland. This year, the polluted Polish mining city Katowice will host the COP24 climate conference. Ahead of that, change is in the air — and on the ground.

By Richard Fuchs

The game of hope – Asylum seekers at the Serbian-Hungarian border

Since Hungary has built the border fence, refugees have to wait for as long as a year to gain admission to the transit zone where they can file for asylum. Admission is hectic and slow and favours families and unaccompanied minors. Most of those who attempt crossing illegally are single males over 18.

By Momir Turudić

Transatlantic Relations: The Air of Freedom

Debate

In the "Transatlantic Manifesto" published by DIE ZEIT in October 2017, the authors emphasise the necessity of a strategy based on fostering transatlantic relations. Critics are calling for a "new post-Atlanticism foreign policy", an attitude that is based on fundamental misunderstandings.

By Sergey Lagodinsky

Trans, intersex, queer: Germany’s highest court makes groundbreaking ruling

The German Federal Constitutional Court has ordered the legislature to provide a third gender option beside male or female in the country’s birth registry – or else do away altogether with information on gender in civil status. This puts Germany in a position to play a leading role in Europe on this issue.

By Leo Yannick Wild

State capture in the Balkans: l’état c’est nous!

State capture by well-connected politicians and their recklessly proceeding patronage networks has been far reaching in the Balkans. How could citizens deal with very diffuse networks, if there are no intact correctives, no free, no independent justice?

By Marion Kraske

When Climate Leaders Protect Dirty Investments

In 2016, global spending on oil and gas projects was more than double the total spent on renewables. This imbalance can only be tackled by restructuring the mechanisms.

By Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder , Jörg Haas

Budapest gratuliert!

Analysis

Viktor Orbán, facing an upcoming general election, may generate domestic political capital if the German government becomes more decisive in demanding that EU member states comply with the European Union’s migration-related regulations. 

By Edit Zgut

Hungary: a state captured by Russia

Hungary’s liaison with the Kremlin has turned the economic “Eastern Opening” into the construction of a full-blown illiberal democracy. This goes hand in hand with Russia’s growing leverage over Hungary with respect to economic as well as soft power.

By Péter Krekó, Lóránt Győri

Orbán’s theatrical struggle against big, bad Berlin

Orbán tries to destroy Germany’s positive image in Central Eastern Europe, depicting Germany as the capital of the decadent, liberal, pro-immigration EU that is doomed to fail. Tolerating such a behaviour would be a huge long-term strategic mistake for Germany.

By Edit Zgut, Bulcsú Hunyadi , Péter Krekó

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