Bulat Silvia via Canva.com

On Tuesday, the 15th of June, the Hungarian parliament passed a new law to protect children from pedophilia. However, the law also bans LGBT+ related content in schools, advertisement and TV. While the opposition boycotted the vote, 157 yes-votes and one dissenting vote enabled the new legislation to enter into force under the leadership of Viktor Orbán’s government.

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Currently a hotly debated topic that has sparked a new wave of anti-vax conspiracy narratives is the vaccination of minors. A recent survey found that only 46% of Slovaks support vaccinating children under the age of 16 years.In his recent post, Slovak opposition politician Ľuboš Blaha who often spreads problematic content, accused the governing coalition of allowing Slovak children to become “test subjects”.

Hungary LGBT Demonstration

Viktor Orban’s new legislative package equates homosexuality with paedophilia. For next year’s elections, Orban’s government needed another bogeyman against which it could mobilize populistically. But sexual identity is protected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European Commission must immediately initiate infringement proceedings against Hungary, demands Moritz Körner in an interview.

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On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the German-Polish Neighbourhood Treaty, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom will hold a debate with Marta Lempart, co-initiator of the protest movement “All-Poland Women’s Strike”, and Gyde Jensen MP, Chairwoman of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German Bundestag.

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The Polish Constitutional Tribunal has postponed at short notice the hearing scheduled for today on whether the Disciplinary Chamber of Poland’s Supreme Court can continue to operate despite an interim order from the ECJ. The hearing was originally scheduled for April, but was postponed several times due to the initiative of the Polish Ombudsman’s Office.

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Free press and freedom of speech are among democracy’s essential prerequisites; however, they should not be taken for granted. Published by the Republikon Institute, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, The State of the Media in the Visegrád Countries provides a detailed insight into the media status in Central Europe.

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The disinformation actors also stick to their traditional topics including Covid-19 and anti-vaccination narratives. The passing of a popular Slovak presenter Julo Viršík at the age of 56 due to cardiac arrest, who was recently vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s vaccine, served as a pretext for the renewed spread of anti-vax narratives by the disinformation media.