In the years 2019/20, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom reminded of the “peaceful freedom revolutions” (H.-D. Genscher), which took place 30 years ago and which were most symbolically manifested in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification, in the form of various events and publications. However, this revolutionary democratic change did not spread across the whole continent.
Shortly after the EPP Group in the European Parliament approved an amendment to its Rules of Procedure, which paved the way for Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party to be suspended from its ranks, the Hungarian PM announced that his party’s MEPs will leave the Group of the Christian Democrats.
Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has resigned over a corruption investigation in his party. He paved the way for the opposition Reform Party to form a new governing coalition that excludes the right-wing populist allies of the previous government.
It could be argued that the EU is now paying the price for the incomplete settlement of the rule of law dispute during the July summit, when the multi-billion euro Corona recovery package and the seven-year EU financial framework were agreed.
The current governing Farmers and Greens Union immediately pointed out that in the second round, which will take place on October 25, the voters could still turn the result in their favor.
Refugee policy has gained momentum. In the run-up to the EU summit, the EU Commission wants to accommodate the representatives of the Central European countries of the Visegrad Group (V4): “Flexible solidarity” is the motto.
How should the EU deal with Russia and the suppression of democracy in Belarus? An interview with Petras Auštrevičius, Lithuanian MEP of the “Renew Europe” Group and the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Belarus.
The Hungarian parliament voted to end the state of emergency, which gave the government the power to decide by decree on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency legislation adopted in March was heavily criticized because it did not have a clear end date.
The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on March 30 did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament had disempowered itself.
The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the COVID-19 crisis have alarmed the EU. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights.