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Today, the European Commission will publish its annual Rule of Law Report. The new report could now intensify the conflict between the EU and the two Central European member states. Given the continued undermining of democratic principles in Poland and Hungary, one would expect not only a retrospective analysis, but also concrete recommendations for action against violations of the rule of law. However, this does not seem to be the case.

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I wanted to expand on the idea that relatively novel platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, are changing the way we see things. Everyone with a camera phone can make videos without any regards to aesthetic rules about composition, lighting, narrative structure and so forth. Those videos that are much more composed are regarded as too artificial, and are trying too hard, whereas realism gained in importance.

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Once front-runners of democracy in the CEE region, Hungary and Poland have become the most prominent cases of democratic backsliding in the EU. The two countries are famous for their centuries-old friendship (…). While their governing parties and populist leaders are careful to strengthen their friendship, the divisive rhetoric of Fidesz-KDNP and Law and Justice (PiS) managed to excavate the gap among their own people.

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The question of whether to leave a successful career behind to enter politics and try to change the political trajectory of one’s own country is central to the new documentary by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom – “Politics Is for Other People”. The documentary “Politics Is for Other People” features remarkable stories of representatives of liberal parties from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.

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Human rights enforcement at the international and at the regional level is difficult, since it is mostly up to individual states to decide which rules they implement within their boundaries. Furthermore, coming up with rights that are universal in nature is a difficult task, therefore, legal documents tend to be rather general when dealing with this topic.

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Globalization is an integral part of everyday life. However, so called “hyper-globalization” challenges national interest in favour of deeper integration. Academics debate what values governments should prioritize and how they should interact with the international community. Countries can either sacrifice too much to find a place in the world economy or may focus wrongly on domestic public opinion alone.

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After a promising start the Hungarian political system could not turn into a liberal democracy. It is not a special occurrence, in some other “third wave countries” democratization slowed down or stopped as well. The democracy crisis has many reasons: fragmented political culture, economic problems, problematic challenges to fundamental rights.

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In recent years, the LGBTIQ community in Hungary has suffered a great deal of discrimination as a result of governmental policies. Until recently the peak of this discriminatory wave against the above-mentioned minority group could be considered to be the law passed in December 2020 that ensures that only married couples are allowed to adopt children, apart from well-based exceptions.

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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.

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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.