Certain Western European politicians think that in Hungary and Poland the rule of law has been damaged to a degree that is not compatible with the values of the EU. Meanwhile, the politicians of the criticized countries argue that the rule of law can differ between countries and is hard to define.
The Republikon Institute, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, organized an online conference on the situation of liberal thinkers and liberal voters in the Central and Eastern European region.
As representatives of civil society organizations, we oppose the hostile takeover of the office of the Ombudsman by the ruling parliamentary majority in Poland. We do not accept the de facto making decisions in regards to our rights and freedoms by the politically dependent Constitutional Tribunal.
The pandemic continues, but the first data-based analyses are starting to emerge – and some conclusions may now be drawn. The most important indicator in assessing the response to the pandemic is the excess mortality – i.e. how many more people died in comparison to the average rate in previous years.
The battle for the new, non-partisan Ombudsman has been ongoing in Poland for a few months now. The governing coalition for a long time did not acknowledge the need to propose their own candidate, and naturally refused to back the candidate of the opposition.
The state of media freedom in Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia is increasingly getting worse. Independent news outlets are rarer and limited, and the governments directly threaten journalists. Media freedom is suffering.
The current pandemic and the previous lockdown had effects on several areas of life, including work and social life. However, there is a rather neglected sphere which is rarely discussed in the media compared with other topics.
Since coming into power by an overall majority in 2015, the right-wing Christian-nationalist PiS party has engaged in a systematic effort to weaken and destabilize independent media critical of the government, creating a severe concern for political and cultural media diversity in Poland.
The front pages of many Polish newspapers and news portals as well as the screens of private TV stations remained black. In a joint action with the slogan “Media without a choice”, they protested against the plan of the government to introduce a tax on the advertising revenues of media companie