Ice Age between the Czech Republic and Russia

Protest against Putin’s trivializing interpretation of history

 

 

The Corona crisis was used quickly and efficiently – now that there was no need for protests, he was disposed of: General Konev, Marshal of the Soviet Union. Not himself, of course, but his monument in the Prague district Bubeneč. Since then there has been great disagreement between the Czech Republic and Putin’s Russia. But the dismantling of the monument is only one of a long series of targeted provocations directed at the Kremlin, with which people in the Czech Republic are protesting against Vladimir Putin’s neo-Stalinist history policy and for an appropriate remembrance of the victims of communism. Continue reading

From Poland With Love – April

 

PART I: COVID-19 IN POLAND

 

(Some) Restrictions Lifted

After Easter, the Polish government announced its plans on how some of the restrictions introduced in response to the Covid-19 epidemic would be lifted. In the first period, parks and forest were open for the public. Bigger changes were planned for May 4th.

As part of the second stage of exiting the lockdown, Poland opened a number of facilities on the first day after the long weekend (May 1st and May 3rd are bank holidays in Poland). The list of facilities that were opened includes: Continue reading

Czech Republic: Court Puts Government in its Place

Judges declare restrictive measures unlawful

 

 

With the introduction of a travel ban for its own citizens, the Czech measures to contain the corona epidemic have so far been among the strictest in Europe. Two weeks ago, the Prague City Court overturned four measures taken by the Czech Ministry of Health that restricted the free movement of citizens and retailers. A number of lawyers believe that this ruling increases the chances of businessmen and entrepreneurs to claim compensation from the state. Some legal experts also stress that the Czech government must provide more detailed justification explaining the need for the significant restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms. Continue reading

Repressive Draft Laws in Times of Corona

Human rights violations on the parliamentary agenda in Hungary and Poland

 

The increasingly autocratic tendencies observed in Poland and Hungary during the Corona crisis have alarmed the European Union. With street protests currently banned, human rights activists fear that the pandemic will be used by national conservative governments in both countries to consolidate their power and undermine democracy and human rights. The challenge of the COVID 19 crisis must not be used as a distraction from legislative measures aimed at restricting human rights or stigmatizing certain groups of people. Continue reading

Poland Must Suspend Law on the Disciplining of Judges

European Court of Justice rules against the Polish Disciplinary Chamber

 

 

The Polish government has suffered a serious defeat before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The EU Commission had filed a complaint there because it feared that the national conservative government would undermine the separation of powers. Now the motion from January 2020 has been granted. The verdict is clear and unequivocal: the disciplinary chamber for the Supreme Court set up by the Polish government must be suspended immediately. Continue reading

Democracy – a Covid Collateral?

Opinion Piece by Irina von Wiese

EU

 

Now, rather than after the end of the Covid-19 crisis, is the time for pro-democratic parties to act. Paralysed by the scale of the current threat, we are tempted to stick our heads in the sand and focus on survival. This is exactly what others are hoping for. They are seizing the moment, building on today’s fear to instil tomorrow’s obedience. If we don’t take care, much of the damage done to basic rights, democracy and the rule of law will be irreversible. Continue reading