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EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers' EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'
The European Union imposed its first ever sanctions against alleged cyber attackers on Thursday, targeting Russian and Chinese individuals...
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'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

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The EU and the Council of Europe on Sunday voiced regret and alarm over the Polish right-wing government's move to withdraw from a landmark...
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EU, UK warn of big differences as Brexit talks head to London

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A round of intensified Brexit talks ended on Thursday with both sides warning of big remaining differences but committing to more negotiations...
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EU racism pledge clouded by 'blackface' controversy

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A pledge by the EU to make its 30,000 strong civil service more diverse was overshadowed on Wednesday by the blackface-wearing past of its...
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US top court in landmark ruling to protect LGBT workers

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The US Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for the gay and transgender communities Monday when it ruled that employers cannot discriminate...
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EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel

EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the European Union should take more global responsibility in the coronavirus crisis, especially...
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EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief

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The European Union must adopt a "more robust" strategy to deal with an increasingly assertive China, the bloc's foreign policy chief said Monday...
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IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt

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The IMF board approved $2.77 billion in emergency aid for Egypt on Monday, to help the country deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,...
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EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten

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With the coronavirus crisis hardening Europe's borders and draining the continent's resources, Brussels is trying to reassure its Balkan neighbours...
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Latest News

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers' EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'
The European Union imposed its first ever sanctions against alleged cyber attackers on Thursday, targeting Russian and Chinese individuals...
Read More...

'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women 'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women
The EU and the Council of Europe on Sunday voiced regret and alarm over the Polish right-wing government's move to withdraw from a landmark...
Read More...

EU, UK warn of big differences as Brexit talks head to London

EU, UK warn of big differences as Brexit talks head to London EU, UK warn of big differences as Brexit talks head to London
A round of intensified Brexit talks ended on Thursday with both sides warning of big remaining differences but committing to more negotiations...
Read More...

EU racism pledge clouded by 'blackface' controversy

EU racism pledge clouded by 'blackface' controversy EU racism pledge clouded by 'blackface' controversy
A pledge by the EU to make its 30,000 strong civil service more diverse was overshadowed on Wednesday by the blackface-wearing past of its...
Read More...

US top court in landmark ruling to protect LGBT workers

US top court in landmark ruling to protect LGBT workers US top court in landmark ruling to protect LGBT workers
The US Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for the gay and transgender communities Monday when it ruled that employers cannot discriminate...
Read More...

EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel

EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel EU must play global role in virus crisis, says Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said the European Union should take more global responsibility in the coronavirus crisis, especially...
Read More...

EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief

EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief EU needs 'more robust' China strategy: Foreign policy chief
The European Union must adopt a "more robust" strategy to deal with an increasingly assertive China, the bloc's foreign policy chief said Monday...
Read More...

IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt

IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt IMF approves $2.77 bn emergency virus loan for Egypt
The IMF board approved $2.77 billion in emergency aid for Egypt on Monday, to help the country deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,...
Read More...

EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten

EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten EU to reassure Balkan hopefuls they are not forgotten
With the coronavirus crisis hardening Europe's borders and draining the continent's resources, Brussels is trying to reassure its Balkan neighbours...
Read More...

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Hungary, Serbia and Montenegro can no longer be called democracies after unprecedented democratic backsliding, a rights watchdog said Wednesday,

noting the especially "precipitous" fall down the rankings of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's "regime".

The US-based Freedom House declared in its annual "Nations in Transit" report that Hungary is instead a "hybrid regime...in a 'grey zone' between democracies and pure autocracies".

Balkan states Serbia and Montenegro have also lost their democratic status for the first time since 2003 due to "years of increasing state capture, abuse of power, and strongman tactics employed" by their respective Presidents Aleksandar Vucic and Milo Djukanovic, the report said.

The decline of EU member Hungary, once a "democratic frontrunner" in 2005, was "the most precipitous ever tracked" by the human rights group. 

In 2020 Hungary became the first country to fall by two of the group's ranking categories and "leave the group of democracies entirely," the report said.

"Hungary today can no longer be regarded as a democracy," Freedom House said.

Orban's government has "dropped any pretence of respecting democratic institutions," it said.

"After centralising power, tilting the electoral playing field, taking over much of the media, and harassing critical civil society organisations since 2010, Orban moved during 2019 to consolidate control over new areas of public life, including education and the arts." 

The adoption in March of a COVID-19 emergency law that lets the government rule by decree indefinitely "has further exposed the undemocratic character of Orban's regime".

A Hungarian government spokesperson dismissed the ranking and described the group as the "fist" of the "Soros network", referring to the US billionaire George Soros long accused by Orban of meddling in Hungary. 

"Freedom House was once known as the bipartisan human rights organisation. With their Soros funding they've declined," said Zoltan Kovacs in a Twitter post.

"Anyone who doesn't conform to their liberal view, gets downgraded," he said.

Freedom House also reported a "stunning democratic breakdown" across the 29 countries it surveyed from central Europe to central Asia, noting there are now "fewer democracies in the region today than at any point since the annual report was launched in 1995".AFP

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