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Belarus on the brink

Glaustai 25-08-2020

As usual in Belarus, the 9 August presidential election was marred by fraud, repression and state violence against the opposition. As expected, the long-standing President, Aleksander Lukashenko, claimed a landslide victory. What was unusual this time, however, was the scale of Belarusians' disappointment: peaceful protests and strikes spread throughout the entire country in response to the stolen election, despite brutal crackdowns. What started as a national crisis now represents a wider struggle ...

Venezuela: The standoff continues

Glaustai 12-04-2019

Three months since Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela and won official recognition from over 50 countries, his standoff with Nicolás Maduro continues, as the Chavista regime steps up its pressure on the opposition. The outcome is uncertain, but some progress has been made on the humanitarian front.

On 13 February 2019, after more than two years of protracted negotiations, Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for an EU directive on copyright. The compromise, approved by the Legal Affairs Committee and by the Council, is due to be voted by Parliament in plenary during March.

Attempts at influencing or distorting elections in the United States and other countries, including some European Union Member States, have drawn attention to what is commonly referred to as ‘fake news’, or false news posing as factual stories. Although the phenomenon of generating misleading news stories is at least as old as the printing press, the growth of social media has led to a very significant proliferation of this phenomenon. Some outlets use deceitful headlines and content to boost readership ...

Are the business models of the big social media companies compatible with the principles of democracy? Can we protect free speech and at the same time ensure that social media companies take more responsibility for the content they spread, including hate speech? Can we turn the challenges into opportunities?

Media freedom trends 2018: Turkey

Glaustai 26-04-2018

Over the last two years, media freedom in Turkey has deteriorated rapidly. Although the EU expressed support for the government in the face of the failed military coup in July 2016, it is now concerned about respect for fundamental values in Turkey.

Media freedom is a core EU value and a cornerstone of democracy. That makes it a key part of the overall set of democratic and legal reforms being implemented by the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. As such, it is high on the agenda in political dialogue between the EU and these former Soviet states. Since the 2015 Eastern Partnership Media Conference highlighted media freedom in the EaP countries and options for EU engagement, international rankings assessing the levels of media freedom ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to ...

Belarus is the only European country where the death penalty is still applied. Opposition politicians have disappeared, the President has stifled all forms of budding protests with violence; and authorities continue to harass human rights activists and independent journalists. Despite the softening in EU-Belarus ties and the newly lifted sanctions, the overall human rights situation under President Lukashenko's autocratic rule has yet to improve.

The recent terrorist attacks in Europe and the increasing number of European terrorist 'foreign fighters' highlight the need not only to reinforce the policy measures against radicalisation and religious fundamentalism but also to understand the processes of these two phenomena in the European context. Radicalisation is a complex matter that has not been defined uniformly in the social sciences. It can be seen as a phenomenon of people embracing views which could lead to terrorism, and is closely ...