Central Europe: The most important news from June 7th to 13th

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Visegrád-4 Photo: Visegrád Post

By UME

V4

  • The European Commission has launched a new lawsuit against Poland and the Czech Republic, as these two countries are now the only EU Member States that still do not allow non-Polish or non-Czech EU citizens to join national political parties, which would put them at a disadvantage in terms of their chances to vote in local or European elections. “Indeed, citizens of other EU Member States residing in the Czech Republic or Poland cannot exercise their right to stand as candidates in local elections and elections to the European Parliament to the full extent and under the same conditions as citizens of these countries. The Czech Republic and Poland are the only two Member States where such a ban is still in force “, it says in a press release from the Commission on June 9th. “EU citizens who want to exercise their political rights in other EU member states should be able to do so without restrictions. In particular, they should be able to stand for local and European elections in the Member State in which they are domiciled under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State. The Commission encourages the active participation of all EU citizens in the democratic process, in particular by ensuring that citizens of another EU Member State can join a political party in their Member State of residence, in accordance with their Treaty rights. who want to exercise their political rights in other EU member states should be able to do so without restrictions. In particular, they should be able to stand for local and European elections in the Member State in which they are domiciled under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State. The Commission encourages the active participation of all EU citizens in the democratic process, in particular by ensuring that citizens of another EU Member State can join a political party in their Member State of residence, in accordance with their Treaty rights. who want to exercise their political rights in other EU member states should be able to do so without restrictions. In particular, they should be able to stand for local and European elections in the Member State in which they are domiciled under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State. The Commission encourages the active participation of all EU citizens in the democratic process, in particular by ensuring that citizens of another EU Member State can join a political party in their Member State of residence, in accordance with their Treaty rights. may run under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State. The Commission encourages the active participation of all EU citizens in the democratic process, in particular by ensuring that citizens of another EU Member State can join a political party in their Member State of residence, in accordance with their Treaty rights. may run under the same conditions as nationals of that Member State. The Commission encourages the active participation of all EU citizens in the democratic process, in particular by ensuring that citizens of another EU Member State can join a political party in their Member State of residence, in accordance with their Treaty rights.
  • The Vice President of the European Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), accused the Hungarian and Polish governments in an interview with the news magazine Der Spiegelto want to “weaken the rule of law”: The Polish PiS and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “are trying to weaken the rule of law not only in their country, but in all of Europe […] The European Union is not resisting itself resolutely enough. We don’t want to accept that any longer. […] Just because someone complains about a law doesn’t mean it can’t be enforced. I understand that the Commission wants to be careful. That’s why we didn’t push immediately in January. But there is no reason not to apply the existing law and risk further damage to Europe […] It is unacceptable that the heads of state or government intervene so strongly in decisions that the Council and Parliament have taken by a large majority. Apparently they are afraid that Poland and Hungary will block important decisions. […] It will be very difficult to convince PiS or Viktor Orbán to change their behavior. Of course, they use the narrative that the demoralized West wants to impose its values on them. But the questions of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary are not a question of national convictions or characteristics, but the foundations of our European community. “

Hungary

  • In a statement released on Tuesday June 8th, the Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) stated that the players of the Hungarian national team will not take part in the charade, at the behest of the “anti-racist” Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement at the beginning kneeling during the game – a practice that has become commonplace in some western countries.
  • On the same evening, the Hungarian national team played in a friendly against Ireland in Budapest. At the start of the game – during the anthems – the Irish players all knelt while the Hungarians did not. It was then that the crowd began to whistle at the kneeling Irish team, whose members – according to the Irish Times – said they were shocked because they “couldn’t understand the whistle”. “That can certainly be disadvantageous for Hungary because of the European Championship. (…) That doesn’t throw a good light on Hungary and the Hungarian fans, ”said Ireland’s captain Stephen Kenny. Former MEP Péter Niedermüller, currently Mayor of the 7th District of Budapest (Opposition – Democratic Coalition), agreed: “That’s exactly why I’m not interested in the Hungarian national team, we can be ashamed. It was better to be Irish in Budapest today. “
  • For his part, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he fully understood the reaction of the Hungarian fans: “I’m not at all for kneeling down, sport is about something else and there is no room for that on the field. […] We do not expect the Hungarian national team to kneel, but to fight for victory … This system of gestures can only be interpreted as something incomprehensible, which is a provocation … Hungarians only kneel before God, their country or when they ask for the hand of their loved ones. “
  • The details of the organization of the Pope’s visit to Budapest on September 12th, where he will celebrate mass in Heroes’ Square on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the International Eucharistic Congress, has evidently created some tension between the Hungarian government and the Vatican. According to information leaked to the press, Pope Francis only wanted to stay three hours in Hungary before setting off on an official three-day trip to neighboring Slovakia. He stated that his visit to Budapest was “not a visit to the country, but [only] for this mass,” implying to observers that the successor of St. Peter would not meet with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán or President János Áder. In doing so, he sent a clear signal against Hungarian immigration policy, an area in which Pope Francis tends to represent leftist positions. Meanwhile, the good offices of Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, Primate of Hungary and Archbishop of Esztergom, accompanied by those of Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semlyén (KDNP), seem to have persuaded the Pope to respect the usual protocol.

Poland

  • On Monday, June 7th, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree declaring September 17th the national holiday of Belarus, the “Day of National Unity”, commemorating the date of the invasion of eastern Poland on September 17th September 1939, after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
  • Poll after poll confirms the decline of the Civic Coalition (KO) and its main component, the Civic Platform (PO) of former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. According to a recent opinion poll by the United Survey, published on June 8 by Wirtualna Polska, in a parliamentary election on Sunday in Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński’s Party of Law and Justice (PiS), which has been in power since 2015, would win, would get 34.4% of the vote, compared to 23% for Szymon Hołownia’s Polska 2050 movement, 14% for the Civic Coalition, 8.1% for the Lewica left-wing coalition, 7.6% for Konfederacja, an alliance Populists and libertarians and 4.7% for the Agrarian Party (PSL).
  • The PiS supports the Belarusian opposition to President Lukashenko, but there are limits, as the deputy Sejm chairman and PiS parliamentary group leader Ryszard Terlecki recently recalled after Svetlana Tichanowskaja had met with the Warsaw mayor Rafał Trzaskowski: “If Tichanidemocratic opposition if she wants to advertise in Poland and speak at the Trzaskowsi meeting, she should seek help in Moscow […] we support the Belarusian opposition, which is not on the side of our opponents ”, words which, as one can imagine, a real outcry provoked within the Polish liberal opposition, among other things, the removal of Mr. Terlecki from his position as Vice-President of Parliament.
  • The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on the night of May 24th to 25th that the Czech-Polish dispute over the Turów lignite mine (on the border between the two countries) was about to be settled amicably. The Czech Republic continues to demand the immediate closure of the mine and is even demanding a fine of five million euros per day.
  • Pfizer Inc. announced the commencement of testing of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covidose in a sample of 4,500 children under the age of doubt in more than 90 clinical sites in the United States, Spain, Finland and Poland on Tuesday, June 8th known.
  • In a historic gesture aimed at reconciliation and normalization of Polish-Belarusian relations, Polish President Andrzej Duda laid a wreath in front of a memorial to 79 Belarusian civilians killed by Polish citizens at the end of World War II on Tuesday June 8th nationalist partisans were killed.
  • The regional authorities of the Łodź Voivodeship (western Poland) announced on Tuesday (June 8th) their intention to shut down the Bełchatów lignite power plant – the most polluting coal-fired power plant in Europe: it alone emits more than 30 million tons of CO2 per year – by 2036.
  • The Polish Minister of Education, Przemysław Czarnek, told the “Congress of Christian Education” organized by the Jagiellońskie Toruńska Szkoła Wyższ on Wednesday June 9th that Christian education was necessary to “promote Latin civilization in Europe and in the world. ”“ Thank you for organizing this Congress […] in the face of a major attack on Christianity, ”he continued. “Europe today is a place where Christianity is being fought with unprecedented power. […] This de-Christianization is progressing before our eyes […] The hostility towards Christians is spreading in the countries of Western Europe to an unprecedented extent and Poland is, as Archbishop [of Krakow] Marek Jędraszewski notes, the last country in which the Christian Church does not wave the white flag. […] The Western Church is empty […] because it has distanced itself from the transmission of Christian values […] The education of future generations is necessary in order to save the Latin and Christian civilization in […] Europe and the world . …] This responsibility rests on our shoulders – the Christian educators – today […] We will be able to pass this test on the condition that we are no longer afraid of being Christian, of thinking in a Christian way, of imparting Christian values to the younger generations. because it has distanced itself from the transmission of Christian values […] The education of future generations is necessary in order to save the Latin and Christian civilization in […] Europe and the world. …] This responsibility rests on our shoulders – the Christian educators – today […] We will be able to pass this test on the condition that we are no longer afraid of being Christian, of thinking in a Christian way, of imparting Christian values to the younger generations. because it has distanced itself from the transmission of Christian values […] The education of future generations is necessary in order to save the Latin and Christian civilization in […] Europe and the world. …] This responsibility rests on our shoulders – the Christian educators – today […] We will be able to pass this test on the condition that we are no longer afraid of being Christian, of thinking in a Christian way, of imparting Christian values to the younger generations.
  • The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, recently wrote to the Polish Minister of Justice, Zbigniew Ziobro, urging the Polish government to withdraw its complaint before the Constitutional Court over the conflict between the norms of European law and the Polish Constitution. The Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacted very clearly at a press conference on Thursday 10 June: “The European Commission’s proposal is not factually relevant. I have no intention of withdrawing my application to the Constitutional Court […] An application to the Constitutional Court was made on the occasion of Poland’s accession to the European Union and then when the Treaty of Lisbon was adopted. Each time the Constitutional Court confirmed that in the event of a legal conflict, these provisions must be changed or the Basic Law must be changed. That is the logic of EU membership, ”he said, pointing out that for the Polish government“ there is no doubt that Polish constitutional norms take precedence over other legal norms.
  • In an interview published on Thursday, June 10 in the daily Rzeczpospolita, the Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau reacted to the decision of the US government to lift the sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project: “In January I went with for the first time Foreign Minister Antony Blinken spoke […] We agreed that it is urgently necessary to resume the Polish-American strategic dialogue. In February and March, when there were rumors of confidential American-German talks about NS 2, we heard assurances that no such talks were going on. We accepted these statements, although they contradict our knowledge from other sources. Meanwhile I read agency reports That this week in Washington talks between close confidants of Chancellor Merkel and advisers to President Biden about the completion of Nord Stream 2 will take place. This formula for the American-Russian-German dialogue cannot replace the talks between America and the NATO allies on the eastern flank, which will particularly feel the effects of these decisions. Because this pipeline will radically strengthen the common interests of Germany and Russia and pose a direct threat to peace in Europe. The military threat to Ukraine, but also to Poland and other Central European NATO countries, will increase.
  • The nationalist MP Robert Winnicki (Konfederacja) said via Twitter: “The US is negotiating with Russia and Germany and ignoring the interests of the Central European countries. Poland must finally draw the conclusions and begin to pursue a more balanced policy towards Washington, Beijing, Berlin and Moscow ”, a view largely shared by geopolitical expert Jacek Bartosiak, who spoke in an interview with the conservative magazine Do Rzeczy, which was published on December 31 May, said: “Our interests are less important to the US and this is a very dangerous process. It can be clearly seen
  • The Polish conservative magazine wPolityce this week drew attention to five cases pending before the Polish Constitutional Court in which the plaintiffs are trying unilaterally to argue that Article 1 of the Polish Family Code – “clearly states that only one woman and one man marry “- would be unconstitutional, as this would discriminate against” same-sex couples “, so to speak an attempt to introduce” same-sex marriage “through the back door … When asked by wPolityce, law professor Jarosław Szymanek explains:” The plaintiffs point out that the Violation of the constitution lies in what is not in Art. 1 – that is, that there are no other specified alternatives to marriage either. The petitioners argue that the what does not exist is unconstitutional ”, and believe that“ the Constitutional Court should not only declare that Art only the existing content of Art. 1 is in accordance with the constitution, [because] the Sejm could, with a different majority, introduce a provision according to which same-sex marriages can also be permitted in Polish law, and the question will again arise whether this new content, which allows same-sex marriages, is in line with the Constitution. This is why it is so important that the Constitutional Court not only find that the current content of Article 1 is constitutional,

Czech Republic

  • Prague City Council on Tuesday gave final approval for the D line underground project, the construction of which was originally scheduled to start in 2010 but has been postponed due to opposition to plans for the Pankrác and Písnice stations. The new driverless metro line, which will connect the city center with the southern parts of the city and which cost 52 billion kroner (two billion euros) to build, is scheduled to go into operation by 2029/2030.
  • Finally, while the mechanism for protecting the European Union’s financial interests, which is based on alleged compliance with the rule of law, is being challenged by Hungary and Poland before the ECJ, it is finally the Czech Republic that appears to be the subject of an experimental balloon in this area. In view of the allegations of conflicts of interest against the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in the context of the famous stork nest affair, the European Parliament sees a good opportunity to activate this mechanism for the first time. On Wednesday June 9th, MEPs accepted a motion calling on the European Commission to “evaluate Prime Minister Babiš’s influence on the Czech media and the judiciary,

Slovenia

  • 11.6. Marko Kremžar, founding member of the NSi (New Slovenia – Christian People’s Party, Slov. Nova Slovenija Krščanska ljudska stranka) and last president of the SLS (Slovene People’s Party, Slovenska Ljudska Stranka) in emigration, died at the age of 93, said the NSi and the SLS with. He was an economist, politician, educator and writer and worked mainly in the field of journalism and education in Slovenia and for Slovenes abroad and in the world. After the end of the Second World War, Kremžar was imprisoned as a young man in two communist concentration camps, but was later able to flee to Austria. From there he emigrated with his parents to Argentina, where he completed his studies and obtained his doctorate. Kremžar developed a rich literary activity, such as Novels and plays, but even more his technical work, especially sociological and political science treatises. According to the Catholic weekly newspaper Družina, he wrote a number of books on topics from recent Slovenian history, the civil war and its aftermath. “His involvement in the Slovenian community in Buenos Aires, where he was an important organizer and teacher of the Slovenian secondary school, will forever remain in history,” emphasized the NSi.
  • 10.6. In the morning, the employees of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia had another unpleasant surprise on their way to work. During the night strangers (presumably left-wing extremists again) smeared yellow crosses on the windows and the entrance door of the ministry. State Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jelka Godec, tweeted: #nocomment This is the result of the actions of @strankalevica @StrankaLMS @StrankaSAB @strankaSd “. The current team, led by Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti, had to swallow a lot of words – at their own expense. They face unfounded, manipulative attacks on a daily basis from the mainstream media, left opposition parties and sections of civil society. A small minority of cultural workers with a lot of media support has already staged several incidents in front of the entrance to the Ministry of Culture (MK). Last summer the theater actors Primož Bezjak and Katarina Stegnar staged a protest striptease. They also took a “humorous” action when they set up school desks with the surnames of MK employees on them and smeared blood on the benches. The home of the current Minister of Culture, Vasko Simoniti, has also been vandalized several times. when they set up school desks labeled with the surnames of MK employees and smeared blood on the benches. The home of the current Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti has also been vandalized several times. when they set up school desks labeled with the surnames of MK employees and smeared blood on the benches. The home of the current Minister of Culture, Vasko Simoniti, has also been vandalized several times.
  • 9.6 Slovenia remains an attractive business location for German companies, according to the result of this year’s survey by the German Chambers of Commerce in 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. “There is a great deal of interest from German investors in additional investments and Slovenia should think about how this can best be used,” the speakers at the press conference were convinced. Matej Lahovnik, former Minister of Economy and head of the advisory group, stressed that the results of the government’s focus on the economy are already visible in this case. “It is evident that the current government is operational and focused on the economy and investors see the Slovenian environment as stable,” he said. “Economic activity in Slovenia remains high,” said Tina Drolc from the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce, summarizing the results of the survey among German companies. As STA reports, 47% of the German companies surveyed in Slovenia currently rate their situation as good, while 44% rate it as satisfactory or significantly better than the general economic situation in the country. 48% expect that the situation will continue to be good in 2021, while 39% believe that their situation will improve. In terms of export sales, 43% of the companies surveyed expect growth, while half of the companies assume that the volume will remain unchanged. Tina Drolc from the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce summarized the results of the survey among German companies. As STA reports, 47% of the German companies surveyed in Slovenia currently rate their situation as good, while 44% rate it as satisfactory or significantly better than the general economic situation in the country. 48% expect that the situation will continue to be good in 2021, while 39% believe that their situation will improve. In terms of export sales, 43% of the companies surveyed expect growth, while half of the companies assume that the volume will remain unchanged. Tina Drolc from the Slovenian-German Chamber of Commerce summarized the results of the survey among German companies. As STA reports, 47% of the German companies surveyed in Slovenia currently rate their situation as good, while 44% rate it as satisfactory or significantly better than the general economic situation in the country. 48% expect that the situation will continue to be good in 2021, while 39% believe that their situation will improve. In terms of export sales, 43% of the companies surveyed expect growth, while half of the companies assume that the volume will remain unchanged. while 44% rate it as satisfactory or significantly better than the general economic situation in the country. 48% expect that the situation will continue to be good in 2021, while 39% believe that their situation will improve. In terms of export sales, 43% of the companies surveyed expect growth, while half of the companies assume that the volume will remain unchanged. while 44% rate it as satisfactory or significantly better than the general economic situation in the country. 48% expect that the situation will continue to be good in 2021, while 39% believe that their situation will improve. In terms of export sales, 43% of the companies surveyed expect growth, while half of the companies assume that the volume will remain unchanged.
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