When a far-right political party with a nationalist, anti-immigration, and Euroskeptic agenda joined a coalition government after Austria’s 1999 parliamentary elections, the 14 other countries of the European Union (EU) balked. The inclusion of Jörg Haider’s Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) challenged an implicit agreement among EU members that extremist parties would be barred from central government positions.
Senior Research Analyst, Freedom in the World and Freedom of the Press
Research Analyst, Nations in Transit
May 27, 2013
In the half decade since the beginning of the economic crisis, global press freedom has declined, and the EU has been no exception to this trend. Reporting on a new survey on press freedom, Jennifer Dunham and Zselyke Csaky find that Greece and Hungary have experienced large declines in press freedom in recent years, with Lithuania, Latvia and Spain also seeing falls. They write that the economic crisis has exacerbated deep-rooted problems across Europe’s media environments leading to a decline in print media circulation and diversity, as well as a greater concentration of media ownership.
Freedom House today held a panel discussion entitled “Free to Express, Free to Believe: The Defamation of Religions Debate” at the 13th Session of the Human Rights Council featuring human rights defenders from Indonesia, Nigeria and the United States who discussed options for combating religious discrimination without restricting free speech. Delegates from the United States, Chile, the UK, Italy, Denmark, Pakistan, Mexico and Brazil attended the session, together with about 75 UN and civil society representatives.