Russia passes bill allowing Putin to stay in power past 2024

The Russian parliament has approved a significant constitutional reform that would, among other things, allow Vladimir Putin to run for president for two more terms after 2024 by resetting the number of terms that he has already completed. The Constitutional Court will review the reform before a national vote on the proposed amendments on April 22.

Source: Associated Press


Power and journalism in Bulgaria: Deflecting embarrassing issues

The Supreme Judicial Council of Bulgaria has condemned Bulgarian investigative journalist Valia Ahchieva for her “aggressive” working methods regarding the case of the chairman of Sofia City Court, Alexey Trifonov. Ahchieva has been reporting on Trifonov’s invalid Bulgarian citizenship since last April but the Supreme Judicial Council has not reacted to the evidence.

Source: Euractiv


Russia labels European Democracy NGO ‘undesirable’

The European Endowment for Democracy grant-making foundation is the 20th foreign organisation to be added to Russia’s list of ‘undesirable’ foreign groups. Its work in the country will now be limited.

Source: The Moscow Times


Europe plans ‘right to repair’ rules for phones and tablets

As part of its European Green Deal, the European Commission proposes a “right to repair” law that would increase the recycling of electronic products by forcing phone, tablet and laptop manufacturers to make their products easier to repair and reuse.

Source: The Guardian


Germany puts far-right AfD’s ‘Wing’ group under surveillance

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution — Germany’s domestic security agency — is going to run surveillance on a group known as the “Wing” (“Flügel”) within the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD). In doing so, German domestic intelligence recognizes the AfD group as a far-right extremist group that should be observed by security forces.

Source: Deutsche Welle


Russia does not see torture in domestic violence

In response to four Russian female victims’ complaints, the Russian authorities have sent their latest objections to the European Court of Human Rights. The Russian State believes that it should not be held liable and have to compensate victims in cases of domestic violence where private individuals and not public officials committed the violence.

Source: Kommersant


EU moves to start membership talks with Albania, North Macedonia

According to a draft decision by its 27 member states, the EU can start membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. The decision will be finalised this week and is expected to be approved.

Source: Reuters


Hungary’s state of emergency law is a ‘blank cheque’ to Orban, critics say

Hungary’s parliament has to consider a draft law named the ‘Enabling Act’ that would allow Viktor Orbán’s government to rule by decree while the country is in a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decrees would stay in force until further notice. The opposition is against this law because of its indefinite duration and the powers it would grant to the government.

Source: Euractiv


Convicts sentenced to imprisonment and forced labour will be able to serve their sentences near their homes

The Russian Federation Council has approved a law allowing for the possibility of transferring convicts to a penal institution near their home or their close relatives’ place of residence.

Source: Advokatskaya Gazeta