Autocrats Veto Democracy in EU: Daily Brief

The budget crisis shows the European Union is now paying the price for allowing authoritarian regimes to emerge within the bloc; a new EU draft law also poses risks for rule of law; Russia-backed armed groups undermining humanitarian efforts in eastern Ukraine; no accountability for crackdown in Iran; and Egypt arrests leader of rights group.

The authoritarian rot that has been allowed to develop in the EU has sparked a new major crisis, as the autocratic governments of member states Hungary and Poland have vetoed the EU budget and Covid recovery package because their ruling parties refuse to accept that EU funds be dependent upon respect for democratic values.

As if that wasn't enough, an EU draft law on terrorist content online poses serious risks to free expression and the rule of law.

Russia-backed armed groups are imposing excessive, confusing, and arbitrary restrictions on movement in parts of eastern Ukraine, undermining humanitarian imperatives and putting undue burden on civilians.

Iranian authorities have failed to provide any real measure of accountability for the violent crackdown against widespread protests that began a year ago.

Egyptian security forces have arrested and detained the leader of a major human rights group.