according to freedom house

According to the Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that assesses governments on their level of freedom, Ukraine is the only country in Eastern Europe where citizens are not fully free. This is due to the high rate of violence against journalists, freedom of the press, and other rights. In addition, there are also “hybrid regimes” such as in Serbia, which are only partially free.

Ukraine is only “partly free”

Ukraine was ranked a “partly free” country by Freedom House in its most recent report. The organization assessed Ukraine based on its level of civil liberties, corruption, and political reform.

While the report identifies a number of improvements in Ukraine, there are still significant issues. Political corruption is rampant, and the media is highly influenced by oligarchs. A squalid criminal justice system is endemic, and journalists are assassinated.

Russia’s invasion of Crimea and Donbas is an attack on Ukraine, as well as a sabre-rattling against basic human rights. It is a challenge to the country’s fragile democracy.

Ukraine’s oligarchic system undermines the legitimacy of the country’s entire political system. Corruption is widespread and a mixed electoral system helps oligarchs elect representatives.

The Freedom House report also noted that Ukrainian citizens face discrimination. This is especially true of minorities, such as the LGBT community. The state is often unwilling to utilise the country’s vast natural resources.

Ukrainian nationalists have tried to stamp out what they see as pro-Russian forces in the country. However, these efforts were not comprehensive.

Ukraine’s history shows that it is hard to build a democracy. After independence in 1991, it was forced to adopt anti-democratic measures. The first major attempt to reform the country, the Orange Revolution of 2004, was unsuccessful.

Since then, the country’s pro-Russian policies have been reversed. But a window of opportunity appears to be closing. There are several important reforms being undertaken, including a new anti-corruption system and the creation of a Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

Despite the improvements, the current round of reforms remains incomplete in a number of crucial areas. In particular, the political parties are weak and unstable. And the upcoming presidential elections are likely to be contentious.

Croatia is more restrictive than in France or the United States

Croatia is a parliamentary republic that abides by the rule of law, and holds regular elections. However, corruption is a big issue. Many public servants obtained their jobs through patronage networks, making them susceptible to betrayal by political or special interest groups.

Corruption is a big issue in Croatia, and is not limited to the government. Local NGOs have observed a trend of more corruption since the country joined the EU in 2013.

The European Commission has slammed the Croatian government for not being a ‘true’ member of the EU. It has also singled out corruption as one of the top issues in the country.

In the most comprehensive analysis of political corruption in Croatia, a recent study revealed that the government failed to implement the most obvious measures to combat corruption. This included a law requiring all companies to pay their employees a fair wage, and a law requiring companies to return money they had illegally obtained.

Although the Croatian government has taken some steps to address this issue, the problem still persists. A local NGO has shed light on the alleged illicit financial dealings of a candidate for the European Commission’s portfolio.

While Croatia does not have the worst prison conditions in the world, the situation is far from ideal. Due to overcrowding, the country’s prisons fall short of international standards.

The biggest issue is corruption in the public sector. This is often a combination of patronage networks and political pressure from the ruling party. Some have accused the former Croatian prime minister, Milan Bandic, of using his position to help himself, his family, and his party.

Although the best known scandals involve the public procurement of goods and services by private contractors, the government has been accused of mismanaging the state-owned company Agrokor, which is the largest employer in the country.

Malta’s transparency of government policymaking continues to be a challenge

The government of Malta has gotten a bad rap for its lack of transparency when it comes to public contracts and other major government business. Despite this, the country has a decent freedom of information law that allows citizens to access any record they want. It is worth noting that the government does have an asset disclosure rule for public officials. In addition, the state-owned media is often pro-government, meaning the ruling party enjoys a disproportionate number of the accolades.

While the Maltese government has improved its policymaking transparency, there are still many egregious instances of government malfeasance that remain unpunished. Among them are a number of large public contract and procurement projects where important details have been withheld from the public.

There are a number of high-profile cases involving malfeasance involving a number of senior public officials. These include allegations of kickbacks and the misuse of a controversial Individual Investor Program (IIP) that allows foreigners to acquire Maltese citizenship in exchange for a substantial donation to the government. Regardless of the fact that the IIP has been discontinued, the government has yet to admit to any wrongdoing in this regard.

The Malta government has tried to bolster its transparency credentials with a flurry of publicity around the Egrant affair, the car czar, and a new law on appointing judges to the European Court of Justice. However, all of these endeavors have failed to yield the kind of results the nation’s most discerning voters deserve. Ultimately, it is unlikely that any of these measures will succeed in the near term, despite the government’s best efforts.

It is worth noting that the sexiest of all the Maltese awsms has been tainted by an unfortunate case of bureaucracy. One of the biggest issues is that the prime minister, who is usually the leader of a majority party in parliament, retains considerable power over judicial appointments, making the judiciary particularly vulnerable to political meddling.

Serbia has been classified among “hybrid regimes”

The Freedom House recently released its annual report on democratic changes in the world, and Serbia was classified among “hybrid regimes.” Hybrid regimes are defined as “democracies that have not achieved full democratization.” They are also defined as countries that are not classified as “authoritarian.”

While the Government of Serbia has been pushing back against the latest revision of the Freedom House, other international organizations have recorded long-term declines in Serbia. In the latest report, Serbia received lower marks in seven areas: the fight against corruption, the atmosphere of civil society, the freedom of the media, the judiciary, electoral conditions, and the freedom of opinion.

These ratings are the result of reports compiled by domestic and international organizations. As an independent think tank, the Bertelsmann Foundation conducts research on processes of democracy throughout the world. Although the Bertelsmann Index does not classify Serbia as a hybrid regime, it does identify a major decline in its democratic institutions.

A large number of attacks against journalists have occurred in Serbia in the past year. In a report compiled by the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia, 189 cases of violence against journalists were identified. This is more than the number of reported attacks during the same period in 2018.

Corruption scandals have undermined the foundations of democratic institutions. Officials have used inflammatory rhetoric to demonize journalists. The government’s efforts to pressure the independent media have increased in recent months.

The ruling party failed to form a governing coalition with the opposition in the parliamentary elections of 2018, and the ruling party has been accused of coaxing unscrupulous groups into signing an agreement. President Aleksandar Vucic supervised the mainstreaming of smear campaigns.

SLAPP lawsuits are aimed at financially exhausting editorial offices

SLAPP (short for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is a type of lawsuit designed to disrupt and stifle public discussion and debate. Typically, a SLAPP suit is filed by a person or group whose primary objective is to intimidate a particular person or group.

SLAPPs are a good way to silence a cash-strapped news organization. Usually, the plaintiffs’ lawyers go to great lengths to make the claims seem legitimate. The legal costs associated with such suits can be staggering, as can the costs incurred in fighting such lawsuits.

Although no federal law currently exists on the topic, there are many state laws on the books. In Texas, for instance, the Texas Citizens Participation Act provides a mechanism for meritless defamation suits to be dismissed.

For years, journalists around the world have been concerned about the proliferation of SLAPP lawsuits. Several countries have enacted similar laws. However, there are still questions about how effective these statutes are, and how they are applied.

The European Union’s anti-SLAPP initiative offers some hope. Its laudable recommendations include increased training for judges and prosecutors and a recommendation to introduce the right kind of legal protections into the system as a whole. Moreover, it has also taken steps to identify and highlight the SLAPPs of the world, including those involving fake news.

Considering the fact that the European Commission is already working on a measure to tackle the problem in the EU, it’s not too late for individual states to follow suit. But even after the implementation of this legislation, it’s likely that more nations will enact their own versions of this well-intentioned but ill-conceived act.

As for the best defense against a SLAPP, the most practical choice would be to simply merge all of the cases into one lawsuit. Not only would this minimize the cost of defending such cases, but it would also allow the plaintiffs to focus their efforts on proving the merits of the case.

Chelsea Glover