Like every Sunday, check out our weekly KafkaDigest press roundup of the best pieces and most insightful articles on Central Europe in international media (note: access to some of them might be restricted to subscribers only). abortion in poland

Pro-choice activists launch abortion initiative in Poland, The Guardian

‘Abortion Without Borders’, an international pro-choice organization, has just launched a new initiative in Poland, which has one some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, to help women who seek to terminate their pregnancy.

Slovak right accused of forcing abortion as election issue, Balkan Insight

Lawmakers in Slovakia have voted no less than six times this year on whether to restrict or ban abortion. The country’s progressive opposition and activists fear that conservatives are pushing an anti-abortion agenda for electoral gain.

What rich countries get wrong about the EU budget, Politico

“Contrary to popular wisdom, most of the money in Europe flows from East to West, not the other way around”, writes Romanian MEP Clotilde Armand, breaking the cliche, commonplace in Western Europe, that the EU’s richest countries are helping out poorer (and often ungrateful) nations in Central and Eastern Europe.

Czech women strive to take on the populists, Balkan Insight

Prague-based foreign correspondent Tim Gosling looks at the possibility of a “Czech Caputova”, and more broadly examines how women, especially from younger generations, are getting increasingly involved in Czech politics and public life.

Dry man of Europe, Poland strives to save water, Reuters

“Poland – hit by back-to-back droughts – is on a mission to save water and end its reputation as dry man of Europe”, Reuters reports. With water becoming an increasingly rare commodity worldwide, Poland is one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe.

The Guardian view on Viktor Orbán’s laws: controlling culture

“The backlash over Hungary’s new theatre legislation is not just political drama. It is a democratic and artistic crisis” writes The Guardian in a short editorial. It adds that “in his 1984 novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the Czech author Milan Kundera famously explored the idea of totalitarian kitsch” which becomes “aesthetically dominant when a single political movement gained a monopoly on power.”

Agenda for Czech foreign policy 2019, AMO

The Prague-based Association of International Affairs (AMO) just released its annual policy paper on the main challenges facing the Czech Republic’s foreign policy. An insightful read.

Czech Republic becomes unlikely front line in China’s soft power war, South China Morning Post

A shock-investigation by local news media has revealed that Home Credit, the consumer banking provider owned by the Czech Republic’s richest man Petr Kellner, may have orchestrated a PR campaign to improve the image of Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party in the country. The last “nail in the coffin” for public opinion about China?