Poland and Hungary have recently clashed with Brussels over democratic freedoms, but economic drivers are at play, too.
Several post-communist member states are moving further and further away from European Union norms.
Politicians are promising to advance their countries' international positions through nationalist militarisation and celebration of virile men.
Prime minister Viktor Orbán is quite open about his goal to build an 'illiberal state'.
FROM OUR ARCHIVES (UPDATED) Hungary has passed a law monitoring the finances of foreign-funded NGOs, another blow to civil society in Viktor Orban's increasingly "illiberal democracy".
A bastion of liberal values in an illiberal climate.
A move that could shut an independent university in Budapest poses fundamental questions about European values.
The Central European University will challenge a law just passed by the Hungarian parliament that could force the closure of the school founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
Hungary is to begin detaining asylum seekers in camps made of shipping containers.
An influx of people seeking shelter from conflict has sharpened attitudes against groups which have been in Europe for centuries.
What do border walls cost? And do they work?
After the Hungarian referendum, a new spectre is haunting the EU: Victor Orban.
The war on reproductive rights in Central Europe is not a backlash but a key tenet of a new illiberal form of governance.
The prime minister has claimed victory in the referendum, despite the low turnout.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has caught referendum fever. He is giving his public a vote on refugee policy in what is being seen as a two-fingered salute to the EU.
The UK's decision to leave the European Union has baffled many in Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania, where nostalgia for life before the EU is virtually non-existent.
Radical right populists are on the brink of power in Austria and making gains across the region. And the European leaders who once were willing to publicly condemn them are silent now.
Economic slowdown and a refugee influx have rattled Europe deeply, and some countries seem to have had enough.
In the wake of Paris and the Russian jet incident, Europe is facing the mother of all challenges over security and refugees. Where does it go from here?
In his hostility towards refugees, Hungary's prime minister has forgotten that nearly 2,000 years ago, Syrians lived on the land that now makes up his country.