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FocusGreek MP hurls homophobic insults at Luxembourg PM

29.08.14 @ 10:48

A Greek MP waged a homophobic twitter war on Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on Thursday (28 August), prompting a backlash on the social media site. "From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of ... faggots!! ...

EU hails 'substantial progress' towards Cuba trade deal

29.08.14 @ 09:30

EU and Cuban officials have made “substantial progress” towards agreeing a trade and political co-operation treaty, the bloc’s top diplomat to Havana said following the second round of talks in Brussels. Speaking at a ...

Russia ordered to pay €1.8bn by human rights court

31.07.14 @ 17:22

The European Court of Human Rights Thursday (31 July) told Russia to pay €1.86 billion to the shareholders of the disbanded Yukos oil group. “The court decided that this amount should be paid by the Russian Government ...

OpinionIs international law a universal right or a select privilege?

28.07.14 @ 16:26

Last Tuesday, EU foreign ministers closed their eyes to the on-going Palestinian civilian casualties and mass-destruction in the Gaza Strip. On that day they declared their shameful position on the on-going round of ...

Court rules Poland complicit in CIA renditions

24.07.14 @ 16:28

A European rights court Thursday (24 July) found that Poland allowed the CIA to operate a secret rendition and interrogation camp at its Stare Kiejkuty military base and did nothing to stop it. The unanimous verdict, by ...

European court strikes down transgender marriage case

16.07.14 @ 20:47

A Finnish citizen who wanted the state to recognise her new gender after surgery and remain legally married to woman at the same time lost her case at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday (16 ...

OpinionItaly should offer leadership on Roma issues

16.07.14 @ 19:09

Italy might not seem an obvious choice for leadership on Roma issues in Europe. In a Vatican address in June, Pope Francis commented on the widespread hostility to Roma in Italy, and the dangers of ostracising ...

InterviewAles Bialiatski: Two years of silence in Belarus penal colony

02.07.14 @ 18:00

Belarus political prisoner Ales Bialiatski spoke his first words in two years upon his release from a labour camp in late June. The human rights defender worked six days a week in silence at a sewing factory inside the ...

OpinionEU anti-discrimination law: Six years and (still) waiting

02.07.14 @ 09:11

Today (2 July), the European Union 'celebrates' a sadly recurrent anniversary: six years ago, on 2 July 2008, the European Commission proposed a directive on equal treatment. In addition to the existing protection in ...

EU judgement on Facebook to take over a year

20.06.14 @ 17:15

Any EU-level judgement on a case filed against Facebook for its alleged involvement in helping the Americans snoop on millions of people is likely to take over a year. A contact at the Luxembourg-based European Court of ...

FocusLesbian MEP victim of acid attack

18.06.14 @ 10:25

A top EU deputy at the Vienna gay pride demonstration was the victim of an acid attack over the weekend. Austrian Green MEP Ulrike Lunacek, along with a journalist who was interviewing her, were doused on Saturday with ...

Post EU ElectionsRomania's ruling party revives nationalism ahead of presidential election

18.06.14 @ 09:54

Romania’s governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) looks set to base its presidential election campaign on conservative nationalism that mixes religious devotion and home security. The party won the European elections in ...

OpinionTo help restore confidence in Europe, protect rights

17.06.14 @ 09:36

Europe is in a grumpy mood. The scale of voter disenchantment with the EU was manifest in May's European Parliament election results, with eurosceptic parties topping the polls in France, the UK, and Denmark and winning ...

OpinionSome solutions for the EU social benefits debate

10.06.14 @ 09:27

The free movement of workers was a major theme for several EU member states going to the polls in May's European Parliament elections. In countries like Denmark, France and the UK, the wish to curb migrant workers' ...

OpinionThe story behind Golden Dawn's success

03.06.14 @ 09:23

Political analysts, the media and political parties have been trying to account for the shocking rise of the far-right Golden Dawn party, which last week became Greece's third most important political party after ...

LetterGrowing momentum for EU strategy on LGBTI Rights

23.05.14 @ 09:40

In an article earlier this week by EUobserver, four top candidates for the next president of the European Commission – Jean-Claude Juncker, Ska Keller, Martin Schulz and Guy Verhofstadt, expressed their support for an ...

OpinionMobilise vulnerable communities to vote: anti-racism NGO

23.05.14 @ 09:20

On 25 May EU citizens will go to the polls to elect our European Parliament representatives. Many decisions taken by the EP have a direct impact on our daily lives. However, the biggest challenge is making sure that ...

Post EU ElectionsEP candidate runs on anti-gay ticket

22.05.14 @ 09:53

February 2013. It was supposed to be a pleasant night out for urbane movie-lovers. Bucharest's ethnographic hub, the National Museum of the Peasant, was hosting Lisa Cholodenko's film 'The Kids Are All Right', starring ...

FocusMaltese PM: no such thing as a la carte equality

16.05.14 @ 08:16

Tomorrow – 17 May – is the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (Idaho). On days like these, politicians need to reflect on whether they have worked to enhance equality or played safe and, possibly, let ...

OpinionItalian MEP candidates scaremongering on immigration

15.05.14 @ 09:08

The politics of fear are taking the stage in the upcoming European elections in Italy. Scaremongering is being used by representatives of both the majority and the opposition, by leaders of the European People's Party ...

FocusHungary and Finland in uphill battle for gay rights

13.05.14 @ 18:18

Gay communities in Hungary and Finland are facing uphill battles for equal rights with conservative politicians in both countries imposing barriers. Hungarian children as young as 10 are being told homosexuality is a “ ...

FocusEuropean gay rights study finds little to celebrate

13.05.14 @ 18:07

Malta has jumped upward in an annual ranking on gay rights, but many of Europe’s micro-states lag behind the norm, while Russia actively promotes homophobia. The 2014 review and colour-coded map of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, ...

FocusTransgender and young gay people at greater risk of violence

13.05.14 @ 18:07

Key findings by the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) say young people are more likely to be victims of homophobic violence and attacks when compared to their older peers. FRA’s director ...

FocusEquality and LGBTI rights

13.05.14 @ 17:23

With protection of minorities a cornerstone of EU values, EUobserver looks at developments on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual and intersex (LGBTI) people in Europe.

Government backed torture is flourishing, says Amnesty

13.05.14 @ 09:27

Governments are failing to live up to their commitments to stamp out state-sanctioned torture, according to London-based Amnesty International. "Governments around the world are two-faced on torture – prohibiting it in ...

OpinionEU: Show leadership to end forced labour

01.05.14 @ 09:21

Forced labour, human trafficking, and other forms of modern-day exploitation may seem distant from the lives of ordinary Europeans celebrating Labour Day with a spring holiday. These abuses are often seen as a scourge ...

OpinionGreek denial of vote to targets of racism increases Golden Dawn's EP chances

30.04.14 @ 15:32

Greece was one of the countries hit hardest by the economic crisis which has caused prolonged austerity, negative growth and an employment rate that stands at a stagggering 27 percent. This dire economic and social ...

Europe faces worst human rights 'crisis' in decades

17.04.14 @ 09:29

Europe is facing its largest human rights crisis in over two decades, according to the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe (CoE). The human rights watchdog, in a report published on Wednesday (16), says corruption, human ...

Private security firms bid on Greek asylum centres

02.04.14 @ 09:25

Private security firms are bidding to guard EU-funded migrant detention centres in Greece amid a report by Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), which says poor conditions in some of the facilities are causing disease. Greek ...

Migration routes change, migrants' security does not

01.04.14 @ 09:32

It could have been just another attempted leap. But on 6 February, Desirée, a young Cameroonian, managed to cross the border and enter in Spain. According to what she told Spanish news outlet El Confidencial, it was her ...

Charity documents 'human cost' of EU austerity

27.03.14 @ 18:01

Evidence gathered by Caritas Europa, a network of charities working with the most deprived, shows that the impact of austerity programmes in Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Romania has " ...

Post EU ElectionsSweden examines its treatment of Roma

27.03.14 @ 09:26

A White Paper on the abuses suffered by Roma people in Sweden during the 1900s will be followed up by a commission on ongoing anti-gypsyism, the Swedish government decided on Wednesday (26 March). “This is a dark and ...

Post EU ElectionsPolitical groups pledge to conduct hate-free campaigns

19.03.14 @ 17:58

The majority of mainstream parties in the European Parliament on Wednesday (19 March) signed a pledge to conduct election campaigns free from discrimination and intolerance. “The [European Parliament] elections are ...

EU officials seek new powers to protect rule of law

12.03.14 @ 09:29

The European Commission on Tuesday (11 March) announced a new measure to challenge member states in breach of EU rule of law. The proposal would allow the European Union to intervene at an early stage in case of “ ...

Edward Snowden wants asylum in EU

07.03.14 @ 19:04

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden wants asylum in Europe. In a series of responses delivered to the European Parliament ahead of next week’s debate on mass surveillance, Snowden told euro-deputies he ...

Study reveals widespread violence against women in EU

05.03.14 @ 09:29

In the world’s largest study of its kind, the EU agency for fundamental rights (FRA) found that one in three women in the European Union have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. The results ...

Czech government to give up EU Charter opt-out

20.02.14 @ 09:29

The Czech Republic is to abandon its opposition to the EU's charter of rights and the fiscal compact treaty in a sign that there could be warmer relations between Prague's new government and Brussels. The country's ...

Victims unprotected as traffickers walk free

14.02.14 @ 09:13

The top suits in Brussels couldn’t be more in agreement: human trafficking is modern-day slavery and needs to be stamped out with force. Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt even made it the surprise topic of his ...

When protectors turn perpetrators

13.02.14 @ 09:27

Family men, business men and other respectable citizens, all pulling over to enquire about the price of oral sex, intercourse or a hand job. Elements that appear shocking to the average reader soon becomes part of the ...

Off the road

12.02.14 @ 10:14

Welcome to Camorra country, the mafia-infested Wild West of Italy – but as in the best spaghetti westerns, the real tough guys aren’t mafiosos but nuns. Sister Rita is a case in point: after almost two decades of ...

Post EU ElectionsEUobserver launches election series ahead of EU vote

11.02.14 @ 12:07

In recent years, a slew of parties has moved from the fringe to occupy central political debate across the EU - they are eurosceptic and hard-right and they are making mainstream politicians nervous. With the May EU ...

The slaves on our streets

11.02.14 @ 09:03

There are roads in Europe where African slaves are forced to wander, day and night, under scorching sun and pouring rain. They must wear as little clothing as possible, to look appealing to potential buyers despite ...

EU to open trade talks with Cuba

11.02.14 @ 08:50

EU foreign ministers on Monday (10 February) agreed to open talks on a trade and political relationship with Cuba, raising the prospect of a new era in relations between Brussels and Havana. The talks on a so-called " ...

Pussy Riot: Magnitsky 'not an isolated case' in Putin's jails

10.02.14 @ 18:01

Two members of the Russian punk band "Pussy Riot" on Monday (10 February) rubbished President Vladimir Putin's amnesty law and said prison conditions are still as inhumane as they were for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian ...

'For me, Europe was golden'

10.02.14 @ 09:26

They offer us a moment of pampering; a manicure, pedicure, or perhaps a well-needed massage. They make sure Friday nights are free from cooking thanks to a myriad of cheap Asian take-aways. They even provide sexual ...

MEP receives 41,000 emails against gay rights

04.02.14 @ 18:21

An MEP who drafted a resolution on securing the basic rights of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex) people in the EU has so far received almost 41,000 emails against the proposal. “My website was hacked ...

Bailout troika 'in breach' of EU human rights laws

29.01.14 @ 09:29

Austerity programmes agreed with the troika of international lenders (the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) are in breach of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, according to ...

MEPs pressure Belgium on Afghan asylum seekers in Brussels

23.01.14 @ 18:43

Two MEPs are seeking parliament-wide support to pressure the Belgian government not to expel Afghans living rough in a Brussels-city-centre church. The head of the parliament’s leftist GUE group, Gabi Zimmer, along with ...

OpinionStop smugglers making a profit from migrants

18.12.13 @ 09:25

This year was a lethal year for migrants. In October, more than 360 people, migrants from Africa desperate to reach EU shores, drowned when their boat capsized near the Italian island of Lampedusa, in the single ...

EU data retention law said to breach privacy rights

13.12.13 @ 09:20

The EU data retention directive breaches the charter of fundamental rights, an EU advocate general has said. “The directive constitutes a serious interference with the fundamental right of citizens to privacy,” said ...