Thursday

27th Jan 2022

Podcast

European shibboleths

Europe is green, humane and has defeated populism. These are common views among the EU chattering classes. But they often seem more reflexive than reflective, and some of them amount to shibboleths.

Opinion

Global North will be responsible for sixth mass extinction

The issue isn't that voices from the Global South simply aren't heard – they are actively muted. A recent study found less than one-percent of climate research papers were written by African authors, despite the continent being the most vulnerable.

Greenpeace demands EU end 'ghost flights'

Pressure is mounting for the European Commission to revise rules requiring airlines to run at least 80% of booked flights to secure their airport slots, leading some to fly so-called 'ghost flights'.

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EU Parliament pays close to double market price for building

The European Parliament's Scholl building in Brussels was purchased for almost €75m, despite its estimated market value hovering between €42m and €65m. The issue has led to calls for the institution to review its building strategy, developed before the pandemic.

Column

In the gulags' shadow

A rift of emotions runs through Europe. While eastern European states fear the return of Russian imperialism, the average western European seems to believe that Russia still pushes back against alleged American imperialism.

EIB invests €50m in autonomous delivery robot operator

Autonomous delivery operator Starship Technologies, based in San Fransisco, has received a €50m venture loan from the European Investment Bank - but the introduction to Europe's historic and narrow streets is so far marked by a lack of impact data.

Exclusive

EU eyes Indian Ocean naval adventure

Europe is preparing to boost its naval presence in the north west Indian Ocean "to uphold freedom of navigation" in the world's trade jugular.

EU auditors slam fragmented, sluggish 5G rollout

The EU auditors pointed out the limited number of manufacturers able to build and operate 5G infrastructure increases EU dependency on third countries - as well as privacy and security risks associated with interference by "hostile state actors."

Feature

15 years on: How are Bulgaria and Romania doing in the EU?

The latest European Commission health report puts the pair of south-eastern EU accession states last in terms of the overall lifespan of their citizens. Romanians and Bulgarian now die even younger than before.

EU ministers to condemn Russian 'aggression'

EU foreign ministers are to condemn "Russia's continued aggressive actions and threats against Ukraine", while promising "massive" sanctions at Monday's meeting in Brussels.

Agenda

Ukraine and Covid-19 on Europe's minds This WEEK

Throughout the week, MEPs will vote on the chairs and vice-chairs of the 20 standing committees and three sub-committees for the next two-and-a-half years, the remainder of the current legislative term.

Opinion

Digital marketing should rejoice at more EU regulation

The Digital Services Act was adopted with a solid majority in the European Parliament plenary - and today, some marketing professionals weep. The result will be a fundamentally different digital eco-system, and this will change digital marketing too.

Omicron wreaks havoc across eastern Europe

Romania's underfunded public health system was on the verge of collapse during the last surge of cases. Hospital morgues were full, and some patients were transferred abroad for treatment because Covid-19 intensive care units were at full capacity.

Lawyers threaten action over new EU gas and nuclear rules

Environmental lawyers are threatening to take legal action against the European Commission if gas is included in the EU guidelines for sustainable finances. But the draft taxonomy has also triggered discontent among some EU national capitals and MEPs.

MEPs urge inclusion of abortion rights in EU charter

MEPs have recalled their demands to include the right to legal and safe abortion into the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, a day after French president Emmanuel Macron pledged to open such a debate in the EU Council.

EU orders Poland to pay €70m in fines

The case is one of many disputes between the EU and Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which have started to cost money for Warsaw.

Dutch mayors protest strict lockdown measures

Thirty Dutch mayors have asked the national government to rethink its corona pandemic measures amid protests from museums and cultural centres against continued lockdown.

Macron promises strong EU borders

Obligatory detentions, more security-screening, and faster deportations - these are the French EU presidency's migration priorities.

MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'

MEPs will vote on new rules setting out transparency obligations for online players and holding Big Tech giants accountable. But some issues proved to be divisive after EU lawmakers tabled over a hundred amendments on the file.

Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia

Emmanuel Macron also took hits from French political opponents, including the Green party presidential challenger MEP Yannick Jadot in the European Parliament ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in France in April.

Opinion

Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers

President Emmanuel Macron's address to the European Parliament championed a bold and ambitious pro-European agenda. There is one problem though - the plans rely on a system of governance that has gridlocked the EU for over a decade.

Analysis

Hydrogen - the 'no-lose bet' for fossil-fuel industry?

The EU plans to label natural gas as 'green' in sustainable investment rules. From 2026 it will have to be blended with low-carbon gases like green hydrogen - but many scientists warn this is inefficient, costly and damaging to health.