Wednesday

29th Sep 2021

News in Brief

  1. Navalny to get EU human-rights prize
  2. Nato patrols Kosovo-Serbia border as tensions soar
  3. EU lorry drivers will not help UK
  4. Dutch PM gets extra security on bike commute to work
  5. Berliners vote to expropriate corporate landlord apartments
  6. Polish minister calls for border state-of-emergency extension
  7. More Polish regions bin anti-gay declarations
  8. Russia bypasses Ukraine to ship EU gas via Turkey

Interview

An economist on 'elephant-in-room' at German election

Economist Shahin Vallée says Germany has the resposability to lead the European debate on fiscal reforms in the face of the climate crisis. If they don't take up the mantle, the EU will continue failing during further crises.

Opinion

Afghan withdrawal may spark ex-forces terrorism in Europe

Right-wing extremist narratives thrive on the US's swift withdrawal from Afghanistan. They may gain traction particularly among soldiers and veterans of Western armed forces, some of which have in the past been confronted with right-wing radicalisation among their troops.

MEPs 'disappointed' at observer-status at new EU health body

MEPs have slammed the European Commission for sidelining the European Parliament in the new Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), giving MEPs a role of mere observers. Its budget will be €6bn over the next six years.

Podcast

Book Club: The Last Bluff

In this first EU Scream Book Club, co-authors of The Last Bluff recount how the world watched in awe — and often admiration — as a scrappy government in Athens tried to stare down Europe's financial and political establishment.

Lagarde urges EU to use market power to fix gas price

ECB president Christine Lagarde said that "fiscal authorities" (ie governments) have a responsibility to "harness market power" to arrange better prices and referred to a Spanish plan that might "rebalance other market forces."

Election means three-party German government likely

The two main rivals both have said they will try to head the next government. But the splintered election result means either will need both the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats to form a majority.

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us

Analysis

Scaling up tidal requires flood of new cash

The next step is scaling up the prototype platforms so that tidal energy can become commercially viable and enter the energy grid in a meaningful way. There's just one hitch in this plan: cost

Agenda

German coalition calculus dominates This WEEK

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will travel to the Western Balkans - ahead of an EU summit with the six countries which are hoping to join the bloc.

No clear winner to succeed Merkel in Germany

Both the centre-left and centre-right candidates to replace Angela Merkel as German chancellor have claimed the right to go ahead after an inconclusive election.

Banks fuelling expansion of oil-and-gas Arctic extraction

A new report revealed that oil and gas firms are planning to ramp up their fossil fuel extraction in the Arctic by more than 20 per cent over the next five years, partly thanks to the financial support from banks.

Feature

The dilemma of Europe's returning female jihadis

This month, three Swedish women landed in Stockholm, expelled from Syria together with their children. Two of the women were arrested, one suspected of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Their children were immediately taken into custody.

Activists: 'More deaths' expected on Polish-Belarus border

The European Commission has demanded Warsaw "ensure that people at the border are given the necessary care and assistance". But activists say without any help, more stranded people along the Polish-Belarus border will likely die as temperatures plummet.

Yemen's refugees in 'appalling conditions', says UN agency

Yemen hosts around 130,000 refugees and 12,000 asylum seekers. In a country wrecked by six years of war, many find themselves in dire conditions and unable to leave, says Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the UN refugee agency's representative in Yemen.

VW emissions software was illegal, top EU lawyer says

Volkswagen used software to alter emissions illegally, according to the European advocate-general on Thursday. The German carmaker installed devices that could detect when the car would be subjected to testing - which would then distort parameters to show lower emissions.

Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body

Last week, a majority in the European Parliament voted in favour of creating a new EU ethics body, covering MEPs and the European Commission. German Green MEP Daniel Freund, who spearheaded the report, says negotiations are likely to start soon.

Lead energy MEP silent on gas meetings before vote

NGO watchdogs have slammed the MEP leading the energy committee's work on the controversial revision of EU rules for funding major energy projects for refusing to disclose his meetings with gas lobbyists, ahead of a crucial vote next week.

Opinion

The EU's 'backyard' is not in the Indo-Pacific

Europe is no longer an Indo-Pacific power. It will not become an Indo-Pacific power. And if it keeps overreaching its geopolitical ambitions, Europe might lose its credibility as a power - entirely.

Exclusive

French MEPs lead bogus EU monitoring of Russia vote

At least five MEPs and several minor politicians from EU states, many of them French, have spent the past few days in Russia peddling propaganda that its elections were free and fair.

Spain wants energy price discussion at next EU summit

Spain wants to discuss the current energy price spike at the next EU summit in October, and called on the European Commission to provide member states with guidance on how to react to current record gas and electricity prices.

Trust in Dutch government drops, but not for Rutte

New polling found Dutch voters have rapidly started losing trust in all levels of government. 15 percent of those surveyed have "lost all confidence" in the government. The loss of trust does not extend to prime minister Mark Rutte.

Column

Long ago, there was another Angela Merkel

There is one female leader in European history whom Merkel resembles much more than the fiery, authoritarian Catherine the Great, who once staged a coup with her lover against her husband. Instead, it is the Habsburg empress Maria-Theresia.

Opinion

The first anniversary of the Abraham Accords

More than 55 agreements between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain are currently underway. These lay the foundation for practical cooperation in almost all fields including: finance, communications, economy, culture, tourism, taxation, investment protection, freedom of movement, water, agriculture and energy.

EU kept in dark on ex-commissioner's new lobby job

Phil Hogan, the former European commissioner for trade, was this month hired by US-law firm DLA Piper, where he will work out of the Brussels office. Critics say the hire poses questions on weak EU ethics oversight rules on lobbying.

Opinion

Textbook hypocrisy: EU's new low point on Palestine

Brussels institutions are devoting time not to Israel's illegal settlements and the two-state solution, but to an entirely different, peripheral issue: an EU-funded study of Palestinian Authority schoolbooks, published in June by the Georg-Eckert Institute in Germany.

Investigation

4m undocumented migrants, red tape, and the vaccine

Administrative barriers in at least 10 European countries are blocking access to Covid-19 vaccines for nearly four million undocumented migrants. Countries including Germany, Spain, Norway and Bulgaria require some form of ID, health card or a residency permit.