Tuesday

18th Jan 2022

News in Brief

  1. French parliament agrees stricter vaccine-pass system
  2. US speaks to energy firms about EU gas cut-off scenario
  3. Anti-vax protests held in the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria
  4. German MEP spends €690,000 on office renovation
  5. Microsoft identified destructive malware in Ukraine agencies
  6. Danish intelligence crisis deepens
  7. Hackers expose Polish military secrets
  8. Swedish soldiers might leave Sahel due to Russian fighters

Agenda

New EU Parliament chief elected This WEEK

The lead candidate is the centre-right European People's Party's (EPP) Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, who has been outspoke against corruption and rule-of-law issues - but some MEPs are concerned over her anti-abortion voting record.

MEPs seek probe into EU commissioner over Bosnia

Enlargement commissioner Várhelyi "openly colluded [with Dodik] in potentially breaking up Bosnia and Herzegovina", according to dozens of MEPs who wrote to Várhelyi's boss.

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us

EU gas and nuclear rules derided as 'biggest greenwash ever'

Experts and activists have warned the European Commission that including natural gas and nuclear power in its plan for sustainable finance will lead to further greenwashing, split financial markets and undermine the bloc's climate objectives.

Opinion

Even without war, Russia has defeated Europe already

Invasion is unlikely to be Vladimir Putin's preferred option. Yet this game of brinkmanship has another part of the equation. If Russia invades Ukraine, the costs for Europe will be equally devastating.

Record-breaking Omicron wave sweeps across Europe

The record numbers reflect those registered by health authorities, and does not include self-tests or infected people who develop no symptoms, and are not aware of their contagiousness.

EU agency warns ETS emission-cuts are off track

The European Environment Agency warned current projections indicate emissions-reductions in member states covered by the EU's cap-and-trade carbon market are insufficient to meet the bloc's new climate targets for 2030 and 2050.

Analysis

Europe must stop falling into the ISIS trap

The EU does not need to become a counter-propaganda machine - but finding and providing the right facts will be the only way for Europe to stop falling into ISIS' polarisation trap.

Opinion

The EP presidency: why support the right?

This election is marked by the untimely passing of David Sassoli, who steered the parliament through an extremely complex and challenging period. He showed that it was possible to reach agreements through much-needed dialogue, and away from dogmas.

Exclusive

Blasphemy and jihad: Macron launches EU debate

France has launched an EU debate on the "extremely sensitive" issue of blasphemy and jihadist violence, in a move that risks further alienating European Muslims.

Latest News

  1. James Kanter, Shada Islam are new editors at EUobserver
  2. The loopholes and low bar in Macron's push for a global tax
  3. No love for Russia in latest EU strategy
  4. New EU Parliament chief elected This WEEK
  5. Lead MEP now wants ETS opt-out for homes and private cars
  6. MEPs seek probe into EU commissioner over Bosnia
  7. EU's Borrell contradicts Germany on Russia gas pipeline
  8. It's time for a more geopolitical EU-Turkey cooperation

WHO: Omicron to infect over half of Europeans in two months

The World Health Organization said Omicron is likely to infect more than half of the population in Europe within the next two months, threatening healthcare systems. It warned that it is too early to consider Covid as an endemic virus.

Column

When the watchdog stays in his kennel

As an independent watchdog, the EU Commission can launch infringement procedures, taking member states to the European Court of Justice if they do not comply. But all too often the watchdog just barks a little before returning to its kennel.

Opinion

Is there a fatal flaw in EU's emissions trading scheme?

New research has discovered fundamental flaws in a key component of the European Union's flagship Emissions Trading System. The little-known 'Market Stability Reserve' fixes a problem of the past but amplifies future shocks and undermines market stability.

Analysis

Will the new Dutch government be more pro-EU?

The new Dutch government has taken office, with left-leaning liberal Sigrid Kaag taking over the influential ministry of finance from fiscal hawk Wopke Hoekstra.

€70m deadline dawns on fines in Polish rule-of-law row

Poland is facing a deadline on Tuesday to spell out to the EU Commission how it wants to bring its domestic judicial reforms into line with the order from the European Court of Justice on how Warsaw disciplines judges.

Opinion

Public support grows for EU 'commissioner for animals'

In recent months, 140,000 citizens and 152 MEPs have joined the #EUforAnimals campaign, demanding more prominence be given to animal welfare by making it explicit in the name of the relevant directorate-general and job title of the appropriate EU commissioner.

Agenda

Key talks with Russia over European security This WEEK

The Nato-Russia council will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, as western and Russian officials begin a series of meetings this week in an effort to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine's eastern border - where Russia has amassed troops.

Opinion

Biden, eurofederalists and eurosceptics

While the EU is turning the Conference on the Future of Europe into another round in the outdated debate between eurofederalists and eurosceptics, President Biden has diplomatically endorsed the emergence of the Union as a democratic polity in international law.

Feature

Demographic crisis in the Balkans

Nearly 600,000 Macedonians moved abroad in the decades following the country's independence. In neighbouring Albania,1.7 million people, 37 percent of the population, have left the country in the last three decades.

Opinion

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? The EU is.

The cliché of the big bad wolf continues into the present day. In places like Finland deeply-entrenched cultural anxieties fuel unfounded fears that they will attack innocent children on their way to school.