Wednesday

22nd Sep 2021

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.

Fraud against EU dropped 20% last year

There were a total of 1,056 fraudulent irregularities in 2020, with a combined financial impact of €371m. Currently, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain do not have domestic anti-fraud plans.

Auditors slam EU Commission on green investments

The European Court of Auditors called for more consistent EU action on sustainable finance. The European Commission, by its own estimation, will need to invest €1 trillion a year to transition to a zero-carbon economy by 2050.

Opinion

Central & Eastern Europe: What Merkel did for us

East Germany's Angela Merkel, understanding the history and complexity of the region, stuck to her 'open door' policy. Nobody expects her successors to be as accommodating.

French outrage over US security deal exposes EU frustrations

EU foreign ministers were expected to discuss the implication of a security deal between the US, UK, and Australia on the margins of the UN general assembly. The deal has cast a shadow on the bloc's trade talks with Australia.

Netherlands against more rights for rejected asylum-seekers

A leaked Council document provides a partial overview of member state positions on a new EU strategy on voluntary returns and reintegration. The Dutch are concerned any new legal framework on voluntary returns could lead to greater rights.

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Agenda

UN annual meeting plus Poland in focus This WEEK

The Polish Constitutional Tribunal is holding a hearing on the issue of whether EU law has primacy in the country. It is not clear whether the tribunal will deliver a ruling.

Exclusive

MEPs suspect Gazprom manipulating gas price

MEPs from across the political spectrum suspect Russian gas giant Gazprom manipulates market prices. They have written to the EU Commission asking for an investigation. According to the signatories, Gazprom is pressuring Europe to open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Opinion

Fast fashion vs. climate - how 'repair & resell' is the new model

With the drive for lower prices and emergence of more and more 'fast-fashion' brands, durability is inevitably compromised. However, through new regulation, selling durable products shall no longer be a design option - it will be a legal requirement.

Von der Leyen issues rallying cry for more EU sovereignty

The Commission president hailed the EU's scientific capabilities at providing the most vaccines to the world, and the speed at which the bloc rolled out its digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate, as examples of the EU's resources and capacities.

Von der Leyen doubles up on vaccine-donation pledge

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen praised the EU's vaccination roll-out as a success and announced that the EUn will donate 200 million additional doses to low-income countries - doubling its current pledge.

EU pitches infrastructure investment plan to rival China

Ursula von der Leyen launched a global investment operation directed at infrastructure and transport. Its aim is to compete with the China's Belt and Road. "We want to create links and not dependencies," she said.

Exclusive

EU diplomats oppose common forest-monitoring rules

EU diplomats have raised concerns about the scope of the new forest strategy - and its implications for member states' national competencies, according to draft conclusions seen by EUobserver.

EU 'stands by Afghans' but wants most kept away

The European Commission wants to help vulnerable Afghans to reach the EU, while seeking to resettle thousands of others. But an internal document also says those not welcomed should be returned to transit or so-called third countries.

Opinion

Russia's biggest enemy? Its own economy

Russia's leaders have been fully aware of the reasons for its underlying economic weakness for more than two decades. Dependency on energy exports and the lack of technological innovation were themes of Vladimir Putin's first state-of-the-nation address back in 2000.

Timmermans: high energy prices must speed up transition

High energy bills are already affecting businesses and households across the bloc. But only about one-fifth of the price increase can be attributed to the CO2 prices rising, EU's climate chief Frans Timmermans told lawmakers

Analysis

Von der Leyen's moment to step up her game

"It is the opportunity she has to seize now to set the course for the remainder of her mandate," said Georg Riekeles from the European Policy Centre.

Opinion

Trusted connectivity: the European value proposition

Connectivity has become a major foreign policy tool in today's international relations – from transport, trade, and environmental technologies to standards and people-to-people contacts.