Sunday

7th Jun 2020

News in Brief

  1. Poland accused of 'blatant violation' of EU court injunction
  2. EU concerned by US approach to Kosovo and Serbia
  3. City morgues cast doubt on Putin's virus data
  4. ECB increases pandemic stimulus to €1.35 trillion
  5. New EU cloud computing platform 'moonshot'
  6. City of Berlin passes anti-discrimination law
  7. Iran hits record corona cases in second wave
  8. EU job losses tell tale of pandemic damage

Feature

Why developing countries may be last to get the vaccine

'The current standard for vaccines is to be kept at two to eight degrees and that is really tough in many developing countries when it can be up to 50 degrees outside,' warn experts on the challenges facing low-income countries.

EU Commission aspires for treaty change on health

The European Commission has proposed a €9.4bn stand-alone programme dedicated to health known as EU4Health. The proposal is touted as a first step towards a possible Treaty change when it comes to health.

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EU Commission slammed for Covid-19 'mid-threat' ranking

The European Commission classified on Wednesday the coronavirus as a "mid-level" threat to workers, drawing criticism from socialist lawmakers and trade unions because the decision allows businesses to apply less stringent safety measures in the workplace.

Belgium re-opens, with restrictions, on 8 June

From 8 June Belgium reopens bars, restaurants, fitness clubs and other activities, as long as people keep 1.5 meter of social distancing. Traveling will also be possible to other European countries if these agree.

Feature

Beethoven vs Virus: How his birthplace Bonn is coping

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Bonn cancelled Beethoven: the much-anticipated 'Beethovenfest', as well as numerous concerts, exhibits and theatre performances were called off, some of the events were rescheduled for 2021.

Spain takes 'giant step' on guaranteed minimum income

The minimum income guarantee was a condition included in the coalition agreement between the Socialists and the leftist group Unidas Podemos, after the indecisive results of the November national elections.

Mix of loans and grants in Commission €750bn package

Italy and Spain, the worst-hit EU countries by the coronavirus pandemic, will get much of the new money under the European Commission's recovery plans - that mark a turning point for the bloc in moving towards joint debt.

EU recovery agreement deal may need 'personal' summit

EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic pleaded with EU affairs ministers for "rapid agreement" on the EU budget and recovery plans to be unveiled on Wednesday - but an agreement and ratification process has its risks.

Opinion

Is Russia manipulating food supplies during pandemic?

Russia already dominates global oil – letting them dominate global food during a pandemic would spell disaster for the EU. It would effectively mean the EU, not just depending on Russian energy, but increasingly also on Russian food supply.

Draft EU 'green recovery' plan amid clash over natural gas

The European Commission's recovery plan from the coronavirus pandemic gives priority to building renovation, renewables and hydrogen. However, eight member states have insisted that gas plays a crucial role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables.

Opinion

How coronavirus might hit EU defence spending

Among the casualties of coronavirus - worldwide and in the EU - is the defence sector. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has not made the world a less dangerous place and there is no alternative to having a functioning defence system.

EU links access to recovery fund to economic advice

Most EU countries are now breach the common fiscal rules, as governments tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The commission plans to link recovery funds to countries following its budgetary advice - but sanctions seem to be few.

EU rift deepens as Commission sticks to €1trn recovery

The EU Commission said it is still aiming for a recovery initiative above one trillion euros to kickstart the pandemic-hit EU economy - after a German-French proposal called for a commonly-financed €500bn plan.

EU scolds Trump on his WHO 'finger-pointing'

EU commission has accused US leader of undermining multilateral cooperation, after his latest threat to permanently cut off World Health Organization funding.

Officials: Health should become EU 'critical infrastructure'

"The pandemic should be a wake-up call that the EU is facing collective risks requiring not just collective answers, but also the acknowledgement of the already existing interdependencies [of its health systems]," said one expert.

Opinion

China's cat-and mouse game blocking web content no model for EU

The angriest citizens can turn to protests or violence, leading governments to increase control and monitoring of platforms, reinforcing the problem. This painful point has to be made to stop the EU repeating China's mistake of top-down internet regulation.

Macron and Merkel propose €500bn EU recovery fund

German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron proposed on Monday a recovery fund of €500bn to support the sectors and regions in the EU most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Opinion

Covid-19 in Europe's prisons - and the response

Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden have taken no steps towards reducing the use of imprisonment and others, like Greece, appear to be waiting for Covid-19 to spread through prisons before acting.

Feature

How West learnt from East to wear face masks

For Asian observers, not wearing face masks represents the lack of social cohesion, failure of effective government prevention strategies and comprehensive solidarity.

Commission suspends mask deliveries over defects

The European Commission suspended future deliveries of masks for member states - after some countries reported that the masks did not meet EU's standards. Earlier this month, the commission started sending 1.5m masks to 17 EU countries and the UK.

How the EU thinks summer holidays can be done

The EU commission has proposed measures aimed at resuming travel in the EU "in a responsible and coordinated way" - with different advice on transport, hotels, and cross-border trips.