Wednesday

29th Jan 2020

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

News in Brief

  1. EU asylum agency to expand operations in Greece
  2. EU set to repatriate citizens from coronavirus-hit Wahun
  3. German Left MEP resigns over former far-right membership
  4. Sassoli defends 'renewed approach' for enlargement
  5. UK approves limited role for Huawei in 5G network
  6. Cases of coronavirus in France and Germany
  7. Report: EU court seeks authority on post-Brexit deal
  8. Slovenian PM resigns, calls snap election

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Why von der Leyen must put rights at core of business

Ursula von der Leyen's in-tray must include those European executives on trial for systematic workplace harassment, the break-up of European slavery rings, and allegations of European companies' abuse in palm oil, including child labour, land grabs, and deforestation.

Magazine

The labour market is not ready for the future

The European labour market will face enormous challenges with its combination of an ageing population, climate change and a digital transformation and will increase the east-west divide in Europe.

NGO reveals German firms fail to meet UN human rights rule

A new report reveals that the biggest companies in Germany fail to manage measures to protect their employees and supply-chain from human rights abuses - ahead of the government deadline for introducing tough new regulation.

Opinion

Commission social security rules hit cross-border workers

The Commission's proposal to revise the rules on which social security system covers workers when they cross borders, originally a technical clarification, has opened the floodgates for national interests to be put above workers' rights.

Opinion

Is there more than coffee for European Works Councils?

In 1994, the EU decided that, at least, the employee representatives of a multinational were to meet each other and the management from time to time. In these meetings, management had to inform and consult the employees about transnational issues.

Opinion

Why EU subsidy schemes don't work - the evidence

Counter to popular beliefs among policymakers, the positive effects of support schemes are found to be very limited. In order to revitalise Europe, the newly appointed EU Commission needs to reconsider government's role in innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Opinion

MEPs: Don't waste your chance to change Vietnam

A growing number of MEPs have become aware of the brutality and unreliability of the Vietnamese regime, and realise that this vote is one of the rare occasions in which they have binding power in EU foreign policy.

Opinion

Why EU minimum wage is actually bad idea for workers

As president of one of the largest trade union confederations in the EU, I see the need for good working conditions and decent pay in all member states - but an EU-wide minimum wage could be used to lower wages.

Focus

Denmark falls behind in gender-equality ranking

Iceland remains the most gender-equal country in the world, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. But one Nordic country sticks out from its neighbours with few female lawmakers, senior officials and managers.

Focus

North Atlantic mini states in geopolitical turbulence

Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland, while the Faroe Islands have come under pressure to ditch China's Huawei for its 5G network. Both incidents reflect growing geopolitical interest for the North Atlantic countries sharing foreign and security policy with Denmark.

Exclusive

Zahradil 'conflict of interest' over EU-Vietnam trade deal

Right-wing Czech MEP Jan Zahradil is leading European Parliament negotiations on a trade deal with Vietnam. As rapporteur, he is supposed to be neutral but has neglected to declare his involvement in a group with ties to the Communist party.

Von der Leyen warns on EU budget cuts

The new EU Commission president will tell EU leaders next week that they need to put money behind their pledges for border protection, defence policy and fighting climate change.

Opinion

EU's 'soft strengths' are enough to face China

As the share of the EU in the global economy shrinks, the soft power of its economic instruments and the attraction of the internal market is destined to decline.

Magazine

EU fish wars ahoy

EU seas will contain "more" and "bigger" fish five years from now - if the fisheries committee does its job. But rows on post-Brexit rights could grab attention.

Magazine

Making EU trade deals work for citizens

The Mercosur trade deal and the US trade policy will be debated in the European Parliament's trade committee, where chairman Bernd Lange wants to make genuine progress on enforcing sustainable development measures through the EU's trade agreements.

Opinion

EU needs to 'toughen up' on trade

Member states have different positions towards China - on which some countries are economically dependent.

Magazine

Fighting corruption and cutting red tape

Fighting corruption, enforcement of the rule of law, simplifying rules and procedures on the EU budget, and an effective public prosecutor's office - this is what the chair of the budget control committee expects from the next five years.

Magazine

The challenge of artificial intelligence

The fast-growing impact of artificial intelligence will be the biggest challenge for business and consumers in Europe's single market of tomorrow.

Magazine

The EU debate on its own resources

The European Commission proposed to increase the EU budget from 1.03 to 1.11 percent. As Brexit will mean that net-contributing countries will have to pay more, a big debate is on its way.

Magazine

New EU financial instruments needed

The European Union will need more integration and economic and fiscal instruments to survive the next economic and financial crisis.

Magazine

Binding measures to expand gender balance

Ursula von der Leyen, the first female president of the EU commission, has put a lot of emphasis on trying to create a gender-balanced EU executive. Expanding gender balance will also be a top priority for the FEMM committee.

Interview

EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration

Europe's obsession with migration from Africa means it risks losing out the continent's potential when it comes to trade, says the EU's ambassador to the African Union, Ranier Sabatucci. "Africa is a growing continent, it is the future," he says.

EU agrees 2020 budget deal

EU governments and the parliament agreed in marathon talks ino next year's budget - which will boost spending on climate, border protection, and the European satellite system. It will also be a benchmark if there is no long-term budget deal.

Opinion

EU investment bank 'wide open to abuse by fraudsters'

Fundamental reforms are needed if the EIB is to become more accountable, democratic and transparent. Establishing a firm grasp on corruption to ensure that public money no longer feeds corrupt systems is a vital first step.

EU and China agree to defend 'gastronomic jewels'

Manchego cheese, Panjin rice and Polish vodka will all be protected under a new EU-China agreeement. But the two trading giants continue to struggle over other trade-related deals.

NGOs expose rights abuses in EU supermarket supply chains

A new report from Oxfam reveals that many of the people producing the food on sale in European supermarkets are victims of poverty pay, harsh working conditions, gender discrimination, and human rights abuses.

EU states given right to police Facebook worldwide

National courts in EU states can order Facebook to delete content "worldwide", Europe's top tribunal has ruled, in what the US social media giant called an attack on free speech.

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