Sunday

25th Sep 2022

EU death penalty day gets Polish blessing

Poland has lifted its veto on creating a "European Day Against the Death Penalty," clearing the way for EU justice ministers to adopt the plan in Brussels on Friday (7 December).

The move will see the EU join the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe and NGOs such as Amnesty International in campaigning for worldwide abolition every year on 10 October.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Abolition is already a pre-requisite for joining the EU, but Poland's previous government - led by the rightist and populist Law and Justice party - took a lone stance against the project earlier this year.

The new government, led by the more liberal Civic Platform, has promised to return Poland to the EU mainstream on a range of issues including civil rights and euro-adoption.

"Everything has changed in Poland. The government has changed. Poland has changed and the decision has changed," interior minister Grzegorz Schetyna told Polish press agency PAP on the eve of the Friday meeting.

The death penalty shift was quickly welcomed by the Portuguese EU presidency, but some EU diplomats remain curious how Civic Platform will handle harder issues, such as a proposed Russia-Germany gas pipeline, which threatens Polish energy interests.

"There is definitely a change of style, but some of the substantial problems remain the same," one contact said.

Amnesty International reports "at least" 1,591 people were legally executed in 2006. China is the most prolific. EU ally, the US, favours lethal injection. Belarus shoots people, while Iran practices public stoning and hanging.

The EU in November helped push through a non-binding UN resolution against capital punishment, but faced criticism from Caribbean and Asian states for trying to impose values in a neo-colonialist way.

EU seeks crisis powers to take control over supply chains

The Single Market Emergency Instrument (SMEI) introduces a staged, step-by-step, approach — providing emergency powers to the EU Commission to tackle any potential threat which could trigger disruptions or shortages of key products within the EU.

Testimony from son rocks trial of ex-Czech PM Babiš

In a fraud trial relating to €2m in EU subsidies, Andrej Babiš son testified his signature on share-transfer agreements was forged. He claims his father transferred the shares to him without his knowledge, making him a front man for scheme.

‘Rushed’ EP secretary-general pick sparks legal complaint

The appointment has been criticised for being rushed — Alessandro Chiocchetti only takes up his new position in January — and for overlooking other candidates, whose experience in administration management was seen as more substantial.

Investigation

Dismantling Schengen — six months at a time

Several EU countries have put in place almost permanent internal border controls, circumventing the Schengen Agreement on free movement. The EU Court of Justice declared such controls illegal. Now they are trying to loosen Schengen rules in Brussels negotiations.

Podcast

How Europe helped normalise Georgia Meloni

Should Georgia Meloni be considered neofascist? She insists she's a patriotic conservative. And indeed, if she's prime minister, she's expected to respect Italy's democracy — if only to keep money flowing from the EU.

Editorial

Background reads: Italy's election

With Italy heading to the ballot boxes this Sunday, let's take a look at what EUobserver has published that can help understand the country's swing to the (far)-right.

News in Brief

  1. More Russians now crossing Finnish land border
  2. Report: EU to propose €584bn energy grid upgrade plan
  3. Morocco snubs Left MEPs probing asylum-seeker deaths
  4. EU urges calm after Putin's nuclear threat
  5. Council of Europe rejects Ukraine 'at gunpoint' referendums
  6. Lithuania raises army alert level after Russia's military call-up
  7. Finland 'closely monitoring' new Russian mobilisation
  8. Flights out of Moscow sell out after Putin mobilisation order

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  3. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  5. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling

Latest News

  1. Ireland joins EU hawks on Russia, as outrage spreads
  2. Editor's weekly digest: Plea for support edition
  3. Investors in renewables face uncertainty due to EU profits cap
  4. How to apply the Nuremberg model for Russian war crimes
  5. 'No big fish left' for further EU sanctions on Russians
  6. Meloni's likely win will not necessarily strengthen Orbán
  7. France latest EU member to step up government spending in 2023
  8. Big Tech now edges out Big Energy in EU lobbying

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us