Monday

13th Jul 2020

News in Brief

  1. Croatia opens for US tourists, defying EU ban
  2. Poll: only 61% of Germans would get Covid-19 vaccine
  3. UK to spend €788m on new UK-EU border control system
  4. Berlin wants first use of EU cyber sanctions on Russia
  5. Erdogan warns neighbours over hydrocarbon reserves
  6. Bulgaria: political crisis amid anti-corruption protests
  7. Pope and Turkish-German leader join Hagia Sophia protest
  8. France and UK create joint migrant intelligence unit

Schengen at stake in Austria-Germany talks

German interior minister Horst Seehofer is in Vienna on Thursday - as his plan to reject some asylum seekers was met by an Austrian threat to close its borders too.

'Connectivity' trumps enlargement at Balkans summit

At the first summit in 15 years with Western Balkan leaders, EU chiefs made it clear that enlargement is not at hand - but offered economic incentives to keep the region close to the bloc.

Stakeholder

Brussels welcomes Nordic culture

Brussels will play host to more than 400 Nordic artists and creative practitioners this autumn, organised by one of Europe's most influential cultural institutions, BOZAR.

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us

EU warns Romania over corruption amnesty

Juncker warned Romania's government not to move ahead with plans to grant amnesty for corruption, as more than 200 EU laws await decisions during Bucharest's presidency.

New 'EU presidents' strangling free press

Romania's press freedom is "in free fall" as it takes over its EU presidency, Reporters Without Borders has warned, amid wider EU concern on judicial meddling and corruption.

Analysis

Will Austria's presidency give EU a populist push?

As Sebastian Kurz's government takes over the helm of EU-policy making for the next six months, Austrian MEPs from opposing sides weigh in on the EU's youngest prime minister's possible influence on the continent's future.

Sofia summit: EU leaders search for a Trump strategy

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" European Council Donald Tusk asked on Wednesday, as EU leaders were trying to come up with a reply to the US president's questioning of the transatlantic relationship.

Magazine

Dual food quality: a recipe for east-west EU friction

The accusation by some eastern European leaders that food companies were shipping inferior products to the eastern part of the EU has put the European Commission in a bind - leading to a months-long struggle to find a response.

EU states tackle Dublin asylum reform 'line by line'

A Friends of the Presidency group, set up by the Bulgarian EU presidency, has sifted through the European Commission's proposal to reform Dublin, an EU asylum law that has sparked widespread political tensions and divisions.

EU takes step closer to 'posted workers' deal

Negotiators from the member states, EU Parliament and Commission reached a 'common understanding' to guarantee equal pay for equal work in the EU. They hope to reach a final agreement in June.

Opinion

On cybersecurity, Europe must act now

Some governments have closed their eyes, hoping that the menace will go away. It will not - it will only become stronger, according to the former prime minister of Estonia, one of the EU's leading digital states.

Opinion

EU needs commitment to rights in West Balkans

The European Commission's new West Balkans strategy means well - but it will need serious commitment to respecting the rule of law, not just paying attention when violence flares.

Opinion

Tension ahead if Kosovo left out of EU strategy

It is crucial that the EU strategy and the Sofia summit provide the same accession perspective to all six Western Balkan countries, Kosovo president's top official says.

Opinion

Bulgaria must stop this neo-Nazi Lukov march

Just as Bulgaria begins its six-month presidency of the EU, thousands of neo-Nazis will be marching in the streets of the capital, Sofia. This homage to Hristo Lukov, responsible for 11,300 Jewish deaths, must be banned.

Opinion

What to expect from Bulgaria's EU presidency?

Corruption, organised crime, lack of foreign investment and digital skills make Bulgaria an unlikely standard bearer for the EU during its presidency. But perhaps Sofia can pull it off.

EU states loosen grip on tax havens

Finance ministers removed eight entities from the tax havens blacklist, while ruling out more transparency or sanctions - prompting criticism from tax-campaigning NGOs such as Oxfam.

Bulgaria's corruption problem mars EU presidency start

A dispute between the government and the president over an anti-corruption law has put the spotlight on one of the Bulgaria's main problems - just as it is trying to showcase its economic and social progress.

Bulgaria to take first steps towards euro

Bulgaria joining the single currency "will not result in any additional risk for the euro system", its finance minister said. The country's lev currency has been pegged to the euro since 1997, making it already highly dependent on ECB policy.

Bulgaria's president vetoes anti-corruption bill

Bulgaria is starting its six-month EU presidency amid attempts to shake off issues of corruption and poor press freedoms. Earlier this week, Bulgaria's president vetoed an anti-graft bill, claiming it was too weak.

Magazine

The asylum files: deadlock and dead-ends

The EU is reforming a number of internal asylum laws, but lack of staff, politics, and the sheer complexity of the bills means deadlines - like those announced by EU council chief Tusk - are likely to come and go.

EU takes step towards free flow of data

Non-personal data should be allowed to cross EU borders without restrictions, with an exemption for security reasons, diplomats meeting in the Council of the EU have agreed.