Sunday

25th Feb 2024

How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament

Amazon is one step closer to being banned from the European Parliament after the employment committee complained of a lack of cooperation in recent years — what is the process, and when can a final decision be expected?

Opinion

EU plan to let 17-year olds drive trucks is crazy

It's an astonishing proposition rooted in political interest rather than facts, with potentially dire consequences for all road users — especially for people who walk and cycle, warns the European Cycling Federation.

EU deal on new gig-workers rules unlikely before June elections

Another provisional agreement on improving working conditions for platform workers fall apart on Friday, as four member states decided not to support it — making the chances of a directive before the June European elections unlikely.

Latest News

  1. EU rewards Tusk's Poland on rule of law with €137bn
  2. UK-EU relations defrosting ahead of near-certain Labour win
  3. EU paid Russia €420-per-capita for fossil fuels since war began
  4. After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports
  5. Creating the conditions for just peace in Ukraine
  6. Energy and minerals disputes overshadow new EU-ACP pact
  7. Germany speeds up Georgia and Morocco asylum returns
  8. How Amazon lobbyists could be banned from EU Parliament
New EU social security coordination rules hit a dead end

The clock is ticking and MEPs want to agree new rules to update the EU's social security coordination, but the file has been left unfinished under 12 EU presidencies — and the Belgian presidency won't be the exception.

Opinion

Why is abortion still illegal in Malta in 2024?

Malta is one of the few European countries where abortion remains illegal in almost all circumstances, including rape and incest, making it one of the strictest in the world. Consequently, Maltese women are forced to seek unsafe procedures abroad.

Opinion

Why EU should take action against Agri-oligopoly

Recent farmer's protests have put food production on the political agenda. Yet until now, policy-makers and regulators have largely ignored the forces that direct global food trade: Big Agri and their monopolies.

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Opinion

Why are EU travel firms offering holidays to Uyghur region?

Chinese state media cannot get enough of tourism from Europe. But crime against humanity targeted at Uyghurs and other Turkic people are ongoing — so why do EU travel companies make themselves complicit in cleansing these atrocities?

EU agrees less ambitious rules on platform work

A new provisional agreement on the platform workers directive has been reached — but what has changed from the previous deal, and how will it affect the expected reclassification of 5.5 million platform workers as "employees"?

EU's first gender-based violence law a 'big disappointment'

The EU has adopted a provisional agreement on a directive to combat violence against women, the first-ever EU rules to fight gender based violence. But it does not include rape as 'sex without consent', or a ban on forced sterilisation.

EU internships still a 'Wild West' for young workers

In the last decade, young Europeans have taken up more and more traineeships in the EU — but their quality still remains a challenge, and trade unions and youth organisations are now calling for a ban on unpaid internships.

Opinion

The MEPs' vote on new GMOs that's a gift to corporations

On Wednesday MEPs will vote on a proposal that would scrap any safety checks for GMOs, as well as labelling and traceability requirements. Many of these MEPs, I suspect, will scratch their heads about the implications of this deregulation proposal.

MEP: Slave-labour burden of proof should be on companies

The EU is drafting new rules to investigate, ban and ultimately remove a product from the single market if forced labour is used. However, the three institutions remain far apart on redress for victims, who investigates, and slave-labour by states.

Opinion

Now's time for EU directive to let home workers 'disconnect'

We can't continue with a situation in which people regularly working from home are six times more likely to work in their free time or are having their privacy routinely violated, writes general secretary of the European Trade Unions Confederation.

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EU's green renovation wave lacks plan to deal with asbestos

By 2030, 35 million buildings in the EU will be either renovated or demolished under the Green Deal — yet there is still no directive to determine the extent of asbestos contamination in Europe, the leading cause of workplace fatalities.

As EU birth-rates plummet, nativist family politics ascend

At 1.5 children-per-woman, the EU cannot ensure a sufficient population replacement rate — which threatens welfare models and care of an ageing population. So ahead of the European elections, far-right candidates are offering Orbán-style nativist family policies.

Interview

New French Renew boss at odds with Macron on gender-violence

Leading MEPs have confirmed that the member states cannot agree on incluing rape in the directive to combat violence against women. About 15 countries are in favour, but with Germany and France against it, there is no qualified majority.

EU proposes new powers for European Works Councils

The EU Commission has proposed a new revision of the directive on European Works Councils, the bodies that represent workers at company level, after 15 years without revision, in order to address a number of shortcomings.

Two big omissions risk making EU forced-labour ban toothless

Member states are worried about the domestic costs of investigating forced-labour abuses, whilst two major omissions in the council's latest draft risk making the regulation toothless: no reference to remediation for victims, and no reference to state-imposed forced labour.

MEPs: Cost-of-living crisis means poverty 'has a female face'

Poverty has a female face, MEPs agreed on Thursday, passing a resolution calling on both the EU Commission and member states to strengthen the gender perspective in their green and social plans. Only six male MEPs spoke at the debate.

Opinion

How can Europe make human rights of Jews count?

State responses tend to emphasise the criminal justice system, which is largely reactive, has a less-than-perfect record in addressing antisemitic hate crimes, and has generally failed to build the confidence among Jewish citizens needed for victims to report hate crimes.

EU's five biggest billionaires' wealth surges 76 percent

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, according to a new report that highlights the reasons behind worrying figures — such as the fact that global poverty will not be eradicated for another 229 years.

EU raises Cyprus NGO bombing with authorities during visit

The European Commission says it discussed with Cypriot authorities the 5 January bombing of an NGO fighting racism in Nicosia. "The bomb attack ... and the authorities' reluctance to even acknowledge it, are a wake-up call for Europe," said Kisa.

EU fears as microplastics spill hits French/Spanish coastlines

As the coastline of Galicia in northern Spain wakes up to another day with hundreds of volunteers cleaning microplastics from the beach, the EU has sounded the alarm about the impacts of plastic pellets on the environment and human health.

MEPs demand fewer barriers for disabled people moving in the EU

MEPs have proposed a free disability card, but they also want to go further than the Commission's original proposal, which focused on short-term stays rather than living situations, creating some financial barriers to the right to free movement.

Labour market imbalances 'may be structural' warning

2023 saw encouraging figures in the labour market, says a new report from the International Labour Organisation. However, low productivity and falling living standards project a cloudy outlook for 2024.

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